- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Anarchism in a metal box.

Posted by: Farinata ( L'inferno ) on October 18, 1999 at 14:34:45:

In Reply to: Socialism in a Pine Box. posted by Frenchy on October 18, 1999 at 10:53:55:

: Stoller exhibits perfectly the socialist's mindset in describing Gates et al as a thief.

Say not a "thief"; rather a "robber baron"; that would be far more accurate.

: I and millions of others use Bill Gates' Windows systems to our advantage. Nobody held a gun to our heads to force us to buy any of his products.

Really? Have you ever tried to buy and use an alternative?

Have you ever tried to buy a computer with OS/2 preloaded - is Windows 95 intrinsically better than OS/2?

(No is the answer to that question.)

So why does 95% of all PC hardware run Windows 9x?

Is it because Windows 95 is the best thing since sliced bread and a miracle from Heaven, or is it because Microsoft has signed restrictive deals with computer manufacturers and threatened them whenever they looked like supporting an alternative operating system?

Microsoft is large enough and powerful enough to wield monopolistic power in the OS market; they can drive any *commercial* operating system into the ground by undercutting them.

What Microsoft does best is marketing; persuading the poor fools like yourself who don't know any better that expensive and feature-poor software is "good" and "works".

It's an exact parallel to McDonald's marketing their food as "nutritious"; if you're prepared to stretch the definition of "nutritious" far enough, you could say it, but it's not what the usually-accepted term would mean to the person in the street. It's McSoftware; shoddy, bad for you and shipped in the millions.

: I like his products. I reccomend them to any one that asks.

More fool you, then; and more fool anyone that listens to your duff advice.

: I don't know beans about the technical side of Windows and frankly don't want to. The damn thing works, period.

Unless, of course, you want an operating system that is secure, reliable or flexible - at which point Windows comes a poor second to other operating systems.

: Tell you what Stoller, create something better than Gates' product and I'll buy it.

He doesn't need to; it already exists. It's free, will run for a year without rebooting, runs on virtually any hardware from palmtops to Alpha servers, can be run as a command-line OS or a fancy graphical GUI, is secure, runs true 32-bit multitasking (unlike Windows 9x or NT) and comes with all the application software you'll ever need built in; furthermore, the source code is open, so you can rewrite the programs if you want to. In addition, it's Unix-compatible; so can blend seamlessly with the biggest Unix servers (unlike Windows!)

In the event of bugs coming to light (as they do in any OS), they are generally fixed within 24 hours; as opposed to MS's usual record of weeks/months. It's not subject to macro viruses, unlike Windows; where they exist due to inherent security weaknesses in the architecture of Word and Excel.

Furthermore, GNU/Linux evolves much faster than Windows; as Linux has ten times as many programmers working on it was Microsoft can afford to employ.

How can they do this? - because GNU/Linux is the world's first anarchist operating system; it is done by programmers who like to code; rather than by programmers whose sole interest is a paycheque. This produces superior software, as can be seen in the number of bugs found in each OS; Linux is also subject to peer review; which means that solving bugs is the preferred way; whereas the majority of Windows bugs are never found, as Microsoft prefer to practice "security through obscurity". This approach leads to the public running insecure systems; which generally results in one heck of a nasty mess when someone notices and/or exploits these holes.

(Basically, admitting your OS's insecurity would hit any company's profits; since GNU/Linux isn't commercial, it doesn't have a bottom line to defend; thus, there is no shame in discovering and reporting bugs, which can then get fixed.)

The open source movement has also produced the world's best web server Apache; which is run on 55% of the world's Web servers (as opposed to 22% for Microsoft's Internet Information Server). Apache is simply better than IIS, according to Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer (follow this link).

To top it all, you can even run most Windows applications under Linux, since emulators have been written that enable you to run Windows software on a Linux box (see here) - except that the architecture of Linux is fundamentally more secure than Windows; so one application crashing won't cause your entire PC to lock up.

And yes, I will laugh like a drain when Microsoft's anti-competitive tactics and monopolistic behaviour backfire upon them. I'll laugh even more when the arch-capitalists get outcompeted on price and quality by the collectivist anarchist forces of GNU/Linux.

So, we've shown you an OS that's better than anything Microsoft can produce; what are you going to do now?

Let's see you put your money where your mouth is...

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