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Archive for October, 2008

Brainwash for Windows Vista

Here is an old video of Microsoft’s CEO.

And here is a new ad.

No, I don’t recommend Macs at all. GNU/Linux is much better and it respects the users’ rights and freedoms.

Take the English Test

Found in another blog, here is an English test.

Being impatient, I did it pretty fast and got 94. English is not my mother’s tongue.

I was being a bit sloppy, so having looked at the solutions, doing this more carefully I would have eliminated 2 or 3 of these 6 mistakes. The rest are too subtle for me to correct based on my own second judgment.

How I Became Familiar with Microsoft Misbehaviour

Bill Gates
Bill Gates arrested in his younger days (photo in public domain)

I recently got engaged in a conversation where the roots of my disdain for Microsoft were reminisced.

Specifically, I was asked about my “original reason for deciding that Microsoft is not a force for good.”

A friend inquired: “Have you written an article describing it? All I remember was that you said that you were a Microsoft user for quite a while and you were ignorant of how that company does business. Surely, there must have been something which became your tipping point.”

Well, I was acutely aware of the company’s issues in the US courts, but was never a big ‘hater’ (that’s a daemonising label to be avoided) as a young teenager. GNU/Linux, which I was encouraged to learn at college, showed me not only that there was choice; it was better, and yet it suffered from Microsoft’s standards snub (mainly file formats). This was probably the tipping point.

My friend explained his own reasoning: “Once my view of Microsoft changed, choice became the whole point for me. I already knew about Unix from my college years, so I knew that it is technically possible to do better than Windows. When I had that network administrator job, I didn’t have a home computer. Once I could afford to buy one, I made sure that it didn’t run Windows. I chose an Atari ST, which worked well enough for me. It even had a multi-tasking Unix-like system available called MiNT. When that company went kaput and my computer didn’t work anymore, I bought a PC. The first thing I did was to install Slackware on it. I considered it a shame that this system came with Windows, which I never used.

“My father bought an original IBM PC with DOS. Some of my first programming experiences were with Microsoft BASIC. At that point, I was inclined to have a positive view of the company. That started to change as I began to see the limitations of DOS and I saw the years go by without any significant improvements to it. Eventually, I landed a job as a network administrator and all of the clients that I had to support were running DOS and Windows 3.x. That was something of a nightmare as constant client crashes were the norm. I came to the conclusion that Windows was not ready to be released at this point and, of course, then I was inclined to have a negative view of the company responsible for this. Windows ’95, the anti-trust trials and any other subsequent products or events have only reinforced my negative view that they are a ruthless company that only cares to maintain or increase its dominance.

“When the PC with Windows became dominant at the expense of IBM, Microsoft also took over one of IBM’s marketing tactics – FUD. Of course, it’s easy to see that the smears are self-serving and, in many cases, the substance behind the smear can be traced back to Microsoft itself (i.e. incompatible file formats or network protocols? Microsoft makes sure they are not compatible by refusing to publish specifications.)”

Ironically, as I said many times before, it’s the smears from Microsoft that encouraged me to do more to study — and discredit where appropriate — the company.

By exploring Microsoft’s misbehaviour one ascends to find corruption at even high levels. Once the knowledge is gained, why not share it with more people?

Slipping Through My Fingers

I watched the film Mamma Mia a couple of days ago with my 12-year-old sister. it was only then that I discovered this song, which dates back to older days — prior to my birth.

So, the song now reminds me of my little sister. I too will have children when I grow older, but the lyrics can be generalised to other family relationships.

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