As Through Windows, Darkly

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Cory Doctorow is less than thrilled at reports that the next edition of Windows is going to contain DRM-friendly technology that, among other things, may make it impossible to play movies on older monitors. In addition to preventing unauthorized copying, says he, the new Windows will likely burden content maniuplation that should fall under the protection of "fair use" exceptions:

Fair use and other public rights in copyright hinge on factors that can't be modelled in software. For example, people engaged in parody have a lot more flexibility in terms of how they use copyrighted works than people who are engaged in satire. The difference between parody and satire is pretty fine—it's the kind of thing courts rule on, not the kind of thing that you get a computer to detect.

DRM apologists claim that DRM can be used to model the preponderance of fair uses, but this is completely untrue. Fair use almost always hinges on intention—there isn't any software that is capable of reading a user's mind and determining intention.

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  1. Gee, it’d be too bad if someone developed a crack for this, just like they’ve done for every other measure Microsoft has taken.

  2. Macs are looking better and better…

  3. I’ve always thought about trying linux.

  4. Linux is decent. And it’s free.

  5. there isn’t any software that is capable of reading a user’s mind and determining intention
    As I tell people at work every day, “I’m working on it”.

  6. “I’m working on it”.

    Standard software designer’s answer. Works every time.

  7. Didja read that crap?

    The hacker-proofing goodness? Microsoft is going to make the processes “less visible” to the end user. BWAH. Yeah, the operation itself will be hidden, by genius Mr. Softie programmers, such that no one will be able to discover what happens when the video plays, owing to the sophistication of Redmond’s latest Mac OS ripoff.

    /They were better off trying to get Intel to etch the DRM onto the processor (“trusted computing”), as after all, nobody mods a Playstation.

  8. Given the stability, adaptability and durability of XP Pro, MS will have to release a Windows significantly better to make it worth buying with such a limitation.
    MS’s attempts to phase out 98SE completely have failed, partly due to the number of third-party patches that have made the OS usable on older computers, but also because there “OS hobbyists” who like tinkering with the code. I expect a similar outcome when XP is finally retired.

  9. Microsoft does this every once in a while with things like “dropping support for blah blah blah” to test the waters. How far they backpedal usually depends on how much flak they get for the announcement.

    I would be really surprised if this turns out to be the way the next revision of Windows actually works.

  10. I thought it was called longhorn too. The only news is that they new system really ought to be called Jackalope because it seems like you are going to see a jackalope before you see this mythical new version of Windows. If Microsoft is going to sell out to Hollywood and the recording industry it can kiss its market dominance goodbye. Most people are like me and too lazy and uninterested to seriously explore and alternative to windows regardless of how many earnest computer dorks tell us that Linux is so much better for this or that reason. If Microsoft is going to make it where I cannot copy or manipulate material I have lawfully purchased and take away my right to fair use in the name of copyright protection that will cause even me to get off of my dead ass and find a new operating system. I doubt if I am alone in that opinion. What’s worse is that Microsoft?s dominance, since it is based more than anything these days on ubiquity and habit, is much more vulnerable than it appears. Once people start switching in large numbers it will be like a levy breaking and there won’t be much left of Microsoft. I can’t believe that they are stupid and arrogant enough to try this.

  11. “the new Windows will likely burden content maniuplation that should fall under the protection of ‘fair use’ exceptions” (Emphasis added.)

    “Fair use” is not a positive right. Content authors are not obligated to distribute their creations on a medium that allows for copying — whether that copying would be exempted by fair-use provisions or not.

    If I want to record a song onto a piece of granite, using a new recording technology I’ve developed, I don’t have to come up with some way for you to even PLAY the thing, let alone copy it. Your desire to reproduce it for “classroom use” or “news reporting” is irrelevant.

  12. “…that will cause even me to get off of my dead ass and find a new operating system. I doubt if I am alone in that opinion.”

    You’re mostly alone, John. People are sheep and they will continue to graze on whatever Farmer Bill feeds them. They are mostly disinterested in manipulating stuff. They would much rather steal it outright. Property owners have an interest in not letting them do it.

  13. “Content authors are not obligated to distribute their creations on a medium that allows for copying — whether that copying would be exempted by fair-use provisions or not.”

    Agreed. I don’t object to Disney selling movies in a format that attempts to restrict my fair use rights. I do object to Disney buying legislation that makes it illegal for me to work around those restrictions in order to assert those rights.

  14. Ed,

    Most people I know don’t steal a lot of content. Its just not worth the effort. Why steal a movie off the internet when you can just buy the stupid thing for $15 at Best Buy or rent it for a few bucks? There is a hard core group of people who steal everything, but most of those people are too cheap or poor to buy much content anyway. Stealing is a great way to get content, if you are fifteen and smoke dope and don’t have much else to do. Most people value their time to some extent and are not in the know enough or won’t make the effort to find out where the file sharing sites are. I also think more people manipulate and copy than you think. People do take all of the CDs and now DVDs and put them on their harddrives, MP3 Players, blackberries, ect. That is only going to get more and more pervasive. People are getting used to the idea and expect to be able to take their content with them wherever they go in whatever form they like. People will not buy a operating system that prevents them from doing that.

  15. The truth is that the majority of Microsoft’s market dominance comes from business. Even the supermarket check-out registers run on Windows. If they alienate some users with the new Windows, it won’t matter a drop. People that are serious about video manipulation generally have Macs anyway. And if MS gets their wish that the PC becomes the centerpiece of all media in the home their alienanted customers will return tenfold.

  16. Good point Stretch. Perhaps I am grasping at straws hoping that the copyright interests don’t ruin the benifits of digital technology in the name of rent seeking profits.

  17. Good thing we have another commercial alternative. I’ll go buy a new copy of OS/2 at Circuit City.

    OOPS.

    Guess antitrust law IS important, huh?

    And no, folks, linux won’t help you. Hardware manufacturers are slow to support it, and the likelihood that somebody will be able to do enough reverse engineering to write a good driver on new stuff is nearly nil.

  18. One more reason I’m never going back to Windows. Although Linux takes a bit of learning, it is very much worth it.

  19. John,

    “People will not buy a operating system that prevents them from doing that.”

    Windows is the only operating system you can buy that will even work with most new devices. Linux works with stuff that’s been out for a while, and a small percentage of newish stuff.

  20. Not sure if that was sarcasm, but yes, they do.

  21. “One more reason I’m never going back to Windows. Although Linux takes a bit of learning, it is very much worth it.”

    For messing around on the internet or programming, linux kicks ass. The office suites STILL suck, there’s STILL no credible analogue to Quicken, and most games STILL won’t run. Even the hardcore linux guys at my last job still ran Windows for games at least; and roughly half of us at work who ran linux (including me) couldn’t get sound or video to work.

  22. Most people I know don’t steal a lot of content.

    Oh, well, that’s alright then. Nothing to see here, just move along.

  23. M1EK,

    Perhaps I have too much faith in the market and my college economics textbooks, but if people start using an alternative operating system is larger numbers, the hardware makers will respond by making their hardware more adapable to the other systems. Linux is not adaptable because only a hardcore collection of geeks uses it. That would change if people could not get what they wanted out of windows. Further there is an established competitor to Windows, MAC. If microsoft sells out to the content makers, MAC has every reason not to in order to get a competitive advantage.

  24. People that are serious about video manipulation generally have Macs anyway.

    …Unless you work with any of the serious video editing suites except Final Cut Pro. I’ll admit that it’s nice to work with media on a Mac, but the old argument about media production being SO much better on a mac died years ago.

    And Macs are too damn expensive.

  25. RC Dean,

    If there is so much theft going on, why is there still billions to be made in content? Someone out there is certainly buying something. The threat of file sharing just means that they have to lower their prices to make stealing not worth the extra effort takes to do it. I don’t really care if record execs get paid enough to support their coke habbits. They have ripping off the consumer for years through an outdated business model. Too bad for them that they have to adapt to new technology and loose their inflated profits.

  26. John,

    Perhaps you ought to listen to a guy who worked on OS/2 for half a decade. Even when the users actually pay real money for the operating system, it’s sometimes hard to get drivers written for anything but the #1 market-share OS. When the alternative is a free system whose users are cantankerous and unreliable customers, well, you can understand why a hardware manufacturer might be reluctant to invest their time and money in writing a driver.

    And writing drivers is hard, and it is expensive. Writing crappy free ones is hard and cheap, though, which is pretty much what you get on linux.

    (I also worked on video drivers for a couple of years, and our company flirted off/on with linux drivers but never did it for all of the above reasons and then some).

  27. Perhaps you are right. M1EK. I have never bought into the Linux is better than windows theory because if that were true, why aren’t people using it in droves? Maybe its not Linux, but I don’t think consumers are going to put up with huge restrictions on how they copy and store their content. If microsoft does this, it will create a tremendous opening for a workable system that caters to this need. Perhaps its not Linus, which doesn’t surprise me.

  28. “I don’t object to Disney selling movies in a format that attempts to restrict my fair use rights.”

    You don’t HAVE “fair use rights.” You have the potential to defend yourself from an infringement claim by asserting fair use. Fair use is not some tail that wags the copyright dog. It is quite incidental to the whole thing.

    “I do object to Disney buying legislation that makes it illegal for me to work around those restrictions in order to assert those rights.”

    Do you object to the legislation — which is indeed objectionable — or to some speculative cause-and-effect involving a company called “Disney”? And again, fair use is not a set of “rights” for you to “assert.” That’s not just semantic nitpicking — it’s an important distinction. The overwhelming ignorance on the topic has clouded these debates, here and elsewhere, to the point of uselessness.

  29. M1-The sound and video thing is a continuing issue, but one that can usually be worked out. As for drivers: they are out there. HP pakages their stuff with Linux drivers, and Epson(otherwise a thoroughly evil company) makes them available. For everything else, there is TurboPrint, which works quite nicely with my Canon.
    Linux is not perfect by any means, but for the computing I do (word processing, internet, and some photo stuff with GIMP) it is far faster and more stable than Windows. Also-one word: Security.

    It’s really a matter of personal preference, though. I was willing to invest the time to install, tweak, and learn to use Linux because my disgust with MS had reached critical mass. For others, it’s not worth it. To them, I say: good luck, and I hope your spyware/AV software is up to date.

  30. SP,

    Technically speaking you are right. Disney does not owe me a product that I can easily copy and use as I wish. It their content and they can sell it anyway they want to. The problem is that this was system was fine when we had a rational copyright system whereby copyrights expired and works went into public domain in a reasonable time. Now, thanks to companies like Disney and the members of Congress they have purchased, copyrights never end. Copyright protection has become a Frankenstien monster that eating up hardware development, First Amendment rights and the general artistic culture all in the name of a few megacompanies that make their living ripping off artists and consumers alike. For that reason, fair use ought to become a right. If the media companies want to debase copyright protection beyond all recognition, the consumer ought to have a right to use the content however he pleases.

  31. One more computer comment: in all fairness, I have been hanging around the Apple store recently. My hardware is ancient, and any other upgrade would require dealing with MS. The fact is that OS X is a very, very, well done OS and that the new iBooks pack a ton of power for their price. So, it may be Macs in the future. But never, ever, under any circumstances, will I deal with MS again.

  32. Don’t fear. The Google OS will save us!

  33. SP, Show me a medium that stores information that cannot be copied. The nature of information is that it can be read and written. That’s not just a positive right, its a fundamental property of information.

    Now, Microsoft has every right to make media that is less useful for its customers. However, they will get payed for it based on the value of not only the content, but also the value of the medium and its available readers and writers, by a singificant quantity of their customers.

    Bad movies don’t sell.
    Mediocre movies in theaters that show 20 minutes of commercials before hand don’t sell either.

  34. “If microsoft does this, it will create a tremendous opening for a workable system”

    Building a computer operating system which can run enough apps to be worthwhile requires an investment of tens of billions of dollars. IBM was the only company that could have afforded it, and they weren’t willing to take the antitrust gamble it would have required to really beat MS (no kidding, we were discouraged from making apps for OS/2 because the company lawyers were still spooked by the antitrust suit which the Reagan administration ended). Still, we ALMOST got there, and if MS had not stepped over antitrust bounds, OS/2 would probably still be sold today.

    Commercializing one on top of linux to avoid this investment has been tried a few times and always failed.

  35. “M1-The sound and video thing is a continuing issue, but one that can usually be worked out. As for drivers: they are out there. HP pakages their stuff with Linux drivers, and Epson(otherwise a thoroughly evil company) makes them available. For everything else, there is TurboPrint, which works quite nicely with my Canon.”

    “can usually be worked out” by programmers, sure. By end-users? Not a chance. About half the things I eventually go to work were solved by rebuilding packages myself – which a non-programmer will not be able to do.

    And don’t get me started on printing. CUPS is an abomination which would be laughed out of the Windows world, and yet apparently it’s still state-of-the-art for linux. And the new “sound architecture” is the same way – all you can say about it is that your sound probably won’t work, but you’ve got a slightly better chance than you did last year.

  36. M1EK,

    Very interesting. Perhaps we are all screwed. I just have a hard time believing that one company can maintain a monopoly for very long. It goes agaisnt all prior experience and everything economics teaches.

  37. M1EK,

    Very interesting. Perhaps we are all screwed. I just have a hard time believing that one company can maintain a monopoly for very long. It goes agaisnt all prior experience and everything economics teaches.

  38. If I want to record a song onto a piece of granite, using a new recording technology I’ve developed, I don’t have to come up with some way for you to even PLAY the thing, let alone copy it. Your desire to reproduce it for “classroom use” or “news reporting” is irrelevant.

    Got a case cite? Or is this just how you think things oughtta be?

  39. Er…I remember how everyone said Microsoft’s license authentication system for XP and Office would NEVER fly either..but it is being used as we speak on many of the computers typing these posts I’m sure..

  40. “I just have a hard time believing that one company can maintain a monopoly for very long. It goes agaisnt all prior experience and everything economics teaches.”

    No, it doesn’t. Economics teaches that monopolies can persist a long time in markets with high barriers to entry, and this is one of those. Tens of billions of dollars to build a commercial operating system plus enough apps to make it worth switching is a pretty high barrier.

    And linux can’t do it, folks. The profit motive isn’t there, and so the quality of work you get ranges from good to really really bad; the UI is quite often best-described as ‘hostile’; the feature priorities on any given app or project are based on what people like to work on rather than what the end-user needs; etc.

  41. If I want to record a song onto a piece of granite, using a new recording technology I’ve developed, I don’t have to come up with some way for you to even PLAY the thing, let alone copy it. Your desire to reproduce it for “classroom use” or “news reporting” is irrelevant.

    Okay, but what if someone does legitimately develop a way to copy your granite. Then the extent of fair use quickly becomes relevant again. In the real world, they always figure out a way to copy your granite. So, fair use is always relevant.

    More to the point, nobody is saying that it is illegal for MS to make a DRM-friendly machine. MS is making a policy choice when it goes DRM, it is not merely obeying a mandate. I understand the criticism to be that MS is making a bad policy choice because (among other things) it does not sufficiently accommodate the interests embodied in the fair use law. Even if MS had the legal and technical ability to destroy fair use, that would be a stupid thing to do.

    From a libertarian perspective, it should be understood that copyright is a form of government regulation, and fair use is a safe harbor from this regulation. This safe harbor of fair use was put in there to ensure some minimum quanta of personal liberty, specifically our pre-social-compact liberty to spread ideas like candleflames.

    The pro-business side of this dispute is anti-fair-use. However, the libertarian side is pro-fair-use. I should have put this issue in as my “litmus test for Roberts” thingee.

  42. And no, folks, linux won’t help you. Hardware manufacturers are slow to support it, and the likelihood that somebody will be able to do enough reverse engineering to write a good driver on new stuff is nearly nil.

    Horsefeathers. I’m running Mandrake on a brand new ThinkPad, and all the hardware is supported. Including sound and video.

    Take the time to find out which hardware vendors make an active effort to support it, and you don’t have those kind of problems. Every ThinkPad I’ve ever installed it on (which is quite a few) ran without a hitch.

  43. The fact is that OS X is a very, very, well done OS and that the new iBooks pack a ton of power for their price. So, it may be Macs in the future.

    A very good choice, I just bought one myself. If necessary, you can even run Windows on top of it for those irreplacable apps using Vitual PC. It gets pretty good performance even on an older G3 iBook using Window 2000 (but be sure to load up on memory!)

    One caveat, I’ve had some problems posting to H&R from my Mac’s, which haven’t reoccured on my Windows and Linux machines. Haven’t figured out why yet.

  44. “Take the time to find out which hardware vendors make an active effort to support it, and you don’t have those kind of problems.”

    You were lucky. My previous company bought the HP/Compaqs we used specifically because of their linux support, but most of us couldn’t get sound working. Those few that did were either running oddball distros or tried a bunch of wacky stuff and lucked out.

    Several never got video working either.

  45. I don’t care about Mac’s or Linux because, aside from work, I pretty much use my computer to play video games. And I play a lot of the newest video games on the newest hardware I can afford, which means I upgrade every 8+ months (but only a piece here and a piece there). So at this point, I can’t do that with Macs or with Linux. So MS pretty much has me by the balls. At the same time, aside from my old Amiga, I’ve always run Windows boxes, and I really don’t care. Do they sometimes piss me off? You bet, but again, I can’t do what I do with a computer with any other OS.

  46. >”Take the time to find out which hardware
    >vendors make an active effort to support
    >it, and you don’t have those kind of
    > problems.”

    >You were lucky.

    I guess I’ve been lucky too. Lucky on, let’s see, the last five occasions I’ve installed Linux, using three different distros, and that doesn’t count the several times I’ve loaded Knoppix on various laptops with no issues. Guess I’m just a lucky guy. Damn, I’m heading out to the convenience store to buy me a super lotto ticket.

  47. Program on the emergence of civilization.

    “14 species of large animals capable of domesitcation in the history of mankind.
    None from the sub-Saharan African continent.
    13 from Europe, Asia and northern Africa.”
    Favor.
    And disfavor.

    They point out Africans? attempts to domesticate the elephant and zebra, the latter being an animal they illustrate that had utmost importance for it’s applicability in transformation from a hunting/gathering to agrarian-based civilization.

    The roots of racism are not of this earth.

    Austrailia, aboriginals:::No domesticable animals.

    The North American continent had none. Now 99% of that population is gone.

    Organizational Heirarchy
    Heirarchical order, from top to bottom:

    1. MUCK – perhaps have experienced multiple universal contractions (have seen multiple big bangs), creator of the artificial intelligence humans ignorantly refer to as “god”
    2. Perhaps some mid-level alien management ?
    3. Mafia (evil) aliens – runs day-to-day operations here and perhaps elsewhere (“On planets where they approved evil.”)

    Then we come to terrestrial management:

    4. Chinese/egyptians – this may be separated into the eastern and western worlds
    5. Romans – they answer to the egyptians
    6. Mafia – the real-world interface that constantly turns over generationally so as to reinforce the widely-held notion of mortality
    7. Jews, corporation, women, politician – Evidence exisits to suggest mafia management over all these groups.

    Survival of the favored.

    Movies foreshadowing catastrophy
    1986 James Bond View to a Kill ? 1989 San Fransisco Loma Prieta earthquake.

    Journal: 10 composition books + 39 megs of text files

  48. I don’t have much to say here. I just thought I would make an appeal for Stevo Darkly to make a post here. This thread seems made for you somehow. I’m a big fan of your comments. A groupie of some sorts I guess.

    I skimmed the comments and I’m in the same boat as Lowdog. I use Windows machines because I play games. I really don’t give two craps about what OS I am using. Although I like the power that Linux allows.

    Pig Mannix:
    Take the time to find out which hardware vendors make an active effort to support it, and you don’t have those kind of problems

    The time it takes to find things that work, and how to make them work, in non-Windows machines is why most people say “Fuck it” and just choose Windows.

  49. I no longer play a lot of PC games, so I switched back to Mac two years ago and never looked back. When my wife’s Toshiba dies, she’s getting a Mac, too.

    Here’s a nebulous area of “fair use” for additional discussion: This weekend, I rented from Hollywood Video several DVDs from my “Never really sat down and watched and now that they’re available in deluxe editions, I have no excuse” list. I watched all five this weekend, but didn’t have time to partake of all the special features. (A commentary on Criterion’s edition of Straw Dogs, Martin Scorsese’s commentary on New York, New York so he can help me understand what the fuck went wrong there, and a bunch of features on Truffaut’s Day For Night. So, I used a freeware utility called MacTheRipper to rip those three to an external hard drive, where I can watch them at my leisure, after which I’ll delete them.

    Hollywood Video paid the distributor for the rental copies, and I paid Hollywood for the rentals. So, aside from breaking the idiotic laws preventing people from de-CSSing DVDs, have I done something immoral here?

  50. Roots of Racism

    I’m not quite sure what you were trying to say (sometimes an attempt at subtlety results only in obscurity), or what it has to do with computers. I recognize the first part as being part of Jared Diamond’s ideas. But the rest?? Something about the Mafia being aliens and responsible for racism or the problems of the world??!
    Perhaps you would profit by reading something about Ocam’s Razor. Look it up.

  51. Make that Occam’s Razor. Sorry.

  52. “Good thing we have another commercial alternative. I’ll go buy a new copy of OS/2 at Circuit City.

    OOPS.

    Guess antitrust law IS important, huh?”

    “Building a computer operating system which can run enough apps to be worthwhile requires an investment of tens of billions of dollars. IBM was the only company that could have afforded it, and they weren’t willing to take the antitrust gamble it would have required to really beat MS”

    Something wrong here… Can’t quite put my finger on it…

  53. Yeah, the absence of anti-trust “laws” have really limited the spread of the Mac OS. (which I would readily use if it cheaper)

  54. Steve Jobs limited the spread of Mac OS. That dick basically made MS what it is through his need to keep Mac running only on Apple hardware. He’s a brilliant guy, but still a dick with serious control issues. (IBM’s idiot executives helped MS out just a bit too. :->)

  55. I’m with TheDumbFish. I thought Stevo Darkly would be all over this thread by now. I mean, a poster could only hope to have his or her internet handle as a title as many times as he’s had his used (at least 2, maybe more). (I secretly long for the day I see “smacky” in big, bold font above a thread.)

    *sigh*

  56. JDM,

    Hint: If the Feds had enforced antitrust law against MS, OS/2 would probably still be around today. They didn’t; they wussed out.

  57. jw, arguing with a paranoid-schizophrenic spammer is even less productive than arguing with a troll. Not only is a troll more open to reason, but is more likely to bother to check the responses.

  58. M1EK,

    I’m curious, what would the enforcement have looked like? Would it have split the O/S and applications groups to separate companies? Would it have mandated that all government computers not be allowed to use Microsoft products? Would it have simply fined Microsoft $500 billion? Would it have thrown Gates and Ballmer in prison for a few years?

    I will completely agree the programming interface for OS/2 was SO MUCH nicer (more logical and understandable) than MS-DOS (or Windows), but would that have been enough? AmigaDOS had a much better API also, and we all know what happened to it.

  59. Hollywood Video paid the distributor for the rental copies, and I paid Hollywood for the rentals. So, aside from breaking the idiotic laws preventing people from de-CSSing DVDs, have I done something immoral here?

    You should have paid the late fees or re-rented. You didn’t just break a law, you broke a private lease contract. You could have watched all those things w/out breaking your lease.

    Of course, the real problem here is not you, but the fact that very few people control how movie distribution is done and they move in lockstep. That can be bad aesthetically (see numerous H’n’R posts saying that big studio movies are yukky to watch), but in your case it is bad because it means the industry, as a whole, is slow to move to an online model which would save you gas and time, which expenditures are probably more important than the payment of late fees to you anyway.

  60. Shawn,

    The IBM PC Company (part OF IBM) couldn’t preload OS/2 v3 around the time Windows 95 came out, because only 20-25% of their customers wanted OS/2, and MS told them that if they did a preload, they’d have to pay full retail price for Windows 95 for the 75-80% of customers running Windows. This would have added about $200 per PC at the time.

    That’s just one example. HP, Compaq, and even Dell also wanted to sell OS/2 at the time, but were scared away by MS. This was all covered in the antitrust suit – end-users (corporate mainly, but some home users) WANTED preloads, and couldn’t get them.

    IBM at that point was run as a bunch of semi-separate businesses largely because of the antitrust actions against them in the 60s and 70s.

    What should have been done? Massive fine and split up the company. These tactics when combined with the “cut off their air supply” moves against Netscape and Sun show that MS was the most loathsome type of ‘innovators’ this side of Standard Oil. Which won’t stop some people on H&R from blaming jealousy, of course.

  61. M1EK – What’s up with your hostility? Did Linux call you names and steal your lunch money or something? Seriously, you’ve posted something like five times complaining about how nothing is supported, you couldn’t get anything to work, there’s no software, etc. If you hate it that much, why aren’t you just happily using Windows?

    John – I do believe Linux is better than Windows for many things, not necessarily all. I think the explanation for why it’s not more popular is marginal cost vs. marginal benefit. There are benefits to using Linux; there are also decidedly non-trivial marginal costs to switching over, which is something that a lot of its proponents gloss over.

  62. “M1EK – What’s up with your hostility? Did Linux call you names and steal your lunch money or something? Seriously, you’ve posted something like five times complaining about how nothing is supported, you couldn’t get anything to work, there’s no software, etc. If you hate it that much, why aren’t you just happily using Windows?”

    JD,

    I want very much for there to be a real competitor to Windows, and I’ve enjoyed using Linux for what it IS good at, at work, i.e., programming. I’ve tried and failed to make it work for many other things it needs to be able to do to be a real competitor.

    When proponents of gloss over serious problems in order to cheerlead more people onto the bandwagon, they’re only hurting their own cause in the long run (I learned this wrt OS/2, by the way). That’s why I need to repeat these:

    1) driver support is lacking, esp video/sound
    2) office suites suck – interoperability is nowhere near what’s claimed (I often couldn’t read very very simple Word docs sent out by our office complex’s administration)
    3) no analogue to quicken worth using
    4) UI is patchy – you WILL have to edit configuration files by hand, and you WILL have to do it often

  63. I thought Stevo Darkly would be all over this thread by now. I mean, a poster could only hope to have his or her internet handle as a title as many times as he’s had his used (at least 2, maybe more).

    Alas, smacky, almost every time “Darkly” is used in a thread title, the topic is something I know nothing about. If I commented on Windows technology I’d be completely speaking through my ass, darkly.

    (I secretly long for the day I see “smacky” in big, bold font above a thread.)

    Well, me too. Especially if it also contains the words, “Naughty photos now available on _______’s new Web site.”

  64. Ocx missing and invalid error is very common in operating system https://unfitpc.com/yfsyskeys-ocx its may caused by saved in any other invalid folder of your ocx file and create the hindrance of the downloading and playing games

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