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Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] SDR Design Competition (take 2)

From: al davis
Subject: Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] SDR Design Competition (take 2)
Date: Sun, 28 May 2006 23:26:43 -0400
User-agent: KMail/1.9.1

> "The SDR Forum intends to seek permission to publish
> proposals, design documents, engineering drawings, source
> code, analyses, and supporting material developed under the
> challenge entires. No materials shall be marked
> `proprietary'."
> IMHO tt would be even better if the implied "ownership
> belongs to the creators" were described explicitly, but I can
> abide by it as it stands.  Thanks for making the change! -

Academics get a tremendous amount of pressure from software 
vendors, to use their stuff, and not their competition.  It 
doesn't take much to see that the competition is us.

Part of this pressure comes from book publishers, by including 
demo versions of commercial software, refusing to include 
free/GPL software, pressuring authors to use commercial 
software, not GPL software, etc.

Prepare for the electronics education wiki.  It's coming.

Some other comments from others....
>> I think all of the "Can't get gnuradio-core
>> to compile" emails on this listserv prove the difficulty in
>> working with this project.

Give them a custom Knoppix disk. 

Recommend a distribution that includes gnuradio, or has a 
package available.  Then you can "apt-get install ... " or 
something like that.

>> I can't imagine what would happen if I told them they
>> had to install Linux and the GNU Radio code if they wanted to
>> work on this stuff at home!

Give them a custom Knoppix disk.

It is OK to say they need to install Windows (at a cost of 
$???), and spend $100 for an academic copy that will expire 
when they graduate, or not work on the new computer they get in 
two years?

"Quantian Linux" is a Knoppix variant that has lots of math and 
EE software on it.  It's big.  It mostly fills a DVD.

>>> While it is
>>> expensive, there is quite an ecosystem that has developed
>>> around it, something that Octave/Scilab/numPython/etc.
>>> aren't  really able to offer. 

Who owns the ecosystem?  A company starts a core, then relies on 
a user community to add all kinds of stuff, the true value.  
Eventually, the value of the community exceeds the core.  Why 
not use a core from the community too?  when the commercial 
core is derived from a free/open-source core?

There are plenty of "contests" which are really just ways to 
promote a commercial product, and to divert energy away from 
their competition (Free/open-source software).

How about a real design project, where you have the students 
work on something that gnuradio needs and is missing?  How 
about implementing some of the features that octave is missing?  
These are projects that will look good on a resume, and be 
useful, even if they don't come in first.  "I contributed xxxxx 
to the gnuradio project" is a lot more impressive than "My team 
entered this contest and didn't win".  I believe that if you 
managed to pull it off once, you would find that there is 
funding available to do it again.

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