Interesting to note about Altairs...

From: Richard Erlacher <>
Date: Mon Mar 8 17:41:00 1999

Since it's the GUI that attracts the idiots, I'd get behind an os that has
features which would defeat any attempt at GUI operation. The real problem
is that the people who buy the desktop systems don't use them. They
specify them and then collect a bonus, quit, and go to work for the vendor
of those systems.

Back about 15 years ago we started seeing some really decent engineering
software for DOS. You could buy a VERY good schematic capture package for
$500 (I still use mine and have yet to see anything better, even at prices
> $500k) and a serviceable PCB router for $1200. Today you can easily
spend $2e6 and end up with something which does NOTHING useful at all under
UNIX and does little more under NT. It's the GUI, stupid . . . that's the
excuse. Today you routinely pop into the GUI, run the help and find there
isn't any. Many of the software vendors of the mid-80's have taken their
fairly decent products, reduced their capabilities, introduced countless
bugs and octupled the price, relative to inflation.

We need some really stiff legislation making it an unconditional,
immediate, and irrevocally hanging offense for ALL employees of any
corporation any employees of which endeavor to sell software which is not
fully documented. That means that documentation must predict the behavior
of their software precisely to a depth of all of 2^32 inputs. That will
certainly eliminate the use of a generalized GUI!

How many times have you been told " well . . . that's interesting . . . we
didn't know that it does THAT!"


> From: Derek Peschel <>
> To: Discussion re-collecting of classic computers
> Subject: Re: Interesting to note about Altairs...
> Date: Monday, March 08, 1999 3:58 PM
> Arfon wrote:
> > Micro$oft and Windblows. Now that I put that disclaimer out, Linux
> > have a chance against Micro$oft. The vast majority of computer users
> > and in the future) are idiots who don't care to learn anything other
> > 'click on this little picture to make it go'. Linux will do some
damage in
> > the server market and other places where you have to have someone with
> > computer smarts but, most corporate purse strings are again controlled
> > those same 'click-idiots'.
> >
> > I really wish GNU would take a good command line OS (like CP/M), make
> > 32/64 bit, and multi-tasking/user and add a GUI and try and compete
> > Winblows.
> This is barely on topic, but it was too tempting to reply and not just
> 'd'. You have a good point, but it only leads to two objections in my
> 1) The 'idiotification' process is already happening with Linux; there
> various projects out there (like KDE and GNOME and various other window
> managers and package managers) that are attempting to make Linux look
> and present a "point-and-click" appearance. I mention package managers
> because click-idiots certainly don't want to deal with the compiler.
> 2) Your second paragraph describes a process which is already happening
> Linux. What did you have in mind that is different? A different
> OS? (CP/M, some free version of MS-DOS) An OS that's more intelligent
> about hardware? I'm not being rude -- your ideas are probably good but
> need to spell them out.
> Then there's the matter of software. If your new OS is going to have
> commercially-written software, that provides an arena for the evil forces
> you described. (We might be able to avoid them, but the potential for
> is certainly there.) If you're going to stick to free software, well,
> that's mainly written by idealistic geeky people who like to mess around
> the source. :) So that conflicts with the design decision of writing for
> idiots.
> To keep this on topic -- What do you think will happen to the values of
> classic computers?
> -- Derek
Received on Mon Mar 08 1999 - 17:41:00 GMT

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