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Windows v Linux bickering and implications for computer users

 
 
peterwn
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      07-13-2007
Some readers here are obviously a bit fed up with bickering between
different camps on this newsgroup. They (including me) appear to be
conducting arcane academic arguments of no apparent concern to the
average computer user. This is because there has been a decade of
relative stability with Office type software and associated file
formats. However this is about to change with potentially significant
impact (and expense) for many, many people.

In particular, just ponder on the following:

1. In a year or two's time you are forced to buy very expensive
software (both an operating system and application 'Office' software)
and associated new hardware merely to be able to handle new proprietary
file formats sent to you by others, or the need to submit academic
assignments, job applications, CV's etc in such formats. This despite
your existing software being quite adequate for the purpose.

2. What is of course needed is a real standard file format sich as the
ISO adopted ODF format (not the alternative phony OOXML standard which
Microsoft is lobbying very hard for acceptance), just like there are
standard plugs, paper sizes etc etc. Customers can then acquire the
software of their choice on a normal competitive market confident that
it will work with industry standards.

3. Imagine what would happen if the State Services Commission (or the
Prime Minister, Cabinet etc) decreed that the Government and Government
connected agencies (such as schools, universities, SOE's, hospitals etc)
were to user ISO formats and that OOXML did not qualify. One can rest
assured that there would be lobbying by Microsoft at the highest level
as Microsoft seeks to maintain its monopoly, and would probably include
Steve Ballmer personally visiting New Zealand, and even lobbying by the
Republican appointed US Ambassador in Wellington and other US Government
officials. The NZ Government would not tolerate such lobbying with
respect to the supply of speed cameras, prison cell locks, police
batons, paper clips, tea, etc, so why software. Yielding to such
lobbying would be IMO a serious breach of NZ's sovereignty.

It is for this reason that I make no apologies for raising such matters
on nz.comp . They may not seem important now, but they may well soon be.

 
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Cadae
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      07-14-2007

"peterwn" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Some readers here are obviously a bit fed up with bickering between
> different camps on this newsgroup. They (including me) appear to be
> conducting arcane academic arguments of no apparent concern to the average
> computer user. This is because there has been a decade of relative
> stability with Office type software and associated file formats. However
> this is about to change with potentially significant impact (and expense)
> for many, many people.


<Snip>

Oh really ?

Your justification of pot-shots at Microsoft is to ensure Microsoft won't
set the standard on document formats ?

It is not a particularly convincing rationalisation.


PC



 
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peterwn
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      07-14-2007
Cadae wrote:
>
> "peterwn" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>> Some readers here are obviously a bit fed up with bickering between
>> different camps on this newsgroup. They (including me) appear to be
>> conducting arcane academic arguments of no apparent concern to the
>> average computer user. This is because there has been a decade of
>> relative stability with Office type software and associated file
>> formats. However this is about to change with potentially significant
>> impact (and expense) for many, many people.

>
> <Snip>
>
> Oh really ?
>
> Your justification of pot-shots at Microsoft is to ensure Microsoft
> won't set the standard on document formats ?


More importantly to help set a climate where there is not a Microsoft
'lock in' forcing people to have to go out and buy expensive new
software and hardware to keep pace.

There is also an environmental issue here. Pentium II - IV (and
equivalent) processors up to 2GHz with up to 256M of memory are
perfectly adequate for many users' ordinary computer needs. If these
people are forced to make an unwanted transition to more powerful
hardware, this is going to significantly increase environmental waste.
 
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Cadae
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-14-2007
"peterwn" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:469820c0$(E-Mail Removed)...

> More importantly to help set a climate where there is not a Microsoft
> 'lock in' forcing people to have to go out and buy expensive new software
> and hardware to keep pace.
>
> There is also an environmental issue here. Pentium II - IV (and
> equivalent) processors up to 2GHz with up to 256M of memory are perfectly
> adequate for many users' ordinary computer needs. If these people are
> forced to make an unwanted transition to more powerful hardware, this is
> going to significantly increase environmental waste.


Microsoft or no Microsoft, there will always be software feature-bloat and
attempts to decrease development costs, with subsequent increasing hardware
requirements for running software.

This was happening even before Microsoft was on the scene.

PC



 
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Lawrence D'Oliveiro
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      07-14-2007
In message <4698260d$(E-Mail Removed)>, Cadae wrote:

> Microsoft or no Microsoft, there will always be software feature-bloat and
> attempts to decrease development costs, with subsequent increasing
> hardware requirements for running software.


And there, in a nutshell, you have one of the key differences between
open-source and closed-source development. In the open-source world, you
have projects that continue to bring updated features to systems that will
run quite happily on very modest or very old hardware (cf Damn Small Linux,
Dyne:Bolic etc). In the closed-source world, you do not.
 
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Cadae
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      07-14-2007
"Lawrence D'Oliveiro" <(E-Mail Removed)_zealand> wrote in message
news:f79a3k$q9v$(E-Mail Removed)...
> And there, in a nutshell, you have one of the key differences between
> open-source and closed-source development. In the open-source world, you
> have projects that continue to bring updated features to systems that will
> run quite happily on very modest or very old hardware (cf Damn Small
> Linux,
> Dyne:Bolic etc). In the closed-source world, you do not.


Sure, the "open-source world" has a few minimalistic implementations
designed for specific purposes, but so too does the "closed-source world".

When it comes to software bloat, there is no overall distinction between the
"closed-source world" and the "open-source world". Typical open-source
products grow in complexity and hardware requirements at a similar rate to
closed-source products.

The "open-source world" is not immune to bloat - due to both feature creep
and use of ease-of development tools such as Python which makes the
developer's job simpler, but puts increased loading on the hardware.

If anything my "open-source" Eclipse-based development toolset is a great
deal more resource hungry than my "closed-source" Microsoft Visual Studio
environment, despite having similar feature sets.


PC






 
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peterwn
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      07-14-2007
Cadae wrote:

<snip>

Who is Cadae?

No *real* E-mail address given (not even an anti-spam one that can be
de-munged by grey matter).

Judging from headers, appears to post via TelstraClear cable broadband
in Wellington or Christchurch. It is possible that postings are via a
spambot connected to TelstraClear cable.

Has done 7 postings in all to nz. groups.

It seems funny how such posters materialise out of the woodwork to come
to M$'s defence or to put the boot into Open Source. Just like the way
'Impossible' and 'Mickey Mouse' materialised in recent times.

 
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Fred Dagg
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-14-2007
On Sat, 14 Jul 2007 14:42:38 +1200, peterwn <(E-Mail Removed)>
exclaimed:

>Cadae wrote:
>
><snip>
>
>Who is Cadae?
>
>No *real* E-mail address given (not even an anti-spam one that can be
>de-munged by grey matter).
>
>Judging from headers, appears to post via TelstraClear cable broadband
>in Wellington or Christchurch. It is possible that postings are via a
>spambot connected to TelstraClear cable.
>
>Has done 7 postings in all to nz. groups.
>
>It seems funny how such posters materialise out of the woodwork to come
>to M$'s defence or to put the boot into Open Source. Just like the way
>'Impossible' and 'Mickey Mouse' materialised in recent times.


(a) Who cares?
(b) Why not play the ball, not the player?
 
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Fred Dagg
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-14-2007
On Sat, 14 Jul 2007 10:49:48 +1200, peterwn <(E-Mail Removed)>
exclaimed:

>1. In a year or two's time you are forced to buy very expensive
>software (both an operating system and application 'Office' software)
>and associated new hardware merely to be able to handle new proprietary
>file formats sent to you by others, or the need to submit academic
>assignments, job applications, CV's etc in such formats. This despite
>your existing software being quite adequate for the purpose.


*******s.

There are converters freely available to open the newer Office formats
from older Office apps, and newer Office apps happily open the older
formats.

Microsoft was asked to move their Office formats to a more
standardised XML-based format, which they have done. You can't then
turn around and complain that they have changed their format.

Why should they have to change their software to run some 2-bit
OSS-based XML format? They design and write their software, not you.
As with anything commercial, it will stand or fall on its own merits.

What you've got to realise is that most people simply don't care about
the ideology of office formats. They just want a good, solid program
that works, and that's why so many buy Microsoft Office. Until someone
else brings out something better (which simply hasn't happened yet),
this will remain the case.
 
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Cadae
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-14-2007
"Fred Dagg" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news(E-Mail Removed)...
> On Sat, 14 Jul 2007 14:42:38 +1200, peterwn <(E-Mail Removed)>
> exclaimed:
>
>>Who is Cadae?
>>
>>No *real* E-mail address given (not even an anti-spam one that can be
>>de-munged by grey matter).
>>
>>Judging from headers, appears to post via TelstraClear cable broadband
>>in Wellington or Christchurch. It is possible that postings are via a
>>spambot connected to TelstraClear cable.
>>
>>Has done 7 postings in all to nz. groups.
>>
>>It seems funny how such posters materialise out of the woodwork to come
>>to M$'s defence or to put the boot into Open Source. Just like the way
>>'Impossible' and 'Mickey Mouse' materialised in recent times.

>
> (a) Who cares?
> (b) Why not play the ball, not the player?


Exactly - thanks Fred.

Peter - why the ad-hominem ? Aspersions like this are designed to invoke a
flame-fest, which I'll not indulge in.

Care to respond to the thread topic ?


PC

 
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