Author Topic: Idiot's guide to shareware.  (Read 9110 times)

bobajobrob

Re: Idiot's guide to shareware.
« Reply #25 on: May 20, 2008, 06:43:31 pm »
I also appreciate the ethics and ideals of free software. I'd rather support free software than contribute to the bottom line of some corporation.
No problem with that, although the concept of 'free' is debatable, especially in work land where surely the cost of a Windows OS is insignificant compared to the benefit of having a universal platform that runs all software packages and which most employees can use without expensive training?

The "free" in free software stands more for "free as in free speech" than "free as in free beer". You're free to examine the source code, modify it and redistribute it. You can even sell it for profit. With proprietary software, trying to do this will likely land you in jail. What's more, the free software model works. Developers get paid to write code (it usually takes a while to figure this one out), software gets shipped and users get to use it. You could say free software is good for everyone, whilst proprietary software is good for the people that wrote it.

bobajobrob

Re: Idiot's guide to shareware.
« Reply #26 on: May 20, 2008, 06:49:37 pm »
One has to ask if in this day and age it is acceptable to have a slew of software that requires so much training.

As noted, Ubuntu is easier to install and arguably easier to use than Windows. So where is this required training that you mention?

Jaded

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Re: Idiot's guide to shareware.
« Reply #27 on: May 20, 2008, 07:00:24 pm »
One has to ask if in this day and age it is acceptable to have a slew of software that requires so much training.

As noted, Ubuntu is easier to install and arguably easier to use than Windows. So where is this required training that you mention?

In the Windows software.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

bobajobrob

Re: Idiot's guide to shareware.
« Reply #28 on: May 20, 2008, 07:01:51 pm »
I used to be a Linux zealot.

In response to your comments.

1. Our organisation spends a great deal of time and money fixing viruses on Windows. Most of the time this means a complete reinstall of Windows, with all the associated cost and agro that entails. Can you guess how much time they have to spend cleaning up viruses from Linux? This may be be because Linux users are generally more competent, or because there are very few viruses for Linux. Probably both. A healthy proportion of people run Linux in our organisation.

2. Why use ActiveX? It has no security model unlike, say, Java, and it only works on Windows. You may as well run a desktop application.

3. OO is a resource hog. The only reason I run Windows is for Office, which is generally pretty good. The only reason compatibility is a problem is that M$ have a stranglehold on the market. This is generally not a good thing.

4. That's part of 3 really.

5. Evolution-exchange is pretty good now. It's no longer part of Ximian.

bobajobrob

Re: Idiot's guide to shareware.
« Reply #29 on: May 20, 2008, 07:02:53 pm »
As noted, Ubuntu is easier to install and arguably easier to use than Windows. So where is this required training that you mention?

In the Windows software.

Right, so if everyone used Macs there would be no training required?

Jaded

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Re: Idiot's guide to shareware.
« Reply #30 on: May 20, 2008, 07:19:33 pm »
As noted, Ubuntu is easier to install and arguably easier to use than Windows. So where is this required training that you mention?

In the Windows software.

Right, so if everyone used Macs there would be no training required?

Sigh.

No. No training required for Macs. In fact quite the opposite. Using a Mac makes people stupid.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

bobajobrob

Re: Idiot's guide to shareware.
« Reply #31 on: May 20, 2008, 07:22:30 pm »
Using a Mac makes people stupid.

Damn, I walked into that one didn't I ;D

So what was your point again?

Jaded

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Re: Idiot's guide to shareware.
« Reply #32 on: May 20, 2008, 07:28:05 pm »
We have massive amounts of processing power; way, way more than we ever needed back in the early days of word processing on a Wang and Supercalc on a IBM PC.

Granted that can be used to edit HD DV films, but in the main it is not needed for what a computer is normally used for.

So why isn't it used to make computers easier to use! Why do we still need all this training?
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

bobajobrob

Re: Idiot's guide to shareware.
« Reply #33 on: May 20, 2008, 07:55:21 pm »
As processing power increases, so software becomes more complex. Programming languages become more high level and require more processing power.

bobajobrob

Re: Idiot's guide to shareware.
« Reply #34 on: May 20, 2008, 08:18:30 pm »
It's always a delight to watch Mr Endon plant a seed and watch it grow

 ;D ;D ;D

Get a room you two :-* ;)

Jaded

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Re: Idiot's guide to shareware.
« Reply #35 on: May 20, 2008, 08:36:34 pm »
As processing power increases, so software becomes more complex. Programming languages become more high level and require more processing power.

However, word processing is still gathering together words on a page. Usually in US English, because that's what was set up...

Spreadsheets (in 97% of them anyway) are still a few columns of numbers with  saying '=SUM(A12*B12)'

 ;)

If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

bobajobrob

Re: Idiot's guide to shareware.
« Reply #36 on: May 20, 2008, 08:38:04 pm »
Spreadsheets (in 97% of them anyway) are still a few columns of numbers with  saying '=SUM(A12*B12)'

Yeah, so they probably run a lot faster than on a 486.

Jaded

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Re: Idiot's guide to shareware.
« Reply #37 on: May 20, 2008, 10:54:38 pm »
Did you look at my formula?  ;)

I remember the Sigma appearing in Excel and I remember the first time I saw SUM being used like that.

WTF is an application doing (OK, the application comes from the same stable as the one that says "You appear to be writing a letter") allowing a SUM() to be enclosed around a perfectly good formula?

From what I remember, Excel was perfectly fast 20 years ago.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

sas

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Re: Idiot's guide to shareware.
« Reply #38 on: May 20, 2008, 11:09:27 pm »
So why isn't it used to make computers easier to use! Why do we still need all this training?
Because the number of human interface designers hasn't increased in proportion to processing power. Though the number of people who think they're experts probably has.
I am nothing and should be everything

bobajobrob

Re: Idiot's guide to shareware.
« Reply #39 on: May 20, 2008, 11:14:40 pm »
From what I remember, Excel was perfectly fast 20 years ago.

It runs quite well on my PC today, but I bet it does a lot more stuff than back then.

rae

Re: Idiot's guide to shareware.
« Reply #40 on: May 20, 2008, 11:27:41 pm »
Quote
2. Why use ActiveX? It has no security model unlike, say, Java, and it only works on Windows. You may as well run a desktop application. 

I'll just pick up on this one as it is a bit of a classic Linux response. 

You are pitching a Linux desktop to a CIO of an organisation with 30,000 desktops.   He doesn't give two hoots about technology as long is it doesn't break his budget, and that it does not cause heads of business divisions to get on his back.

Me "well this Linux desktop is really cool, it does everything that you need, its free and it's got no viruses"

CIO "I'm told that it doesn't run application XYZ as that app needs IE6 and ActiveX"

Me "but activex is the work of the devil, it is shit, it is a massive security risk..."

CIO "its worked fine for two years, and the vendor isn't going to change it"

Me "but it's pants"

CIO "bothered?"

CIO "get out you twat".

(No that didn't happen, but we realised that it would happen if we went any further).


bobajobrob

Re: Idiot's guide to shareware.
« Reply #41 on: May 20, 2008, 11:34:06 pm »
We have an application that uses ActiveX too. Frankly, it's a bag of cock snot. It's called "Test Director" and it's used for defect tracking and resolution. It's famous for crashing when you're trying to save what you're doing. We'd be better off using bugzilla or similar, but hey, I'm not the one being plied with champagne and white powder for purchasing licences for this crap. The person that purchased this application beat a hasty exit from the company. Rumour has it she was pushed. We're lucky that we have people high up that actually know something (and care) about technology. That's why our core software runs on Linux. I doubt we'll be using this application for much longer.

border-rider

Re: Idiot's guide to shareware.
« Reply #42 on: May 20, 2008, 11:43:38 pm »

From what I remember, Excel was perfectly fast 20 years ago.
Really ?

I can recall using SuperCalc in about 1995, and it taking about 10 minutes to fail to graph 256 datapoints.  Then the OS fell over :)

But no, you don't need all this resource.  An eeePC can do enough stuff to run a small office using a 900  MHz processor and 512 k of RAM, and do it quickly.

rae

Re: Idiot's guide to shareware.
« Reply #43 on: May 20, 2008, 11:48:46 pm »
Quote
but hey, I'm not the one being plied with champagne and white powder for purchasing licences for this crap. 

Cripes, if they get that sort of treatment for buying a Test Director licenses in your outfit, can I be your procurement manager?

bobajobrob

Re: Idiot's guide to shareware.
« Reply #44 on: May 21, 2008, 12:01:44 am »
Cripes, if they get that sort of treatment for buying a Test Director licenses in your outfit, can I be your procurement manager?

Sure, if you want to be next in line for the chop ;D

Jaded

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Re: Idiot's guide to shareware.
« Reply #45 on: May 21, 2008, 07:53:38 am »
MV, the number of people that graph 256 data-points out of the total Excel user base is pretty low.

Similarly the number of people that write books in Word is pretty low*.

For bog standard stuff that everyday Office users use they haven't really changed that much.

However I concede that they now have a help pop-up that tells you you are writing a letter, they allow you to add 'Sum' into every formula, they switch spelling to US English as often as they can regardless of your International settings on the machine, they allow you to format a text document with multiple Tab stops amongst other very bright things.

Watching a non-techy person using Word or Excel you'll see that use of these Office applications has actually been dumbed down by additions to the applications over the last 20 years or so. They do extraordinary things with the documents!

*(Which is lucky, since we closed most of the asylums)


rae - the poster "Eat Shit, 10 billion flies can't be wrong" comes to mind. Just because the CIO likes ActiveX doesn't mean it is any good.  ;D
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: Idiot's guide to shareware.
« Reply #46 on: May 21, 2008, 08:06:17 am »
We have an application that uses ActiveX too. Frankly, it's a bag of cock snot. It's called "Test Director" and it's used for defect tracking and resolution. It's famous for crashing when you're trying to save what you're doing. We'd be better off using bugzilla or similar, ...

Ah, memories.  I was made redundant from an organisation that used that.  Pity the IT Director didn't look at the real crocks of shite he was wasting good company money on ...

He chose Test Director as a strategic tool to improve software quality over some Config Management process and software.   After all, the developers knew what they were doing, right?

He should be famous for suggesting once that a very large, very crap application should be put live instead of continuing into its second year of overrun.  Why? I asked (stupid me, doh!).  'Well, because when we have a problem in live we seem to be able to sort it''!!   

I'm not surprised he made me redundant really.

rae

Re: Idiot's guide to shareware.
« Reply #47 on: May 21, 2008, 10:50:02 am »
Quote
rae - the poster "Eat Shit, 10 billion flies can't be wrong" comes to mind. Just because the CIO likes ActiveX doesn't mean it is any good.   

I don't recall that in the book of CIO influencing tactics.   The reality is that they have an application that works.  It cost them a fortune to put it in, and ActiveX is pants, but the business is running.   "Get rid of it" is not really what they want to hear.   To be fair, they had zero problems with this pile of pants - we would have been stuffed if he had turned around and said: "OK, its pants, show me a business case that adds up to replace it".

Quote
For bog standard stuff that everyday Office users use they haven't really changed that much. 

Despite not being Microsofts best friend, I do recognise that office is a work of brilliance.   It can be used by a 5 year old to make little lists of their classmates at the bottom end.   At the other end, I wrote an interbank settlement system in Excel to look at settlement liquidity changes as processing order was altered.   I chose Excel because it was all I had on my laptop at the time and access to proper software was limited on a 12 hour flight...

Re: Idiot's guide to shareware.
« Reply #48 on: May 23, 2008, 12:05:08 pm »
So, Mr Endon, what did you choose?

I've had similar experiences to Rae and MalV. Word has it's problems (I have to work on big docs with it all the time, and swear a lot). The last time I tried Open Office, it simply wasn't up to the job. Lacked format control, cacked out on large, complex docs that Word was quite happy with.

WinXP machines do get clogged up. Regclean and defrag are your friends.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Idiot's guide to shareware.
« Reply #49 on: May 23, 2008, 12:11:54 pm »
OpenOffice Writer is fine. Yes it does have problems on large complex Word docs but that's because Word is a non documented (well to everyone except MS) format and even Word has problems with the formatting of large docs written in other versions of Word. OpenOffice Writer is OK with large complex documents created in OpenOffice.
Personally I think using a word processor for DTP is silly it always ends in tears as non of them were designed for the job. Use the word processor for banging in the words with simple formatting and then use a DTP package for proper formatting.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.