A bit OT - Urban Myths?

Sam Pikesley samdavidpikesley at yahoo.co.uk
Mon Jul 7 08:39:28 BST 2003


 --- Frank Shute <frank at esperance-linux.co.uk> wrote:
> On Sun, Jul 06, 2003 at 11:21:31AM +0100, cb wrote:
> >
> > Hello
> > 
> > I'm due to present a paper later this month at an
> international teachers
> > conference with the title "Open Source Software -
> A Bridge Across the
> > Digital Divide?" which will include some FreeBSD
> advocacy.
> > 
> > In considering some of MS Windows shortcomings,
> there are a couple of
> > supposed pronouncements by Bill Gates from many
> years ago I would like to
> > reference, the gist of each being as follows:
> > 1. That there is no reason why any personal
> computer would ever need more
> > tha a megabyte of RAM; [maybe around 1985]
> 
> There are arguments about whether that is a myth or
> not & I've heard
> it as "640K is enough for anybody"
> 
> > 2. That the internet was a passing fad or a flash
> in the pan which would
> > never amount to anything. [maybe around 1993]
> 
> He wrote a book called "The Road Ahead" which was
> published c. 1996/97;
> whilst I haven't read it, I understand that in it's
> original form it
> dealt with the Internet in a couple of paragraphs
> and more or less
> dismissed the Internet as something that wouldn't
> interest consumers
> and would be just for geeks.
> 
> Windows 3.11 shipped without a tcp/ip stack and
> originally I don't
> think W95 shipped with a browser. His company was
> very much caught on
> the hop but they play quite a good game of catch-up.
> 
> I think that without the impact of open source
> software, MS would
> still be shipping DOS-based consumer OSes but
> they've been forced to
> raise their game.
> 
> > 
> > Can anybody confirm that he ever said or wrote
> anything similar to either of
> > the above, if possible with a reference --  or
> have I simply collected up a
> > couple of urban myths?
> > 
> 
> Other myths that surround Bill Gates (and which
> truly are myths): He's
> a computer `prophet', his company is innovative,
> he's a brilliant
> coder/genius, Microsoft software is good quality. I
> think these are
> prevalent amongst the man in the street. Yet there
> is very little
> evidence supporting any of them but plenty not
> supporting them.
> 
> You might want to mention some of the innovations
> that have come from
> the free/public domain/academic world: the Internet,
> http, email etc.
> ie. Tools that people use everyday. 
> 
> Isn't BSD's tcp/ip stack still considered to be the
> reference
> implementation? Perhaps that's mentioned in an RFC.

Mr Gates does, however, say some very wise things
sometimes:

http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/policy/2002/08/15/lessig.html?page=2
http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/guardian-article.html

 "If people had understood how patents would be
granted when most of today's ideas were invented and
had taken out patents, the industry would be at a
complete standstill today."



> 
> Good luck with the presentation!
> 
> -- 
> 
>  Frank 
> 
> *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
>    Boroughbridge.
>  Tel: 01423 323019
>      ---------
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> *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
> 
> http://www.esperance-linux.co.uk/
> 
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=====
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