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Re: New Motherboard

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Christopher Wright wrote:


On Feb 25, 2005, at 8:02 PM, Bill Polhemus wrote:

They "stand it" because the software they need to do their work runs on Windows.

I hear you. But it drives me nuts. Like someone telling me I have to go around shackled to a horse because some marketing droid thinks he knows best. Lucky for me I've figured out ways around it. Corporate IT is pretty much stuck with Windows because big companies stick with what they've got. They've always paid big bucks for IT and most top management doesn't know enough to figure out how they spend the money. No skin off my nose.

I understand your feelings, but I see it from the other side as well. Microsoft did a real marketing number on all these people years ago. The cost of setting up a Windows software shop is staggering, including subcription to the Developer's Network, plus making sure you have all the development tools, etc. And just like productivity apps, MS builds in "planned obsolescence" so you have to upgrade regularly. The main reason that MS is only "standards compliant" when it's "their standards" is because they built their empire on "lock-in." They make sure they have their own version of whatever technology is current--e.g. .NET/C# instead of Java. Anything they see as even a minute threat to their hegemony, they will co-opt, FUD or outright purchase.

"Not that there's anything wrong with that," but it's a reality.

I find that Windows is "fine" as a desktop OS; you just have to realize that there's going to be a hidden cost of ownership (the need to reinstall the OS from time to time, as a regular maintenance task, is one of them, e.g.) Things are not always going to be compatible. For example, the latest Windows XP service pack, has "broken" my ability to use Symantec's WinFax Pro over my network. Don't know why, and reinstalling the whole d*mn shootin' match will probably fix the problem, but it's just reality.

Ironically, I find that the open software world tends to work much harder and be more diligent in making sure everything runs compatibly together. Of course, it's not so hard to do once the ultimate answer to the question "how can we fix this" is "make sure that you're complying with the standards."

MS breaks their own rules quite frequently, and doesn't tell others about it. From the user's point of view it can be annoying from time to time; from the developer's perspective it has to be maddening.


Linux makes far more sense than MacOS ever will because (a) the hardware's a non-issue--it'll run on anything pretty much; and (b) the TCO is the lowest of any platform.

My horse analogy applies to UNIX vs Windows as well as Mac vs Windows. UNIX is great. Macs are UNIX boxes right out of the shrink wrap. If it runs on UNIX, the source code probably compiles for a Mac, using the C-compiler that's bundled. Plenty of source code hanging around for someone who wants to compile it. My son compiles UNIX code from Sourceforge for light entertainment. I spent a lot of time on some UNIX boxes a few years ago and got fairly good with shell scripts and a few text processing utilities. I don't much like a pure command line interface becasue I'm such a crappy typist, but I could live with it. especially if I've got an aqua interface on all the rest of the stuff I run like Microsoft Office or the Adobe Creative suite.

I realize that MacOS X is based on BSD, but there is still the old "hardware problem." I have no quarrel with the Mac's technology, but I am consistently amazed how stupid Apple has been insisting on a closed standard for their systems. Yes, they've opened it up somewhat (going to PCI for example), but the fact is that the Mac is more of a niche product now than ever before. In fact, I suspect that there were more Amiga users back in the mid-to-late 1980s--the hey-day of that fine system--than there are Mac users now.

The Mac will ultimately be the "next" Amiga. I can see Apple all but abandoning the system as they seek to capitalize on their huges success in the "electronic appliance" world. "iPod" has become as ubiquitous for digital music as Frigidaire was once for home refrigerators.


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