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Ham Operator Ignorance and Cluelessness; A Case Study

I thoroughly warn people: break the rules and publicly cry about your broken shit, and I’ll rip you apart publicly. This is deliberate: it’s an attempt to filter out the clueless (for their own good). I’ll also rip apart other “experts” because, they are equally as clueless and are, more accurately, experts at misinformation and poor advice.

So, let’s have some fun, and see first-hand as to why I prefer to work alone, rebel against the (mostly-clueless) ham masses, and just do my own thing.

On the official Pi-Star support forum is a fucking perfect example and case study as to why I crafted rules and caveats for my W0CHP-PiStar-Dash software.

The user’s forum post title could not be more fitting: “I should not have done that.” No, bruh. You should not have. You were warned, and you’ve proven that my software is not for you. Thank you for proving my countless points and being the perfect case study.

Grow Some Chops (and Balls)

This entire debacle demonstrates why my software WAS NOT written for and targeted to clueless users/hams. It shows how clueless other “experts” are. It reinforces why I went on my own, created a fork, and steered clear of other so-called “experts”; as 99% of them are clueless, and I’ll show you in this musing.

It also demonstrates flagrant disregard by the user, on all counts, of my advice littered all over the W0CHP-PiStar-Dash pages, READMEs, docs, etc.

Some of my warning excerpts:

Running my version of the Pi-Star dashboard is for the initiated, talented and self-motivated. It is NOT for casual, clueless users/hams.

Do NOT ask for support of my W0CHP-PiStar-Dash on any official or unofficial Pi-Star support medium. This is not Andy’s (MW0MWZ) code/version!

The ONLY person who supports this code, is YOU. Yes, you will need to figure shit out if/when things go awry; on your own.

This code/project is a moving target, has bugs (like any code does) and can be unstable.

So what does this user do? Ignores all warnings and breaks every rule, his hotspot breaks (bugs or not), then missed how easy it was to fix the issue. This is the precise type of user that should NOT run my software; and I warn about it all over my website and software docs. Had he possessed some chops, he may have found a bug and reported it to me. Instead, all of the typical casual “user” and appliance-operating traits and behaviors prevail. Not who my software is for!

If my software has bugs (and it does!), I don’t fucking care, unless hackers help me fix them.

Let me repeat that: I don’t fucking care. I don’t feel badly for users using my software if they experience a bug, etc. Fucking contribute, and help fix it. They were warned a gazillion times.


Let’s examine the user’s issue, lack of skills, plus the unbelievably terrible “support” and misinformation from the Pi-Star forum admins:

I really screwed my Boomerang Duplex Nightspot up. I have been running W0CHP’s version and everything has been running good. Then I took an update and it broke. He replaced /usr/local/bin with his own code to support M17. This was a lot more than just a pretty interface. I ran the command to back it out. But back on original PI-STAR it is still broken.

First off, he broke the rules asking for support on an official medium, when trying to recover something he broke using a completely different fork. Secondly, he thought my software was a simply a pretty interface; classic appliance operator who doesn’t know or care to know what’s under the hood. I have zero sympathy.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I am Linux proficient and think I have good troubleshooting skills. Well….. until now.

I don’t know why overly-confident users editorialize and embellish their “skills”. It’s fucking annoying. No, he’s not proficient. In his MMDVMHost log:

E: 2022-01-31 04:59:53.740 Cannot get the control attributes for /dev/ttyAMA0

Ok. This is telling. Anyone with some MMDVMHost chops would know:

  • Something is blocking the modem port, or…
  • A dependency is not satisfied for MMDVMHost to start correctly (usually middle-ware).

Hmmm. Ya think he looked at the systemd MMDVMHost logs? Nope. And if he did, he would have realized in 30 seconds, that this issue was caused by a startup dependency not being satisfied: likely NextionDriver.service. The fix for this issue is so fucking easy, and I’m not even going to post it here.

Why not? Because my software is not for the weak. I don’t hand-hold. And that’s exactly what this user was looking for in the end. The user here is a weak appliance operator; not knowing how anything under the hood works. He did try! But at the end of the day, my software is not for him; an appliance operator. He didn’t heed any warnings. Again…zero sympathy.

Now let’s examine this hilarious and rich comment from one of the Pi-Star admins/experts:

We only support the official pistar release. We cant offer help here with a hacked vers. from someone else because we dont know what they have done in their changes.

LOL a “hacked version”. It’s a FORK, you fucking idiot. Clearly this “expert” has no idea how Open Source Software works (read: the attributes of another appliance operator).

This is a perfect example as to why I’m such a hard-ass ham radio rebel; because so many hams are fucking plain-old dumb.

Here’s some terrible advice from ANOTHER Pi-Star admin/“expert”1

That is either a firmware issue, or somethings fishy with the serial port, I’ve seen one other post on the forum where someone had that message. No idea what causes it.

You probably need to flash the modem to an older version of the firmware. I’m sure if you had M17 working, you updated the firmware on that hat to an unofficial release that contained M17 support.

Uhhhh…native M17 support has been in the official MMDVM_HS firmware since at least 2020, and Pi-Star even supports this firmware in its own firmware management scripts. He even cites to use, firmware v1.5.2, which officially has native M17 support built-in. Fucking idiot. 🤦

So this “expert” is WRONG, clueless and continues to spread gross misinformation. The rest of his reply is also mostly false and is misinformed. I won’t even qualify as to why. I don’t need to. I am self-validating, and I would imagine the three or four true and talented hackers and hams out there know exactly what I’m talking about.

It burns my ass when “experts” spread gross misinformation. They are worse than clueless users, because they make users even more clueless.

Fuck Around, Find Out

But for fuck’s sake, don’t cry, post, whine about it and look for help or sympathy. Grow some balls and hacking chops.

Folks, all of this is why my I created my own fork. It’s for experts written by an expert. Even the “admins” of official Pi-Star support resources are clueless.

You hams really need to heed my warnings/rules/caveats. I wasn’t kidding. You’ll end up with something broken that you’re too ignorant or lazy to fix on your own. I’ll rip you and your cohorts apart, every…single…time; for using something you should not be using, let alone even talking about (looking at you, Pi-Star “experts/admins”).

This case study is proof, that if you fuck around, you’re gonna find out. You had better be ready to address and fix bugs, and solve problems. Wanna be a cool ham? Contribute.

My warnings, rules and caveats are there to protect you from your-damn-selves. Choose to ignore them, and you’ll be awfully sorry if you’re not qualified to solve problems to resolution; just like this guy.

  1. Update, 2/9/22: I see Pi-Star admin/“expert”, KE7FNS removed his false information (rather than publicly correcting himself; how cowardly.). However, here’s both a Google Cache of his misinformation, as well as a screen capture of his misinformed post. You know, for posterity. ;-) 

Ver. # f08f938 - Document last updated: 2/9/2022
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