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Author Topic: To SDR or not! That is the question!  (Read 24720 times)
K9IUQ
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« Reply #60 on: January 05, 2013, 05:09:37 AM »

But will the software work properly, or will we still be looking at issues, glitches, crashes and never ending firmware changes? Or will it just work?

Looking at the present PSDR Software we can truthfully say it took 3-4 years to get it working well enough to say it was out of the Beta stage. When I bought my Flex 5K in 2010 the software was barely usable with many game stopping bugs. When I sold my 5K 11 months later, PSDR was improved but still not stellar software. The Flexradio 5K was released in 2008 so make your own conclusions about how fast Flexradio improves their software and eliminates bugs... Since I no longer own a Flexradio or use PSDR I can not truthfully say if it now works well or not.

Past history of any company is an excellent guideline for future practices. Flexradio's past history on software development is not something to be proud of..

So 6k series customers can plunk down the big $$$$ and hope (or pray?) that Flexradio changes the way (and speed) it develops software....

Stan K9IUQ

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NI0Z
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« Reply #61 on: January 05, 2013, 05:10:57 AM »

You don't even need a PC anymore to run some SDRs, for example I could run my KX3 from my iPad if I wanted.

The SDRs of the future need an embedded OS like Linux.  I suppose Flex is doing that with their 6K series and in theory one should be able to have a tablet client or run it in a browser.

Now, as far as PC's go and the real work comments, that's all changing as well guys.  Of course this stuff all goes in circles anyways.  Remember that thing they called the mainframe?  Well, that concept is on its third go around.  The Internet was sort of its second coming and the cloud computing is its third coming.

Programmers, CAD work, accounting, it will all be done a different way in the future.  Thin clients communicating to virtual machines in the cloud will be how things will get done.  Cubicals, many companies are doing away with office space.  Remember how Amazon and Barnes Noble have greatly replaced most of the brick and mortar book stores?  And now Barnes and Noble is even closing more stores.  People more and more buy books from the Internet and more and more in electronic format.  

Cubicals and office space will become a waste on money as the workforce moves to compensation by results and performance and laptops and desktops are managed through bring your own device programs where the worker gets a credit of some sort to furnish their own computing device or rent a terminal device to use from home.  Not to mention that Offshoring is regaining more ground.

The Microsoft Tablets are a good precursor of what's coming.  They are merely the laptop of tomorrow.

Stan, I praise you for adopting the new! You must be young at heart!  I am in my late 40's and see clearly where it's all headed and simply embrace it.  The tablet has changed my life!  I am even writing my next books on my tablet.  Lol, no keyboard either, all touch screen.

Oh, sorry, guess that writers, photographers, artists, producers, musicians, accountants, technicians in the field, they all don't do real work on tablets. Fact is, few jobs today that require physical desktop PCs won't be able to transition to tablets.  Remember, a tablet can be a terminal to a cloud super computer infrastructure as well.

You have to understand as well that manually intensive computer work is changing as well to become smarter.  Drag and drop, reusable widgets and frameworks.  Business can't afford to do everything the slow,old way so it's always looking for faster innovative ways to get work done, automate, ect.

I'll leave it at that, I am sure many will disagree with this.  Change is more often greeted with denial!
« Last Edit: January 05, 2013, 05:15:27 AM by NI0Z » Logged

K9IUQ
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« Reply #62 on: January 05, 2013, 05:40:43 AM »


The Microsoft Tablets are a good precursor of what's coming.  They are merely the laptop of tomorrow.

Stan, I praise you for adopting the new! You must be young at heart!

The tablet has changed my life!   Change is more often greeted with denial!

I have always embraced new technology. I was one of the first hams to use the TRS80 on RTTY in the late 70's. At the same time I was the first of my friends to buy a VHS recorder circa 1978.I was rather slow to buy a SDR but I did finally buy one in 2010.  Wink  I have been reading e-books for a couple of years and own a Tablet and Kindle Fire HD.

The tablet has not changed my life but it has changed how I do many things. After 50 plus years of reading a morning print newspaper I cancelled my subscription several months ago. Now I get my morning news on the Tablet. It is much easier, cheaper and because of the many different sources available I am much better informed. I no longer read paperbacks simply because of the ease of changing fonts on an e-book reader. Bigger fonts make for easier reading for older guys.  Wink

My Asus tablet has GPS built-in along with Google maps and Google Earth. Boy is that handy. The tablet has a built-in camera and microphone making for easy Skype calls.. I use the Gas Buddy APP to get the cheapest gas. I have Echolink working on the Tablet. Most of my email is done on the Tablet. I have a Fishing App that gets the moon phases and Barometric pressure along with WX reports to tell me when to fish and what species to fish for.  Cheesy  I have the Directv app which has Movie trailers and programs my Directv DVR receivers, a fantastic convenience. Yep I can even watch Netflix or HBO go on the Asus Tablet along with YouTube. This is just a small part of what I use my Tablet for. And as I mentioned earlier, Tablets are in the infant stage. Soon, more smart young programmers will find even more useful Apps for me to indulge in.

Young at heart? Nothing on my body is young and a few parts are showing their age.  Wink

I have noticed that you and I share many of the same views. I am not sure if that should scare you - or me.  Grin

Stan K9IUQ

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KE5JPP
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« Reply #63 on: January 05, 2013, 06:42:59 AM »

Oh, sorry, guess that writers, photographers, artists, producers, musicians, accountants, technicians in the field, they all don't do real work on tablets. Fact is, few jobs today that require physical desktop PCs won't be able to transition to tablets.  Remember, a tablet can be a terminal to a cloud super computer infrastructure as well.

You are twisting the statement around to suit your argument.  The fact remains that any of the applications that the  writers, photographers, artists, producers, musicians, accountants, technicians in the field, do on their tablets DO SO WITH SOFTWARE WRITTEN FOR A TABLET ON A DESKTOP PC.  

All those apps that you are using on your tablets are not written on tablets, they are written on desktop PCs.  I use a tablet every single day and I also write apps for my tablet.  A tablet is no substitute for a desktop PC and no voice recognition or touchscreen keyboard is going to replace the mouse and keyboard on the desktop PC anytime soon. Why do you think that many of the controls on the first cars, such as the model t first released in 1908, still exist in the same form on modern cars in 2013?  It is because it is the best input device to get the job done.  Voice recognition and touch screens have been around for decades now and they have not displaced the computer keyboard and mouse.  People trying to get work done do not want to talk to their computer.  They do not want others to hear what they are doing (or typing) while they are working.  In some cases, it would not be possible to accomplish anything with hundreds of people all dictating to their computer in the same space!  Keyboards, whether touchscreen or physical, do not benefit by becoming smaller and smaller, unless the human hand and fingers evolve to become miniature appendages.  Unfortunately, human evolution and adaptation take millions of years, the evolution of technology takes several orders of magnitude shorter time.  Still, at this point, humans are the end users of technology.   Unless that changes soon, technology will fit human physical requirements, not the other way around.

A tablet is just a tool, enabled by software written on desktop PCs.  Making things smaller, such as the screens and keypads, is not productive and a step backwards in many cases.  A tablet is not a general purpose computer like a desktop PC is, its processor is designed to do specific things that a tablet is required to do.  There are practical reasons why things stabilize around a certain point.  People who predict the extinction of the desktop PC are like the authors of the old Popular Mechanics magazines that predicted that we would all have miniature nuclear reactors powering our cars by the end of the last century!  I want my nuclear powered car!  The internal combustion engine did not go away even though people predicted its extinction more than 50 years ago.

Again, only those who don't do real work on their computers think desktop PCs are going away anytime soon.  Yes, tablets will displace the desktop PC for many consumers because it does what they want to do and it entertains them - but there will remain the need for desktop PCs for quite a long time in the future for the reasons stated above.  If you think I hold this position because I am old, set in my ways, and resistant to change, you are incorrect.  To say that I am is dismissive and an attempt to not deal with the facts.   I have been a leading edge user of many new technologies including SDRs as I think I have demonstrated by my technical posts related to SDR on this forum.  

Gene
« Last Edit: January 05, 2013, 07:09:53 AM by KE5JPP » Logged
K9IUQ
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« Reply #64 on: January 05, 2013, 07:34:20 AM »

 If you think I hold this position because I am old, set in my ways, and resistant to change, you are incorrect.  To say that I am is dismissive and an attempt to not deal with the facts.  

With apologies to Shakespeare, "Thou doth protest too much, methinks"  Wink

One does not have to search very hard to find:

1 Laptops outsell Desktops
2 Microsoft has predicted Tablets will outsell Desktops in 2013
3 By 2015 Tablets will outsell both Laptops and Desktops

As I mentioned earlier the line between a Tablet and laptop is blurring. I was stunned when after playing with a Tablet at BestBuy I realized it was really a Windows 8 Laptop. For those that absolutely need a real keyboard on a tablet there are already tablets like my Asus TF-700 Infinity that has one as an option. Or for iPad users Bluetooth keyboards are everywhere.

Mark made a comment that needs repeating as the importance of it can not be understated: "Thin clients communicating to virtual machines in the cloud will be how things will get done." Really this says it all. All we need is a wonderful interface to this Cloud. Enter the Tablet...

Like it or not Gene the PC Desktop is going the way of your Commodore 64.

Stan K9IUQ





 
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KE5JPP
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« Reply #65 on: January 05, 2013, 08:05:54 AM »

If you think I hold this position because I am old, set in my ways, and resistant to change, you are incorrect.  To say that I am is dismissive and an attempt to not deal with the facts.  

With apologies to Shakespeare, "Thou doth protest too much, methinks"  Wink

One does not have to search very hard to find:

1 Laptops outsell Desktops
2 Microsoft has predicted Tablets will outsell Desktops in 2013
3 By 2015 Tablets will outsell both Laptops and Desktops

As I mentioned earlier the line between a Tablet and laptop is blurring. I was stunned when after playing with a Tablet at BestBuy I realized it was really a Windows 8 Laptop. For those that absolutely need a real keyboard on a tablet there are already tablets like my Asus TF-700 Infinity that has one as an option. Or for iPad users Bluetooth keyboards are everywhere.

Mark made a comment that needs repeating as the importance of it can not be understated: "Thin clients communicating to virtual machines in the cloud will be how things will get done." Really this says it all. All we need is a wonderful interface to this Cloud. Enter the Tablet...

Like it or not Gene the PC Desktop is going the way of your Commodore 64.

Stan K9IUQ





 

Just as dismissive as Mark in that you just breeze over my earlier posting.  Care to comment specifically why your voice recognition will overtake the keyboard and mouse?  Why certain control devices persist for over 100 years despite all the new ideas for control devices?  Care to comment how miniature touch screen keyboards make things more productive?   Grin

"Thou doth protest too much, methinks" - Hmm, others could be just as dismissive of our comments about Flex Radio products as you have tried to be of my desktop PC comments by giving this quote.

The only reason that tablets will outsell laptops and desktops is because the consumer/user does not have the same requirements as those who do real work on their computers.  You are making a jump from that fact to saying the that desktop  PC is going away.  Your facts do not imply that the desktop PC is going to disappear anytime soon for the reasons I stated in my earlier posting.

To the public, technology seems like 'magic'.  They have no real understanding of how things work - they are just end users.  To them anything is possible because 'magic' is possible.  It is not surprising that end users might predict ridiculous things.  Coming from an engineering background where I worked my whole career making certain technologies possible, I am keenly aware of what is and not possible from a practical standpoint.  The desktop will not disappear anytime soon.  

Those authors of the magazines that predicted the nuclear car could have easily asked a nuclear engineer about their prediction.  They would have received many reasons why nuclear cars where not possible/practical in the future and were not going to replace the internal combustion engine.  The authors were just the same as the tablet end users today.  Anything is possible because it is all 'magic'.   Make predictions that have no basis in how the real world works.

Gene
« Last Edit: January 05, 2013, 08:50:33 AM by KE5JPP » Logged
KE5JPP
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« Reply #66 on: January 05, 2013, 08:40:29 AM »


Mark made a comment that needs repeating as the importance of it can not be understated: "Thin clients communicating to virtual machines in the cloud will be how things will get done." Really this says it all. All we need is a wonderful interface to this Cloud. Enter the Tablet...

Like it or not Gene the PC Desktop is going the way of your Commodore 64.

Stan K9IUQ

Additional questions and a comment...

What exactly do you think the 'cloud' is and what does it run on?

You might want to pick your examples a little more carefully, the Commodore 64 is still a desktop PC.

"A desktop computer is a personal computer (PC) in a form intended for regular use at a single location, as opposed to a mobile laptop or portable computer."

So why has the laptop (for all the years they have been around) not completely replaced the desktop PC?  Or any of the portable PC computers, like Pocket PCs, that have been around since the 1990s?  What makes the tablet so special that it will do what the laptop and portable handheld PCs have not been able to do for the last 30 years?  I had a Casio Cassiopeia E-15 pocket PC which was smaller than most tablets back in 1999 - it didn't replace the desktop even though they were predicting it back when it was released over 13 years ago.

Gene
« Last Edit: January 05, 2013, 08:59:22 AM by KE5JPP » Logged
K9IUQ
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« Reply #67 on: January 05, 2013, 10:18:06 AM »


Additional questions
What exactly do you think the 'cloud' is and what does it run on?

You might want to pick your examples a little more carefully, the Commodore 64 is still a desktop PC.


Cmon Gene, you are a smart guy. Do a google on "Amazon Cloud Servers". click on images and take your choice of 100's of pictures showing what the Amazon Cloud looks like. Do any of them look like a Desktop PC?? They (a half million or so) run on a variant of Linux.
 
You are right. CORRECTION:The C64 is still a Desktop PC stored safely in landfills and countless closets and junk boxes of old hams  Smiley

Stan K9IUQ
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K9IUQ
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« Reply #68 on: January 05, 2013, 10:37:23 AM »

Make predictions that have no basis in how the real world works.

Since you are a retired Engineer I hesitate to say this but - -

As an retired Instrumentation Tech, Electrician and PLC trouble shooter I worked with and interacted with Engineers almost every day of my working life. I can truthfully say that the Engineers that lived in the "Real World" was very rare indeed. Most never wanted to get their hands dirty, not wanting to visit the peons on the factory floor and find out about the Real World unless they absolutely had to.

"Field Fit" was their most used and memorable phrase. LMAO

Mechanics, electricians, millwrights, machine operators etc live in the Real World. Most Engineers live in an alternate universe called Fantasy Land.

In 30 plus years of working with countless Engineers there were only 2 that I respected. Not a good record.

Before you get ready to flame me, remember what Mark said in another post: "Remember, it's not personal!"

Stan K9IUQ
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WD5GWY
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« Reply #69 on: January 05, 2013, 04:36:02 PM »

I don't see tablets replacing PC's in businesses anytime soon. What has happened
is Cellphones and tablets (to some degree) are being used by consumers, for email
web surfing etc. instead of having a home PC. Cellphone sales far outstrip tablet sales.
And with new cellphones like the Galaxy Note II, (5" screen) even tablet sales can be effected.
As for Cloud Computing/storage, ask Netflix how that is going. Amazon had a MAJOR outage recently
with their Cloud Services that caused Netflix to go down for hours. And it also effected others as
well. Everyone touts Cloud Services/Storage as a great thing. If you loose your internet connection
your data is not available. Unless you have downloaded it to your local machine. In which case, a
tablet or phone might not be able to handle the load. (data)
   I did belong to a Microsoft DotNet programmers group in Ft.Worth for quite a long time. Then, I went back to trucking. I still attend meetings once in a while. (work locally driving a truck, so still have some time) While a lot of developers have tablets, all have laptops and desktop PC's.
I've yet to seen any of them programming on a tablet. I have seen them writing apps for tablets and cellphones on a laptop and testing them on tablets and phones.  Microsoft does not make a development environment like Visual Studio for a tablet or phone. Instead, they provide emulators for different devices for use in Visual Studio, to test applications written for Tablets and phones.
I cannot imagine trying to write an application using a touch keyboard on a tablet! My fat fingers would cause a ton of problems!!!  Grin
james
WD5GWY

Oh, according to Flex , the new 6000 Series software, SmartSDR, will, on the first release, only work on the local intranet, and not over the internet. That functionality will come at a later date.
  From what I have read, basic functionality that is currently in PowerSDR, "should" be in the initial release of SmartSDR. Also, the interface, as shown in the video that was posted in this forum, is fairly plain. Might be from so many people complaining that PowerSDR's interface had too much going on! A lot of functions that are in SmartSDR, are accessible from menus and sidebars.
Guess, we will see how that works out!
 

 
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KE5JPP
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« Reply #70 on: January 05, 2013, 04:46:37 PM »

Make predictions that have no basis in how the real world works.

Since you are a retired Engineer I hesitate to say this but - -

As an retired Instrumentation Tech, Electrician and PLC trouble shooter I worked with and interacted with Engineers almost every day of my working life. I can truthfully say that the Engineers that lived in the "Real World" was very rare indeed. Most never wanted to get their hands dirty, not wanting to visit the peons on the factory floor and find out about the Real World unless they absolutely had to.

"Field Fit" was their most used and memorable phrase. LMAO

Mechanics, electricians, millwrights, machine operators etc live in the Real World. Most Engineers live in an alternate universe called Fantasy Land.

In 30 plus years of working with countless Engineers there were only 2 that I respected. Not a good record.

Before you get ready to flame me, remember what Mark said in another post: "Remember, it's not personal!"

Stan K9IUQ


Before I was an engineer I was a electromechanical technician as well as spending many hours also in the machine shop proving out the ideas of mechanical designers and mechanical engineers (my father was a tool and die maker, who taught me machining operations).  So I have been on both sides.  I agree that there are some really dumb engineers, but I have also met my fill of dumb, incompetent, and no common sense mechanics, electricians, millwrights and machine operators too.  It works both ways and you know that.  So don't try to paint only one group as having the majority of the smarts.   I see through your comments and what you are attempting to do.  You paint me, an engineer, as having no common sense and no connection to the real world in an attempt to avoid arguing with my valid points.  Nice try, no cigar...

You, being involved with the union and having experience in a union shop, know very well that even if the engineers wanted to get their hands dirty they would have been prevented from doing so by the union.  So it is no surprise that you have the opinion of engineers that you do.

Gene
« Last Edit: January 05, 2013, 05:06:25 PM by KE5JPP » Logged
K9IUQ
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« Reply #71 on: January 05, 2013, 04:51:59 PM »

Amazon had a MAJOR outage recently
with their Cloud Services that caused Netflix to go down for hours.
WD5GWY

Much has been made of this in the press. Amazon confessed it was operator error that deleted some important Netflix files. Stuff happens when humans are involved. It was most embarrassing for both companies because of when it happened.  Wink

As a Netflix streaming customer for over a year who watches their service a lot I gotta say it is a fantastic and very reliable service. At only $8 a month (unlimited streaming) it is unbeatable for value. FWIW I also have Amazon Prime which among other perks includes a video streaming service similar to Netflix. At this point in time it is vastly behind Netflix both in content and usability.

FWIW I rarely watch video (especially Netflix) on a Tablet. I want my movies on my 55'' LED TV, along with glorious DD5.1 sound going thru my wall shaking theater sound system. Tablets are great for a lot of my activitys but watching movies is not one of them.

Stan K9IUQ
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KE5JPP
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« Reply #72 on: January 05, 2013, 04:53:01 PM »


Additional questions
What exactly do you think the 'cloud' is and what does it run on?

You might want to pick your examples a little more carefully, the Commodore 64 is still a desktop PC.


Cmon Gene, you are a smart guy. Do a google on "Amazon Cloud Servers". click on images and take your choice of 100's of pictures showing what the Amazon Cloud looks like. Do any of them look like a Desktop PC?? They (a half million or so) run on a variant of Linux.

Pardon the expression, but NO SHIT SHERLOCK.  They are not tablet processors either.   The blade servers are certainly much closer to the desktop PCs as far as hardware than they are to tablets and their hardware.  And the tablets are dependent on general purpose CPUs (such as the ones used in blade servers and desktop PCs) for their programming as well as the 'cloud'.

Gene
« Last Edit: January 05, 2013, 04:57:26 PM by KE5JPP » Logged
K9IUQ
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« Reply #73 on: January 05, 2013, 05:07:55 PM »

The blade servers are certainly much closer to the desktop PCs as far as hardware than they are to tablets and their hardware.

Of course I imagine you know that the Android OS on Tablets is also a variant of Linux..

So don't try to paint only one group as having the majority of the smarts.   I see through your comments and what you are attempting to do.  You paint me, an engineer, as having no common sense and no connection to the real world in an attempt to avoid arguing with my valid points.  

We all know you are smart Gene as you constantly remind us every chance you get. My point about Engineers being in a different World was brought up because of your obvious disdain in recent comments about "end users". You many comments here on "end users" and the way you talk down to hams here reminded me so much of past Engineers I have known.

Stan K9IUQ
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W6UV
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« Reply #74 on: January 05, 2013, 05:11:45 PM »

The tablet has changed my life!  I am even writing my next books on my tablet.  Lol, no keyboard either, all touch screen.

I can type at 120 WPM on the real keyboard attached to my PC -- how fast can you type on the touch screen of your tablet?
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