Jerking The Chains Of Slaves

I predicted years ago that in the End Days, M$ would jack up prices for the truly locked-in.“Microsoft has confirmed that, unlike your average Alice and Bob, enterprises won’t get a free upgrade to Windows 10 when the new operating system is finally released.” It’s going to be worse than that. Businesses are addicted to M$’s stuff and many feel they can’t do without. They are willingly paying for their fix, but now M$ is telling them that everyone else will get “10” for $0 but businesses will have to pay for their copies and everyone else’s… Oh dear. Those who claim M$ gives good value have an existential crisis in confidence. 😯 Some of those guys claim to hate freeloaders and here is M$ asking them to pay for the freeloaders’ stuff.

See Microsoft tells big biz: No free Windows 10 for you, crack wallets open.

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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54 Responses to Jerking The Chains Of Slaves

  1. DrLoser quoth, “it is usually around 14-15g/½oz for one large loaf. ”

    That is a heck of a lot of yeast. A factor in many recipes is time. If you use a lot of yeast it should take less time to let it rise. The production rate of CO2 depends on the kind of yeast, the quantity of yeast, the concentration of nutrients to feed yeast and the temperature. Improve one or two factors and you can make bread with less yeast. If I use that amount of yeast, the dough can double in volume in ~20minutes. By using less yeast one can get the bread to rise in an hour or so. The idea of extending yeast is to let the growth happen not in the dough but in some side process so the yeast is ready to go at full strength at some future time. It’s all good. Besides the volume of bubbles in the dough, one is concerned with their size, distribution and uniformity. One reason I took up making bread when I was a young man was that the 60% whole wheat on retail shelves let the butter and peanut butter and honey leak through. My bread is better at keeping my fingers clean and you can’t beat warm fresh bread. It’s probably a major contributor to obesity.

  2. oiaohm says:

    DrLoser the recipes state so many grams of yeast. True.
    http://www.instructables.com/id/Stop-Paying-for-Yeast-Make-Your-Own/?ALLSTEPS
    This process here is extending yeast.

    DrLoser did your cite state that the yeast has to come straight out packet. No it did not. This is a case of you googling for information. If you notice Robert states in the past he as done 12 to 1 extend.

    So 50 p per 100 gram. Is like 8 p per loaf if you extend roberts level is about half p a loaf.

    If you are making 1 loaf per day in a bread maker. There is about 450G to a lb. Yes the rough is 6 per 100G so 4.5 by 6 or basically 27 days. That same packet extended by 12 will last you about year. Extend by a really good method will last you a lot longer again and have more stable results.

    Something else DrLoser as a person who as not used yeast you would think yeast form packet is largely better than extended. There is a catch big catch. Freeze dried yeast what is your long term/bought yeast can be like 50 to 60 percent dead in the packet if the process that produced it was slightly wrong or its been exposed to stuff it should never been. Basically someone screwed up in the production and you normally find you have free replacement of the yeast not the ingredients you had fail. So what happens here 14-15g/½oz for one large loaf with yeast straight out packet and you can have it fail badly because you put in less than half the yeast required. Yet if you do a good yeast extend recipe first that 14-15g/½oz of yeast from the extend process is 100 percent alive yeast so you are putting the correct amount in the recipe.

    The min with your yeast you should do is double it and the doubling process is mostly making sure your yeast is alive. Dead yeast does not make good bread for some reason.

    The problem is the number of grams the reciepe states it make almost no different if it straight from packet or first generation extend other than failure rate. Quality of extend process you might need to go a little heavier on the yeast to get the same result but the important point by using an extend of some form you are insured that the volume of yeast you put in is all alive.

    DrLoser this is not really a topic you can Google on. You have to understand the process of working with yeast to get dependable results. So 100g make at least 12 loaves if you are using a basic extend process to validate and confirm living status of your yeast. If you are not doing this you are playing Russian roulette with the yeast.

    Some do stupid things like random sampling with sugar and water. Yes it tells you that the pack/spoon you just tested was fine or not but tells you absolutely nothing about the next pack/spoon that you will be putting you recipe.

    Get the difference with the extend process the extend process you are using the test result in your recipe so you are using a confirmed positive instead of the other methods that are dumb luck.

    This is the catch DrLoser extend process you have to perform if you want repeatable results. Its understanding the quality of you extend process to understand how far you can push it before it starts having major negative results.

    High quality extend method is about 2000 times. Home normally somewhere between 2 to 40 times without issues with good methods. Of course each extend method normally has clues on what its limit is. Home has a lot of room for improvement on yeast extending.

  3. DrLoser says:

    Put simply:
    You can’t, can you, Robert? Even as the basis for discussion!

  4. DrLoser says:

    Well, I think we’ve kneaded that one to death. Now back to the subject. I might be a Microsoft Troll, but that doesn’t give me the license that you weirdos have. Fascinating though the market price of yeast is, it has nothing to do with Software Slavery and the Unix Philosophy, does it?

    So, as a service, I return you to whence we came.

    3) Could you list five or ten shell commands for Bash that “do one thing well?”

    You almost certainly don’t know the Bash shell as well as I do, Robert, so I’ll give you an Amateur Discount:

    List three Bash shell commands that “do one thing well.”

    You haven’t even managed oone yet, Robert. And, as I stipulated, if you can’t do any better, then one would do.

    Don’t hesitate. The answer should be obvious to anybody who follows the Unix Philosophy.

    Alternatively, of course, you could renounce that philosophy. Which would make your arguments about systemd sound pretty silly.

  5. DrLoser says:

    There are a staggering variety of yeasts used in food making. In many cases the specific variety is very important, and some varieties are expensive. See more at …

    I apologise for not repeating the cites, ram, but you provided them below. And thank you for backing up the basic premise that yeast has a market value.

    Oddballs like Robert can grow it by using a fine-mesh butterfly net and incubating the result in a disused aquarium. Conceivably, oiaohm has an even better process, involving ginger root. Which is all fine.

    The vast preponderance of other people, Robert, stump up the market price of 50p per 100g. There’s probably a 1% bit of the population at the bottom end, and a 1% bit of the population at the top end.

    You, Robert, are a poster child for the 1% at the bottom end. Go ahead. Fling that fine-meshed butterfly net. Nobody cares.

    ram, on the other hand, is a poster child for the 1% at the top end. He sees market value in the specialised end of yeast production.

    The rest of us? We’re in the unregarded 98% of the market economy for yeast. And you know what?

    That’s fine with us. We don’t need your assistance on this one.

  6. DrLoser says:

    DrLoser really vague calculations you are really good at attempting with out the complete facts as normal the real values are going to be different to your guess numbers.

    Look, oiaohm, when I use the term “vague,” I do not expect it to be taken literally, except by a verbal prescriptivist like you. Even Robert has largely given up citing Websters 1912, because he secretly knows it makes no sense.

    Learn from Robert, oiaohm. Learn from Robert.

    If you insist, I will be less vague and more precise.

    Yeast: A raising agent such as yeast is usually necessary for leavened bread. As yeast grows, it produces carbon dioxide, which makes the dough expand and rise. Recipes should specify how many grams to use, but it is usually around 14-15g/½oz for one large loaf.

    I wasn’t hiding anything from the various paranoid types out there on this site.

    I was merely observing that this comes down to about 50p per week, and that the price was the only thing I thought worth discussing, given Robert’s views on the free market and the implicit value of yeast.

    What is wrong with you, oiaohm? Why do you insist on taking a contrarian position, where none is necessary?

    It’s not good for your health, you know.

  7. oiaohm says:

    Robert Pogson there is a reason why that howto I pointed to is including ginger when extending. Ginger is the anti-bacterial. If you don’t include an anti-bacterial yes your extend fails way sooner due to bacteria killing the yeast or competing with the yeast. Where I live I can grow Ginger.

    A dozen loaves is well short on how far you should be able to extend without detectable degrading. Dozen loaves does line up for missing adding ginger or some other anti-bacterial. If you are not operating 100 percent sterile you have to cheat in some areas one of these cheats is using anti-bacterial from natural eatable plants. You can use some plants that are anti-yeast as long as you are sure its not killing the yeast you want.

    Its also how you extend. If you extend by intentionally making a big batch of yeast and breaking that produced lot up is way more effective than extending the left overs.

    Ram you are right working with yeasts is not easy. Even extending a yeast there many different ways todo it with different levels of effectiveness.

    This is why I say 100G is between 6 loaves and 10 000 loaves. A poor extend might only give you 12 times. 72 vs 6 is still a hell of a lot more.

    The other major problem is about 3 spoons/3 loaves amount is about the min volume you can extend with in most cases to be most effective. Yes the yeast has to populate the material faster than anything else.

    I know this will sound scary I was producing about 150Kg or 330lb of yeast from about 100g of source material. Where I was we could use 150Kg of bakers yeast in a day bating traps. When you are making that much going sterile is not a problem.

    Sterile technique allows true multiplication but it’s a lot of effort for a little gain.
    Home yeast usage I agree not worth the effort to be Sterile. Industrial usage for pest control 100 percent must because of the volumes you need.

    The traps need to be rebated to get control once ever 2 weeks. 8 week cycle and then you only need to do that again when population out of control again that could be 3 to 4 years off. Yep just over half a ton of yeast required and that comes out of 4 hundred grams. Worst part is with insect monitoring/crop harvesting you might need 10 weeks or 6 weeks might be enough. You truly don’t want to have to store 150 KG of yeast for 3 to 4 years.

    So my about 10000 is based on first hand experience and its not being optimistic. Please note each batch of 150KG comes from a new set of packets of yeast. If you tried extending from 150KG batch to the next you were fairly much assured of screw up. 200KG is the biggest successful batch done in the field I know that has been done from 100g and kept the strain almost pure. Please note the word almost. Extending always reduces the purity of the yeast a little unless you can do it under perfectly controlled conditions and know exactly what anti-bacterials, anti-fungals and anti-yeasts to use. Yes you add stuff to terminate anything that should not be there.

    Using just an anti-bacterial like ginger helps a lot. A lot of home bread makers miss this and wonder why they are not getting extends like some books talk about.

  8. oiaohm wrote, “The questions is do you extend your yeast or not. Why is it about 10 000 loaves its the risk of natural contamination from wild yeasts. “

    There are also bacteria which love similar conditions. Sterile technique allows true multiplication but it’s a lot of effort for a little gain. The last batch I extended was a tablespoon of dry yeast and I made a dozen loaves of bread. It did gradually weaken so I will buy another pound sooner rather than later. The last pound lasted 10 months because I didn’t extend it that much. The next pound may well last years because I will freeze-dry some of it.

  9. ram wrote, “a staggering variety of yeasts used in food making. In many cases the specific variety is very important”.

    That’s why an amateur not using high-tech has to make a few batches and select what works best. I mostly extend the usefulness of yeast I buy rather than making my own from scratch.

  10. ram says:

    There are a staggering variety of yeasts used in food making. In many cases the specific variety is very important, and some varieties are expensive. See more at:

    http://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/101/yeast/

    http://whiskyscience.blogspot.de/2011/09/yeasts-pedigree-and-properties.html

    It is a big high-tech business, see for example:

    http://www.whitelabs.com/

  11. oiaohm says:

    http://www.instructables.com/id/Stop-Paying-for-Yeast-Make-Your-Own/?ALLSTEPS

    DrLoser really vague calculations you are really good at attempting with out the complete facts as normal the real values are going to be different to your guess numbers. This case gets interesting you have to know how to work with yeasts. 100 g of yeast will make between 6 to about 10 000 loaves.

    The questions is do you extend your yeast or not. Why is it about 10 000 loaves its the risk of natural contamination from wild yeasts. Every so often you need to reset to a trusted strain. As the wild yeast contamination increase the effectiveness of the yeast decreases.

    Difference between extending your yeast at home and how the factory makes the yeast packs it is quality control/environmental control and normally a faster drying process. Yeast is fairly much a grow more process.

    In theory a machine for at home to produce as much yeast as you need could be produced. The trick would be building in all the quality control and environmental controls the machine would at this stage still cost too much to be practical.

    How do I know all this about yeast. Not that I use it for cooking that much. I have used yeast in fruit fly traps. Sugar water with yeast is fruit fly attractant. When you have 8000 traps to deploy a pack per trap is not going to work out that cost effective but 3 packs to 8000 traps is highly cost effective. Interesting enough when yeast will not make a good loaf of bread it is also worthless in traps. Baking was in fact testing.

  12. DrLoser wrote, ” The rest of us live in a much larger one, in which the “slave-choice” of paying 50p for 100g of baking yeast is not a discussion that, outside the context of this blog, we would ever have considered it likely that anybody would find the will to discuss with any degree of seriousness.”

    When I was a young man, only yesterday, there were several brands of yeast on retail shelves here. Price was ~$1/pound. Now there’s only one brand and little of it on the shelf and the price is ~$7/pound. The yeast-monopoly is riding on the edge where very few are baking bread any longer. Is that good for retailers or consumers? Self-sufficiency in yeast is a good thing. Deal with it or shut up.

  13. DrLoser says:

    On a vague calculation, 100g of yeast gets me six decent-sized loafs. Let’s say I eat a loaf a day. Fifty pence a week is not something I’d waste my time bothering about, either way.

    If it makes you feel less queasy when contemplating my Sultan of Brunei-like yeast-splurging sentiments, I actually come from a reasonably thrifty family. My mother used to make her own yoghurt from a starter batch, store-bought.

    That probably saved her five quid a week. But, fifty pence? (Assuming I didn’t buy in bulk.) As I say, it’s worth it for the quality assurance alone.

  14. DrLoser says:

    The price of yeast on retail shelves can’t go much higher or everyone would make bread the way I do. You may consider that the market price, but it’s not. We live in a small world with multiple means of production.

    Actually, that’s about the most succinct definition of the “market price” I have ever seen, Robert. The price of retail yeast can’t go much higher, because there would be dire consequences for the retailers. Equally, there is a limit to how low it can go, and that limit is not $0, no matter how much you would like it to be.

    You live in a small world, Robert. The rest of us live in a much larger one, in which the “slave-choice” of paying 50p for 100g of baking yeast is not a discussion that, outside the context of this blog, we would ever have considered it likely that anybody would find the will to discuss with any degree of seriousness.

  15. DrLoser wrote, “Typical, average, consumers do not do that, Robert.
    They just stump up the 50p for 100g. And they’re happy.”

    baker’s yeast gets 601,000 hits on Google.
    sourdough gets 7,620,000.

    I am not as strange as DrLoser lets on. I am retired. I enjoy life. I enjoy making stuff. I’m good at it.

  16. DrLoser quoted, “Yeast is essentially $0.”

    Yeasts are a naturally occuring organism that drifts around in the air when it dries out. Just expose a suitable nutrient-rich medium to air in summer and yeasts will start to grow on it. If you need a pure strain, pick them out under a microscope, propagate them and breed them like ducks, rabbits or mice…

    That’s life, DrLoser. No one owns it. It’s $0 per unit. Now some yeasts are more productive than others but for thousands of years folks made bread with yeast that volunteered for the job of producing CO2. There are dozens of other ways of leavening bread. I’ve used a bunch. The price of yeast on retail shelves can’t go much higher or everyone would make bread the way I do. You may consider that the market price, but it’s not. We live in a small world with multiple means of production.

  17. DrLoser says:

    Yeast is essentially $0.

    Suddenly I see why you cannot comprehend the difference between Windows 10 at $0 and Linux at $0! It’s because you cannot comprehend the difference between 0 and 1!

    I sympathise, Robert. Like you, I was once a Peano Fundamentalist. But I have learned, and I can offer you this satori:

    1) A tonne of yeast at $0 per pound is $0.
    2) A tonne of yeast at $1 per pound is $2,204.

    Minus shipping costs and taxes, of course. You should have asked me for a loan, Robert.

    I’d have provided it, just to see the expression on your wife’s face …

    … but she is Wise and a Gentle Woman. I suspect, after the immediate shock, her first words would have been:

    “We need to buy a bigger aquarium, don’t we, Robert?”

  18. DrLoser says:

    It’s easier, basically, to make a bunch of batches until you get one right and then let it grow. I prefer to make small batches and chuck them when they go wrong. That still multiplies the amount of bread I make from a given purchase of yeast.

    Typical, average, consumers do not do that, Robert.

    They just stump up the 50p for 100g. And they’re happy.

    Why deny typical, average, consumers that small happiness, you old sourdough, you?

  19. DrLoser says:

    An utterly irrelevant response, Robert, because you are still refusing to recognise that your view on the retail price of yeast is, at best, quaintly eccentric and individualistic, and, at worst, rather silly compared to what millions of people will pay for the stuff. Oh well, here goes anyway.

    Well, it’s $7/lb here and about $1/lb in China (if you buy a ton). So, I think it’s safe to say, $7 is above market price because the cost of production and the cost elsewhere are much less.

    1) Leaving aside personal preferences (not necessarily mine, just the market’s) for sourcing yeast, I have to say that “buying a ton” is not an especially useful market comparison.

    I’ve done a helpful volume comparison for you here, based on your stated storage method of “an aquarium.” Needless to say, you are recommended to remove the parboiled frogs from the aquarium first.

    No, wait, actually, I won’t. That’s just stupid. Let’s just assume it has the density of water. A metric tonne is a cubic metre of water. The average home aquarium is 50 gallons Imperial, or .227 of a cubic metre. You’re looking at four fish tanks full of yeast.

    Lovely prospect, isn’t it? No sane person does that.

    I’m beginning to think that you have no comprehension of the obvious difference between “wholesale” and “retail,” Robert.

    2) This is actually the first ever time I have found the “Big Mac Index” useful.

    Argue about the relative nutrition merits of yeast versus nasty gristly industrially extracted moo-moo muscle all you like, but they’re both staple foods, for some definition of staple. Certainly, millions of consumers buy both.

    The Canadian BMX? US$ 5.01, as of Jan 23rd.
    The Chinese BMX? US$ 2.74.

    Apparently, you’re absolutely correct, Robert. You’re being ripped off by a factor of 3 or so.

    More fool you. If only you’d had the foresight to load that tractor of yours with a tonne of yeast …

  20. DrLoser wrote, ” The market price of yeast is, surprisingly enough, the price of yeast in the market.”

    Well, it’s $7/lb here and about $1/lb in China (if you buy a ton). So, I think it’s safe to say, $7 is above market price because the cost of production and the cost elsewhere are much less. I’ve recently imported a tractor so I know the cost of shipping, roughly. For a ton, it would be even less than the unit cost of my tractor. Yeast is essentially $0. It’s packaging and shipping that are much larger costs.

    I can certainly make even my own small quantities of yeast for less then $7/lb. Basically you mix things and the yeast does all the work. If the jar is about a litre, the yeast makes enough heat to keep it above room temperature here. No need for a temperature-regulated vat or anything. The only thing that prevents me from being self-sufficient in yeast is that bacteria and other organisms get in and multiply too. To use sterile technique would require a bit more effort, but not much. Essentially, you need to boil in water the jar containing the water and nutrients for a while, and after cooling, add the yeast from an unopened/sterile package of yeast. There is a risk of contamination at that moment, but that can be minimized by wetting down surfaces with alcohol, and using a terrarium/acquarium as a clean room. Fermentation takes ~a day or so to let the live yeast go crazy. Then filter out the yeast and dry it at moderate temperatures. It’s best to mix it with cornmeal or something to make it easier to handle when drying. Otherwise it sticks together.

    It’s easier, basically, to make a bunch of batches until you get one right and then let it grow. I prefer to make small batches and chuck them when they go wrong. That still multiplies the amount of bread I make from a given purchase of yeast.

  21. DrLoser says:

    The market value of anything is the lowest price at which you can buy/sell it or the cost of producing it. I can produce enough yeast to make a couple loaves of bread in a jar of water and sugar and flour and ginger in a day starting from a tiny amount.

    That’s not the market price of yeast, Robert. It has no bearing on the market price of yeast. The market price of yeast is, surprisingly enough, the price of yeast in the market.

    The market does not consist of a single Manitoban resident with a jam jar and a mildly irked (though probably quietly amused) wife. The market consists of hundreds of thousands, millions, of people who, either by dint of a lack of jam jars, an even more visibly annoyed spouse, or possibly just Basic Human Common Sense, see no real value in saving 50p per 100gm. Apart from anything else, that 50p goes to quality control.

    I’m afraid you’re a bit of an outlier on this one, Robert. You barely impinge on the yeast market in any way, shape or from. Yet it survives without you, and presumably is impervious to your anguished pleas, as with a idealistic home-baking Martin Luther King, Jr, of “Set my yeast free!

    Naturally you weld your own baking tins together out of discarded iron sheets. The market for baking tins is even more rapacious than the market for yeast.

  22. DrLoser wrote, “Neither you nor I can determine the market value of yeast.”

    The market value of anything is the lowest price at which you can buy/sell it or the cost of producing it. I can produce enough yeast to make a couple loaves of bread in a jar of water and sugar and flour and ginger in a day starting from a tiny amount. The stuff doubles in about an hour under good growing conditions, ~30C. It’s not hard to do the same in an aquarium tank, filter out the yeast and dry it to preserve it for future use. I would do that if The Little Woman were more compliant… She’s not, so a jar or two is all I am allowed. A couple of weeks ago, I put enough dry yeast to make a loaf of bread in a jar and kept the thing producing long enough to bake more than a dozen loaves.

  23. DrLoser wrote, “Could you list five or ten shell commands for Bash that “do one thing well?””

    They all do. e.g. tar creates/expands/lists archives. Archiving is all it does. It doesn’t require me to change the way my system operates or requires replacing a bunch of other packages. Then there’s ssh, ls, cd, chroot, … see */bin, */sbin, /usr/*bin, etc. systemd purports to replace init but init didn’t require desktop applications to depend on it and didn’t prevent a user from starting a system in the order the user wanted. Why can’t I start X in a desktop system before systemd sees apache and mysql complete their startups? That was the old behaviour on Debian Jessie until systemd was made the default init.

  24. DrLoser says:

    Anyway, and let’s be honest. You’re never going to tackle that other mantra of the simple yet good life, are you, Robert? Let me remind you:

    You almost certainly don’t know the Bash shell as well as I do, Robert, so I’ll give you an Amateur Discount:

    List three Bash shell commands that “do one thing well.”

    I’ll bet you can’t even come up with one.

  25. DrLoser says:

    It sells for about $7/lb here, far above market value if you ask me but there are only one or two brands on retail shelves, a near-monopoly.

    Far above market value, Robert? Neither you nor I can determine the market value of yeast. Dozens, hundreds of consumers make that determination.

    This is quite entertaining, really. So, you’re basing your choice of an OS on a comparison with your rather individualistic approach to the market value of yeast?

    There’s a certain purity in that approach, I suppose.

  26. DrLoser says:

    Yeast is $free. Just scrape it off grapes or berries.

    I admire your hunter-gatherer instincts, Robert, but I don’t quite see how they fit into the modern world. (“Modern” as applied to anything since the 15th century.)

    This stuff is £5 per kilogram. And, trust me, you don’t need a kilogram of yeast to bake a loaf.

    More importantly, an insistence on sourdough is pure frontier gibberish. The thing is vile.

    Why don’t you stop being a yeast cheapskate and bake something worth eating, for once?

  27. DrLoser wrote, “you’re confining yourself to sourdough simply to avoid the cost of yeast?”

    Yeast is $free. Just scrape it off grapes or berries. The baker’s yeast bought/sold in stores is nearly optimal for baking bread but it’s just yeast. Yeast is fermented by the tonne for pennies a pound plus quality control, shipping and sales. It sells for about $7/lb here, far above market value if you ask me but there are only one or two brands on retail shelves, a near-monopoly. By recycling or making my own culture, I’m giving them some competition. Sourdough bread tends to be slower to rise but still excellent. I made two loaves last night with my last batch of yeast. I will likely buy some more but by extending it on my own my consumption of the retail product is reduced to 1 – 2 pounds per year instead of 4 or 5 pounds. It’s not just about price. I like the bread I make my way. I can also make bread without any yeast at all, Pita bread or pancakes or crackers. Quick cooking at a high temperature generates steam or heat and acid decompose carbonates to leaven the bread. It’s all good.

  28. DrLoser says:

    I bake my own bread and use “sour dough” techniques to avoid having to buy yeast very often.

    Baking your own bread, yes, fine, good idea. But you’re confining yourself to sourdough simply to avoid the cost of yeast?

    I’m stunned. We may need to revisit that “cheapskate” thing at some later date. But not now.

    Pick an answer to #1 or #2, at your pleasure. Because I darned well know you’re going to wriggle around #3.

  29. DrLoser says:

    I’m going to guess that you’re going to leave #3 well alone. Because, Robert, it is toxic.

  30. DrLoser says:

    OK, Robert, you are officially (in my mind) not a cheapskate. Three remaining questions, then:

    1) If M$ offers Windows 10 for free, do you have a compelling reason (given that you haven’t worked with anything since Vista) to suggest that everybody other than you should disdain that offer?
    2) If you’re not criticising M$ for that, then what on earth does any of the following mean?
    3) Could you list five or ten shell commands for Bash that “do one thing well?”

    You almost certainly don’t know the Bash shell as well as I do, Robert, so I’ll give you an Amateur Discount:

    List three Bash shell commands that “do one thing well.”

  31. DrLoser wrote, “If you want to stop people calling you a cheapskate, so far as software goes, then I’d suggest you’re better off never mentioning the price of a M$ desktop again. It sounded feeble when the cost was $50. It simply sounds preposterous in 2015.”

    Well, that’s OK if it’s OK to buy a loaf of bread for $10 when virtually identical loaves can be had on the same shelf for $3. The market should work but one is entitled to throw one’s money away. That’s OK for you, but not for me. I worked hard for my money and want the best from spending it. I also happen to enjoy shopping, comparing, analyzing things. I like the details. Many consumers don’t but I don’t know many who will pay $10 for a loaf. You see $10 isn’t much but you could actually buy other stuff with the $7 saved. I bake my own bread and use “sour dough” techniques to avoid having to buy yeast very often.

    No, I am not a cheapskate. Cheapskates want to buy something for less than the market price. I don’t. I think it’s fine for a good or service to be sold at some reasonable markup for profit above the cost of production but don’t expect me to be happy paying M$’s margin. It’s falling I know but they published a gross margin of more than 50% on their total revenue and even throwing in R&D, presumably the programmers, they are still at 50%. That’s ridiculous for a commodity product like operating system software or office suites. SUN was able to buy the company producing StarOffice for the price of one round of licensing and upgrading PCs. The cost of producing software is real and substantial but there’s no need to pay a multiple of the market price for such stuff.

    There’s much more to my distaste for M$ than their “sticker” price. If you buy bread it gets consumed/rots and you need to buy another but software can last centuries, or as long as the architecture on which it runs lasts. Thus there should be no need at all to buy a new licence for a new copy every few years but that’s what M$ did for years, greatly increasing what should have been a one-time price. It’s not $50. It’s more like $100 X N where N is the number of steps you take on the Wintel treadmill. Governments are getting around to figuring out that, the future costs of dealing with the damned software. It’s much higher with M$’s stuff than FLOSS.

    You can become a slave by buying a licence for $10 or $50. Which do you choose? Even $10 or $0 is too high a price.

  32. DrLoser says:

    That’s because systemd does not follow the UNIX principal to do one thing well.

    Well, you’re more familiar with the OS than I am, Robert.

    Could you list five or ten shell commands for Bash that “do one thing well?”

    Rob Pike Alert! Rob Pike Alert!

  33. DrLoser says:

    I am not a cheapskate. I do own a tractor still in pieces in my garage. That was a huge investment for me, not a trifle.

    Without going into the details (which you have been admirably honest in providing), Robert, the acquisition of this tractor proves nothing. Naturally, you looked around for the cheapest bit of hardware that would meet your needs, and of course the cost of your needs, in the case of a tractor, is ameliorated by your skills as a welder and all-round self-sufficient DIY guy.

    (Despite your abhorrence of sticky tape.)

    Thing is, you can’t buy a diesel tractor for $50 (M$ slave price). You certainly can’t buy a diesel tractor for $0 (Debian cheapskate price).

    If you want to stop people calling you a cheapskate, so far as software goes, then I’d suggest you’re better off never mentioning the price of a M$ desktop again. It sounded feeble when the cost was $50. It simply sounds preposterous in 2015.

    Sorry, but you’re going to have to fall back to criticism of the OS itself. And fortunately for all cheapskates, this is now possible fer free!

  34. DrLoser says:

    How are you going to live with the guilt of getting something for nothing?

    Presumably in exactly the same way we used to live with the guilt of selling ourselves into Slavery for a measly $50. Other than the supposedly exorbitant cost, Robert, nothing else has changed.

    Which reminds me. Now that it’s free, why don’t you take advantage of that fact and download it into a VM?

    At least that way you could sound a little more up-to-date when you criticise M$ for issues that don’t, in reality, exist.

    It’s a Win-Win! (Doze … suffix added in honour of the manically compulsive Dougie.)

  35. DrLoser says:

    I’m not criticizing them for that. It’s just the trolls who have been telling us for years that this is the wrong way to do IT…

    If you’re not criticising M$ for that, then what on earth does any of the following mean?

    I predicted years ago that in the End Days, M$ would jack up prices for the truly locked-in. It’s going to be worse than that. Businesses are addicted to M$’s stuff and many feel they can’t do without. They are willingly paying for their fix, but now M$ is telling them that everyone else will get “10” for $0 but businesses will have to pay for their copies and everyone else’s… Oh dear. Those who claim M$ gives good value have an existential crisis in confidence.

    If it’s not a criticism, Robert, then what is it?

  36. oldfart wrote, “Until then I live in the real world in which you may have to pay for other peoples work.”

    …but that’s no longer true, even in your world. A licence/copy of “10” will cost you and other consumers $0, according to M$. How are you going to live with the guilt of getting something for nothing?

  37. oldfart wrote, “Nope, not when that OS doesn’t support the applications that you wish to run, and what it does run is junk in comparison to what you currently run.”

    Lose ’95 didn’t work for me and my students. Netscape, StarOffice and GNU/Linux did, and on identical hardware. We had daily multiple crashes of Lose ’95 and ran six months with no problems from GNU/Linux or the applications. I think applications did freeze a few times but XKILL fixed that and the OS carried on. Lose ’95 took five interminable minutes to reboot. Do the maths. These were teenagers, my students. They deserved better and I gave it to them.

  38. oldfart wrote, “Of course to a cheapskate cum pirate like you, thats OK so long as its not you.”

    I am not a cheapskate. I do own a tractor still in pieces in my garage. That was a huge investment for me, not a trifle.

    I think it’s fine for M$ to charge group A for services/products it supplies to group B. There’s nothing in principal wrong with that. It’s you who have been telling the world that you get what you pay for and that FLOSS is junk because it costs us $0 for a licence/copy. Now how does that work for M$’s software? I still think it’s strange to charge A but not B for essentially the same thing. That’s bound to be perceived as unfair by A and reduce the value of the thing for B. I think, generally, it’s better to provide both A and B the thing for $0 and to charge A or even some other group for some other related service. That tends to make everyone happy and piss off no one. However they do it, I think it’s best that everyone knows how much they are paying rather than thinking the thing is $free when it’s not. I think M$ is catching up to this way of thinking but it’s about a decade late to save their reputation. Google and Samsung etc. have injected another 2 billion people into the mix and most of them don’t depend on M$ for anything. One way or another M$ will eventually have to work for every $ rather than having slaves shovel money to them. It’s all good.

  39. DrLoser wrote, “Seems a little mealy-mouthed of you to criticize Microsoft for following your own advice.”

    I’m not criticizing them for that. It’s just the trolls who have been telling us for years that this is the wrong way to do IT…

  40. DrLoser wrote, “yet it is seemingly impossible to learn how to deal with systemd.”

    That’s because systemd does not follow the UNIX principal to do one thing well. It interferes with multiple systems and any deviation from the default breaks everything. In my case, systemd insists on starting Apache and two databases before even trying to start X. That’s not what I want but that’s the default in Debian’s implementation. It’s not easy to change. It means repackaging the whole thing not just a tweak of a configuration file. I tried all the reasonable things like tweaking the existing files but there are hidden dependencies. I don’t want to rewrite all the configuration files for systemd to get what I want. Typically, there’s no problem customizing a package from Debian by tweaking one or two files but systemd is different. It’s not about documentation either. You can read the documentation, make the change that suggests and it won’t work. There is no apache2.service file, for instance, nothing to tweak yet it is the problem. systemd generates it on the fly. When they get this sorted out I might try it again but until then it doesn’t work for me.

  41. DrLoser says:

    It was far easier to learn a new OS and install it back in the day than put up with the difficulties/burdens.

    And yet it is seemingly impossible to learn how to deal with systemd.

    Obviously “back in the day” was an unbeatable experience which will never need to be reconsidered. Back to the Stone Age with all of us!

  42. DrLoser says:

    In effect, those large organizations will pay for the entire rollout of “10”. Being charities, that should be no problem…

    Considering that the exact same thing happens with Red Hat, then I will reluctantly admit that you are right, Robert. It should be no problem whatsoever. After al, it’s just a matter of shuffling around the cost of “support,” which is something that businesses value and the likes of you and I do not need.

    Another example of the same business model: Avast! anti-virus. Free to individuals, paid for by companies. And an example from the world of FLOSS: MySQL, which made its money before The Ponytailed Disaster by charging for support. And its fork, MariaDB (which incidentally makes one wonder when the next occasion will be that some pony-tailed freak in an accidental position of power will pay $1 billion for something that offers no tangible benefit): same deal.

    In fact, as I recall, this is your usual rebuttal to the claim that “nobody ever makes money out of FLOSS.” (Not a claim I would make, incidentally: there’s a whole world of stupid people like Jonathan Schwarz out there.) Your oft-repeated rebuttal?

    “They can make money on service and support.”

    Seems a little mealy-mouthed of you to criticize Microsoft for following your own advice. Remind me again, what does SaaS stand for?

  43. DrLoser says:

    I almost fell off my chair when DrLoser wrote, “stealing ideas from the innovators in the field” in comparing M$ and GNU/Linux/FLOSS.

    It was a joke, Robert. A jeu d’esprit, if you will. A caper, a frolic, an escapade … a satirical rebuttal of your OP made in sport.

    Still, if it made you almost fall off your chair, the least we can say about it was that it was a very successful one.

  44. oldfart says:

    “M$ is telling them that everyone else will get “10” for $0 but businesses will have to pay for their copies and everyone else’s… Oh dear.”

    Thats the way it works sometimes. Somebody eventually has to cover the costs. Of course to a cheapskate cum pirate like you, thats OK so long as its not you.

  45. oldfart says:

    “It was far easier to learn a new OS and install it back in the day than put up with the difficulties/burdens”

    Nope, not when that OS doesn’t support the applications that you wish to run, and what it does run is junk in comparison to what you currently run.

  46. oldfart says:

    “Poor oldfart. He thinks everyone should pay multiple times over for use of M$’s property. What’s the world coming to when folks can have it for $0?”

    When I can get the applications I want to run for free Robert Pogson, Then I will be a believer. Until then I live in the real world in which you may have to pay for other peoples work.

  47. I almost fell off my chair when DrLoser wrote, “stealing ideas from the innovators in the field” in comparing M$ and GNU/Linux/FLOSS but then he went back on script with, “Read just the teeny, tiniest way into the cite, and you’ll find that Windows Professional (Fedora, in this comparison) is a free upgrade, whereas Windows Enterprise (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) will come with a charge. And that, in fact, a lot of SMEs are expected to go for the Professional option, which is free. Nobody is holding a gun to anybody’s head.”

    TFA was about large businesses/organizations, the true believers in M$’s wisdom, not small businesses. In effect, those large organizations will pay for the entire rollout of “10”. Being charities, that should be no problem… [SARCASM!!!] The trolls who have been spamming “freeloaders” and worse here for a decade may have to change their tune. FLOSS is a sound business-model. Even M$ is dipping its toes into the pool now. They still haven’t quite gotten Free Software down but they are getting the $0 part. In terms of crimes against humanity, this is pretty big. It represents, what, 100 million copies or more at ~$100 per copy, $10 billion? In terms of $ that’s very generous but seen as inducement to accept slavery it’s just a different tactic than they’ve used before. The first time I recall them ever doing anything like this it was to drive GNU/Linux off small cheap computers (netbooks). It delayed the present situation. This is far bigger than that. That episode only cost them about $1billion. It will be interesting to see how many large enterprises wake up to the fact that M$ wants them to cover for M$’s generosity.

  48. oiaohm wrote, ” Microsoft is finding it harder and harder to have people buy new versions of Windows and the cost of maintaining old versions of Windows is very high.”

    Amen! That was the case for me 15 years ago. It was far easier to learn a new OS and install it back in the day than put up with the difficulties/burdens/sluggishness of that other OS and since then I’ve never been in any school where that other OS worked anywhere near as well as GNU/Linux. There was one school back in ~2003/4 where XP was pretty well debugged and we rarely had a crash but then they forced XP SP3 on us overnight and all kinds of stuff was broken… That required a consultant to be flown in to re-install the server and the lab. We never did get the scanner to work again. Huge expense for negative benefit, that’s what M$ means to me.

  49. oiaohm says:

    DrLoser note even Redhat has had to change their model. Did you miss the memo about Redhat integrating and selling support for CentOS.

    Yes the idea that parties have to pay for OS in fact interferes with parties selling solutions.

  50. oiaohm says:

    So, either a) Microsoft is flagrantly ripping off the successful Red Hat business model or b) Red Hat has had a broken business model for a considerable number of years now.
    Option 3. Microsoft is the one that has had the broken model so is now being forced to change to a more operational model.

    A broken business models can be like any trick that conman pull. It works for a while but sooner or latter it fails. Microsoft is finding it harder and harder to have people buy new versions of Windows and the cost of maintaining old versions of Windows is very high.

  51. DrLoser says:

    Really this is a change to closer to the Linux model. Enterprises pay and general users don’t have to.

    Astonishingly (or not), I am with oiaohm on this one. As usual, Microsoft are late to the party and are stealing ideas from the innovators in the field.

    Sun (pre-Oracle) used to do this with OpenSolaris, which was a sort of FLOSS CTP version of Solaris and allowed the consumer (in this case, me) to play around with upcoming features before they were fully baked-in.

    Red Hat, as oiaohm correctly observes, have been doing this for yonks with Fedora.

    Read just the teeny, tiniest way into the cite, and you’ll find that Windows Professional (Fedora, in this comparison) is a free upgrade, whereas Windows Enterprise (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) will come with a charge. And that, in fact, a lot of SMEs are expected to go for the Professional option, which is free. Nobody is holding a gun to anybody’s head.

    So, either a) Microsoft is flagrantly ripping off the successful Red Hat business model or b) Red Hat has had a broken business model for a considerable number of years now.

    Or, if you post frequently on this site, I imagine you’re going to want to have it both ways. Unless you are wise, like oiaohm, of course.

  52. dougman says:

    Tis shame that people cannot sue via class-action on M$.

  53. oiaohm wrote, “Enterprises pay and general users don’t have to.”

    Poor oldfart. He thinks everyone should pay multiple times over for use of M$’s property. What’s the world coming to when folks can have it for $0?

  54. oiaohm says:

    Really this is a change to closer to the Linux model. Enterprises pay and general users don’t have to.

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