On 2010-03-19, David Masover <ninja / slaphack.com> wrote:
> A cat is a living creature, which complicates things.

True.

But it's certainly a kind of thing you can own, and have, say, the legal
right to kill whenever you want to.  (Moral rights, well, maybe not.  Or
maybe so.  Certainly, most pet owners I know eventually hire someone to
kill their pets, unless their pets die quickly and unexpectedly.)

> It's probably better with some sort of compromise in certain circumstances, 
> but I lean much towards the end of letting the end-user do arbitrary things 
> than letting the content creator add arbitrary restrictions.

I lean towards letting them make whatever agreement they want, and if you
don't like a particular vendor's agreement, don't buy their product.  :)

>> I'm not sure of this.  It might be that the result would be more expensive
>> phones with shorter contracts, because the subsidies really do reduce the
>> cost of the phone.  Many cell phones are sold for less than they cost to
>> produce -- with the excess being covered out of the contracts.

> Well, right, but the contracts do cost more over the long run, and they lock 
> you in.

I am not sure that they actually "cost more over the long run" -- as in, I
am not sure that I would get enough better rates without that contract to
cover the full costs of the phones.  I'm not even sure I'd get better rates
at all without a contract.

> No one who had the money would seriously consider a monthly plan for a 
> computer.

I think it would depend on the terms.

> Yet with cell phones, people tend towards the slightly higher monthly fee with 
> a long-term contract. I suppose we also do that with cars and houses, but it 
> still seems odd that otherwise-intelligent people, who have the money to spend 
> on the phone up front, would choose this.

Is the fee actually higher?

> However, I would first try every alternative that's reasonable. For example, 
> if I have to use Word, fine, but I'm going to try OpenOffice first.

Oh, sure.

> If Microsoft stops delivering security patches for XP, it's going to take 
> significantly more effort on your part to keep it working. Disabling txtmt 
> URLs in TextMate is one thing, running XP in a completely isolated and 
> firewalled VM (or a physically-disconnected machine) is another entirely.

Yup.

>> And if 10% sounds high to you, lemme tell you, it is not unreasonable at
>>  all.

> I'm not skeptical that any text editor can be 10% more productive than any 
> other. I am skeptical that TextMate is 10% better than _all_ current 
> alternatives.

I don't know.  For me, nvi works well enough that I haven't used other
stuff much.  However, I've certainly heard people speak highly of its
relative performance.

>> Well, as an obvious example, I use C because I can be pretty confident that
>> any OS out there will be able to run simple C programs.

> Pretty much any OS that can run C probably has a Ruby port, and failing that, 
> Perl is _everywhere_.

I have at least one machine that hasn't got Ruby because it's in a state
where I can't build or upgrade packages -- it's just sitting there waiting
for me to replace it with a new machine.

The other reason I do C is that I do stuff which isn't possible in other
languages.

This could not be done sanely in Ruby:
	http://github.com/wrpseudo/pseudo

> Right, but I'm still not seeing where Ruby is particularly vendor-dependent. 
> It runs on most Unices and Windows. I'm aware there are strange other beasts 
> out there, but it's already well beyond vendor lock-in.

How many Matz are there?  I only know of the one... And I'm not totally sure
that code for MRI will work for other Ruby implementations, because there's
not really a formal standard to compare with yet.

> The difference between single-vendor lock-in and not being ported to 
> everywhere C runs is significant, I think.

Oh, sure.  There's a ton of variety.

But as I understand it, right now, I have a mildly broader range of targets
for PHP than I do for Ruby.  Not enough to make me tolerate it, though.

> That's why another huge factor I use to choose software is whether a package 
> exists yet.

Certainly a good thing to look for in some cases.

> Also, there's a particularly brutal hack I've used from time to 
> time involving starting a 'screen' instance...

Heh.

-s
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