Re: subscribe fork-l

I Find Karma (
Thu, 23 Jan 97 22:28:58 PST

Not that I'm keeping score or anything, but Rob made several good points.

Rob writes:
> Unix vendors have never used illegal tactics to force hardware vendors to
> install their wares. Microsoft has been fined $100Ms for this kind of
> action, so Bill just laughs and takes said megabucks out of his
> wallet. As with drug dealers, they will continue until the penalties
> imposed outweigh the benefits.

Good point. I guess this is why both Microsoft and drug dealers call
their customers "users".

Rob 1, Adam 0.

> [With a ] PC, we *HAVE* been stumped: think about the problem for days,
> try umpteen variations, call the support lines, drive to a shop and
> buy new cards to see if they fix it, download the latest bug-fixes of
> the software, mail-order the latest bug-fixes of the firmware, ask the
> local PC gurus for hints... AND STILL FAIL TO GET SIMPLE THINGS

If at first you don't succeed, redefine success? Okay, point to Rob.

Rob 2, Adam 0.

> Do you, Adam, do any serious work on your PC?

Do Minesweeper and Jezzball count?

> Or do you log in to a Sparc for that? (and no, Minesweeper or Jezzball
> doesn't count). Did you type your message in Emacs by any chance?

Guilty as charged.

Rob 3, Adam 0.

Ah, but most people don't want to do serious work. They want to write
up memos in Word, or surf the net using Internet Explorer, or make
appointments using Schedule+, or make disappointments using Excel.
And for that stuff, Microsoft provides reasonably cheap solutions.

Rob 3, Adam 1. (Being generous with myself.)

> How about a challenge: suppose Mr X wants a postscript viewer to pop
> up when he clicks on a .ps link on the web. You install such a viewer
> on your PC and let us know how much it cost and how long it took and
> I'll do the same. Is it even worth holding this contest since it
> would take me $0 and a few minutes.

Three days later, I'm still looking for a freeware Win95 postscript
viewer. Okay, you got me.

Rob 4, Adam 1. (If we were playing tennis, you'd have won by now.)

> >As far as delivering software with those features, Microsoft is as
> >inexpensive an option as they come. Microsoft software really is a
> >decent value for most of the people and businesses that use it.
> So you pay a few hundred bucks for phone-psychotherapy while you try
> to install some program that will be crap even when/if it is installed?

Um. One man's crap is another man's food? (This is an extension of
"Kittie heaven is mousie hell.")

Rob 5, Adam 2. (Being REALLY generous with myself.)

> They say there's a sucker born every minute...

And as we all know, it is morally wrong to let a sucker keep his money.

Rob 6, Adam 2.

> >With Microsoft, companies also buy piece of mind that the software they
> >install will be supported by the company's support lines for many years
> >to come. In the minds of many middle managers, this is a good thing.
> Sheep and lemmings may have very peaceful minds but that is no excuse
> for a human to jump off a cliff or into the sea.

Don't you ever ask yourself, what do the lemmings know that we don't?

Rob 7, Adam 2.

> >[...] The people who work at Microsoft are smart.
> Oh, like Bill Gates who said recently that cryptosystems' security
> relies on "the difficulty of factoring large prime numbers". ROTFL.

I meant smart in an "it is morally wrong to let a sucker keep his money"
sort of way.

Rob 8, Adam 3.

> A Microsoftee was recently picking my brains about how to speed up the
> arithmetic in cryptographic routines for WinNT on Alphas because
> "Microsoft marketing wants to be able to claim they're faster than
> Netscape".

You responded by saying, bayl bhgynjf jvyy unir cevinpl, right?


Rob 9, Adam 3. Game, set, and match point.

> Fair enough. I'm the right guy to ask and I helped him out. He was
> asking me about my routines because he didn't understand how they
> could be so fast and wanted Microsoft's to be equally fast. But when
> I asked him about their speed, he refused to tell me because that's
> "proprietary". "Hey, we'd like some free consulting and we'll copy
> your code but we won't give you the information you need to help us".

Did we teach you nothing about consulting? It works like this.
First you ask to borrow their watch.
Then you tell them what time it is.
Then you pocket the watch.
Then you send them a bill.

Rob 9, Adam 4. (Score 1 to maintain a little of Adam's dignity.)

> >[...] But don't deny that Microsoft does what it does (in appealing to
> >those 97%) really, really well.
> Indeed, it is very good at getting schmucks to pay many shekels for
> garbage.

You win. Rob 10, Adam 4. Game over.


If you only knew the power of the Dark Side.
-- Darth Vader