Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

US DOJ v M$ – The Dead Sea Scrolls of IT

  • Oct 17 / 2011
  • 67
technology

US DOJ v M$ – The Dead Sea Scrolls of IT

Thanks to PJ, some excerpts appeared on GROKLAW today. They are worth remembering since some computer users today were not born in those days or were too young to follow the trial.

“412. Most harmful of all is the message that Microsoft’s actions have conveyed to every enterprise with the potential to innovate in the computer industry. Through its conduct toward Netscape, IBM, Compaq, Intel, and others, Microsoft has demonstrated that it will use its prodigious market power and immense profits to harm any firm that insists on pursuing initiatives that could intensify competition against one of Microsoft’s core products. Microsoft’s past success in hurting such companies and stifling innovation deters investment in technologies and businesses that exhibit the potential to threaten Microsoft. The ultimate result is that some innovations that would truly benefit consumers never occur for the sole reason that they do not coincide with Microsoft’s self-interest.”

Amen. Too many apologists for M$ forget that the harm that was done was not reversed in the “final settlement”. M$ strengthened its monopoly to the point where there were no threats for about a decade. Now that Apple and Android/Linux are taking an important slice of the pie, we might forget that a few ill-gotten $billions in the old days are now tens of $billions because all the exclusive deals that M$ forces on OEMs and retailers are now accepted as normal business practice. The monopoly is dying of old age rather than being executed. The result is that one or two decades of IT have been taxed, innovation has been stifled and now, in its old age, M$ is planning to tax the next generation of IT just because it has money and power.

Remembering the past should help us avoid a repetition. We shall see whether or not the message was learned. It seems the old “partners” of M$ are continuing to go along. It will take the new power houses of Google and Android/Linux to finish the battle between good and evil in IT.

67 Comments

  1. ch

    “Take the clipboard thing. While it is convenient it is actually increased complexity in the system which is unnecessary.”

    Linux has the same “complexity” if you use Gnome or KDE, only half-assed. Sorry, but that was a very lame excuse.

    “Take images and tables. I can take a snapshot of any region of the screen and incorporate it in any application using images as input.”

    In Win7, I can do that even more easily and felxible – and I can incorporate a table as a table, not a screenshot or some other work-around.

    “Suppose I wanted to paint horns on Gaddafi’s image. Then cut-and-paste would not be helpful.”

    Apples and screwdrivers, again ? Of course, for the horns an actual image manipulation program would be a good idea – and Windows just so happens to have oodles of them, including the best one available. And when I want to put the result into a document created in Word or whatever, c&p comes in handy.

    “Why should a programmer be restricted to a single platform?”

    Because it’s the plattform that pays his bills ? If you run Windows and want to write for other plattforms, you can still use all the other tools available, but for developing applications on Windows Visual Studio is damned useful, and that’s what a lot of people actually do.

    “Why should a programmer work for M$ for free?”

    What are you talking about ? If a programmer develops stuff on Windows for free, he does so because he choses so and not for MS. And a lot of programmers (and companies like Adobe) make good old money developing stuff for Windows, so where is the “for free”-part ?

    “What did M$ pay the programmer for exclusivity?”

    Nothing – but MS gave him tools that make it as easy as possible to develop for MS plattforms. Too bad the Linux crowd doesn’t like Mono …

  2. Robert Pogson

    A lot of those features are bugs in that other OS. The malware loves them. Take the clipboard thing. While it is convenient it is actually increased complexity in the system which is unnecessary. The same objectives can be accomplished in GNU/Linux different ways in about the same time. Take images and tables. I can take a snapshot of any region of the screen and incorporate it in any application using images as input. Does it matter more the number of clicks or the fact that I can control every step of the process? That depends on the individual user and the task. Suppose I wanted to paint horns on Gaddafi’s image. Then cut-and-paste would not be helpful.

    Making software packages executable is an open door for malware.

    Visual Studio is a tool for lock-in. If it were multiplatform, it would be much better. Why should a programmer be restricted to a single platform? Why should a programmer work for M$ for free? It’s the same question. What did M$ pay the programmer for exclusivity?

  3. ch

    Compare GNU/Linux and “7″

    OK, here’s my comparison (fottball/”soccer” rules aply):

    Desktop features
    Windows: Universal clipboard and object embedding
    Linux: Only within KDE/Gnome, leaving out mayor apps
    Score: 1:0

    Applications
    Windows: MSO, Photoshop, Visio, …
    Linux: LO, Gimp, Dia, …
    Score: 2:0
    Player Gimp gets yellow card for offensive name

    Command Line
    Windows: PowerShell
    Linux: Bash
    Score: 3:0
    Player PowerShell gets yellow card for excessively silly name

    Administration
    ACLs:
    Windows: full support
    Linux: kinda
    Directory service:
    Windows: full integration
    Linux: sorta
    GPOs:
    Windows: yes
    Linux: nope
    Score: 4:0

    SW development
    Windows: Visual Studio _and_ everything else
    Linux: everything else
    Score: 5:0

    SW installation
    Windows: Setup.exe/msi and you’re done
    Linux: If the SW/version you want is in the repo of your distro, it’s easy. If it’s not, game over
    Score: 6:0

    SW updates:
    Windows: For everything in MS Update, easy/automatic. Otherwise, separate updaters/manually/whatever/no updates
    Linux: For everything in the repo, usually easy/automatic.
    Score: 6:1

    Your turn.

  4. Robert Pogson

    There is nothing scary about a text interface. With that other OS if the GUI gets messed up, you are toast. A few years ago I worked at a place with XP/2003 and “roaming profiles”. The damned GUI got messed up regularly. The user had no way to recover so I, the system administrator, had lots of work to do. Out of 100 machines there was one of these every week to fix. What a waste of time.

  5. oiaohm

    Yonsh there is a simple setting that prevents the log files in windows 7 growing in background until that does eventionally break your system.

    Of course this log growth might take a few years.

    Oldman registry fragmentation is something even if I demoed it you would dispute it. Even that it something you have seen a lot. Next time you have a computer major-ally slowed down with no kind of explanation. Do me a favour don’t just format it it to ground run a hive rebuild. You will find I am not kidding that I have found the exact reason why gammers and others format there computer reinstall all the same applications and celebrate about higher performance. There is a bug that is not that hard to prove it existence.

  6. oiaohm

    Yonah Your actions was a person doing everything to avoid slowdown side effects. English is my first language in fact. Just because it your first language does not mean you have to be good at it.

  7. oiaohm

    I hope it was more than a couple of year ago.

    CVS has been a dead system for over 10 years.

    HG, SVN and GIT are the modern beasts you would use.

    All 3 have GUI’s on Linux and have had so for over 8 years. In fact my favorate gui for creating them quickly for my self is Kdevelop.

    Also there are GUI for cvs as well on Linux.

    Linux there are graphical ways of doing things and command line ways of doing things.

    Not everything in windows is gui. You are forced to drop to powershell to configure particular options on MS servers these days.

    Problem was more you Contrarian. There are graphical programs that show you the Linux logs and related errors as well.

    Linux is how you choose to manage it. Of course this can be a little scary.

  8. Contrarian

    Well, someone has to do that sort of thing, #oldman. Better someone else than I. I personally find it very frustrating to have to wend my way through a bunch of configuration settings that invariably seem to interfere with one another and never match one’s intentions. And that is with Windows where everything is graphical and you can google the error messages and find the solutions.

    A couple of years ago, now, I set out to create a CVS repository on a Ubuntu server. It didn’t work and it is still sitting there a the root> prompt. When I turn it back on, of course. No help at all for that.

  9. oldman

    “#oldman is an IT weenie for a much larger university, it seems.”

    Actually that’s MR. Senior Systems Architect weenie to you sir!

    ;-)

  10. Contrarian

    “I have been in many schools… What makes them competent to overrule my observations?”

    Have you ever had an office job with, say, an insurance company. Or a pest control company? Or a mortgage broker? How about a paper factory?

    Do you post on Facebook and play the market on E*Trade?

    Obviously not and so your experiences are very limited, #pogson. You state ridiculous opinions about what you think is going to occur industry wide due to some questionable economics of what you once did in a school computer lab and what you read about people buying cell phones.

    At best, you are an IT weenie for a small group. #oldman is an IT weenie for a much larger university, it seems. I only administer my own stuff, but I am a long time software developer for a major company in tha business (not Microsoft BTW) although we have sold our stuff to them and have purchased a lot from them in the form of volume licenses and MSDN subscriptions.

    Hence we all have different points of view. Yours is perhaps the most unusual and least general.

  11. Robert Pogson

    Here’s a guy who claims he got a 5% decrease in boot time after running a cleaner. 5% on a 15s boot is not significant but for folks with slower systems, it matters. Interestingly he had run the cleaner a few weeks earlier, so the degradation in boot time is quick.

    see http://www.pallab.net/2009/07/05/uniblue-registry-booster-2009-review-and-benchmark/

    I don’t have any systems running that other OS to test but I have seen a Hell of a lot of PCs running that other OS that took much longer to boot than GNU/Linux on the same system. IMHO much of the deterioration is due to stuff being “preloaded” that does not need to be preloaded. For example, in schools, a lot of PCs are rebooted every class. Preloading is useless in such cases if the preloaded stuff does not get used. Fragmentation of the file-system and/or registry just compounds this problem.

  12. Robert Pogson

    I have been in many schools and school jurisdictions. GNU/Linux meets the requirements of the curriculums in 5 jurisdictions and the actual tasks needed doing on the front lines of many teachers and students. I think that makes me somewhat an authority on the subject but I get no respect from twits who comment here. What makes them competent to overrule my observations?

  13. Robert Pogson

    Yonah wrote, “While I’m not happy with everything Microsoft has done, much of it was in the past and I also consider how miserable I would be only having a choice of using Linux”

    It’s an operating system. Don’t worship it. Get over infatuation. I, too, used to think DOS/3.1 was “acceptable”, but when I experienced GNU/Linux and got away from crashing and later, malware, I never wanted to return. Whether or not “7″ is acceptable to anyone, GNU/Linux is quite acceptable to me and everyone I know. Then, on top of mere performance is the ethos of the company. We read their e-mail. They are despicable clods and the same ones are running the company today. Judge a tree by its fruit. Look at Ballmer threatening whole countries and users of GNU/Linux over software patents. Look at waves of malware which were easily preventable. Look at re-re-reboots. Make your own conclusions. I have made mine.

  14. Yonah

    Robert,

    I try to keep an open mind and remember that few if any companies have clean hands. I think it’s fair to say you’ll look at Microsoft and exaggerate everything negative about the company purely out of spite. You HATE Microsoft, and I think that makes you a less credible voice on the subject. While I’m not happy with everything Microsoft has done, much of it was in the past and I also consider how miserable I would be only having a choice of using Linux or buying an Apple computer. I’m more concerned with the life and working conditions endured by people making clothes in sweatshops, but I’m not going to walk around naked until I find that one company that’s purely wholesome.

    It’s great that you’ve met a lot of people, but so have I, and many of them don’t hate Windows 7. Nor do they share the views of the people you SAY you’ve met with. While you yourself are a real person, your views on computers are not on par with everyone else. Simply put, you’re part of a minority group that has sworn off proprietary software. How can someone in a minority claim to know the thoughts and feelings of a larger group?

  15. oldman

    “I have been using FLOSS for ten years. I have a few times missed some functionality but, except for SUN/Oracle dragging feet, all my needs have been met very well. Indeed, I need performance and FLOSS gives me better performance than that other OS.”

    This is not about what works for you Pog, but what works for others. You are well within your rights to demand what you consider “performance”, but that does not make you anything like an expert on anyone elses computing needs, nor to it make you a unbiased judge of those needs.

  16. Yonah

    Oiaohm,

    I gather from your many comments that English is not your first language. Because I have personal and business relationships with those who speak English as a second language, I’m very careful to criticize those who have trouble with the language. Having said that, you need to take a more careful look at what I wrote. Nowhere in my comment did I indicate that I’m having any trouble with my computer slowing down. In fact, I stated the exact opposite. If my computer is having a problem I have the knowledge and tools to diagnose the reason. Registry fragmentation is a non-issue. I’ve stated that before. So have others. Show me solid proof that registry fragmentation causes slowdowns. Show me side by side comparisons of the performance penalty incurred form a “fragmented registry.” I want real, scientific tests done by an independent group who is NOT also selling a program to fix this supposed problem. The ball is in your court.

  17. Robert Pogson

    I have been using FLOSS for ten years. I have a few times missed some functionality but, except for SUN/Oracle dragging feet, all my needs have been met very well. Indeed, I need performance and FLOSS gives me better performance than that other OS.

  18. oldman

    And what makes you the judge of what is acceptable function and feature of FOSS packages vs commercial closed source software.

    Missing function and feature is far more onerous than any software license IMHO

  19. Robert Pogson

    Nope. People can still word-process, browse, play audio-visual media etc. Using that other OS limits people’s choices according to the EULA much more.

  20. oldman

    “Don’t put limits on others’ use of IT.”

    Then why do you advocate systems that remove the choice of others to use windows based software?

    Isn’t that putting a limit on others use of IT?

  21. oiaohm

    Contrarian RMS is the developer who started glibc and gcc both to very key parts that most distribution applications depend on.

    Gnu was working on building a replacement to Unix before Linus started. When Linus came along the only part GNU was missing was a kernel.

    RMS chose microkernel design known as hurd. That has not turned out exactly that good. Linus took the monolithic path that worked simpler.

    Yes Linus deserves the credit for the kernel.

    RMS deseves the credit for getting lot of the userspace code requirements sorted out for text mode operation. Before Linux existed so giving something for Linux kernel to spring board off of.

    Even before Linux lot of solaris systems were not classed as usable until GNU was installed. Due to how buggy the sun userspace was compared to the GNU userspace.

    So RMS did good work with GNU and does deserve some credit for it.

    Redhat deserves some credit for the business model they designed and tested. Yes the support driven model for software that is a true Redhat invention.

    Really there is room for someone to write a really good book that would be really interesting of the major events on open source history and who was behind them.

    RMS was ahead of his time designing the GPL license as well.

    Little like the ones who created creative commons today.

    Yes RMS is out spoken he always has been. Early on RMS required those traits to make a impact.

    Be aware that RMS and Linus are friends. Linus main reason against GNU/Linux is that it can get confusing for end users. Not the credit bit. Like GNU/hurd GNU/Linux GNU/Solaris…. yes gets a little confusing. Linus does admit RMS is due credit for assembling GNU to maintain most of the core userspace tools you need to make a conforming posix system under the gnu project.

    Yes the hard part is working out how credit should be given at times.

    Anyone true to open source history knows RMS deservse credit but it doing it without confusing the customers is the hard bit. Not all customers are bright.

  22. Robert Pogson

    GNU is still very important. Almost all distros of Linux use GNU systems. For instance, BASH or a variant is at the heart of every distro I have used. Then there’s gcc…

    Your hatred for RMS makes you look foolish. “that were useful back in the day” is simply wrong.

  23. Contrarian

    “That is pure crap.”

    More precisely it is evidence of fanaticism. Which is OK once you understand what it is. What I object to is the fanaticism masked as altruism as practiced by the FSF. I can applaud the efforts of someone like Linus Torvalds who had a passion for making a unix equivalent for the original IBM PC. He found a group of like-minded partners and created a useful entity that he was more eager to share than to profit by.

    Ditto for the folk who publish Apache and PHP and, perhaps, even MySQL. In their day they were even pioneers of many concepts. Other companies, notably Red Hat and Ubuntu seem to want to carry the good news to the world and have organized themselves in a useful way to do so and have the taken profits that rightly flow to such an honest effort. Cewrtainly Red Hat has provided beneficial use of Linux in the server room, presumably saving customers a good bit of what used to flow to Sun and other Unix vendors.

    Then the wannabes wanted to horn in. Stallman created some utility programs and tools that were useful back in the day, but trying to belittle the Linux bunch by calling it “GNU/Linux” goes way beyond their just due. It is like a pack of hyenas sneaking up to claim some master predatpr’s kill. I don’t have any respect for that at all.

  24. Robert Pogson

    Don’t put limits on others’ use of IT. You don’t need to modify the source code if it does something useful but there are many times when you want to know what it does. Quit wasting my time.

  25. Contrarian

    “Of course, it’s not worthless. A lot of code that comes with GNU/Linux is interpreted bash/perl/php scripts and the code often serves as documentation.”

    If you have a script, it is the source, #pogson. You are wandering away from the subject at hand. I don’t blame you for wanting to do that, of course, but no one is fooled.

    The only use for the source is to be able to make changes after coming to an understanding of how the original works and only a tiny number of people would ever care and fewer still would actually do anything. Those who might do so could just as easily contact the project managers who may be desperate for help or, more likely, not very interested in meddlers like yourself.

  26. Robert Pogson

    Getting worse performance than old software on the same hardware is evil. It indicates waste, or worse, an attempt to force users to buy new hardware when the old hardware is working perfectly. Suppose you drove to a car dealership and the salesman sabotaged your old car to induce you to buy a new one. He would be recognized as evil, convicted of fraud and likely do jail-time. M$ does nothing different.

  27. oldman

    “Compare GNU/Linux and “7″ side by side on the same hardware and see the difference. Real people see that and recognize evil when they see it.”

    Who you do business with is you affair Pog, but evil?

    That is pure crap.

    I ultimately don’t give a damn about how much “better” linux performs on aging sub-par (i.e. cheap) hardware. Linux does not run the applications that I wish to run. The so called “substitutes” for my applications (which I do use when needed) lack features that I use regularly in the applications under windows. FOSS on linux is tolerable to me only because I am not forced to use them exclusively. Were I to be required to do so they would cost me time and effort in extra work making up for their shortcomings on an ongoing basis.

    As far as real people are concerned. I am a real person solving real problems with my computer. Commercial closed source applications running on windows solve that problem. Yet by your definition I am not a “real person” because I do not want to throw those applications out anr replace them with FOSS running on linux.

    Can you say bushwah?

    What I think is that your definition of “real” people is warped Robert Pogson. Real people dont give a crap about you personal war with microsoft, they only care about being able to get their work done.

    And Microsoft based systems fit the bill.

  28. Robert Pogson

    Yonah is a saint because he is so forgiving of a supplier’s past. If you went into some shop somewhere and the owner kept abusing you, would you go back? Would you go back even if he saw the light and became a model supplier? Why then treat M$ any differently?

    In education I have met many people who have no interest in the details of IT at all. They just want it to work. They tolerate XP because it has so many faults but they hate “7″ because it is different. They are real people. I am a real person as well and I don’t want to do business with a criminal who has escaped justice for past offences and who donates to legislators’ campaigns and who continues to innovate in ways to harm competition rather than just giving consumers a good price for the performance. I see no evidence that Yonah and others who comment so diligently here have weighed the choices at all. “7″ makes Yonah happy. What is that? His drug dealer could make him happy, too. Compare GNU/Linux and “7″ side by side on the same hardware and see the difference. Real people see that and recognize evil when they see it.

  29. oiaohm

    Yonah would it not be better to know the exact causes of slowdown so you can have more flexablity with the computer you have paid for.

    This is the difference I know the causes that slow windows down. I can fix them just one is a prick.

    Registry fragmentation is the prick that there is no current tool that is simple to use that deals with it correctly.

    Remember Windows is not for everyone either. Yonah.

  30. Yonah

    Ipbbear, as politely as possible, go to hell! I don’t own a single share of stock in any company, nor have I ever received any money from Microsoft. So then why do I support Microsoft and defend them at times? Because I’ve used Linux before and it has always been a severe disappointment. I could go on and on about everything wrong with Linux and why it fails to impress me, but at the end of the day I simply don’t like it. For that reason, I’m very thankful that Linux isn’t the only choice. I can see how SOME people might enjoy using it, but not me, and certainly not everyone.

    My reality? Windows 7 makes me happy. It doesn’t crash, require constant reboots, slow me down, or cause me any trouble. In fact, it mostly stays out of the way because I spend my time running software, not fiddling with my operating system. Could some things be better? Sure. No software is perfect. But overall I’m happier with Windows 7 than any previous Microsoft OS.

    So, I like Microsoft because I like their product. I also don’t have any need or desire to view or modify the source code produced by Microsoft. I DO have freedom because, regarding Microsoft, they put no restrictions on anything I need or want to do.

  31. Contrarian

    “There was no way we could have survived an audit even though I beleve there were no illegal copies.”

    But there never was an audit, was there? Are you saying that your supplier had no record of having sold the equipment and software to the school? That the school itself has no accountability for its purchase history? All of that seems rather implausible, given the customary practices of today’s governments. Canada is not so backward, I think, that they do not have the same sort of systems in place.

  32. Robert Pogson

    Wrong assumptions. Places I have left had problems much larger than M$. Really. Murder, assault, vandalism, budgets were all out of control some places in the North. Many people don’t last the first month let alone the first year. I have been in Lac Brochet for three years. I have not been asked to move along very often.

    GNU/Linux is a general-purpose operating system. It can meet any need except enriching M$.

  33. oldman

    “When you tell me how wonderful M$ and their stuff is I am prone to gag. It’s just too unreal.”

    I’m sorry that you cant handle the reality of the world that I work in. I had suspected that this would be hard for you when you stated that you could never work at the university university that I work for after I described a computing environment in which windows and linux closed source and open source are all used as needed.

    I think the reason you couldn’t work here any more than you could at the various institutions that you moved on from is simply because in those institutions as in mine, you couldn’t handle being politely listened to and then told no when you push to force commercial closed source software out of the institution that you are working for.

    In spite of our difference,, I have come to respect the work that you did in bringing a coherent computing environment to those institutions in the north that had such dreadful IT. But that does not change the fact that you have also done it at the cost of locking those institutions into your preferred IT world, that of FOSS on Linux, with no regard to any potential future need. You decide that need “doesnt exist” and thats it.

    And that Robert Pogson, is where we part the ways.

  34. oldman

    “There’s nothing wrong with “good enough”.”

    There sure is when you have better Pog, and the unpleasant truth is that better software in major areas than FOSS does exist. Worse still all of that closed source commercial software is not going to just disappear, nor are the people who use it going to forget, and more importantly, nor are the companies that sell it going to go away.

    FOr those parts of the third world that you are so concerned about, the cost of developed world commercial software may be an obstacle that can not be overcome. For these beggars who can not be choosers, FOSS running on linux may be their reality, good bat or indifferent.

    But for those in the third world who are affluent enough to afford it, colsed source commercial software will not only be chosen, it will be preferred.

  35. Robert Pogson

    oldman, I do respect you. You speak wisely about having hundreds of servers and desktops running that other OS and making music. It works for you but that reality is different for many millions of people who are not running hundreds of servers or making music. I am mostly a writer these days and nothing you have said is real applies to my situation. It’s also quite different from the reality of working in schools in the bush or doing research at my university or in Saudi Arabia. The world just does not owe M$ a living or thanks for messing up IT as it has. M$ had a choice. It could have done business in an ethical manner and produced the best product possible but it did not. It produced crapware for decades and concentrated on eliminating competition so it could sell the crapware. They have not earned my love or respect. When you tell me how wonderful M$ and their stuff is I am prone to gag. It’s just too unreal.

  36. Robert Pogson

    The GPL is the most easy to comply licence on the planet. If you have the software, you have permission to run it, unlike that EULA of M$ where there are a ton of difficult conditions applied, some of which are impossible for consumers to comprehend, like the 10 connection limit. What’s with that? Does anyone know what it means? How many connected devices does a consumer have on his LAN that he knows nothing about? Same goes for small to medium sized businesses with no in-house tech support. Joe brings in his laptop and breaks the EULA…

  37. Robert Pogson

    Losing the freedom to run the code due to incompetence or anything else is not an issue with FLOSS because the licence comes with the software. If you have the software to run, you have the licence. That is priceless. FLOSS does not blame the end-user for the complexity of the system.

  38. Robert Pogson

    Of course, it’s not worthless. A lot of code that comes with GNU/Linux is interpreted bash/perl/php scripts and the code often serves as documentation. That, is, if there is a problem, it is trivial to examine the code to find out what is missing or to interpret an error message that might be ambiguous. Of course, that’s more useful to system administrators instead of end-users but it is far superior to nothing which is what one gets with that other OS.

  39. Robert Pogson

    We’re not in a wonderful financial situation as it is,” says PPS’s Robinson. “We took $36 million out of the budget for next year. The cost of licensing would run about $500,000, which for us is the cost of ten teaching positions.”

    Faced with increased licensing costs, Robinson says he told Microsoft he would be forced to take machines out of service rather than pay the price hike. “I told them if they forced the issue, I would convert to Linux as fast as I possibly could.

    see http://www.pcworld.com/article/101601/schools_cry_bully_over_microsoft_licensing_fees.html

    One of the triggers for the move to GNU/Linux in Russian schools and government was that a school principal was charged with copyright violation on PCs that he purchased for his school.

    I can tell you where I worked last year, I asked for evidence of licensing and could find none in the school. There were no installation CDs and no backups when I arrived and some “stickers” were missing. There was no way we could have survived an audit even though I beleve there were no illegal copies. The machines were mostly Dell and Acer OEM machines which came with that other OS. There was certainly nothing in the budget to do the work to document compliance with the EULA. Schools without proper tech support are totally lost sheep when it comes to licensing. PCs delivered by Computers for Schools came with a photocopy at least showing the source of the software.

  40. oldman

    “I have a useful desktop operating system in Debian GNU/Linux. Stop the idiotic rhetoric. It reveals you are an idiot who has no respect for people and their reality.”

    Fair enough Pog, but I also have a useful desktop system running FOSS (including virtualized instances of linux and commercial closed source on top of windows.

    Why do you not have respect for our reality?

  41. Contrarian

    “this is basic competence issue.”

    Nonsense. This is a completely fabricated non-issue. I would defy anyone to find even a casual reference to any incident where any school ever lost access to their Microsoft software due to being unable to find their proof of license due to any cause. #pogson alone claims to have been in “many” such schools and that is beyond belief.

    Even the poster children for this unlikely occurrence are few and far between. Some years ago a guy named Ball was ratted out by a disgruntled employee who sicced the BSA down on him. Ball admitted to the excess installations as not being legitimate and claimed that it was just a big mistake due to his not being careful enough to erase prior installs before making new ones. The anti MS folk see that as proof that Microsoft is malicious, although I think it is just a rare instance of someone actually being caught in a common practice. In any case, it did not involve a school.

    The reality is that the pro-FOSS argument is simply a hypothetical construction based on a harsh interpretation of the EULA. It never happened anywhere. I doubth that it ever could happen in this day and age where any sort of purchase of software by a school system is certainly made via normal distribution channels with academic use certifications duely registered. Even if the school itself is staffed by half-wits, the distributor has records of the purchases and no such loss would ever occur.

  42. Contrarian

    “Even for users who don’t look at the code, the freely offered permission to run and copy it is priceless.”

    So you agree that the source code distribution part of FOSS is worthless? Good. That is a start.

  43. oldman

    “I have been in many schools using non-free software that lost/misplaced their proof of licence through fire, moves, theft, turnover of staff etc. which were out $thousands. That’s a huge loss of freedom.”

    This is not a freedom issue, this is basic competence issue. They did not maintain proper records and they paid the price, period.

  44. oldman

    “Guys like oldman work for M$ dutifully keeping the faulty system running. Oldman is paid by an employer who is the real slave, receiving no payment for oldman’s work.”

    There is nothing faulty about the over 200 windows systems that we maintain Robert Pogson. They are all up and running without much issue. IN addition quite a few of theme are still windows 2003 – they too run without issue.

    And as far as being slaves is concerned, I think you need to deal with reality Pog. The reality is that the university as certain work to do and the simple reality is that those workloads are best run by specific commercial closed source software. If that software runs on Linux then we run Linux, but if that software has a component that runs on windows, we run and support windows.

    Whether you like it or not that is not slavery, that is reality.

  45. oldman

    “Black is White and White is Black to these ass clowns and don’t you dare say otherwise.”

    So tell me Mr. ipbear, is Contrarian lying in his statements of the facts about Microsoft vs. US DOJ?

  46. oldman

    “Reality is that FLOSS works for people. It is the right way to do IT.”

    ON what authority do you make that statement Pog. IN the desktop domain the FOSS way has clearly been incapable of producing certain classes of software, or has only succeed in producing half baked “good enough” software.

  47. oldman

    “A slave can accept slavery or reject it. I prefer to reject slavery to M$.”

    Then you are conceding the facts, Pog?

  48. RMS

    ‘Freedom in FLOSS is real and valuable.’

    As long as you follow the strict rules set forth by the GPL licence, right?

  49. Robert Pogson

    The cost of the licence, while important, is just the tip of the iceberg of the costs associated with running that other OS: malware, re-re-reboots and restrictions on use of your own hardware.

  50. Robert Pogson

    Even for users who don’t look at the code, the freely offered permission to run and copy it is priceless. It allows schools to share the software used at school with students and teachers. Students working at home can learn far more than they can in an hour or so a day in class, building servers and networks as well as doing the usual desktop things. For a school that is a huge freedom. I have been in many schools using non-free software that lost/misplaced their proof of licence through fire, moves, theft, turnover of staff etc. which were out $thousands. That’s a huge loss of freedom. The freedom to run the code. I was at one place with a non-free e-mail system. They wanted the latest version but were forced to buy and upgrade to several intermediate versions just so they could keep their old e-mail. They were held hostage by their own data. Where was the freedom.

    Freedom in FLOSS is real and valuable.

  51. Robert Pogson

    M$ treats hundreds of millions of people as low-cost labour. That’s how they get $billions for doing almost no work. That’s how they have huge margins instead of having to pay workers. Guys like oldman work for M$ dutifully keeping the faulty system running. Oldman is paid by an employer who is the real slave, receiving no payment for oldman’s work. I have been a system administrator for XP/2003. I had to constantly watch the servers because the damned things would freeze, perhaps an hour each day. On Patch Tuesday, I had to work through lunch hour to see if I could manage to get the servers updated before people returned to work, and after work to hunt down and patch systems that did not “take”. Those hours were fixing M$’s mess and M$ did not pay a cent for all those hours of labour. With GNU/Linux, I could verify that everything in the system was running as usual once a day taking perhaps five minutes a day. M$ did not pay the difference in labour. I was paid by my employer but if I were self-employed and in business, I would have been working for $0. The OEMs and retailers similarly work for M$ for very low pay. OEMs sometimes have single-digit% margins. Retailers forgo lots of opportunities to sell other products because of M$’s “incentives” and “sales promotions”. That’s working for very low wages.

  52. lpbbear

    LETS ALL BE M$FT SUPPORTERS AND CHANGE REALITY!

    These people make me friggin’ sick. They live in an alternate reality governed by their stock options and M$FT paychecks. Black is White and White is Black to these ass clowns and don’t you dare say otherwise.

    “Look Ma, the King has no pants!”

    “Quiet Son, you’re too young to see them.”

    Idiots.

  53. Ivan

    “It reveals you are an idiot who has no respect for people and their reality.”

    If your reality equates lack of access to source code to being sold into prostitution or as low cost labor, you are delusional and you need mental help.

  54. Contrarian

    “So it’s OK that everyone pays M$, even for products that M$ didn’t produce?”

    I think you are confused here, #kolter. If you are going to read #pogson’s blog, you have to take some time to better understand all the nuances of how information is presented.

    First off, it is not the case that “everyone pays” Microsoft. The only people who must pay are those who obtain a beneficial use from their products or wish to avail themselves of patented technology. As #pogson has often pointed out, you are free to reject the use of Windows or any other Microsoft offering just as he does. He calls it “rejecting slavery”, but I think he is being a little extreme.

    Litigation is just a means of obtaining a valid opinion from governmental rule makers in cases where the issues are somewhat cloudy or else the violator is adamantly refusing to accept their responsibility in society. It is not a substitute for innovation, rather it is an enforcement of the recognition of the innovation needed to generate a patent. Admittedly, that is not a terribly large obstacle to obtaining a patent, but then we are not all Edisons, eh? Didn’t the patents that have been issued to you or your assignees take at least a little bit of innovative thought? I know that mine did.

  55. Contrarian

    “Software Freedom is real.”

    I don’t agree with that. Presumably you mean having access to the source code and some level of permission to make modifications to it as often published by the FSF fans.

    The vast majority of people using computers, certainly well over 90% do not have the background needed to even read the source code, much less the talent to make useful modifications. Of the very small number who do have that ability, almost none have any motivation to do so.

    Now I do not even belive that as many as 1000 people are actively working on the Linux Kernel, but lets make that assumption since it is a round number and as accurate as any. Those folk can be considered as the set of people who get beneficial use from the source. Your own guestimate at 1.5B users of PCs would suggest that there would be 15M Linux users (at 1%) and that would then represent a condition wherein 99.993% of the most enthusiastic recipients of the Linux code gift had any interest in having it. If you think reality is catering to that 0.0066% of the population, you are barking up the wrong tree, #pogson!

    Rather than scatter the source code for Linux from hell to breakfast around the internet, why not simply provide it to those who might ask for it? No need for the FSF to sue various distributors of devices with embedded Linux at all.

  56. Kolter

    “none of the actions performed by Microsoft actually caused any harm to competition”

    So it’s OK that everyone pays M$, even for products that M$ didn’t produce?

    team appologista is in force!

    chant with me team: “IF YOU CAN’T INNOVATE, LITIGATE!”

  57. Contrarian

    “A slave can accept slavery or reject it.”

    Is that true? Of course the issue of whether or not to use Windows on your computer hardly rises to traditional slavery, at least in the shackles and chains and horse whipping sense of the 18th century. But could a slave actually reject it?

    I think slavery was pretty much forced upon the slaves and they had no operative choice in the matter. After all, they were slaves.

    Your own predicament is more along the lines of having to reject “conformity” rather than “slavery”, I think. You elect to be a sort of odd ball that through dint of effort and experience has managed to save the ignominity of having indirectly contributed $50 to Microsoft some years past when the “beast” was purchased. How much is that on an hourly basis?

  58. Robert Pogson

    Reality is that FLOSS works for people. It is the right way to do IT. We don’t drive cars that slow down with use or need to be re-re-restarted during the trip. Why should we accept that in our PCs? We don’t accept that car-makers can tell us what brand of fuel to use or what brand of tire. Why should we accept that in our PCs? We don’t accept that we can only open a box with the permission of some third party. Why should we accept that in our PCs? Software Freedom is real.

  59. Ch

    Let me guess: You even reject slavery to this thing called “reality”, right ?

  60. Ivan

    I prefer to have a useful desktop operating system. Oh, and every time you call using software ‘slavery,’ you do a massive disservice to everyone trying to stop human trafficking and slavery.

    Stop the idiotic rhetoric, it makes you look like an assclown that doesn’t care about his fellow man.

  61. Contrarian

    “Amen.”

    That is what dooms you folk to a life of frustration and failure, #pogson. You dwell in the past and never seem to reach a useful reality. Those words from Judge Jackson’s findings of fact were simply the biased and misapplied opinon of a judge who was found to have been in violation of the rules of order and who was summarily dismissed from the case, his rulings reversed or remanded. You are aware, are you not, that a subsequent retrial by a neutral judge resulted in a finding that Microsoft was not at all guilty of any significant violation of the antitrust laws and was only put on a court mandated watch to ensure that nothing occurred in the future. That watch has itself expired now.

    “Too many apologists for M$ forget that the harm that was done was not reversed in the “final settlement”. ”

    The court found that none of the actions performed by Microsoft actually caused any harm to competition, #pogson. Consequently there could be no corrective action. Microsoft obtained its market dominance legally and ethically, no matter how much you might hate the fact that they did so. Everyone in the market was contending to take home the money consumers might have spent on such software and the consumer voted with their wallets and mostly chose Microsoft. That is an inescapable fact.

    “all the exclusive deals that M$ forces on OEMs and retailers are now accepted as normal business practice”

    No such thing exists today, #pogson, and the watchdog committees established in the USA vs Microsoft litigation verify that no such thing has existed for more than a decade. Linux is a footnote because the Linux promoters are inept and Linux cannot on its own command much attention from the consumers. Thinking that there is some malevolent force at work is just a way of denial that Linux has no future on its own.

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