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Author Topic: Ham Radio Deluxe has been sold  (Read 17509 times)
K2CMH
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Posts: 275




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« on: September 20, 2011, 11:47:34 AM »

Simon has turned the source code and rights to HRD over to a group of three guys that will continue development.  Speculation is that it will become a 'for pay' product after an initial release of 5.1 which they say will be free to all currently 'registered' users.  I'm surprised nothing has popped up over here about this development.  There are several threads over on qrz.com about this.

http://www.ham-radio-deluxe.com/News/HRDSold.aspx

http://forums.qrz.com/showthread.php?313329-PR-HRD-Press-Release&goto=newpost
« Last Edit: September 20, 2011, 11:52:46 AM by K2CMH » Logged
STAYVERTICAL
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« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2011, 04:22:29 PM »

I do not have any detailed inside knowledge of the evolution of HRD, but it is disappointing to see Simon, who had a big banner on his webpage about keeping ham radio software free, seem to betray this long held attitude and sell HRD.

Considering the amount of Open source software which is reputed to be integrated into HRD, and the imputation that many software developers donated their own code (see list of credits in HRD), I find it astounding that it could be sold outright without removing or rewriting these sections of code.
After all, many court cases have been fought on such issues of proprietory code segments included in open source products, so would the converse apply?
I am not a lawyer, but find it amazing to believe that copyright could be extended to the work of others wrapped in your own product.

In any case, I am deleting HRD from my computer and installing a freeware product ( many exist ), so goodbye to HRD, and I find myself thinking of that old quotation " a reputation is hard won and easily lost".

Estoy mal hombre.

(P.S. and before you apologist hombres out there say I had it free for years, and I should expect to pay for improvements - Yeah I have paid for a lot of ham radio software in my time, but the level of hypocrisy in this case is what sticks in my craw).
« Last Edit: September 21, 2011, 05:03:31 PM by STAYVERTICAL » Logged
AA6YQ
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Posts: 1545


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« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2011, 07:13:18 PM »

In the press release posted by W4PC et al a few days ago, Simon HB9DRV is quoted as saying

"After many years writing the HRD software it's necessary to take a break and hand the whole project over to another team," said Simon Brown (HB9DRV). "The support effort required has become more than I can realistically manage – with many thousands of users, new radios and other hardware appearing all the time and unexpected changes to the infrastructure used by HRD such as QRZ.com I no longer have any time at all for other projects. "

I have not discussed this with Simon, but my suspicion is that this transaction had more to do with finding a good home for HRD than gaining a financial windfall. For all we know, the sale price could have been a negative number; it wouldn't be the first time that's happened in the software business.
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W8JX
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« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2011, 07:30:38 PM »

I suspect that parent company did not want to invest anymore time and money in free software and why would you buy software to give away free unless you needed a tax deduction or did not care.
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STAYVERTICAL
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Posts: 854




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« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2011, 08:42:55 PM »

As an alternative scenario, imagine the kudos the copyright holder would have obtained by making HRD open source software.
This would have enabled development, support and evolution to quickly outstrip a corporate environment.

Linux is one such example, another is Blender ( an open source animation program which was actually bought out by donations from enthusiasts)
which was languishing commercially until going open source, and is now used extensively in animation, and development is proceeding enthusiastically.

A large group of enthusiastic talented people are capable of great things - take for example the recent solving of the structure of
a particular HIV protein which had eluded professional solving for 10 years.
Once it was made into a game, gamers solved the problem in a few days! Such is the power of enthusiastic amateurs.

This is not to say that Simon made a mistake, just that the hypothetical comments about  negative gain and over-committment seem to be at odds with other, more generous, alternative scenarios.

And then there is the aspect of trust, which personally, I value highly.
When someone indicates they are a champion of free software, and other people assist that person on that basis, both with code, donations and even respect -
if that trust is overturned, it diminishes faith in human nature once again.
Unfortunately, today it is getting harder to find reliable role models worthy of emulation, and I feel that this is one reason that so many people are shocked by these events.

However, the buyers have laid their money down, are justly entitled to develop and market HRD and in the end we are just armchair generals puffing smoke into a hypothetical situation.

And after all, there are many other free programs which are just as good as HRD, or perhaps better, depending on our usage patterns, so we are not limited to just this program.


73s
« Last Edit: September 21, 2011, 09:06:27 PM by STAYVERTICAL » Logged
STAYVERTICAL
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Posts: 854




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« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2011, 12:26:10 AM »

THANK YOU SIMON !!!

Selling HRD was the best thing you ever did for me.
It got me off my butt to try a new digimodes program, and I have been using Fldigi now.
WHAT A GREAT PROGRAM FLDIGI IS !!!

Loads in 2 seconds, clean interface, fast as lightning and fully featured with modes!
And ... it is distributed under the GNU licence too, what is not to like about FLdigi.

I realise now, how slow, clunky and CPU intensive HRD was for all those years.
So thank you again, sometimes it takes a boot to the rear to try something new and better.
I would not go back to HRD/DM780 even it they gave me a lifetime upgrade option.

A thousand thanks to the FLdigi team for this great program, now what am I going to do with
all the extra time I will save waiting for HRD to load?

73s.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2011, 12:32:47 AM by STAYVERTICAL » Logged
N0NB
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« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2011, 05:39:31 AM »

There is a difference between freeware--closed source but available as gratis, a.k.a. "free beer"--and Free Software as defined by the Debian Free Software Guidelines.  I won't argue the altruism of those who provide their work without cost to others, but I will stop short of saying such folk are a champion of Free Software which has a very special meaning in the Linux community.  Free Software is often confused as Open Source.  Just because code may be Open Source doesn't mean that the license protects the code from predators who would combine it into their closed source program without contributing improvements or bug fixes back to the community or condition redistribution on conferring the same rights to others as received from the original author.
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73, de Nate
Marysville, KS

SKCC 6225
LA9XSA
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Posts: 376




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« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2011, 06:34:38 AM »

God point about the difference between gratis (free as in beer) and free as in liberty. Also there are different types of free software licenses. The GPL, for example, is written in a way that if you include the code in your own product, the whole product must be open. The LGPL (the Library GPL or Lesser GPL), however, allows you to include the open code as a sub-section of your commercial product, with any changes you make to the open code has to be published, while you can keep your own code secret. A BSD style license only requires that you give credit - the networking stack of Microsoft Windows was open source-based for many years, for example, and the Regents of the University of California were credited for it.

Finally, software authors are free to release their code under BOTH an open source license and a commercial license. This may lead to confusing development though, and duplication of effort, which is why most commercial open source companies prefer to keep their source code open, but make money from selling support, integration, and add-on features.
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AK4KZ
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« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2011, 07:28:02 AM »

THANK YOU SIMON !!!

Well, I agree with the THANK YOU SIMON!!! But I think more along the lines of "thank you for a great program and the time you put into it". I like HRD. Could there be more development on it? Sure, ham radio seems to always be changing.. (in some ways. In other ways.. nothing changes, does it?) But I understand that it's a huge task to keep up with it all and put in all the things people want, especially for one guy or a small (unpaid) team.

I would be willing to pay for HRD 6+ if there are advancements. I'd be willing to pay for the current version if it was a price I could afford. You know, these logging programs for $60 or whatever.. I can't do that and neither can a lot of other people.

Will I buy a new HRD? Well, I guess it's the law of the free market.. if it brings a value add and is affordable.. absolutely. And if neither of those is the case, I'll run my current HRD until the bits won't load anymore. (A Mac version would be groundbreaking. There's nothing like that.. with unified pieces that do everything I need it to do like HRD..  out there from what I've found.)

So.. keeping it or selling it.. my hat's off to Simon and everyone who worked on HRD. I appreciate their efforts. At the end of the day, ham radio is better off for their contribution. The rest is just noise.

73!
Chris
AK4KZ

"The problem with a welfare state is that it never gets well and isn't interested in being fair."
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AA6YQ
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« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2011, 09:12:53 AM »

I suspect that parent company did not want to invest anymore time and money in free software and why would you buy software to give away free unless you needed a tax deduction or did not care.

To what "parent company" are you referring?
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STAYVERTICAL
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Posts: 854




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« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2011, 11:23:28 AM »


Just went over to the site for HRD to check out the terms of the announcement on Simons website.
I am confused !
Simon still has his website up with his desire to keep HRD free and seems to be still accepting donations
on this basis?
Perhaps I went to the wrong website, since I am not a computer guru, but is this not mis-representation
of the facts and what is the legal basis of taking donations under the assumption of supporting free
software when it is being sold for commercial development?

I am sure Simon is web savvy, so maybe it is just an oversight?

Here is the web address, so someone can explain why this web luddite is making a false assumption - thanks.
http://www.ham-radio-deluxe.com/Support/Donations/tabid/100/Default.aspx

Stranger and stranger.
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W8JX
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Posts: 5447




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« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2011, 11:25:04 AM »

I suspect that parent company did not want to invest anymore time and money in free software and why would you buy software to give away free unless you needed a tax deduction or did not care.

To what "parent company" are you referring?

With out looking at the "tree" to see corporate ownership I just used the term to define the top of the chain. Without doubt it was a cost cutting move and likely cost a few programers a job.  
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AA6YQ
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« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2011, 05:34:03 PM »

I suspect that parent company did not want to invest anymore time and money in free software and why would you buy software to give away free unless you needed a tax deduction or did not care.

To what "parent company" are you referring?

With out looking at the "tree" to see corporate ownership I just used the term to define the top of the chain. Without doubt it was a cost cutting move and likely cost a few programers a job.  

You're confused. No corporation or other business entity was ever involved in the development of HRD. Simon HB9DRV led the project, and had development help from various other volunteers over the years.
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W8JX
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Posts: 5447




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« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2011, 05:54:54 PM »

You're confused. No corporation or other business entity was ever involved in the development of HRD. Simon HB9DRV led the project, and had development help from various other volunteers over the years.

Maybe.....
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W4PC
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« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2011, 06:22:29 PM »

In the press release posted by W4PC et al a few days ago, Simon HB9DRV is quoted as saying

"After many years writing the HRD software it's necessary to take a break and hand the whole project over to another team," said Simon Brown (HB9DRV). "The support effort required has become more than I can realistically manage – with many thousands of users, new radios and other hardware appearing all the time and unexpected changes to the infrastructure used by HRD such as QRZ.com I no longer have any time at all for other projects. "

I have not discussed this with Simon, but my suspicion is that this transaction had more to do with finding a good home for HRD than gaining a financial windfall. For all we know, the sale price could have been a negative number; it wouldn't be the first time that's happened in the software business.

It wasn't a negitive number at all Wink.  And yes, that's why he sold it. He wanted it to continue.

Dave, as always, you are a pretty savy guy.


The others just assume alot..
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