The Beginning - AllStarLink Inc
How AllStarLink, Inc got Started
By: Kevin Custer W3KKC
Jim Dixon WB6NIL was one of the smartest people I've ever met. He is responsible for app_rpt and many aspects of Asterisk®, a software based Public Branch Exchange for the telephony industry. Early on, Jim realized that Asterisk could be the basis of a powerful multi-port repeater controller, and wrote code to support that functionality. Jim also invented AllStar Link, a network of publicly-accessible amateur radio repeater and remote base stations which can connect to each other via Voice Over IP (VoIP) on the Internet. Jim had help with the website, approving new members, issuing node numbers, etc., however, writing code and doing updates and bug fixes was primarily his job. All of that was lost in December of 2016 with his unexpected death.
When Jim passed away, Steve Rodgers WA6ZFT, the co-inventor of AllStar, reached out to a few people who he knew contributed to the project. I am one of those people. Steve Rodgers had too much on his plate to continue AllStar as Jim did, and wanted help, and a clear path to a successor. I told Steve that I would continue to do all that I could to help. In a phone conversation, Steve asked me if I could recommend anyone for taking over AllStar Link.
I recommended Steve Zingman N4IRS. He and his brother Mike N4IRI are responsible for DIAL. DIAL was the last official release of AllStar under Jim. Steve Rodgers ultimately chose Steve Zingman to be the successor, and I agreed to provide financial support. Steve Zingman's immediate task was assembling more people to support the project.
He reached out to Tim Sawyer WA6AWP, as he was solely responsible for the website, vetting new members and assigning node numbers. Tim is also the developer of Allmon and Allmon2; the AllStar Monitor and Control Panel. Tim accepted Steve's invitation, and has been a large part of the project ever since.
Steve also invited Bryan Fields W9CR because of his knowledge of servers and networking, among many others. Bryan has dealt with the "behind the scenes" architecture since then.
These five individuals carried the project along for many months. Steve Zingman set many goals; the biggest one was - - this project will no longer be the responsibility of one person. Since then, the group has gathered together many talented people for the admin and development teams. ASL 1.01 was released with new features like selectable audio filtering, and a new menu driven setup system. AllStarLink is an Incorporated Florida non-profit entity, with 501(C)3 status. There is a stable Board of Directors, and now over a dozen people helping with the project. The AllStar Link Network is stable, growing, and will be for years to come. We will continue to move forward with our goal of preserving the product and vision of Jim Dixon.