So, I finally got both my Kenwood TR-7625 transceiver back and in excellent working condition, and the TNC cable I ordered from Buxxcom. Within moments, I was back on the air and able to make weather requests via the RMS Express catalog.
My next step, of course, was to ditch that windows world. I found a native application called PacLink-Unix, but at first glance it seemed a bit to hard to work with. That is mostly because it depends on sendmail to do all the real mail processing. I decided it was something for another day.
Instead, I installed airmail using the Wine compatibility layer. Now there is an amazing project. Here is a team of people attempting to code windows on top of Linux. Not just one version, but all, and not the way it should have been, but to mirror every nuance and trick, to allow existing code to work as well as possible. It’s not without it’s odities, but to get airmail installed, I simply had to run the executable installer.
However, there were two oddities I experienced. First, I noticed the email server plugin was unable to create the server port for a POP3 account. This is because in Linux, a regular user is unable to create a server port below a certain number to prevent spoofing well known services like ftp, telnet, ssh, html or smtp. The solution I used was to simply add 20,000 to each port number, running POP3 at 20110 and SMTP at 20025. This works well, and keeps in the spirit of user ports and security. Just make sure you make the same change to your mail program, which in my case was claws.
Second was getting the com port available in wine. My usb->serial adapter creates a device in the /dev directory called ttyUSB0. To make this available to windows programs in wine, you must make a symlink between that device to ~/.wine/dosdevices/com1. Much of the material I found stated that the device link needs to be COM1 (all upper case), but I found that didn’t work and the version with all lower cases did. Now I have integrated mail on my Linux laptop.
My shack… (And yes, that is once again Mythbusters. Turns out the phrase cold feet is literal):
In the mean time, I’m working out how to tie in the winlink system into my daily life. I wish it would check pop3 on demand like PskMail does. Maybe I just need to get on HF already. I’m attempting to forward all personal mail from my gmail account to winlink, and then pick up both on my laptop client, but it seems like winlink is preventing the forwarding. We’ll see what I need.