Roger Barker, G4IDE
Silent Key September 8, 2004
Roger Barker, passed away in his sleep early on the morning of September 9, 2004. With his passing amateur radio lost a great contributor to Packet Radio. The author of UI-View, the most popular APRS program ever written. Roger was honored with a TAPR Lifetime Achievement Award, for his services to Digital Communications in June 2004.
UI-View started as just another APRS program for the PC, but Roger’s dedication to improvements and customer service soon made the program a cult classic. Roger’s original program only used static maps. Not satisfied, he began to work on an interface to allow full moving map displays. He achieved the goal when Chicago based UnderTow Software waived their normal licensing fees to allow an interface to their Precision Map mapping software.
What had been a cult classic suddenly exploded as more and more U.S. users paired the two programs. The result, a fast, stable very well supported program with an author who listened. The support provided was above and beyond the $15.00 registration fee.
UI-View started appearing on more and more Armadillo members computers, especially the Mobile I-Openner users. This caused more and more interest in APRS. Armadillo members responded by putting on more APRS Digi’s around the state for everyone to use. Roger’s UI-View was the “Killer App” which everyone was waiting for.
Then the shocking news, Roger was diagnosed with inoperatable stomach cancer. Two short months passed, and he slipped away. Roger Barker is survied by his wife Dee, son Steven, and daughter Kate of Lincolnshire England.
As a fitting tribute, plans are afoot to keep the software under development with help from contributors all over the world. UI-View has an API interface which has allowed a number of authors to extend the program beyond what Roger had been able to achieve.
Gerry Dalton, W5MAY