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Re: Seen in Internet Explorer Newsgroup

begin  oe_protect.scr 
Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> espoused:
> __/ [JEDIDIAH] on Wednesday 01 February 2006 22:30 \__
>> On 2006-02-01, Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>> __/ [Nigel Feltham] on Wednesday 01 February 2006 19:13 \__
>>>> Roy Schestowitz wrote:
>>>>> "Everyone on the IE team (even the lawyers who reviewed the license
>>>>> terms below) wants to make your web browsing experience safer and
>>>>> easier," the agreement says.
>>>>> From there, it gets pretty unfunny pretty quick.
>>>>> </quote>
>>>> Why, does it continue "but can't be bothered so here's another dose of
>>>> the same unreliable crapware we've been forcing on you for the last 20
>>>> years"?
>>> 20 years? Who were Microsoft in the 1980's? They had no monopoly or
>>> momentum going for them at the time. The lock-in strategy was probably in
>>> its
>> Where the HELL were you.
> Kindergarten.
>> In the 80's I personally knew people that were making money
>> reconditioning crappy old PC's to sell to people fixated on DOS. The mantra
>> at the time was "It's gotta be DOS compatable man".
> Yes, I remeber as a child. I was a victim too and I carry with me some of
> that child abuse to this day.
>>> diapers. Then came munchkins (&FUD), a blind eye to piracy, and dishonour
>>> for standards, which in obscure ways evolved into lock-ins.
>>> Many of us innocently fell for that 'charm' of Windows 3, including
>>> myself.
>> Charm and Windows 3x don't even belong in the same newsgroup
>> together. That version of Windows did close to nothing to insulate you
>> from the extremely user hostile crappiness of DOS. It even made the PC
>> version of GEM look better by comparison.
>> [deletia]
> I did not know anything either than a variety of DOS'es and IBM or
> IBM-compatible computers at the time. Maybe it was cattle effect and maybe
> that's all that the shops were willing to stock.

In the late 80s, there were still Amigas and Ataris in the shops aimed
squarely at home users (which were arguably better and more advanced
than anything in the PC world until probably the mid 90s!), there was
DRDOS & Viewmax for the PC from DR, and also, there was MSDOS and
Windows.  There were many machines running OEM versions of DOS, but the
mantra at the time was 'IBM compatible', /not/ 'DOS compatible'.  The
company which really made it big on having essentially 100% IBM
compatibility first in the business machines market was Compaq.  

The issue of DOS compatible didn't come up until Microsoft released
their beta of Windows 3.1 which had the DRDOS detection code in it.  Up
until that point, the fact that some proprietary programmes would only
work on some machines with some operating system versions was accepted
as a fact.  DRDOS had been superior to MSDOS for many years and in many
versions, including supporting task switching, excellent memory
management and a respectable GUI (based on GEM, but without the
overlapping windows GEM originally had due to losing the court battle
with Apple, even though Apple hadn't been first with it...).  The use of
code in Windows 3.1 created a view that Windows /had/ to be run on MSDOS
(which wasn't true, but Microsoft didn't want you to know that), thus
DOS compatible came to mean something /very/ different from IBM
compatible, which had been the previous expectation.

Consequently, sales of DRDOS, which had been rising at an amazing rate
(way beyond anything Linux has managed, afairc), levelled off and then
fell rapidly.  This was the beginning of the end for Digital.  All due
to some illegal code in Microsoft's windows.  A settlement for this
illegal act was finally agreed with the current owner of DRDOS, but long
after it was really any value to the consumer (ie., causing DRDOS to
remain available, say).

Windows 3.x was not charming - it was awful.  The only reason myself and
others in my office were using it was because the ITU had been conned in
to standardising on Microsoft Word for a document format (why not HTML,
PDF, TeX?), so we had to have it available.  For interest, they also
standardised on Micrografix Designer for diagrams, which I've never seen
:-).  The significance of this decision has had repercusions for decades
afterwards, as organisations - companies, councils, governments,
hospitals, etc., have tended to standardise on 'packages' rather than
on file formats and interfaces.  Daft.  Fortunately, Open Source is
finally showing the insanity of such an approach to the less technically
aware, many of whom are in the unenviable position of having to make
these decisions.  If I were them, I'd be looking at openness and how to
avoid vendor lock-in.

| Mark Kent   --   mark at ellandroad dot demon dot co dot uk  |
If one studies too zealously, one easily loses his pants.
		-- A. Einstein.

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