#spinnwebe Debates The State of Computing


<Elkman> Hey.
<jacquilyn> 'lo elk
* Elkman doesn't need open source software today
<mdxi> if i get the job i interviewd for yesterday, i'll probably have to learn some stuff about *gulp* NT.
<Elkman> mdxi: Go for it. NT is the greatest. It's very marketable.
<mdxi> well, *some* NT. and lots of Unix (Solaris, Linux and HPSUX). and a bit of Mac OS.
<Elkman> You should go for your MCSE.
<mdxi> and CCNE
<tieLunchAndABeer> and DPC
<tieLunchAndABeer> Dancing Paperclip Certification
<Elkman> NT is very simple. It has only one built-in window manager, and you don't have to chase down a hundred packages to get something to work.
<mdxi> i don't either. i don't use RedHat
<mdxi> apt-get install
* Elkman wonders what it'll take to ruffle mdxi's feathers
<mdxi> i dunno anymore
<mdxi> hanging out here a lot has made me very very insult resistant
<mdxi> i just get smugger and smugger
* CrazyClimber installs Microsoft Linux for Windows on mdxi's machine
<CrazyClimber> you know they're trying to find a way to do it.
<mdxi> what's the point?
<Elkman> Actually, I saw something in CompUSA's ad saying "Linux for Windows".
*** DMLaenker (dmlaenker@2Cust43.tnt1.norfolk.va.da.uu.net) has joined channel #spinnwebe
<CrazyClimber> mdxi: marketing.
* Elkman sweeps the tech talk under the rug quickly
<CrazyClimber> and yeah, elk, i saw that too.
<DMLaenker> He's marketing right now?
<mdxi> and only the kind of people who are already succeptible to marketing will go for it
<DMLaenker> Elk: So you know, I'm not a Luddite. I just don't code for a living.
<mdxi> there are already plenty of morons installing linux. like the people who think it's written by redhat
<Elkman> PLIST : warning PRF4481: clock frequency is zero <-- this is why I love NT
<CrazyClimber> yet.
<mdxi> that was kelmo who was allergic to geekspeak
<mdxi> especially, for some reason, anything having to do with GNU or perl
<Elkman> Oh, OK. So I can continue to rant about why open source software is bad?
<mdxi> sure
<Elkman> DML?
<DMLaenker> Elk: You too?
<Elkman> Yeah. Open source just doesn't have the support that only Microsoft can offer.
<mdxi> snkkkkt
<DMLaenker> Oh, shut up. Really, if Jackson wanted to frag the Microsoft monopoly, he simply should have forced the system to open-source.
* Elkman hangs up the "Freedom to Innovate" banner in his cube
<mdxi> nah. if he *really* wanted to kill them, he'd have demanded that all their application file formats be open, in perpetuity
<DMLaenker> Elk: If you're trying to mock me, I'm sorry. I just don't believe volunteerism is good.
<mdxi> once that happen, Office is dead
<mdxi> the Windows source is worthless
<CrazyClimber> that wouldn't do it, shawn, imo.
<Elkman> Who's mocking anyone?
<DMLaenker> Windows ME seems to have become a Linux clone in the same way Win 2.0 was a MacOS clone.
<CrazyClimber> it's the bundling of the OS with every PC out there that's done it.
<CrazyClimber> bundling the apps along with it is a big factor, but not /as/ big.
<mdxi> i'm not saying it would kill microsoft, immediately and finally
<Elkman> Bah. Consumers demand integrated solutions.
<DMLaenker> I'd never considered you any kind of capital-objectivist, Elk.
<CrazyClimber> elk: but consumers don't demand a monopoly, and that's what microsoft created when they forced pc manufacturers to agree to those terms.
<mdxi> but it would effectively end the Office hegemony, except for mindshare. and we've seen that MS mindshare *can* be eroded by a better product, even one with no marketing behind it.
<Elkman> Consumers bought oil from the Standard Oil Trust too. They made phone calls with AT&T before they got broken up.
<Elkman> And they LOVED IT.
<DMLaenker> What the hell is it that I just can't get a program that works on Windows, Mac, and Linux?
* mdxi suggests "telnet"
<CrazyClimber> DML - Linux has emulators for both Mac and Windows.
<mdxi> or "Netscape"
<Elkman> or "Hello World"
<DMLaenker> Eh. And I'll just stop smoking and stop being gay and stop having sex, too.
<CrazyClimber> elk: we're talking apples and oranges here.
<DMLaenker> Just don't do it - it's the progressive way to think.
<DMLaenker> Just what kind of federal government was established to reinforce my chastity?
<CrazyClimber> MAME runs on most platforms, I think.
<CrazyClimber> Including some digital cameras.
<mdxi> i'd think an Oligarchy would be the one to do that
<DMLaenker> If I want to whore myself out to M$, why the hell can't I? Because a bunch of computheologians say otherwise?
<CrazyClimber> DML: The problem is that, for the last 10 years or so, you've /had to./
<Elkman> It's not really "whoring". It's "making a free choice based on your consumer preferences."
<mdxi> you can do whatever the fuck you want. that's not the issue here.
<Raven> DML : You can whore yourself, but the problem was, MS was raping you.
<CrazyClimber> Microsoft wiped out all of its competitors. Most of them are still suing.
<mdxi> wiped out using mechanisms other than market forces
<mdxi> that's an important bit
<Raven> Or actually, you were being sold as a sex slave by OEMs.
<CrazyClimber> Elkman: From '88 or so through the rise of Linux, you could choose between DOS/Windows and what other compatible operating systems?
<DMLaenker> Um, I've had to because it just seems a lot more useful to have a computer store full of software that runs on my system rather than a tiny nook or a bevy of hacked bootlegs.
<CrazyClimber> You're arguing against yourself.
<jacquilyn> That I don't get. What other than market forces? (Don't get me wrong, I hate Micrsoft crap as much as you do, I just don't see where the company did anything particularily evil).
<mdxi> "hacked bootlegs"? sounds like the Windows scene to me.
<Elkman> Uh... Uh....
<Elkman> DR-DOS?
<CrazyClimber> Died before the turn of the decade, if I recall -- maybe lasted a little while into '90.
<Elkman> SunOS 4.1.3?
<mdxi> MS added hooks to Windows so it wouldn't run on DRDOS
<DMLaenker> Raven: So, you think they should illegalize tobacco and alcohol, too, ja? Let's just roll on with the War on Self-Destruction.
<mdxi> no, only the desktop space is pertinent to the lawsuit
<mdxi> that's why linux doesn't count
<CrazyClimber> whoohoo! we hit the nazi reference in record time!
<Raven> dan : What the hell are you talking about? That's a bizarre comparison to make.
<CrazyClimber> and was SunOS 4.1.3 compatible with any MS product?
* mdxi runs to make it through the blast doors before they close
<DMLaenker> I fucking say "ja" all the time! It's not Godwin!
<Raven> Look, the reason MS was bad was because they were forcing people to use ONLY MS products if they wanted access to ANY MS products.
<CrazyClimber> could you run Notes or 1-2-3 or WordPerfect on it?
<DMLaenker> On my computer?
<Elkman> CC: Oh, good point. Besides, SunOS 4.1.3 wasn't open source, so it's good.
<DMLaenker> I had WordPerfect.
<SeanQ> he's talking to Elk, dan, try and keep up
<CrazyClimber> rave: also, they were forcing OEMs to use ONLY MS products if they wanted to use /any/ MS products.
<mdxi> actually, there was a Unix WP port (by word perfect, not corel)
<jacquilyn> Raven, uh huh and? I have a yarn winder. It uses good quality cones. The only cones you can use on it are the ones it are the ones that company sells. The only place you can use those cones is on that yarn winder.
<mdxi> it cost around $1500, IIRC
<jacquilyn> How does it vary?
<Raven> Yes, Dan. If manufacturers wanted to sell PCs with Windows, they were forced to ONLY sell PCs with Windows. CC, yeah, by forcing the OEMs, they were forcing the American public.
* Elkman should stop ranting against open source, since he actually got GNOME and Sawfish to (mostly) work
<SeanQ> is there more than one yarn winder you can buy?
<jacquilyn> Yes - but not if I want to use those cones.
<mdxi> jacquilyn: because you can get any yarn winder you want
<DMLaenker> Raven: You do realize that if Windows wasn't a monopoly, manufacturers would need to assemble Windows, Macintosh, AND Linux versions of software?
<DMLaenker> Produce them equally in equal numbers?
<Raven> dan : Yeah, that would be terrible, to have a choice.
<CrazyClimber> DML: If Microsoft published their APIs, that wouldn't be true.
<DMLaenker> That's a waste of labor.
<SeanQ> gosh, dan, if only Ford made cars, think how simple auto parts stores would have it
<CrazyClimber> And most manufacturers -- like game companies -- do have to do that.
<mdxi> manufacurers don't assemble software
<Elkman> End users assemble software.
<mdxi> it's called "hard drive replication"
<CrazyClimber> Programmers write assembly...
<mdxi> you set it up once, tehn copy it a billion times
<mdxi> costs PC makers next to nothing
<jacquilyn> But if Microsoft's biggest problem was forcing OEMs to use Ofice if they wanted Windows etc, it's not difference than forcing mye to use a Royal winder if I want to use Royal cones.
<Raven> dan : there are probably a dozen flavors of UNIX, and because they, for the most part, have public APIs, you can write software that can compile on any of them, with little modification.
<Elkman> Oh, yeah, I forgot about that, mdxi.
<DMLaenker> Sean: Funny that all cars run on the same gasoline. It must be a monopoly!
<CrazyClimber> jac: that's not true at all.
<SeanQ> and dan, all computers run on electricity! call teh Freemasons!
<CrazyClimber> wow, this is fun.
<DMLaenker> Dammit, we've got to make far more cars that will create tremendous explosions if we try to put Amoco Ultimate in an Exxon Premium tank!
<SeanQ> can you please just once make an ounce of sense
<DMLaenker> My God! I see your point!
<Raven> Well, that was fun.
<DMLaenker> You don't get capitalism at all, do you?
<mdxi> (protricity?)
<SeanQ> you know what produces all the electricity.. NANITES!
<DMLaenker> Collectivists.
*** DMLaenker has left channel #spinnwebe
<CrazyClimber> wow.
<SeanQ> holy shit
<Elkman> And electricity isn't an open source product... damn.
<Raven> BWAHAHAHAAHAHAH..... Dammmit, Sean
<mdxi> look, there's no such thing as absolute capitalism. or socialism. or anything else.
<Raven> He's such a cute little freak.
<SeanQ> it's like debating the guy with the "END OF THE WORLD IS NIGH" sign
* CrazyClimber hands SeanQ the "Channel Member of the Month" plaque
<mdxi> most of the US government as it stands today
<mdxi> is the platform of the Socialist party of the 1930s
<mdxi> whose members were routinely jailed for suggesting things like standard work-weeks
<mdxi> HORRORS!
<mdxi> how will we make money?
<Raven> The NANITES will make money!
<mdxi> it all relative
<mdxi> it's all scope.
* CrazyClimber prefers Listerine
<SeanQ> damnit, i'm all worked up and distracted now
<mdxi> okay, i think that's my rational argument limit for the day
<CrazyClimber> well, jacqui still equates cones with operating systems
<Elkman> I wasn't even trying to make a rational argument.
<mdxi> i know elk. you were trolling.
<Elkman> And is that so wrong?
<mdxi> not at all
<CrazyClimber> only if your trolling is open-sourced.
* mdxi staples a copy of the GNU FDL to Elk
<mdxi> there
<jacquilyn> Nope, CC, I was equating ones with software, I was equating winders with OSs.
*** DMLaenker (dmlaenker@2Cust43.tnt1.norfolk.va.da.uu.net) has joined channel #spinnwebe
<Elkman> Ouch. You could have picked a place with fewer nerve cells.
<mdxi> okay, here's my take on the cones. you said "it's my only choice if i want to use Royal cones"
<mdxi> the key word here is "want". not "have".
<mdxi> you want a cheaper or better-featured winder? they are available.
<CrazyClimber> well, she's got me there. Winders is an OS.
<Raven> And in the end, no matter what winder you use, with which cones, you still end up with yarn that anyone can use for any project. Not true with software/OS issues.
<DMLaenker> Which was exactly my point.
<Raven> Your end product is "standard". Not true with MS, which is the main problem.
<DMLaenker> That isn't true with Apple, either.
<Raven> Yeah, but Apple's a freak, and I think we all just let it be a freak, for nostalgic reasons. :)
<jacquilyn> But my point was, if you wanted to use non-windows software, you were welcome to use a non-windows OS. Sure there weren't any that were any good, but how is that Microsoft's fault?
<DMLaenker> Well, why can't all software be standard?
<Raven> Software shouldn't be tied to OS, though, jacq. That's a MS conceit.
<mdxi> bacause Microsofts actions are what resulted in there being no non-windows OSes!
<mdxi> that's the whole point
<Raven> Because MS won't let it, Dan.
<Elkman> Open source software is standard... oops.
<jacquilyn> Wrong, nobody else being able to develp an OS that would combat Microsoft's is the problem.
<CrazyClimber> back
<CrazyClimber> jac: there were plenty of alternatives a decade ago
<CrazyClimber> running on open DOS APIs, just like Windows did.
<Raven> elk : well, yeah, that's changing *now*.
<CrazyClimber> Microsoft created a bunch of unpublished APIs.
<CrazyClimber> Suddenly, the alternatives were gone.
<CrazyClimber> The few that reverse-engineered or otherwise hung on were taken out when MS forced PC makers to use /only/ Windows if they wanted to use Windows at all.
<mdxi> here's what MS did wrong: they became the dominant OS in desktop space. then, they USED THIS ADVANTAGE to become the dominant purveyor of productivity software, then web browsers in desktop space.
<mdxi> that's the illegal bit
* Elkman waits for Gnome to be available on NT
<DMLaenker> Win is practically the standard format for commercial software. The point is that all computers should run on a standard.
<Elkman> Oh. Shit.
<mdxi> they used teir monopoly position in one area to kill competition in other areas
* Elkman waits for Microsoft Word to be available on Linux and Solaris
*** DMLaenker has left channel #spinnwebe
<CrazyClimber> Dan: That's fine if the marketplace makes that decision. You've convinced yourself that it did. You're WRONG.
<CrazyClimber> Damn.
<jacquilyn> Well, duh, if I'm the dominant purveyor of anything I'm going to use that to make me the dominant purveyor of anything else that I can think of.
<Raven> Dan : And if they have open standards, I'm happy to let them keep making quality software.
<mdxi> jacquilyn: and if you do so legally, that's fine
<mdxi> MS did not do so legally
<mdxi> this has been established
<jacquilyn> So the law is stupid.
<jacquilyn> I thought the US was supposed to be a capitalist free market.
<mdxi> now i'm being trolled, aren't i?
* CrazyClimber wishes the market here was free of capitalists.
<Raven> possibly, mdxi.
<jacquilyn> Only sort of, mdxi.
<mdxi> well, most people think the US is a Democracy too
<CrazyClimber> jac: If you look at PC magazines from a decade ago, you'll see lots of articles explaining that Windows is not an OS; it's a shell.
<CrazyClimber> most of those articles were comparative reviews of Windows and other shells.
<mdxi> that doesn't make it one
<SeanQ> when dan gets back, someone tell him that if he was using UNIX his connection wouldn't keep dropping like that
<jacquilyn> I've sort of been playing evil's advocate throughout the whole conversation, but at the same time, in a free market, a company is free to do whatever they want within the market.
<CrazyClimber> snnkkt, sean
<CrazyClimber> that ain't hardly true, jac
<jacquilyn> And as long as the consumers are willing to buy their proeucts and pey their prices, tehy stay in business.
<jacquilyn> Subject to rules about out and out fraud, of course.
<CrazyClimber> because when it is true, you get things like monopolies, which are never good for anyone.
<mdxi> okay, how about this: as computers become more and more commonplace, software prices should fall, right?
<mdxi> in 1988 Word Perfect cost $250
<mdxi> today, Word costs almost $300
<jacquilyn> Have car prices fallen as cars got more commonplace?
<jacquilyn> Have house prices fallen as houses got more common place?
<mdxi> no, no
<Elkman> And don't get me started on gas prices.
<mdxi> you can't use rules for scarece goods with software
<jacquilyn> Product prices don't necessarily fall as tehy become more common.
<CrazyClimber> actually, at least the former, probably yes, in comparative dollars
<mdxi> there is no scarcity or cost of manufacture for software
<mdxi> you make it ONCE then copy it infinitely at almost zero cost
<jacquilyn> Expecially if they become 'improved' (I know, the improvement in software is up in the air).
<SeanQ> mdxi: the version of WordPerfect that they were selling in 1988 is probably cheaper, but it's been updated & expanded since then
<jacquilyn> Yeah, so what does a 1988 version of Word Perfect run tehse days?
<Elkman> And they didn't have the technology for the singing dancing paper clip in 1988.
* SeanQ is horrified that he and jacq argee on something
<mdxi> i dunno.get an economist and let's get an inflation adjusted price
<mdxi> my point was about supply and demand
<mdxi> how big was the market for WP5.1? now how big is the market for Word 2005?
<CrazyClimber> jac: Why do you favor monopolies?
<Raven> Having used the '89 version of Word Perfect, how much "improving" could they do to it? It was a full-featured word processor back then, not Notepad, for christ's sake.
<mdxi> you add buttons.
<mdxi> everywhere.
<CrazyClimber> and Word compatibility.
<Elkman> And change file formats with every revision to FORCE people to upgrade.
<jacquilyn> I don't favour monopolies, CC, I just don't favour regulating a company that has become succssful out of business.
<jacquilyn> I don't deny that Microsoft builds crap.
<jacquilyn> Expensive crap.
* Elkman takes down the "Freedom to Innovate" banner and puts up a big smiling penguin picture
<mdxi> but they DIDN'T DO THAT. they became a monopoly illegally.
<CrazyClimber> And it's expensive because it's a monopoly!
<Raven> Obviously you haven't run into their "licensing" lately, which they can get away with because they are a monopoly.
<jacquilyn> But nobody else built anything better that people wanted to use.
<CrazyClimber> thatisn't true.
<mdxi> and that's not my speculation. that's the finding of fact. from a court of law.
<mdxi> they broke the law. period.
<CrazyClimber> i mentioned those articles about Windows being a shell, a decade ago?
<jacquilyn> So was the fact that OJ didn't kill his wife, mdxi, that's hardly a solid point.
<CrazyClimber> go read them. most mags thought there were lots of other, better shells than windows.
<jacquilyn> CC, yes, you did, I'm not sure how it was relevent.
<CrazyClimber> because it demonstrated that there were /better alternatives./
<Elkman> But who programmed for those other shells?
<Raven> I'm not so much pissed about the "one OS" as I am about the "we decide who gets to write your software".
<Elkman> Whereas, with the X Window System, your GUI isn't bound in lockstep with the OS.
<CrazyClimber> Elk: At that point, all shells ran on DOS. (And the compatible DR-DOS.) So everyone programmed for them.
<Elkman> Well, if you wanted a GUI application, you either wrote your own toolkit, or programmed using the Windows toolkit.
<mdxi> not true. GEOS shell provided it's own variant of the Motif widgets to developers
<mdxi> GEOS being perhaps the last alternative before Windows killed everything else off
<CrazyClimber> Jac: Do you believe that the /only/ reason those other Windows competitors are not around is that Windows is better?
<jacquilyn> No, CC, I believe it's because Microsoft did a better job of pushing it's product.
<mdxi> anyway, Windows has ALWAYS sucked, Windows DOES suck, and barring several large miracles, Windows will CONTINUE to suck.
<tieboy> thanks Sean!
<mdxi> it almost stopped sucking around NT 3.51
<mdxi> then marketing got involved in kernel design
<mdxi> so much for that
<CrazyClimber> jac: Unfortunately, some of the "better" tactics were illegal.
<tieboy> mdxi's outrage is so cute
* tieboy hugs mdxi
* mdxi has a moment of silence for Dave Cutler
<CrazyClimber> You may think the laws are stupid, but they aren't. I won't argue the case was handled particularly well in a lot of areas, but the laws have been around for seven decades and have stood the test of time.
<mdxi> okay
<mdxi> thanks tie
<jacquilyn> Actually I do, I thnk that a company should be allowed to price it's products pretty much however it wants to. And if it wants to say you haveto buy my jelly beans in order to be allowed to buy my bicycles, that's my problem.
<CrazyClimber> it had nothing to do with pricing.
<jacquilyn> If you don't want bicycles bad enought o pay for jelly beans, you won't buy them and I'll go out of business.
<CrazyClimber> and it acted in a way that prevented the consumer from making that choice, not encouraging it.
<CrazyClimber> Jac: One other factor: Consider the success of the Baby Bells here since the breakup of AT&T.
<CrazyClimber> If you're mourning for Microsoft, don't bother.
<Elkman> I bought a Microsoft bike once. It worked great, until I got a flat tire. Then I found out that because of the improved design, I could only fill them with Microsoft air.
<jacquilyn> Right, and you hve people calling you and slamming your phone service to another company. Great.
<CrazyClimber> i give up. too many irrelevant issues brought in.
<CrazyClimber> slamming has little to do with the att breakup and the success of the baby bells since then. there's no more points to make.
<jacquilyn> Hey, you're the one who brought up telcos.
<jacquilyn> I'm trying to point out that breaking MS up isn't necessariliy gong to improve anything.
<jacquilyn> Or everything.
<CrazyClimber> i had a point, though, which seems to have gone ignored.
<CrazyClimber> forget it.

Heather Garvey / Raven / raven@xnet.com
I want to submit a log!