Hi I'm Seán Reiser, this is my Personal Blog
“A person is what they think about all day long”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Microsoft gets it ... why doesn't anyone else or Why I stopped giving out pirated copies of MS-Office and learned to embrace openoffice.org
Well, beat them up enough and they begin to get it. Today on salon.com I read this article on MS's backing down on the piracy battle in China. It points out the MS has finally realized what I have known for a while pirating MS software increases MS market share. Yes, if you want to help MS take over the world and dumb down the population go out there are spread around their stuff. If you are trying to undermind MS well there's another way to go. Create better alternatives. MS losing a license fee hurts them in the short term. Eventually that user will upgrade to an MS solution because they've been enabled by the process. MS losing a customer to a better solution, well, that's another story. A user who jumps from office to openoffice.org becomes educated and empowers the user. They learn about open source and standards. They learn that the computer revolution does not involve talking paperclips.
Of course the RIAA proved that not everyone gets it. They are releasing anti-piracy ads featuring such icons as Brittney Spears. I can hear it now "Piracy is wrong.... if you don't buy my songs I won't be able to afford bigger breasts" (she turned 18 now I'm allowed to notice them now). In the ad she is supposed to be comparing downloading a song to stealing a CD. A closer analogy, IMHO would be to compare it to taping copying it to tape or better yet taping it off the radio (which is how those of us who had pre-MP3/OGG adolesence distributed songs around).
What the RIAA has failes to understand is that sharing music is the best way for folks to try music in other genres. For example although I grew a child of the 80's. Hair metal and 70's rock were my favorite genres of music. A friend once handed me a tape with some New Age music from Manheim Steamroller, which was as far from what I was listening to as could be. You know what. I liked the music. Guess what else... I bought some CDs of theirs. And I've also bought some CDs of other artists in the genre that I never would've bought. Guess what there are at least 50 CDs in my collection that can be attributed to my being give a tape to check out. So I'll yell if for all the RIAAers out there sharing music increases sales it does not decrease them.
Came across this gem of a piece of software the other day. I've asked several folks it they can come up with a use for it. No solid answers yet (if you can figure it out email me). My main question is "Why in the name of all that is holy would someone invest the time to do this?" I don't except "because it's there" or "because you can"... no human being could ever find this useful. This may be my shit but why write software that no one is going to use? Doesn't make sense to me.
Maybe it's me but there's little wow factor in something this is nether sexy nor productive. "I have a web server that runs on a Palm Pilot... sure it can only his 1 user hitting it at a time. Sure I the server can only handle less than 8 Meg of web page.... But it's on a Palm Pilot, man". Now I am a huge Palm fan. I worship at the shrine of Hawkins. I've owned more Palm OS devices than I care to admit and have written several pieces of software for the beast. But it is a fact that the purpose of the device is to give you a window to your PC. I say this to make you understand that I appreciate the platform for it's strengths and weaknesses. As has been said by Hawkins the Palm (Pilot) was designed as a "window to your PC". A way to take your data with you. A way to create simple and not so simple documents. Sure there are now extensions for word processing, spreadsheets, presentation documents. But running a server is insane in my humble opinion.
Davep an old acquaintance from the Clipper (the language, not the chip) community once said in a usenet post:
One final point. More than once I've seen someone ask the question "why bother?" or "where is the need?" in regard to the reason for THE PROJECT. We can only answer those questions with another question:
When did programming cease to be fun?
I now have the answer to that question. When what I code will never be used beaches it's flawed from the initial design