Windows Rant

Angus MacGyver macgyver at
Mon Jul 12 20:10:30 UTC 2010

On Mon, 2010-07-12 at 14:53 +0200, Amedee Van Gasse (ub) wrote:
> On Sun, July 11, 2010 23:44, Angus MacGyver wrote:
> > Good grief - have you no heart ?
> > Are people *REALLY* that greedy these days ?
> > Have we lost compassion for one another, the joy of gifting and most
> > importantly love ?
> > I'm appalled and disappointed.
> Read my mail again. Read it very carefully.

Assumption #1 - that I didn't...
Fact #1 I did - many times with abject horror and disbelief.

> I can't help it if it causes cognitive dissonance in your mind, but it has
> *NOTHING* to do with greed.

Unwillingness to give your own time for your *OWN* family without
charging - that is selfishness, and yes, greed, if not for money, but
for "your" time.

Quoting your original email...
"Why do you support your relatives for free?"
"who would otherwise have made a small profit "

On the point you raised with Doug - I am also married with children, but
will still gladly give my time to sort family's "PC" problems, I just do
it when my kids are in bed so they don't lose out.

> Obviously you don't work in IT. 

Sorry, but you really have no idea.
That was Assumption #2
Fact #2

I *HATE* Windows with a passion, so much so, my own Desktop Services
department aren't surprised that when my company laptop supplied with
Windows goes back to them to have the next "mandatory fix" installed,
*THEY* were the last people to turn it on and login, somewhere about 3
months ago.
It's a standing joke with them that I don't use it, so why do I need it.
(it's something known as on-call)

I have a Sun workstation under my desk running something sensible to do
my job - really need a Windows app? - it's called Citrix/RDP.

Even though I despise Windows for a great many reasons, quite some time
ago it used to make me a living, and I know what I'm doing, so I will
happily work on Windows for my family.

> Obviously you never heard questions like these:

> * Hey Mark, I don't have a modem and can't connect to the Internet, can
> you fix this?"
> * "I removed some of the pins from my monitor cable because it didn't seem
> to fit right, now it's not working at all...can you fix my computer?"
> * Hey Sally, Can you fix my Internet, everytime I visit a website it says
> my host is unknown"

I've probably heard them all - and more, my mother is by far the best
example (in the technology arena) of the developer's mantra of "....the
universe will make better idiots" 
It might help if she actually read her notes she makes on "Post-It"'s
mind, but that is just one frustrating, but nonetheless, endearing part
of what make my mother who she is.

Y'know something though ?
It's been massively better since she upgraded WinXP to first Redhat 9.0,
then Sun Java Desktop, OpenSuse XX, and finally Ubuntu since 6.10 (or
6.04, I forget now)

Hell, I even talked her through a remote / fsck when her lappy failed to
boot at a conference - all gratis of course..
Respect ?
Ohhhhhh yeaaaah.... and then some.

> So why am I on this mailing list, for free? Because here I can choose. I
> only answer the questions that I find interesting. I am truly fascinated
> by interesting problems, and the joy of learning that goes with it. I
> really want to share that joy.

Which is great, but is separate from the content about free family

>  But only on my terms. I will respect you if
> you respect me, and vice versa. There is nothing wrong with that, on the
> contrary: this world needs more respect.

Yeah, the world does, and a lot more besides.
But unfortunately with your assumptions about what I do/don't do, and
belittling attitude because of it, and your attitude towards your
family, IMHO, you've fallen a little short in my eyes I'm afraid.

> The Thinkgeek tshirt is tongue-in-cheek, but if you want to read a serious
> blog post that I agree with, then I recommend this one:

Agree with very large chunks of the article...


The fine article describes how in a corporate environment, some random
joe/jane asks their *CORPORATE* "IT guy" to work on their personal

...and that has precisely *WHAT* to do with family as per your post ?

(and yes, this post has a lot to do with Linux, one for the plus points
it has given my mother, and two about the giving nature of the people in
FOSS that actually make it happen)

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