Think outside of the box (Gawd, I hate that term)

Wes Kussmaul wes at
Tue Aug 12 08:40:48 PDT 2003

> I think some individuals lose site of the reality of computing.  There
> will never be one operating system that everyone uses.  People demand
> choice.  Isn't that what the gnu preaches?

Some do, some just adopt whatever the media message tells them they should.

Some people put a lot of energy into the choice of a car or a stereo or a
financial advisor, enjoying the process. Others just want to get it over
with. I suggest that in some product category each one of us just wants to
get it over with even if it means a suboptimal decision.

> If you want a media appliance pc, buy a Mac or Windows box.

Or a Lycoris or Lindows or Sun Mad Hatter or Novell/Ximian Gnome or other
such box.

If you
> want a fast, command based os choose one of the many options including
> UNIX systems, linux, or even PC-DOS.

> Sure many people
> like WIndows and Linux, but most people on these lists have more
> specific needs than that.

Agreed and understood. But Chris's message was about addressing people
outside these lists.

> Personally, I try to use an OS I feel is adequate for whatever task I
> wish to accomplish.  I have a Windows XP box and a Mac OS X machine at
> home.  My server runs BSD as I don't need a "polished" media based
> system to run apache, mysql and dns.  I used to run OS/2 Warp, Windows
> 95 and Linux.. point is chose an OS because it suits your needs not
> because of marketing hype, or because you want to fit in.

What portion of the market consists of people like you?

> I recently got accepted to WMU.  I just found out the CS department is
> widely adopting Mac OS X because its hyped now instead of Linux.  Is
> that a good reason to use an Operating system?

Perhaps not. That makes my point. Those who want to be of service (and make
money doing it) will help ensure that groups like WMU CS dept are guided
toward the best choices.

> There will always be competition in the computer industry.  there is a
> cycle we follow time and time again.  Again, platforms are being
> chosen.. CEOs read in a stupid magazine what to buy.  Who's hyped this
> week?  How many times have you heard a boss say "I want cisco" or "I
> want office"  Why?  My wife works at a helpdesk for a large evil
> company (lets just say they make a "large" drug), an employee asked her
> why their email wasn't migrated from one exchange server to another
> yet.. the employee said "Don't we have cisco?  just do it"
> What does this say about the state of things?

It says

1) Cisco did its marketing job well (part of which was making good
products). It advertised and influenced stories in stupid magazines. CEOs
love to hear other sides of the story, but not necessarily from people who
disdain them.

2) Somebody is probably thinking about how to deliver what the employee
wants; and when they do they will provide a valuable service and make money
doing it.

> Do cisco powered networks run exchange email and do all the
> administration for you?  I think not.  (It is funny though!)

That just tells me there is an acknowledged and articulated market need that
is not being met. Maybe it can be met, maybe not. But there's no need to
disparage people for knowing what they wish they could have.

Wes Kussmaul

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