In August 2019 I purchased a Flex-6600 and a Maestro Control Console. In contrast to the closed-box character of the IC-7300, Flex has designed a system that operates over a computer network. The 6600 is a direct-conversion SDR transceiver, with a built-in Linux server. The only user control on the box is the power switch; all other control is accomplished through software that communicates with the server via TCP/IP through an Ethernet port.
Their SmartSDR software is a Windows application (there is a version for available for iOS). That wass a problem for me, with my Linux-only computers. My solution to that was two-fold. First, I got a Maestro control console to get me on the air immediately. It runs SmartSDR on an embedded tablet running a modified version of Windows CE. Second, I would try to develop a program to operate the Flex under Linux.
FlexRadio's client-server architecture has the potential to let me realize my goal of building a Distributed Amateur Radio Station. The TCP/IP API (Application Programming Interface) used by SmartSDR is fully documented, allowing me to write software to control the system. With that, together with USB ports on the server that can be used to communicate with other devices, I have the potential of creating my own front end (user) network nodes for such things as CW keys and audio, as well as back-end station nodes for antenna switches and rotators and the like. This could be a lot of fun.
In the latter part of 2021, I decided that the Flex wasn't going to work for me. It's a superb radio in every respect and I've enjoyed using it, but through experimentation I have determined that the only way to take advantage of its full functionality is to run the SmartSDR and associated software on a Windows PC. I don't want to have a Windows system, so I need to take another route. I should say that there appears to be no technical barrier to writing my own software that would run the Flex on Linux, and I believe that task falls within my abilities as a programmer. The problem is that it would take far more time and effort than I'm willing to put into it. So, the Flex would have to go.
That lasted for about a year. Early in 2022 I changed my mind again, and decided to go back to the Flex. There were a number of things that influenced me to do so.