Wetnet Refocus?

Steve Stroh lists at strohpub.com
Fri Nov 7 21:09:44 PST 2003

I mostly concur with Bill's statements. He's done more "real world" looking
at the extended Wetnet system, and doing varied and useful things with it,
than the rest of us.

I'm coming around to the idea that in Amateur Packet Radio (IE - 1200/9600)
that in the main, we need a better transport layer. Yes, native TCP/IP can
be made to work, but that's all that can be said for it.

I'm willing to be convinced that Net/ROM, ported to run on Linux, can be
reliable as a transport layer. My last experience with Net/ROM was with the
TNC-based versions. What turned me off was the endless bickering of what
proper parameters should be, with no consensus being reached. Sounds like
that's mostly over.

What appeals to me is the potential to use a flat network with essentially
no subnets needed. Face it - we don't NEED subnets because of our low user
count. I should be able to know, with a resolution of ten minutes or so,
who's on the network and what their status is.

Going forward, in addition to the work Bill and others are doing with
Net/ROM, I'm going to start checking out FLEXNet - I've held off way too
long taking a serious look at what it can add, and with Bill's insights I'm
finally beginning to appreciate its attributes.

There's room in our network for some serious diversity and divergence of
opinion and direction of growth.



Steve Stroh   steve at strohpub.com  425-481-0600

> -----Original Message-----
> From: seatcp-bounces at wetnet.net [mailto:seatcp-bounces at wetnet.net]On
> Behalf Of wa7nwp at jnos.org
> Sent: Monday, November 03, 2003 17:18
> To: Wetnet TCP Discussion
> Subject: Wetnet Refocus?
> Soapbox time again...
> The current scheme ala Wetnet isn't working.  Half the
> "hubs" are down and there are very few users on the
> ones that are working.  A couple folks have "visited"
> in the past year but none have joined in as full time
> stations.  As far as full time stations, or even part
> timers, very few of the long time Wetnet folks have
> data stations on the air.
> The trend is fairly obviously towards less activity
> and users, not more.
> Rather then spew forth about what the reasons for this
> are (no focused goal, too hard to use, not worth the
> effort, etc) I'm going to throw out an idea.
> Instead of building a system that takes a serious
> on-going effort to get on and use, let's rethink things
> to make it easy to use and take advantage of the
> incredible technology we have available.
> Let's build a better (OSI level 2.5?) packet network.  One
> where it's very easy for anybody with a dumb TNC/packet to
> use the system.  One where many resources are available and
> easy to get to.  TCP/IP would still work, probably better, and
> it would be an integral part of the system.  TCP/IP would be
> carried anywhere.  It's the magic that makes everything work.
> The big difference is that it's just another tool - not the
> reason for doing things.
> There are around 30 frequencies set aside or being used by packet
> radio just on two meters in Western Washington.  Let's tie them
> all together.  Anybody anywhere should be able to access any of
> the other resources.
> A couple months ago Steve Roberts went kayaking (Hi Steve) and
> tried to use Packet Radio for connectivity to the world.  Looking
> for resources to support Steve led me to a much better picture of
> what's currently available and what we could possibly do with
> our computer and radio resources.  While we never did get packet
> email working in time - it was there.  Making it, and the many
> other nifty things we can do with packet available EASILY is
> what led to working this up.
> While I'm going to start a real list of steps to take to do this,
> here's the high points.
>  * Get away from dedicated servers.  Let everybody with a computer
>    on RF (preferably) or even the Network add their resources.  The
>    day of the BBS (central dedicated system) is long over.
>  * Use LinuxNode (current version is UroNode thanks to Brian N1URO)
>    as the user interface.  A simple AX25 connection provides
>    a clean user interface and the aliasing functions of LinuxNode
>    make it easy to present any of the incredible resources available
>    on a personal computer.  (The AXspawn restricted shell is similar,
>    but not as user friendly.  It's still a vital part of the system.)
>    Check it out.
>    Old LinuxNode at  telnet://findewe.com:3694
>    UroNode at:  telnet://fortgirlfriend.com:3694
>  * Tie the network members together with AXIP (AX25 over IP) when
>    no AX25 connection exists.  Use AXIP for backup links when RF AX25
>    does exist.  Use Netrom (or better) to advertise the network.  When
>    a system is online - they show up in the nodes list.  Their
>    node entry goes away when their system is down.
> This is the core idea.  Thoughts?  Suggestions?
> 73,
> Bill - WA7NWP
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