The Folly of the Orbs

David Stinson arc5 at IX.NETCOM.COM
Thu Jan 28 12:11:01 EST 1999

David Ring's post concerning the piece in "SEAWAYS"
about the miserable unreliablity of SATCOMs at sea
should be required reading in every engineering school.
I'll quote "Scotty" again:
"The more complicated they make the plumbing,
 the easier it is to stop-up the drain."

Despite the snortings of all the scoffers and
techno-elitists, you cannot exchange a proven system
with five failure modes
for a system with a hundred failure modes
and expect anything but frustration, followed by
eventual and inevitable disaster.

*Of course* communications systems that do more
then in the past are needed now.
But-- they aren't needed for *every* communication!
Simple, tried and proven-reliable systems can handle a great
deal of essential traffic with perfectly acceptable through-put
and a hundred-fold gain in reliablity.  Have your SATCOM
system for transmitting megabyte weather and targeting files.
Then have something simple and trustworthy
when your life depends on it.

Alas, no reasoned argument will deflect the fools from their folly.
Their college professors told them that all problems,
no matter how simple, require maximully-complex solutions
using the latest technology.  These worshipers of technological
advance adhere to their "religion" more fervently then
any fanatic who ever bowed before a diety.
You cannot talk reason to a religious zealot.
Their answer to the failure of their creations to maintain
reliable communications is to incorporate even more complex
sub-systems, trying to get around the problems.
This is like treating food-poisoning by giving the victim
arsenic.  Only the senseless deaths of people closely related
to those in power or huge losses of money will change things.

Until then, some of us must be bearers of the fire.

73 DE Dave Stinon AB5S
arc5 at

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