[thechat] microsoft rant (part 2)

deke web at master.gen.in.us
Sun Mar 17 10:01:01 CST 2002

On 16 Mar 2002 at 12:27, dave mclean posted a message which said:
> Need M$ Office... they've got it. Need a great text editor... got it.
> Need Mozilla, Opera, Netscape, IE?  Got it. If it's easier to use, why
> bash it. Some people would rather spend their time working _with_ their
> computers, than working _on_ their computers.

The problem with using Mac is that niche products are untenable the
first time you try to do something out of the ordinary, and so
expensive when you try to do something ordinary.

My 8-year-old $1200 laser printer died six months ago, and I've been
annoyed as hell with using the color printer ever since, but it was
easier to phone for ink carts (free delivery with a $50 purchase) than
it was to shop for a new laser printer. Finally, I needed ink carts and
couldn't wait for delivery, so I went shopping yesterday.

They didn't have a laser printer I liked at CyberWarehouse, but it was
cheaper to buy a new Xerox Docuprint M750 ($39.95) than to buy ink
carts for the Epson Photo Stylus 700, and it came with ink carts. Nice
printer, but I sorta figure it's a free printer with the purchase of
ink carts at a discount, so if I throw it away when it runs out of ink,
I won't cry. On the other hand, the Xerox only works with Windows, not
with Linux (which I have), and not with Mac (which I don't). For the
time being, I have to bucket documents from the Linux box to the
Windows box for printing in color. Since I don't print much from the
Linux box, I figure that's acceptable, although not desirable.

Then when I was at QVC with my wife (she was wanting some cheap
jewelry), I saw a Samsung ML-4500 laser printer. $128, except
everything in the store was 30% off, which made it a $90 laser printer.
Can't hardly turn *that* down. Not much more than a cartridge should
cost. Turns out that the ML-4500 is quieter and faster than my old
laser printer, has better resolution, and offers "n-up" printing of
documents (print 4, 9 or 16 itty-bitty pages on one sheet of paper).
Pretty nifty. And it has drivers for both Windows and Linux.

Neither store had any printers that worked with Mac. You have to look
hard to find printers that will work, and when you find something, you
have to pay whatever they ask, instead of expecting a bargain.

Mac isn't the only system that has this problem with printers. I run
into the same problem with my WebTV. And when I try to find stuff that
works with Linux, it's a similar (although lesser) problem.

I have Fred Flintstone feet, so I run into the same problem with shoes
- but I can't switch feet. I *can* choose my operating system(s). The
only reason to have an operating system is to run the applications and
hardware of your choice. I've disliked Microsoft since the days of
Altair BASIC, but given the severe incompatibility tax for choosing
niche products, I'm inclined to tolerate Windows for now.

It looks like we're headed for an online application-service-provider
world instead of working offline with obsolete software and old data
cached on a hard drive. (What's the difference between a hard drive and
a garbage can?  A garbage can gets lined with a plastic bag so you can
easily clean it out.)  In this new world, it makes no-never-mind what
OS you're running, because your apps run on someone else's server.
Praise God, and pass the ammunition!


*Any great truth can -- and eventually will -- be expressed as a cliche
-- a cliche is a sure and certain way to dilute an idea. For instance,
my grandmother used to say, "The black cat is always the last one off
the fence." I have no idea what she meant, but at one time, it was
undoubtedly true. --
                       Solomon Short

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