[pskmail] Re: Sailing trip across Atlantic with PSKmail

  • From: Christian Wagner <wagnerschristian@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: pskmail@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 26 Jan 2012 19:54:18 +0100

Good topic.
My thoughts on jpskmail so far- please bear in mind that all of this
is meant constructive. I really think you do an awesome job on
pskmail, but it is allways easier to talk about what doesn't work than
what just works and doesn't get in your way.
Please also considder that I just started with ham radio, so, although
I am willing to learn, a lot of things which might be second nature to
you guys are things I simply don't know (jet!). Well here it goes:

Speed:
Well, as said before there is not much we can do about this- physics.
On the other hand, why complain about a free lunch. You guys are
"competing" against pactor III- this is probably faster, but also much
more expensive and it uses a huge bandwidth.

User Interface:

The Pos. button should move to the APRS Page- I had the problem for
weeks! that the position always defaulted back to Northern Europe. If
you press Pos., you send out a wrong Position- confusing everyone back
home. If the Button is on the APRS page you have an easy visual
control of  if what you are sending makes any sense at all.

I also had problems with the default modes. Make two modesets- one for
the US and one for the rest of the world. If you want to tweak the
modetables further you could go to some advanced settings or
something. Of course it is a matter of RTFM, but this alone had cost
me two evenings- I tried a boatload of modes nobody appears to listen
to.

Since I just started the whole pskmail- APRS thing I'm not sure how
often you really would get APRS messages on the server you connect to,
but it might very well move to the bottom of the menu.

What is an Igate? Even after consulting the manual, I still have no
clue what it does. I don't know what an APRS backbone or a Tier2
Server does. Any helpful links in the manual would be great.

Why is there a save button in the preferences menu- do I have to save
the preferences again after clicking OK?
The manual says you can make the server you connect to "permanent" by
clicking "save"- what?

In the mode menu there are three items that make no sense at all to me:
Mail/APRS
Mail/Scan
Monitor

In the Link menu I only know Ping and Link and update server- all the
other stuff is a bit weird-
Quality (don't I see this on the modem page already?)
Inquire? No idea...
Beacon?- seems to be the doublette of the Pos. button.
Telnet?- useful for a friend of mine who used Linux from Kernel 0.9***
on and runs several servers in his house, but for the average sailor?

Some might say most of this is easily solved by reading the manual-
and of course they are right. But It would be really helpful to have
little popups that appear when you hover over a button or menu item. I
had to consult the manual several times before I was able to click a
button (e.g. should I "Stop transaction", "Quit" or "Abort").
It would speed things up considerably. Especially the Link menu  and
the Modes menu could profit a lot from it I think.

Thanks again for your incredible work.
Cheers, Christian DL3ZFC

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