Big Brother Still Thinks He Knows Best

Chuckle. This is too funny for me to make up. I am just not that creative. M$ has had lots of push-back on “the ribbon” in their office suite but are Hell-bent to foist it on users of “8”… 😉

And the trolls here think migrating to GNU/Linux will involve “retraining”!!! Wait until buyers of “PCs” on retail shelves return units because they “don’t work” like that other OS.

Here are the people who will rebel:

  • people with hand-eye coordination they learned when they were 5 years old,
  • people who know where the icons are,
  • people who have point-and-clicked since 1990,
  • people who know how to use a menu, and
  • people who don’t like change.

That covers just about everyone over the age of 20. Hint: teachers are mostly over the age of 23 and are reluctant to change themselves so they are not going to provide free training for M$.

Read it and laugh…

There are folks in the world of FLOSS just as determined to sabotage their installed base. Ubuntu Unity, KDE 4.x and GNOME 3 come to mind. Perhaps those new interfaces are “better” in some ways, but the users will notice the learning curve. I don’t doubt some will not even be able to start using them because they are used to clicking on things they can see in front of them just as they have been seeing and grasping since infancy. Unnatural may be new but it’s not intuitive. Training had better be built in or it will be resisted.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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58 Responses to Big Brother Still Thinks He Knows Best

  1. oldman says:

    “Dr Loser go play with Calligra Suite. They go a idea really good please note this predates ribbion.”

    I was curious so I went to Read the very interesting descriptions, went to get a copy and then found….

    “No release of Calligra Suite has been made so far, but the Calligra Project maintains the KOffice 2.3 release, which is aimed at developers, testers and early adopters, not at end users, for use with KDE4 and Qt4; download the source code from KDE HTTP or FTP mirrors. Some applications in this version, like Krita, are ready for end users and have surpassed their 1.6 counterpart.

    Note: 2.3.3 does not include Kivio yet, if you want to use Kivio you will need to stick with 1.6.x series. But Kivio will be released as Flow with Calligra 2.4.”

    Mr. oiaogm, where do you get off talking about something that is essentially the FOSS version of vaporware! The calligra suite appears to not really exist yet in a coherent form that can be used by casual users.

    So as far as I am concerned, the portions of your commentary that rely on its existence are pure

    (wait for it Pog!)


  2. oiaohm says:

    Dr Loser
    “Compared to what? A ribbon-less Office 200x, or some version of Libre OOo”
    There have been a few compares. The EU one for EU governments included Office 2003/2007/2010 + Libre/OOo + about 4 others and softmaker. The results one was kinda predictable 2007 did the worst mostly due to poor performance of the code in the ribion interface suxing badly so leading to poor responsiveness. 2010 Came next. Libre/OOo next. Yes I remember the worst 3 clearly. then there about another 4. 2003 was second over all got beaten on performance by softmaker.

    The results were not exactly good for the Open Source office suite. But the results for 2010 and 2007 were down right pittyful. At least there was some improvement.

    “It isn’t great, but it works. And it isn’t great, but many of us have been waiting the best part of fifteen years for an alternative.

    Bitching about the Ribbon, or indeed anything else, doesn’t really cut the mustard.

    Just go out and build something for us.”
    Dr Loser go play with Calligra Suite. They go a idea really good please note this predates ribbion.

    What they did was so simple. Tab toolbars. You can stack Toolbars into a tab layout. Or you can pull that toolbar full out. So when you need two buttons on two different toolbars its not click change to tab click button then change tab again todo another operation. This is were ribbion fails you.

    Basically the Calligra Suite has the advantages of both ideas. Lower screen space usage than just toolbars yet still containing the performance boast feature of toolbars when you need it. You also find this in IBM Lotus as well.

    The first thing to do this was a html editor. Ribbion is basically 1 step too far.

    Now a tab toolbar system with a auto put away button would be great. Ie drag tab out of ribbon stick it somewhere for a while when done click and everything returns to default layout.

    Everyone forgets the toolbar pull off feature and restick.

    Basically there has been a prity good alternative it just don’t run on windows.

  3. Many years ago, I used whatever computer was available to crunch numbers. It used to take two hours on a PDP15 to simulate a few microseconds of reality in a polarized ion source. I remember my first 8086 taking 30 minutes to simulate a bullet travelling a few hundred yards. I remember coding in assembler to get into the A queue with some of my jobs on an IBM 360 mainframe. Now even an 8 year old PC is a rocket compared to those things.

    I used to model the electric fields in a cyclotron’s central region to optimize injection of ions. A 128x128x32 array was all we could manage on the mainframe. Now, with a PC we can do a much better job and with networking there is almost no problem too big to calculate. One can get into challenges with geophysics, engineering and meteorology that are better with HPC but I haven’t dabbled in any of those. I usually network a few processes and get the result I need. My favourite trick is using X to run windowed processes on the best machines for the job. It boggles the minds of mere humans who think a desktop/notebook PC is the living end of IT.

  4. The only reason I came to GNU/Linux is because it worked for me and that other OS did not. There’s no reason for me to go back to M$, cap in hand, asking for more abuse while throwing money at them.

  5. Dr Loser says:


    This is an enjoyable blog, if (from my own weird perspective) utterly wrong.

    Let’s all get a sense of perspective, shall we?

    Once you get regular posts from “Twitter” and “oiaohm”, you are just asking for a heap of nonsense.

    So, in an honest effort to divert both of those idiots, what are your thoughts on Linux super-computers?

    That’s (honestly) a totally uncontroversial subject. And you being qualified as a Physicist, it might even be interesting.

  6. Dr Loser says:


    “Last year with four types of PCs I used a single image for GNU/Linux but I used one for each with XP.”

    Your choice of pain, but may I recommend Vista SP1?

    You’d be far happier with Windows 7, but I can’t stop you going all Neanderthal on yourself.

    Those XP-equivalent GNU/Linux distros … they wouldn’t happen to come from, say, 2009 or so, would they?

  7. Dr Loser says:


    “JairJy Ribbon interface has proven to be lower documentation production rate.”

    Whatever that might mean, but OK, a bad thing.


    Compared to what? A ribbon-less Office 200x, or some version of Libre OOo?

    It isn’t great, but it works. And it isn’t great, but many of us have been waiting the best part of fifteen years for an alternative.

    Bitching about the Ribbon, or indeed anything else, doesn’t really cut the mustard.

    Just go out and build something for us.

  8. Dr Loser says:

    “Why then, is so much code needed to make a driver for that other OS? I have seen drivers for that other OS that run into hundreds of megabytes. HP comes to mind.”

    Otiose to point this out, Robert, but HP are not Microsoft. Furthermore, HP was the purveyor of cheap thingies as detailed in your recent post.

    I do so hate to regress to bullet points, but you force my hand.

    (1) Approximately 0.1% of the crummy HP download is actually a driver. Let’s be fair. Maybe 2% is the setup wizard.

    (What a Windows setup wizard does, Robert, and I know this because I have been forced at knifepoint to write one, is that it ensures that the software – in this case a driver – is set up correctly. apt-get and the other Linux distro monstrosities could care less about this stuff. Upstream fights downstream, and vice-versa.)

    (2) However annoying the HP requirements might be, I do not care. I have a quarter of a terabyte of disk space on my laptop.

    It’s stupid and it’s doomed but it works.

    Want to have a guess as to the percentage of computer users who just want it to work?

  9. I did not fail. The document is long and I only wanted something to address the matter. $billions are compelling, even one of them.

  10. Contrarian says:

    There is more to this story, #pogson. You selectively cite from the ITU study to support your hypothesis, but you failed to show the preamble to your quote:

    “Estimates of the costs of malware vary widely and the empirical knowledge base is sketchy and incomplete. Each empirical data source and method of measurement typically has its own advantages and disadvantages. Many statistics are provided by stakeholders who might have an incentive to underreport or overreport threats.”

    So the study is not very assertive of its own numbers. Interesting, too, is the part that follows what you marked:

    “This was a decline from the figures of US$ 14.2 billion in 2005, and US$ 17.5 billion in 2004. A large proportion of companies in the survey kept a record of the frequency of malware incidents but was unable to put a specific number on financial losses incurred.”

    So the study is showing the positive effect of Microsoft’s efforts to combat malware as well. They cite a 30% drop in these costs in the 4 year period that you chose to ignore. Since the total number of PCs in service increase a huge amount in the same period, the reduction in malware effect is even more dramatic.

    The bottom line is that we really do not have any compelling cost data regarding malware but we can tell that it is substantially decreasing over time.

  11. Contrarian says:

    “Unemployed senior”

    Easy now. How about “software consultant” or “retired engineer”? Dignity is important.

  12. Assertion:“if it’s closed source and proprietary like Windows or Solaris, then no hacker will be able to find a compromise”

  13. Given that that other OS is closed source and proprietary then no hacker will be able to find a compromise,
  14. but thousands of new malwares are created every day to exploit vulnerabilities in that other OS
  15. so, the assertion is wrong.
  16. “The survey of 52 information technology professionals and managers estimated the direct worldwide damage due to malware to be US$ 13.2 billion in 2006.

    An alternative number provided by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) estimates that in 2005 computer crime cost the U.S. economy US$ 67.2 billion, approximately 0.5 percent of GDP.

    It is also, important to note that direct losses are no measure of the complete financial impact felt by society. First, these estimates to not include the cost of preventative measures. The amount spent by companies on information security falls in a broad range. Gartner estimates that the total global revenue of security service providers in 2006 was US$ 7.5 billion. On the user side, 61 percent of the respondents in the CSI survey reported security costs of 0-5 percent of the total IT budget, 23 percent reported a share of 5 percent or higher of the IT budget.

    A recent study by the TU Delft and the Quello Center at Michigan State University revealed similar numbers.” see