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'[OT:] PC ethics question'
2004\07\13@081834 by Russell McMahon

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I originally sent this to a few friends - but why not burden the list with
it too ? :-)
FWIW "Entity X" is a church that has the rights to Microsoft software
licensing as a member of a larger group of churches.

$ are $NZ - divide by 2 and add a bit for $US. PC cost $NZ1200 + tax for a
Celeron 2400. That wasn't a marvellous price in the current market, but
that's not at issue.

The buyer is an experienced computer user of niche programs (accountancy)
but is largely computer-naive and bought the PC for the church without
asking for informed advice, as he ought have.

I am involved with the same church. Once I explained the legality of the
situation and the fact that the software was two versions back the buyer
agreed for me to take up the case with the supplier.
_____________

Ethics.

A computer seller sells a new PC to Entity X.
Entity X representative is computer-naive.
Genuine Windows XP home is supplied.
Genuine Office *2000* Professional *UPGRADE* is provided at $700 incl GST.
A full version of Office 2000 professional is installed on the PC by the
seller "to help the buyer".

Office 2000 is 2 versions out of date (since has been Office XP and Office
2003).

Reputable sellers sell Office 2003 Professional full version OEM with new
PCs for about $530 + retail
Seller did NOT offer OEM Office 2003

Office 2000 *full*  professional is probably available on 2nd hand market
for $75-$200 range.

OEM version of 2003 was never offered and buyer was too uninformed to
realise the difference between 2000/XP/2003 .
Buyer probably didn't know about implications of full versus upgrade
versions.

Entity X CANNOT live with the arrangement as it stands for ethical reasons.
Software on PC MUST be legitimate.

Entity X also has the right to Microsoft volume licence and was entitled to
buy a FULL Office 2003 licence for $169+ retail.
Even if they had not already been eligible, their status is such that they
would have been eligible for a new licence and been able to buy 5 products
needed to start at less than price charged.
Seller did NOT offer license arrangements.

Buyer never proposed that they had a version to upgrade, nor has such. It
could be obtained for even more money.
Version supplied is however 2 versions old and needs hours of download just
to patch to latest version of 2000 and will expire for upgrades, support etc
sooner than 2003 would.  And is not as "good".

Seller absolutely refuses to even open discussions over the matter. Won't
even listen to why he should consider the matter. Cheque is paid. Matter is
closed. I have this on tape.

Supplied software is unopened.

When going to Microsoft was mentioned seller said, "you go to them then" and
hung up.

Incidental:

   The seller is ripping others off in the same manner ongoingly.
   Seller has been done by MSoft about 5 years ago for preloading
   Seller is abusiveish and dismissive when approached.
   Cheque is signed. Deal is done. Go away.

Issues of

   Microsoft / fair trading (NZ consumer protection act) / suitable for
purpose sold .
   Small claims court (official government Judge Judy :-) ).
   Consumer magazine / Fair go (TV program) / Holmes *(talkback radio & tv
fiend)

QUESTION

Do what?
Microsoft?
Commerce commission?
???

While the trader has done much which is unethical, he has made here only one
clearly illegal move - which is preload of
full version. (Fair trading act etc, suitable for purpose etc MAY make other
acts illegal).

Enough presumably to hang him with Microsoft.
But is it fair to possibly destroy his business?
Clearly he is an utter rogue. (You should hear the tape :-) )
I think he deserves to be severely curtailed in his activities.
I can think of no other way of making him behave reasonably than by taking
full action against him.
Business appears to be husband/wife/one salesperson.
Known PC conman from way back I'm told when I inquire.


What is a reasonable action to take?
"What would Jesus do?"
How much do I concern myself with the fate of others who deal with him?




       Russell McMahon

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2004\07\13@083141 by Alan B. Pearce

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>Known PC conman from way back I'm told when I inquire.
>
>
>What is a reasonable action to take?

On the basis of this, I believe you need to do two things.

1. Go to Microsoft on the basis of what was installed, and possibly what was
charged, although they may feel that acting on price would go against any
monopoly commission type rulings. You may also want to go to the Software
Watchdog that attempts to stop software piracy, as he is likely to be doing
similar things with many packages.

2. Go to the commerce Commission on the basis if what was charged. If you
get nowhere with them, then Fair Go is probably a good spot. This would at
least get the news out to people to look out for this guy.

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2004\07\13@085633 by Russell McMahon

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> 1. Go to Microsoft

> 2. Go to the commerce Commission

> If you get nowhere with them, then Fair Go is probably a good spot. This
would at
> least get the news out to people to look out for this guy.

So he should be given no mercy ? :-)
Judge not ...
Versus of course the responsibility to be, somewhat,  my brother's keeper
and much more ...


       RM

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2004\07\13@090253 by M. Adam Davis

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Russell McMahon wrote:

>QUESTION
>
>Do what?
>Microsoft?
>Commerce commission?
>???
>
>
>
First, you know that you are running an illegal copy of software.
Before you go complaining to MS or your BSA equivilant you need to make
a best-effort to correct the situation.  Since you paid for the product
and you know it is bad you could be opening yourself up to some small
amount of liability.  The license documentation combined with an invoice
should be enough to prove that the seller did not adequately license
you, so you probably don't need to worry about preserving evidence.

Second, prepare yourself (or entity X) for the reality of losing the
money with no recourse.  Even if you had a chance of recovering it you'd
have spent more in time, effort, and possibly legal fees than you'd ever
recover.  With the attitude the seller has, any recovery is not going to
change their business, it's only going to make him badmouth you as a
customer.  Remember that the authorized purchaser accepted and paid for
the computer - as far as the seller is concerned the purchaser was fully
aware of what he was buying, and at the time of the sale both parties
were satisfied.

Microsoft pays the BSA (Business Software Alliance) in the US to pursue
legal action against copyright violators.  They may operate where you
are, but if not you should be able to follow the piracy links at
Microsoft.com to find the organization which does the dirty work for MS
there.  Typically they only send a threatening letter and act only if
there's a response that indicates they have a good chance of make a few
thousand dollars in the suit.  Unless you have solid knowledge that this
person is a repeat violator, then neither MS nor this organization will
pursue action against the offender.

You may also find that there are laws which apply to this situation, but
you may have trouble understanding what they are or how they may apply.
You can certianly report the incident to the various business
watchgroups (in the US these would be the local Chamber of Commerce and
Better Business Bureau).

Unless you can retain a lawyer cheaply, or pursue this in small claims
court, or find several other people who have been wronged by this
company then you really ought to just report it to applicable
organizations and let it go.  This sort of thing can make a person very
angry and bitter and it really isn't worth it.  Chalk it up to
experience, and don't give anyone authorization to purchase items for
Entity X except on a case by case basis.

-Adam

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2004\07\13@090710 by Jinx

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> Fair Go is probably a good spot. This would at least get the
> news out to people to look out for this guy

My inclination would be Microsoft. He's already dared you

> But is it fair to possibly destroy his business?

Occupational hazard

Way back when, I knew someone who featured on Fair Go twice
and Fair Go twice for s/w piracy. He was of such repute that a s/w
importer friend told me that when he was in the UK there were notes
about this pirate at several HQs. However he was never shut down,
despite may promises that "his wagon would be fixed", and is still
in and doing the same business today, 20 years later

Anyway, pirate told me that he actually welcomed a TV appearance.
Business absolutely boomed, because people found out where to
get cheap s/w. Maybe not so much today as everyone has access
to burners and the web, but he was still at it a couple of years ago

Your supplier isn't called Frank by any chance ?

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2004\07\13@091501 by Russell McMahon

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> Your supplier isn't called Frank by any chance ?

Dennis.
Silicon Tree.
Pt Chevalier.
His software isn't cheap - just old versions that are about as dear as or
dearer than current versions. he quite possibly buys them at auction for $50
odd and sells then for $700 to $1100.



       RM

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2004\07\13@092758 by Alan B. Pearce

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>So he should be given no mercy ? :-)
>Judge not ...
>Versus of course the responsibility to be, somewhat,
>my brother's keeper and much more ...

Well from your original email, I understood the supplier has done it before,
so cannot claim ignorance of what he is doing. He is quite clearly carrying
on being a sharp operator, so he should know what the consequences are.

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2004\07\13@093628 by John Ferrell

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The mistake made by the Church's representative is an honest mistake and
there does not seem to be a way to undo the transaction. Therefore THIS time
it should stand as it is. The consumer should not  bear the responsibility
of enforcement.

Microsoft has a program (at least in the US) where such software is sold at
a small fraction of the retail price to churches. Unfortunately, the smaller
churches (such as mine) cannot take advantage of this program because the
software must be installed on church-owned computers, not mine at home.

As a result, most of us small users are happy to get whatever we can make
work from EBAY or hand-me-downs. Households with full time college students
have the benefit of Academic pricing.

With the new stipulation by the software houses that the licenses cannot be
transferred (I cannot sell software I have bought but no longer use) I
expect the situation to get worse. To get my copy of Delphi 7 (Borland
Pascal) I bought a down level unopened box on EBAY and upgraded it for $400
when a special promotion was in effect. $400 is not pocket change to most of
us Senior Citizens. It is not likely I will do it again!

While you are on the subject of morality, how about considering the this:

If it is OK for the vendor to charge me as much as he can get for a product,
how come it is wrong for me to pay as little as I can get away with?

The honest man seems to be penalized for his principals.

It would go a long way if the software folks would sell to us Old Guys from
the Academic price book!


John Ferrell
http://DixieNC.US

{Original Message removed}

2004\07\13@095455 by Jinx

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> Dennis.
> Silicon Tree.
> Pt Chevalier.

OK, I'll remember that for future reference. BTW, I did mean
to type that Frank had been on Fair Go x 2 and Holmes x 2.
Must be something of a local record

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2004\07\13@101950 by Russell McMahon

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> The mistake made by the Church's representative is an honest mistake and
> there does not seem to be a way to undo the transaction.

Easily undone if desired by seller.
retur unopend box for refund.
Acquire and install better product for less from reputable seller..
This, of course, is not what seller has in mind ;-)

> Microsoft has a program (at least in the US) where such software is sold
at
> a small fraction of the retail price to churches. Unfortunately, the
smaller
> churches (such as mine) cannot take advantage of this program because the
> software must be installed on church-owned computers, not mine at home.

Same program here. Church was eligible. Seller never asked. Even from
scrathc it would have been cheaper to sell 5 licences. But theyw ere
eligible for 1 as part of a group scheme.  Seller of course doesn't care.


> If it is OK for the vendor to charge me as much as he can get for a
product,
> how come it is wrong for me to pay as little as I can get away with?

It's not. As long as you abide by the seller's rules. Big Bill has the right
to do what he wants with his software. We have the right to buy something
else :-). If enough people did just that "we" would win. People never will.
BB's academic and charity pricing seems to be about the fair level IMHO.



       RM

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2004\07\13@103552 by Bob Ammerman

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You/Entity X has a moral responsibility to protect others from this creep.
If such can be done without a full out attack on his business then all the
better. However, if he gives you no choice, then you have no choice.

Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems

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2004\07\13@104628 by Mike Hord

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>What is a reasonable action to take?

Nail 'im to the wall.  Pull out the big guns and do everything
you can to put this guy out of business, if not in jail.

>"What would Jesus do?"

If you REALLY want to know what I think Jesus would do,
contact me offlist.  I'm sure it would simply become a flame
war if stated here.  ;-)

>How much do I concern myself with the fate of others who deal with him?

At the risk of trivializing the original context, "All that is required for
evil to
triumph is for good men to do nothing."  I would argue that, especially in
cases where there is an actual victim of a crime, those of us who actively
attempt fair and honest behavior have a responsibility to prevent those who
do not from perpetrating their misdeeds on those without our knowledge
base.

Mike H.

>         Russell McMahon

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2004\07\13@105457 by Robert B.

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----- Original Message -----
From: "Mike Hord" <RemoveMEgaidinmdspamTakeThisOuTHOTMAIL.COM>


> >What is a reasonable action to take?
>
> Nail 'im to the wall.  Pull out the big guns and do everything
> you can to put this guy out of business, if not in jail.

lol!  Just report him as an international terrorist to the FBI over here and
they'll pick 'em up and hold him indefinitely, maybe torture him a bit too!
d*** thats scary...

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2004\07\13@110740 by Spehro Pefhany

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At 12:17 AM 7/14/2004 +1200, you wrote:

<snip>

I use "you" for Entity X below for simplicity.

>Enough presumably to hang him with Microsoft.
>But is it fair to possibly destroy his business?

It's not you "destroying his business", he is he that is deliberately
doing something illegal/unethical and when called on it, refuses to make
things right. If you were robbed by a young man at knife-point would
you worry about "ruining his life" by giving him a criminal record when
you identify him to the authorities? Heck, maybe you're giving him
a new chance to reform, start his business anew and make things right
for his past sins (as if).

>Clearly he is an utter rogue. (You should hear the tape :-) )

Is such taping of a telephone conversation legal in your jurisdiction?
Make real sure about this one. In North America it varies by State and
Province, from quite legal without one of the parties knowing to
quite illegal. Personally, legality aside, I'm a little uncomfortable
with the ethics of it, though if it's legal, reasonable in total from
beginning to end, and I had it, I'd use it. It's sometimes pretty easy to
provoke or lead someone if you know it's being taped and he doesn't.

>I think he deserves to be severely curtailed in his activities.
>I can think of no other way of making him behave reasonably than by taking
>full action against him.
>Business appears to be husband/wife/one salesperson.
>Known PC conman from way back I'm told when I inquire.
>
>
>What is a reasonable action to take?

There are two aspects- first the loss of money and software is a
separate question. Stop using the software, buy some new stuff that
is equivalent or otherwise address the issue. That cost is your "loss",
and that is all (at best) you can expect to recover from the seller, IMO.

Report him to the NZ authorities, to Microsoft and file a small claims
court suit against him (cost is typically nominal, just time, and no
lawyers, but ask the informal advice of a lawyer if you can). Be prepared
with the documents when it comes up, and be scrupulously honest (ie. don't
attempt to "pad" the loss with notional costs). If he doesn't show up
to defend it, you should be able to get a default judgement. You may
have trouble collecting it. Most likely he'll settle it (just) before it
comes up, but you never know. Be fully prepared for him to lie that the
full product was installed by him- and I'll bet it's not written down in an
incriminating way anywhere. In a real trial you'd have to produce all the
evidence (including the tape) before the trial (in "Discovery"); check and
see how that works for small claims court.

>"What would Jesus do?"

Dunno.

>How much do I concern myself with the fate of others who deal with him?

If you don't then you bear some responsibility for the others who will
be ripped off. You certainly wouldn't be the first to do so with this guy.
If others had pursued it, you likely wouldn't be in this situation. It's
also possible (maybe likely) he'll continue to misbehave, only he'll be
a bit more careful about it.

Disclaimer: IANAKL

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
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2004\07\13@111656 by Howard Winter

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Russell,

On Wed, 14 Jul 2004 00:17:35 +1200, Russell McMahon wrote:

> QUESTION
>
> Do what?
> Microsoft?
> Commerce commission?
> ???

Microsoft is a company, and this is a legal problem, so they aren't involved except as below.

First get on to the local Commerce Commission, and tell them the whole story.  Get their advice on what route
to take - it's their job to know these things!

You might want to consider taking the seller to court, but this is unlikely to do much good except to
publicise (slightly!) the sharp business practice of this operator.  I imagine he is a consumate liar and will
swear on a stack of bibles that the customer pleaded with him to load the full Office suite and "only charge
for the upgrade"!

> While the trader has done much which is unethical, he has made here only one
> clearly illegal move - which is preload of
> full version. (Fair trading act etc, suitable for purpose etc MAY make other
> acts illegal).

I can see a few offences under UK law (and NZ law at least started out to be similar) but the only one likely
to get redress is the supply of a product that wasn't fit for purpose.  And if Entity X told him that they
"just wanted to do some Word Processing" then Office 2000 is that, and you're at your word against his again.

But most of it is failure in the Caveat Emptor department!

> Enough presumably to hang him with Microsoft.

He may have committed a copyright offence, and Microsoft are the injured party in this, so they may want to
bring an action.  You may also have something like the "Business Software Foundation" we have here, that will
follow-up allegations of illegal copying and so on.  If his place is raided you can bet your bottom dollar
that he will have other instances of breaches of licence to find.

> But is it fair to possibly destroy his business?

Is it fair to lock up a burglar so he can't follow his chosen profession?  :-)

> Clearly he is an utter rogue. (You should hear the tape :-) )
> I think he deserves to be severely curtailed in his activities.
> I can think of no other way of making him behave reasonably than by taking
> full action against him.

And even then you may not be successful.  But it's that or cutting your losses and learning the hard lesson.

> Business appears to be husband/wife/one salesperson.
> Known PC conman from way back I'm told when I inquire.

It's not illegal to have a bad reputation - but it's better to find out about it before the deal!  (20/20
hindsight as usual)

> What is a reasonable action to take?

Get advice from the body that does that, and see if that advice makes sense.

> "What would Jesus do?"

He wouldn't have bought MS software in the first place, I imagine...

Or he may have turned the other cheek, or thrown the PC traders out of the temple, or walked across the Cook
Strait to the "mainland"... ;-)

> How much do I concern myself with the fate of others who deal with him?

It's your conscience, but I would tend towards wanting to stop him catching out any more innocents.  But I
wouldn't stand outside his place with a placard!

Best of luck...


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

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2004\07\13@112110 by James Newton, Host

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Russell, as a grateful recovered alcoholic, I KNOW that for some people at
least, "kicking" them as hard as you can when they have done something wrong
is the true best thing that can happen to them.

Failing to do so is called "enabling" and ensures that the bad behavior will
not only continue, but increase, often to the point where the backlash from
it totally destroys the offender.

I have 11 years clean and sober, but only through the watchful eye of my
friends, and an occasional swift kick in the ass from those who I respect,
do I face each day with confidence. The nicest thing anyone ever said to me
was when I helped a neighbor with her computer and she offered me a brew:
When I said "ummm, did I forget to tell you I'm an alcoholic?" and she
replied "Oh! That's right, sorry, and you will not get any booze around
here, YOU ARE TOO VALUABLE TO US TO LET THAT HAPPEN!"

Is this seller more valuable to you as a human being than the effort it
would take to point out that his behavior is not acceptable while it is
still minor enough that he probably will not go to jail for it? As Mike Hord
said:

"All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."  I
would argue that, especially in cases where there is an actual victim of a
crime, those of us who actively attempt fair and honest behavior have a
responsibility to prevent those who do not from perpetrating their misdeeds
on those without our knowledge base.

Well said Mike!

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> {Original Message removed}

2004\07\13@122207 by Randy Abernathy

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In a message dated 7/13/2004 8:20:28 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
EraseMEapptechspamspamspamBeGonePARADISE.NET.NZ writes:

"What  would Jesus do?"



According to Jesus, you forgive 70 times 7, of course that is a  figure of
speech when he was instructing regarding forgiveness.  However, I  do think this
guy has probably been "forgiven" quite a few times from the sound  of it.
Not knowing NZ laws I can't really advise on that but I am sure  MicroSoft would
like to know about this regarding their dealings with him.   A lot of the
companies here in the States that sell PCs and operating systems  and other
software do use the older versions based on their experience with them  actually
being better and easier to use than many of the newer ones.  There  are some
compatibilty problems with XP and XP Professional and quite a few, I  understand,
with the Office XP so doing that in itself wouldn't scare me but,  him not be
truthful about doing it and not at least giving the customer full
information so they can make an informed decision DOES bother me.  I trust  the software
you do have is packaged in original packaging with the MicroSoft  hologram,
etc. and has not been opened.  The pre-loaded software could be a  problem.
Did the supplier happen to supply you with a license for a more  recent version
of the operating system?  If so, then that is legal, at  least here in the
U.S.  You can install older MS software as long as you  have license for it or a
newer version of same type.  Like if you have an  XP Professional license then
you can install Win 2000 Professional, no  problem.  At least that is what
all of the professional software companies  around Atlanta here tell me.

Well, going back to "What would Jesus do", I guess you will have to decide
if this guy  has been forgiven too many times already.

Randy  Abernathy
4626 Old Stilesboro Road NW
Acworth, GA 30101-4066
Phone /  Fax: 770-974-5295
Cell: 678-772-4113
E-mail: RemoveMECnc002KILLspamspamaol.com

I  furnish technical support, repair, and other related services for your
industrial woodworking machinery. My background as Senior Service Engineer for
the SCMI Group for nearly fifteen years with factory training, combines with
my  extensive background in electronics, mechanics, pneumatics, electrical and
CNC  machinery to offer you needed support for your  machinery.

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2004\07\13@124938 by Russell McMahon

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> But I wouldn't stand outside his place with a placard!

The thought did occur :-).
I have since accosted one would be customer after they had left the store
and pointed out that there are better places to buy software.

       RM

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2004\07\13@131509 by Martin Klingensmith

face
flavicon
face
Howard Winter wrote:
> Russell,
>
> On Wed, 14 Jul 2004 00:17:35 +1200, Russell McMahon wrote:
>
>
>>QUESTION
>>
>>Do what?
>>Microsoft?
>>Commerce commission?
>>???

I know this doesn't really answer your question, but go to:
http://openoffice.org/
It is free, it works well, and the only compatibility issue I have seen
is between their PowerPoint clone and Microsoft's PowerPoint.
Most people who say they need Microsoft Office are the ones who really
don't.

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2004\07\13@133548 by Dave Lag

picon face
Good point - the reaction to "shady" business transactions in the temple
and all that.....
D

post edited to comply with Newton's (James) Law

At 10:45 AM 7/13/04, Mike Hord wrote:
.......  I would argue that, especially in
>cases where there is an actual victim of a crime, those of us who actively
>attempt fair and honest behavior have a responsibility to prevent those who
>do not from perpetrating their misdeeds on those without our knowledge
>base.
>
>Mike H.

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2004\07\13@134003 by Alex Harford

face picon face
On Tue, 13 Jul 2004 13:15:30 -0400, Martin Klingensmith
<@spam@martin@spam@spamspam_OUTnnytech.net> wrote:
>
> I know this doesn't really answer your question, but go to:
> http://openoffice.org/
> It is free, it works well, and the only compatibility issue I have seen
> is between their PowerPoint clone and Microsoft's PowerPoint.
> Most people who say they need Microsoft Office are the ones who really
> don't.
>

And OO.org has less security exploits. :)

http://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/originalContent/0,289142,sid14_gci992345,00.html

I find that OO.org works very well, especially the 'export as pdf' function.

Occasionally things like soft page breaks don't line up, but that
happens between different versions of Word as well, so I think it's a
moot point.

Alex

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2004\07\13@134837 by Joe Jansen

picon face
>
> "What  would Jesus do?"
>
> According to Jesus, you forgive 70 times 7, of course that is a  figure of
> speech when he was instructing regarding forgiveness.

<snip>

> Well, going back to "What would Jesus do", I guess you will have to decide
> if this guy  has been forgiven too many times already.
>


Just a bit of clarification:  Reading the verse on forgiveness in
context of the entire 18th chapter of Matthew, Jesus is telling us
that we are to forgive those who repent of their transgression against
us.  Both examples that he gives show that we are to try to reconcile
with the other, but if they are unwilling to repent, then forgiveness
is not expected, nor desirable.  In the second parable, with the
servant that was forgiven his debt, but refused to forgive the debt of
the second servant, the king seems to 'repeal' his forgiveness of the
original debt.

An even stronger case is the example he gives prior to verse 22,
wherein we find a man who has been faulted by his brother.  Jesus
tells us that we are to make every effort to reconcile with the
offender.  First in private, then with 2 or 3 witnesses, then in front
of the entire church.  If, after all of this, the offender is still
unrepentant, he is to be as an outcast.

Therefore, I would suggest that since 'entity X' has made every effort
(apparently) to amicably resolve the offense privately and with
others, and this individual has made no sign of repentance, then it is
the responsibility of the church to pursue outside justice.  Failing
to do so would be shirking the responsibility to protect your other
Christian brothers from 'evil'.

Note, however, that if this man does come to the church and repent,
then he should be allowed to make things right, and receive full
forgiveness.  As Jesus states, "you have gained your brother", and all
the multitude of examples of the lost and astray coming back to
righteousness.

--Joe Jansen

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2004\07\13@135247 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
Alex has the right idea.

Microsoft is partly to blame for the situation, in that they have so
many confusing software prices, variants, etc. Unless a user is VERY
savvy, he can be in trouble easily, and not realize it.

This is my last year with Windows (Win2K). I'm going the Linux route
as soon as I understand how to do it.

--Bob

Alex Harford wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2004\07\13@141743 by Martin Klingensmith

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flavicon
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Bob Axtell wrote:
> Alex has the right idea.
>
> Microsoft is partly to blame for the situation, in that they have so
> many confusing software prices, variants, etc. Unless a user is VERY
> savvy, he can be in trouble easily, and not realize it.
>
> This is my last year with Windows (Win2K). I'm going the Linux route
> as soon as I understand how to do it.
>
> --Bob
>

Bob,
Switch to RedHat and then switch to Debian or Slackware if you decide
you want to learn more about how GNU/Linux works.

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2004\07\13@143857 by Randy Abernathy

picon face
In a message dated 7/13/2004 1:50:01 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
spamBeGonejoe.jansen@spam@spamspam_OUTGMAIL.COM writes:

Just a  bit of clarification:  Reading the verse on forgiveness in
context of  the entire 18th chapter of Matthew, Jesus is telling us
that we are to  forgive those who repent of their transgression against
us.  Both  examples that he gives show that we are to try to reconcile
with the other,  but if they are unwilling to repent, then forgiveness
is not expected, nor  desirable.  In the second parable, with the
servant that was forgiven  his debt, but refused to forgive the debt of
the second servant, the king  seems to 'repeal' his forgiveness of the
original debt.

An even  stronger case is the example he gives prior to verse 22,
wherein we find a  man who has been faulted by his brother.  Jesus
tells us that we are  to make every effort to reconcile with the
offender.  First in  private, then with 2 or 3 witnesses, then in front
of the entire  church.  If, after all of this, the offender is still
unrepentant, he  is to be as an outcast.

Therefore, I would suggest that since 'entity  X' has made every effort
(apparently) to amicably resolve the offense  privately and with
others, and this individual has made no sign of  repentance, then it is
the responsibility of the church to pursue outside  justice.  Failing
to do so would be shirking the responsibility to  protect your other
Christian brothers from 'evil'.

Note, however,  that if this man does come to the church and repent,
then he should be  allowed to make things right, and receive full
forgiveness.  As Jesus  states, "you have gained your brother", and all
the multitude of examples  of the lost and astray coming back to
righteousness.

--Joe  Jansen



I fully agree and that is why I said they would need to decide if  this guy
has been "forgiven" enough and, of course, if all avenues, biblical,  have been
taken.  I agree that it sounds as if "Entity X" has done  everything required
and it very well may be time to take some action.

Randy  Abernathy
4626 Old Stilesboro Road NW
Acworth, GA 30101-4066
Phone /  Fax: 770-974-5295
Cell: 678-772-4113
E-mail: TakeThisOuTCnc002spamspamaol.com

I  furnish technical support, repair, and other related services for your
industrial woodworking machinery. My background as Senior Service Engineer for
the SCMI Group for nearly fifteen years with factory training, combines with
my  extensive background in electronics, mechanics, pneumatics, electrical and
CNC  machinery to offer you needed support for your  machinery.

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2004\07\13@154951 by Jason S

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It seems to me that offering the advice of "start with one thing and then
switch to something else" is very bad.  Why would one want to start by
learning one thing with the expectation of either deciding you won't like it
and won't use linux or you will switch to something else and have to start
from scratch?

I've been using Slackware since the only options for a distribution were SLS
and Slackware.  The best advice is pick what you think will be best for you,
and use that.  Then you'll only have to change if your needs as a user shift
dramatically or the distro changes its direction.

To switch to Debian or Slack, he'll have to re-install the system.  To make
things worse, the config files will be different, so the knowledge learned
in RedHat will just make it harder to learn another distro.

The last release of Red Hat was in April 2003 (according to linuxiso.org).
It's hopelessly out of date, .  My understanding is that Red Hat is no
longer producing a free distribution, though I don't know how they're
avoidng the open source licenses.  There are a lot of major security issues
with the last version of RH and no patches because it's no longer support.

--

To qualify my current opinion of linux, I should also say that despite 8
years of expereince with linux, and currently 4 machines running it (a
router/firewall, a file storage server, a test HTTP server, and a notebook),
I don't use linux on my desktop.  I did for a while around 2000-2001, and I
found that I spent more time trying to find working drivers to get desktop
peripherals (scanners, TV tuner card, PDA, printer, mouse with extra buttons
that act as macros, etc working) than I was actually using the computer.  A
couple of years ago, I switched from Linux to Win2k for my desktop.

I am migrating away from windows now, but to the MAC (for many reasons that
are obvious to piclisters, but mainly that I refuse to use product
activation software, so my only choices are pirate windows XP or use
something else.  I took the moral high road).  I just bought a powerbook G4
about a month ago.  I'm still using the windows desktop 90% of the time, but
I expect the new MAC to eventually be my main computer.  With the new
notebook, I upgraded my home lan to wireless.  The Mac works flawlessly with
WiFi card it came with.  I have a USB->WiFi adapter for my windows desktop
which also works flawlessly along side the Mac.  Linux is a different story.
I bought a D-Link G650 CardBus adatpter for my Linux notebook.  It's
supposed to be one of the best available right now, but of course linux
doesn't support it.  I spent about 30 hours looking for drivers for it;
trying all sorts of advice in HowTOs and getting nowhere.  It brought back a
lot of nightmares from last time I ran linux on the desktop but this was
especially disappointing because network technology has always been the
strong point for linux.  I set aside that notebook and haven't even powered
it up for a month.

Jason


From: "Martin Klingensmith" <RemoveMEmartinEraseMEspamspam_OUTNNYTECH.NET>
Sent: Tuesday, July 13, 2004 11:17 AM

> Bob,
> Switch to RedHat and then switch to Debian or Slackware if you decide
> you want to learn more about how GNU/Linux works.

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2004\07\13@161726 by Martin Klingensmith

face
flavicon
face
Jason S wrote:
> It seems to me that offering the advice of "start with one thing and then
> switch to something else" is very bad.  Why would one want to start by
> learning one thing with the expectation of either deciding you won't like it
> and won't use linux or you will switch to something else and have to start
> from scratch?
>

Because I know many people who have tried to start with Slackware and
couldn't get over the speed bump. It takes a LOT of time to get used to
Linux if all you've used is point-and-click Windows. It used to be
easier for DOS people who had at least written a batch file before, but
that is no longer the case.


> I've been using Slackware since the only options for a distribution were SLS
> and Slackware.  The best advice is pick what you think will be best for you,
> and use that.  Then you'll only have to change if your needs as a user shift
> dramatically or the distro changes its direction.
>

I started using linux in 1995 with RedHat something-or-other for about 2
weeks. I decided to go to something else so I tried Debian, and landed
on Slackware a short time after.

> To switch to Debian or Slack, he'll have to re-install the system.  To make
> things worse, the config files will be different, so the knowledge learned
> in RedHat will just make it harder to learn another distro.
>

If he installs Debian or Slackware as his desktop OS before learning
about them, he's going to be reinstalling Windows anyway.

> The last release of Red Hat was in April 2003 (according to linuxiso.org).
> It's hopelessly out of date, .  My understanding is that Red Hat is no
> longer producing a free distribution, though I don't know how they're
> avoidng the open source licenses.  There are a lot of major security issues
> with the last version of RH and no patches because it's no longer support.

It wouldn't be a permanent home. Try SuSe instead then, I meant "try an
easy point-and-click one then if you feel like hacking try Debian or
Slackware"

{Quote hidden}

I run Linux or FreeBSD on all of my machines except my Compaq laptop
which does not work well with frequency scaling or anything else. I am
running Slackware 9.x [upgraded all the time] with Dropline Gnome. Been
that way for 2 years continuously now.


{Quote hidden}

Don't hit me for complaining about syntax, but a MAC is a hardware
address and a Mac is a computer. I stopped using Windows because I've
had the time to migrate to linux as I am a student. It takes a lot of
time to learn the whole system.
The main problem with hardware support in Linux is that vendors won't
release drivers in source code form so they will build on any kernel.
They may only release it for 2 different versions in binary form for
RedHat. I only buy hardware that has respectable support for Linux. So
far I have been fine.


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2004\07\13@162141 by D. Jay Newman

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> I started using linux in 1995 with RedHat something-or-other for about 2
> weeks. I decided to go to something else so I tried Debian, and landed
> on Slackware a short time after.

Isn't this in the nature of a religeous argument? I use Gentoo for my
robot and am going to switch to that for the rest of my machines. I like
the ease of upgrading.
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2004\07\13@164047 by Martin Klingensmith

face
flavicon
face
D. Jay Newman wrote:
>>I started using linux in 1995 with RedHat something-or-other for about 2
>>weeks. I decided to go to something else so I tried Debian, and landed
>>on Slackware a short time after.
>
>
> Isn't this in the nature of a religeous argument? I use Gentoo for my
> robot and am going to switch to that for the rest of my machines. I like
> the ease of upgrading.

I suppose, but it was more along the lines of saying that he should
start with something easy and slowly switch to a more difficult one.

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2004\07\13@165125 by Matthew Brush

flavicon
face
> Known PC conman from way back I'm told when I inquire.

> What is a reasonable action to take?

Does he know what he's doing?  If so, the guilt should burn a hole in his stomach.  C'mon!  Knowingly ripping off a church?!

It's too bad the church's rep. who bought the computer hadn't heard of OpenOffice.org.

FWIW Office 2003 is just like 2000/XP but with a blue interface instead of grey, IMHO it's not worth the cd it's burned on.

Maybe you could try to go under-cover and get him to do something even worse and then Microsoft will shut them down.

Anyway, Cheers, Good Luck


==
MJ Brush
RemoveMEmbrush@spam@spamspamBeGoneleftclick.ca

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2004\07\13@165126 by Jason S

flavicon
face
> Because I know many people who have tried to start with Slackware and
> couldn't get over the speed bump. It takes a LOT of time to get used to
> Linux if all you've used is point-and-click Windows. It used to be
> easier for DOS people who had at least written a batch file before, but
> that is no longer the case.

Someone who is used to point-and-click windows and doesn't drop to the CLI
or create their own scripts, probably will not like linux anyway.  For
example, one of your comments is that most hardware vendors won't supply
drivers as source code.  What is a point-and-click user going to do with a
driver source package?

I think my biggest problem with Red Hat and its cousins is that they scatter
all the config information into hundreds of config files.  A simple change
might involve changing 10 different files, and chances are half aren't even
in the /etc directory.  There is a GUI config util for everything that will
change all the right files for you, but then you're stuck using Red Hat's
idea of a config tool instead of being able to use your favourite text
editor or even write your own tool.

Slackware probably has about 50 config files with logical division, of which
10 are important to know right away.  It is daunting to a new users but once
you know what you're doing, it is a lot simpler.  I think a new user would
be more frustrated by everything being magic that's hidden from them in Red
Hat so they don't have a clue what's going on.  That could just be my
technical backround though, I like to know how whatever I'm using works.

> I started using linux in 1995 with RedHat something-or-other for about 2
> weeks. I decided to go to something else so I tried Debian, and landed
> on Slackware a short time after.

It seems like all the high-end users land on Slackware eventually :).  That
could effect my perspective since I started with Slackware and whenever I
tried something else it seemed a lot worse.

> It wouldn't be a permanent home. Try SuSe instead then, I meant "try an
> easy point-and-click one then if you feel like hacking try Debian or
> Slackware"

Then why specifically suggest a dead distro like Red Hat?  The recommended
migration path from Red Hat is Fedora.  I do think SuSe is a better choice
than Fedora.

> I stopped using Windows because I've
> had the time to migrate to linux as I am a student. It takes a lot of
> time to learn the whole system.

I was a student when I started with linux.  It was a great choice at the
time.  We used Solaris on the school computers, and Slackware seems to have
based itself most closely on Solaris.  It was great being able to run all
the same software on my home machine.  That was before I started using Linux
as my main OS, and it gave me plenty of time to get the experience I needed
to run Linux exclusively.  Around the time I graduated, the school was
putting together its own distro with all the apps used in courses
pre-installed.

> The main problem with hardware support in Linux is that vendors won't
> release drivers in source code form so they will build on any kernel.
> They may only release it for 2 different versions in binary form for
> RedHat. I only buy hardware that has respectable support for Linux. So
> far I have been fine.

I never said the problems were the fault of the Linux developers.  It is the
fault of the hardware vendors, but does that really make a difference to the
end users?  If I can't use my WiFi card with linux, does it really help me
to know it's because no WiFi vendor releases linux drivers and the people
who make linux are even more upset than I am that I can't use it?

I love Linux.  It is by far the best server OS around.  It is just not
suitable for the desktop where it will encounter more exotic hardware and
have to deal with users who can't spend 20 hours trying to figure out how to
install OpenOffice when they have a report due in 10 hours.

BTW, I haven't used X for years.  Have they found some decent fonts yet? :)


Jason

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2004\07\13@165539 by Bob Blick

face picon face
> I suppose, but it was more along the lines of saying that he should
> start with something easy and slowly switch to a more difficult one.

I've found myself going in exactly the opposite direction - especially for
the  desktop.

SuSE rocks! Nobody's setup tool/control panel even comes close to YaST.
You simply never have to edit any files. And things work, even on a
laptop.

If you are running a dedicated server for one or two tasks, I could see
running a "difficult" distro, just for security and simplicity. But for
the desktop? No way.

Now can we please get back to Bible quotations and stop this religious war :)

Cheerful regards,

Bob

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2004\07\13@165954 by Jason S

flavicon
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From: "D. Jay Newman" <jayEraseMEspam@spam@SPRUCEGROVE.COM>
Sent: Tuesday, July 13, 2004 1:18 PM


> Isn't this in the nature of a religeous argument? I use Gentoo for my
> robot and am going to switch to that for the rest of my machines. I like
> the ease of upgrading.

It is, but IMO it's a pretty stupid one.  The distro is just the set of
files you start with, it should make no difference in the long run.  The
fact that it does, and there is such a daunting choice of distros is
probably keeping a lot of users away.   I think linux users just like to
find things to launch religious wars about :).  Vi vs Emacs, which Distro,
which desktop environment, etc.

In the windows world, your choice is XP Home or XP Professional and the
choice is clear.  Home is cheaper, Pro is better.  You have the same desktop
environment as all your friends, the authours of the books you read about
it, etc.  It is a lot simpler for a new user.  I

Jason

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2004\07\13@170635 by Jason S

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From: "Bob Blick" <spamBeGonebblickKILLspamspam@spam@SONIC.NET>
Sent: Tuesday, July 13, 2004 1:56 PM

> Now can we please get back to Bible quotations and stop this religious war
:)

That reminds me of when Donald Knuth (he wrote The Art of Computer
Programming) gave a couple of talks at my school.  The first was on
computers, the second on religion.

At the computer talk, someone asked if he uses Vi or Emacs, and his response
was the religion discussion was the next day.

Jason

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2004\07\13@173341 by James Newton, Host

face picon face
Ummm, guys, this is historically very interesting but I can see the flame
war brewing...

... Sniff, sniff...

... Do you smell propane? Here, let me pull out my Zippo so we can see
better...

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> {Original Message removed}

2004\07\13@175701 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Tue, Jul 13, 2004 at 02:04:56PM -0700, Jason S wrote:
> From: "D. Jay Newman" <RemoveMEjayEraseMEspamKILLspamSPRUCEGROVE.COM>
> Sent: Tuesday, July 13, 2004 1:18 PM
>
>
> > Isn't this in the nature of a religeous argument? I use Gentoo for my
> > robot and am going to switch to that for the rest of my machines. I like
> > the ease of upgrading.
>
> It is, but IMO it's a pretty stupid one.  The distro is just the set of
> files you start with, it should make no difference in the long run.  The
> fact that it does, and there is such a daunting choice of distros is
> probably keeping a lot of users away.   I think linux users just like to
> find things to launch religious wars about :).  Vi vs Emacs, which Distro,
> which desktop environment, etc.

I disagree with this assessment. The collection of files is just the tip of the
iceberg. There are multiple facets including policy, stability vs innovation,
and the community based around the distribution.


So it's not cut and dried and hence the religious type arguments.

Personally I believe that novices will have distribution migration, often
because the one that's easiest to get started with often isn't the best fit
in the long term.

I've taken to starting new users with Knoppix, a live CD based Debian
distribution that is most of the time simply drop in and reboot to get started.

The one thing that I've learned in my nearly dozen years as a Linux user, is
that novices should never have to tackle the first install alone. They can
make more informed and less emotional decisions when they are presented with
a working desktop the first go around. Knoppix (and other Live-CD distros)
helps in this regard because setup is instantaneous and pretty much complete.
This allows for new users to get comfortable before having to make machine
altering decisions.

>
> In the windows world, your choice is XP Home or XP Professional and the
> choice is clear.  Home is cheaper, Pro is better.  You have the same desktop
> environment as all your friends, the authours of the books you read about
> it, etc.  It is a lot simpler for a new user.  I

True. Which is why I also believe that for Linux novices, that the community
that'll be involved in your development is critical. I for one would probably
not recommend Redhat/Fedora for newbies that will be working with me, primarily
because I'm not a Redhat/Fedora User.

BTW as a Slack user from the beginning (in fact I first installed SLS!) I
wouldn't recommend it for a first timer. There's way too much config that needs
to be done just to get going.

I've found recently that a Knoppix/Debian migration path has worked well.
Instant gratification coupled with Debian's vast resources is a formidable
combination.

I've been working on the biggest Linux obstacle lately: the NT FileSystem.
You may not know it, but Linux really doesn't have any decent options for
working with NTFS. Only the latest 2 releases of ntfsresize has made free
nondestructive partitioning as usable as FIPS used to be for FAT filesystems.
None of the current three native NTFS drivers for Linux really cover all the
basis. The v1.4 is pretty much read only. The 2.16 driver is good for overwrite
but cannot create new files, and while Captive NTFS is an interesting idea,
I've found it to be too slow (200KB/sec write speed on average) and too flaky
to be a viable solution. And with everyone coming into the party now having
NTFS filesystems (standard issue for Windows since Win2000) it's a tough
go of it.

So there are valid reasons for choices, and valid reasons for the arguments.

BAJ

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2004\07\13@181745 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Tue, Jul 13, 2004 at 01:56:12PM -0700, Jason S wrote:
> > Because I know many people who have tried to start with Slackware and
> > couldn't get over the speed bump. It takes a LOT of time to get used to
> > Linux if all you've used is point-and-click Windows. It used to be
> > easier for DOS people who had at least written a batch file before, but
> > that is no longer the case.
>
> Someone who is used to point-and-click windows and doesn't drop to the CLI
> or create their own scripts, probably will not like linux anyway.

Untrue. That's the line that the Winbots in comp.os.linux.advocacy use.
Linux has coverage for most of the top ticket items that users want to do:
Web Browse, E-mail, Office apps, Media, and Games (to a degree). And one can
function with these types of apps without ever writing a script or popping
up a shell.

>  For
> example, one of your comments is that most hardware vendors won't supply
> drivers as source code.  What is a point-and-click user going to do with a
> driver source package?

It's only tangentially for the end user. Having the source serves a few
purposes:

1) If it's broke, then someone other than the original author can fix it. I'm
not saying that's the end user's job, but clearly end users can benefit from
such fixes.

2) Coupled with this is that with the source, applications can upgrade when
the kernel or libs are upgraded. I have a couple of binaries compiled with
libX3 or somesuch that I wish I had the source for.

3) No danger of when the author or a company disappears that suddenly there's
no support for the product.

>
> I think my biggest problem with Red Hat and its cousins is that they scatter
> all the config information into hundreds of config files.  A simple change
> might involve changing 10 different files, and chances are half aren't even
> in the /etc directory.  There is a GUI config util for everything that will
> change all the right files for you, but then you're stuck using Red Hat's
> idea of a config tool instead of being able to use your favourite text
> editor or even write your own tool.

Agreed here. It forces a dependence on those tools.

>
> Slackware probably has about 50 config files with logical division, of which
> 10 are important to know right away.  It is daunting to a new users but once
> you know what you're doing, it is a lot simpler.  I think a new user would
> be more frustrated by everything being magic that's hidden from them in Red
> Hat so they don't have a clue what's going on.  That could just be my
> technical backround though, I like to know how whatever I'm using works.

Actually I don't think it's a big deal one way or the other. There's a
misconception that Linux users continually futz around with config files.
There's really nothing further from the truth. Personally I set it and forget
it. And the great thing is that once something is set, it remains stable.

Slack is also cool in that there are simple config tools (netconfig, pppconfig,
xorgconfig and the like) that will walk a user through the process. But
instead of forcing the user to use it, it's just a simple convenience.

>
> > I started using linux in 1995 with RedHat something-or-other for about 2
> > weeks. I decided to go to something else so I tried Debian, and landed
> > on Slackware a short time after.
>
> It seems like all the high-end users land on Slackware eventually :).  That
> could effect my perspective since I started with Slackware and whenever I
> tried something else it seemed a lot worse.

I'm warming to Debian. The apt system, like Gentoo's emerge, is a powerful
motivator. Slack's complete lack of package dependency management is sometimes
quite painful. Wanting to install something from source is a lot more dicey
when upon configure you find that you need 3 or 4 separate other packages
in order to do the job.

I've installed Slack 10 on my laptop. I found this time I was somewhat
annoyed in having to configure X then Knoppix/Debian set it up for you
automagically.

>
> > It wouldn't be a permanent home. Try SuSe instead then, I meant "try an
> > easy point-and-click one then if you feel like hacking try Debian or
> > Slackware"
>
> Then why specifically suggest a dead distro like Red Hat?  The recommended
> migration path from Red Hat is Fedora.  I do think SuSe is a better choice
> than Fedora.

Also add Knoppix/Debian to the list. Instant starting along with a really
easy permanent install path. Be aware that you'll probably need to download
the latest static copy of ntfsresize 1.9.2 from linux-ntfs.sf.net.
(direct link to htfsresize FAQ:

http://mlf.linux.rulez.org/mlf/ezaz/ntfsresize.html)

{Quote hidden}

Cool story. I actually had migrated away from Unix in the mid 80s and started
using DOS machines extensively. In 1993 I installed my first SLS (I was
professoring by that time). Never looked back.

{Quote hidden}

Actually it does. It makes you much more picky about hardware. My first
question is "Is there a kernel driver for it?" If the answer is no, then I'm
not buying. And more importantly I inform the Windows users that I know not
to buy it either. PUNISH THOSE HARDWARE VENDORS!

>
> I love Linux.  It is by far the best server OS around.  It is just not
> suitable for the desktop where it will encounter more exotic hardware and
> have to deal with users who can't spend 20 hours trying to figure out how to
> install OpenOffice when they have a report due in 10 hours.

Knoppix dude! Knoppix. Has OO.o 1.1.1 and it's preinstalled. Nothing to set up.

>
> BTW, I haven't used X for years.  Have they found some decent fonts yet? :)

I believe that someone finally donated a collection of TrueType fonts to
the cause.

I can't function well without X anymore. But then again, why would I want to?

BAJ

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2004\07\13@183236 by James Newton, Host

face picon face
Picking up our story where I left off...

Just before I can flick open my Zippo, in the room filled with leaking gas,
I hear the spark of an arc welder behind me and the flames erupt,
unexpectedly cutting off my exit...

I do believe that Linux has caused more wars than the catholic church (he
says, flicking on the Zippo) and I would really like to cut this one short.

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> {Original Message removed}

2004\07\13@184418 by Michael O'Donnell

flavicon
face
it gets better... the thread quickly turned to Windows vs. Linux!

At 03:30 PM 7/13/2004, you wrote:
>Picking up our story where I left off...
>
>Just before I can flick open my Zippo, in the room filled with leaking gas,
>I hear the spark of an arc welder behind me and the flames erupt,
>unexpectedly cutting off my exit...
>
>I do believe that Linux has caused more wars than the catholic church (he
>says, flicking on the Zippo) and I would really like to cut this one short.
>
>---
>James Newton: PICList webmaster/Admin
>EraseMEjamesnewtonRemoveMEspamSTOPspampiclist.com  1-619-652-0593 phone
>http://www.piclist.com/member/JMN-EFP-786
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>
>
>
> > {Original Message removed}

2004\07\13@190457 by Jason S

flavicon
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From: "Byron A Jeff" <RemoveMEbyronKILLspamspamTakeThisOuTCC.GATECH.EDU>
Sent: Tuesday, July 13, 2004 2:56 PM


> I disagree with this assessment. The collection of files is just the tip
of the
> iceberg. There are multiple facets including policy, stability vs
innovation,
> and the community based around the distribution.

Stability vs innovation is reflected in the selection and configuration of
files.  Do you inlcude the latest kernel, or one that's 3 months old and
known to be stable?  Same for all the major apps.

The community around the distro is an issue, but is Slackware different
enough from SuSe that an experienced user in either couldn't help a novice
in another?  The communities around the distros is just one more thing
dividing the linux community.  If half the effort put into supporting the
different distros was all put into developing apps and improving what's
already out there, think where linux could be.

> I've taken to starting new users with Knoppix, a live CD based Debian
> distribution that is most of the time simply drop in and reboot to get
started.

How hard is it to migrate from Knoppix to Debian?  I prefer to start new
users with zipslack since the migration to a standard slackware install is
trivial.  I must admit I've never tried Knoppix though I've heard of it.
It's been a while since I've had a look at Debian too, but it was pretty
nice last time I did try it.

> The one thing that I've learned in my nearly dozen years as a Linux user,
is
> that novices should never have to tackle the first install alone.  They
can
> make more informed and less emotional decisions when they are presented
with
> a working desktop the first go around. Knoppix (and other Live-CD distros)
> helps in this regard because setup is instantaneous and pretty much
complete.
> This allows for new users to get comfortable before having to make machine
> altering decisions.

I agree with most of this, but I draw different conclusions.  If setup with
a Live-CD is instantaneous and complete, why can't we all just use that kind
of distro?  Why does the user have to grow to make machine altering
decisions?   These are rhetorical questions, but the point is installing
"Linux" is too complex because there are too many different things that are
"Linux" and it's all too fragmented.

There is the holy war issue.  I might ask for help with Mandrake in a
general linux forum and get responses like "That's such a lame distro; get
something good and then come ask for help".  I've seen newbies treated like
that, and I know my response would be to go back to windows.

Linux needs a much more united front to be much more than a toy used by
techies.  How many desktop environment and distro combinations would you
guess there are?  Choice is good, but Linux is fragmented beyond simple
choice.

Sun is going to release the Looking Glass desktop environment under the GPL;
it's an innovative 3D design philosophy.  The windows all exist in a virtual
3D space and can be moved and rotated in 3D.  That's all well and good, but
now there's the Metisse desktop environment which is in an early alpha stage
and it's basically a rip-off of Looking Glass.  Why waste the time and
effort doing something that's already been done.  It just divides the
userbase even more and makes it that much harder to find support within the
tiny little group using whatever you do use.  This is the current face of
linux; there's huge duplication of all the projects.  It's all wasted effort
and only serves to divide and conquer the whole linux community.

> True. Which is why I also believe that for Linux novices, that the
community
> that'll be involved in your development is critical. I for one would
probably
> not recommend Redhat/Fedora for newbies that will be working with me,
primarily
> because I'm not a Redhat/Fedora User.

Exactly, so you will have more difficulty dealing with and helping a
Redhat/Fedora user than someone using Knoppix/Debian.  It's a divison that
harms all linux users.

> BTW as a Slack user from the beginning (in fact I first installed SLS!) I
> wouldn't recommend it for a first timer. There's way too much config that
needs
> to be done just to get going.

You said you've been around linux for 12 years, so I figured you must have
dealt with SLS.  From what I've read it was a lot more difficult to install
from that than Slack.  Even Slackware today is much easier to install thanit
was in 1995.  There is a lot more included with it.  It seemed like each
time I'd install it, there was a lot missing; PHP, SSL, etc.  It was kind of
funny.  I'd spend hours installing important apps right after installing
Slack, and then the very next distro a few months later would have it all
pre-installed.  There's a lot more pre-configured these days too.  I must of
walked a hundred people through setting up slackware as a DSL/Cablemodem
router in 2000 and 2001, and it even does that right out of the box now.

I think if a user can't deal with the latest version of slackware they
shouldn't be using Linux.  I don't mean this in an elitist snob way; I think
linux is not suitable for the majority of users.

As I said, I don't use linux on the desktop anymore.  I found that I can
either spend my time struggling to get drivers to work, seeing which
dependancies are missing that prevent some new piece of software from
working and reading How-To's, or I can actually use my computer.  I picked
the latter.

I used to have the attitude that if my computer crashed once a year it was
unacceptable, so the only choice was linux.  Sure my computer crashes a lot
more with windows, but I spend a lot less time rebooting than I used to
spend looking for drivers.

> I've been working on the biggest Linux obstacle lately: the NT FileSystem.
.....
> And with everyone coming into the party now having

AFAIK, Linux can read an NTFS partition.  I've always made sure not to use
NTFS on a system that would also run linux.  I hadn't really thought about
the migration issue.  My only dual boot machine is my linux notebook which
is an old Powerbook G3 I bought to run YellowDog Linux on.  It turned out
that the powerbook has an "old-world" bios and so it can only boot to MacOS.
MacOS only exists on that machine to run the bootloader for linux.


> So there are valid reasons for choices, and valid reasons for the
arguments.

Right.  But the "valid reasons for the arguments" seem to arise because
linux developers build a lot of virtually identical projects.  If the
project is necessary, there is a best choice for the job and there is no
argument.  The arguments are about choices so similar they are redundant.

Jason

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2004\07\13@193438 by Jason S

flavicon
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From: "Byron A Jeff" <RemoveMEbyronspam_OUTspamCC.GATECH.EDU>
Sent: Tuesday, July 13, 2004 3:17 PM

> Untrue. That's the line that the Winbots in comp.os.linux.advocacy use.
> Linux has coverage for most of the top ticket items that users want to do:
> Web Browse, E-mail, Office apps, Media, and Games (to a degree). And one
can
> function with these types of apps without ever writing a script or popping
> up a shell.

Interesting that your defense of linux requires resorting to namecalling
"Winbots".  Keep in mind though that I'm not a "Winbot", but a long time
linux user who has given up on linux on the desktop.  Linux is built upon a
culture of elitism.

As far as that coverage.  It just doesn't work.  Let's see that Media
support deal with my ATI All-in-wonder TV tuner card.  There is some sort of
TV tuner app that pre-installed with slackware.  It even seems to support my
card, but all I get is snow.  I wasted a lot of hours reading the very
limited documentation, tweaking all the controls, and getting nowhere.
Office apps?  I have a USB Photosmart printer.  Get the Open Office word
processor to print to it.  I'm pretty sure that will work (though support
wasn't avilable yet last time I booted X), but it will take a lot of work
setting up the printer drivers.

As a user, I don't want to deal with these headaches.  In windows, I plug my
printer into the computer's USB port for the first time, it prompts for the
driver CD, installs automagically, and reboots (yes reboots - that's not a
4-letter word).  3 minutes after connecting the printer, I'm ready to print.
With linux I'd still be staring at the first page of google search results
by the time I'm finished printing my first document in windows.

> It's only tangentially for the end user. Having the source serves a few
> purposes:
> 1) If it's broke, then someone other than the original author can fix it.
I'm
...
> 2) Coupled with this is that with the source, applications can upgrade
when
...
> 3) No danger of when the author or a company disappears that suddenly
there's

This is all just spouting open source propaganda.  You're not even referring
to drivers, it seems like you cut and pasted that from somewhere else.  Yes
that's all true.  But if D-Link released the source for the driver for my
WiFi cardbus card, how does that help me, as an end user use the card with
linux?  That's my original question.

> Slack is also cool in that there are simple config tools (netconfig,
pppconfig,
> xorgconfig and the like) that will walk a user through the process. But
> instead of forcing the user to use it, it's just a simple convenience.

Agreed.  As I've said, slack is my preferred distro.  I generally use
netconfig and then tweak the rc.inet[1|2] files for example.

> I'm warming to Debian. The apt system, like Gentoo's emerge, is a powerful
> motivator. Slack's complete lack of package dependency management is
sometimes
> quite painful. Wanting to install something from source is a lot more
dicey
> when upon configure you find that you need 3 or 4 separate other packages
> in order to do the job.

I haven't tried Debian for a long time.  I like the apt system on YDL
though, so I can see a strong argument to migrate to something that uses it.
The worst was when I installed Mod-Perl on slackware 3.3.  I kept a list of
all the packages I had to install to satisfy the dependancies.  It was in
the 20's.  It took 5 hours the first time, and then about 45 minutes the
second time on the production server :) -- It is annoying to have to spend
so much time reading docs to do one simple little thing.  Of course, the
next version of Slack came with it pre-installed.

> I've installed Slack 10 on my laptop. I found this time I was somewhat
> annoyed in having to configure X then Knoppix/Debian set it up for you
> automagically.

The xf86config utility is quite easy to use though.  I've never managed to
get the default screen modes part to work though.  I don't think I have a
single machine with a working copy of X right now, and it really doesn't
bother me.

> Actually it does. It makes you much more picky about hardware. My first
> question is "Is there a kernel driver for it?" If the answer is no, then
I'm
> not buying. And more importantly I inform the Windows users that I know
not
> to buy it either. PUNISH THOSE HARDWARE VENDORS!

The question is who suffers more from the lost sale.  You will likely pay
more for a piece of hardware that is less exactly what you want.  The
company's directors aren't going to lose sleep over one lost sale on 100k
units.  Linux is about 5% of the market; the companies that don't support
linux care less about losing 5% of their sales than you care about not using
the product.

I could say I think George Lucas is a slime-ball who's ruining the Star Wars
franchise and ripping-off his loyal fans for profit, so I'm not going to see
SW:3 in theaters.  The thing is I'd probably care more about missing it on
the big screen than he would about losing my $7.  He'd probably get a good
laugh out of it if I told him I was boycotting it for that reason.

> > BTW, I haven't used X for years.  Have they found some decent fonts yet?
:)
>
> I believe that someone finally donated a collection of TrueType fonts to
> the cause.

Cool, maybe it's time to install Slack 10 with X on my test machine :)

Jason

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2004\07\13@193439 by Jason S

flavicon
face
Okay, I'll stop now.  Sorry :)


----- Original Message -----
From: "James Newton, Host" <spam_OUTjamesnewtonspam_OUTspamspam_OUTPICLIST.COM>
To: <PICLISTspam_OUTspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Tuesday, July 13, 2004 3:30 PM
Subject: Re: [OT:] PC ethics question


> Picking up our story where I left off...
>
> Just before I can flick open my Zippo, in the room filled with leaking
gas,
> I hear the spark of an arc welder behind me and the flames erupt,
> unexpectedly cutting off my exit...
>
> I do believe that Linux has caused more wars than the catholic church (he
> says, flicking on the Zippo) and I would really like to cut this one
short.
>
> ---
> James Newton: PICList webmaster/Admin
> RemoveMEjamesnewtonKILLspamspam@spam@piclist.com  1-619-652-0593 phone
> http://www.piclist.com/member/JMN-EFP-786
> PIC/PICList FAQ: http://www.piclist.com
>
>
>
> > {Original Message removed}

2004\07\13@193647 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> >Clearly he is an utter rogue. (You should hear the tape :-) )

> Is such taping of a telephone conversation legal in your jurisdiction?
> Make real sure about this one. In North America it varies by State and
> Province, from quite legal without one of the parties knowing to
> quite illegal. Personally, legality aside, I'm a little uncomfortable
> with the ethics of it, though if it's legal, reasonable in total from
> beginning to end, and I had it, I'd use it. It's sometimes pretty easy to
> provoke or lead someone if you know it's being taped and he doesn't.

Depends on situation. Taping per se is legal. Usage varies.
Here's a NZ legal opinion . Rather interesting

       http://www.privacy.org.nz/privword/38hd.html

If I made an accurate transcript from my eidetic memory I'd probably be on
safe ground but have my memory questioned. If my memory is eidetic-magnetic
:-) the accuracy is less questionable but the fairness more so.


       RM

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2004\07\13@194308 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> Just before I can flick open my Zippo, in the room filled with leaking
gas,

That's the original thread I presume.

> I hear the spark of an arc welder behind me and the flames erupt,
> unexpectedly cutting off my exit...

And that's the Linux thread.

Now, if you have an intrinsically safe Zippo (can't think what you would use
it for :-) ) one might just possibly maybe perhaps eke a bit more ethics out
of this thread before the flame cometh. It's been very interesting so far.
But, maybe not.


           RM

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2004\07\13@200341 by Randy Abernathy

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In a message dated 7/13/2004 7:44:34 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
spam_OUTapptechspamKILLspamPARADISE.NET.NZ writes:

That's  the original thread I presume.

> I hear the spark of an arc welder  behind me and the flames erupt,
> unexpectedly cutting off my  exit...

And that's the Linux thread.

Now, if you have an  intrinsically safe Zippo (can't think what you would use
it for :-) ) one  might just possibly maybe perhaps eke a bit more ethics out
of this thread  before the flame cometh. It's been very interesting so far.
But, maybe  not.


RM



I thought the original thread was concerning a software distributor  in NZ
that had not only charged too much for what he sold a Church but he had
pre-loaded a MicroSoft operating system without a license and had sold the  Church
(Entity X) what the original poster considered out of date applications,  i.e.
Office 2000 instead of the newer 2003 and charged them too much for  it.
Anyway, maybe I missed something way back.

Randy  Abernathy
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industrial woodworking machinery. My background as Senior Service Engineer for
the SCMI Group for nearly fifteen years with factory training, combines with
my  extensive background in electronics, mechanics, pneumatics, electrical and
CNC  machinery to offer you needed support for your  machinery.

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2004\07\13@203856 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> I thought the original thread was concerning a software distributor  in NZ
....

That's correct. (My original post).

James post was metaphorical. He could see the potential for religious flame
wars of various sorts to break out. Interestingly, the Linux thread went
somewhat flamey almost immediately (in both intra-Linux and inter O/S
senses) whereas the original has essentially stayed within ethics even
though 'Christian' principals have been mentioned repeatedly. Don't expect
it to last :-)

       RM

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2004\07\13@204311 by James Newton, Host

face picon face
> I thought the original thread was concerning a software
> distributor  in NZ that had not only charged too much for
> what he sold a Church but he had pre-loaded a MicroSoft
> operating system without a license and had sold the  Church
> (Entity X) what the original poster considered out of date
> applications,  i.e.
> Office 2000 instead of the newer 2003 and charged them too
> much for  it.

No that one is pretty stable (not a volatile, leaking gas smell, just the
stench of something crooked and rotting) but the "what would Jesus do?"
thing was scary and the *nix/win war is just down right terrifying.

Has anyone else noticed how close "nix" and "win" are? Pretty soon it will
just be X and W, then we will find out that Linoos is actually Bill when the
potion wears off...

It will occur to you to wonder, what if Jesus had actually said "The geek
shall inherit the earth", but was just misquoted? Then you'll think of Bill
Gates. Then you'll start to worry.

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2004\07\13@205521 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> No that one is pretty stable (not a volatile, leaking gas smell, just the
> stench of something crooked and rotting) but the "what would Jesus do?"
> thing was scary ...

That WAS part of my original question set BTW :-)


       RM

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2004\07\13@221622 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
For the non PICListers - I've had copious PICList feedback on this and some
private replies from friends.

OK - here's my best shot message to the guy.
I frankly would rather that he didn't respond favourably as I'm left in the
dilemma of what to do about other people dealing with him. But I feel I owe
it to him (albeit not too strongly) to confront him with what I might
propose. It *might* be no action, but i suspect not.

Names have been ______'d to protect the innocent and guilty :-)

I'll sit on this for some hours before sending. Anyone is welcome to
critique. I'll do a final grammar and spelling check before sending so don't
worry about typos etc.



       RM

_____________________


D_____,

I wish to give you a last opportunity to discuss the software that you
provided to the G___ ____ _________ Church.
I strongly recommend that you do not just ignore this email.

If you decline to discuss the matter I will consider which of the various
options available to the church are appropriate and advise the church
leadership accordingly. These include but are not limited to some or all of
approaches to: Microsoft, Commerce Commission, Small Claims Court, Consumer
or even possibly some of the more populist channels such as "Fair Go" and
similar.

As I explained yesterday, the software sold to the G___ ____ _________
Church is unable to be used by the church as-supplied due to ethical and
legal reasons. The church wishes to deal in a legal and moral manner at all
times, and the software provided fails that requirement. You did not sell us
or install legally useable software. Also, as I advised, the software that
was installed, was not installed completely correctly - Publisher does not
function. Our alternatives are to spend additional money remedying the
situation or to seek redress.

You questioned my right to represent the church. I am a member of the church
leadership and have been explicitly authorised by Mr P_______ Mata'afa, the
person who purchased the software on behalf of the church, to deal with
S_____n T___ in this matter. If you wish I can arrange for Mr Mata'afa to
contact you and confirm this arrangement.

My original wish was to simply request a refund for the packaged software,
which has not been opened. Apart from the legal and ethical issues there are
other aspects which make our case compelling. I would be surprised if you
were not well aware of these.

If I do not receive at least an interim reply within the next day I will
assume that you do not wish to discuss this matter further.
I was disappointed that you so vehemently declined to discuss the matter
when I telephoned you yesterday.


       Russell McMahon
       G___ ____ _________ Church.

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2004\07\13@231310 by Jason S

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I just noticed you said the software wasn't opened.  Doesn't the MS terms of
use say that if you don't agree with the license agreement, return it to the
purchaser for a full refund before you open it?

You obviously don't agree to the terms that require you to have a previous
version to upgrade to :).

I know at least in the US there are websites documenting small claims cases
where people recovered money from large PC vendors by saying they didn't
agree to the MS EULA and wanted to use Linux.

Good luck with the issue.

Jason


{Original Message removed}

2004\07\13@234046 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
James,

I read you cut off note. There is still useful information in this thread.
I promise I'll pull my personal plug if I feel that nothing else can be
gained from discussion.

On Tue, Jul 13, 2004 at 04:09:27PM -0700, Jason S wrote:
{Quote hidden}

But that's exactly my point. Such selections, and the policy and politics
behind them, drives the differences in distribution.

>
> The community around the distro is an issue, but is Slackware different
> enough from SuSe that an experienced user in either couldn't help a novice
> in another?

Absolutely. Especially when it comes to config and admin tasks, there is more
than enough differentiation that even experts such as you and I have issues
guiding folks with distributions that we are not familiar with. While the
basics are the same, as you pointed out in your other post, the mechanisms
used for configuration vary so widely that distro hopping isn't easy to do.


>  The communities around the distros is just one more thing
> dividing the linux community.  If half the effort put into supporting the
> different distros was all put into developing apps and improving what's
> already out there, think where linux could be.

I don't think that's the real problem. Evidence is that the vast majority
of Linux based software is distribution agnostic. Another advantage of having
most everything source based.

I think the real problem lies in commercial application vendors (Oracle for
example) only certifying for a particular distribution (Redhat enterprise
edition for example). While I understand the support issue, I believe that
such vendors should foster a community effort to get their software to be
distribution agnostic. But they don't seem to have much interest in doing so.

>
> > I've taken to starting new users with Knoppix, a live CD based Debian
> > distribution that is most of the time simply drop in and reboot to get
> started.
>
> How hard is it to migrate from Knoppix to Debian?

In some ways a standard Debian install is a step down as Knoppix does a really
good job of autodetecting and autoconfiguring hardware.

In answer to your question, on the Knoppix CD is a script that will unbundle
the CD into a traditional Debian. Takes less than 20 minutes.

> I prefer to start new
> users with zipslack since the migration to a standard slackware install is
> trivial.

Does zipslack work properly under NTFS?

>  I must admit I've never tried Knoppix though I've heard of it.
> It's been a while since I've had a look at Debian too, but it was pretty
> nice last time I did try it.

With apt, it has gotten much much better. dpkg used to be a struggle.

{Quote hidden}

Because nothing is perfect. There are a few downsides to it:

1) It's slow. Real slow. It takes time for the CD to spin up and apps to load.

2) It occupies your CD. A CD that you may want to use for something else.

3) It's deliberately designed not to use any permanent resources unless you
  specifically configure it to do so. So there's no permanent save area.

4) A Live CD doesn't have a way to add new applications easily or permanently.

5) There's no easy way to create traditional user accounts. You get the package
  that comes with the CD.

What it does give you is the ability to demo a full fledged package with
minimum fuss. It's as painless as dropping in a CD and booting from it.

BTW Knoppix does use some tricks to work on 1-4 above. You can transfer the
CD image to a hard disk and run it from there. Helps with 1 and 2. Also you
can create an area for user files and system configurations.

However the challenge that I alluded to in my other message rears its ugly
head. Linux doesn't have any real clean native solutions for dealing with NTFS.
And the vast majority of modern machines have a single HD partition filled to
the gills with NTFS. It's one of the challenges that my advanced Unix class is
working on this summer.

>  Why does the user have to grow to make machine altering
> decisions?

Good question. My ideal newbie distro would reside in a directory on the
user current machine without any alterations except for the directory. You
agree because ZipSlack is modeled in this way. But it's in the same boat
where it only runs in FAT partitions, and most modern machines don't have
FAT partitions.

There is one out: the current 2.6 NTFS driver works fine for overwrite. So it's
possible to access read/write a loopback filesystem under NTFS. Fortunately
that's how Knoppix handles config file and what they call Permanent Home
Directories. So it may be possible. But I know from experience that apt isn't
configured to run from the CD. It's a major loss of functionality because
you can't easily add applications (#4 above)

>   These are rhetorical questions, but the point is installing
> "Linux" is too complex because there are too many different things that are
> "Linux" and it's all too fragmented.

I disagree. Linux is complex to install because the first time with a new user
by definition it has to share real estate with this existing OS on the machine.
Trust me, a Linux install of most any distribution is trivial when there is
dedicated disk space for the task. But as you point out above, it creates a
situation that is be definition machine altering.

A 3 tier introduction needs to be done. I like Live CD/ZipSlack style
distributions for tier 1. Quick to get started, Very little config. Instant
(or near instant) access.  I prefer Knoppix here personally because it comes
with a bunch more tools. Nearly 2 Gigs of software is compressed onto a 700 MB
CD.

Tier 2 is a quick setup install that has a more permanent feel, but with
autoconfig/autosetup and still no permanent machine alteration. Allows for
resource sharing without having to make a total committment.

By the time you get to tier 3, many users will be wanting to make the move
permanent.

>
> There is the holy war issue.  I might ask for help with Mandrake in a
> general linux forum and get responses like "That's such a lame distro; get
> something good and then come ask for help".  I've seen newbies treated like
> that, and I know my response would be to go back to windows.

It's sad. There's no law that says that Linux geeks cannot be callous idiots
unfortunately. But the right answer is to try to train the idiots, not try to
regiment so that there's a "one distro fits all system". Not that you could
pull that off anyway. Since the code is Open Source, anyone can create their
own package.

>
> Linux needs a much more united front to be much more than a toy used by
> techies.  How many desktop environment and distro combinations would you
> guess there are?  Choice is good, but Linux is fragmented beyond simple
> choice.

I think that things are closer than you think. If you look at the commonality
of Linux distributions, you'll find that the mostly have the same DNA. The
differentiation comes in packaging and configuration.

That why I hark back to the community issue again. It really doesn't matter
if there are a trillion different choices as long as you have support for the
one that you choose. That's why my answer to "What distribution?" is often
"Whichever one your friends/collegues use."

>
> Sun is going to release the Looking Glass desktop environment under the GPL;
> it's an innovative 3D design philosophy.  The windows all exist in a virtual
> 3D space and can be moved and rotated in 3D.  That's all well and good, but
> now there's the Metisse desktop environment which is in an early alpha stage
> and it's basically a rip-off of Looking Glass.  Why waste the time and
> effort doing something that's already been done.

Because the overall Free Software Community is an open marketplace. It's
survival of the fittest. If Metisse is stable and it works, it'll get some
play. Otherwise it'll languish.

But this is a good thing. A form of genetic programming where you generate
lots and lots of different permutations, then let the market sort out which
ones are useful.

One thing I've learned as a Linux user is that I don't need to know or try
everything. I just need to have access to the subset of tools that helps me
to be successful. I access and integrate new stuff as it comes along. Some
works (KDE, Slack, Knoppix, Mozilla soon to add CUPS on my list), while
others don't (Gentoo hasn't gelled for me though I understand the
rationale). Some I still haven't gotten to (Firefox for example).

One doesn't need to know everything, just what you need to get the job done.

I see your point from the newbie perspective. It's overwhelming to have all
of this choice. But to stifle it creates a worse situation because then the
needs of all the constituency may not be able to be met.


>  It just divides the
> userbase even more and makes it that much harder to find support within the
> tiny little group using whatever you do use.  This is the current face of
> linux; there's huge duplication of all the projects.  It's all wasted effort
> and only serves to divide and conquer the whole linux community.

To reiterate. You premise presumes that there is only one (or a limited number)
of right way to do a task. Therefore focus on the right way, and discard all
the other paths.

The question is though: right for whom? Here's a quick example. What if the
decision was made that the right way to do interfaces is that everything must
run X. You've already stated that you don't use it. However because the
consensus is that having a GUI across the board is a good thing, that everyone
will now have to have it.

Not good is it? That's why choice is needed. It facilitates meeting the needs
of the those small groups that fall outside the mainstream. But it turns out
that there are a bunch of those groups.

The diversity that they bring to the party strengthens the overall product.
The cost is having to make decisions, adding some complexity, and yes there
will be overlap. But the benefits far outweigh the liability.

{Quote hidden}

I don't see it that way. It's a choice that gives each of us the flexibility
to choose what we need. The alternative (there is only one way to do it and
you all will do it this way: Hmmmm where have I seen that? ;-) leads down
the path towards destruction IMHO.

{Quote hidden}

While I do know where you're coming from, it's in opinion that will keep
Linux in a niche from which it'll never escape. I guess I'll trot out the
tired old analogy: "Well if you can't change the timing belt on your car,
then you shouldn't be driving." Tired I know, but true. Using a computer to
do useful work is orthogonal to understanding the underlaying mechanisms.
And the group that you're talking about are computer users. And I agree with
their opinion: "I don't care how and why things work. I just want them to
work."

My mother has a Linux box. I'm the sys admin. It's 500 miles from me. But
it works. Everyday. It does the things she needs to do. She has little
knowledge of the configs, partitions, daemons, and config files for the
machine. But it does web browsing, E-mail, and light office work without a
hitch.

According to your statement, she shouldn't use it because the ins and outs of
its operation are beyond her.

I think exactly the opposite.

>
> As I said, I don't use linux on the desktop anymore.  I found that I can
> either spend my time struggling to get drivers to work, seeing which
> dependancies are missing that prevent some new piece of software from
> working and reading How-To's, or I can actually use my computer.  I picked
> the latter.

Interesting. I picked the latter too, and all my boxes are primarily Linux
boxes [Split with XPPRO on my laptop for work].  And again I point out that
the software dependency thing is a Slackware issue.  None of the other
moderns distributions have that problem.

>
> I used to have the attitude that if my computer crashed once a year it was
> unacceptable, so the only choice was linux.  Sure my computer crashes a lot
> more with windows, but I spend a lot less time rebooting than I used to
> spend looking for drivers.

I got Sassered last month. I spent nearly a week trying to track down how to
Desasser and setup again further infection. Personally I'd rather spend a
bit of time learning about a driver than dealing with that hassle.

{Quote hidden}

NTFS is a major issue.

>
>
> > So there are valid reasons for choices, and valid reasons for the
> arguments.
>
> Right.  But the "valid reasons for the arguments" seem to arise because
> linux developers build a lot of virtually identical projects.  If the
> project is necessary, there is a best choice for the job and there is no
> argument.

It's all a matter of perspective. If there are 50 points of view, then there
are nearly 50 best choices for the job. And there will be argument because
each person will bring a valid reason why it's not the best choice for them.

Let's bring it back into PIC space for a minute. Here's an assertion:

MPLAB is the best tool for PIC development.

Any argument? I think you know where I'm going with this...

From a Linux perspective, MPLAB is persona non grata. Not only is it not the
best choice, it's not even a viable choice.

>  The arguments are about choices so similar they are redundant.

Example?

BAJ

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2004\07\14@002548 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Tue, Jul 13, 2004 at 04:39:15PM -0700, Jason S wrote:
> From: "Byron A Jeff" <RemoveMEbyronspamspamCC.GATECH.EDU>
> Sent: Tuesday, July 13, 2004 3:17 PM
>
> > Untrue. That's the line that the Winbots in comp.os.linux.advocacy use.
> > Linux has coverage for most of the top ticket items that users want to do:
> > Web Browse, E-mail, Office apps, Media, and Games (to a degree). And one
> can
> > function with these types of apps without ever writing a script or popping
> > up a shell.
>
> Interesting that your defense of linux requires resorting to namecalling
> "Winbots".  Keep in mind though that I'm not a "Winbot",

It's not namecalling. On comp.os.linux.advocacy, they are Winbots. A collection
of posters that have a deliberate campaign to sow seeds of dissent in that
newsgroup.

I was describing the line, not you as the author.

> but a long time
> linux user who has given up on linux on the desktop.  Linux is built upon a
> culture of elitism.

> As far as that coverage.  It just doesn't work.  Let's see that Media
> support deal with my ATI All-in-wonder TV tuner card.  There is some sort of
> TV tuner app that pre-installed with slackware.  It even seems to support my
> card, but all I get is snow.  I wasted a lot of hours reading the very
> limited documentation, tweaking all the controls, and getting nowhere.

I know where you're coming from on that. We took different paths when we
got to that fork in the road. I understand your path. Here's mine: instead
of trying to get Linux software to conform to the hardware that I have, I
always purchase hardware that Linux has support (and preferably well documented
support) for. I support the vendors and developers that have taken the time to
get the software to work.

Again I understand your expectation. You have hardware, Linux should work with
it. Simple. But it's hardware that typically is designed to work for some
version of Windows. I always see a small miracle everytime some printer,
camera, or other dohickey works at all. I find it to be a testament to the
fortitude of a community fighting a uphill battle.

> Office apps?  I have a USB Photosmart printer.  Get the Open Office word
> processor to print to it.  I'm pretty sure that will work (though support
> wasn't avilable yet last time I booted X), but it will take a lot of work
> setting up the printer drivers.

I may now have an avenue for you to test it. Knoppix is really good at this
type of task. It should take 5 minutes to test out:

1. Boot Knoppix.
2. Configure your printer from the K->KNOPPIX->Configure Printer dialog.
3. Start OO.o from the task bar.
4. Test and print.

CUPS is doing some amazing things with printer setup. It may be time to take
another look.

>
> As a user, I don't want to deal with these headaches.  In windows, I plug my
> printer into the computer's USB port for the first time, it prompts for the
> driver CD, installs automagically, and reboots (yes reboots - that's not a
> 4-letter word).  3 minutes after connecting the printer, I'm ready to print.

I have a story on this process outlined above. I was doing some work for my
kids' school. And while the process you outlined above is how it work, I
had the roughest time keeping it stable:

1 machine would print once, then lock up. I ended up having to set it up to
print to a remote printer.

Another would not load the driver from CD, or use the already installed copy
of the driver.

Another would simply randomly lose its print config and had to be reinstalled
every few days.

Talk about headaches.

> With linux I'd still be staring at the first page of google search results
> by the time I'm finished printing my first document in windows.

Try my test above. You'll be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is.

{Quote hidden}

I've done my own homework thank you.

>  Yes
> that's all true.  But if D-Link released the source for the driver for my
> WiFi cardbus card, how does that help me, as an end user use the card with
> linux?  That's my original question.

The list above directly relates to that. Companies stop support hardware all
the time. Go check out the Iomega Buz that I use for recording/playing video.
Iomega kicked it to the curb a couple of years ago. If I had to trust them
for support, I'd be out of luck.

There are binary only drivers that work for only one specific version of the
kernel. You can't upgrade without it breaking.

It's not propoganda. There are real issues here.

{Quote hidden}

It's the one thing that's getting me to the point of switching permanently.

>
> > I've installed Slack 10 on my laptop. I found this time I was somewhat
> > annoyed in having to configure X then Knoppix/Debian set it up for you
> > automagically.
>
> The xf86config utility is quite easy to use though.

New system. It's called xorgconfig now. It took me 10 minutes to find it.

> I've never managed to
> get the default screen modes part to work though.  I don't think I have a
> single machine with a working copy of X right now, and it really doesn't
> bother me.

As I stated before, I couldn't easily function without it now. To each his own.

{Quote hidden}

You missed the influence part. BTW recent estimates based on a variety of
measure puts Linux penetration somewhere between 12-14%. And if those folks
influence a percentage of Windows users, it can have a significant impact.

An example in the positive direction. I've had good luck with the HP Officejet
1210 3-1 multifunction. I can print/scan/copy. Due to my influence my mother,
my sister, and my niece have the same unit. The latter 2 are Windows users.
They bought on my recommendation. That's influence.

>
> I could say I think George Lucas is a slime-ball who's ruining the Star Wars
> franchise and ripping-off his loyal fans for profit, so I'm not going to see
> SW:3 in theaters.  The thing is I'd probably care more about missing it on
> the big screen than he would about losing my $7.  He'd probably get a good
> laugh out of it if I told him I was boycotting it for that reason.

I understand where you're coming from with the drop in the bucket theory.
But if you could influence 10 million not to see it, it would have a different
impact.

And BTW there are hardware vendors that are listening. Folks like LinkSys and
HP are working with Linux developers to make sure that drivers and specs are
available. And they have seen bumps in their sales because of it.

BAJ

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2004\07\14@002641 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> I just noticed you said the software wasn't opened.  Doesn't the MS terms
of
> use say that if you don't agree with the license agreement, return it to
the
> purchaser for a full refund before you open it?

Yee Ha !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

:-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

> You obviously don't agree to the terms that require you to have a previous
> version to upgrade to :).

I'm SURE that that dog won't hunt.
But it would be interesting to try.
"Excuse me please Mr Microsoft Sir. One of your resellers won't abide by the
terms on the package...

I wonder how that applies to 2nd hand product - which this may well be.
I suspect he may buy el cheapo old at auction and sell high.



       RM

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2004\07\14@002644 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> I read you cut off note. There is still useful information in this thread.
> I promise I'll pull my personal plug if I feel that nothing else can be
> gained from discussion.

Could we perhaps have a change of title for this spinoff thread as it is
essentially unrelated to the original whose name it carries. That way when
one gets shot down in flames it won't kill the other (which may follow soon
after anyway). Also helps people read only what is topical. I'm a
Linux-one-of-these-days person, but it won't be soon and i don't need to
research it yet :-)


       RM

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2004\07\14@013428 by Jinx

face picon face
> I wonder how that applies to 2nd hand product - which this may well
> be. I suspect he may buy el cheapo old at auction and sell high

But if it's unused can it be 2nd-hand ? The Sale Of Goods Act doesn't
apply to private sales, but yours was a commercial retail sale by a
specialist trader, not a 2nd-hand dealer

http://www.consumeraffairs.govt.nz/consumerinfo/commercialgoods.html

http://www.consumeraffairs.govt.nz/consumerinfo/secondhand.html

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2004\07\14@013636 by Jinx

face picon face
R, would you get any traction with this ?

===========

Remedies under the Sale of Goods Act

If the goods are faulty, you may be entitled to all your money back
(a full refund) or some of your money back (compensation).

You may be entitled to a full refund when:

- you told the seller what you wanted to use the goods for and
relied on their knowledge but the goods don't do the job

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2004\07\14@041229 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>Now, if you have an intrinsically safe Zippo (can't think
>what you would use it for :-) )

Well I will see you with a car cigarette lighter - is that intrinsically
safe having no flame ?? :))

>one might just possibly maybe perhaps eke a bit more ethics
>out of this thread before the flame cometh. It's been very
>interesting so far. But, maybe not.

Well I certainly found the Linux spin-off interesting, being a windows user
wanting to set up Linux on a Mini-ITX PC as a firewall now I have broadband
at home. Currently it does seem to have kept civilised.

Not sure if James' first warning was about Jasons post re the biblical
investigation, but I also found that particular item a well balanced
presentation of the teaching. It did not seem (to me anyway) to be pushing
any particular leaning. However I do respect James for trying to keep the
lid on the thread before it does become a pair of religious wars. We have
had far too many of those with bad consequences here.

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2004\07\14@041646 by Morgan Olsson

flavicon
face
Russell McMahon 14:17 2004-07-13:
>But is it fair to possibly destroy his business?

Absolutely: Partly because he seem to "steal" more money than he deserves, partly because he hurts his customers, but mostly because he take market from good dealers.

BTW; I guess he did not inform the buyer of alternatives either, such as OpenOffice http://www.openoffice.org or StarOffice, that would probably do the same thing, but leave more money for education (that a smart seller would offer too).

BTW, free open bookeeping program running on java (MSWIn/Linux/MAC) http://www.lazy8.nu

Sofware is about information and knowledge, not boxes and licenses IMHO.

/Morgan
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2004\07\14@205151 by hilip Stortz

picon face
wait till winter, when they close for a holiday/weekend, turn off their
gas main..... but make sure not to turn off water main...

you're probably out of luck, but i don't know NZ law, and law is so very
different in different places, and so dissimilar to reality in all of
them.  a lawyer might be the next step, if you can get a free initial
consultation or have one on retainer (seems like every one almost needs
to have one on retainer these days....) and see if they think you can do
any thing via the legal system.  otherwise, all you can is to tell
everyone your opinion about them (assuming that's legal there, it's my
nonprofessional and therefore legally worthless notion that in the u.s.
you can say bad things about companies/people as long as you are clearly
stating opinion, and not fact, i.e. you can say "i think they are pigs"
but can not say "they are pigs" without risking a law suit, but i could
easily be wrong, and wouldn't risk my poultry financial worth on it
without some legal advise...)

now you can and definitely should complain to microsoft, who are indeed
most litigious and certainly have many law firms on retainer, if not
several people in government..  make sure to go to their software piracy
reporting page etc. to get the right attention.  given enough complaints
micorsoft will doubtless try and get them the jail time they apparently deserve.

Russell McMahon wrote:
--------------
{Quote hidden}

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the hell they aren't airing the news any more!  Our system of government
requires an informed public, with their eyes open.

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2004\07\14@205812 by hilip Stortz

picon face
Judge not, until they smack you in the face, once that happens don't
judge, fight back.  they are doubtless doing this to others.  if someone
rapes you or tries, cutting off the offending organs while exposed is
hardly excessive. (not that you should go after them in person after the
fact, but during an assault, respond with any violence you can muster,
after the fact prosecute in proportion to the wrong, which is pretty
substantial in this case considering the likely large number of victims)

Russell McMahon wrote:
-------
{Quote hidden}

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2004\07\14@212132 by hilip Stortz

picon face
even better idea, surely NZ has some equivalent to our IRS (Internal
Revenue Service, the nice people who are supposed to rob you and exempt
from most laws).  in the U.S. they are Fierce, if he is doing this on a
large scale, he probably also isn't paying taxes on what he's stolen
(Which is one way criminals sometimes wind up behind bars when the
crimes that produced the profits can't be proved, but the profits
themselves can be, i.e. bank records, sales receipts, register tapes
(though the crafty run more than one register, and only one tape gets
saved...).  honest, they love to take on small businesses here, the kind
who can't afford the best law firms (it sucks when it's a basically
honest company/person, why not have them spend those resources on
someone who deserves it?).  throw them to the wolves.

I'm not jesus, but i avoid microsponge products like the plague.  this
is coming to you from a mac, via netscape and the mac os, and i'll be
moving to bsd soon, all the software i want is free there, or nearly so,
and i'm allowed to change it.  frankly, software licensing is a mess,
and like many contracts (by the way, since when has opening an envelope
been the same as signing your name?) contain things that are outright
illegal and unenforceable, and frankly, i will feel free to resell
anything other than trade secrets and similar property, that i own when
and how i please, the fine print be dammed.  i know what honest is, i
know what reasonable is.  a work derived from or containing trade
secrets in non reverse engineerable form is not a trade secret, it is an
end product like any other and should be treated no differently than a
loaf of bread, imho.  the irony of course is that microsoft is built on
software piracy, their very first product, dos, contained stolen code,
and even a copyright notice was left in the machine code (the owner
didn't sue because ibm was involved, even though it was obvious, at that
time ibm was a lot more scary than microsoft).  this reportedly is also
why bill gates was thrown out of college, for going through the computer
sciences building dumpster for printouts to steal code from rather than
doing the assignments himself.

apparently you don't always have to be a secretive thief to wind up
rich, you just have to be in bed with the right heavy weights.  some
rich people deserve it, many are thieves and are rich because they are
thieves, or extortionist or something else evil.

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2004\07\15@092907 by Russell McMahon

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OK - here's the (probably almost) final version of the letter.

I've tried to listen to what people have said about content - some
counselled more info, some much less. Various said put the consequences
clearly up front / early on.

I could leave out the "please please please do read this" at the start, but
if he fails to respond he can't say he hasn't been warned.

Spoke to MSoft about several aspects and they confirmed the general
expectation re both right of return and their displeasure at his deeds on
several counts. I did not tell them who he was - nor did they ask!.

Any final critiques most welcome - on list or off. Probably send about 12
hours from now. Have several ideas to ensure certified delivery.



       RM



_____________________________





D--- W---
S____ T___

Dear D___

I strongly recommend that you do not ignore this message. Your choice.

I wish to give you a last opportunity to discuss the software that you
recently provided to the xxx Church. I am a member of the church leadership
and am authorised to represent the church in this matter.

I was disappointed that you absolutely refused to discuss the matter when I
telephoned you recently. If you still decline to discuss this matter further
I will consider which of the various options available to the church are
appropriate and advise the church leadership accordingly. These include but
are not limited to some or all of approaches to: Microsoft, Commerce
Commission, Small Claims Court, Consumer or even possibly some of the more
populist channels such as "Fair Go".

As I explained in our telephone conversation on Tuesday July 13th, the
software sold to the xxx Church is unable to be used by the church as you
supplied it, due to ethical and legal reasons*. It is essential that the
church deals in a legal and moral manner at all times, and the software
provided fails that requirement. [* You did not sell us or install legally
useable software. You sold an upgrade version but installed a full version -
we are not legally entitled to use either of these on this PC.]

Also, as I advised, the software that was installed is not fully
functional - Publisher (and I have since found out, Powerpoint as well) do
not function as installed. It is entirely possible that we could not remedy
this problem using only the software that you provided due to the different
product keys and lack of any upgradeable software on the PC.

Also, despite claims to the contrary, the software was not sold in good
faith. As you will be well aware, there were several both better and cheaper
purchasing options available ** which you failed to offer the buyer and
pertinent information that you did not make him aware of. The buyer is an
accounting professional and is experienced in the use of computers for
accounting purposes but, as would have been obvious to you, is
"computer-naive" overall. He did not understand the legal ramifications of
your offer or actions. Had he done so he would not have consented to the
purchase. He did not understand that what you did was illegal, that you were
selling him old version software, that the installation could be a source of
problems in future (and is already faulty) or that it would require extra
expenditure and effort to rectify what you had done. [** These include, in
part, the current version of Microsoft Office OEM software which the buyer
was entitled to, Microsoft license based software at charity rates which the
buyer was entitled to and the failure to indicate that the software sold was
2 versions prior to the latest version available from Microsoft. True market
value of the software is a small fraction of what you charged.]

Our only alternatives are to spend additional money remedying the situation
or to seek redress.

Our original wish was to simply request a full refund for the packaged
software, which has not been opened. All Microsoft software comes with the
written entitlement that it may be returned unopened if the buyer does not
agree to the terms of the license. We are clearly not in a position to agree
to the terms, as we were supplied upgrade version software which we have no
right to, while you have loaded (malfunctioning) full version software which
we have not paid for onto the PC. I have spoken to Microsoft who confirm
this right of return. The fact that the installed software is not fully
functional is besides the point. I have spoken to the Microsoft anti-piracy
group (but have not, at this stage, told them your company name) and they
also confirm the unacceptable nature of the transaction and our right to a
refund.

You questioned my right to represent the church. I am a member of the church
leadership and have been explicitly authorised by Mr Pxxx Mxxx, the person
who purchased the software on behalf of the church*, to deal with S___ T___
in this matter. If you wish I can arrange for Mr Mxxx to contact you and
confirm this arrangement. I have attached a copy of your invoice as further
evidence of my bona fides. [The Pastor has also confirmed my authority to
act on this matter***. ]

If I do not receive at least an interim reply within the next day I will
assume that you do not wish to discuss this matter further.



Russell McMahon

xxx Church

*** Church number to contact pastor if required is xxx.
Genuineness of this number can be confirmed under xxx at Telecom white pages
site at
http://www.whitepages.co.nz/quick/search?lkey=auckland&page=search&listing_type=ALL&ind=1&key=baptist+&loc=ALL

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2004\07\15@093737 by Russell McMahon

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PS:  Note that the money per se is not the main point here. It matters -
$400+ more than we could have paid best case for a superior product is still
of interest, but it's the wider issues that drive this.  I note that the
general drift of advice, on list and off,  was more of the "not on my
watch"/think of other people, than of the 'turn the other cheek" variety.
FWIW I am fairly keen on the "not on my watch" concept when others are being
taken advantage of. I feel (rightly or not) that it more often than not
meets the WWJD criteria. When one is being taken advantage of personally it
is less liable to be the correct response, but not always so.


       RM

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2004\07\15@111120 by Josh Koffman

face picon face
What about adding something to prevent him from going "Oh, I'm looking
into it" and then never getting back to you. As it stands right now,
it seems if he gives you an interim reply, he buys infinite time.

Josh

On Fri, 16 Jul 2004 01:29:18 +1200, Russell McMahon
<@spam@apptechspamspamKILLspamparadise.net.nz> wrote:
> If I do not receive at least an interim reply within the next day I will
> assume that you do not wish to discuss this matter further.

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2004\07\15@114102 by Eisermann, Phil [Ridg/CO]

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pic microcontroller discussion list wrote:
> What about adding something to prevent him from going "Oh, I'm looking
> into it" and then never getting back to you. As it stands right now,
> it seems if he gives you an interim reply, he buys infinite time.

I would change the wording slightly to give a time-table/action
plan. Be polite and flexible, but insist on tangible actions. Also be
explicit on what you want. It sounds like you want a refund, but I do
not feel this is *explicitly* stated in the letter. And maybe there is
an alternate he will offer that is mutually acceptable (small chance,
but I find some people are more likely to respond favorably if you give
them the option)

Maybe something like "Please respond within 2 business days [or whatever
time frame the OP finds appropriate] of receiving this certified letter
wether you intent to honor my request for a refund, or propose an
alternate solution that is mutually acceptable"

> On Fri, 16 Jul 2004 01:29:18 +1200, Russell McMahon
> <spamBeGoneapptechRemoveMEspamEraseMEparadise.net.nz> wrote:
>> If I do not receive at least an interim reply within the next day I
>> will assume that you do not wish to discuss this matter further.


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2004\07\15@114932 by Russell McMahon

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It' been suggested offlist that

> ... It is very bad here
(not NZ or US)
> to either give legal advice or threaten. ...


> I tend to write letters like this for my own reference then strip
> out everything that is not directly related to the problem at hand.
> Most of these guys don't want to see logic. He represents Microsoft
> by selling Microsoft products their policy is take it back!!


His new version follows.
Thoughts ?

D--- W---
S____ T___

Dear D___

I was disappointed that you refused to discuss the matter
in our recent telephone call.

I am a member of the church leadership and have been explicitly
authorised by Mr Pxxx Mxxx, and the Pastor on behalf of the church*,
to deal with S___ T___ in this matter.  I can arrange for Mr Mxxx
to contact you and confirm this arrangement.

We (I) are returning the unopened software for a full refund.
I have spoken to Microsoft who confirm this right of return
and our right to a refund .

I expect a confirmation of this refund within . . .


Russell McMahon

xxx Church

*** Church number to contact pastor if required is xxx.
Genuineness of this number can be confirmed under xxx at Telecom white pages
site at
http://www.whitepages.co.nz/quick/search?lkey=auckland&page=search&listing_type=ALL&ind=1&key=baptist+&loc=ALL

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2004\07\15@115759 by Eisermann, Phil [Ridg/CO]

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pic microcontroller discussion list wrote:
>
> His new version follows.
> Thoughts ?
>

[snip]

> We (I) are returning the unopened software for a full refund.
> I have spoken to Microsoft who confirm this right of return
> and our right to a refund .
>
> I expect a confirmation of this refund within . . .

IMO it is much better than the previous versions because it
is short, clear, and to the point.

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2004\07\15@173010 by Nate Duehr

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On Jul 13, 2004, at 9:20 AM, James Newton, Host wrote:
> "All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do
> nothing."  I
> would argue that, especially in cases where there is an actual victim
> of a
> crime, those of us who actively attempt fair and honest behavior have a
> responsibility to prevent those who do not from perpetrating their
> misdeeds
> on those without our knowledge base.

Microsoft themselves are convicted criminals - (plea bargain) - at
least here in the U.S. -- so we should all definitely be looking for a
replacement in our "responsibility to prevent those who do not from
perpetrating their misdeeds on those without our knowledge base."

;-)

So far I just love that they're so much of a monopoly they're paying
off State governments here with free copies of their own software
(vouchers) instead of cash, even though at last count they have $70
Billion (yes that's a B) in the bank.

Nate

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2004\07\15@174711 by Nate Duehr

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On Jul 13, 2004, at 1:54 PM, Jason S wrote:

> The last release of Red Hat was in April 2003 (according to
> linuxiso.org).
> It's hopelessly out of date, .  My understanding is that Red Hat is no
> longer producing a free distribution, though I don't know how they're
> avoidng the open source licenses.  There are a lot of major security
> issues
> with the last version of RH and no patches because it's no longer
> support.

RedHat switched to a commercial model and stopped releasing their
RedHat-branded distro for free to the public, but they then created a
support structure for a continuation of RedHat Linux 9.0 called the
Fedora Project.  It's going along strong... currently at the third
release beta... (Fedora Core 3, Beta 1) as of yesterday.

fedora.redhat.com

There are no issues with the open-source licenses.  RedHat still
releases full open-source for the portions of RedHat Enterprise Linux
that they don't create in-house.

One enterprising person/group (pun intended) rebuilds RHEL source
(taking out RedHat logos and other copyrighted RedHat, Inc. works) into
http://www.whiteboxlinux.org which is 100% free, with no support from RedHat,
but for all intents and purposes is RHEL.

Novell also bought SuSE Linux and released (for the first time ever)
ISO images of that Linux distro for free.  I'm currently running it on
my laptop and it really is nice.

It will be interesting to see where the company that truly made
PC-to-PC networking a common thing takes things from here, now that
they're on the Linux bandwagon.  (Novell's networking stack was more
popular for business use and far more stable than early TCP/IP
implementations on PC architectures.)

The world keeps a'turnin'...

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2004\07\15@174921 by Nate Duehr

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On Jul 13, 2004, at 2:18 PM, Martin Klingensmith wrote:
> Don't hit me for complaining about syntax, but a MAC is a hardware
> address and a Mac is a computer. I stopped using Windows because I've
> had the time to migrate to linux as I am a student. It takes a lot of
> time to learn the whole system.

I've been doing Unix/Linux administration for over a decade and don't
know the "whole" system.  Learn the pieces you need, leave the rest for
later.

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2004\07\15@175336 by Nate Duehr

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On Jul 13, 2004, at 2:56 PM, Jason S wrote:
> I think my biggest problem with Red Hat and its cousins is that they
> scatter
> all the config information into hundreds of config files.  A simple
> change
> might involve changing 10 different files, and chances are half aren't
> even
> in the /etc directory.  There is a GUI config util for everything that
> will
> change all the right files for you, but then you're stuck using Red
> Hat's
> idea of a config tool instead of being able to use your favourite text
> editor or even write your own tool.

Could you give concrete examples of this "not in /etc anyway" thing?

I can't find any key configuration files on ANY of my Linux systems
(RedHat 9.0, Fedora Core 1, Fedora Core 2, SuSE, and Debian) that
aren't in /etc that should really be tinkered with at all.

In fact, most RedHat variants after 7.3 had everything in
/etc/sysconfig , something most distros don't have.

Most distros started supporting the FHS standards in 2001/2002 and
rarely do you find configuration files NOT in /etc.

Perhaps you're going about whatever you were trying to do, wrong.

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2004\07\15@175544 by Nate Duehr

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On Jul 13, 2004, at 3:04 PM, Jason S wrote:
> In the windows world, your choice is XP Home or XP Professional and the
> choice is clear.  Home is cheaper, Pro is better.

Now you're going to get me going on this one too... how exactly is Pro
"better"?  If you don't need multiple users connected to your
fileshares, or any of the very limited advanced networking features in
Pro (even Home can bridge interfaces, etc...) then you're just throwing
away money.

Got any other good reason to buy Pro that the average person would
require on a desktop machine?

Just wondering... not in any way a Windows expert here... you just make
a lot of really general statements without backing them up and I'm
honestly curious as to why you think those things.

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2004\07\15@180412 by James Newton, Host

face picon face
On the other hand, it is easy to hate those who succeed and hard to know how
much better (or worse) life would be today without Microsoft Windows.

M$ sure as heck does have deep pockets and they are DIRTY and CROOKED as a
junkyard dogs hind leg. But I have gotten a lot of work done because of them
that I know I would not have been able to afford to do on an Apple or *nix
prior to Linux et all... And probably would not have been smart enough to
have gotten done on anything else (including or especially on *nix even
after Linux). Not to mention that there would probably not have been a
business owner willing to pay me to do it if they had been limited /
frightened / cost un-justified by anything else.

Dang, I think I just flicked the Zippo... Please don't let this start
another flame war. In the end, the most wonderful thing is to have *nix and
VMWare / Lindows in response to M$ and to be able to spend time getting work
done on these things rather than arguing about things we have little or no
control over.

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> {Original Message removed}

2004\07\15@180828 by Nate Duehr

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Has anyone else noticed that there's a culture these days that insists
that ANY emotional discussion is a "flamewar" and seeks to squelch the
topic?

"Flamewar" used to mean that the attacks had turned personal and were
unproductive.  Nowadays, people say a good argument is a "flamewar".
How did this happen?

There's definitely a point where a conversation needs to be stopped to
avoid people getting hurt needlessly, but this thread hadn't gotten
anywhere even close to that point.   (Just as an example, no complaints
toward James jumping in and wanting to stop the discussion... this is
bigger than just James, it's culturally invading all the once very-open
discussion areas I frequent on the Net...)

We've gone from name-calling flamefests (Usenet, circa 1990 and beyond)
to people instantly cringing and running away from any useful
discussion about anything if it touches on a difficult topic.

Somewhere there's a balance coming, I hope... most people where I live
don't even talk to their neighbors for fear they're going to have
different opinions about things nowadays... now the Internet's headed
that way too?  Sad.  Very sad.  PICList's "OT" tag is truly an amazing
thing amongst mailing lists... and so easy to turn off... I wish all my
mailing lists had it.

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2004\07\15@181449 by Nate Duehr

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On Jul 13, 2004, at 10:07 PM, Byron A Jeff wrote:
> There are binary only drivers that work for only one specific version
> of the
> kernel. You can't upgrade without it breaking.
>
> It's not propoganda. There are real issues here.

Most of the 802.11g chipsets fall into this "unsupported" category
right now.  Quite annoying.

Broadcom being the biggest provider to most OEM's, and certainly could
release their interface specs without any harm at all to their sales or
support staff... but they don't.

Guess who I will make sure does NOT provide any hardware in my next
motherboards or add-on cards?  They just don't "get" it... they've made
me into a "reluctant customer" who WILL leave as soon as there's
another option.  Bad bad bad marketing.

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2004\07\15@205200 by John Ferrell

face picon face
After reading of the origins of XP (here on PICLIST) I bought a new Compaq
with XP Home on it. Other than being fast, stable & easy to work with, I
don't know what to say. I then proceeded to XP Pro so I could use a remote
console. It allows me to run the main machine in the shop from any where
around the house with full access to all my resources. When I run it into a
nonrecoverable error condition it kills the application & keeps on crankin'.
I have tried to set it up as intended, it auto downloads critical fixes and
asks permission to install. I have yet to find a legacy app it would not
run.

A sick hard drive led me a merry chase, it did not identify the source of
the problem. A software conflict between Roxio & Nero took a long while to
isolate, the OS was no help there either. When I want information about the
OS, it is not hard to find my way around the Microsoft site.

I bought a lot of operating systems before I found a couple that worked
though...

John Ferrell
http://DixieNC.US

{Original Message removed}

2004\07\15@210115 by David VanHorn

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At 08:51 PM 7/15/2004 -0400, John Ferrell wrote:

>After reading of the origins of XP (here on PICLIST) I bought a new Compaq
>with XP Home on it. Other than being fast, stable & easy to work with, I
>don't know what to say. I then proceeded to XP Pro so I could use a remote
>console. It allows me to run the main machine in the shop from any where
>around the house with full access to all my resources.

How do you set this up?

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2004\07\15@230923 by Bob Blick

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> >After reading of the origins of XP (here on PICLIST) I bought a new Compaq
> >with XP Home on it. Other than being fast, stable & easy to work with, I
> >don't know what to say. I then proceeded to XP Pro so I could use a remote
> >console. It allows me to run the main machine in the shop from any where
> >around the house with full access to all my resources.

I use VNC. It works on any platform, and it's free.

Cheerful regards,

Bob

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2004\07\15@231547 by Herbert Graf

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On Thu, 2004-07-15 at 23:06, Bob Blick wrote:
> > >After reading of the origins of XP (here on PICLIST) I bought a new Compaq
> > >with XP Home on it. Other than being fast, stable & easy to work with, I
> > >don't know what to say. I then proceeded to XP Pro so I could use a remote
> > >console. It allows me to run the main machine in the shop from any where
> > >around the house with full access to all my resources.
>
> I use VNC. It works on any platform, and it's free.

Agreed, highly recommended. I've used VNC from platforms ranging from
Windows, Linux, Solaris, IRIX, and even Pocket PC. It's probably the
most universal pieces of software I've ever encountered. TTYL

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2004\07\16@015028 by M. Adam Davis

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It looks good, I agree that long letters tend not to get read.

I would suggest perhaps even shorter and a little more forceful:
--------
Enclosed please find Microsoft Office and a copy of the invoice under
which it was sold.

On behalf of Pastor Pxxx Mxxx and at the insistance of Microsoft,
I am returning Microsoft Office Upgrade and expect a full refund
of $700.  If you have any questions regarding my eligibility to return
this software please contact Microsoft at xxxxxxxxx.

Please make the check payable to [church] and send it to Pastor
Pxxx Mxxx at [church address].

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
----
And send the entire thing as a signature only, certified mailing with
insurance for the cost of the product.

Usually people like getting packages, this one will be hard for him to
ignore.  You may consider sending it from your home address rather than
the church's if you think he may not sign for it if he suspects what it
actually is.

But I bet the last thing on his mind is receiving the actual software
back.  And if he keeps it (and has signed for it) then he implicitly
agrees to your letter, a fact which may prove useful in court if it gets
that far.

You might also want to give him a carrot.  Tell him you understand it is
customary to charge a 5% or 10% restocking fee for unopened software
(also realizing that his entire profit may have been the software)  He
may pay the 90% refund, and at that point you've really gotten as much
as you can from someone like this, and much more than by any other method.

Of course, he's going to turn right around and sell it to some other
poor sap, but you aren't going to put him out of business, so is it more
important to recover the money, or to prove a point which you can't prove?

But the key point is that there is only one outcome that is acceptable,
and you are following it.  Threats are often meaningless to many people
who deal in shady business - they make empty threats all the time and
assume most threats are empty.  Don't give him any room to make excuses
or put anything off.  Also be prepared to send a follow up letter a week
or two later with a clear explanation of the exact steps you will take
should the check not arrive by a set date.

-Adam

Russell McMahon wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2004\07\16@045316 by Russell McMahon

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> > >After reading of the origins of XP (here on PICLIST) I bought a new
Compaq
> > >with XP Home on it. Other than being fast, stable & easy to work with,
I
> > >don't know what to say. I then proceeded to XP Pro so I could use a
remote
> > >console. It allows me to run the main machine in the shop from any
where
> > >around the house with full access to all my resources.
>
> I use VNC. It works on any platform, and it's free.

Excellent software - but like anything else, nit entirely problem free. VNC
list averages about 160 posts /month - almost all re problem solving. There
are various flavours and the keepers of at least some are on the list and
very responsive.


       RM

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2004\07\16@075711 by John Ferrell

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XPPRO has a Remote console Wizard that works. It generates a setup program
that can be used to activate other Windows machines as consoles. I also use
Win 98 machines as consoles.

VNC is a great place to "test drive" remote consoles. I found it a litle
quirky and less than perfect. I still use it to get to the Win98 machines on
the network admin purposes.

The XP Remote console resolves differences in display resloution without
intervention. The built in XP firewall will block it. Therefore I rely on
the password and security settings to protect the XPPRO system. I have not
tried it over the internet, but I have no doubt it will work there as well.
It is pretty transparent to use. It has a narrow control bar at the top of
the screen to switch back to the console. If you start apps and then close
the remote, they continue to run. I cannot shut down the main system or
reboot from the remote but I expect I could write a batch file to do that.
If I install updates that auto reboot I can log back on after the boot.

I rely on a router to provide security from the internet.

It is encouraging to find a software package that actually works right.

BTW, I am having the same success with Publisher, FrontPage, Visual Basic
and lots of older products. It is no surprise that the operating system
seems to have been the root of most of my troubles in the past!


John Ferrell
http://DixieNC.US

{Original Message removed}

2004\07\16@091604 by Gerhard Fiedler

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> In the end, the most wonderful thing is to have *nix and
> VMWare / Lindows in response to M$

Just in case... VMWare is not a response to M$. VMWare is a hardware
platform emulator that runs a large variety of operating systems, including
MSDOS, Windows and Linux.

I don't know what exactly the connection is between VMWare and M$, but M$
sells VMWare products and the VMWare workstation version got into the MSDN
distribution about two years ago.

Gerhard

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2004\07\16@093447 by Gerhard Fiedler

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> most people where I live
> don't even talk to their neighbors for fear they're going to have
> different opinions about things nowadays... now the Internet's headed
> that way too?

Probably not. Look at the yahoo forums that are attached to news -- some of
the posters there are *looking* for someone with a different opinion, just
to have one more opportunity to get cracking :)

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2004\07\16@102013 by Russell McMahon

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> Of course, he's going to turn right around and sell it to some other
> poor sap,

I did think about perhaps 2 seconds in the microwave with the unopened box.
I would of course never do such a thing, but the result would surely be
interesting :-)



       RM

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2004\07\17@212444 by Howard Winter

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On Thu, 15 Jul 2004 15:55:48 -0600, Nate Duehr wrote:

> On Jul 13, 2004, at 3:04 PM, Jason S wrote:
> > In the windows world, your choice is XP Home or XP Professional and the
> > choice is clear.  Home is cheaper, Pro is better.
>
> Now you're going to get me going on this one too... how exactly is Pro "better"?

Well it makes more profit for M$ of course, and if I've understood them correctly, that makes the World a
better place.

Doesn't it?   ;-)

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

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2004\07\18@112717 by Howard Winter

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Gerhard,

On Fri, 16 Jul 2004 10:15:19 -0300, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

>...<
> Just in case... VMWare is not a response to M$. VMWare is a hardware
> platform emulator that runs a large variety of operating systems, including
> MSDOS, Windows and Linux.
>
> I don't know what exactly the connection is between VMWare and M$, but M$
> sells VMWare products and the VMWare workstation version got into the MSDN
> distribution about two years ago.

I may be mistaken, but I think you're talking about VPC (Virtual PC) which MS bought about two years ago.
Previous to that it was available for various host Operating Systems (OS/2 and Linux for example) but when MS
bought it they dropped the non-MS host capabilities.

As far as I know VMWare was a Novell product and was spun off as a seperate company.

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

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2004\07\18@163214 by Gerhard Fiedler

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> I may be mistaken, but I think you're talking about VPC (Virtual PC)
> which MS bought about two years ago. Previous to that it was available
> for various host Operating Systems (OS/2 and Linux for example) but when
> MS bought it they dropped the non-MS host capabilities.

You are right. I used it some time ago, before it became a MS product. If
they actually crippled it and dropped the non-MS host capabilities, that is
a real shame. It used to be a good product.

Gerhard

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2004\07\19@174001 by dr. Imre Bartfai

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Hello,

been there, done that. However, as I want to avoid pirated Window$ and for
another reason, I insist on Linux. I installed 2 wireless card (Micronet)
(which ate me 2 days), which seemed to be similar but are totally
different beasts. At the 2nd I occasionally found a solution which may
have a higher degree of generality so you may want to try it. Look at
http://ndiswrapper.sourceforge.net and you may get a pleasant surprise.

Regards,
Imre

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2004\07\19@211157 by SM Ling

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For myself or my employer, the approach and altitude towards the incident
would be different if I am doing for a charitable organization.

I think I shall want to put in more effort on the non-technical parts and to
find out the reasons why XXX company is doing the wrong things and are they
resorting to that as a last resort - guess much more forgiving,
accomodating.

Ling SM

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2004\07\31@072837 by Russell McMahon

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Update:    Bad luck on my Microsoft shonky software proceedings.
(Store sold old version upgrade, installed full old version, worked poorly,
charged heaps)

They gave in.
Apparently anyway.

I wrote them a nice letter in 2 versions - a short and long one.
The first word in each was "Microsoft ... " .
I couriered it to them with various documentation.

They replied promptly by email (I was at that stage 300 miles away) advising
us to send the software back by courier and they would courier a refund
cheque.

I'm sad but happy but sad.

They also said that I was not to enter their store and commented about very
nearly calling the police last time. I know that that's what happened but
I'm still utterly perplexed as to what image they were forming of me in
their mind as I said threatening and terrible things like 'Is Dennis ....
in?" and 'Shall I come back tomorrow then?" I suspect that guilt can utterly
warp perspectives.

I haven't yet heard that they actually SENT a cheque, Was to got to church
treasurer. Will hear tomorrow. Party may just perhaps not yet have finished.
If it has my ethical position is an even harder one than before.


       RM

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2004\07\31@090618 by Jinx

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> They also said that I was not to enter their store and commented
> about very nearly calling the police last time

Look, you didn't do anything wrong, some people just don't
like losing. I'm sure what's happened will stick in his mind a
a lot longer than yours (assuming you're not prone to amnesia)

He can have the hump as much as he likes, he knows he done
wrong and is just sorry and peed-off he got busted. I hope he
does the decent and sensible thing and draws a line under it
now

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