MSX (Was: !Re: Nuke Redmond!)

From: John Wilson <>
Date: Tue Apr 11 14:56:53 2000

On Mon, Apr 10, 2000 at 10:00:50PM +0000, Hans Franke wrote:
> Well, one could blame it on a US specific mood to avoide
> standards in favour for short term profit -

Now now, let's not get carried away with how evil US companies' motives are!

Standards are not always the innocent things they seem. Very often they're
engineered by gangs of little companies who are pissed off that one or two
big companies came up with a de facto standard that stuck. The little guys
want to force the big companies to be stripped of their market dominance even
though, in at least some cases, they rightfully deserve it, having done most
of the legwork to develop the relevant technology.

Anyway the US is a huge market. Frankly, most of the time we have no need
for international standards, because that would just mean waiting around
for some far-away committee to make a bunch of arbitrary decisions before we
get to use something which is ready to go *now*. DEC/Intel/Xerox Ethernet
worked just fine before the IEEE decided that the headers weren't complicated
enough, and IBM's floppy formats, Intel's PCI bus, Centronics's printer
pinout, Shugart's disk interfaces, and Mouse Systems's (?) mouse protocol
all have their flaws, but they're good enough to have survived a long time,
and probably wouldn't have benefited much from giving every would-be player
a chance to tack on their own pet modifications to the standard.

And I can't say I'm happy at having paid way too much for a GSM-compatible
cell phone which is useless in 95% of the country. GSM does exist here,
but US consumers don't care about international roaming (I thought I did
but the one time I tried it the cost was huge just for the phone rental and
I didn't get any important calls anyway), so those services haven't done
well enough to spread much. So that's a mistake I won't make again, next
time I'll pick whichever cell phone company gives the best service without
regard to whether I can roam to Algeria or Chile or whatever. If you live in
an area with lots of tiny little countries then of course you care about how
well they interoperate, but here you can go thousands of miles away and still
catch the Simpsons in English on your good ol' NTSC TV set...

John Wilson
D Bit
Received on Tue Apr 11 2000 - 14:56:53 BST

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