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[ossig] The Microsoft Apologist Trilogy, Part II : The Obnoxiousness Of The Microsoft Apologist

If there's one singular thing that I absolutely despise about Microsoft apologists and their ilk of semi-literate slobbering morons is the following attitude, bourne out of sheer arrogance and cultivated by ignorance:

"If the majority of people don't use or need something, it's useless and a waste of time."

It's well known Microsoft hates open source for the reason that it's the ultimate in consumer empowerment - you can do anything you like with your software. But Microsoft apologists don't care, they are happy to cradle in the warm and comfortable embrace of Microsoft, the seemingly-benevolent provider of everything to do with computers, that they don't notice that the slow asphyxiation they are experiencing is due to the greed of Gates clamping down upon their very necks while pretending to give them a loving hug. But that's ok, they can waste their time and money in any way they choose. But the arrogant assumption that everybody is just like them is what irks me to no end.

"So who cares about source code availability? The majority of people can't understand it let alone use it. When was the last time YOU used the source code?"

They give us a mocking challenge, assuming that source code is useless. Well I use the source to Linux in my daily work, but even before then, it was a lifesaverů even when I didn't understand the source code. Back when I was doing my industrial training and final year project, I was a second class citizen in my lab, without any decent computers to work with. The only computers I would get would be the ones the "more priviledged" students didn't want : old UltraSPARC's. Most of them were running Solaris, but I had no root access to them so I couldn't really try out some of the software I wanted. However, there were 4 of them which were lying unused, and I managed to get them to run Linux and do my work on them.

To work on an oddball combination of OS and hardware architecture really showed me the beauty of open source. When you're using hardware nobody wants to support, nobody cares about and you lack any kind of influence to purchase anything (who cares about some lowly student right?), open source can come to your rescue. The fact that there are few binary software releases for your architecture doesn't stop you from utilizing the popular stuff out there that's open source - you can compile the source yourself and generate your own binaries.

Of course the Microsoft apologists will just scoff at this story. Most had never had to experience what I did. But I am grateful for the lack of resources that I encountered during that time. I learned to push myself to learn to work with whatever that is given to me and survive. I've learned to appreciate the diversity of different computing architectures. I've learned to use gcc like MacGuyver uses his Swiss army knife. Adversity really does build character.