04 November 2021

The Six Stages of Computing Platform Grief


An interesting YouTube video recently posted by Julian, OH8STN, discusses selecting a computer operating system and hardware platform for off-grid communications. Julian has hosted a lot of videos on this topic over the past few years, and he's gone through what I describe as the 'six stages of computing platform grief' before reaching his current conclusions:

  • investigation
  • adoption
  • struggle
  • denial
  • disappointment
  • acceptance

Julian's gone through any number of kludged together Raspberry Pi / Android hardware and software solutions down through the years to get things like Winlink and JS8CALL to work off-grid. He's been successful only because he has a deep understanding of the Raspberry Pi platform and the operating system (Raspbian), and he's been willing to put in the time and effort to get all the fiddly little bits (computer, power supply, memory cards, interfaces, cabling, etc.) working together. These are the investigation, adoption and struggle phases of computing platform grief.

Then, as his setups became more and more fragile as he added more and more hardware bits or software interfaces he denied that his solutions were getting overly complex and somewhat kludgy. Eventually he reached a point where he became disappointed with the overall performance and usability of his Raspberry Pi-based solutions and finally accepted the fact that he needed to find a better solution.

His 'better solution' is what I've been preaching all along for emergency communications - Microsoft Windows running on a laptop or tablet. 

Welcome to the fold, Julian. Glad to see you finally got it figured out.

W8BYH out

1 comment:

  1. Hi Brian | W8BYH,

    This is Mike | AB6EW. Be advised that I am also a DHS SHARES Radio Operator as well.

    I am too also glad that Julian White | OH8STN has also folded and woken up to the Windows reality as well.

    Tablets can be great, and I understand about not needing supposedly an Seperate External LifePo 4 Battery for it. But Unfortunately the Tablets do suffer a significant and a negative drawback going against them.

    For starters it's the price range almost over nearly $2,000.00 gag gag cough choking price!

    Also the Tablet has a limited RAM up to 512 GB and barely 512 GB of Internal Storage Capacity.

    The other issue is that the Tablet is not even great for prodctivity work not at all, Especially with the limiting memory storage.

    Other issues that I do also get to analyize and see is that by the time that one does buy the tablet you also have to buy a seperate key board as well.

    I do get it that it's all about extreme HF QRP Portability, but in a Real World scenario in my humble Opinion a laptop computer can do way much more and better productivity.

    I almost went with the Surface Go 2 Tablet. then started analyizing which one had better value, and who held the most Memory and Storage Capacity.

    I am caught and torn between either obtain in the near future a New HP Laptop Computer (and yes I am aware it's Not a Toughbook) or acquire me an Refurburished Toughbook CF-31 Laptop Computer.

    I am going with the Laptop, because I can quote upgade the RAM / Internal Storage Capacity and Will also have a Much Larger Screen than that of a Tablet.

    You just can't get the full functions off of a Tablet just like a regular Laptop Computer.

    Just for your information I was also a Former Civilian U.S. Coast Guard and was Activated for the 9-1-1 Incident, and Seriously Now about to Return Back and be Re Activated in my Former CG Unit.

    Keep up with the great articles, I seriously do find them very informative!

    Best Regards & 73's,

    Mike | AB6EW DIT DIT