Any working SIP-phone on FreeBSD?

Polytropon freebsd at
Mon Jun 20 12:56:45 UTC 2011

On Sun, 19 Jun 2011 11:22:48 -0400, Jerry wrote:
> Open or closed makes no relative difference to me or the majority of
> users as has been demonstrated numerous time with various software
> titles.

The majority doesn't always have to be quantitative. (Rosa Luxemburg)

Average home users avoid learning, reading, thinking. They
take whatever comes with the PC. What comes with the PC is
a deal between the manufacturer or reseller and MICROS~1.
This is a win-win situation for both of them. The user will
pay anyway.

Sometimes, the user doesn't even pay for things he does _not_
use. An example I recently read is that MICROS~1 profits from
any HTC Andoid phone sold, and they got more money from that
deal than from selling their own phone stuff.

You are free to see moral implications, but in the end, it
shows again what kind of face this corporation as, although
it's hidden behind a shiny package. Finally it's all about
making money, the primary objective of a company. It's just
by which means you get there.

> The bottom line is does it work and what is the learning curve
> of the product.

I think you have a wrong interpretation of what learning means,
especially in IT context, and in regards to end users. They do
not learn - at least they claim not to. Their knowledge is of
short life. What they learned once (e. g. for one version of
"Word") doesn't apply anywhere else (e. g. in the next version
of "Word"). Constant relearning of arbitrary things is needed,
and because it's not done, they are unable to properly use the
products. This causes a loss in productivity, and on other
fields of use, a rise of security problems.

> It has been demonstrated numerous times that the
> majority of end users do not want to invest large amounts of time
> trying to get an application configured and up and running.

I fully agree with that. They do not want to even use a particular
program. They want a RESULT, and they want it NOW. The computer
with its programs is just a tool. Now you have to judge that
tool. Is it a good one that helps you in productivity? Or is
it a bad one that stands in your way, shoots your foot, or makes
your data disappear?

> With the
> exception of the hobbyist, that is virtually always true.

The term "investing time" contains "investing". This means, you
put something in, you do a struggle to achieve something, and
after some time, it pays for you.

Because people like car analogies, here's one:

You have a bike, it's been cheap. But you need to transport
fridges all day long. So you get a waggon, also for quite
cheap. Works? Yes. But it's very hard. Now you invest (!) in
buying a car, taking driving lessons, pass the driving test.
It's quite expensive. And the monthly costs for the car.
But in the end, you can transport more fridges, more easily.
Your investition payed in the end. But you had to learn.
Learn all the funny signs, bars and circles, and blinking
lights, the strange rules, left and right, precedence, the
knobs and displays, 1-2-3-4-5-R (or P-D-R), the pedals,
the levers. Looking, pushing, pulling, turning, all at
the same time. Quite complicated at the first time. But
with experience, with "learning by doing", you are a good
car driver now. You haven't been in the past if you wouldn't
have invested time and money.

> I am not sure about this ICQ rant.

I think one main problem with ICQ is that among their terms
of use, there was something like "Everything you write on
ICQ belongs to us", but I'm not fully sure.

> I never was much for IMs anyway.

Well, me too. I've been using Jabber-based services in the
past (free), but I think regular e-mail and chat (IRC) took
over the IM functionality for me.

In relation to average home users (and often also corporeate
users), simple e-mail stuff is too complicated for them. They
can't quite, can't answer. They print my message and phone me.
They can't send attachments, they can't open them. A typical
situation, at least in Germany.

> I have been in various environment and I been exposed to both Linux and
> Microsoft servers. I cannot say with any certainty that BSD servers
> were employed however.

You don't see the good servers. They run the Internet. Because
they run UNIX. :-)

> The quality of the server is usually, at least in my own
> experience, directly related to the personnel who are responsible for
> its configuration and maintenance.

Veryy true, I also agree with this. Although there is a lot of
potential in how a server OS is preconfigured (secure, insecure),
those who operate it make the difference. You can easily conclude
what happens if _nobody_ operates and maintains them: Trouble.

Let me give you an example from reality: While being travelling,
I had my WLAN check running in the hotel where I stayed. Nearby,
a network of an attourney at law was shown (could be deducted
from the name shown). This network was not protected at all. I
could easily browse files, and also print a message to their
printer. Next day, I visited the law firm and asked them if
they had IT problems related to WLAN. "No, our boss installed
it, he said it was very easy." When I suggested the assistant
to look at the printer output where my message was... well,
they were very surprised.

(In Germany, it's not against the law if you interact with
unprotected networks, it's like a "free offer".)

I've seen _many_ of such constellations where you would be
SCARED TO DEATH if you would know where your data goes. Lawyers,
doctors, insurances, schools and advertising agencies are just
few examples.

> They released
> Kinect in advance of *.nix forcing others to play catch-up.

I hope it's okay if I quote those uses for "Kinect" on
"Windows" from a discussion forum:

	1. If you salute with 3 fingers, Windows asks if you
	   want to reboot 

	2. If you "salute" with 1 finger, Clippy asks if you
	   meant "Thank You!" 

	3. If you face away from the computer, and bend forwards,
	   Windows asks if you are ready for the "Window Genuine Validation Test". 

	4. Imitating Jerry Seinfeld - no effect on Windows.

	5. Standing perfectly still and expressionless - Windows says,
	   "Hello Melissa!"

I like #3 most. :-)

> To control
> any theater of operations you must get ahead of the curve.

Very true. That's why the Internet still runs on UNIX, not on "Windows".

> While hobbyists love anything not Microsoft, in the medical profession,
> legal profession, etcetera, Microsoft rules. There are highly
> specialized software written for their operating system that simply
> does not exist anywhere else.

For accounting, there's more choice of software for AS/400 (IBM i)
than for "Windows". This also goes for medical software where just
the front-ends, sometimes in the form of client programs, sometimes
as web interfaces, run "Windows" on PCs. What's behind the curtain,
nobody really knows (at least not the users).

This highly-specialized software is also highly expensive. This is
one of the reasons why the services you mentioned are among the most
expensive services available. They need to invest high amounts of
money to stay in operation. A constant renewal of fully functional
parts is required.

> When it comes to Office Suites, there is
> nothing even remotely close to what Office 10 offers, no matter what
> flavor you prefer.

It depends on what OFFER you have to rely on. Interoperability?
Standardizedness of document formats? Long-term storage? Support
for integration with other software? Safe for the future?

> OO tried for over ten years and never even produced
> an Office-97 clone that was anywhere as fully functional as the
> prototype.

Yes, they produced something better. :-)

> I have seen grown men and women reduced to tears trying to
> get OO to accomplish what MS Office could easily do.

And I've seen the opposite with "modern" "Office" applications.
Things that should be easy aren't anymore.

> Again, this is not
> a criticism but a simple statement of fact.

I'm sure everyone interprets it as this.

> Before anyone can seriously
> make an attempt to dethrone Microsoft, they have to produce an Office
> Suite that is as fully functional as and compatible with existing MS
> Office products.

The "compatible with" will be one of the bigger problems, as being
compatible with something that you don't know anything about is

> That is just not going to happen in the foreseeable
> future.

Yes, I think so, too. In the future, more and more document
processing will take place through a web-driven interface,
be it on corporate servers or on a google-provided platform.

> I think this tidbit is rather interesting:
> The German Foreign Office first started using Linux as a server
> platform in 2001 before making Linux and open source software their
> default desktop choice in 2005. Most observers thought the move a
> success. However, the government will now transition back to Windows
> XP, to be followed by Windows 7, also dropping OpenOffice and
> Thunderbird in favor of MS Office and Outlook.

This decision is originated from a consulting deal. You know,
those who DECIDE in state administration do not have much clue
about what they are doing, so they pay others to tell them what
to do. The problems originated from interoperability with
MICROS~1 programs. They also refused to just update their
OpenOffice programs to solve that problem. And it's also the
users of the office programs that - due to their inability to
adopt to new things - didn't get their work done because they
could not conclude from their "knowledge" (about how things
are done in some outdated "Word") how to do their work with
OpenOffice. If they would have learned those BASICS in the
first place, there wouldn't have been such trouble and refuse.
You can easily imagine the upcoming screaming when the transition
to "Windows 7" and "Office 2010" is done. :-)

It's also an example of german stupidity. Just see the danger
of using an almost 10 years old system, and the costs of further
new hardware and software. Oh the endless cirlce of licensing
costs and repeating renewal... and WE have to pay for that.
I can't even eat as much as I want to barf...

A counterexample is the insurance company LVM in Germany. They
migrated their whole PCs to Linux. We're taling 10,000+ units.
Their main goal is to get standardized systems as soon as

More and more businesses are migrating to standardized and
managed environments. "Cloud Computing" still isn't an important
topic to them, but the advantages of free software appeal to
more and more corporate users. (And as you know, people want
to have at home what they know from work, there will also be
a transition on some parts of the home consumer markets.)

Especially in the financial world, theer is currently much
trouble with long-term considerations. Old files need to be
opened, but what do you do if you can't run the software and
the hardware anymore? What if the software isn't available
anymore? You don't have any documentation about what's in the
binary blobs. And each day you don't get the problem solved
costs you money...

However, the bigger an entity gets (company, governmental
administration), the bigger their computers get. And in those
environments, "Windows" just plays a small role. For example,
in financial administration, PCs are empty (no disks, no
drives), they boot via LAN into a virtualized "Windows",
and then they interact with an IBM /z mainframe. This causes
much less costs per workplace (in relation to a full-blown
PC with locally installed "Windows" and all the software).
For another example, big building centers use Thin Clients
(terminals) to connect in 80x25 textmode to their AS/400
system which connects terminals, printers, cash registers,
barcode scanners, storage systems and web interfaces. Here
the per-workplace-costs are also lower than if one would
try do to something similar with "Windows" (which is impossible
as the required software doesn't run on that).

> Until open-source proponents stop blaming Microsoft for their problems
> and rather focus on making better and easier to use applications the
> demise of Microsoft is certainly not in sight.

Developing something secretly and indoctrinating users that
everyone should support this _is_ worth blaming.

>From my individual point of view - and please see it as what it
is: my very exclusive experience - I've always been using free
software being better and easier to use than any MICROS~1 offer.
To me, their software is fully uninteresting, and it is so for
many years. I couldn't care less.

> The same can be said of any OS. For instance, with FreeBSD one catch is
> that there are virtually no drivers for "N" class wireless devices even
> though said devices have been available for over 5 years.

It's not the devices that need to be available. It has to be
their specifications and internal information so they can be
made working, usually by someone who takes the time to write
a driver according to the documentation that he can access for
free. If this isn't given, attempts to reverse-engineer things
are the only way to go.

> There is ALWAYS a catch no matter what OS you
> are referring to.

And again, I do agree with that. It's just a matter of preferences,
requirements and habits.

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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