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back to article Stallman: Jobs exerted 'malign influence' on computing

Veteran free software firebrand Richard Stallman has upset the apple cart by speaking out against the international canonisation of Steve Jobs Citing 1980s Chicago Mayor Harold Washington talking about a one-time rival, GPL licence author Richard Stallman reckons while he's not glad Jobs is dead, he is glad Jobs is gone. …

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What Jobs' engineers did ...

"Clear options and ease of use"

Ah, no. Not really. What Jobs - or rather the engineers working for him - did was give users "if you do things our way, they are easy". They did NOT give them "what you want to do? It's easy in our system!"

Flexibility is NOT a buzzword applicable to the iPhone or iPad (yes, yes. I do own both. You don't want to know what I have to do to play my ripped CDs.)

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"It may be true that some open source is not user-friendly".

- Congratulations! You have achieved mastery in the skill: 'Understatement'. I will grant you that a few, like Apache, get it right and rightly dominate their field. But nothing else comes close to the ease of use, support, and downright popularity of that project, and that's borne out by it's 'market' share.

"I've seen more commercial software like this than I could possibly remember."

- And that is why it fails, too.

"You're saying that the only good programmer is the one that requires money to code".

- Nope. I'm saying that market forces feed back into development cycles to push them towards what the market will appreciate. Open-source projects lack the hard feedback of the ROI and struggle to compensate.

"You are saying that a passionate programmer wanting to give something to the world out of love couldn't possibly have an appreciation of the beneficiaries of his work".

- No, I'm saying they could, they may even try, but they invariably fail to do so. The programmer is often far too involved to make objective decisions; the more 'passionate' they are about the project the worse they will be at taking an objective view of it. And then they'll be the last to admit they need someone else's opinion. Working under a director or producer provides that guidance, but few of those buggers worth their salt will do it for free.

And you refer to your users as 'beneficiaries'? Apple would be proud...

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Happy

Ripped CDs

"You don't want to know what I have to do to play my ripped CDs."

Let me guess...

1. Import them into iTunes.

2. Synchronize with your iPhone

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Alas, no

Well, not directly. It's a bit tricky, and require a bit of work. I can either jailbreak - which voids warranty and sends my accountants spinning - and use something like ZodPlay.

Alternatively I can convert to ALAC. Noo ... too much work to keep two sets of files. Then there is the purchase-app-to-play-for-me option, with for instance GoldenEar.

And, finally, it appears I can use the iTunes 'file sharing' function to actually add the files. Not tested this yet. With the trickery I need to do it's actually easier just synchronizing the files directly to my Nokia, and play.

What is EASY depends on what you want to DO. The iDevices are easy to use as long as you do only what the engineers behind them think is worth doing.

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Anonymous Coward

> You're saying that the only good programmer is the one that requires money to code.

Er, the only _professional_ programmer is one who is paid to code. I'm guessing a good percentage of people round here are professional programmers of one stripe or another. What was that Dr Johnson said about blockheads and those who write for money?

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well, if you're running windows as your OS then its as simple as installing itunes agent and configuring the sync. Works fine for my galaxy s2 and itunes and basically lets you sync a playlist (smart or dumb one) to the drive letter you configured earlier. Just need your device to support mass storage mode.

The only reason I havent cut ties with itunes yet is because of the large numbers of podcast feeds I have. Will eventually migrate them off tho, then I'll have to find a non-itunes based manager and sync app.

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"Well, not directly. It's a bit tricky, and require a bit of work. I can either jailbreak - which voids warranty and sends my accountants spinning - and use something like ZodPlay."

Do you still have Applecare on at least one of those? Because I don't have a single purchased piece of media from Apple in my collection, and all I had to do was just what the poster above said:

1) Import

1b) (Optional) Select songs to sync if your collection is too large to fit on your iThing.

2) Sync

If you're still having problems, you may want to confirm that your collection isn't bigger than the free space on your phone - if it is, then you'll have to actually go through and select individual albums/artists/songs/playlists for syncing, but that's the only tricky part - and usually only comes up if you have an old iThing with very little storage.

Honestly, I've used several different phones, but syncing an iPhone is one thing I've never had any problems with. The Apple drones exist for a reason, if you're still covered, make them help you.

-d

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ALL you had to do?

"Because I don't have a single purchased piece of media from Apple in my collection, and all I had to do was just what the poster above said"

I've not got any purchased media either. But, honestly, tell me how "all" you had to do was "import", "sync", and play your FLAC files?

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Compelling ideas

Talking of "compelling ideas that count": how about the idea of open, free to use, platform neutral protocols that are the foundation of the Web? And what about the open source and free software on which the Internet was largely built? And small stuff, like Apache, MySQL and PHP etc. Do these not count? Perhaps ironically, without them, the parasitic services of iTunes and Facebook could never have been so successful. It is surely right to challenge those whose corporate ideas are to close everything off and return to a Compuserve-like world, if only to allow free and fair competition.

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Anonymous Coward

interesting choice of words

"Jobs' success at hypnotizing millions of people into a perverse love for the walled garden"

I don't like walled gardens, neither do I like monopolies. I have these opinions because I think both these things do more harm than good. However, what is not obvious to me is that the rest of humanity falls into one of exactly two categories:

people that agree exactly with me

or

people who have been "hypnotized" or otherwise fooled into thinking that a walled garden is ok.

There could also be a body of people who say to themselves "I know it's a walled garden and so there are restrictions to my freedoms but that's OK because I'll consciously sacrifice these freedoms in order to gain other benefits whose value to me personally outweigh the disadvantages".

The idea that only the foolish, stupid or uninformed would settle for a walled garden is patronizing in the extreme. Unfortunately it is the stance taken by those who see themselves as taking a moral and principled position; it is as if their opinions set them above those that don't happen to agree with them. Liberal and libertarian? Absolutely not.

That is all.

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Anonymous Coward

Mr Humble?

I just love the idea that anyone who doesn't agree with him is a fool.

Small minded doesn't even begin to come close to describing it does it?

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Anonymous Coward

@Mr Humble?

Not sure if your comments are directed at me. If so, try rereading my post. If you still think that I said that anyone who does not agree with me is a fool then you need help with your comprehension skills.

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Joke

Humility is for those who don't know tthat hey are right

When I see someone come out of a bar, jump on their bike, stick a light cigarette in their mouth (yay ashes in the eyes!), and take off down the road without a helmet, I assure you - I don't agree with his decisions; I do consider him a fool, and make no apologizes about it.

-d

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jai
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snore off Stallman

Some of us like it inside our walled garden. Walled gardens allow for protection against the elements, so it looks nicer, and neater, and the weeds get routinely pruned. We don't get foxes coming along at night and eating the chickens, and there's a nice gazeebo affair in the middle, where you can enjoy a cuppa tea without getting rained on or the wind whipping away your cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches (crustless, cut in triangles, obviously).

Just because it doesn't fit into your weed-induced-hippie-utopia vision of the perfect world doesn't give you the right to knock down our walls and trample over the gerberas and drink our kool-aid and pinch the chicken drumsticks off the bbq, you bloody oik!

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PJI
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FAIL

me too

Most "free" software is a pain in the neck to install, not as portable or universally installable as many imagine. I have experienced hundreds of such pieces of badly designed, poor interface software (and some really rather good items too) on VMS, Primos, heaven knows how many varieties of UNIX and Linux/GNU.

Actually, oddly, OSX has proved to be the easiest for "free" software, either from Apple, GNU or Mac Ports. BSD with ports is the next. What is more, OSX comes with much of the really useful stuff installed, e.g. Apache, PHP, Perl, Python, gcc, X and much more. I do have to download gpg, costs about two minutes, real pain.

I used to think Linux was all right, till I got fed up with newer releases needing more and more fiddling to make them work on my old hardware, the size increasing fast with every upgrade, every release being a beta. Commercial Redhat and SUSE were all right; but then, we had a team of our own supporters to test it, make sure that things worked and we were fairly limited in how we used it and I, being an engineer and paid for my time, was happy enough to work around the bad links to MS Exchange, rotten calendar management and half-baked "office" software (I hear that has become almost office-capable at last). Of course, the secretaries had MS Windows.

Then I got a Mac laptop (cheap from a student who had won it and needed the cash more than the machine) and suddenly, Linux seemed just pointless - all that hassle and still not as good. For my X yearnings, I quickly got X and twm configured and even KDM working (abandoned KDM and Gnome and the like: OS X provides a more reliable, quick and useful interface for those times when more convenient than command line).

As for consumer devices, mobiles: I like walled gardens. I do not want my mobile crippled by a virus or some app that spends all its time 'phoning home or eats all the memory. Walled gardens are delightful oases in which, even in a bracing English climate, one can grow peaches, grapes and apricots against a sunny, sheltered wall; in which the noise of traffic and people is kept out or at least muted; in which I can sun bathe, naked or not, chat to friends and family in privacy and security, have, for a few moments, freedom to be me.

Stallman and his ilk are privileged twirps who have no idea how people outside their little scrapyards live and work, nor how they have to pay for it. Clearly, their way is not "a better mousetrap" or the competition, whether Nokia, Apple, MS, IBM, Cray or whoever would all have gone or never started long ago. Interesting that much of the successful "free" software is supported through the good graces of commercial sponsors providing staff, machines and money e.g. MySQL, OpenOfice, much of Linux (go on, I bet you thought Google, Redhat and Canonical were charities peopled by volunteers in their spare time)

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@PJI

So ... you fuddled around with Linux, continually trying newer and newer versions on your old hardware until you became fed up trying to cram all of that newness onto your old gear.

Then you got a BRAND NEW APPLE, and Linux never looked so bad?

How come you didn't get a BRAND NEW WHATEVER and install Linux onto it, just to see if your problems have been caused by your refusal to entertain the idea that BRAND NEW gear might work slightly better than your old, decaying hardware? You do realize that hardware breaks down, after awhile, and that new gear is constantly being improved and updated, don't you?

Your experiment proves nothing except that you prefer brand new gear over old gear.

Your argument is like saying, "I hated broccoli for years because it was never prepared correctly, and then someone served me some ice cream and it was head and shoulders better than broccoli, so that means that broccoli sucks and ice cream is good." Nonsensical, at best.

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Been there, done that, got the t-shirts, moved on

I tried nearly all on the desktop over the last 13 years. Various versions of Windows, NetBSD, FreeBSD, various Linux distros. Never on hardware older then 2.5 years. Windows? Usually works, also with the new thingamajig you just bought and plugged in. At least audio with skype worked flawlessly. Linux? There was and is always something that needs some days of fiddling. I grew especially tired of the audio not working out of the box with Skype.

1 year ago I converted. Mac. It gives me what I need for my job. A gui layer that Just Works. Not perfect, but it works. And when I need more? Unix underneath with all my favourite goodies, partly delivered by Apple, rest delivered by mac ports.

Open source fundamentalism is all nice, but at the end of the day it has to *work* and allow me to Get On With It. I like to use my tools, not be my tool's tool.

And that's where many open source projects go wrong. "Then you just fix this, do that, twist and turn here". Right. Or I could go skiing rather then working out how to pottytrain my desktop.

Apple does that, making sure the tool doesn't get in your way, most of the time. Open source desktop products should get their act together. Tormenting people out of their spare time doesn't entice the masses.

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Indeed true - but ...

"We don't get foxes coming along at night and eating the chickens, and there's a nice gazeebo affair in the middle, where you can enjoy a cuppa tea without getting rained on or the wind whipping away your cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches"

Very true. Except you can only get tea from the Dimbula district of Sri Lanka, and people will laugh at you if you meekly ask for a cup of Rooibus or - perish the thought - a Longjing.

If this is fine with you, GOOD! Just don't flood the airwaves with propaganda that it is fine for EVERYONE.

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OS X has its own precedents though

Dial the clock back to 1999 and look at Apple then. The difficulty is remaining relevant and providing a computer that can attract developers and do anything useful while Windows has 95% of the market and desktop applications are much more relevant than now. So Apple did the smart thing to stay alive: they embraced the open source community, combined what they perceived to be the best parts of the then competing platforms and the one they'd bought (ie, UNIX underneath, NextStep as the basis for the UI and for applications, get Microsoft on board to supply Office and Internet Explorer), published quickly and updated often.

That set the precedent from which OS X can't easily retreat. It's build in a certain technological way and it'd be neither easy or particularly desirable to start swapping major underlying parts in and out now. It's a much better idea to continue to build upwards.

Conversely, skip forward to 2007 for the iPhone and you've got a company swimming in iPod money and more able to dictate terms. So they ban Flash, close off as much as possible and a year later when they start doing apps they insist on being the single source and — for a while — being the only company that can even supply development tools.

So Stallman's judgment of the company is probably better measured against the iOS experience, which is Apple at its most confident doing everything it thinks is right, than then OS X experience, which is derived from Apple trying to remain relevant and to attract users.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Been there, done that, got the t-shirts, moved on

"Open source fundamentalism is all nice, but at the end of the day it has to *work* and allow me to Get On With It."

Fundamentalism? Sheesh! Open source works pretty well for me, and if I need more of it, it's an interaction with the package manager away most of the time. None of this "It's so easy, I just click Next lots of times on some wizard - it's like being a power-user but without the fat!" nonsense, but stuff that actually gets out of the way.

"I like to use my tools, not be my tool's tool."

Or just a tool? The various free desktop projects may have gone off in bizarre directions, but those of us who don't crave the "latest shiny" manage to get work done without "pottytraining" anything.

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Stop

"Interesting that much of the successful "free" software is supported through the good graces of commercial sponsors"

There is nothing inherently wrong with making money from software.

This is a common misconception. Even RS does not have a problem with making money from GPL software. If programmers can spend a lot of time working on software because they are being paid for it, then it stands to reason that it will be better and more comprehensive than that done in the spare time of amateurs.

You know most people make money from doing things for you the customer. I and others just think those same rules should apply to everyone. Software is the means to the end, not the end itself.

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Anonymous Coward

closed hardware

Without the closed software the closed apple hardware would never have taken off.

And that's what the industry needed, we are no longer limited by the hardware the same way we were 10 years ago. If i can provide an airline pilot an Ipda to cut down on paperwork, a bin collector one to mark down problems with collection and a politician another to take notes then having a common hardware base makes it possible to share everything amongst them.

You can replace a shop till and every single purchaser of your app will have indentical hardware and software to run your shop till app on, and the card reader dongle will work the same and the Wifi will work the same and the support will be the same and the dock will be the same.

Imagine doing that with an Android phone, or using a windows 7 laptop, a complete nightmare.

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really?

Apple doesn't do that....

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2011/may/21/apple-upgrades-itunes-version

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why would i want my bin man writing to an airline pilot about missed collections?

You can replace a shop till and every single purchaser of your app will have indentical hardware and software to run your shop till app on, and the card reader dongle will work the same and the Wifi will work the same and the support will be the same and the dock will be the same.

read 1984 please

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Fail

The industry provided things like that before the "Ipda" came out, so you're obviously wrong.

People have been writing software for PCs for decades, despite there being no lockdown on the hardware side. People develop for Android phones today even though there are differences in the hardware. It's not a nightmare because your software interacts with an operating systtem, not with the hardware itself. There are also tools which help you design for and test different configurations, and you can always specify minimum system requirements for your pilot's Android tablet if you want.

if (!GPS) { message("Call yourself a pilot?"); }

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Pirate

The lesser of three evils?

Most evil - Hardware company

Not quite so evil - Software company

Least evil - Advertising company

Yep - I can see how the history of the whole C20 leads to that conclusion - for open source crusaders. Stallmans sense free proclamations and advertising have a lot in common - they both pretend to be profound whilst on examination actually say nothing of substance.

Signed

A man without an Apple

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genius

I always find it somewhat confusing that many who are inclined towards open source still warm to Apple despite it being a much more toxic company that Microsoft in this respect.

At least with Microsoft, there was genuine hardware choice and an open market forcing down prices - and the software never mandated that you could only sell applications via Microsoft's own channel, for which you'd pay them 30% as well as letting them decide what can and cannot be sold.

Bill Gates had people by the throat, but no one loved him for it. Steve Jobs had them by the balls, and they worshipped the guy. Say what you like, but that's true genius.

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Linux

@Why are FOSSers inclined toward Apple?

Simple -- it's because OSX works.

I may feel guilty when I sit down in front of a Mac, but at least it's easy to make the machine do what I want -- unlike Windows, which inevitably sends me into a frustrated fit of rage after half an hour of unsuccessfully trying to get it to stably perform what should be the simplest tasks...

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Anonymous Coward

@Quxy

Ever tried changing recursive permissions on OSX without resorting to obscure shell commands? For a company that prides itself on user interfaces, I'm always astonished by how much in MacOSX you either can't do, or have to resort to the shell to do.

Windows has never been perfect, but the philosophy has always been that everything has to be feasible in the user interface without resorting to the shell. That has unfortunately left the shell as a second class citizen, but it does make for a better experience for non-technical users. One of the biggest differences between Windows and both OSX and Linux is that the former has always gone down the route of doing everything in the GUI and let the shell suffer; whereas the latter OSs have gone down the route of doing everything in the Shell and let the GUI suffer. Where Apple got a march on Linux is that they fixed a whole bunch of the holes in the GUI, but it is still weak and, in my opinion, a little Fisher Price.

You, the consumer, can make your choice. I certainly see reasons why people would want all 3 options. If you will excuse the stereotyping: the techie likes doing things via the shell and wants as much flexibility to configure as possible, they pick Linux; the artist likes to have something that looks simple, but has no desire to change anything complex, they pick OSX; the rest pick Windows because it is configurable enough and simple enough. The middle ground will never get huge acclaim, but it tends to dominate the sales.

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WTF?

"frustrated fit of rage"

Why are mac users such cretins when it comes to windows? What exactly is it you're trying to do and how are you trying to do it? I've not managed to destabilise a windows machine in at least the last 5 years.

I've positioned my taskbar at the top of the screen and media player sometimes opens underneath it. Apart from that, windows 7 is as smooth as warm ice. And it was 20% of the price of the mac equivalent.

I suspect all of the love of apple and the hate of windows has been cleverly conditioned into fashion-conscious technobuffoons, so that they can't operate anything which is not a white or black rectangle. Advertising doesn't work on me and in the real world windows wins.

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@Love of Apple?

Erm... As should have been clear from the icon, I'm a *NIX user, not a Mac fanboi. The two previous comments simply confirm my hunches about Windows UI design decisions.

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@resorting to shell

And 'resorting to the shell' is bad because...?

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FAIL

"Why are mac users such cretins when it comes to windows? "

Did you not read the post to which you've replied to? He was a Windows user _first_. Only later did he move to OS X.

"I've not managed to destabilise a windows machine in at least the last 5 years."

Neither have I. My main problem with Windows is its incessant interruptions. I'll be happily writing away, "in the zone", as it were, when suddenly my window is shoved rudely into the background and up pops a little box in the corner informing me that Windows "must restart" in 10 minutes.

Unfortunately, as I was writing at the time, the odds were often pretty high that I'd be about to hit either Enter, or the space bar. As often as not, I'll therefore select one of the two buttons without intending to. That is _terrible_ UI design, and extremely f*cking annoying.

Furthermore, Microsoft isn't even the worst culprit. I lost count of the number of popups and warnings from the so-called "security" software I'd had to plaster over the bloody machine. (My PCs were shared with other members of the family back then.)

All these interruptions and intrusions on my work took their toll. I was literally being thrown out of my workflow, losing my train of thought, and having to _waste my own time_ re-reading what I wrote to kickstart my brain again. And I've almost always worked as a freelancer, so my own time is bloody expensive.

OS X's GUI does not throw focus around so wantonly. It's not perfect—the way the multiple desktops flick about in Lion took some getting used to—but it's still better than Windows 7, which I have in a Boot Camp partition.

Simply put: OS X is generally easier to work with for me and many others. I can still use sudo and chown like the rest of 'em, but I _prefer_ not to: my memory works best with spatial cues, not verbal ones. GUIs simply make more sense for me.

As for the "fashion-conscious technobuffoons" insult: I regret to inform you that I've written published games in assembly language, and have never, EVER, been accused of being "fashion-conscious".

EVERY Apple product I own, I've bought because it offered the best value for money *at the time of purchase* (1). Show me a _direct_ competitor to the new 13" Macbook Air, complete with the same resolution display, and that Thunderbolt port (which, incidentally, was co-created by Intel, so it's not just an Apple invention). You can't, can you? Because nobody's making anything like it. Ditto for Apple's new 27" display, with its Thunderbolt port and built-in breakout box supporting USB 2 and Firewire. That's an IPS display that's _way_ higher resolution than the usual grotty tat from Acer. Not even Dell's 27" display can match it on price. Ditto for their iMacs.

And I bought my iPhone 4 because it was _cheaper_ than the HTC and LG Android devices sitting right next to it in the shop. Fashion and faddery had sod all to do with it. I can't say I've regretted my purchases either; all the Apple kit I've owned has provided sterling service and some of the old stuff is still going strong, despite one of them—an iPod touch—having been used as a baby rattle! I'm happy to pay a bit extra for good design and good service.

(1) Granted, by the time a specific Apple product is approaching the end of its (typically year-long) shelf life, the value for money point is often not there any more as competitors will have finally caught up, but few people upgrade more than once a year, and most usually leave it for 2-3 years or more, according to need. My aunt still plays her match-3 games on a 7-year-old Sony running Windows XP. Only now is she asking me for advice on its replacement.

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Resorting to the shell is not bad. Each to his own and all that.

*Having* to resort to the shell in a GUI OS, 'cos some clueless wazzock forgot to provide that functionality in the GUI, is a right fucking pig's ear.

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@Sean Baggaley 1

I did read the post "to which I've replied to". I'll quote it below so that you can read it too. I didn't read past the first 2 paragraphs of yours.

Quote:

@Why are FOSSers inclined toward Apple?

Simple -- it's because OSX works.

I may feel guilty when I sit down in front of a Mac, but at least it's easy to make the machine do what I want -- unlike Windows, which inevitably sends me into a frustrated fit of rage after half an hour of unsuccessfully trying to get it to stably perform what should be the simplest tasks...

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Devil

First rule of good manners

Speak only good about the passed away or do not speak at all.

Granted, that rule does not apply where manners are overriden by morals and law. From my perspective that is not the case.

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Joke

hmmm

I agree, and I might add Hitler was a fine young gentleman!

(JOKE, IN CASE YOU'RE A MORON)

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I have to disagree here. Apple produces computers that people can use without being a computer geek. Open source, while having a sort of 'nerd hip cool' to it, just isn't that useful to the vast majority of people. You know, the people who just want to use the damn thing. Not spend hours fussing with it to get something done.

I have Ubuntu on one of my machines, Windows 7 and OS X on a couple more. The Ubuntu machine is fun, but when I am in a hurry and need to get work done it is my last choice. By trying to cram 'Geek Heaven' software and OS on people you are locking out a huge segment of society from a useful and valuable tool.

The people for whom Linux et al is useful already have it. People have voted with their wallet, and have chosen to pay for something that works and is useful instead of the free option that really isn't as good.

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Open Source is very useful to the vast majority of people *provided someone who knows what they are doing is running it*.

But then, like we used to say, "Any idiot can manage a Windows server and by the look of things one is probably managing this one..."

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WITHOUT being a computer geek?

"Apple produces computers that people can use without being a computer geek."

Bollocks to that. Apple produce devices which can be used if all you want is what their designers also want.

Give my mother-in-law an easy-to-use iPhone? Not without ALSO giving her a COMPUTER. Play FLAC, 'cause that's what I rip my CDs to for high-quality sound? Oh, heck; it's a damn minefield to get them playing on the iPad.

Have you TRIED installing free apps on your i-Box? I did - it took more geek knowledge that it does to configure Apache ... but, oddly enough, once learned both are easy enough.

My desktop computers have been running Linux since 1993. My window manager is ctwm, and it is much hated by everyone I know. But: there is nothing quite like my setup for the things I WANT TO DO!

IF Apple's devices do what you want, fine. Great. Most bodacious. If, for ANY reason at all, you want to do something OTHER than what they've designed into them - no matter if you are a geek or not (ref. m-i-law above) - it ain't very user friendly any more.

And herein lay the problem: Steve Jobs was an excellent marketeer. He did his job with great competence. He also managed to sell so many people on walled-in devices that it may just have impact OUTSIDE of the people who actually find them useful.

As long as your definition of "user" is the same as Apple's, everything is rosy red. Please try to accept that not everyone agree with that philosophy.

"Open source, while having a sort of 'nerd hip cool' to it, just isn't that useful to the vast majority of people."

Heh. Right. The vast majority of people using the 'net might be inclined to disagree with you.

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@windrose

Let me set out my credentials first. For a desktop OS I hate Linux and tend to use Windows. I tried using Linux at various points in my life and it didn't work for me.

The funny thing is though, I wholeheartedly agree with your post. Everything you said. The most key thing being that Apple computers are absolutely fantastic if you want to do exactly what Apple decided you should be allowed to do. I made a comment earlier about recursive permissions. There are many other examples: putting files onto your iDevice without using iTunes; moving iTunes installation from one machine to another; playing FLAC (as you mention); going to a Flash website; trying to run DTrace on a kernal function; the list goes on.

Incidentally, whilst I don't like Linux as a desktop OS, I love it for other things. At work I code for 3 different operating systems: Windows, Linux and Solaris. At home I have linux running on a tonne of devices, including my servers and my entire Squeezebox setup.

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YMMV

"For a desktop OS I hate Linux and tend to use Windows. I tried using Linux at various points in my life and it didn't work for me"

Excellent - without a trace of sarcasm. If Windows - or, for that matter, Mac - works for you, go for it. Neither give me anything but grief (I plugged a separate monitor into my Windows laptop today. No matter how much I designate the laptop screen the 'primary', and no matter how much Windows actually agree, it STILL opens new windows on the separate monitor. Plus 2-5 empty windows. I have no idea why).

Hence I'm using Linux for my desktop - ctwm, for reference.

What I critique is, as you correctly point out, is the conception of Mac - or Windows - as somehow more "user friendly" than anything else. It all - absolutely all - depends on how you define 'user'; on what you want to do, and how.

Would be nice if we could all agree that one's mileage may vary.

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Anonymous Coward

My diagnosis

Stallman suffers from a severe case of assburgers (as South Park would put it)

Hope he gets paid in kind when he dies, by way of a shot of blinded criticism and ignorance of his other contributions.

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Anonymous Coward

I don't like Apple, but Steve Jobs deserves his praise

I am a Linux devoted Android toting, opensource...you get the picture.

But remember that Android had to be good to try to beat the usability and looks of the iphone OS (Positive influence). The same influence applies across the board...windows actually has started to make improvements in recent years as they lost share to apple. It is pretty much known that the usability, looks etc was a direct influence from Steve.

Finally, yes Apple users like to sit in their walled garden/jail....but in fairness a lot of the Apple crowd like the brand name and styling...

Monkey with the brand name banana gets all the cred...and we're all monkeys at heart.

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Meh

"Some now think Jobs created the tablet, but it was Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates in November 2002 who talked of a new era of mobile computing with the Windows XP Tablet PC Edition."

Some now think Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates created the tablet in 2002, but it was Tom Diamond in the 1950's that demonstrated the Styalator electronic tablet with pen for computer input and software for recognition of handwritten text in real-time, followed by many other released products and concepts up to 2002, including Apple's Knowledge Navigator, which, in 1987, featured a tablet computer with numerous advanced capabilities.

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Stop

And not forgetting...

GO Corporation, who developed pen-based tablet computers and OSs from 1987 onwards, without any great commercial success (in part thanks to Mr Bill). At least Jerry Kaplan got a good book out of it ("Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure").

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I never used to have a problem with the whole walled garden approach until two recent occurances.

The first was a presentation at a conference singing the praises of iTunes U. Can it be searched from the web? No. Does it attract many views? No (not when compared to youtube equivalents). The only positive benifit seemed to be the insubstancial 'Apple polish' and the small chance of being featured. I was most dissapointed when my institution anounced the release of their own effort.

The second was the most damning. I was writing a piece on the use of smartphones in education and wanted to cite a couple of iPhone apps due to their excellence and inovation. Could I? No. The best I could do was to cite a second rate website which reviews them.

I dont own a portable music player so I was quite happy to leave each to their own but with everyone running towards these walled gardens they are starting to worry me.

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FAIL

Eh?

You can link to stuff on the iTunes store. How do you think all the software developers link to their apps on the store from their own website?

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Silver badge

Eh Heh?

It's true, but where's the download link?

http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/angry-birds-rio-samba-single/id426982849?ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Here's one for an app, which apparently "is a hack mirror app that copies your important information to steal." I thought that was impossible in the jailed garden! Anyway, there's still no download button.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/777-poker/id457512658?mt=8

In the Android market you click Install in your browser, confirm, then your phone automatically downloads and installs the app. Didn't Apple copy the cloud already (in a magical and inventive way, with inspiring design running right through the product)?

https://market.android.com/details?id=apps_topselling_free

I think what Berners-Lee was criticising was the way that you can only link to a download by taking your webpage reader outside the web. A well designed, web-centric, non-controlling solution would be like what google does with apps or amazon with songs: link to the web and let all classes of web user get the content they want in the same place without the prerequisite of non-standardised software. Spotify does something similar: you follow a link to someone's playlist which they want you to see and find that Spotify doesn't want you to see it, unless you let them see your email address etc.

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