Winlink Express

A Note of Approval from Oregon

I have enjoyed the privilege of working with n6kzb in developing the HTML forms adopted by the Oregon Office of Emergency Management for all County EOC to State level communications when phone and internet are down. We had some specific and somewhat unusual requirements so that the new forms would generate a plain text version that exactly duplicated the templates used previously.

The new designs have been enthusiastically received, and will be the centerpiece of a large State-wide Simulated Emergency Test soon. Any other so drastic a change would probably require a long period of extensive training. These HTML Forms, with the built-in "Mouse Hover Hinting" have made training nearly unnecessary.

The other really valuable feature is the ease of keeping everyone on the same level as far as version. Mike and I were able to edit and release new versions, and the auto-update feature ensured that the changes were immediately rolled out to all the operators with the application version updates. The ease of doing manual updates to catch new features, or to repair a folder of templates damaged by inadvertent file editing or deletion is just icing on the cake.

Want to see a little feature that makes life simpler? Look at one of the several versions of "Winlink Check-in " forms. Note the odd line of text at the very bottom of the plaintext Winlink message after the Browser input form is submitted and closed. First it says "For Spreadsheet Use", and then below that is a line with all the relevant data in a single line "comma separated value" or CSV format. If you desire to collate the data during or after a drill or event, you can cut and paste this single line from each check-in form received into a NotePad text document. When all are received, you can import the plaintext CSV data into Excel and have a spreadsheet of who checked in, where, when, and what comms were used to do so. Pretty neat!

This is just a first use of the ability to pull data in from other sources such as Help files, or to collect and export data from a Form. I'm sure there will be many more.

Thomas Noel

Winlink Express HTML Forms Are Going Statewide in Oregon

We received this news from Oregon:

“I am pleased to announce that, through the hard work of Mike Burton and the WDT, the State of Oregon is transitioning to all HTML Template Forms for traffic from County EOCs to the Oregon Office of Emergency Management. The forms will also find frequent use from one served agency to another, and from agencies to the County EOC.

The new forms closely follow the design of plain text templates previously used by the State OEM, but avoids the issues of installation and updating, and are self-hinting to lessen the need for extensive training. The forms are now included as part of the standard forms now distributed as part of Winlink Express.”

Thomas W Noel

Attention Winlink Express Users

IMPORTANT: Please ensure you're using the latest version of Winlink Express (formerly RMS Express). Much time and effort has gone into enhancing the client program features as well as fixing bugs that hamper operation. Those with really older versions can experience problems as newer version move forward.

For those who want the most recent beta, please go into Winlink Express SETUP, and insure that this option is checked. Using a beta version assists the developers greatly to provide additional user-friendly features. For those who are not interested in the latest beta, be sure to uncheck this option in Winlink Express setup.

If you have update issues, you can uninstall, and re-install the latest Winlink Express production version.

Thanks much,

Steve Waterman, K4CJX, NCS396
Winlink Network Administrator
Winlink Development Team


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