Should I add a "Micro" PDP11/73 to the Herd?

From: Geoff Roberts <>
Date: Thu Jun 22 23:32:20 2000

----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, June 23, 2000 5:57 AM
Subject: Re: Should I add a "Micro" PDP11/73 to the Herd?

> Personally I both sell and give away the software I write, depending
on the
> program.

I have no problem with people selling licenses etc. Since by it's
nature, it's possible to use it on more than one machine per copy.
(Unlike a book, the most common comparison). So a license to use rather
than an ownership of the product is not unreasonable. What I find
objectionable and (to me) unreasonable, is the requirement to pay
ridiculous sums for a new license when a machine changes hands. Ie the
original owner is not allowed to even give away his right to use the
software to someone else. That's ridiculous.

(Some licenses are still like that AFAIK)

Hypothetical (well, mostly) Example.

Joe Bloggs buys a Ubeaut computer and buys BeautOS to run on it, with
several 'embedded' apps that
do various things, like networking etc.
Uses it for some years. Then falls victim to the Microsoft conspiracy
and buys
a PC and Win98.

The Ubeaut sits in a back room for a year or two, then is sold
to another individual to use. The original owner has no use for the O/S
(it only runs on
a UBeaut) so he gives him the disks/paperwork etc. The new owner calls
the Ubeaut
company to transfer the license to himself, only to be told he can't do
so and must buy a complete
new license.. He then discovers that 'embedded products' are also not
transferable, and he must buy them as well. When he challenged this he
was told that the company does not bind the license to the machine it
was bought for (though indeed it checks the hardware and will only
install on that machine) but to the original purchaser, who cannot
transfer the license to another party, but has it for life. The
original owner's license is
such that he may surrender it to the company (but not for any
recompense) or he may keep it, but may not dispose of it in any other
I have seen variants of this, some applied to the O/S, some applied only
to certain 'layered products' or both. Theoretically, if the machine
and the copy of the software on it change hands X times, the company
wants X license fees. I feel this is somewhat overdoing it. I'm not
going to pick on any particular company here, many have policies like
this for some things. Some have been good enough to provide hobbyist
licenses for people that just want to tinker, but still think people
with a s/h system & s/h software for commercial use should pay new
prices for a license they already sold for that machine.

> Zane (who is sick and tired about people whining about
> non-free software)

All software can't be free. Programmers have to eat. I don't have a
problem with that.
Just my 0.02c worth, you may have a different slant on things..


Geoff Roberts
Computer Systems Manager
Saint Mark's College
Port Pirie,
South Australia
ICQ: 1970476
Received on Thu Jun 22 2000 - 23:32:20 BST

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