On Saturday, April 28, 2012 13:23:21, Russ Allbery wrote:
> Jonas Smedegaard <d...@jones.dk> writes:
> > I also am biased in one direction but shall not say which as I see no
> > benefit at this point in rehashing the discussion: Both packaging
> > "camps" have clearly demonstrated a lack of interest in letting the
> > other use the name "node", which means we must both step off of it.
> > 
> > Just today there was progress on the side of Node.js - see bug#650343.
> I think that having Node.js not provide the command node would be a real
> disservice to our users (and I say this as someone in neither camp; I've
> never used either program).

In terms of Debian dependencies, there don't seem to be any packages that 
depend on the 'node' package from the hamradio section.  This makes it tougher 
to know what depends on the binary being named 'node'.

A problem with the name 'node' is that it's painful to web search that name to 
try to find out what the project is for.  :-/  This is another reason not to 
like the use of such a generic name.

The hamradio 'node' program looks like it is meant to support several packet 
radio protocols, either for a computer acting as a "packet radio router", 
"packet radio BBS" (bulletin-board system) or possibly for a "user end-node".  
I believe all of these invovle a computer being hooked up to a TNC [Terminal 
Node Controller] which is then hooked up to a radio.

For an example of what a TNC looks like, see [1].

Generally packet radio involves low data rate communication.  At VHF 
frequencies this is generally limited to 1200 baud simplex ("simplex" means 
not being able to receive during transmission, whereas "duplex" means being 
able to do both simultaneously) -- so the actual throughput is always quite a 
bit less than the transmission baud rate.  At UHF frequencies due to wider 
channels the packet can be a bit faster -- up to 9600 baud.  [At SHF and 
higher frequencies data rates can be faster

Some TNCs also support other things such as slow scan TV reception, Morse 
Code, RTTY, "packet email" (stored in the TNC momory, blinking light to 
indicate a message is waiting), packet message forwarding (so that a message 
from New York eventually is received in some other part of the country, all 
over radio), etc.

Due to low data rates, packet radio isn't as popular today as it was in the 
1990's, when telephone modems that were typically in use were also slow.  [The 
early 90's is when I was doing packet radio.]

[1] http://www.timewave.com/support/PK-232/PK232DSP.html

  -- Chris

Chris Knadle, KB2IQN
GPG Key: 4096R/0x1E759A726A9FDD74

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