I do have a disdain for the vast majority of MS's products

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I do have a disdain for the vast majority of MS's products

Post by tufty » Sun Nov 29, 2009 8:39 pm

WebPilot wrote:As far as giving away the source code, I could in this case. But why should I have all the fun and do the work for you?
I already have your sourcecode. Or, at least, something approximating it, which compiles to a functionally equivalent program (even down to the copyright notice) on any platform that has a standard C library. Working out how I went about getting that is left as an exercise to the reader :)

Personally, I run Macs on the desktop (both PowerPC and Intel), have a FreeBSD / Sparc64 server here, and a few devices running linux. None of these will run windows applications out of the box without an additional emulation or virtualisation layer, some won't ever be able to do so, and even for those that do, results differ based on the platform.

Oddly, yes, I do have a disdain for the vast majority of MS's products. The rant and / or swearyness averse may care to stop reading now.

This disdain is not down to any particular anti-MS feeling - after all, they are only a corporation, and the ultimate product of the capitalist model is corporations like them (and IBM before them, and so on), they will fall and be replaced by another - rather because their software is technically poor, layers of hastily applied bandaid over a shoddily constructed scaffold, the whole painted to look like a bit like gold if you squint at it from just the right angle. The reason they get away with producing, and selling by the truckload, such crap, is that their monopoly position has conditioned the majority of people to accept that this is the way things have to be. Should any platform be instantly susceptible to massive numbers of viruses? Should the 'latest and greatest', 'most secure $OS_NAME$ ever', be susceptible to viruses that were declared obsolete 2 years ago? Should massive security holes in web browsers be left open for 5 years, exploitable by any 5kr1p7 k1dd13 out there? Should the solution to poor system performance be "defragging the hard drive", or, more often, a "nuke and pave" installation from scratch? Should every release of an operating system be slower and more bloated than the last, requiring exponentially more hardware to do the same damned thing? We have been conditioned to believe that, yes, all of the above should be the case.

MS have, in the past, boasted of their "innovation", but that simply does not exist. Windows Vista / 7 apes Unix. Badly. With more than a hint of OSX_envy, I might add. The other one of MS's major profit lines, the "Office" suite, has stagnated since - well, pretty much forever : word still typesets like a kid with a set of carved potato stamps, despite TeX typesetting beautifully for over 20 years and excel is still kicked into a cocked hat by early '90s technology like improv and quantrix. Internet Explorer, most people's idea of what "teh intenuts" is, is broken, crappy, shit; it pisses on standards to the point that the increased cost of website development purely down to ie support results in every one of us paying an "internet exporer" tax on every product we buy. It's that expensive.

So what about the rest? The open source movement, which could, and should, be leading the way, are seemingly merely following MS down a path of terminal mediocrity. The Linux kernel is gaining bloat at a speed unheard of. Tried installing linux on a 486 recently? I wouldn't bother. OpenOffice looks like Office, but is, if anything, even harder to fathom. And it can't typeset for crap. Firefox gets slower and more likely to nuke your bookmarks with every point release. User interfaces are Windows-like, with a nod to the shininess of Apple's UI (but none of the underlying usability). Wine, it seems, can hook itself into your Linux system at the kernel level, to the point you don't have to do anything to be able to run the latest, greatest windows virus on your linux box. Handy, that.

Like I said, I use Macs. As far as I'm concerned, they're the least bad of the currently available options, no more than that.

Windows under virtualisation is an acceptance of defeat, an acceptance that there are some things that can only be done on Windows. For that reason, I won't run windows except as a means to capture, for example, a USB trace in order to reverse engineer over the wire protocols for devices that could otherwise only run under Windows. Wine sis worse. It's an acceptance of defeat. Complete and utter defeat. It's an acceptance that the open source world will never be as good as Windows. Christ, it'd be hard to aim any fucking lower. What a depressing thought.

When I was a kid, I dreamed of a future where we all had personal jetpacks and heli-cars, where computers were omnipresent and worked on a thoroughly human scale, freeing us from mindless drudgery rather than enslaving us to it. Instead we have a world where the saviour of the motor industry, the "hybrid", uses more fuel than my 20 year old beater, the glaciers are melting, we ain't gonna have no jetpacks or lunar colonies or helicars, more and more people starve whilst the obscenely rich get handouts for fucking up the global economy, and the human side of advanced modern computer technology is fucking Facebook. Rather than slaving at a manuscript with a quill, we slave at a spreadsheet. If this is the future, it fucking sucks. We started off aiming at the stars, but ended up shooting ourselves in the feet.

Admittedly, not all of this is Microsoft's fault. But that doesn't mean I'll be using Windows any time soon.

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