Nuke Redmond!

From: Mark Tapley <>
Date: Mon Jan 15 12:28:36 2001


>Date: Thu, 11 Jan 2001 18:30:01 -0700
>From: "Richard Erlacher" <>
>Sir, you damage your credibility with statements like some you've made here.
>While it's true that the Microsoft products may not be the "best" thing for
>thos of us who are inclined to fuss and fiddle with our computers, they're
>WAY better for those who can't, won't, or shouldn't.

        There are errors of commission and errors of omission. You make one
of the latter here. While it is true that Microsoft packages its OS's and
Applications in such a way that they are easier to install, configure, and
use than most similar unix software, it is also true that Apple packages
its OS's and Applications so that they are *much* easier to install,
configure, and use than Microsoft software.
        Mac OS software is far superior to equivalent Windows anything (as
well as to Unix anything in my experience) for those of us not inclined to
fuss or fiddle with our computers. This I know from personal experience
with MacOS, Windows 95/98, NeXTStep (a variant of unix), Solaris, and AIX.
I cannot speak for Linux, and there may be other OS/Application sets
(Amiga?) on either end of the spectrum that are pertinent here but not
familiar to me.

>They enable a whole range of people who, 15 years ago, wouldn't have been
>allowed in the same room with a computer to accomplish useful work,
>something which FEW of us do, computer design, programming, and maintenance
>all being overhead rather than useful work in most environments. They also
>enable people to use resources such as the internet, who otherwise might
>never have that experience, never mind that they use it primarily to save a
>trip to the convenience store to buy a magazine in a brown wrapper.

        Although the market has disagreed horribly with me for many years,
I can see no valid argument for choosing the Microsoft middle ground
between Macintosh ease of use and unix power, security, and flexibility.
(The most-cited argument, lower cost of underlying hardware, has been shown
repeatedly to be invalid in most cases because of the time typically
spent/lost trying to get Windows and its applications to play nice
together, fighting viruses, configuring networks, etc.; I'll admit that
competent power users like you and Allison can probably circumvent that and
make Windows systems essentially as cost-effective as MacOS or linux
        As always, if the application you need is available on only one OS,
that OS is the best for you and there's no valid argument against that,
whatever the other characteristics of the OS. But for people who wouldn't
have been allowed in the same room with a computer, or who just want to
access the internet, Microsoft is a *long, long* way behind Apple and its
third parties for ease-of-use.

>I would exhort you to eschew reiteration of other people's falsehoods and,
>instead, search for a solution to the problems you so clearly perceive.
>Squandering bandwidth on matters that most of the computer world doesn't
>perceive as a problem will only hasten the day when we have to pay for our
>internet use by the bit.

        My solution is maintaining a Microsoft-free zone at home and
minimizing use of Microsoft at work. This is not only because I dislike
their products (excepting Excel, which has merit IMO), but because I really
regret and fear what their illegal business practices have done to the
industry in many areas, including file interchange standards, expected
reliability and pre-release testing of software, customer support, etc. etc.

>Date: Fri, 12 Jan 2001 11:06:10 -0700
>From: "Richard Erlacher" <>
>Both Windows and the popular varieties of LINUX are pretty easy to install
>these days. However, Windows suffers greatly from the fact that it has
>tried to maintain the usefulness of those applications that were written for
>and bought concurrently with much earlier versions of the OS.

        I must point out that MacOS has the same "burden" - and bears it
*much* better, as "antique" Mac software is far more likely to run on a new
Mac system than same-vintage Win/DOS software on a Windows machine. (I
*hate* to think I may have accidentally brought this back on-topic...)

>Date: Sat, 13 Jan 2001 01:20:43 -0700
>From: "Richard Erlacher" <>
>It's just the American way of doing business. Detroit's been doing it for
>50 years. Get over it!

        By definition, it's not the American way if it violates US
antitrust laws. MS was convicted in court of criminal practices
(anticompetitive actions) essentially victimizing me, the consumer. Am I
going to willingly send them more money? Is this a trick question? Based on
their record, I believe that if they can find a legal or illegal way to
decrease Linux' effectiveness, they will do it immediately.
        I'd much rather see Linux reduce MS to a footnote. CorelSuite,
AppleWorks, NetScape, Adobe, Filemaker, and StarOffice would all still be
there, I'd still be able to get my work done - and file standards would
stay a lot more standard.

                                                        - Mark
Received on Mon Jan 15 2001 - 12:28:36 GMT

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