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Reader Comments on Aardvark Daily 14 February 2002

Note: the comments below are the unabridged submissions of readers and do
not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher.


From: anonymous
For : Anonymous Tipoffs
Subj: Microsoft Event Reminder - a chuckle

Today I recieved the following from Microsoft as a reminder
about their Visual StudioŽ.Net Launch & Developer Days 2002
in Wellington


We want to remind you that you are registered for
[EventName].  This email is confirmation of your
registration for this event.

Name: [ContactFirstName] [ContactLastName]

Event Code: [EventID]
Event Name: [EventName]
Location: [VenueOrgName] [VenueSiteLocation]
City: [VenueCity]

Start Date: [EventStartDate]
Start Time: [EventStartTime]

End Date: [EventEndDate]
End Time: [EventEndTime]

Thank you for your interest in Microsoft Events.  We look
forward to seeing you at the event! Registration begins at
7.30am - 8.30am.

From: Peter
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Microsoft Monopoly

History shows that MS will use unfair practices and its
dominant market position to destroy any competitor or
threat.  It appears it is now recognised that it would be
foolish to try to compete with MS, and consumers lose out
for lack of competition.  (Ever tried to buy a PC without
Governments appear to only support this with tacit approval
and by strengthening copyright laws in favour of big
corporations, not consumers.
Unfortunately, NZ goverment is even paying MS to extend its
monopoly into our schools.  We missed a great opportunity
for government to pay NZ people to provide open source
systems in our schools.

Still, open source (Linux etc) provides our best hope of a
competitive market.  So long as governments don't legislate
to drive it out (which is the angle MS is now taking).

From: James
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Sky Digital

The fact that your IRD (integrated receiver/decoder) reverted
to the old version of the software for a while suggests that
the old software is still stored away in there somewhere.

I wonder if any hardware hacks have figured out a way to
enact this change permanently, independent of Sky?

And we now also know that Sky's official position is not "we
can't put you back to the old software", but actually "we
REFUSE TO put you back to the old software".

I would gladly sacrifice their new "features" in exchange for
the older, working software. (I don't consider any device
that makes me slow down MY behavior to suit it as "working").

Like Microsoft, Sky are obviously trying to pack in a higher
quantity of features (for increased marketability), without
bothering to actually make the features work. Quantity vs

Thanks Sky.

From: Paul Warner
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Alternate Desk Top??

Any one heard of LindowsOS??  http://www.lindows.com/
Currently M$ is trying to tie them up with lawyers to
bankrupt them before they can release the OS.  It's a
hybride Linux / Windows OS designed to run native Windows
apps.  Sounds interesting.  But will have to wait and see..

From: Allister Jenks
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: MS monopoly breaking

Microsoft's only strength is their dominance.

In the early days, there was competition and Microsoft won
out reasonaby fairly.  Since then, they have reached
critical mass.

There have been many worthy opponents over the years, but
none have had the clout to beat the dominance.  I find it
laughable each time MS come up with some 'new' technology
like XP's font technology.  Although I've not seen it, I
doubt it eclipses that produced by Acorn (from the UK) in
the late 80's.  The same company (Acorn) had an operating
system that fitted into 4Mb - and I think still does.
Right now I'm using a 128Mb RAM machine with Windows 2000
and it isn't enough!

But the sad fact is that we only have ourselves to blame.
Most of us fell into the trap of buying the 'cool new'
things the the early Windows systems were and we were blind
to the reality behind them.  Once the number of buyers
reached the critical mass, everyone assumed it was the way
to go.  Oh, how wrong could we be??

Bear in mind that one of the touted 'advances' for Windows
3.1 was the fact that the Windows core now actually did
some basic range checking on parameters to basic functions
before acting on them!  These non-sensical parameter
values, it was reported, were the prime cause for UAEs
(later GPFs).  Anybody remember Word 2.0???? (Even MS
didn't know how to use their own product).

We shouldn't reverse engineer Windows because it is not
actually what we want.  Who says that Windows Apps are any
better than the operating system?  In my experience, the
majority are bloatware.  And I'm not just talking about
bloating with function either.  I'm convinced that very few
windows products are actually optimised in any way.  This
would explain why a company producing software for the
Acorn platform was able to port their hand-crafted code to
Windows and out-perform the likes of Corel Draw (by then
long established) by magnitudes.

Perhaps another factor is that only a small percentage of
those who drive the market understand these kinds of
things.  Just like NZ'ers - as a whole - don't know how to
drive, but yet use less public transport every year.

<bitch off/>

From: Robert
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Sky Digital

Is there anyone out there who is actuly paying for those
circa 1980 games now availible thru the new service?

From: Martnz
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Micropoly?

"Wouldn't it be nice to see the Windows OS having to go
head-to-head with a "real" competitor?"

'Tis one of the great mysteries (at least to me) that M$
DOES have real competition, AND that the competition (say
Linux and StarOffice) is not just cheaper but completely

I guess there are three obvious conclusions:
1/ There must be something (maybe support availability,
perceived "safety", etc) that users all over the world
value enough to walk past a free product and spend hundreds
of $ with BillG.

2/ M$ must be doing a lot right, and are not silly. Why
drop prices if your nearest competitior has problems giving
product away?

3/ Seeing as existing (fully compatible and arguably better
in some respects) products are being given away, who is
brave enough to spend big $ in the hope of making a buck in

What is the M$ secret ingredient???

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