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Re: [ARRL-LOTW] How to

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  • Rick Murphy/K1MU
    ... OK, why is LoTW harder than eQSL? In both cases, you ve got to get a logfile in computer readable form, which is the hardest part (because you ve got to
    Message 1 of 25 , Nov 24, 2004
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      At 09:40 PM 11/24/2004, Jerry Keller wrote:

      >Nor would it really compromise much if the LOTW system worked nice and
      >easy like, say, e-qsl... for example.

      OK, why is LoTW harder than eQSL? In both cases, you've got to get a
      logfile in computer readable form, which is the hardest part (because
      you've got to enter the data into some logging program). For eQSL, you
      upload that log file directly. For LoTW you sign it, then you upload
      it. That's it - one extra step. Yes, the certification process isn't
      quick, but it's painless for US hams at least.

      >If a few bums managed to cheat, so what?

      Because it's cheating. What good is an award if anyone can game it?
      ARRL understands that the integrity of the program is paramount and I
      agree.

      >They would know who they are, and how would that diminish anything for
      >those of us that do it fair and square? It's not a case of "nobody can
      >be tracked", it's that a few might not be able to be tracked. They are
      >making the system like the eye of a needle... in a misguided attempt
      >to make it beyond question, they are making it beyond reasonable reach.

      Again, what's "beyond reasonable reach" for LoTW? What problem are you
      having? We'll be happy to help you make it easy if you explain what the
      problem is. The signature step isn't an excessive burden as far as I
      can see, but there may be an opportunity to improve the documentation
      if we can help the League to understand what steps are unclear.

      >But then, those that manage to make it work can always say "if I can
      >do it, anyone
      >ought to be able to"... with the implication that anyone that has
      >difficulty with it must be inept.

      No, that's not the point. I understand that computer software is often
      difficult to understand, and that the developers of that software
      always think it's easy to use - but it takes concrete suggestions to
      make it better. "Beyond reasonable reach" isn't a suggestion, it's a
      dismissal. If you can use eQSL there is no reason you can't use TQSL -
      maybe with some help, but that help is available if you wish to accept it.

      >I don't buy that. And if you were having trouble with it, you wouldn't
      >either.
      >
      >So tell me, why can't LOTW work more like e-qsl?

      Because eQSL is wide open to fraud, perhaps?
      -Rick
    • Jerry Keller
      Because eQSL is wide open to fraud, perhaps? That s not what I ve heard. It s the same crosseyed reasoning that won t let field checkers approve 160M
      Message 2 of 25 , Nov 24, 2004
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        "Because eQSL is wide open to fraud, perhaps?"

        That's not what I've heard. It's the same crosseyed reasoning that won't let field checkers approve
        160M QSL's... the fear that a few cheaters will somehow diminish the value of the topband DXCC
        achievement. The only value cheaters diminish is their own. BTW, from what I heard there were only a
        very few 160M cards that were shown to have been changed, but topbanders are ham radio's elite, and
        they have lots of clout at the ARRL.

        "What good is an award if anyone can game it?"
        First of all, making LOTW more user-friendly doesn't mean "anyone can game it." Maybe a few could,
        but probably most couldn't. And of those that could, probably most would not. There are many who lie
        about their college degree, but that doesn't diminish the accomplishment of those who actually
        earned theirs. People lie about their military service, and all sorts of other personal
        accomplishments. There will always be those who cheat, or try to cheat. Let them, they only hurt
        themselves. Whoever said "Winners don't cheat, and cheaters don't win." made the point nicely
        enough.

        But at this point, we've both had our say, and it's time to move on. Thanks for the memories ;-) and
        the very best of the Holiday to you and yours.

        73, Jerry K3BZ


        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Rick Murphy/K1MU" <k1mu-lotw@...>
        To: <ARRL-LOTW@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Wednesday, November 24, 2004 10:58 PM
        Subject: Re: [ARRL-LOTW] How to


        > At 09:40 PM 11/24/2004, Jerry Keller wrote:
        >
        >>Nor would it really compromise much if the LOTW system worked nice and
        >>easy like, say, e-qsl... for example.
        >
        > OK, why is LoTW harder than eQSL? In both cases, you've got to get a
        > logfile in computer readable form, which is the hardest part (because
        > you've got to enter the data into some logging program). For eQSL, you
        > upload that log file directly. For LoTW you sign it, then you upload
        > it. That's it - one extra step. Yes, the certification process isn't
        > quick, but it's painless for US hams at least.
        >
        >>If a few bums managed to cheat, so what?
        >
        > Because it's cheating. What good is an award if anyone can game it?
        > ARRL understands that the integrity of the program is paramount and I
        > agree.
        >
        >>They would know who they are, and how would that diminish anything for
        >>those of us that do it fair and square? It's not a case of "nobody can
        >>be tracked", it's that a few might not be able to be tracked. They are
        >>making the system like the eye of a needle... in a misguided attempt
        >>to make it beyond question, they are making it beyond reasonable reach.
        >
        > Again, what's "beyond reasonable reach" for LoTW? What problem are you
        > having? We'll be happy to help you make it easy if you explain what the
        > problem is. The signature step isn't an excessive burden as far as I
        > can see, but there may be an opportunity to improve the documentation
        > if we can help the League to understand what steps are unclear.
        >
        >>But then, those that manage to make it work can always say "if I can
        >>do it, anyone
        >>ought to be able to"... with the implication that anyone that has
        >>difficulty with it must be inept.
        >
        > No, that's not the point. I understand that computer software is often
        > difficult to understand, and that the developers of that software
        > always think it's easy to use - but it takes concrete suggestions to
        > make it better. "Beyond reasonable reach" isn't a suggestion, it's a
        > dismissal. If you can use eQSL there is no reason you can't use TQSL -
        > maybe with some help, but that help is available if you wish to accept it.
        >
        >>I don't buy that. And if you were having trouble with it, you wouldn't
        >>either.
        >>
        >>So tell me, why can't LOTW work more like e-qsl?
        >
        > Because eQSL is wide open to fraud, perhaps?
        > -Rick
        >
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      • Ted Demopoulos
        The amount of security something like LOTW has is a business decision that follows a careful risk analysis. All security decisions are - or should be. The
        Message 3 of 25 , Nov 24, 2004
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          The amount of security something like LOTW has is a business decision that follows a careful risk analysis. All security decisions are - or should be.

          The strength of DXCC, and the reason for its immense popularity, is quite simply its reputation. Although it's well known that a few cheats have existed and been caught, and certainly some trivial cheating is easy (like a fake confirmation for G on 10M), cheating at a significant level (like going from 100 to 320 countries - err "entities") is probably tougher than working them, and the perpetrators would most likely get caught.

          Although each individual may or may not care about DXCC's reputation for integrity, I'm going to take a wild guess (and a somewhat informed one) that the ARRL membership as a whole does, or at least those that care about DXCC. The ARRL does regular statistically valid polling of its members using companies that special in this kind of thing, and knows what its membership thinks as a whole.

          I wish LOTW was easier to use. I wish computers were easier to use!!! Before getting back to security, I was fascinated by and worked with human-computer interfaces for a while, and decided they ALL suck. I wish the car I bought my wife today was easier to use - it seems to have about 100 microprocessors in it and requires reading the manual (even the keys have chips in them). The interface on my refrigerator is about right . . . .

          Security is about tradeoffs. The biggest one being with useability. I think the ARRL has done a great job. I wish they could afford a full time support staff for LOTW, but I'll bet that's simply not economically feasible at this time. The support does seem decent, doesn't it?

          And yes, I did have something to do with the development of LOTW. And I am also a Luddite and ardent fan of paper QSLs as well.

          Have a great Thanksgiving everyone, and for those with my particular disease, have a fantastic CQWW!

          73

          Ted, KT1V, ex KR1G
          Ted Demopoulos
          Demopoulos Associates, www.demop.com
          Aligning Information Technology with Business Objectives.

          Subscribe to our free E-newsletter "securITy"
          Send an email to newsletter@... to subscribe.

        • AG2A
          a-fricken-men!!
          Message 4 of 25 , Nov 25, 2004
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            a-fricken-men!!
            At 05:50 PM 11/24/2004, you wrote:
            ARRL-LOTW@yahoogroups.com
          • Hamish Moffatt
            ... So what do you want to change exactly? I can t see what the fuss is myself. Hamish -- Hamish Moffatt VK3SB
            Message 5 of 25 , Nov 25, 2004
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              On Wed, Nov 24, 2004 at 09:40:29PM -0500, Jerry Keller wrote:
              > So tell me, why can't LOTW work more like e-qsl?

              So what do you want to change exactly?

              I can't see what the fuss is myself.


              Hamish
              --
              Hamish Moffatt VK3SB <hamish@...> <hamish@...>
            • FireBrick
              Ted I wish I had said it as well as you did. Thanks de W9OL ... From: Ted Demopoulos To: Sent: Thursday,
              Message 6 of 25 , Nov 25, 2004
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                Ted
                I wish I had said it as well as you did.
                Thanks

                de W9OL

                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "Ted Demopoulos" <kt1v@...>
                To: <ARRL-LOTW@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Thursday, November 25, 2004 12:03 AM
                Subject: Re: [ARRL-LOTW] How to


                > The amount of security something like LOTW has is a business decision
                > that follows a careful risk analysis. All security decisions are - or
                > should be.
                >
                > The strength of DXCC, and the reason for its immense popularity, is
                > quite simply its reputation. Although it's well known that a few cheats
                > have existed and been caught, and certainly some trivial cheating is
                > easy (like a fake confirmation for G on 10M), cheating at a significant
                > level (like going from 100 to 320 countries - err "entities") is
                > probably tougher than working them, and the perpetrators would most
                > likely get caught.
                >
                > Although each individual may or may not care about DXCC's reputation for
                > integrity, I'm going to take a wild guess (and a somewhat informed one)
                > that the ARRL membership as a whole does, or at least those that care
                > about DXCC. The ARRL does regular statistically valid polling of its
                > members using companies that special in this kind of thing, and knows
                > what its membership thinks as a whole.
                >
                > I wish LOTW was easier to use. I wish computers were easier to use!!!
                > Before getting back to security, I was fascinated by and worked with
                > human-computer interfaces for a while, and decided they ALL suck. I wish
                > the car I bought my wife today was easier to use - it seems to have
                > about 100 microprocessors in it and requires reading the manual (even
                > the keys have chips in them). The interface on my refrigerator is about
                > right . . . .
                >
                > Security is about tradeoffs. The biggest one being with useability. I
                > think the ARRL has done a great job. I wish they could afford a full
                > time support staff for LOTW, but I'll bet that's simply not economically
                > feasible at this time. The support does seem decent, doesn't it?
                >
                > And yes, I did have something to do with the development of LOTW. And I
                > am also a Luddite and ardent fan of paper QSLs as well.
                >
                > Have a great Thanksgiving everyone, and for those with my particular
                > disease, have a fantastic CQWW!
                >
                > 73
                >
                > Ted, KT1V, ex KR1G
                > Ted Demopoulos
                > Demopoulos Associates, www.demop.com
                > <http://www.demop.com/> Aligning Information Technology with Business
                > Objectives.
                >
                > Subscribe to our free E-newsletter "securITy"
                > Send an email to newsletter@... <mailto:newsletter@...> to
                > subscribe.
                >
              • Rick Murphy/K1MU
                ... That was sort of what I was asking, but Jerry s right, it s time to move on. Happy Thanksgiving and 73 to all. -Rick
                Message 7 of 25 , Nov 25, 2004
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                  At 08:17 AM 11/25/2004, Hamish Moffatt wrote:

                  >On Wed, Nov 24, 2004 at 09:40:29PM -0500, Jerry Keller wrote:
                  > > So tell me, why can't LOTW work more like e-qsl?
                  >
                  >So what do you want to change exactly?
                  >
                  >I can't see what the fuss is myself.

                  That was sort of what I was asking, but Jerry's right, it's time to
                  move on.
                  Happy Thanksgiving and 73 to all.
                  -Rick
                • rlb
                  Having written the original post I feel that thank goodness for this group that seems to take the time and effort to help each other out. I wrote the post
                  Message 8 of 25 , Nov 25, 2004
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                    Having written the original post I feel that thank
                    goodness for this group that seems to take the time
                    and effort to help each other out. I wrote the post
                    prior to trying to renew based on previous experience
                    and frustration from the original certf download and
                    installation.
                    Thanks to the people that responded this was a pain
                    free installation.

                    For us people that have basically self learned
                    computers it can be a mind boogling task.

                    Kind of puts me in mind of a incident that happened to
                    my wife's parents a couple of yrs ago when they were
                    trying to set up their sat. TV system. After becoming
                    totally frustrated they gave me a call to see it I
                    could help, I did the next best thing!!!I sent my 9
                    year old grandson over to program it. He did it in
                    less than 10 min.

                    Lesson learned?????Maybe before trying and installing
                    LOTW have your children or grandchildren take a look
                    at it?????

                    Happy Holidays to all of you on the list and thanks
                    again for the help.

                    Randy
                    AG8A
                    --- Jerry Keller <k3bz@...> wrote:

                    > Because of that user complexity, I have just about
                    > given up on LOTW. It's just too much trouble. Why
                    > all the "security" anyway?
                    > 73, Jerry K3BZ
                    >
                    > ----- Original Message -----
                    > From: "Gil Baron" <gbaron@...>
                    > To: <ARRL-LOTW@yahoogroups.com>
                    > Sent: Wednesday, November 24, 2004 9:19 AM
                    > Subject: RE: [ARRL-LOTW] How to
                    >
                    >
                    > > You want to do the delete before you start the
                    > process. It is not required
                    > > but will keep you from sending the wrong file.
                    > >
                    > > A tq8 is a signed file so you can delete that
                    > anytime after having sent it
                    > > and if you have to recreate it by signing the file
                    > that created it. It is
                    > > useless after your certificate expires.
                    > >
                    > > I think I gave the correct information here but am
                    > not positive.
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > I think the whole process is WAY overboard in user
                    > complexity. I don't
                    > > understand why a certificate should expire in a
                    > year, ludicrous in my
                    > > opinion.
                    > >
                    > > Gil, W0MN http://webpages.charter.net/gbaron
                    > > N 44.082056 W 92.513024 1050'
                    > > Hierro Candente, Batir de repente
                    > >
                    > >> -----Original Message-----
                    > >> From: rlb [mailto:printgreen@...]
                    > >> Sent: Wednesday, November 24, 2004 8:03 AM
                    > >> To: ARRL-LOTW@yahoogroups.com
                    > >> Subject: [ARRL-LOTW] How to
                    > >>
                    > >>
                    > >> I just received notice of renewal for my LOTW.
                    > >> Progressed up to and including sending it to
                    > ARRL.
                    > >> Now awaiting new certification.
                    > >>
                    > >> Question?
                    > >>
                    > >> It says to search for all .tq5/.tq6 files and
                    > remove.
                    > >>
                    > >> Should I do this before getting the new file?
                    > >>
                    > >> I only show one file and that is my .tq5 that I
                    > saved to a
                    > >> folder and that has last years date.
                    > >>
                    > >> Do you think this is the old one they are talking
                    > about?
                    > >>
                    > >> I do not show any .tq6 files.
                    > >>
                    > >> Is that logical?
                    > >>
                    > >> I do show .tq8 files.
                    > >>
                    > >> What is that and should that one be left alone?
                    > >>
                    > >> After sending the request in what do you find is
                    > the next
                    > >> step in the procedure?
                    > >>
                    > >> Thanks for your help in advance and happy
                    > holidays to one and all.
                    > >>
                    > >> Randy
                    > >> AG8A
                    > >>
                    > >>
                    > >>
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                  • jperalta@tampabay.rr.com
                    Jerry do you use LOTW with a logging program or have you been using it through the web site interface? I think it s much easier to use with a good logging
                    Message 9 of 25 , Nov 25, 2004
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                      Jerry do you use LOTW with a logging program or have you been using it through the web site interface? I think it's much easier to use with a good logging program such as LOGic7. What do others think about this.

                      Julio, W4HY

                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: Jerry Keller <k3bz@...>
                      Date: Wednesday, November 24, 2004 7:35 pm
                      Subject: Re: [ARRL-LOTW] Re: How to

                      >
                      > I've been waiting and watching for some improvement in the LOTW
                      > way of doing things. I've written
                      > several e-mails about it. So far, no response. I have a cert, I've
                      > uploaded and downloaded and I
                      > feel I've given LOTW a good try. I didn't just look it over and
                      > reject it, I gave it a shot. Based
                      > on the results and how much time and effort it takes to operate
                      > LOTW, I've tentatively concluded
                      > that it is too much for too little return. I bet I'm not the only
                      > one that is nearly ready to write
                      > LOTW off, either. But you notice I say "tentative" and "nearly"...
                      > I could still be convinced... but
                      > it would take ARRL making some very significant improvements in
                      > the way we have to interface with
                      > the LOTW system. If it's all those layers of "security" that are
                      > making it so darned complicated,
                      > I'm wondering... is all that really necessary? Why?
                      >
                      > 73, Jerry K3BZ
                      >
                      > ----- Original Message -----
                      > From: "Ron Wetjen" <wd4ahz@...>
                      > To: <ARRL-LOTW@yahoogroups.com>
                      > Sent: Wednesday, November 24, 2004 7:15 PM
                      > Subject: [ARRL-LOTW] Re: How to
                      >
                      >
                      > >
                      > >> Because of that user complexity, I have just about given up on
                      > LOTW.>> It's just too much trouble.
                      > >
                      > > Now there's some of that great old time Amateur Radio spirit.
                      > >
                      > > Whatever happened to the days when amateurs actually took
                      > something on
                      > > because it WAS a challenge? Guess those days are long gone.
                      > Too bad.
                      > >
                      > > Happy Thanksgiving
                      > >
                      > > Ron
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
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                      > > ARRL-LOTW-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
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                    • Carl Smidt
                      My ONLY frustrations with LoTW is the VERY few that use it, my returns are dismal. What a shame! Up and downloading of data is a cinch with a good logging
                      Message 10 of 25 , Nov 25, 2004
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                        My ONLY frustrations with LoTW is the VERY few that use it, my returns
                        are dismal. What a shame!

                        Up and downloading of data is a cinch with a good logging program like,
                        for example, LOGic 7, of Personal Database Applications.
                        A couple of clicks and you are done, I upload my log data every few
                        days, takes about 30 seconds.

                        Renewing a certificate, once a year, is a lot easier than operating some
                        of our new transceivers to their full design advantage, plus it saves on
                        registered mail submission costs
                        and relying on the postal service to assure delivery of our precious,
                        irreplaceable, cards.

                        73, Carl VE9OV


                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: "Jerry Keller" <k3bz@...>
                        To: <ARRL-LOTW@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Thursday, November 25, 2004 12:31 AM
                        Subject: Re: [ARRL-LOTW] How to


                        >
                        > "Because eQSL is wide open to fraud, perhaps?"
                        >
                        > That's not what I've heard. It's the same crosseyed reasoning that
                        > won't let field checkers approve
                        > 160M QSL's... the fear that a few cheaters will somehow diminish the
                        > value of the topband DXCC
                        > achievement. The only value cheaters diminish is their own. BTW, from
                        > what I heard there were only a
                        > very few 160M cards that were shown to have been changed, but
                        > topbanders are ham radio's elite, and
                        > they have lots of clout at the ARRL.
                        >
                        > "What good is an award if anyone can game it?"
                        > First of all, making LOTW more user-friendly doesn't mean "anyone can
                        > game it." Maybe a few could,
                        > but probably most couldn't. And of those that could, probably most
                        > would not. There are many who lie
                        > about their college degree, but that doesn't diminish the
                        > accomplishment of those who actually
                        > earned theirs. People lie about their military service, and all sorts
                        > of other personal
                        > accomplishments. There will always be those who cheat, or try to
                        > cheat. Let them, they only hurt
                        > themselves. Whoever said "Winners don't cheat, and cheaters don't
                        > win." made the point nicely
                        > enough.
                        >
                        > But at this point, we've both had our say, and it's time to move on.
                        > Thanks for the memories ;-) and
                        > the very best of the Holiday to you and yours.
                        >
                        > 73, Jerry K3BZ
                        >
                        >
                        > ----- Original Message -----
                        > From: "Rick Murphy/K1MU" <k1mu-lotw@...>
                        > To: <ARRL-LOTW@yahoogroups.com>
                        > Sent: Wednesday, November 24, 2004 10:58 PM
                        > Subject: Re: [ARRL-LOTW] How to
                        >
                        >
                        >> At 09:40 PM 11/24/2004, Jerry Keller wrote:
                        >>
                        >>>Nor would it really compromise much if the LOTW system worked nice
                        >>>and
                        >>>easy like, say, e-qsl... for example.
                        >>
                        >> OK, why is LoTW harder than eQSL? In both cases, you've got to get a
                        >> logfile in computer readable form, which is the hardest part (because
                        >> you've got to enter the data into some logging program). For eQSL,
                        >> you
                        >> upload that log file directly. For LoTW you sign it, then you upload
                        >> it. That's it - one extra step. Yes, the certification process isn't
                        >> quick, but it's painless for US hams at least.
                        >>
                        >>>If a few bums managed to cheat, so what?
                        >>
                        >> Because it's cheating. What good is an award if anyone can game it?
                        >> ARRL understands that the integrity of the program is paramount and I
                        >> agree.
                        >>
                        >>>They would know who they are, and how would that diminish anything
                        >>>for
                        >>>those of us that do it fair and square? It's not a case of "nobody
                        >>>can
                        >>>be tracked", it's that a few might not be able to be tracked. They
                        >>>are
                        >>>making the system like the eye of a needle... in a misguided attempt
                        >>>to make it beyond question, they are making it beyond reasonable
                        >>>reach.
                        >>
                        >> Again, what's "beyond reasonable reach" for LoTW? What problem are
                        >> you
                        >> having? We'll be happy to help you make it easy if you explain what
                        >> the
                        >> problem is. The signature step isn't an excessive burden as far as I
                        >> can see, but there may be an opportunity to improve the documentation
                        >> if we can help the League to understand what steps are unclear.
                        >>
                        >>>But then, those that manage to make it work can always say "if I can
                        >>>do it, anyone
                        >>>ought to be able to"... with the implication that anyone that has
                        >>>difficulty with it must be inept.
                        >>
                        >> No, that's not the point. I understand that computer software is
                        >> often
                        >> difficult to understand, and that the developers of that software
                        >> always think it's easy to use - but it takes concrete suggestions to
                        >> make it better. "Beyond reasonable reach" isn't a suggestion, it's a
                        >> dismissal. If you can use eQSL there is no reason you can't use
                        >> TQSL -
                        >> maybe with some help, but that help is available if you wish to
                        >> accept it.
                        >>
                        >>>I don't buy that. And if you were having trouble with it, you
                        >>>wouldn't
                        >>>either.
                        >>>
                        >>>So tell me, why can't LOTW work more like e-qsl?
                        >>
                        >> Because eQSL is wide open to fraud, perhaps?
                        >> -Rick
                        >>
                        >>
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                      • rlb
                        Julio, I agree with you on using a logging program to upload. I use n3fjp s program, just a matter of hitting about 3 buttons one you have it setup. Randy ...
                        Message 11 of 25 , Nov 25, 2004
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                          Julio,

                          I agree with you on using a logging program to upload.
                          I use n3fjp's program, just a matter of hitting about
                          3 buttons one you have it setup.

                          Randy

                          --- jperalta@... wrote:

                          > Jerry do you use LOTW with a logging program or have
                          > you been using it through the web site interface? I
                          > think it's much easier to use with a good logging
                          > program such as LOGic7. What do others think about
                          > this.
                          >
                          > Julio, W4HY
                          >
                          > ----- Original Message -----
                          > From: Jerry Keller <k3bz@...>
                          > Date: Wednesday, November 24, 2004 7:35 pm
                          > Subject: Re: [ARRL-LOTW] Re: How to
                          >
                          > >
                          > > I've been waiting and watching for some
                          > improvement in the LOTW
                          > > way of doing things. I've written
                          > > several e-mails about it. So far, no response. I
                          > have a cert, I've
                          > > uploaded and downloaded and I
                          > > feel I've given LOTW a good try. I didn't just
                          > look it over and
                          > > reject it, I gave it a shot. Based
                          > > on the results and how much time and effort it
                          > takes to operate
                          > > LOTW, I've tentatively concluded
                          > > that it is too much for too little return. I bet
                          > I'm not the only
                          > > one that is nearly ready to write
                          > > LOTW off, either. But you notice I say "tentative"
                          > and "nearly"...
                          > > I could still be convinced... but
                          > > it would take ARRL making some very significant
                          > improvements in
                          > > the way we have to interface with
                          > > the LOTW system. If it's all those layers of
                          > "security" that are
                          > > making it so darned complicated,
                          > > I'm wondering... is all that really necessary?
                          > Why?
                          > >
                          > > 73, Jerry K3BZ
                          > >
                          > > ----- Original Message -----
                          > > From: "Ron Wetjen" <wd4ahz@...>
                          > > To: <ARRL-LOTW@yahoogroups.com>
                          > > Sent: Wednesday, November 24, 2004 7:15 PM
                          > > Subject: [ARRL-LOTW] Re: How to
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > >
                          > > >> Because of that user complexity, I have just
                          > about given up on
                          > > LOTW.>> It's just too much trouble.
                          > > >
                          > > > Now there's some of that great old time Amateur
                          > Radio spirit.
                          > > >
                          > > > Whatever happened to the days when amateurs
                          > actually took
                          > > something on
                          > > > because it WAS a challenge? Guess those days
                          > are long gone.
                          > > Too bad.
                          > > >
                          > > > Happy Thanksgiving
                          > > >
                          > > > Ron
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > > >
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                          > > > ARRL-LOTW-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
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                        • Dave Bernstein
                          As a software developer, I am dissapointed with user comments of the form it works for me, what are you complaining about? . The goal of user-friendly
                          Message 12 of 25 , Nov 25, 2004
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                            As a software developer, I am dissapointed with user comments of the
                            form "it works for me, what are you complaining about?". The goal of
                            user-friendly software is not "one user is happy with the
                            application", its "no users are unhappy with the application".
                            Criticizing a user who expresses frustration will only discourage
                            other users from reporting the problems they encounter -- the
                            information most needed to improve the application.

                            LotW's useability problems do not lie in the primary use cases --
                            uploading QSOs, and downloading QSLs. As has been pointed out,
                            logging applications can automate these and let the user initiate
                            them with simple gestures.

                            In my experience, the primary problems are:

                            1. TQSLCert performs no reasonability checking when establishing the
                            user's QTH. Thus if OH2BH specifies his CQ zone as 18 and his ITU
                            zone as 15 -- reversing the correct values -- all QSOs subsequently
                            uploaded will bear incorrect zones. As a result, ops downloading
                            matched QSLs with OH2BH will either pollute their logbooks with
                            incorrect zone credits or, if their logging software detects the
                            error, be required to manually correct the entries. About 15% of the
                            QSLs I download from LotW bear incorrect information.

                            2. Renewing a certificate is too complicated for some users

                            3. Moving a certificate from one PC to another is too complicated
                            for some users

                            4. Requiring users to differentiate between obscurely-tagged file
                            types (.tq5, .tq6, etc.) causes errors of confusion

                            5. There remains at least one showstopper defect; it prevented me
                            from submitting LotW credits for 3 months until LotW personnel
                            manually worked around it from their end.

                            There is also important functionality that's missing:

                            1. Can't upload a submission from a logging application - a set of
                            LotW QSLs to be credited to one's DXCC account

                            2. Can't download one's DXCC credit report in a form that a logging
                            application can use to synchronize with its status reporting (the
                            analog to synchronizing with LotW's confirmation report)

                            Having worked with LotW and its developers since before its release,
                            I'm certain that the primary issue is development resources. The
                            LotW team has worked long and hard to get LotW to this point; they
                            are evidently responsible for its operation, as well as its
                            maintenance and continued expansion. Given their constraints, they
                            have done amazingly well. However, cutting off feedback by
                            criticizing those who report problems serves this team -- and LotW --
                            poorly.

                            73,

                            Dave, AA6YQ
                          • Hamish Moffatt
                            ... I agree, when the criticism is constructive. Most of it hasn t been. It s too hard to use and why can t it be like eQSL.cc? aren t enough information
                            Message 13 of 25 , Nov 25, 2004
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                              On Thu, Nov 25, 2004 at 06:07:52PM -0000, Dave Bernstein wrote:
                              > As a software developer, I am dissapointed with user comments of the
                              > form "it works for me, what are you complaining about?". The goal of
                              > user-friendly software is not "one user is happy with the
                              > application", its "no users are unhappy with the application".
                              > Criticizing a user who expresses frustration will only discourage
                              > other users from reporting the problems they encounter -- the
                              > information most needed to improve the application.

                              I agree, when the criticism is constructive. Most of it hasn't been.

                              "It's too hard to use" and "why can't it be like eQSL.cc?" aren't enough
                              information to use to solve any real problems.

                              > In my experience, the primary problems are:
                              >
                              > 1. TQSLCert performs no reasonability checking when establishing the
                              > user's QTH. Thus if OH2BH specifies his CQ zone as 18 and his ITU
                              [..]
                              > 2. Renewing a certificate is too complicated for some users
                              [..]
                              > 3. Moving a certificate from one PC to another is too complicated
                              > for some users
                              [..]
                              > 4. Requiring users to differentiate between obscurely-tagged file
                              > types (.tq5, .tq6, etc.) causes errors of confusion

                              Aren't these all caused by lack of integration with logging software?
                              Perhaps I'm wrong but it seems like the TQSL/TQSLCERT programs are good
                              demonstrators of the tqsllib API, though not great programs for end
                              users to use directly. Proper integration with logging software
                              should make all of the above simpler.


                              Hamish
                              --
                              Hamish Moffatt VK3SB <hamish@...> <hamish@...>
                            • Dave Bernstein
                              ... the form it works for me, what are you complaining about? . ... been. It s too hard to use and why can t it be like eQSL.cc? aren t enough information
                              Message 14 of 25 , Nov 25, 2004
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                                >>>AA6YQ comments below

                                --- In ARRL-LOTW@yahoogroups.com, Hamish Moffatt <hamish@c...> wrote:

                                >> As a software developer, I am dissapointed with user comments of
                                the form "it works for me, what are you complaining about?".

                                >>>snip<<<

                                > I agree, when the criticism is constructive. Most of it hasn't
                                been. "It's too hard to use" and "why can't it be like eQSL.cc?"
                                aren't enough information to use to solve any real problems.

                                >>>Yes, it would be nice if users always filed dispassionate, detail-
                                laden defect and useability reports, but since they are not software
                                testing professionals, this will often not be the case. Our response
                                should be to coax out the needed information, not castigate an
                                already-frustrated user. If you want constructive criticism, set the
                                example by responding constructively no matter how ambiguous or
                                provocative the user's initial volley may be.


                                >> In my experience, the primary problems are:

                                >>>snip<<<

                                > Aren't these all caused by lack of integration with logging
                                software? Perhaps I'm wrong but it seems like the TQSL/TQSLCERT
                                programs are good demonstrators of the tqsllib API, though not great
                                programs for end users to use directly. Proper integration with
                                logging software should make all of the above simpler.

                                >>>Some of the above problems -- incorrect QTH data, for example --
                                could be mitigated via integration with logging applications. User
                                awareness of file types is locked in by the web-hosted portion of
                                LotW. Submitting and synchronizing credits cannot be accomplished
                                until LotW provides the required functionality.

                                >>>Its not obvious that administrative functions like creating,
                                renewing, and moving certificates would be better implemented by
                                multiple logging applications. An improved administrative
                                application utilized by all LotW users would be easier for LotW
                                personnel to support, and would facilitate more rapid evolution. In
                                this case, incrementally improving the useability of TQSL/TSLCERT
                                seems the better path.

                                73,

                                Dave, AA6YQ
                              • Jerry Keller
                                As the user around whose criticism this discussion has evolved, I admit my comments were not very direct or constructive. It is fortunate, however, that the
                                Message 15 of 25 , Nov 25, 2004
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                                  As the user around whose criticism this discussion has evolved, I admit my comments were not very
                                  direct or constructive.

                                  It is fortunate, however, that the contributions of other reflector members have risen above my
                                  poorly conceived remarks... in particular, I think those of Dave Bernstein AA6YQ hit the target
                                  pretty well dead center. That's probably because Dave knows what he's talking about... whereas I,
                                  regrettably, really didn't and shouldn't have spoken out on this subject as I did.

                                  The truth is, I don't think I've yet given LOTW my best efforts. Too bad I didn't realize that
                                  before I got things going, but perhaps my impatient mistake helped draw out something useful.

                                  73, Jerry K3BZ

                                  ----- Original Message -----
                                  From: "Dave Bernstein" <aa6yq@...>
                                  To: <ARRL-LOTW@yahoogroups.com>
                                  Sent: Thursday, November 25, 2004 11:11 PM
                                  Subject: [ARRL-LOTW] Re: How to


                                  >
                                  >>>>AA6YQ comments below
                                  >
                                  > --- In ARRL-LOTW@yahoogroups.com, Hamish Moffatt <hamish@c...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  >>> As a software developer, I am dissapointed with user comments of
                                  > the form "it works for me, what are you complaining about?".
                                  >
                                  >>>>snip<<<
                                  >
                                  >> I agree, when the criticism is constructive. Most of it hasn't
                                  > been. "It's too hard to use" and "why can't it be like eQSL.cc?"
                                  > aren't enough information to use to solve any real problems.
                                  >
                                  >>>>Yes, it would be nice if users always filed dispassionate, detail-
                                  > laden defect and useability reports, but since they are not software
                                  > testing professionals, this will often not be the case. Our response
                                  > should be to coax out the needed information, not castigate an
                                  > already-frustrated user. If you want constructive criticism, set the
                                  > example by responding constructively no matter how ambiguous or
                                  > provocative the user's initial volley may be.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >>> In my experience, the primary problems are:
                                  >
                                  >>>>snip<<<
                                  >
                                  >> Aren't these all caused by lack of integration with logging
                                  > software? Perhaps I'm wrong but it seems like the TQSL/TQSLCERT
                                  > programs are good demonstrators of the tqsllib API, though not great
                                  > programs for end users to use directly. Proper integration with
                                  > logging software should make all of the above simpler.
                                  >
                                  >>>>Some of the above problems -- incorrect QTH data, for example --
                                  > could be mitigated via integration with logging applications. User
                                  > awareness of file types is locked in by the web-hosted portion of
                                  > LotW. Submitting and synchronizing credits cannot be accomplished
                                  > until LotW provides the required functionality.
                                  >
                                  >>>>Its not obvious that administrative functions like creating,
                                  > renewing, and moving certificates would be better implemented by
                                  > multiple logging applications. An improved administrative
                                  > application utilized by all LotW users would be easier for LotW
                                  > personnel to support, and would facilitate more rapid evolution. In
                                  > this case, incrementally improving the useability of TQSL/TSLCERT
                                  > seems the better path.
                                  >
                                  > 73,
                                  >
                                  > Dave, AA6YQ
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
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