The Comment Wars

The Author and his Deceased Editor
The Author and his Deceased Editor

To start off I’d like to make a sad announcement. Sam, my Beagle Dog, the handsome little guy who I’m holding in the picture above, who I’ve referred to as my “Editor in Chief” (he sat beside me when I wrote every article for the last four years) died in June. He was chasing a rabbit, and it cut across a road. Sam didn’t look.

He is greatly missed by the family, and by his pack mate Rose..

I would like to introduce my new editor, Kleopatra (Kleo for short – and yes, that is the correct spelling, her namesake was the Greek ruler of Egypt). She’s a bit young, and I’m going to have to break her in. For the first week she had a tendency to piddle in the most distressing places (my lap for instance), but she’s learning. Fast. She’s a real little darling, with the accent on little. At twelve weeks old she can still sit in my Fedora.

Kleopatra - terminal cuteness in a small package
Kleopatra - terminal cuteness in a small package

Unfortunately she has all the bad habits that Beagles are famous for. We’ve lost one Cat-5 cable. She chewed through it where it wasn’t visible of course. We are re-learning what it is like living with a puppy in the house.

Comment Wars

I love Stumbleupon. It’s a great way to find neat things. It’s also a great time waster, and I have to ration myself 🙂

So my stats go berserk because someone tagged two old articles, and it’s right during the time when I’m on layoff because:

A) Sam died.

B) They changed my medication, and I was having weird side effects, including total lack of concentration.

C) I’ve got a short story which is coming close to overdue.

D) I’ve got two non-fiction books which are overdue (written, final editing not complete).

E) I’d found a major plot problem in the novel, and was working out how to re-write it.

So I haven’t been writing here a lot. Hey, I’m human. I do try to answer comments though, and I did. And I did. And I did. Yes, they were persistent. So persistent they merited an article!

The Death Of Mono Or How To Annoy Thousands With Four Words

Inflammatory title. The article itself wasn’t inflammatory. It made a simple point, that most people who switched from Microsoft Windows to Linux did so not because of Philosophical Reasons, or because of Technical Reasons. They switched because they were so damned annoyed at Microsoft Windows that they probably would have switched to a Commodore C64 if they were still on sale. Since they weren’t, they switched to Linux or bought a Mac.

If you are that annoyed at Microsoft Windows, the last thing you want to find is that some idiot has installed Microsoft Technology on your computer without telling you.

I know a couple of people who switched to Macs to get away from Microsoft. They were furious when they found that Apple had pre-installed Microsoft Office, and that there were NO INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO REMOVE IT!

It’s the same with Mono. There’s 1590 hits on Google if you search for how to remove Mono from Ubuntu.

The comments that piled up after July 18th 2011 were all based on one concept, that programmers should have the right to choose whatever programming environment they wanted to use. When I suggested that users should have the right to choose what programs they wanted to use, this seemed too difficult to understand.

Found on Road Dead

I’d mentioned an even older article I’d written critical of Ford, and their use of Microsoft’s Sync system. The argument moved there, and proceeded to get silly, at least in my opinion. I’ve got one guy telling me that Microsoft’s own website is incorrect, that even though Microsoft says that Windows NT 3.1 came in two versions, a Client and a Server version that this is not true. Here’s a screenshot for those who don’t want to visit Microsoft’s website:

Microsoft Knowledge Base Article
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article

I’ve collapsed the details of the fix, all you need to see is that Microsoft is calling out a Client and a Server version of NT3.1. The commenter has gone so far as to claim that Microsoft’s website is lying by inference. I used to own a copy of NT3.1. I wish I still had it to show him, but he’d no doubt claim I counterfeited it.

The rest of the comments were the usual “You’re opinionated, you’re crazy” sort of comments. What they don’t realize of course is that by arguing the point they are proving that they’re opinionated, and therefore crazy too.

The Frustrating Part Is

So I wrote up a nice article about Miguel’s agreement with Attachmate. Do any of them bother to comment on it?

No.

Does anyone else bother to comment on it?

No.

Mono and Copyright is the most important article I’ve written on Mono, and it doesn’t draw a single comment. Now that really annoys me.

Regards

Wayne Borean

Monday August 8, 2011

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9 thoughts on “The Comment Wars

  1. First off, I am sorry to hear that one of your pets are deceased.

    But really,

    “The rest of the comments were the usual ‘You’re opinionated,
    you’re crazy’ sort of comments. What they don’t realize of course is
    that by arguing the point they are proving that they’re opinionated, and
    therefore crazy too.”

    I’m suggesting this is your defense against us. I was wondering why you set up a comment system, let alone wrote that article in the first place.

    I even wondered why you wrote this http://madhatter.ca/2011/05/22/professional-writers-and-microsoft-windows/

    Oh and why is this called “Comment Wars”?

  2. Wayne: I dutifully tracked over to your Mono article and set about figuring out your opinion on copyright.  It’s a little obfuscated by your sidetrack on Mono per se, which is of course M$ technology (although it isn’t) and therefore evil (which it isn’t).

    However, what you seem to be complaining about is Intellectual Property Rights, and particularly the way in which US (possibly Canada, I’m not up with the law there) companies are essentially able to take anything you do and claim it as their own.  I paraphrase: JoelOnSoftware has a more informative discussion on the issue.

    Is that what you’re complaining about? Because if it is, I’m four-square behind you.

    If on the other hand you are complaining about copyright per se, then perhaps you could expand directly on the subject.  I’m assuming that your core opinion is that copyright should belong to an individual (which is very convenient for you as a writer, but not quite so convenient to a whole host of others).   And it shouldn’t be transferable to others … which means it isn’t really much of an asset, is it?  How would you provide for your family in the (devoutly not to be hoped for) event that you pass on?  And what happens if somebody offers to buy the Collected Works of Wayne Borean for, say, $1million? (Loons, not that worthless southern rubbish.)  That’s a rather strange limitation to lay on a copyright owner.

    See, things in the real world are much more complicated than either you or I would like.  You need to focus on the bits that are truly broken; not something that just gets you (or me) in a huff.

    Incidentally, your views on Mono are risible.  But that would be another comment.

    God bless Sam.

  3. Further comments referred, then.

    Your beef with Ford is, what?

    Your beef with NT and networking is, what?

    Why do you refuse to tackle a single point raised by your commenters? I’m not talking about an entire comment post: I’m talking about a single point.

    Do you actually read the background of matters such as the supposed NT fiasco on the Yorktown class ships, or do you just make your mind up first and google for juicy (but irrelevant) links later?

    These are just a few comments that spring to mind, although one particular comment springs to mind.

    Referring to a subsequent post about nothing, in the hope that nobody tracks down your incompetent idiocy?

    A rather sad state of affairs, I would suggest.

  4. Wayne,

    I have to side with your critics, in that you didn’t counter the very many technical arguments listed in the Comment Wars so far. 

    However, despite your imo shaky reasons against MS, the latent boy scout in me feels it necessary to say that I’m quite impressed at how civilized you stay. I think you’re generally wrong, but at least you don’t start yelling 🙂

    Very sorry to hear about your dog. People and animals can bond strongly, and a friendship between man and dog is the archetypical example. I hope having Kleo can soften the hurt a little bit, she’s absolutely adorable!

    Cheers, C.

    1. I wasn’t trying too. I was trying to redirect the conversation to the present, which I seem to have succeeded in doing.

      Oh, there are reasons to enjoy the past. I’m working on several historical books. One is on antique farm equipment. I grew up on a farm. Farmers often are poor. If you are poor you keep patch up junk and keep it working for as long as possible. I saw some horrendously old equipment when I was a kid, and I’m fascinated by the stuff. Whenever I can I go to local shows, and take pictures and videos of the old stuff being demonstrated. Two weeks ago I got to see horse drawn plows, manure spreaders, cultivators, and other equipment demonstrated at a local farm. The also demonstrated some of the really old gasoline powered equipment, which was neat because I’m old enough to remember seeing some of it in use when I was a kid. Hell, some of the equipment that was demonstrated was equipment that I actually drove when I was a kid! One of the guys I grew up with has a hobby, he restores antique farm equipment, and when his family sold off their farm he talked them into letting him keep all of the old machines. He’s one heck of a mechanic.

      Wayne

  5. Guys/Gals, I have dealt with and worked with many people like Wayne here over the years, their hate for MS leads them to irrational and illogical stands and all to often for reasons that turn out to be total bs.

    1. if you using linux and hate ms, you shouldnt be using linux, MS has contributed to linux in general over the years.

    2. windows is no less stable or reliable now then linux, and in many cases its more reliable, I have never had explorer crash due to a poorly writen program, I have had X crash many times due to poorly writen software OR software that was written on/for another version of X…..

    3. yes XP and ME and 9x where so/so at best,but linux back then was no better, I would even argue that today its no better for desktop use….BSD or OSX on the other hand…as solid as 7 in my experiance.(i liked windows 2000 more then xp)

    4. Wayne dosnt get that ms’s own website in this case is less reliable then Wikipedia because its not maintained by MS…..I say this as a guy with a good number of friends who work for ms….I cant count the number of times I have had to point out errors in their site so somebody could internally forward a report to get errors fixed…..

    5. Apple has a FAR worse rep security update wise then MS, at least if your in IT they do.
    Apple has some bugs in current OSX that have been there since OSX first launched…..they take MONTHS to fix serious security holes/exploits(if they bother at all), they tell their “geniuses” to pretend theres no malware/scareware/exct for mac, despite the fact that many many users got hit and fell for scareware fake antivirus/hddrepair software (google it, it was a mess, i had a few mac users I do work for who had to get their banks to refund their money…..hundreds of dollars for fake av/hdd repair apps….)

    I dont hate linux or OSX, I use them for their niches, the thing is, I also know and accept that despite the fact I dont like MS as a company, they do make the best all around OS for the business/home markets, apple comes in second, Android is now 3rd leaving Linux in 4th place….its just got to many problems, bugs and issues for me to put it on a clients system unless they already know how to use it.

    the home/business user should never have to resort to a command line, but, at least once a week when dealing with linux I find myself using the command line to get around issues with the gui method(or doing stuff that you cant do via gui for whatever idiot reason)

    and before somebody decides to ASSume im using an idiot version of Linux(ubuntu or the like), I favourite linux flavour is also the oldist still active distro….or distros based on it….any true geek who knows linux will know what distro im talking about….:)

    Wayne: if you really know and have done all you say you have, then you clearly must have been stuck using some really horrible machiens, because as bad as XP was, it was never any worse then linux for me onthe same hardware……most problems I have seen in my 20+ years doing this shit for a living stability wise are down to bad hardware(early emachiens and packard bells, exct) or idiot users who did stuff like disable their AV because some website poped up and told them to, or the idiot user installed crapware that was full of other crapware…..

    this also effects mac users, infact, having worked on hundreds (if not thousands) of mac’s all the way back to os4, I can tell you % wise, Apple users are just as if not more prone to these problems, but heres the crazy thing, as windows users have become more informed and weary of malware/scareware/viruses/exct, Apple users have not, I still at least once a month get one who will argue with me that “Mac’s cant get that stuff” as I show them the shit they installed that at times takes HOURS to fully remove(thanks to lack of good automated removal tools windows has had for well over a decade now)

    An informed and unbias Mac user can be very smart and helpful, the thing is, the Apple culture dosnt encourage these people, it discourages the users from understanding what they are doing with their mac……

    the same is true for Linux distro’s like Ubuntu from what i have seen over the years….the user base seem to be proud they use linux but dont want the trappings that go with using linux like command lines and compiling……

    I use windows for my main system because, honestly, its faster then linux, I dont have to spend hours recompiling kernals to track down what kernal patch broke my drivers, I dont have to spendhours trying to find software to do common tasks I do on a daily basis……

    Oh yeah, and I dont have to spend half my free time trying to get wine to work with games I want to play.

    I could use OSX but, I really dont see the point…..Im not the kind of user OSX is targeted at….(I actually dont need, nore do I want the os to hold my hand all the time)

    Oh and about stability…..since the last security patches for 2000 I have a windows 2000 system thats not been restarted in that whole time, its on an OLD ups(one of those old server ones that uses 3 motorcycle batteries and a huge inverter and has wall style sockets on the back) its had ZERO downtime in all these years, Its had Opera and Firefox updated retularly, havent updated the drivers because the hardware in that really hasnt gotten any driver updates in years…..the systems used daily for email and browsing tasks…..by my family and people that visit the house…..(oh and windows 2000 is faster then even vector linux on that particular hardware)

    not trying to attack you Wayne, I just found your asking for feedback about why windows didnt suck, then refusing to try and counter any of the factual points to be quite hypocritical…im sure you where not expecting anybody reading your blog to be technically minded to the point they could point out why NT is superior to Linux in so many ways……

    I really hope your happy with whatever OS you use and your Limited choices based On that, I will stick to my setup where I can run software for ANY OS(i have other machiens running bsd, linux, beos, as well as VM’s for various OS’s..)

    and I will stick to my Windows 7 as my main OS, the only reason this systems had any down time is that I keep upgrading parts(just swapped in some nice 120x38mm pwm panaflo fans i got on ebay for 8 bucks shipped a piece!!!)

    I am just glad I never let myself become a fanboi of any perticular OS, it gives me far more options in computing and life and leads to me being less bitter and irrational….

    note: i wont buy apple products because I feel the company and how they treat their employees both here and in china is horrible…..humans shouldnt be treated like property…..(here and in china they view employees as if they own them…its sickening)

    1. Oh yeah Sorry to read about your dog….anybody whos had pets can relate to the pain their passing can cause……i still get a bit weepy thinking about some of my old friends who have passed….human and animal……

    2. Guys/Gals, I have dealt with and worked with many people like Wayne here over the years, their hate for MS leads them to irrational and illogical stands and all to often for reasons that turn out to be total bs.

      Hate has nothing to do with it. Before my body fell apart I was a Major Accounts/OEM salesman. I know how business and money work. I also know what makes me most productive.

      Part of my job while I was in Sales was picking the winners, the companies who would be able to move forward and sell lots of stuff. I had to pick the winners, because selling to the losers isn’t going to make your company any money. I’m used to taking companies apart and evaluating their chances. Hell, I’ve been doing it long enough.

      When I applied my skills to reading Microsoft’s financial filings, I saw some really nasty things. The company is in bad shape. Sure, it’s still making huge profits, but it also has huge costs, and no where to expand. Anything that threatens its sales base is going to have repercussions, because the company is so unstable.

      When I first came to this conclusion, I was really surprised that no one else had seen it. Then I did some searching, and found out that a lot of people agree with me, but they are ignored because all the mainstream financial press can see is the current profitability of the firm.

      Wayne: if you really know and have done all you say you have, then you clearly must have been stuck using some really horrible machiens, because as bad as XP was, it was never any worse then linux for me onthe same hardware……most problems I have seen in my 20+ years doing this shit for a living stability wise are down to bad hardware(early emachiens and packard bells, exct) or idiot users who did stuff like disable their AV because some website poped up and told them to, or the idiot user installed crapware that was full of other crapware…..

      I’m an old time geek. I learned about computers in the old mainframe days, before Microsoft existed. I’ve never been impressed with Microsoft. I can remember having to switch from CP/M to DOS 2.0 way back, and hating DOS. It worked, but that’s about all you could say about it.

      I don’t know how many different operating systems I’ve used, there’s so many I’ve lost count. I do know that I haven’t seen anything as bad as what Microsoft produces.

      this also effects mac users, infact, having worked on hundreds (if not thousands) of mac’s all the way back to os4, I can tell you % wise, Apple users are just as if not more prone to these problems, but heres the crazy thing, as windows users have become more informed and weary of malware/scareware/viruses/exct, Apple users have not, I still at least once a month get one who will argue with me that “Mac’s cant get that stuff” as I show them the shit they installed that at times takes HOURS to fully remove(thanks to lack of good automated removal tools windows has had for well over a decade now)

      Curious. I’ve never seen anything on a Mac that takes hours to remove, the automated removal tools like AppTrap work like clockwork. You should check it out.

      FYI, the other OS on my Mac is XUbuntu. Main reason I have a Mac is because I spend a lot of time typing, and Macs have great keyboards.

      I use windows for my main system because, honestly, its faster then linux, I dont have to spend hours recompiling kernals to track down what kernal patch broke my drivers, I dont have to spendhours trying to find software to do common tasks I do on a daily basis……

      I see you don’t know anything a lot Linux. Everything is automatic, unless you want to crawl under the hood. Of course you can crawl under the hood with Linux or OS X. You could to a certain extent with the older versions of Windows too, I don’t know about the newer ones, since I’ve never really used them.

      not trying to attack you Wayne, I just found your asking for feedback about why windows didnt suck, then refusing to try and counter any of the factual points to be quite hypocritical…im sure you where not expecting anybody reading your blog to be technically minded to the point they could point out why NT is superior to Linux in so many ways……

      You’d be surprised. There are a hell of a lot of talented people out there, and if they have good arguments I’m more than happy to listen.

      and I will stick to my Windows 7 as my main OS, the only reason this systems had any down time is that I keep upgrading parts(just swapped in some nice 120x38mm pwm panaflo fans i got on ebay for 8 bucks shipped a piece!!!)

      Yep, got a one machine that I’m constantly swapping pieces out of too. Playing with hardware is fun.

      I am just glad I never let myself become a fanboi of any perticular OS, it gives me far more options in computing and life and leads to me being less bitter and irrational….

      This isn’t about being a fanboi. This is about avoiding a vendor who isn’t likely to survive in the marketplace.

      note: i wont buy apple products because I feel the company and how they treat their employees both here and in china is horrible…..humans shouldnt be treated like property…..(here and in china they view employees as if they own them…its sickening)

      Which reminds me. I’ve been reading Apple’s financials, and there’s some really interesting stuff in them. I’ll have to write a series on Apple’s problems.

      Wayne

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