Is Yahoo! moving from FreeBSD?

Ted Mittelstaedt tedm at
Sat Feb 26 12:30:48 GMT 2005

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-freebsd-questions at
> [mailto:owner-freebsd-questions at]On Behalf Of Anthony
> Atkielski
> Sent: Friday, February 25, 2005 11:48 AM
> To: freebsd-questions at
> Subject: Re: Is Yahoo! moving from FreeBSD?
> Ted Mittelstaedt writes:
> > Your missing the point.  It's far more cost-effective for a
> business to
> > not hire a bunch of whiners in the first place.
> They aren't whiners.  It's perfectly logical for them to want to work
> with software for which they are already trained,

No, it isn't.  When they are punching my clock they work the way I tell
them to.  That is why -I- am paying -them-.  If they want to work their
own way they are welcome to start their own business and work for
however way they want.

> and it's equally
> logical for a company to let them work with software for which they are
> already trained.  There's no reason at all to retrain them on something
> completely different.

For starters, as I already indicated, expectation levels are different
different levels of employees.  Someone who is getting paid a lot of
should not be dependent on the company training them, they should take
responsibility for their own training.  If they go to work for the
and the company uses Brand X software, well then they know this when they
go to work for the company and they better take responsibility for
themselves using the manuals, or finding a class somewhere and expensing
it to the company.  But to expect that I'm going to go out and arrainge
training and schedule these people is rediculous.  These are grown people
they can arrainge their own schedules and training.  For God's sake, we
pay their expenses, the least they can do is set it up for themselves.

Prior training that an employee brings to the company may or may not have
value to the company.  Quite obviously, companies try to make an effort
to hire people who have some prior training that is useful.  But, with
wide variety of office equipment and other technical systems these days,
it is much more important to hire someone who has the QUALITIES that will
help your business.  For example, I go to hire a salesman, I'm looking
for someone who has a good rapport with people and who can close a deal.
I really don't give a crap if he knows Excel or not, and I am certainly
not going to make a hiring decision that would take that into account.
The miniscule amount of money it would cost for him to take a training
class in Excel would be paid back 100fold if he has the magic of sales
in him.

> > But I don't expect this kind of whining from someone I hire at $30K a
> > year to actually do some real clerical work that requires some
> > responsibility, and I am not going to stand for it for the $60K and
> > above grown up adult that I hire for a managerial or ops position or
> > some such.
> I guess you can spend another $60K on training them to use something
> else and hope they don't leave until you amortize that additional
> expense (if you ever do).  But that doesn't seem to make very good
> business sense.

It actually makes a lot of business sense depending on what they are
doing.  If I am hiring a financial controller who is responsible for
a 10 million a year operating cost, if I have a system that tracks
that 10 million better than any of my competitors systems track their
10 million for their operating costs, then $60K is cheap insurance
to prevent a mistake that might cost a million.

Most of the big company financial systems, no matter WHAT platform they
built on, are quite complex, so your going to spend the same money
them on either a MS system or a UNIX system.

But in any case, $60K for training is a rediculous figure to begin
with.  Very little Microsoft or Sun desktop training that is out there
anywhere near this amount, and what does cost this takes place in Vegas
or Hawaii, and is effectively a way for a company to pay for someone's
vacation without it showing up as income to them, and allowing it to be
written off for the company.

> > Unfortunately, there's still too many upper managers in
> business today
> > who came of age before the computer became integrated into business,
> > and chose to be lazy and not learn how to use them, and as a result
> > today cannot themselves operate the things, so it is not possible for
> > them to hold their employees to any kind of standard in this area.
> They already _know_ how to use computers; they just aren't
> familiar with
> the software that you personally prefer.  They know the most popular
> software on the market and how to use it; they can get their work done
> with that software alone, without any need for anything else.

No, Anthony, no.  I'm not talking about upper managers that know
Windows and Office applications well and don't know UNIX applications.

When I said there's too many that cannot operate the things that is
exactly what I meant.

> There is
> no reason for them to look elsewhere for software, nor is there any
> reason for them to waste time and money learning other, more obscure
> software packages that just do nothing more than Office already does.

They don't use or know how to use Office now, so what your saying really
has absolutely no relevance to anything.

> Managers don't have an emotional attachment to any type of computer
> software.  They run Office because everyone knows how to use Office.

Running something because "everyone else does" IS an emotional
Anthony.  I'm surprised you missed this.  Wanting to take the safe
and secure way of doing something is an emotional decision - just
as wanting to take the unknown and risky way of doing something, that
is an emotional decision as well.

A truly unemotional, logical manager (when it comes to software) would
look at
ALL software packages and choose the ones that work the best.
And if you or anyone holds up all the Microsoft software against all
the rest of the software, commercial or otherwise, you will find the
Microsoft stuff is almost always inferior.

Why do you use Photoshop?  I'm sure Microsoft has some graphics program.
Last I checked, Photoshop is NOT a Microsoft application.  And why do you
use your Photoshop on a PC?  Most of the heavy users of Photoshop I've
ever talked to all claim it runs a lot better on a Mac.

> And employees want Office because that's what they know how to use.

Why do they only want software they know how to use?  It's because
they are not interested in the better alternatives.  That is laziness
no matter how you slice it.

If these employees that want to use Office so much could sit down
and list out all the Office apps they use and compare them to their
commercial and non-commercial competitors and say point for point why
Office is better, then I would grant you that you have something.

But they can't.  They are like the 6 year old who only eats Coca
Crumbs for breakfast because that is all he knows, and he refuses
to taste anything different.

> > All throughout our businesses careers, we will be faced with this
> > problem of having to unlearn the old way of doing things and learn
> > new, better ways.
> Not necessarily.  When something works well enough, there's no
> reason to
> learn anything else.

Yes there is.  If you don't learn about anything else, then you don't
really know that the something that you have that works well enough
actually is working well enough.

There may NOT be a reason to CHANGE to anything else, but there is
ALWAYS a reason to LEARN other ways of doing things.

Take language.  I know 1 language, English.  I can communicate
quite effectively in it.  So, should I never ever bother trying to
learn a foreign language?  I guess not, because what I have works
well enough.

> > Everyone that works in a job faces this.
> Not necessarily.  Even in jobs that require the use of a computer, it
> isn't necessary to relearn things over and over.  Microsoft Word and
> Excel haven't changed significantly in ages.

There are Word and Excel lookalikes in the UNIX-based office suites,
but that is beside the point.  The reason Excel and Word haven't
changed much is partly because they have no competition to spur them
on, but mainly it is because these programs effectively substitute for
a blank piece of paper, or a blank piece of paper with gridlines on it.
In short, they are a direct mapping to an old way of doing things in
business, a general purpose way.

Just as that old way of T accounting got replaced by computerized
we are seeing specific accounting apps replace the spreadsheets today.
And e-mail long ago replaced most of what Word was designed to do.
Change happens.

> > Unfortunately, many people choose to refuse to unlearn old
> ways, and a
> > larger percentage of them get like this when they have been doing the
> > old way for a long time.
> They have to have a good reason to learn new ways, and "because someone
> in the IT department hates Microsoft" isn't a good reason.

How about the company wants to save $100,000 a year in licensing fees to
Microsoft, and wants to save a half-million in upgrading hardware for the
newest Microsoft software, is that a good enough reason?

Because that's the reason the big companies are looking at Linux, right


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