I got my September QST in the mail last week and when I was doing my preliminary flip through the pages, an article caught my eye. Featured on the pages were quite a few screen shots of an application running on the very distinctive Ubuntu Human theme. It turns out that the article is about a new bit of open source software suite for D-STAR users that's called D-RATS. I'm not very intersted in VHF repeater ops, but this got my attention. Then I noticed that one of the screenshots had a GPS map that looked kind of familiar. A closer look confirmed that the map was a view of the city of Hillsboro, just a few miles away from my QTH. It turns out that the author of the software and QST article, Dan Smith KK7DS, is a local resident who is heavily involved in the local EMCOMM group. Dan also works at the IBM Linux Technology Center in Beaverton. It's amazing how many talented hams we have over here in the Pacific Northwest. Off the top of my head there's W7ZOI, KK7B, WA7MLH, and NB6M (I'm sure I'm forgetting some other big names). It's great to see some up-and-coming new blood like KK7DS to keep the strong Silicon Forest tradition alive.
So do yourself a favor and check out Dan's blog at danplanet.com. I just might have to reconsider my interest in VHF/UHF activity.