Is this slashdot or Classiccmp? Re: Microsoft bashing

Ian King IanK at vulcan.com
Fri May 22 15:29:30 CDT 2009


> -----Original Message-----
> From: cctalk-bounces at classiccmp.org [mailto:cctalk-
> bounces at classiccmp.org] On Behalf Of Dave McGuire
> Sent: Friday, May 22, 2009 12:56 PM
> To: General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts
> Subject: Re: Is this slashdot or Classiccmp? Re: Microsoft bashing
> 
> On May 22, 2009, at 1:14 PM, Christian Liendo wrote:
> > yea.. I'm sick of the this too..
> >
> > You like your computer like a religion, fine.. Let other people
> > have their religions too.
> >
> >
> > etslay opstay ethay icrosoftmay ashingbay okway?
> 
>    Sure thing.  But let's make one thing clear: It's not a religion,
> as easy as it may be to dismiss it as such.
> 
>           -Dave

Perhaps not, but the zeal borders on religious - and equally without factual basis.  (No disrespect to any religion: the fundamental premise of any religion with which I'm familiar is faith, i.e. belief in that which is not proven.)  

Fact: CERT reports just about as many exploits for Linux-derived systems as Windows (at least, that was the data I researched back when I was in grad school three or four years ago).  There is a lot of argument (again, mostly rather zealous) about which OS has the more "serious" vulnerabilities, but in any event they ARE flaws.  

Fact: The most commonly seen causation for crashes in either Windows or Linux-derived operating systems is defective device drivers.  Interestingly, the two operating systems approach this differently.  Windows preemptively crashes: the logic is to return the machine to a known state.  Linux tries to keep going, which may result in an inexplicable error later on.  One can argue the merits of either approach, and I'm sure many do.  

Fact: I have a large box filled with 'Software Revision' release publications for RSX-11.  (Hey look, I got it back to vintage systems!)  Microsoft is not the first operating system vendor to issue patches and patches to patches and....  I'm not sure why it seems more "egregious" with one vendor than another - except that there is a tendency to bash "corporations", despite the fact that the majority of corporations are small, privately held companies.   

Opinion: I thought Microsoft operating systems were getting better and better, until Vista.  I hope they'll get it right with Windows 7 and get back on an upward trend.  However, I will say that it wasn't just Vista, but also the poor quality of PC hardware (three motherboards in one year?) that drove me to Macs.  I really like my PowerBook G4, not only for its convenience and reliability but also because it's dead sexy.  I recently replaced my desktop (supporting four monitors) with two Dual G4s (each running two monitors and sharing the keyboard/mouse through Synergy).  Function wins.  

Disclosure: I worked for Microsoft for a dozen years.  (I don't anymore.)  When I worked at Microsoft, I did not like Vista and persisted in running XP on my company-issued laptop.  In fact, for a while before I left I ran Ubuntu at home, until I grew weary of replacing not-inexpensive PC components and fighting compatibility issues (in a commoditized marketplace!).  Now, since I don't work there anymore, no one bothers me about my PowerBook - since I've "taken off the collar", people have stopped expecting me to be an apologist - or seeing me as some kind of heretic.  It's just a computer.  

These days, I've been spending a lot of my time on VMS on a VAX-11/780-5, using CMUIP as the networking layer.  THAT will give you a sense of perspective. Hey, backups are done - I need to go finish reassembling this TU56 for a PDP-8/e....  -- Ian 



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