LHS Episode #053: Windows in the Ham Shack?

Hello, everyone. We're coming to the end of another year and the world is aglow with holiday spirit. With that in mind, we bring you the second-to-last episode of Linux in the Ham Shack for 2010. We will have one more recording and release before the end of the year, so don't miss out on our holiday extravaganza.

We no longer broadcast video via Ustream, but we do have a live audio feed. Just point your streaming audio player at https://stream.lhspodcast.info:8008/lhslive starting about 30 minutes prior to air time (8:15pm CT). You can join in the chat room scene as well with your favorite IRC client. We are at irc.freenode.net in channel #lhspodcast. The channel is available 24/7, even when we're not doing a live show. Join in when you can and chat with other LHS listeners. During the live show, #lhspodcast becomes our chat room and our live connection with YOU.

Cheers and 73 from the LHS Guys

4 comments on “LHS Episode #053: Windows in the Ham Shack?

  • Windows vs Linux debate
    There are ham’s that will buy a wire ant and there are ham’s will build there own. I have always thought our ham forefathers that used to build sparkgap transmitters would have surly the ‘do it yourself’ nature of open source.
    I wonder if the Windows users would buy a radio that they could not take the covers off or would they rejoice in a manufacturer that would not make available the schematics to radio?

  • I really enjoyed your comment about the “simple projects” in QST. It made me laugh because it reminded me of my experiences starting out in amateur radio. I would read different HAM magazines and they would have these articles like build a 40 meter CW transceiver out of a tuna can using a few parts from your “junk box.” I didn’t have a “junk box.” It was so frustrating. The great thing about Linux is that it puts powerful computing in the hands of ordinary folks. The guys who can spend 6 grand on the latest super-wonder-rig don’t appreciate this.

  • The two previous comments hit on a good point. I started in ham radio building and building and building.. I bought a commercial radio, it was a kit, a heathkit HW8, and I loved it. Ham radio has it’s roots in the DIYer and that is where it’s spirit is.

    Linux has its roots in exactly the same arena. Rather than buy commercial unix, DIYers create their own posix OS in Linux and GNU.

    That aside, your “Appliance Operator” comment is spot on.

    Now, as to my preference of linux as an OS. (even my Macbook ran ubuntu BTW.) I look at is as added flexibility, real security, and MORE choices, not less than a pure windows environment.

    Flexibility: No computer OS is as configurable as linux. You can choose nearly infinite possibilities for your desktop environment, windowing environment, etc. There really are no restrictions or imposed limitations. Don’t like the placement of buttons on windows, or the actions of certain mouse buttons, change them.

    Security: What can you say? Windows is a broken product right out of the box. My favorite analogy is buying a boat. Lets say you bought a new yacht, and the first thing you had to do, was go buy some resin to plug the holes in the hull. Would that be a good deal? What’s the first software you have to buy for windows? Anti virus, since the OS is so open to intrusion from so many directions right out of the box… Win7 is better, but sophos did a test on a stock win7 install and found that 8 out of 10 of their most recent bug samples readily infected the OS. Fail!!!!

    Choices: Virtual Box.. Linux is my host OS. It’s built on a stable and reliable filesystem, one of seven or more choices BTW. (ever have corrupted indexes in NTFS? When it breaks, it breaks *hard*) Most all that I need to do I can accomplish with free open source software. For a few windows apps that I need, or maybe want to run, I keep a WinXP virtual machine around. Basically, my software choices include everything out there, including all windows software. Some things don’t even need the VM, WINE lets many windows apps run natively under linux, including loggers, satalite trackers, etc.

    Speaking of open source software, why pay $800 for photoshop when GIMP works so well and supports PS files? Open Office has handled every MSOffice document I’ve thrown at it and doesn’t cost $130. Inkscape takes care of my adobe illustrator tasks for my design work. Scribus does everything Adobe InDesign does… It goes on.

    I have found Open source software to accomplish every major task that commercial windows software provides, with compatability with the native files…

    I chuckle when I read or hear of photoshop crashing and costing someone lost work. It crashes often. I have not had a single crash of GIMP, not one, ever…

    Professionally, I work in I.T. at a large company with nearly 400 Mac workstations, a few windows servers, a bunch of linux servers, and a smattering of windows VMs for accounting, phone system, etc. I work on computers all day. At home, I just want to use my computers, not waste time on maintenance or repair of broken software.

    The choice is obvious for me.

  • Rick Kunath says:

    I enjoyed the discussion of EchoLink.

    I heard your discussion of using the EchoLink software under WINE, but wondered whether you knew about svxlink? This is a native Linux echolink server and client application. The app allows for links and nodes that connect to EchoLink to be used, so sysops can use it, but it runs natively on Linux. The client part of svxlink is called Qtel, and does a fine job of connecting a user to utilize the EchoLink network.


    I have used EchoLinux, and this is also a native Linux app, but I dislike the interface. Qtel is far superior.

    Anyway, I don’t know if you have heard of svxlink, and it is definitely worth a look whether you are an EchoLink sysop or a user.

    Keep up the good work.

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