Windows v Linux bickering and implications for computer users

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by peterwn, Jul 13, 2007.

  1. peterwn

    peterwn Guest

    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.
    peterwn, Jul 13, 2007
    #1
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  2. peterwn

    Cadae Guest

    "peterwn" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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
    Cadae, Jul 14, 2007
    #2
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  3. peterwn

    peterwn Guest

    Cadae wrote:
    >
    > "peterwn" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >> 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.
    peterwn, Jul 14, 2007
    #3
  4. peterwn

    Cadae Guest

    "peterwn" <> wrote in message
    news:469820c0$...

    > 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
    Cadae, Jul 14, 2007
    #4
  5. In message <4698260d$>, 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.
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jul 14, 2007
    #5
  6. peterwn

    Cadae Guest

    "Lawrence D'Oliveiro" <_zealand> wrote in message
    news:f79a3k$q9v$...
    > 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
    Cadae, Jul 14, 2007
    #6
  7. peterwn

    peterwn Guest

    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.
    peterwn, Jul 14, 2007
    #7
  8. peterwn

    Fred Dagg Guest

    On Sat, 14 Jul 2007 14:42:38 +1200, peterwn <>
    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?
    Fred Dagg, Jul 14, 2007
    #8
  9. peterwn

    Fred Dagg Guest

    On Sat, 14 Jul 2007 10:49:48 +1200, peterwn <>
    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.


    Bollocks.

    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.
    Fred Dagg, Jul 14, 2007
    #9
  10. peterwn

    Cadae Guest

    "Fred Dagg" <> wrote in message
    news:eek:...
    > On Sat, 14 Jul 2007 14:42:38 +1200, peterwn <>
    > 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
    Cadae, Jul 14, 2007
    #10
  11. peterwn

    peterwn Guest

    Fred Dagg wrote:

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


    In this case please explain why you have stated on two recent occasions:

    "They have both been discredited on numerous occassions long ago."

    This is a blatant personal attack on Lawrence and myself pretending to
    be an authoritative "Service Announcement".
    peterwn, Jul 14, 2007
    #11
  12. peterwn

    E. Scrooge Guest

    "peterwn" <> wrote in message
    news:46983814$...
    > Cadae wrote:
    >
    > <snip>
    >
    > Who is Cadae?
    >
    > No *real* E-mail address given (not even an anti-spam one that can be
    > de-munged by grey matter).
    >
    > Judging from headers, appears to post via TelstraClear cable broadband in
    > Wellington or Christchurch. It is possible that postings are via a spambot
    > connected to TelstraClear cable.
    >
    > Has done 7 postings in all to nz. groups.
    >
    > It seems funny how such posters materialise out of the woodwork to come to
    > M$'s defence or to put the boot into Open Source. Just like the way
    > 'Impossible' and 'Mickey Mouse' materialised in recent times.


    Obviously someone who don't agree with. No point in trying to figure out if
    it's Helen Clark or John Key, it hardly matters one little bit.
    Now if Jane Doe had been supporting you that would've been entirely
    different.
    You created the shallow puddle that you're now drowning in.

    E. Scrooge
    E. Scrooge, Jul 14, 2007
    #12
  13. peterwn

    Fred Dagg Guest

    On Sat, 14 Jul 2007 16:01:52 +1200, peterwn <>
    exclaimed:

    >Fred Dagg wrote:
    >
    >> (b) Why not play the ball, not the player?

    >
    >In this case please explain why you have stated on two recent occasions:
    >
    >"They have both been discredited on numerous occassions long ago."


    Quite simply because you both have been discredited on numerous
    occassions.

    Fact is, your constant, constant trolling is really starting to piss
    everyone off. Wake up. Even your "allies" are telling you to give it a
    rest.
    Fred Dagg, Jul 14, 2007
    #13
  14. In message <46983260$>, Cadae wrote:

    > "Lawrence D'Oliveiro" <_zealand> wrote in message
    > news:f79a3k$q9v$...
    >> 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".


    No it doesn't. What kind of Windows installation can you get to run from a
    50MB business-card CD, to compare with Damn Small Linux? The last time a
    Windows installation could fit in a space that small, CD writers were still
    unheard of.

    > 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.


    Sure--if you want to compare Eclipse specifically. But you have open-source
    choices for IDEs other than Eclipse. Whereas in the closed-source world,
    Microsoft pretty much has a monopoly on Windows development environments.
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jul 14, 2007
    #14
  15. peterwn

    Peter Guest

    Fred Dagg wrote:
    > What you've got to realise is that most people simply don't care about
    > the ideology of office formats.


    Yes. And when you realise that half the population is less than average
    intelligence, it is obvious that head counting isn't a useful way of
    assessing such things.
    File formats are just one facet. There are related concerns in music and
    video entertainment, literary works and other academic fields such as
    history. I'm not claiming to be an expert, but as I understand it, there
    are basic questions around how global corporates are using IP laws to gain
    huge power and financial advantage at the expense of consumers and academic
    or artistic progress.

    Such debates need to be considered on principles, not a head count.



    Peter
    Peter, Jul 14, 2007
    #15
  16. peterwn

    Peter Guest

    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.
    > This was happening even before Microsoft was on the scene.


    That is not a justification for a global corporate to exercise monopoly
    powers to force users into buying replacement software and hardware. It
    might be good for sustaining their revenue stream, but isn't
    environmentally sustainable if the users existing tools are adequate.


    Peter
    Peter, Jul 14, 2007
    #16
  17. peterwn

    peterwn Guest

    Fred Dagg wrote:
    > On Sat, 14 Jul 2007 16:01:52 +1200, peterwn <>
    > exclaimed:
    >
    >> Fred Dagg wrote:
    >>
    >>> (b) Why not play the ball, not the player?

    >> In this case please explain why you have stated on two recent occasions:
    >>
    >> "They have both been discredited on numerous occassions long ago."

    >
    > Quite simply because you both have been discredited on numerous
    > occassions.


    OK, I have made a minor slip-up now and again, but I do not consider
    that I have been generally 'discredited' on any major issdue.

    >
    > Fact is, your constant, constant trolling is really starting to piss
    > everyone off.


    This is patently incorrect, as can be seen from various recent postings.

    > Wake up. Even your "allies" are telling you to give it a
    > rest.


    Agreed that one or two may be brassed off, but this is no reason to
    abandon a cause which I consider is of the utmost importance.

    By the way, do you support your allies like Scrooge calling other
    posters "mentally deranged"?
    peterwn, Jul 14, 2007
    #17
  18. peterwn

    peterwn Guest

    E. Scrooge wrote:

    >
    > Obviously someone who don't agree with.


    You call people whose comments you do not agree with "mentally
    deranged". This is good enough reason to in general ignore your postings.
    peterwn, Jul 14, 2007
    #18
  19. peterwn

    Fred Dagg Guest

    On Sat, 14 Jul 2007 17:26:33 +1200, peterwn <>
    exclaimed:

    >> Wake up. Even your "allies" are telling you to give it a
    >> rest.

    >
    >Agreed that one or two may be brassed off, but this is no reason to
    >abandon a cause which I consider is of the utmost importance.


    See, here's the problem. To you it's a "cause". To everyone else, it's
    a computer - a tool.

    You don't see builders going on crusades against Black and Decker.

    >By the way, do you support your allies like Scrooge calling other
    >posters "mentally deranged"?


    Scrooge isn't an "ally" because I'm not fighting a "war" (or a
    "cause", as you call it). It's not for me to judge his comments.

    However, if the shoe fits...
    Fred Dagg, Jul 14, 2007
    #19
  20. peterwn

    Fred Dagg Guest

    On Sat, 14 Jul 2007 17:06:01 +1200, Lawrence D'Oliveiro
    <_zealand> exclaimed:

    >In message <46983260$>, Cadae wrote:
    >
    >> "Lawrence D'Oliveiro" <_zealand> wrote in message
    >> news:f79a3k$q9v$...
    >>> 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".

    >
    >No it doesn't. What kind of Windows installation can you get to run from a
    >50MB business-card CD, to compare with Damn Small Linux? The last time a
    >Windows installation could fit in a space that small, CD writers were still
    >unheard of.


    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/embedded/default.mspx

    Do try to keep up.

    >> 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.

    >
    >Sure--if you want to compare Eclipse specifically. But you have open-source
    >choices for IDEs other than Eclipse. Whereas in the closed-source world,
    >Microsoft pretty much has a monopoly on Windows development environments.


    Bullshit.
    Fred Dagg, Jul 14, 2007
    #20
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