I've got a major question...

Polytropon freebsd at edvax.de
Fri Jun 28 11:17:21 UTC 2019

On Fri, 28 Jun 2019 06:42:43 -0400, Jerry wrote:
> On Fri, 28 Jun 2019 07:27:16 +0200, Polytropon stated:
> >On Thu, 27 Jun 2019 22:16:04 +0200, Ralf Mardorf via freebsd-questions
> >wrote:
> >> Software to rent for artists could be a serious problem. I don't want
> >> the software for free as in beer. I want to buy (pay for it and then
> >> own) the software I want to use, since there are times when I have
> >> money and there are times all I've got to eat, are the wallpapers
> >> from my walls. To do some work, the software to do the work is
> >> needed. If an artist can't pay the rent for the software, the artist
> >> can't do the artwork to earn money.  
> >
> >And even if you buy a book, the book will stop working.
> >Repeat: The books will stop working.
> >
> >https://twitter.com/rdonoghue/status/1144011630197522432
> >
> >The "always online & for rent" doesn't just add financial problems
> >as expressed above, but can also introduce new security pitfalls,
> >plus the "extra pay" you (as the user) provide by allowing the
> >vendor to harvest your usage behaviour and sell that to what I
> >often call their real clients: the advertising industry. And if
> >you don't pay, your data - the art _you_ created - is held hostage
> >until you pay. Or it is "accidentally" lost in which case, as per
> >the EULA, you don't have any rights for compensation.
> >
> >And remember: The books will stop working. :-)
> Your analogy is seriously flawed on so many levels. For instance, I
> purchased 5.25” floppy discs 30 years ago with programs that I cannot
> now get to run on any modern OS, and that is assuming I locate a 5.25”
> drive.  I won’t even bother discussing 8-inch (203 mm) media. Times
> change, you must learn to accept it.

You're comparing physical to nonphysical items, as well as short-term
and long-term. This is flawed twice. Additionally, you're refering
to OS environments that do no longer exist.

If you have the urgent need to "keep alive" hardware and software
from many decades ago, there probably is a good reason for it, maybe
some software that costed $$$$$ and needs to interface with some
specific old hardware that still runs and needs to keep running.
I'm saying this because I have a few of those "museum cases" where
things just need to be "kept alive", because there simply is no
alternative that is technically or financially viable. Because
_some_ things do _not_ change.

> Documents created with either Adobe due not suddenly “stop” working if
> you cancel your lease. They are fully available with either a
> stand-alone version of Adobe or with a program capable of open PDFs. I
> know because I have done it; plus, it states so on Adobe’s web site.
> Nothing created by the user ceases to work.

You have probably misinterpreted what I tried to say: With the
"lease model", non-local storage can be the key problem if you
fail to pay. Creation and output is only possible through the
program itself, be it a stand-alone installation or an online
version. As long as someone else is involved, and you do not
store your stuff locally (with _any_ program being able to get
access to it), the moment you fail to pay can be the moment
your works are gone.

> In Adobe, you have the option of opting out of allowing Adobe to
> harvest your data. There are two options, one to collect your usage
> data and another to collect program data should it crash. I see no
> legitimate reason to opt out of the latter, but that is an individual
> decision to make.

It is. Reality shows that such decision making isn't always easy,
because the corresponding controls are hidden, buried on some
sub-dialog or preference page. The default, in my opinion, should
be to make the decision at the first run of the software, with
the standard value being "no data transmitted". Giving away your
data for free (!) should be an active decision, not something you
need to express your dissent later on.

> Both Adobe’s and Microsoft’s new business model of leasing software has
> proven successful. Customers like the fact that the software is kept
> up-to-date, and the cost of the product has declined dramatically.


For example, most of my customers are complaining that updates
break their workflow, slow down operations, and cause hardware
to stop working ("Scanner has stopped working after update,
please help!" or "My screen looks all funny, right after the
reboot the update caused."). Some of them even do not perform
those updates in fear something would break. This is of course
a problem from a security point of view. But you probably know
this from corporate installations where updates are not performed
in an O(n) manner on individual PCs running home version of
"Windows", but instead the whole process is controlled by the
IT department. Even in such cases, important updates are _not_
done because they need some internal review and excessive testing,
and if someone says, "This will break the functionality of our
software module X version Y, we can't do this update.", the
update is also _not_ done. Don't get me started about corporate
IT security... ;-)

Regarding costs: Recently I had a client complain about the
software they were using. They changed from a yearly fee, let's
just pretend $200, to a quarterly fee of $80. And $80 is less
than $200, right? Plus, there is no installation media anymore,
you need to download the software at your own costs (time and
transfer volume, because that particular customer only has slow
Internet, which hasn't been a problem before). So: No, it's not
always cheaper.

But I completely agree with your statement regarding home users.
As they don't control their smartphones and tables, why should
they control their computers which are no longer PCs (_their_
personal computers)? Smartphone OS updates come in automatically,
are installed without much interaction; tablet software gets its
updates, new version is available without big trouble. Security
holes are dealt with in a quick manner, as it should be. Given
that a significant amount of spam, DDoS trouble etc. is generated
from home PCs running "Windows" versions which aren't patched
properly, automated (and let me just say "forced") updates are
a good solution. And nothing requires the user to have any kind
of knowledge about how a computer works, what an operating system
is or why security matters to everyone.

> In
> the case of Microsoft, their Office 365 HOME offers six products, Word,
> Excel, PowerPoint, One Note, Outlook, Publisher, Access, 60-minutes of
> Skype, and 1TB Cloud Storage. At $99.99 for five separate installations
> with up to 6 users, that works out to less than $20 per install for
> over, at retail, a $1000 of software.

And you get almost the same for free with LibreOffice, plus it
will open files that "Office 365" has stopped supporting many
years ago, plus you can store in standardized document formats,
plus you can output to PDF directly, and so on, and you can use
the same program on any platform and OS. ;-)

> Leasing software is not
> the perfect business plan for all users; however, in many cases, it
> fits into their business model perfectly. In some cases, like mine, it
> works out as a nice tax deduction, although a small one.

I won't disagree here. In the past, renting both hardware and
software has been a typical construct, and of benefit for the
users. This changed with the age of personal computers, and
changed back with the dawn of mobile computing, I would say.
Of course there is no "one size fits all".

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

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