[pskmail] Re: An attempt at a pskmail brochure

Per,

What you have written looks like an excellent overview of PSKmail.

I think your non-native english is better than my native english:>)

73,
Fred
wb5con

PS - Looks like PSKmail got mentioned again in the May QST. That's 3 times in QST this year!

Per Crusefalk wrote:
Hi all,

I have been playing with the idea of trying to write another angle on a
quick introdution to pskmail. I started out trying to put my finger on
what I liked about the system and I tried to match the vocabulary and
feel used to sell major commercial systems. Someone said the number one
reason that perfectly good open source solutions fail, even though they
may be technical wonders, is that they spend too much time coding and
very little on spreading the word and documenting. As I'm not a native
english speaker I would apprciate it if someone could help me correct
errors in this little attempt. As always I appreciate any input on this.

73 de Per, sm0rwo
-------------------------------

What is PSKmail

PSKmail is a system that allows infrastructure independent access to
internet services such as email and web. A sailboat on an ocean can read and send email, fetch weather reports,
send direct messages and update the ships position through the APRS
system. Friends and family can stay in touch and can also follow the ships movements seconds after position updates are sent from the ship.
PSKmail can provide access to internet services in rural and otherwise
isolated areas. Perhaps you'd like internet access on the North pole? No problem, pskmail provides that. Wait, did I mention its free and open
source?

Infrastructure independent ?

PSkmail clients access servers using hf. A mobile station can be battery
operated, solar powered, and can be located somewhere off the beaten
track (in a jungle or on the high seas for example).
Naturally the servers need to be connected to the internet to fetch
internet email. But, the servers can even be used without internet
connection (where that is not allowed or for special purposes such as
emergency systems). The servers are independent and do not fail if a
central system should be unreachable. Should one server be off the air
then feel free to use another.

E-mail

E-mail is an essential communications medium. PSKmail allows mobile
clients access to their e-mail whenever and wherever necessary. With
PSKmail you access your email providers pop server, meaning that your
normal email account can be used. Support is also in place for popular
services like gmail. The pskmail client application features a settings dialogue where your
service providers email settings can be entered, these settings can be
sent on the air during a connection with a pskmail server. The system will store your settings in a centralized database and use
that if available.

Surfing the web

PSKmail provides text based web surfing. Clients can access their
favourite web sites and, in order to save bandwidth, pskmail delivers
these in text form (with images removed). This is a very useful feature.
The sailor can, for instance, access weather reports, navigational warnings etc. Newssites can be browsed and I can fetch the match report
from my hockey teams latest game.

APRS

The Automatic Position Reporting System was designed to support rapid,
reliable exchange of information for local, tactical real-time
information, events or nets. PSKmail is able to send position reports
and exchange station to station aprs messages. One nice way to use this
is for instance to send the current position every ten minutes from a
mobile station. Friends and family can follow the stations movements on
a graphical display (see the wiki for more on this).

Emergency support

PSKmail is an outstanding tool in emergency situations. The server
network is loosely tied together and that means that if a server, or
even large parts of the network, should be out of service then the
remaining servers carry on business as usual. Of course one weak link is
your email provider, should that server be out of service
then fetching mail from it will be difficult. But, you may have another
account? Just point the server in that direction then and carry on. What if the entire internet shuld go down then?
Well, all servers have local mailboxes that can be used to store and
forward your messages to other pskmail clients.

So, how can I try this then?

There is a live cd available for download. A live distro is a Linux
distribution that is executed upon boot. Execution is done entirely from
the boot media (cd) and the harddrive is not affected (and not even
needed). A live cd is a great way to try out new things and get started
quickly. You download the iso, burn it and boot your pc from the cd
(just restart and have the cd in the reader).


Getting started

The pskmail wiki is a huge source of information, available here:
http://pskmail.wikispaces.com

Welcome!





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