For some reason, the ARRL website is featuring an article on CQ100 and QSONet, a simulation of ham radio over the Internet. On the fpqrp mailing list, the overwhelming response was overwhelmingly, “Ugh.”
Now, I happen to like EchoLink and IRLP, which I think are great extensions to amateur radio, but I really don’t get this QSONet stuff. If you’re going to chat on a computer, why would you want to use something like QSONet, which is a complete simulation, rather than EchoLink or IRLP, which at least has some radio component? I guess that I don’t understand the desire to cloak computer chatting in amateur radio trappings.
If you’re going to do computer chatting, why not use something really cool like iChat, which has both a video and audio component? (I use iChat frequently for business and personal use.)
The author of the article just gushes about using the program, though. He even talks about working contests on the Internet. (The ARRL editor did, at least, add a note that “contacts made using CQ100 are virtual — not radio —contacts and cannot be used toward any ARRL sponsored contest or award.”)
The best comment, though, was from one of the wags on the mailing list. He said, “It’s like boasting about the medieval warfare skills you learned in World of Warcraft.”