Amidst all of the back and forth over the 1.4 release, we have been treated to a wide array of angst. G4DYO, indignantly proclaimed that Flex owes the User base: "you owe us all a date of release". While W1GLV Bob ever the optimist and Flex Fanboy preaches, “keep the faith you have one of the best radios in the world. I have all the faith in the world that v1.4 will probably be the greatest revision ever. Love my 6500” (Wow, Bob, get out sometime!) And no Ham radio dispute would be complete without the Lord assisting to sort out the mess. N0FM: “Gerald God Bless you guys” ( We atheists are ok with that. it’s harmless)
Among the more amusing comments: K5SDR’s: "Does anyone know of a machine that will turn whining into extra software engineers? I would buy one of those in a heartbeat. I am barely letting our engineers take a bathroom break as it is now" As if these guys are indentured servants working on the Manhattan project!!!
Yet finally we arrive at an obvious observation. Again from K5SDR Gerald: “I don't know if the general ham population is sophisticated enough to understand the software development process. “ ( Though Gerald would; “ love to be proven wrong.”) He’s not wrong.
There is this long held myth that Ham Radio operators as a group are "technologists". That they keep abreast of and embrace the process of technology. I don’t buy it. Nor are there metrics to prove otherwise. That said, we are entering a "Post Technology Era where the App is more important than the device. Where the box/processor even the network are becoming transparent). Von Neuman's technological "singularity" is upon us!
Tune across any band and find a literate and informed discussion of current technology ANY technology. If you do find such a conversation it is the exception. (Though you will hear (in abundance!) enthusiastic discourse about radios that were built decades ago. Such is the elderly demographic of the hobby.
Ham radio is populated with many (Near-Septuagenarians) who are completely disconnected from the contemporary world we live in. Men who reject smart devices. Where Uber, Apple Pay, NFC, WiGIG and Sway are alien concepts. And in the digital era these "low information" Hams are irrelevant.Flex is to be applauded for their transparency and inclusive stance as they develop their product line. But their customer base generates mostly noise. And in my view, Flex would do well, to spend far less time responding to the majority of poorly conceived ideas shouted by the Mob. The Ham population at large is culturally unsuited to making more than a minor contribution to your efforts.
My specialitiy is gynecology and obsterics and I surely do hope nobody at FRS will tell me how to do a cesarean!
Having said that I disagree with your views about Ham Radio operators and specially the FRS community.
There is a lot, and I mean LOT of knowledge about out there. Take my club as an example, OV A07 Karlsruhe of the DARC. We have some septuagenarians and even older guys who are actively using the newest radio equipment and their smartphones and tablets. I have learned quite a bit from them. We promote a lot of experimental electronics building and software programming and I'm surprised how many people have a bit of special skills or knowledge which can help us.
As far as the FRS community is concerned, let them write whatever comes to their mind, because sometimes you'll find a nugget that can be incorporated into SSDR development.
Ham spirit also means a lot of tolerance, also to occasional not so bright ideas.
Ugh! Such a wind.
There were 3 or 4 hams complaining in the v1.4 thread which leads you, apparently, to declare that the ham population is not sophisticated enough to understand the software development process. There are easily as many in the thread who claim to have been part of the process for decades.
Later, you state generally that hams are not technologists, and that we are in a "Post Technology Era where the App is more important than the device". So apparently hams are an app-ie crowd? I guess not, because further along you berate them for rejecting smart devices (i.e., app players). You also chide them for being "disconnected from the contemporary world". Well, aren't they disconnected from the Post Technology contemporary world?
My background is in product marketing and circuit design so I do feel sorry for the FRS team when they have to put up with customer demands that are emotionally generated....
As a marketeer I found any customer input to be valuable, and it's never a good business policy to discourage that input, no matter how emotionally generated it might be....
Patiently waiting for V1.4 and beyond....
I do approve of your kudos to Flex Systems for their progressive, somewhat out of the box, thinking and development, however Flex needs to continue to encourage and carefully vet all suggestions. The more input they get from us the better.
Sounds more like a blog post than a post for the community.
Once again, I guess it's good that I'm not a mod here, because I'd delete this thread as soon as I read it.
Whether it's true or not (and I'm not saying I necessarily agree or disagree with the OP)... the OP's tone keeps it from to adding anything substantive to the dialog.
Nothing to see here... move along.
>Ham radio is populated with many (Near-Septuagenarians) who are completely disconnected from the contemporary world we live in. ... And in the digital era these "low information" Hams are irrelevant.
OK, OK, I'm sorry - I didn't know what I was getting into when I bought my 6300.
I'll just put my tail between my legs and sneak away, back to my K3 and HRO-60. Just pretend that I was never here.
I dabbled in the VHF contest last weekend, and I had to use a paper log 'cause I couldn't figure out how to get the 'box' (not exactly a radio) connected to my logging program.
i see you guys receding in the distance (or is that 'going forward'?) and I despair of keeping up.
It was a great 60 years, but I'm ready to give up.
I have been a ham for 48 years now. My novice transmitter was a 6L6 that my Elmer helped me build. My receiver was a Hallicrafters S-38 that I hacked a 455 kHz mechanical filter into the IF. Every ham I knew when I was a teenage Novice in Mississippi was hands on with the technology. Most every ham I knew then was an Elmer in some way both on the air and in person. Ham radio is why I ended up going to engineering school and led to my entire career in technology.
Today there are three times as many licensed hams in the US as there were then. There are still a large numbers of hams who are much more technically competent than I every will be. Quite a number of them own our radios and have contributed to our efforts over the last 12 years.
We also see the opposite extreme and all in between. Qualitatively, from my vantage point I believe that the average technical knowledge in ham radio is down from when I was a kid. The absolute number of technical hams might actually be larger than it was then but the average still down. Even hams who when in their youth were very hands on building, fixing and modifying their rigs now have more of a consumer mindset. There is nothing wrong with having all types across the spectrum since it adds to diversity. It is a shame though that some people just don't want to take the time and expend the effort to learn and enjoy the ride.
I think the hard part for us at FlexRadio is that we put our heart and soul into doing something new and different only to be criticized by a few who have not walked in our shoes. After 12 years of dealing with ham consumers, I have a pretty thick skin so it no longer offends me personally. We sincerely want to build products that will make our collective hobby more enjoyable for years to come. We do this because we love it and want to give back. A few grumbles here and there can't change that.
Makes one wonder if the OP has any clue where all the technology he enjoys came from?
Maybe you don't realize that the founder of Flex Radio is no spring chicken either. Yet, he designed the radios we are all enjoy using.
Flex allows us to post comments, both good and bad (to a point). So, some expressing their frustrations over delays in software releases, is not a bad thing. It's called being human. And it's not age limited at all.
I think someone doesn't like old people. Don't worry, you'll get there one day. Getting old ain't for sissies.
64 and proud of it!
"Ham radio is populated with many (Near-Septuagenarians) who are completely disconnected from the contemporary world we live in. Men who reject smart devices. Where Uber, Apple Pay, NFC, WiGIG and Sway are alien concepts. And in the digital era these "low information" Hams are irrelevant. "
Hams come from all walks of life and the only thing a person needs to do to become a "Ham" is to pass the appropriate test. In this context you will have a very large disparity in overall knowledge of
communications, electronics, computers etc. So we have to be mindful of this situation and have a little understanding.
For myself I am a technologist, have been for 45 years, and I keep up the best I can with the current state of the art. I build and administer my own computers and in my working years have hand engineered, built and made to operate some very interesting electronics. But I am lucky in that respect and many in my age group did not receive that type of education. But they should be commended for the effort needed to become an Amateur Radio Operator.
But for a lot of us, we love to feel the edges of technology, rough and smooth, and the exciting ride it brings. No worries, Gerald. To borrow a quote from Benjamin Franklin... “Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain – and most fools do.”
I stand in awe of many of ham club members here, both for their technical prowess and their success in life. And I note that the last 2 Nobel Prize winners in Physics were active hams, and holders of the PhD in Physics.
The writer who began this post needs to take a handful of Tums and turn on his radio and play. There is a world of fascinating technically competent people to talk to. The glass is half full.