[oclug] The chairman speaks
wisq-oclug at wisq.net
Mon Feb 21 10:49:27 EST 2005
On Sat, Feb 19, 2005 at 05:11:58PM -0500, Bill Strosberg wrote:
> >Microsoft took a risk by betting their entire business on the
> >success of their agreement with IBM, at a time when big companies
> >had a tendency to just pull out if things didn't go their way, or
> >if management changed. But MS was the second vendor they tried,
> >and likely would not have been the last.
> MS didn't bet the farm - they already had a great business going
> licensing Basic to everyone under the sun. The operating system
> business was a shot in the dark side bet at best. They never
> expected it to become what it is.
Well, I only have what I remembered reading, which turns out to be a
bit exaggerated in any case. Having the book in front of me now, the
quote suggested risk, but not a total bet:
"Big Blue had already cancelled four other microcomputer
projects. If IBM canceled the deal and Microsoft couldn't find
other customers for QDOS, then that $50,000 paid to Seattle
Computer Products would really have been a lot of money. So
while Bill Gates has a well deserved reputation for being cheap,
his caution in acquiring QDOS was not unfounded. By jumping into
bed with IBM, Gates was putting his entire company at risk, and
he knew it."
Obviously, I've little way to know if that's even true, though it's a
fairly acclaimed book.
> >(They'd get a new 32-bit processor, I think it was, then totally
> >castrate it by leaving the bus and everything else at 16 bits.)
> Actually the engineers wanted the 8086 - 16 bit processor with 16
> bit bus, but they used the 8088. The 8088 used an external 8 bit
> bus, and the board design, the supporting ICs and everything else
> was less complicated and deliverable in the time frame necessary.
Yes, you're correct. Apparently, it was actually Compaq who used a
386 on a 16-bit bus, because "not even Compaq thought it could push a
proprietary 32-bit bus standard in competition with IBM."
So it looks like I was confusing IBM's use of a 16-bit chip with an
8-bit bus for Compaq's use of a 32-bit chip on a 16-bit bus.
> >Question: Is Firefox literally "just" a pared-down Mozilla, or do
> >they add some / a lot of features?
> >Personally, I still prefer Konqueror to Mozilla, but I may look at
> Konqueror doesn't run on Windows. I was talking about Windows at
> the time.
Okay, but I wasn't particularly referring to your situation; that was
just an off-topic question (which remains unanswered).
> Pine has excellent IMAP support, and with a little fiddling, so does
Yes, other than the OE-er I mentioned below, the other half of our
pair of business partner-owners switched from OE to Thunderbird
specifically for its IMAPpability.
> OE works fine, and you can get Outlook to behave. I'm sure Mutt
> works fine,
Actually, I find it has some glitches, trouble with secure
authentication, transfers way too much every mailbox open, caches
nothing, and has no offline support. I only use it once in a while
when I'm not on my laptop. On the laptop, I prefer bridging it with
offlineimap. Mutt on maildir with ample disk caching is great.
> Outlook Express actually handles IMAP incredibly well. They have
> implemented IMAP support better in OE than in Outlook.
Not the last time I tried it, but granted, it's been awhile. I gave
up using Windows for anything productive years ago. Just not worth
it, I found.
Maybe it's only with Cyrus, but it had serious issues. Most annoying
was making (say) a mailbox INBOX.lists.oclug without making a useless
INBOX.lists placeholder to satisfy its hierarchy.
I eventually just gave up and went back to Pine -- and later Mutt,
when I realised Pine was under a stupid DFSG-incompatible license.
> IMAP isn't anybody - it is a standard based on IETF RFCs. Microsoft
> could not and did not ignore IMAP support in their remote client
> product (OE), they supported it quite well.
Well, again, I'm out of touch, but the only way I could explain both
products' atrocious IMAP support at the time was by guessing they
wanted everyone to believe that paying the hefty price for Exchange
was the only real 'mail on the server' solution.
> >My biggest gripe with the Outlook series is its lack of PGP/MIME
> >support, and their complete unwillingness to do so for the 7+ years
> >it's been a standard. That, and of course, their continued trend
> >of complete insecurity by default, and limited ways for even the
> >expert to improve that (short of 'delete it').
> Microsoft's customers do not demand PGP/MIME, and I'm sure the US
> government has whispered in MS's ears
[. . .]
> Entrust does a very good job of integrating X.509 certs into
Well, in my mind, the second paragraph (X.509) is as important as the
first (demand) for the lack of PGP/MIME support.
MS already supports X.509 certs for e-mail security. IMO, in
accordance with the "One True Way" philosophy, PGP/MIME would actually
be seen as harmful to that unity.
But they don't have to support PGP/MIME. I would simply prefer if
they'd not get in the way of people trying to use it legitimately.
Showing text/plain attachments marked with a disposition of 'inline'
would stop the complaints I get when I send signed messages, which
should be readable even without PGP.
> What, pray tell is a cow-orker? Is it a bovine crossed with a
> porker? Some type of genetic experiment gone horribly wrong?
Old usenet jargon habit I picked up. Check the Jargon File.
> Underestimating Gates has been the undoing of a sh*tload of
Guess I'm thankful that I'm not a CEO. :)
My only real worry about MS is if they manage to push the whole 'kill
all free OSes' trusted computing junk right onto the motherboard.
Short of that, I've got my niche (one that MS refuses to touch) and
don't really care much about what they do.
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