By Adam Curry on Tuesday, December 25, 2012 at 2:29 PM.
I became a Ham a few months ago. Went from Technician to General in 4 weeks.
Once I got my first HF rig (IC-7200) I quickly noticed there have been some exciting changes in HF transmissions with the so called "Digital Modes"
It combines the processing power of modern pc's with worldwide communication capabilities
It has enabled world wide data conversations using very low powered transmitters and simple (but not less innovative!) antennas.
These conversations are mainly text, but can also facilitate the transfer of binary information such as [small] files.
The software interfaces for these digital modes are stuck in the 'old way' of doing things
In fact, they are so old fashioned that the biggest 'innovation' appears to be the use of programmable macros that allow the 'operators' to store pre-programmed information about him/herself, QTH, Rig, and of course the current holiday greetings.
Its so bad that I can even tell who is using an unregistered version of certain software.
What is needed right now are new interfaces to encourage dynamic conversation between multiple parties
There is no reason why PSK31 can't work like twitter.
In fact it already does, with it's real-time capability combined with storing messages sent for you when you weren't around to see them.
Just flip the waterfall 90 degrees, don't transmit until the carriage return has been hit, and perhaps generate a unique message id for threading and you're in business.
Maybe I'm alone in seeing this gigantic gaping whole in Amateur Radio Software, but I certainly intend on writing a lot more about it.