ARRL VE Exam Maker - Status

Please note that I don't work for the ARRL VEC, nor am I an official spokesperson for the ARRL.

Amateur Radio Volunteer Examiners (VEs) who create ARRL Question Pools:

I highly recommend you update your ARRL VE Exam Maker(1), make sure the question pool is up to date, and print batches of tests to set aside as "master originals" to photo copy for exams. The ARRL VE Exam Maker requires Adobe Flash and Adobe AIR to be installed. Further, the ARRL VEC has specifically stated that the ARRL VE Exam Maker will no longer be supported.(8)

"ARRL VEC's Exam Maker test generating software will no longer be supported after December 2020. Adobe Flash player is being discontinued at the end of this year which is our software's installation platform."(8)

Adobe Flash is set to go end-of-life (EOL) at the end of the year, 12/31/2020.(3) Adobe AIR has been bought by HARMAN and will no longer be supported by Adobe after 12/31/2020.(4) One unofficial community post shows that Adobe AIR will be a paid support product by HARMAN.(5)

"Adobe will provide basic security support - limited to security fixes only for desktop platforms (Windows 7 and above, and Mac OS X) - for Adobe AIR v32 until the end of 2020. After that time, Adobe support for AIR will be discontinued and ongoing support will be managed by HARMAN and communicated by them directly."(4)

"The fee harman asks is 25.000$ per year, per platform! The trial is 5000$ for 30 days."(5)

Additionally, I've seen a news stories stating Microsoft has an update that will uninstall the integrated Adobe Flash from Microsoft Windows.(2) Even more concerning is that in the past both Adobe Flash and Adobe AIR products often have a "timebomb" self-destruct date built into them. They won't function without an update after a certain date. We won't know if that is the case with the current releases of Adobe Flash and Adobe AIR until later, but one unoffocial community report is that Adobe Flash will timebomb.(5)

"Flash Player will show this [disabled, informational] icon after 2021. If you have an application using pepflashplayer.dll? Please use version and lower to avoid your users to be locked. Keep in mind to use version in an sandboxed environment like the windows store or apple mac store when publishing flash standalone applications (or intranet)."(5)

I haven't seen any news as to how the ARRL VEC plans to make their question pools available in the future. However, as you are probably aware, the current pools are good until June, 2022, after which the Technician Pool will expire.(6) I'm sure the ARRL VEC will solve this by then, but in the meantime you'll want to make sure you have hard copy of the question pools.

I will post updates on my personal webpage: (7)

Seven Three,
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