Letters to the Editor
my opinion Magneto project
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Is it any surprise?
And Microsoft's statement about Blackberry surprises you?
The nature of the beast
- Sid Boyce
Open source allows a proprietary value for higher level problems
- Carl Johnson
Make mine Sparky, no cream, no sugar
We don't have the time or inclination to spend years learning C programming, or Visual Basic or whatever to "roll our own," nor are we primarily interested in that -- just in selling and delivering our products or services as efficiently and promptly and pleasantly as we can to be able to feed and clothe and house our families. So the tradeoff is using the locked-in monopolistic proprietary software package and getting the job done as quickly as possible, rather than worrying about the expertise necessary to make it fit exactly on the page just the way we want it or to fit our personal preferences exactly.
The hours we spend on that don't get us the job done and our paycheck in the bank and our time with that family we're trying to support. Really, if the software vendors wanted to endear themselves to us, they would rewrite their documentation in plain English instead of Geek and be sure not to skip over some essential details that they found trivial, like what the frammis is supposed to do with the squallis, and the proper definition of those terms so we could recognize them in the first place! Then they in turn could really be worth the exorbitant license fees they charge and we wouldn't mind so much paying them for the use of their marvelous tools.
As for the lock-out of competing vendors, that's supposed to be the Justice Department's jurisdiction under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act and succeeding legislation, not the software consumers'. So if the Sparky manufacturer also has the coffee suppliers and the processors and packagers lined up in collusion with him so that nobody else can compete with him with a better product for less without infringing on his patents, copyrights, trademarks, and franchise rights, everyone must pay through the nose for his coffee making services or do without. And a lot of other would-be competitors must find something else to do for a living.
And there likely won't be any improvements forthcoming from the coffee-making world unless Sparky Mfg. finds it advantageous for them to innovate. If someone starts trouble in the tea industry, like competing for the favors of coffee drinkers, Sparky Mfg. will probably find all kinds of evidence why tea-drinking is harmful for your health, harmful for the economy, and harmful for the environment (runoff from their fertilizers polluting the groundwater and our streams, lakes and oceans, tea water harmful to the sewer system, etc.) and anyway, it also exacerbates the imbalance of trade with our largest trading partner, China, so you'd better return to drinking Sparky coffee!
And so it's easy to see that all us consumers are a dumb lot of sheep easily led astray at the whims of entrepreneurial folks like Bill Gates and Ballmer and company, and not masters of our destinies like we were taught in the university, after all. Too many of us are so inculcated with the herd mentality that bucking the trend and swimming upstream against the current of peer pressure or employer pressure just isn't worth it. We'd just as soon keep popping the Sparky pouch into the pod and drinking our individual cup of standard rot-gut as spend the extra time and effort roasting and grinding and measuring and brewing to our own individual specifications and preferences. All except a relatively few creative rebels among us, of course!
- Ken W.