Discussion:
Linux laptops, revisited (can any sleep like my PowerBook does?)
(too old to reply)
Michael L Torrie
2008-01-18 23:18:02 UTC
Permalink
So I'm almost in the market for a new laptop. My old machine is a
PowerBook 12" with OSX. Right now my choice is really between a
Thinkpad T61 14" and a MacBook. I would be interested in the Thinkpad
X61, but I really kind of like the trackpad.

Now giving up OS X will be very difficult, but it's bearable if Linux
runs well on it. People tell me that Thinkpads run Linux the best of
any laptop out there. However I have yet to hear of any laptop (even
the EeePC!) that can successfully suspend and resume like my venerable
PowerBook has always done. Does anyone have Linux sleeping nicely on
any laptop (especially a thinkpad)? I mean can I just close the lid,
have it pulse it's little power light, then pop the lid and start
working? I know many people have hibernate working, but that's not
really what I want. Maybe Apple has spoiled me, but it seems like this
is a basic essential function.

What are my chances? Should I just abandon the idea of a Linux laptop
and buy a MacBook?
--
Michael Torrie
Assistant CSR, System Administrator
Chemistry and Biochemistry Department
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
+1.801.422.5771



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Steve
2008-01-18 23:21:53 UTC
Permalink
eee-pc sleeps just fine last I heard.
Also my Compaq Presario F700 sleeps good too, but I did have to give
it some boot time Kernel options
Post by Michael L Torrie
So I'm almost in the market for a new laptop. My old machine is a
PowerBook 12" with OSX. Right now my choice is really between a
Thinkpad T61 14" and a MacBook. I would be interested in the Thinkpad
X61, but I really kind of like the trackpad.
Now giving up OS X will be very difficult, but it's bearable if Linux
runs well on it. People tell me that Thinkpads run Linux the best of
any laptop out there. However I have yet to hear of any laptop (even
the EeePC!) that can successfully suspend and resume like my venerable
PowerBook has always done. Does anyone have Linux sleeping nicely on
any laptop (especially a thinkpad)? I mean can I just close the lid,
have it pulse it's little power light, then pop the lid and start
working? I know many people have hibernate working, but that's not
really what I want. Maybe Apple has spoiled me, but it seems like this
is a basic essential function.
What are my chances? Should I just abandon the idea of a Linux laptop
and buy a MacBook?
--
Michael Torrie
Assistant CSR, System Administrator
Chemistry and Biochemistry Department
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
+1.801.422.5771
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Bart Whiteley
2008-01-18 23:38:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael L Torrie
So I'm almost in the market for a new laptop. My old machine is a
PowerBook 12" with OSX. Right now my choice is really between a
Thinkpad T61 14" and a MacBook. I would be interested in the Thinkpad
X61, but I really kind of like the trackpad.
Now giving up OS X will be very difficult, but it's bearable if Linux
runs well on it. People tell me that Thinkpads run Linux the best of
any laptop out there. However I have yet to hear of any laptop (even
the EeePC!) that can successfully suspend and resume like my venerable
PowerBook has always done. Does anyone have Linux sleeping nicely on
any laptop (especially a thinkpad)? I mean can I just close the lid,
have it pulse it's little power light, then pop the lid and start
working? I know many people have hibernate working, but that's not
really what I want. Maybe Apple has spoiled me, but it seems like this
is a basic essential function.
My T60p with openSUSE 10.3 suspends nicely as you describe.

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Mike Lovell
2008-01-18 23:39:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael L Torrie
So I'm almost in the market for a new laptop. My old machine is a
PowerBook 12" with OSX. Right now my choice is really between a
Thinkpad T61 14" and a MacBook. I would be interested in the Thinkpad
X61, but I really kind of like the trackpad.
Now giving up OS X will be very difficult, but it's bearable if Linux
runs well on it. People tell me that Thinkpads run Linux the best of
any laptop out there. However I have yet to hear of any laptop (even
the EeePC!) that can successfully suspend and resume like my venerable
PowerBook has always done. Does anyone have Linux sleeping nicely on
any laptop (especially a thinkpad)? I mean can I just close the lid,
have it pulse it's little power light, then pop the lid and start
working? I know many people have hibernate working, but that's not
really what I want. Maybe Apple has spoiled me, but it seems like this
is a basic essential function.
What are my chances? Should I just abandon the idea of a Linux laptop
and buy a MacBook?
I just did a quick test on my laptop and it worked great. Mine is a Dell
Latitude D420 and I am running openSuSE 10.3. I had to make a change in
the power management because I usually set laptop to stay on all of the
time whether I am in windows or linux. After I made that change, I
closed the laptop and it went to sleep. It even gave me a "breathing"
power light. Open the lid and every thing comes back including
reconnecting to the wireless network. And it did it pretty quick. So it
is definitely possible.

Mike

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Jason Hall
2008-01-18 23:42:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael L Torrie
What are my chances? Should I just abandon the idea of a Linux laptop
and buy a MacBook?
Things have gotten much better for linux and *some* laptops in the last few
years, so you would have some fun with it working. But if you are already
using a mac, well, why not stay with a mac? Very nice, and you've likely
gotten all the tools you care about in linux over to your mac (I know that's
what I do).
--
Jayce^

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Steve
2008-01-18 23:45:35 UTC
Permalink
not to mention your macbook can run linux :)
Post by Jason Hall
Post by Michael L Torrie
What are my chances? Should I just abandon the idea of a Linux laptop
and buy a MacBook?
Things have gotten much better for linux and *some* laptops in the last few
years, so you would have some fun with it working. But if you are already
using a mac, well, why not stay with a mac? Very nice, and you've likely
gotten all the tools you care about in linux over to your mac (I know that's
what I do).
--
Jayce^
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Michael L Torrie
2008-01-18 23:47:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steve
not to mention your macbook can run linux :)
Well seeing as the MacBook is currently sitting at about $250 more
dollars than the equivalent T61 14" (there's a sweet deal on right now),
I highly doubt I would ever buy a MacBook and run Linux on it. If I
buy a MacBook, it will be OS X.
Post by Steve
Post by Jason Hall
Post by Michael L Torrie
What are my chances? Should I just abandon the idea of a Linux laptop
and buy a MacBook?
Things have gotten much better for linux and *some* laptops in the last few
years, so you would have some fun with it working. But if you are already
using a mac, well, why not stay with a mac? Very nice, and you've likely
gotten all the tools you care about in linux over to your mac (I know that's
what I do).
--
Jayce^
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--
Michael Torrie
Assistant CSR, System Administrator
Chemistry and Biochemistry Department
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
+1.801.422.5771


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Jason Edwards
2008-01-18 23:47:35 UTC
Permalink
I'll tell you why: OS X is suh-uh-low... And Macs are expensive...

Jason
Post by Jason Hall
Post by Michael L Torrie
What are my chances? Should I just abandon the idea of a Linux laptop
and buy a MacBook?
Things have gotten much better for linux and *some* laptops in the last few
years, so you would have some fun with it working. But if you are already
using a mac, well, why not stay with a mac? Very nice, and you've likely
gotten all the tools you care about in linux over to your mac (I know that's
what I do).
--
Jayce^
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Jeff Anderson
2008-01-18 23:49:24 UTC
Permalink
When I went to buy a laptop I couldn't find any other laptop with
similar specs to my macbook pro 15" base model that didn't cost at LEAST
$300-$400 more.

OS X is plenty quick. Have you ever used it?

Jeff Anderson
Post by Jason Edwards
I'll tell you why: OS X is suh-uh-low... And Macs are expensive...
Jason
Post by Jason Hall
Post by Michael L Torrie
What are my chances? Should I just abandon the idea of a Linux laptop
and buy a MacBook?
Things have gotten much better for linux and *some* laptops in the last few
years, so you would have some fun with it working. But if you are already
using a mac, well, why not stay with a mac? Very nice, and you've likely
gotten all the tools you care about in linux over to your mac (I know that's
what I do).
--
Jayce^
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Michael L Torrie
2008-01-18 23:57:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Anderson
When I went to buy a laptop I couldn't find any other laptop with
similar specs to my macbook pro 15" base model that didn't cost at LEAST
$300-$400 more.
Currently the ThinkPad T61 can give a MacBook Pro 15" a run for its
money. Of course for me a MacBook Pro is just too big. I'm a bit
bitter Apple wasted their time on this MacBook Air thing and didn't
provide me with a nice MacBook Pro 12"!
Post by Jeff Anderson
OS X is plenty quick. Have you ever used it?
I am living proof that people should avoid Apple as much as they avoid
Microsoft. See now I'm tied in now. I am reluctant to give up OS X
even though a Thinkpad fits my needs (in terms of hardware) better than
a MacBook. Sigh. :) Apple hooked me on their OS that's tied to a
single platform. I used to think this was okay, but now I realize that
they have locked me into their hardware too (duh!), which is probably okay.
Post by Jeff Anderson
Jeff Anderson
--
Michael Torrie
Assistant CSR, System Administrator
Chemistry and Biochemistry Department
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
+1.801.422.5771


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Jason Edwards
2008-01-19 01:06:29 UTC
Permalink
Oh yeah, I've used it -- I've used it daily since 2003, then last
month I got fed up and went back to Linux. And daily I see that
stupid pinwheel of death spinning. And I'm not running a junky old
Mac, it's a 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro (not the base model).

Anywho, if you feel like OS X is fast, then nothing I say is going to
change your mind.
Post by Jeff Anderson
When I went to buy a laptop I couldn't find any other laptop with
similar specs to my macbook pro 15" base model that didn't cost at LEAST
$300-$400 more.
OS X is plenty quick. Have you ever used it?
Jeff Anderson
Post by Jason Edwards
I'll tell you why: OS X is suh-uh-low... And Macs are expensive...
Jason
Post by Jason Hall
Post by Michael L Torrie
What are my chances? Should I just abandon the idea of a Linux laptop
and buy a MacBook?
Things have gotten much better for linux and *some* laptops in the last few
years, so you would have some fun with it working. But if you are already
using a mac, well, why not stay with a mac? Very nice, and you've likely
gotten all the tools you care about in linux over to your mac (I know that's
what I do).
--
Jayce^
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Jeff Anderson
2008-01-19 01:10:29 UTC
Permalink
Its probably more the fact that I went to the macbook pro from my socket
A desktop. That is slow no matter what OS I have on it.

Jeff Anderson
Post by Jason Edwards
Oh yeah, I've used it -- I've used it daily since 2003, then last
month I got fed up and went back to Linux. And daily I see that
stupid pinwheel of death spinning. And I'm not running a junky old
Mac, it's a 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro (not the base model).
Anywho, if you feel like OS X is fast, then nothing I say is going to
change your mind.
Post by Jeff Anderson
When I went to buy a laptop I couldn't find any other laptop with
similar specs to my macbook pro 15" base model that didn't cost at LEAST
$300-$400 more.
OS X is plenty quick. Have you ever used it?
Jeff Anderson
Post by Jason Edwards
I'll tell you why: OS X is suh-uh-low... And Macs are expensive...
Jason
Post by Jason Hall
Post by Michael L Torrie
What are my chances? Should I just abandon the idea of a Linux laptop
and buy a MacBook?
Things have gotten much better for linux and *some* laptops in the last few
years, so you would have some fun with it working. But if you are already
using a mac, well, why not stay with a mac? Very nice, and you've likely
gotten all the tools you care about in linux over to your mac (I know that's
what I do).
--
Jayce^
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Jonathan Duncan
2008-01-21 17:58:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jason Edwards
Oh yeah, I've used it -- I've used it daily since 2003, then last
month I got fed up and went back to Linux. And daily I see that
stupid pinwheel of death spinning. And I'm not running a junky old
Mac, it's a 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro (not the base model).
Anywho, if you feel like OS X is fast, then nothing I say is going to
change your mind.
If you are seeing the pinwheel a lot, you may some processes that you
need to evaluate. I have had some programs on my MacBook Pro that had
a lot of unnecessary overhead and once they were removed or fixed or
upgraded all was well once again. If you think your Mac is slow, you
need to check what you are running.

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Jason Edwards
2008-01-21 20:18:10 UTC
Permalink
I've checked and recheck many times. I don't run any widgets in
Dashboard. I don't have any icons on the desktop (the window server
has to draw a window for each icon, even when you can't see them!). I
also don't let any third party apps put anything in the menubar
(because it slows down redraws). I only have iTerm, Firefox, Mail,
iTunes, and Eclipse open. In the background I've got MySQL and
Mongrel (app server for Ruby on Rails). I rarely have any swapspace
in use. I suppose I could reboot everyday, but I like to pretend OS X
is better than Windows.

Linux, on the other hand, blah blah blah, stable for weeks at a time,
blah blah blah, consistent load avg of 1.0, blah blah blah, much less
resource intensive, blah blah blah, doesn't crash, blah blah blah.
(I'm preachin' to the choir, I'm sure).

I'm certain it's something that I do to computers though. While most
Mac users have never seen a kernel panic, I've lost count how many
times OS X has kernel panic'ed on me. I like to compile things by
hand. I script everything I can. I'm just plain hard on computers.

On a separate note, ever since this thread started, my MacBook Pro has
decided it's doesn't like waking up from suspend... Coincidence?
Yeah, I don't think so either. Apple probably has some sophisticated
algorithm that can detect when people are talking poorly of their
products... Please bear with me while I build up my karma: "My
MacBook Pro is awesome!" "I love my Mac!" "Windows is crap!"
"FairPlay is totally reasonable!" "You should have to use iTunes to
use your iPod touch/iPhone" "Woz is the man!" "Steve Jobs can do no
wrong"

Jason "OS X rulez!" Edwards
Post by Jonathan Duncan
Post by Jason Edwards
Oh yeah, I've used it -- I've used it daily since 2003, then last
month I got fed up and went back to Linux. And daily I see that
stupid pinwheel of death spinning. And I'm not running a junky old
Mac, it's a 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro (not the base model).
Anywho, if you feel like OS X is fast, then nothing I say is going to
change your mind.
If you are seeing the pinwheel a lot, you may some processes that you
need to evaluate. I have had some programs on my MacBook Pro that had
a lot of unnecessary overhead and once they were removed or fixed or
upgraded all was well once again. If you think your Mac is slow, you
need to check what you are running.
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Jonathan Duncan
2008-01-21 20:57:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jason Edwards
I've checked and recheck many times. I don't run any widgets in
Dashboard. I don't have any icons on the desktop (the window server
has to draw a window for each icon, even when you can't see them!). I
also don't let any third party apps put anything in the menubar
(because it slows down redraws). I only have iTerm, Firefox, Mail,
iTunes, and Eclipse open. In the background I've got MySQL and
Mongrel (app server for Ruby on Rails). I rarely have any swapspace
in use. I suppose I could reboot everyday, but I like to pretend OS X
is better than Windows.
I would give AppleCare a call. They have been quite helpful for me in
the past.

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Jason Edwards
2008-01-21 21:02:14 UTC
Permalink
Or, install Linux ;-)
Post by Jonathan Duncan
Post by Jason Edwards
I've checked and recheck many times. I don't run any widgets in
Dashboard. I don't have any icons on the desktop (the window server
has to draw a window for each icon, even when you can't see them!). I
also don't let any third party apps put anything in the menubar
(because it slows down redraws). I only have iTerm, Firefox, Mail,
iTunes, and Eclipse open. In the background I've got MySQL and
Mongrel (app server for Ruby on Rails). I rarely have any swapspace
in use. I suppose I could reboot everyday, but I like to pretend OS X
is better than Windows.
I would give AppleCare a call. They have been quite helpful for me in
the past.
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Michael L Torrie
2008-01-21 21:03:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jason Edwards
I've checked and recheck many times. I don't run any widgets in
Dashboard. I don't have any icons on the desktop (the window server
has to draw a window for each icon, even when you can't see them!). I
also don't let any third party apps put anything in the menubar
(because it slows down redraws). I only have iTerm, Firefox, Mail,
iTunes, and Eclipse open. In the background I've got MySQL and
Mongrel (app server for Ruby on Rails). I rarely have any swapspace
in use. I suppose I could reboot everyday, but I like to pretend OS X
is better than Windows.
I can assure you that what you are seeing is not typical. I have no
idea what the problem is, but OS X normally does not exhibit this
behavior on the vast majority of Macs I've ever used (OS X!) or work on
on a daily basis.
Post by Jason Edwards
Linux, on the other hand, blah blah blah, stable for weeks at a time,
blah blah blah, consistent load avg of 1.0, blah blah blah, much less
resource intensive, blah blah blah, doesn't crash, blah blah blah.
(I'm preachin' to the choir, I'm sure).
I do find Linux to be very stable. And it's my preferred operating
system for 90% of what I do.
Post by Jason Edwards
I'm certain it's something that I do to computers though. While most
Mac users have never seen a kernel panic, I've lost count how many
times OS X has kernel panic'ed on me. I like to compile things by
hand. I script everything I can. I'm just plain hard on computers.
I've seen every OS under the sun crash for a variety of reasons. Linux
has some of the most spectacular crashes of any OS out there. And I'm
not talking about pretty crash screens. I'm talking about crash
behavior. One cool way to bring down a linux machine is to make a
writable snapshot of a LVM partition of, say 2 GB, and then make more
than 2 GB of changes to the original file system! Be forewarned. If
you ever do this you have to boot on a rescue CD and manually destroy
the snapshot. Otherwise linux blows up when it sets up the volumes.
Post by Jason Edwards
On a separate note, ever since this thread started, my MacBook Pro has
decided it's doesn't like waking up from suspend... Coincidence?
Yeah, I don't think so either. Apple probably has some sophisticated
algorithm that can detect when people are talking poorly of their
products... Please bear with me while I build up my karma: "My
MacBook Pro is awesome!" "I love my Mac!" "Windows is crap!"
"FairPlay is totally reasonable!" "You should have to use iTunes to
use your iPod touch/iPhone" "Woz is the man!" "Steve Jobs can do no
wrong"
Is this under OS X? MacBook Pros have had many more hardware-related
problems with sleep than any of the PowerBooks before them. My first
action is always to make sure I have the latest firmware installed.
When that fails, I get the motherboard replaced. Of course Apple is
getting much worse about such thing. At the same time their QA is going
down, their willingness to change out parts and honor their warranties
is also going down. This fact does figure in to my decision on laptop
buying.
Post by Jason Edwards
Jason "OS X rulez!" Edwards
Post by Jonathan Duncan
Post by Jason Edwards
Oh yeah, I've used it -- I've used it daily since 2003, then last
month I got fed up and went back to Linux. And daily I see that
stupid pinwheel of death spinning. And I'm not running a junky old
Mac, it's a 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro (not the base model).
Anywho, if you feel like OS X is fast, then nothing I say is going to
change your mind.
If you are seeing the pinwheel a lot, you may some processes that you
need to evaluate. I have had some programs on my MacBook Pro that had
a lot of unnecessary overhead and once they were removed or fixed or
upgraded all was well once again. If you think your Mac is slow, you
need to check what you are running.
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Jason Edwards
2008-01-21 21:30:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael L Torrie
Post by Jason Edwards
I've checked and recheck many times. I don't run any widgets in
Dashboard. I don't have any icons on the desktop (the window server
has to draw a window for each icon, even when you can't see them!). I
also don't let any third party apps put anything in the menubar
(because it slows down redraws). I only have iTerm, Firefox, Mail,
iTunes, and Eclipse open. In the background I've got MySQL and
Mongrel (app server for Ruby on Rails). I rarely have any swapspace
in use. I suppose I could reboot everyday, but I like to pretend OS X
is better than Windows.
I can assure you that what you are seeing is not typical. I have no
idea what the problem is, but OS X normally does not exhibit this
behavior on the vast majority of Macs I've ever used (OS X!) or work on
on a daily basis.
Yeah, I don't know what the deal is. Other people don't seem to have
as many problems as I do. On the flip-side, I put Ubuntu on my wife's
laptop, and it locks up on her all the time, usually when she launches
Firefox...
Post by Michael L Torrie
Post by Jason Edwards
Linux, on the other hand, blah blah blah, stable for weeks at a time,
blah blah blah, consistent load avg of 1.0, blah blah blah, much less
resource intensive, blah blah blah, doesn't crash, blah blah blah.
(I'm preachin' to the choir, I'm sure).
I do find Linux to be very stable. And it's my preferred operating
system for 90% of what I do.
Post by Jason Edwards
I'm certain it's something that I do to computers though. While most
Mac users have never seen a kernel panic, I've lost count how many
times OS X has kernel panic'ed on me. I like to compile things by
hand. I script everything I can. I'm just plain hard on computers.
I've seen every OS under the sun crash for a variety of reasons. Linux
has some of the most spectacular crashes of any OS out there. And I'm
not talking about pretty crash screens. I'm talking about crash
behavior. One cool way to bring down a linux machine is to make a
writable snapshot of a LVM partition of, say 2 GB, and then make more
than 2 GB of changes to the original file system! Be forewarned. If
you ever do this you have to boot on a rescue CD and manually destroy
the snapshot. Otherwise linux blows up when it sets up the volumes.
Crashing computers is fun -- all the cool kids do it!
Post by Michael L Torrie
Post by Jason Edwards
On a separate note, ever since this thread started, my MacBook Pro has
decided it's doesn't like waking up from suspend... Coincidence?
Yeah, I don't think so either. Apple probably has some sophisticated
algorithm that can detect when people are talking poorly of their
products... Please bear with me while I build up my karma: "My
MacBook Pro is awesome!" "I love my Mac!" "Windows is crap!"
"FairPlay is totally reasonable!" "You should have to use iTunes to
use your iPod touch/iPhone" "Woz is the man!" "Steve Jobs can do no
wrong"
Is this under OS X? MacBook Pros have had many more hardware-related
problems with sleep than any of the PowerBooks before them. My first
action is always to make sure I have the latest firmware installed.
When that fails, I get the motherboard replaced. Of course Apple is
getting much worse about such thing. At the same time their QA is going
down, their willingness to change out parts and honor their warranties
is also going down. This fact does figure in to my decision on laptop
buying.
Yes, this is under OS X, I put Linux on another computer.

Don't get me started on hardware... I've owned five Macs and only one
of them has never had any repairs done (it's a G4 iMac, the flat panel
with a round base, if you're curious). The MacBook Pro I have now is a
new one I got last July, because it's predecessor was all screwed up,
and after several trips to the Apple Store, they finally replaced it.
I've worked at two companies that are Mac-only shops, and we regularly
had/have to get Mac serviced. Laptops seem to be a little worse than
desktops, but they all crap out eventually. Now that I think about
it, I think my iMac is the only Mac I've known that hasn't had to be
repaired...

If you ever buy a Mac, make sure you buy the AppleCare Protection
Plan, chances are, you're gonna get your money's worth!

Jason
Post by Michael L Torrie
Post by Jason Edwards
Jason "OS X rulez!" Edwards
Post by Jonathan Duncan
Post by Jason Edwards
Oh yeah, I've used it -- I've used it daily since 2003, then last
month I got fed up and went back to Linux. And daily I see that
stupid pinwheel of death spinning. And I'm not running a junky old
Mac, it's a 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro (not the base model).
Anywho, if you feel like OS X is fast, then nothing I say is going to
change your mind.
If you are seeing the pinwheel a lot, you may some processes that you
need to evaluate. I have had some programs on my MacBook Pro that had
a lot of unnecessary overhead and once they were removed or fixed or
upgraded all was well once again. If you think your Mac is slow, you
need to check what you are running.
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Jason Edwards
2008-01-18 23:45:34 UTC
Permalink
I've had several Dell Inspirons where sleep works out of the box with Ubuntu.

Jason
Post by Michael L Torrie
So I'm almost in the market for a new laptop. My old machine is a
PowerBook 12" with OSX. Right now my choice is really between a
Thinkpad T61 14" and a MacBook. I would be interested in the Thinkpad
X61, but I really kind of like the trackpad.
Now giving up OS X will be very difficult, but it's bearable if Linux
runs well on it. People tell me that Thinkpads run Linux the best of
any laptop out there. However I have yet to hear of any laptop (even
the EeePC!) that can successfully suspend and resume like my venerable
PowerBook has always done. Does anyone have Linux sleeping nicely on
any laptop (especially a thinkpad)? I mean can I just close the lid,
have it pulse it's little power light, then pop the lid and start
working? I know many people have hibernate working, but that's not
really what I want. Maybe Apple has spoiled me, but it seems like this
is a basic essential function.
What are my chances? Should I just abandon the idea of a Linux laptop
and buy a MacBook?
--
Michael Torrie
Assistant CSR, System Administrator
Chemistry and Biochemistry Department
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
+1.801.422.5771
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Justin Findlay
2008-01-18 23:47:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael L Torrie
So I'm almost in the market for a new laptop. My old machine is a
PowerBook 12" with OSX. Right now my choice is really between a
Thinkpad T61 14" and a MacBook. I would be interested in the Thinkpad
X61, but I really kind of like the trackpad.
My eeepc goes into a trance mode when I flip the lid down. I'm not sure
if this is what sleeping means to laptops, but when I open it up again
and push the power button it comes back on like when I closed the lid.


Justin

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Shane Hathaway
2008-01-18 23:47:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael L Torrie
Now giving up OS X will be very difficult, but it's bearable if Linux
runs well on it. People tell me that Thinkpads run Linux the best of
any laptop out there. However I have yet to hear of any laptop (even
the EeePC!) that can successfully suspend and resume like my venerable
PowerBook has always done. Does anyone have Linux sleeping nicely on
any laptop (especially a thinkpad)? I mean can I just close the lid,
have it pulse it's little power light, then pop the lid and start
working? I know many people have hibernate working, but that's not
really what I want. Maybe Apple has spoiled me, but it seems like this
is a basic essential function.
Sleeping works perfectly on my T43. In fact, I have verified that I can
fiddle things in /etc/acpi to make it so closing the lid does anything I
want. (I suppose I could have it issue a command to a remotely
connected X10 radio bridge that turns off the lights around my desk...
heh :-) )

You've got to check out ThinkWiki. I have found it amazingly informative.

http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Category:T61
http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Installation_instructions_for_the_ThinkPad_T61

Shane


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Jeff Anderson
2008-01-18 23:50:24 UTC
Permalink
I bought a macbook pro with the intention of installing linux on it. I
have been using os x, and I'm perfectly happy with the functionality it
gives me. I am interested in how well linux would perform on it (sleep
and wireless network specifically). I have read docs on getting linux
working on the macbook/macbook pro and the results seem promising.

Jeff Anderson
Post by Michael L Torrie
So I'm almost in the market for a new laptop. My old machine is a
PowerBook 12" with OSX. Right now my choice is really between a
Thinkpad T61 14" and a MacBook. I would be interested in the Thinkpad
X61, but I really kind of like the trackpad.
Now giving up OS X will be very difficult, but it's bearable if Linux
runs well on it. People tell me that Thinkpads run Linux the best of
any laptop out there. However I have yet to hear of any laptop (even
the EeePC!) that can successfully suspend and resume like my venerable
PowerBook has always done. Does anyone have Linux sleeping nicely on
any laptop (especially a thinkpad)? I mean can I just close the lid,
have it pulse it's little power light, then pop the lid and start
working? I know many people have hibernate working, but that's not
really what I want. Maybe Apple has spoiled me, but it seems like this
is a basic essential function.
What are my chances? Should I just abandon the idea of a Linux laptop
and buy a MacBook?
Alex Esplin
2008-01-19 05:50:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael L Torrie
What are my chances? Should I just abandon the idea of a Linux laptop
and buy a MacBook?
You probably don't need to read this, because you hear it fairly often
at work, but I'd go with the MacBook. Now that Leopard has given us a
decent terminal, my Mac for all intents and purposes acts like my
Linux box, but with lots of added benefits. And after watching me
torture test some of the newer Macs we've gotten in the office, I
don't think that speed is going to be an issue.

I've thought several times about installing Linux on my MacBook, and
I've even gone so far as to gather and book mark resources, how-tos,
etc. that I might need, but it always comes down to the fact that
Linux doesn't have anything I need or want that Leopard doesn't have,
and Leopard has some things I use quite a bit that Linux doesn't. And
on the odd chance that I need something Linux-only, I can fire up my
trusty Ubuntu virtual machine and there it is.

So unless it's a "religious" decision, I'd go with the MacBook.
--
Alex Esplin

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Justin Findlay
2008-01-19 06:40:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Esplin
You probably don't need to read this, because you hear it fairly often
at work, but I'd go with the MacBook. Now that Leopard has given us a
decent terminal, my Mac for all intents and purposes acts like my
Linux box, but with lots of added benefits. And after watching me
torture test some of the newer Macs we've gotten in the office, I
don't think that speed is going to be an issue.
It is interesting you say this. My experience is exactly opposite.
Linux does all I want and more (in the way I want it to) whereas Macs
aren't as fun/easy to use. The concept of a distro with updates and a
universe of packages seems to be a Linux-only concept even in 2008.
Macs may have updates but you have to pay for them. Besides that, every
time I use a Mac it always feels like (certainly less so than a Windows
machine) I'm being forced into how Apple wants me to use a computer
rather than how I want to use the computer. Linux distros let me do
that.

It may seem that I have very narrow computing requirements, but part of
the reason for this is that 6 years ago I decided I'd never rely on
proprietary software ever again. That may have temporarily cut down on
my productivity or space of software to choose from but now that I look
back I haven't missed much. I was willing to shift a fundamental
paradigm and it turned out to be educational and very rewarding.


Justin

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Alex Esplin
2008-01-19 20:03:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Justin Findlay
It is interesting you say this. My experience is exactly opposite.
Linux does all I want and more (in the way I want it to) whereas Macs
aren't as fun/easy to use. The concept of a distro with updates and a
universe of packages seems to be a Linux-only concept even in 2008.
Macs may have updates but you have to pay for them. Besides that, every
time I use a Mac it always feels like (certainly less so than a Windows
machine) I'm being forced into how Apple wants me to use a computer
rather than how I want to use the computer. Linux distros let me do
that.
It may seem that I have very narrow computing requirements, but part of
the reason for this is that 6 years ago I decided I'd never rely on
proprietary software ever again. That may have temporarily cut down on
my productivity or space of software to choose from but now that I look
back I haven't missed much. I was willing to shift a fundamental
paradigm and it turned out to be educational and very rewarding.
Your second argument kind of trumps your first one. Thanks to the
efforts of fink and/or macports, almost every packaged available for
linux is available for OSX. A couple that weren't available as
binaries work very well compiled from source. Time Machine has saved
my bacon a couple of times already, so as far as I'm concerned Leopard
was worth the $80 I paid for it. But as a "religious" decision, i.e.
"I will never rely on proprietary software again", none of that
matters. As a student taking classes that require the use of Visual
Studio (bleh), I can't make that kind of decision. Of course, even if
I could I wouldn't because my Mac perfectly fits my computing needs.

I can run VS in VMWare Fusion, which is _very_ slick. I have yet to
find a usage instance where Apple seems to be telling me how to use my
computer that I can't change to work the way I want it to. But again,
this pre-supposes the lack of a religious decision like "I will never
use proprietary software again".
--
Alex Esplin

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Justin Findlay
2008-01-19 21:42:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Esplin
Your second argument kind of trumps your first one. Thanks to the
efforts of fink and/or macports, almost every packaged available for
linux is available for OSX. A couple that weren't available as
binaries work very well compiled from source. Time Machine has saved
my bacon a couple of times already, so as far as I'm concerned Leopard
was worth the $80 I paid for it. But as a "religious" decision, i.e.
"I will never rely on proprietary software again", none of that
matters.
Um, that's not a religious decision. It's about freedom. I guess you
wouldn't understand since you're OK with whatever Apple puts out.


Justin

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Michael L Torrie
2008-01-19 22:21:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Justin Findlay
Post by Alex Esplin
Your second argument kind of trumps your first one. Thanks to the
efforts of fink and/or macports, almost every packaged available for
linux is available for OSX. A couple that weren't available as
binaries work very well compiled from source. Time Machine has saved
my bacon a couple of times already, so as far as I'm concerned Leopard
was worth the $80 I paid for it. But as a "religious" decision, i.e.
"I will never rely on proprietary software again", none of that
matters.
Um, that's not a religious decision. It's about freedom. I guess you
wouldn't understand since you're OK with whatever Apple puts out.
As far as "freedom" goes, the OS really has little to do with it. The
freedom comes in the toolsets and the software you use on a daily basis,
and the ability to freely pass between one OS and another. For example,
deciding whether or not to program in Python with MatPlotlib or using
Matlab is a far more important decision than if you are going to run on
Windows, Mac, or Linux. In short, the OS doesn't matter for the most
part. I happen to prefer Linux in many ways, and OS X in some ways, and
never Windows. I hate being locked into a proprietary solution, like
having tons of legacy code in Matlab, or Windows-only applications.
It's unfortunate that many so-called free software advocates would
rather only have their OSS software available on Linux or other "Free"
OS's. That's a poor decision in my opinion. Being cross-platform
(portable!) is far more important than being a "Linux" application.
That's one reason I am really excited to see much of KDE 4 ported to
Windows and OS X.

As much as I prefer working on Linux and Gnome, really basic things like
out-of-the-box sleep on a laptop are deal makers or breakers for me.
Seems to me that many of us linux promoters make excuses for our
favorite OS, and put up with lots of things that really are just broken
in Linux (being worked on, though!). The same happens for Mac fanboys
too, granted.
Post by Justin Findlay
Justin
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Justin Findlay
2008-01-19 23:38:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Justin Findlay
Um, that's not a religious decision. It's about freedom. I guess you
wouldn't understand since you're OK with whatever Apple puts out.
In that case I guess religion goes both ways. Similarly to what Michael
points out the freedom issue to me is about me doing with my computer
what I want in the way that I want/need whether it's changing the
desktop theme or modifying a kernel module or custom patching an
application. Before you say 'but on OS X you can do all those things
...', you can't really do all of them. OS X isn't completely open
source and that's the deal breaker for me. I just don't want to use
software that doesn't allow me that freedom. That's my personal choice.
Obviously I'm not going to need all of my software to be open source to
have the same effect, but why settle for that? It may seem religious to
you but to me it is based on principle.


Justin

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Alex Esplin
2008-01-21 05:05:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Justin Findlay
Post by Justin Findlay
Um, that's not a religious decision. It's about freedom. I guess you
wouldn't understand since you're OK with whatever Apple puts out.
I would consider that to be a religious thing, but I also see your
point clearly, so we can agree to disagree on that. I do happen to be
okay with _most_ of what Apple puts out. For example, I choose to use
Pages over OpenOffice writer because Pages kicks OO writer in the
teeth. There are a lot of apps that I use on my Mac that are free as
in beer, but not free as in completely open. I use them A: because
there is no FOSS alternative that I've yet seen and liked, and B:
because I'm not willing to pay the premium price tag on Apple's
alternatives.
Post by Justin Findlay
In that case I guess religion goes both ways. Similarly to what Michael
points out the freedom issue to me is about me doing with my computer
what I want in the way that I want/need whether it's changing the
desktop theme or modifying a kernel module or custom patching an
application. Before you say 'but on OS X you can do all those things
...', you can't really do all of them. OS X isn't completely open
source and that's the deal breaker for me. I just don't want to use
software that doesn't allow me that freedom. That's my personal choice.
Obviously I'm not going to need all of my software to be open source to
have the same effect, but why settle for that? It may seem religious to
you but to me it is based on principle.
Being based on principle is what I meant by "religious". As I said
above, I've chosen to use what I consider works best for my needs,
with a price cap based on the necessity of being a poor student. I'm
not saying that either of our choices is better than the other, which
is why--to me--it falls under the "religious debate" category.

What I am saying is that in my experience, OSX has proven exceptional
in speed, battery life, and utility (sleep/wake etc.). It has
performed as well or better than the Linux/OSS equivalents I used
until last year. I'm not an ardent supporter of closed source
software, but I am willing to pay a little for software that best
meets my needs (hence the fact that there are no Microsoft products in
my collection besides the ones I'm forced to use for classes).
--
Alex Esplin

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Levi Pearson
2008-01-20 23:43:00 UTC
Permalink
I just don't want to use software that doesn't allow me that
freedom. That's my personal choice. Obviously I'm not going to
need all of my software to be open source to have the same effect,
but why settle for that? It may seem religious to you but to me it
is based on principle.
Religion and principles are often tied together, since religion is a
source of a great many principles that adherents need to follow. To
the adherents, it makes sense to follow those principles, since
they're part of the whole religious package and there are typically
spiritual rewards promised for doing so.

However, if you assert that this particular principle is not part of
your religious beliefs (which I will define as things that you believe
based on faith rather than reason, unless you object to that
definition) then you must have some sound reasoning for following this
principle. I'm curious what that reasoning is, since I haven't
personally found a sound reason for me to do so. If it is indeed not
a faith-based reason, then you ought to have a reason that would
convince me.

You may call it a principle based on reason, but I suspect that it is
in fact a principle based on taking the edicts of the Free Software
Foundation on faith, making it essentially religious in nature. The
whole good vs. evil dichotomy that the Free Software Foundation sets
up certainly smacks of religion to me, as does the attitude Free
Software adherents tend to have towards commercial, non-Free software.

--Levi

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Justin Findlay
2008-01-21 17:21:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Levi Pearson
Religion and principles are often tied together, since religion is a
Yes, often, perhaps but there are many things to be principled about
that aren't religious. I don't understand why you wish to construe this
as religious.
Post by Levi Pearson
You may call it a principle based on reason, but I suspect that it is
in fact a principle based on taking the edicts of the Free Software
Foundation on faith, making it essentially religious in nature. The
whole good vs. evil dichotomy that the Free Software Foundation sets
up certainly smacks of religion to me, as does the attitude Free
Software adherents tend to have towards commercial, non-Free software.
PLUG is ostensibly about Linux and Free Software. Perhaps the FSF has
become passé and it is popular to disparage them. I know you wouldn't
necessarily do that without good reason, but neither do I believe
blindly in the edicts of the FSF. I presume you are familiar with the
benefits of using/practicing OSS, so I don't understand why you would be
critical of me in using it exclusively. My reasons are partly
idealistic, experimental, curious, and practical. I believe that
software as OSS is necessarily better for the world, so I've made it the
staple of mine. Since OSS is developed in the open I am better able to
learn about/with it than its proprietary counterparts. The freedom to
copy, study, and modify it is an excellent benefit that proprietary SW
by definition cannot offer. Besides that I can get all the OSS I need
without price. That is the substance of my principle and I fail to know
how this elicits your condescension.


Justin

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Gabriel Gunderson
2008-01-21 17:36:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Justin Findlay
PLUG is ostensibly about Linux and Free Software. Perhaps the FSF has
become passé and it is popular to disparage them. I know you wouldn't
necessarily do that without good reason, but neither do I believe
blindly in the edicts of the FSF. I presume you are familiar with the
benefits of using/practicing OSS, so I don't understand why you would be
critical of me in using it exclusively. My reasons are partly
idealistic, experimental, curious, and practical. I believe that
software as OSS is necessarily better for the world, so I've made it the
staple of mine. Since OSS is developed in the open I am better able to
learn about/with it than its proprietary counterparts. The freedom to
copy, study, and modify it is an excellent benefit that proprietary SW
by definition cannot offer. Besides that I can get all the OSS I need
without price. That is the substance of my principle and I fail to know
how this elicits your condescension.
I couldn't agree more or have said it better.

Gabe


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Levi Pearson
2008-01-21 12:05:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gabriel Gunderson
I couldn't agree more or have said it better.
Gabe
Can I get another *amen*?!

No religion here, folks. Nope, just pure reasoned principles!

In all seriousness, I really do not intend offense to anyone here, but
I do think the mindset that I am arguing against is a harmful one. I
by no means wish to disparage the work that people put into free
software. I've contributed to a couple of projects myself. I also
think that promoting free software through conferences and user groups
is a great thing. It's just that commercial, proprietary, and
otherwise 'non-free' software are not evil, and it's okay to use them
when it makes sense to do so. Believing otherwise doesn't do anyone
any good. Free software should stand on its own merits, not based on
some pseudo-religious battle between good and evil!

--Levi


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Gabriel Gunderson
2008-01-21 18:06:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Levi Pearson
Can I get another *amen*?!
AMEN!

Brother, change your ways! We are here for you.


Gabe


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Justin Findlay
2008-01-21 18:46:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Levi Pearson
No religion here, folks. Nope, just pure reasoned principles!
No religion to me, though I know I've been guilty of 'religion' before.
I don't use windows because I hate it, but that's the subject of another
email message. I don't use OS X because I don't like it and it's out of
my price range.
Post by Levi Pearson
In all seriousness, I really do not intend offense to anyone here, but
I do think the mindset that I am arguing against is a harmful one. I
by no means wish to disparage the work that people put into free
software. I've contributed to a couple of projects myself. I also
think that promoting free software through conferences and user groups
is a great thing. It's just that commercial, proprietary, and
otherwise 'non-free' software are not evil, and it's okay to use them
when it makes sense to do so. Believing otherwise doesn't do anyone
any good. Free software should stand on its own merits, not based on
some pseudo-religious battle between good and evil!
I think you're right here. Of course not all ISV's are out to lock
their customers into their products. I use Linux and a Free Software
stack because that's my preference. I agree that the religious mindset
is harmful but so is so much of proprietary software. It's hard to not
be passionate when comparing the relative benefits, and it's easy to
advocate with such passion beyond the bounds of reason. I think,
however, that if you're looking for a fair debate, FLOSS vs Proprietary,
you'd have to cleanse the latter of its FUD and anticompetitive
corruption as much the former's religion. Apple, I think, appears to
have done this admirably whether or not it is to the credit of their
marketing department in efforts to not turn off people like you and me.


Justin

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Doran L. Barton
2008-01-21 19:35:10 UTC
Permalink
Not long ago, Justin Findlay proclaimed...
Post by Justin Findlay
Post by Levi Pearson
No religion here, folks. Nope, just pure reasoned principles!
No religion to me, though I know I've been guilty of 'religion' before.
I don't use windows because I hate it, but that's the subject of another
email message. I don't use OS X because I don't like it and it's out of
my price range.
Wahoo! A strongly-worded discussion to jump in on!

I've very much an advocate of open source software. I believe for most uses
of computers, open source software and the open source model is likely to
be best, especially in the long run. But, I've been on this bandwagon long
enough to agree wholeheartedly with Levi. I take more of a Linus Torvalds
stand than a Richard Stallman stand: Open source is about choice and
broadening the field of choices available to users. Whether that is
providing a complete operating environment capable of getting your work
done on a laptop or giving you a few open source tools that make you more
productive in a Windows or other proprietary enviornment, there is no
"WrongWay(tm)" to do open source software except one that says "You must do
it This Way and no other" because that's contrary to the spirit of open
source.

I still use Windows to do video editing because I haven't found anything in
the open source world that allows me to be nearly as productive. However, I
do employ open source tools like GIMP, avidemux2, transcode, and others in
my video production projects. I hope, someday, a professional-quality open
source non-linear media editor will become available so that I can use it
in Linux, if for no other reason than to have some confidence bugs will get
identified and fixed.

Thank you for this opportunity to voice my thoughts. Amen! Not sure what
for, but just to irritate Levi. ;-)
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Levi Pearson
2008-01-21 20:25:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Justin Findlay
Post by Levi Pearson
No religion here, folks. Nope, just pure reasoned principles!
No religion to me, though I know I've been guilty of 'religion' before.
I don't use windows because I hate it, but that's the subject of another
email message. I don't use OS X because I don't like it and it's out of
my price range.
Now you're singing a different tune, and I have nothing to disagree
with here, except that I may question your taste. That's purely
subjective, though, and irrelevant to our conversation.
Post by Justin Findlay
I think you're right here. Of course not all ISV's are out to lock
their customers into their products. I use Linux and a Free Software
stack because that's my preference. I agree that the religious mindset
is harmful but so is so much of proprietary software. It's hard to not
be passionate when comparing the relative benefits, and it's easy to
advocate with such passion beyond the bounds of reason. I think,
however, that if you're looking for a fair debate, FLOSS vs Proprietary,
you'd have to cleanse the latter of its FUD and anticompetitive
corruption as much the former's religion. Apple, I think, appears to
have done this admirably whether or not it is to the credit of their
marketing department in efforts to not turn off people like you and me.
I'm not looking for a 'FLOSS' vs 'Proprietary' debate. I don't think
there's any purpose to such a thing except to draw zealots out of the
woodwork to make noise. When it comes down to it, we're talking about
a software market. If something useful is offered at a price that's
reasonable to you, go for it. If you enjoy running a bunch of Free
Software programs, by all means run them. But don't pretend that
there's a moral high ground to doing so. It's okay to run, and even
like, Microsoft products. It's also okay to run and like, or not
like, Apple products.

I simply find it absurd that people state such things as, "I'm looking
forward to finally ridding myself of all commercial software!" If you
already *have* the software, there's no cost in continuing to use it
(with a few exceptions, of course) and there's no real reason to
inconvenience yourself by deleting all of it. If you really don't
like it, that's fine, but then it's "software I don't like" rather
than "evil commercial software", and who goes around bragging about
deleting software they don't like?

--Levi

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Justin Findlay
2008-01-21 21:00:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Levi Pearson
Post by Justin Findlay
No religion to me, though I know I've been guilty of 'religion' before.
I don't use windows because I hate it, but that's the subject of another
email message. I don't use OS X because I don't like it and it's out of
my price range.
Now you're singing a different tune, and I have nothing to disagree
with here, except that I may question your taste. That's purely
subjective, though, and irrelevant to our conversation.
I don't even recall changing keys. If it's irrelevant then my whole
point is irrelevant. Do you question my taste because I don't like OS
X? Do I have moral obligation to praise Apple's glossy desktop and
polished apps? :-)
Post by Levi Pearson
I'm not looking for a 'FLOSS' vs 'Proprietary' debate. I don't think
there's any purpose to such a thing except to draw zealots out of the
woodwork to make noise.
Such appears to have happened.


Justin

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Levi Pearson
2008-01-21 21:05:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Justin Findlay
I don't even recall changing keys. If it's irrelevant then my whole
point is irrelevant. Do you question my taste because I don't like OS
X? Do I have moral obligation to praise Apple's glossy desktop and
polished apps? :-)
I believe you earlier said you were avoiding commercial software on
principle. That's a different matter than avoiding it for reasons of
cost and taste.
Post by Justin Findlay
Post by Levi Pearson
I'm not looking for a 'FLOSS' vs 'Proprietary' debate. I don't think
there's any purpose to such a thing except to draw zealots out of the
woodwork to make noise.
Such appears to have happened.
I think you have misinterpreted me. I am not arguing one vs. the
other, I am arguing that excluding one or the other based on
'principle' is misguided.

--Levi

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Justin Findlay
2008-01-21 21:14:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Levi Pearson
I believe you earlier said you were avoiding commercial software on
principle.
Yes.
Post by Levi Pearson
I think you have misinterpreted me. I am not arguing one vs. the
other, I am arguing that excluding one or the other based on
'principle' is misguided.
I don't think so.


Justin

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Lonnie Olson
2008-01-21 19:40:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Levi Pearson
In all seriousness, I really do not intend offense to anyone here, but
I do think the mindset that I am arguing against is a harmful one. I
by no means wish to disparage the work that people put into free
software. I've contributed to a couple of projects myself. I also
think that promoting free software through conferences and user groups
is a great thing. It's just that commercial, proprietary, and
otherwise 'non-free' software are not evil, and it's okay to use them
when it makes sense to do so. Believing otherwise doesn't do anyone
any good. Free software should stand on its own merits, not based on
some pseudo-religious battle between good and evil!
No offense taken, but I think you are missing the "religious" reasoning
in the Free Software movement. The Free Software movement reasons that
every user of software has a right to each of the 4 freedoms outlined below.

* The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
* The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your
needs (freedom 1).
* The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor
(freedom 2).
* The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements
to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3).

Any user that chooses software that strips them on one of these freedoms
is unfortunate. Software makers that deny these freedoms are not
"evil", but are unkind people by harming their customers deserved freedoms.

Now, if you don't believe the 4 freedoms are beneficial to our society,
then I would understand your feelings. But I get the distinct
impression that you feel these freedoms are beneficial. What is wrong
with educating people about the unkind, freedom restricting acts of
non-free software developers?

--lonnie

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Levi Pearson
2008-01-21 20:15:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lonnie Olson
No offense taken, but I think you are missing the "religious"
reasoning in the Free Software movement. The Free Software movement
reasons that every user of software has a right to each of the 4
freedoms outlined below.
* The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
* The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your
needs (freedom 1).
* The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor
(freedom 2).
* The freedom to improve the program, and release your
improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits
(freedom 3).
Any user that chooses software that strips them on one of these
freedoms is unfortunate. Software makers that deny these freedoms are
not "evil", but are unkind people by harming their customers deserved
freedoms.
Yes, I'm well aware of these freedoms that the Free Software
Foundation espouses. I agree that those things are nice. I don't
agree that people have any intrinsic right to those things. I believe
that we have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Aside from those, you've got whatever rights that aren't restricted by
government or community. Since those freedoms interfere with the
right to control how your personal creations are used, they fall
clearly in the 'negotiable rights' category, not the 'intrinsic
rights' one. I certainly don't feel they ought to be universal.

Any assertion that those rights *are* universal must be religious,
since they clearly aren't fundamental to human nature and only God
could choose to grant them universally. :P
Post by Lonnie Olson
Now, if you don't believe the 4 freedoms are beneficial to our
society, then I would understand your feelings. But I get the
distinct impression that you feel these freedoms are beneficial. What
is wrong with educating people about the unkind, freedom restricting
acts of non-free software developers?
That would be mis-education based on a faulty understanding (or
correct understanding and deliberate misuse) of heavily-loaded terms
like 'freedom' and 'right'. Copying or modifying someone's software
against their will is just as unkind, and telling them that they can't
exercise their copyright is just as freedom-restricting. Telling
people that everyone ought to have these four freedoms doesn't make it
so. Calling people who release their software under different terms
'unkind' is just being childish and anti-social.

--Levi

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Lonnie Olson
2008-01-21 22:36:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Levi Pearson
Any assertion that those rights *are* universal must be religious,
since they clearly aren't fundamental to human nature and only God
could choose to grant them universally. :P
Any assertion that those rights are *not* universal must also equally be
religious. I did not say these rights are universal. I agree that they
are "negotiable rights", but your statement connecting any rights
definition on "human nature" and/or "God" is also religious. Don't
claim it not be.
Post by Levi Pearson
That would be mis-education based on a faulty understanding (or
correct understanding and deliberate misuse) of heavily-loaded terms
like 'freedom' and 'right'. Copying or modifying someone's software
against their will is just as unkind, and telling them that they can't
exercise their copyright is just as freedom-restricting. Telling
people that everyone ought to have these four freedoms doesn't make it
so. Calling people who release their software under different terms
'unkind' is just being childish and anti-social.
Developing non-free software is anti-social. It prevents me from
sharing with my fellow society members. It prevents me from helping
friends by adding needed features to their software for them. It
prevents me from innovating on top of other's innovation.

The biggest point of the Free Software movement is to educate people of
the benefits of Free Software, and the amazing opportunities these
freedoms grant. This education is aimed at getting more people to
demand and seize these important opportunities to enrich our societies
and help our fellow man. By refusing to use non-free software we can
demonstrate that people understand the importance of these freedoms and
realize their value.

I know I am never going to convince you, Levi, about the important
benefits of these freedoms, since you admit that you will flush them
away at will.

I am done.

--lonnie


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Levi Pearson
2008-01-21 23:31:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lonnie Olson
Any assertion that those rights are *not* universal must also equally
be religious. I did not say these rights are universal. I agree that
they are "negotiable rights", but your statement connecting any rights
definition on "human nature" and/or "God" is also religious. Don't
claim it not be.
Human rights have a fairly firm basis in philosophical reasoning
without resorting to the divine. I won't get into it now, but you can
probably find an ethics text (or Wikipedia article) that reviews the
ideas. The gist is that we have certain rights simply because we are
human beings, and that those rights can neither be given nor taken
away. All other rights are negotiable between individuals, societies,
and governments. I believe that the 'software freedoms' fall in the
latter category, and that it would take a religious argument to place
them in the former. Does that clarify what I was trying to say?
Post by Lonnie Olson
Developing non-free software is anti-social. It prevents me from
sharing with my fellow society members. It prevents me from helping
friends by adding needed features to their software for them. It
prevents me from innovating on top of other's innovation.
When I develop anything on my own, it's not any of your business what
it is I'm doing and what I choose to do with it. If I build a tool
out of electronic components and hardware, I should be able to give it
away, sell it, or whatever without having to reveal how I constructed
it. If you come along and tell me that I'm being rude by not
revealing my secrets, I believe that *you* are the one being rude and
anti-social. I don't think software is fundamentally different in
this regard. Sharing is a wonderful thing, but only if it's not
coerced.
Post by Lonnie Olson
The biggest point of the Free Software movement is to educate people
of the benefits of Free Software, and the amazing opportunities these
freedoms grant. This education is aimed at getting more people to
demand and seize these important opportunities to enrich our societies
and help our fellow man. By refusing to use non-free software we can
demonstrate that people understand the importance of these freedoms
and realize their value.
The Free Software movement didn't create anything new. People have
been sharing information, designs, etc. for as long as there have been
people. Inasmuch as there are benefits to being open with such
things, I think it's a great idea to educate people about them.
However, I think it's wrong to *demand* that people share things they
don't want to, or to call them rude or anti-social for not sharing
what you want. Refusing to use non-free software out of principle
only makes you look unreasonable, which will not help your case with
the people who you're demanding things from.
Post by Lonnie Olson
I know I am never going to convince you, Levi, about the important
benefits of these freedoms, since you admit that you will flush them
away at will.
I'm certainly not flushing anything away! I reap the benefits of open
source software every day. I contribute back to it when I can. I
also reap the benefits of commercial software-- I write some and get
paid for it, and I use some and enjoy the use thereof. I simply don't
believe that I, or the majority of computer users, are somehow
violating a valid ethical principle by writing or using commercial
software.

When you talk about the benefits of free software, I'm right with you.
When you start insisting that those benefits somehow create a set of
principles that everyone should follow, then I have to wonder where
the leap in logic came from. I could derive plenty of 'principles'
that would make the world a much better place if everyone followed
them, but that doesn't mean that I should go around insisting that
people are rude if they don't follow my ideas!

--Levi

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Justin Findlay
2008-01-22 00:20:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Levi Pearson
When you talk about the benefits of free software, I'm right with you.
When you start insisting that those benefits somehow create a set of
principles that everyone should follow, then I have to wonder where
the leap in logic came from. I could derive plenty of 'principles'
that would make the world a much better place if everyone followed
them, but that doesn't mean that I should go around insisting that
people are rude if they don't follow my ideas!
For my part I subscribe to the open culture as much as possible. I
don't expect anyone else to adhere to my 'principles'. I can only
explain what they are and why I think they are beneficial. I hope that
is understandable in explaining why I strongly prefer OSS.


Justin

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Levi Pearson
2008-01-22 01:01:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Justin Findlay
For my part I subscribe to the open culture as much as possible. I
don't expect anyone else to adhere to my 'principles'. I can only
explain what they are and why I think they are beneficial. I hope that
is understandable in explaining why I strongly prefer OSS.
The part that doesn't make sense to me is where free software
followers believe that there is some intrinsic benefit to using ONLY
free software. The benefit that free software users provide to other
free software users is not orthodoxy, it's contribution back to the
community. Contributions are no less valuable when submitted by
someone who also uses commercial software.

By this reasoning, someone who normally uses Windows or OS X but
contributes a lot to an important free software project is far more
valuable to the community than someone who exclusively uses free
software, but only makes minor contributions. Thus, there is no value
in denying yourself the use of commercial software that you might
otherwise want to use.

There is another possible motive, which is essentially boycott of
commercial software. The only purpose I can imagine for this is
putting commercial software vendors out of business, or at least
'punishing' them for violating your 'principles', which is a pretty
aggressively anti-social, if you ask me.

--Levi

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Doran L. Barton
2008-01-22 01:20:13 UTC
Permalink
Back in the late 1990s, Eric Raymond wrote a few essays, one of which
allegedly convinced Netscape to open source their web browser and thus,
Mozilla was born.

But, that's not really the point of my PLUG posting. Raymond also wrote a
lot of really interesting things about the nature of software. One of the
things he pondered in his essays was whether or not software had any
intrinsic value. He postulated that software, by itself is worthless. As
evidence of this, he observed what happens to the price of a particular
piece of software after the computer that produces it goes out of business.
The answer: bargain bin or trash.

So, Raymond asked, why do people willingly fork over money for software?
The answer: Because there is at least the illusion that the company
producing the software *supports* the software. Raymond goes on to say
that, in reality, you're not buying the software as much as paying for the
support of the software. This makes Microsoft's "call your reseller"
or pay by-the-minute telephone support options seem even more like
rape... like gang rape, maybe.

If you buy into these rules of the software industry, it stands to reason
that open source software can certainly be a profitable venture for a
company to go into because they can sell support options while giving the
software and its source code away for free. Since Raymond wrote this, many
companies have proven this to be true.

This was just a thought that came into my head while I was reading this
stuff.

I don't know why anyone brought up religion. If anything, some of these
arguments are "ideological" and not religious at all. Please, get it right.
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Chris
2008-01-22 02:26:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Doran L. Barton
I don't know why anyone brought up religion. If anything, some of these
arguments are "ideological" and not religious at all. Please, get it right.
My dictionary provides three definitions of "religion", including this one:

religion - a pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme
importance : consumerism is the new religion.

By that definition, many who advocate free software are indeed religious
about it, and rightly so. I'd expect them to wear that badge proudly.

Chris

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Levi Pearson
2008-01-22 03:36:59 UTC
Permalink
He postulated that software, by itself is worthless. As evidence of
this, he observed what happens to the price of a particular piece of
software after the computer that produces it goes out of business.
The answer: bargain bin or trash.
Clearly software by itself is worthless. It needs that computer to
run on. :) I guess you meant 'company' here, though.

That aside, I don't think that the reasoning behind that is completely
solid. It's rare that a company owning a piece of software that's
selling well goes out of business and leaves that software without
support. Another company will typicall buy the rights to the software
and continue to support it. The exceptions to this that I've seen
tend to be the kind of software that stales quickly anyway, such as
games.

Anyway, why would these companies be going out of business anyway if
people wanted to pay the asking price for the software? I'm sure some
of the loss of value comes from lack of support, but I think that
mostly it's the other way around.
So, Raymond asked, why do people willingly fork over money for software?
The answer: Because there is at least the illusion that the company
producing the software *supports* the software. Raymond goes on to say
that, in reality, you're not buying the software as much as paying for the
support of the software. This makes Microsoft's "call your reseller"
or pay by-the-minute telephone support options seem even more like
rape... like gang rape, maybe.
I pay for software because it does something that I want it to
accomplish. Maybe Raymond has different motivations, but I think most
people buy it because it performs a certain function. Businesses tend
to want support, but business software rarely end up in bargain bins,
precisely because those support contracts are a valuable asset!
If you buy into these rules of the software industry, it stands to reason
that open source software can certainly be a profitable venture for a
company to go into because they can sell support options while giving the
software and its source code away for free. Since Raymond wrote this, many
companies have proven this to be true.
Software, hardware, and support used to be sold as a package.
Software typically came with the source code, though you didn't get
the right to resell modifications. It stands to reason that the same
model would work on commodity hardware. I think (and hope) that
restricting access to the source is a temporary abberation in the
history of software, but I support the right of software creators to
do it if they wish.
This was just a thought that came into my head while I was reading this
stuff.
I don't know why anyone brought up religion. If anything, some of these
arguments are "ideological" and not religious at all. Please, get it right.
There is rational ideology, and ideology based on faith or feelings.
The latter is characteristic of religion. I guess another option
would be ideology based on flawed reasoning, but in any case, the
fervor of the adherents of this particular ideology resembles that of
religious adherents, so it is at least metaphorically religious.

--Levi

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Von Fugal
2008-01-22 08:03:28 UTC
Permalink
* Levi Pearson [Mon, 21 Jan 2008 at 20:36 -0700]
Post by Levi Pearson
He postulated that software, by itself is worthless. As evidence of
this, he observed what happens to the price of a particular piece of
software after the computer that produces it goes out of business.
The answer: bargain bin or trash.
Clearly software by itself is worthless. It needs that computer to
run on. :) I guess you meant 'company' here, though.
That aside, I don't think that the reasoning behind that is completely
solid. It's rare that a company owning a piece of software that's
selling well goes out of business and leaves that software without
support. Another company will typicall buy the rights to the software
and continue to support it. The exceptions to this that I've seen
tend to be the kind of software that stales quickly anyway, such as
games.
In fact sad sad is the day you want to use an old piece of software
(maybe a game, most likely in fact) that is long gone and not only no
longer supported but it's not even purchasable AT ALL. It's terribly
selfish of one to think that nobody will ever want to use their software
and improve upon it once they are gone or have lost interest in it. That
may be their "right" under current law, but it's a crying shame when it
happens.

Von Fugal
Shane Hathaway
2008-01-22 08:40:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Von Fugal
In fact sad sad is the day you want to use an old piece of software
(maybe a game, most likely in fact) that is long gone and not only no
longer supported but it's not even purchasable AT ALL. It's terribly
selfish of one to think that nobody will ever want to use their software
and improve upon it once they are gone or have lost interest in it. That
may be their "right" under current law, but it's a crying shame when it
happens.
Case in point: I got a copy of the $15 commercial version of Tux Racer
(for Linux) one Christmas. The commercial version turns out to be far
more fun than the open source version: the tracks have a lot more
variety, there are several characters, doing consecutive tricks earns a
lot of points, there is a 2 player mode, and the music is good enough to
play loud. Sunspire Studios once said they would release the commercial
version as open source, but they never did, and now the company has
vanished. It's getting harder to keep it running since it depends on
old libraries. In 10 years it will probably only run in a virtual
machine, since all the libraries it depends on will have long since
moved on.

The source code probably still exists somewhere. If only I could get it
(with a Free license), I would happily do the work to modernize and
distribute it.

Shane


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Levi Pearson
2008-01-22 17:15:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Von Fugal
In fact sad sad is the day you want to use an old piece of software
(maybe a game, most likely in fact) that is long gone and not only no
longer supported but it's not even purchasable AT ALL. It's terribly
selfish of one to think that nobody will ever want to use their software
and improve upon it once they are gone or have lost interest in it. That
may be their "right" under current law, but it's a crying shame when it
happens.
It's only sad in the sense that it's sad when you don't get your way.
It's just the way things work that if a manufactured product (and a
binary program is, in a way, manufactured from source code) ceases to
be produced and sold, then eventually you can't buy and use it easily
anymore. Sure, it would be nice if people would open source their
software so that you could play all the old-school games you feel
nostalgic about, but they have no moral imperative to do so, and you
have no right to compel them to.

Free software advocates really do seem to have a tremendous sense of
entitlement!

--Levi


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Von Fugal
2008-01-22 17:25:20 UTC
Permalink
* Levi Pearson [Tue, 22 Jan 2008 at 10:15 -0700]
<quote>
Post by Levi Pearson
Post by Von Fugal
In fact sad sad is the day you want to use an old piece of software
(maybe a game, most likely in fact) that is long gone and not only no
longer supported but it's not even purchasable AT ALL. It's terribly
selfish of one to think that nobody will ever want to use their software
and improve upon it once they are gone or have lost interest in it. That
may be their "right" under current law, but it's a crying shame when it
happens.
It's only sad in the sense that it's sad when you don't get your way.
It's just the way things work that if a manufactured product (and a
binary program is, in a way, manufactured from source code) ceases to
be produced and sold, then eventually you can't buy and use it easily
anymore. Sure, it would be nice if people would open source their
software so that you could play all the old-school games you feel
nostalgic about, but they have no moral imperative to do so, and you
have no right to compel them to.
Free software advocates really do seem to have a tremendous sense of
entitlement!
I never said I or anyone was entitled to anything. I may have meant
something along the lines of software writers aren't entitled to bring
their creations to the grave with them, but saying someone lacks a
certain entitlement doesn't necessitate another inverse entitlement. In
fact what I actually said was that it was selfish. Many people do
selfish things all the time, and there's nothing anyone can do about it.
They are completely justified in a legal sense to being selfish, but
that doesn't make it not selfish.

Von Fugal
Levi Pearson
2008-01-22 17:33:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Von Fugal
I never said I or anyone was entitled to anything. I may have meant
something along the lines of software writers aren't entitled to bring
their creations to the grave with them, but saying someone lacks a
certain entitlement doesn't necessitate another inverse entitlement. In
fact what I actually said was that it was selfish. Many people do
selfish things all the time, and there's nothing anyone can do about it.
They are completely justified in a legal sense to being selfish, but
that doesn't make it not selfish.
You think it's selfish that they don't give you the source code. I
think it's selfish of you to think they should. That's what I meant
by 'sense of entitlement'; I didn't mean that you literally thought
you were entitled to the source code.

Is it selfish of architects to not give away the plans to their
buildings for free? Is it selfish of silicon manufacturers to not
give away their netlists for free? I don't see why Free Software
people think that code is so special that it ought to be free by
default to the point where people who *don't* free their code are
somehow being nasty, rude, and anti-social.

--Levi


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Von Fugal
2008-01-22 17:40:54 UTC
Permalink
* Levi Pearson [Tue, 22 Jan 2008 at 10:33 -0700]
<quote>
Post by Levi Pearson
Post by Von Fugal
I never said I or anyone was entitled to anything. I may have meant
something along the lines of software writers aren't entitled to bring
their creations to the grave with them, but saying someone lacks a
certain entitlement doesn't necessitate another inverse entitlement. In
fact what I actually said was that it was selfish. Many people do
selfish things all the time, and there's nothing anyone can do about it.
They are completely justified in a legal sense to being selfish, but
that doesn't make it not selfish.
You think it's selfish that they don't give you the source code. I
think it's selfish of you to think they should. That's what I meant
by 'sense of entitlement'; I didn't mean that you literally thought
you were entitled to the source code.
That's the interesting thing about sharing. Sharing is gracious and
unselfish, but demanding someone else share with you, or not sharing
yourself, are both selfish. I'm not demanding anything, I'm just saying
what I think is selfish.
Post by Levi Pearson
Is it selfish of architects to not give away the plans to their
buildings for free? Is it selfish of silicon manufacturers to not
give away their netlists for free? I don't see why Free Software
people think that code is so special that it ought to be free by
default to the point where people who *don't* free their code are
somehow being nasty, rude, and anti-social.
So you would have all building plans ever be secret never again to be
seen by anyone even past the death of the architects? Wow, that's
progress there. We could still be struggling to build domes and arches.
I believe in the original copyright as set forth by the
founding fathers. I abhor this new copyright is intrinsic and automatic
and lasts forever paradigm. It stinks to high heaven.

Von Fugal
Levi Pearson
2008-01-22 17:49:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Von Fugal
That's the interesting thing about sharing. Sharing is gracious and
unselfish, but demanding someone else share with you, or not sharing
yourself, are both selfish. I'm not demanding anything, I'm just saying
what I think is selfish.
Is it very gracious to call someone selfish because they want to sell
their software without source code?
Post by Von Fugal
So you would have all building plans ever be secret never again to be
seen by anyone even past the death of the architects? Wow, that's
progress there. We could still be struggling to build domes and arches.
I believe in the original copyright as set forth by the
founding fathers. I abhor this new copyright is intrinsic and automatic
and lasts forever paradigm. It stinks to high heaven.
You seem to have a hard time with your reading comprehension today.
At no point did I advocate the universal hiding of source code or the
illegalization of reverse-engineering. Please stop putting words and
bad arguments in my mouth.

--Levi

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Shane Hathaway
2008-01-22 18:13:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Von Fugal
* Levi Pearson [Tue, 22 Jan 2008 at 10:33 -0700]
Post by Levi Pearson
You think it's selfish that they don't give you the source code. I
think it's selfish of you to think they should. That's what I meant
by 'sense of entitlement'; I didn't mean that you literally thought
you were entitled to the source code.
That's the interesting thing about sharing. Sharing is gracious and
unselfish, but demanding someone else share with you, or not sharing
yourself, are both selfish. I'm not demanding anything, I'm just saying
what I think is selfish.
Levi will easily destroy general arguments like the one you're making
here. :-) Proprietary software developers consistently argue they need
to put food on the table. It's not selfish to desire to put food on the
table. Furthermore, many companies release software in the open as an
advertising mechanism; you could call that quite selfish.

Shane


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Lonnie Olson
2008-01-22 17:54:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Levi Pearson
Is it selfish of architects to not give away the plans to their
buildings for free? Is it selfish of silicon manufacturers to not
give away their netlists for free? I don't see why Free Software
people think that code is so special that it ought to be free by
default to the point where people who *don't* free their code are
somehow being nasty, rude, and anti-social.
Here you go again talking about price. Trying to muddy the waters some
more. This issue isn't about price at all.

Is it completely unreasonable to *pay* an architect for his hard work,
and ask for a copy of the plans. No. In fact it happens fairly regularly.
Post by Levi Pearson
Software, hardware, and support used to be sold as a package.
Software typically came with the source code, though you didn't get
the right to resell modifications. It stands to reason that the same
model would work on commodity hardware. I think (and hope) that
restricting access to the source is a temporary abberation in the
history of software, but I support the right of software creators to
do it if they wish.
Again, missing the point. It's not about restricting the rights of
software creators to release non-free software. It's about showing the
world the other way, to get the freedom to use their software, to share
their software, to modify their software, etc.

It's a bit like freedom of speech. You are perfectly in your right to
lie, be rude to, or swear at people in the street. But it isn't very
nice. Everyone already knows to stay away from these people. Free
Software is about teaching people to stay away from non-free software
for similar reasons.

--lonnie



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Levi Pearson
2008-01-22 18:10:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lonnie Olson
Here you go again talking about price. Trying to muddy the waters
some more. This issue isn't about price at all.
Is it completely unreasonable to *pay* an architect for his hard work,
and ask for a copy of the plans. No. In fact it happens fairly regularly.
The issue is fundamentally about price, or at least value, no matter
how much you try to mix freedoms into the mix. According to Free
Software principles, you have to open the source code to *everyone*,
not just paying customers. You furthermore have to give them the
right to modify and resell your work. You're not going to find many
architects who will find those terms reasonable, because it devalues
the work they did. Nor many photographers, graphic designers, etc,
despite the fact that it would be really 'nice' for everyone else if
they did.
Post by Lonnie Olson
Again, missing the point. It's not about restricting the rights of
software creators to release non-free software. It's about showing
the world the other way, to get the freedom to use their software, to
share their software, to modify their software, etc.
I am completely *not* opposed to showing the world how great it is to
release source code. I've repeatedly said how great I think it is,
and how I wish more people would do so. Again, I am NOT OPPOSED to
sharing source code. I think sharing source code is a WONDERFUL
thing.
Post by Lonnie Olson
It's a bit like freedom of speech. You are perfectly in your right to
lie, be rude to, or swear at people in the street. But it isn't very
nice. Everyone already knows to stay away from these people. Free
Software is about teaching people to stay away from non-free software
for similar reasons.
This is the mindset that I'm arguing against. It's morally wrong to
verbally abuse people. It's *not* morally wrong to release software
without source code. If Free Software advocates were purely leading
by example and showing how wonderful sharing source code is, and how
it creates value for everyone, and how it can lead to business
opportunities, or any of that, I'd have no quarrel with them. It's
the painting of people who do not share source code as shady
characters who are morally lacking that I object to. I believe it's
possible to advocate sharing of source code without claiming that
the people who disagree about it are morally lacking.

--Levi

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Shane Hathaway
2008-01-22 19:13:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Levi Pearson
Post by Lonnie Olson
It's a bit like freedom of speech. You are perfectly in your right to
lie, be rude to, or swear at people in the street. But it isn't very
nice. Everyone already knows to stay away from these people. Free
Software is about teaching people to stay away from non-free software
for similar reasons.
This is the mindset that I'm arguing against. It's morally wrong to
verbally abuse people. It's *not* morally wrong to release software
without source code. If Free Software advocates were purely leading
by example and showing how wonderful sharing source code is, and how
it creates value for everyone, and how it can lead to business
opportunities, or any of that, I'd have no quarrel with them. It's
the painting of people who do not share source code as shady
characters who are morally lacking that I object to. I believe it's
possible to advocate sharing of source code without claiming that
the people who disagree about it are morally lacking.
Levi, your careful logic is devastating this group. ;-)

However, the topic has wandered all over the place. I think the
statement that touched off this debate was "I will never rely on
proprietary software again", yet the motive behind that statement was
never clear. Was it meant to say that *no one* should use proprietary
software, or was the poster saying that his experience has convinced him
to remain personally committed to free software?

I think the intent was the latter, partly because I could almost make
the same statement. By choosing free software over proprietary
software, I sometimes sacrifice some functionality, but I my experience
tells me the commitment leads to unquantifiable benefits that trump the
benefits I might have gained from the proprietary features.

I think my interpretation is more correct because:

- The statement was "I will never..." rather than "No one should ever..."

- The poster was not comfortable in associating this commitment with
religion. One might say that any sort of commitment implies a type of
religion, but that would be a very muddy definition of religion.

- While a stance like that probably comes after a lot of experience and
reasoning, what has been discussed in the group has been only tenuous
and brittle. I think the group got distracted.

Shane


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Levi Pearson
2008-01-22 20:14:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Shane Hathaway
Levi, your careful logic is devastating this group. ;-)
Well, my goal was to eliminate any perception of moral superiority by
people who choose to only use Free Software. It's a fine thing to do
so, but it's not so fine to look down on others who choose to also use
non-Free software. Free software has many benefits, but moral
superiority is not one of them.
Post by Shane Hathaway
I think the intent was the latter, partly because I could almost make
the same statement. By choosing free software over proprietary
software, I sometimes sacrifice some functionality, but I my experience
tells me the commitment leads to unquantifiable benefits that trump the
benefits I might have gained from the proprietary features.
Perhaps the feeilng of moral superiority didn't exist in the first
person I replied to, but it definitely popped up later. The
'religion' term is a loaded one, so it was probably not the best
choice, but I'm not sure what to call beliefs that are held without a
solid logical foundation. Not that I think holding such beliefs is
necessarily a bad thing, as I hold some as well, but one must
recognize where they come from when discussing things with other
people, since a principle that is not based on pure reason will not
hold over a person who does not share the faith (or whatever) that
brought about the principle in the first place.

--Levi

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Alex Esplin
2008-01-22 21:11:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Levi Pearson
Perhaps the feeilng of moral superiority didn't exist in the first
person I replied to, but it definitely popped up later. The
'religion' term is a loaded one, so it was probably not the best
choice, but I'm not sure what to call beliefs that are held without a
solid logical foundation.
Hence the reason when I first invoked it, it was in quotes, "religious" choice.
--
Alex Esplin

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Stuart Jansen
2008-01-22 21:17:15 UTC
Permalink
The 'religion' term is a loaded one, so it was probably not the best
choice, but I'm not sure what to call beliefs that are held without a
solid logical foundation.
Perhaps a better word would be "magical"? Especially in this state.

My religion is based on adherence to principles that others may not
accept, but my acceptance of those principles depends on experimentation
and reason. Some people are religious about Free Software, but given the
right starting points their positions are logical.

You were arguing against magical thinking. As in the famous:
1) Write software.
2) Release source code.
*magic happens here*
10) Profit!

It is possible to make a living writing Free Software, but it's a
careful balancing act. If you don't think about what happens between
steps 2 and 10, you're hoping for magic to replace hard work.


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Levi Pearson
2008-01-22 21:42:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stuart Jansen
Perhaps a better word would be "magical"? Especially in this state.
I think 'mystic' is a better description, at least in the sense that
it is used in philisophical circles. It describes beliefs without (or
somehow beyond) reason, which covers any sort of source of knowledge
that can't be directly identified, e.g. 'just knowing'.
Post by Stuart Jansen
My religion is based on adherence to principles that others may not
accept, but my acceptance of those principles depends on experimentation
and reason. Some people are religious about Free Software, but given the
right starting points their positions are logical.
They may be self-consistent, but without a common logical starting
point grounded in objective reality, they remain in mystical
territory. And again, there's nothing wrong with that so long as you
realize that and also realize the fact that there's no basis on which
to impose principles derived from those beliefs on others.

For *you* to violate your mystically-derived principles may well feel
like a moral violation, but without the mystical enlightenment you
have received, that principle will make no sense, so it is unfair to
hold others to it. And when someone calls you on the mystical source
of that principle, it doesn't make sense to argue that it came from
elsewhere and applies to everyone.

(To be clear, I mean 'you' in the abstract sense above, not you
specifically.)
Post by Stuart Jansen
1) Write software.
2) Release source code.
*magic happens here*
10) Profit!
It is possible to make a living writing Free Software, but it's a
careful balancing act. If you don't think about what happens between
steps 2 and 10, you're hoping for magic to replace hard work.
I wasn't really talking about that, but the same sort of sloppy
thinking that leads one to believe that it's morally wrong to not
release source code could certainly lead to business disaster in the
right (wrong?) circumstances. Business failure with something
seemingly radical like open source software may simply be due to
people not understanding why open source software is valuable. Now
there's some useful advocacy there that could be done without bringing
supposed moral value of free software into the picture, which is
likely to get you dismissed by business people as a loony.

--Levi

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Stuart Jansen
2008-01-22 17:29:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Levi Pearson
Free software advocates really do seem to have a tremendous sense of
entitlement!
Whoa, careful there, not all of us do.

There's a big difference between "I wish everyone would release their
code before discontinuing a product" and "Everyone should be forced to
release their code to make me happy".

Yes, there is a strong under current of greedy entitlement that some
Free Software advocates get sucked into. But there's just as much greed
and wrongful sense of entitlement in the proprietary world. One could
even argue that the unreasonable position of the first is a direct
result of the unreasonable position of the second. But that's simply all
the more reason to listen and think things through carefully.

Von might have said it is selfish to hoard code in the hope of
re-releasing products like movies, but he didn't say anything about
forcing a change.


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Levi Pearson
2008-01-22 17:47:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stuart Jansen
Whoa, careful there, not all of us do.
No, I guess I should have qualified that with 'many' or something, but
I assumed that it was implicit. Do I need to bloat everything I write
with safety words like 'I think', 'some of', etc. so that I don't get
misinterpreted?
Post by Stuart Jansen
There's a big difference between "I wish everyone would release their
code before discontinuing a product" and "Everyone should be forced to
release their code to make me happy".
Well, yes. I'm arguing agaisnt the attitude that there's a moral
imperative to release source code, and that to not do so is rude,
evil, unkind, or otherwise a socially unacceptable act. I'm not
arguing against the sentiment that it would be nice if everyone
released source code, because it *would* be nice. It would also be
nice (for me, at least) if everyone gave me a $20 bill. That doesn't
mean they're rude if they don't.
Post by Stuart Jansen
Yes, there is a strong under current of greedy entitlement that some
Free Software advocates get sucked into. But there's just as much greed
and wrongful sense of entitlement in the proprietary world. One could
even argue that the unreasonable position of the first is a direct
result of the unreasonable position of the second. But that's simply all
the more reason to listen and think things through carefully.
I've never claimed that all commercial software vendors are saints, or
that there aren't some downright rude, anti-social, and evil vendors.
I've simply been saying that the act of not releasing source code does
not make them so. People arguing with me seem to be misinterpreting
what I'm saying at every turn so they can find something to disagree
with besides the point I'm making!
Post by Stuart Jansen
Von might have said it is selfish to hoard code in the hope of
re-releasing products like movies, but he didn't say anything about
forcing a change.
See, this is a perspective issue. You're using words like 'hoard' to
make the act of not releasing source code into a greedy, selfish, bad
thing. I hate to break it to you, but in more favorable light, this
is called 'self-interest' and it is the foundation of capitalism.
Given the strong libertarian sentiment on this list, I find it hard to
see how self-interest in some situations is so good, and in others so
bad. The only explanation I can find is that (many) Free Software
folks (seem to) feel entitled to the source code of (most) software.

The Free Software Foundation isn't planning to literally force any
issue, they're simply spreading the idea that closed-source software
is morally wrong. It's just *not* morally wrong, which is the point
I've been trying to make this whole time.

--Levi

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Stuart Jansen
2008-01-22 19:02:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Levi Pearson
I'm arguing agaisnt the attitude that there's a moral
imperative to release source code, and that to not do so is rude,
evil, unkind, or otherwise a socially unacceptable act.
You are correct, I was taking dangerous mental shortcuts.

Because of the tendency of proprietary software licenses to enforce an
immoral relationship, I chose years ago to avoid writing proprietary
commercial software. But it is the inequitable licenses that are
immoral, not the protection of one's creation.


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Jason Edwards
2008-01-22 19:18:50 UTC
Permalink
Levi,

Let me take a swing at it, I have a slightly different point of view
on this topic.

For me, closed-source software is morally wrong because it's built on
top of other people's ideas. The better closed source products, like
OS X and Pixelmator (http://www.pixelmator.com/specs/) acknowledge
their use of other people's ideas (BSD and ImageMagick, respectively).
But the point is, modern software is just a collection of ideas put
together in a new way. When a programmer runs into a problem, what do
they do? The vast majority go find how other people have solved the
problem. We know this to be true because this exists:
http://www.google.com/codesearch And I defy you to find a modern
piece of software that doesn't use at least one of the Gang-of-Four
patterns (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Design_Patterns).

As a programmer, while I haven't spent time examining the internals of
the Linux kernel, I have spent time inside Ruby on Rails, the Spring
Framework, much of the Apache software written in Java (Jakarta,
Tomcat, etc.), and many, many others. And I have learned a tremendous
amount from seeing how others have done things. It has made me a much
better programmer, and all the software I have written has benefited
from it. The sad thing is, I don't do a good enough job of
attributing the ideas expressed in my code. I try to put comments
here and there, but it's just not good enough.

What I'm trying to get at is, software isn't about the things you
click on on the screen, it's about the knowledge contained in the
source code. And when someone goes and sells a product they claim to
be their own creation, when it largely isn't, it bothers me a lot. I
mean, if they hadn't been able to "stand on the shoulders of giants"
would they have been able to build that piece of software?

You don't have to agree with it, but hopefully you can understand why
many Free Software advocates feel the way they do.

Jason
Post by Levi Pearson
Post by Stuart Jansen
Whoa, careful there, not all of us do.
No, I guess I should have qualified that with 'many' or something, but
I assumed that it was implicit. Do I need to bloat everything I write
with safety words like 'I think', 'some of', etc. so that I don't get
misinterpreted?
Post by Stuart Jansen
There's a big difference between "I wish everyone would release their
code before discontinuing a product" and "Everyone should be forced to
release their code to make me happy".
Well, yes. I'm arguing agaisnt the attitude that there's a moral
imperative to release source code, and that to not do so is rude,
evil, unkind, or otherwise a socially unacceptable act. I'm not
arguing against the sentiment that it would be nice if everyone
released source code, because it *would* be nice. It would also be
nice (for me, at least) if everyone gave me a $20 bill. That doesn't
mean they're rude if they don't.
Post by Stuart Jansen
Yes, there is a strong under current of greedy entitlement that some
Free Software advocates get sucked into. But there's just as much greed
and wrongful sense of entitlement in the proprietary world. One could
even argue that the unreasonable position of the first is a direct
result of the unreasonable position of the second. But that's simply all
the more reason to listen and think things through carefully.
I've never claimed that all commercial software vendors are saints, or
that there aren't some downright rude, anti-social, and evil vendors.
I've simply been saying that the act of not releasing source code does
not make them so. People arguing with me seem to be misinterpreting
what I'm saying at every turn so they can find something to disagree
with besides the point I'm making!
Post by Stuart Jansen
Von might have said it is selfish to hoard code in the hope of
re-releasing products like movies, but he didn't say anything about
forcing a change.
See, this is a perspective issue. You're using words like 'hoard' to
make the act of not releasing source code into a greedy, selfish, bad
thing. I hate to break it to you, but in more favorable light, this
is called 'self-interest' and it is the foundation of capitalism.
Given the strong libertarian sentiment on this list, I find it hard to
see how self-interest in some situations is so good, and in others so
bad. The only explanation I can find is that (many) Free Software
folks (seem to) feel entitled to the source code of (most) software.
The Free Software Foundation isn't planning to literally force any
issue, they're simply spreading the idea that closed-source software
is morally wrong. It's just *not* morally wrong, which is the point
I've been trying to make this whole time.
--Levi
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Chris
2008-01-22 19:43:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jason Edwards
What I'm trying to get at is, software isn't about the things you
click on on the screen, it's about the knowledge contained in the
source code. And when someone goes and sells a product they claim to
be their own creation, when it largely isn't, it bothers me a lot.
Are you also bothered when authors are paid for the books they write? I
mean, seriously, it's not like they "own" the letters, words, or even the
plot devices of which their works are composed.

Chris

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Stuart Jansen
2008-01-22 19:47:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jason Edwards
For me, closed-source software is morally wrong because it's built on
top of other people's ideas.
Just like making a living writing books is morally wrong because there
are only seven stories[1] and photocopiers fundamentally alter the
economics of publishing. Just like making a living writing music is
morally wrong because it's just a rearrangement of previously discovered
musical notes. Just liking licensing your software under the GPL is
morally wrong because copyright is morally wrong and the GPL depends on
copyright.
Post by Jason Edwards
You don't have to agree with it, but hopefully you can understand why
many Free Software advocates feel the way they do.
Whoa, careful there bucko. You've been drinking too much of the
kool-aid, or ignoring too many of the details. It's possible to be
opposed to software patents without being opposed to copyright. The act
of creating knowledge inherently depends on the discoveries of others.
That's what the "shoulders of giants" quote is about. The act of
creating physical artifacts is fundamentally different. You're one step
away from arguing that I should be forced to work to feed you.

It's one thing to argue, now that we know about linked lists we should
all be allowed to use them. It's a completely different to argue that
because we know how to write linked lists I should have to write them
for you.

[1] http://www.cus.cam.ac.uk/~blf10/stories.html


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Jason Edwards
2008-01-22 20:18:27 UTC
Permalink
Yeah, I suck, that didn't come off the way I wanted it to sound at
all, and obviously wasn't well thought out.

I see how radical that thought is now.

But, I don't quite see how what I said puts me "one step away from
arguing that I should be forced to work to feed you." I'm obviously
slow, can you please enlighten me?

Also, I fully support the original idea of a copyrights, namely, to
further the arts and sciences while making sure that you are credited
for your work.

Jason
Post by Stuart Jansen
Post by Jason Edwards
For me, closed-source software is morally wrong because it's built on
top of other people's ideas.
Just like making a living writing books is morally wrong because there
are only seven stories[1] and photocopiers fundamentally alter the
economics of publishing. Just like making a living writing music is
morally wrong because it's just a rearrangement of previously discovered
musical notes. Just liking licensing your software under the GPL is
morally wrong because copyright is morally wrong and the GPL depends on
copyright.
Post by Jason Edwards
You don't have to agree with it, but hopefully you can understand why
many Free Software advocates feel the way they do.
Whoa, careful there bucko. You've been drinking too much of the
kool-aid, or ignoring too many of the details. It's possible to be
opposed to software patents without being opposed to copyright. The act
of creating knowledge inherently depends on the discoveries of others.
That's what the "shoulders of giants" quote is about. The act of
creating physical artifacts is fundamentally different. You're one step
away from arguing that I should be forced to work to feed you.
It's one thing to argue, now that we know about linked lists we should
all be allowed to use them. It's a completely different to argue that
because we know how to write linked lists I should have to write them
for you.
[1] http://www.cus.cam.ac.uk/~blf10/stories.html
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Mister E
2008-01-22 20:12:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stuart Jansen
Post by Jason Edwards
For me, closed-source software is morally wrong because it's built on
top of other people's ideas.
Just like making a living writing books is morally wrong because there
are only seven stories[1] and photocopiers fundamentally alter the
economics of publishing. Just like making a living writing music is
morally wrong because it's just a rearrangement of previously discovered
musical notes. Just liking licensing your software under the GPL is
morally wrong because copyright is morally wrong and the GPL depends on
copyright.
sounds like a bunch of academic mumbo jumbo from pocketbook
philosophers. By the same concepts expressed in this thread, it's
morally wrong to debate the subject because it's using thoughts already
expressed in some form or another by other people.. It's morally wrong
to communicate such mumbo jumbo using communication methods previously
discovered :)

Mister Ed



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William Attwood
2008-01-22 20:27:55 UTC
Permalink
Looks like we're enjoying all types of extremes today, aren't we? Shall we
take it a step further, saying you shouldn't be allowed to do anything since
it's building on someone else's ideas? Should we ban our society building
blocks and have everyone start from scratch? I'm sure everyone inventing
the wheel and finding fire would be a great use of time.

Let us jump back to software, and avoid morals and ethics; both of which are
relative.

Where's the first thread? I do believe I deleted it. ;)

-Will
Post by Mister E
Post by Stuart Jansen
Post by Jason Edwards
For me, closed-source software is morally wrong because it's built on
top of other people's ideas.
Just like making a living writing books is morally wrong because there
are only seven stories[1] and photocopiers fundamentally alter the
economics of publishing. Just like making a living writing music is
morally wrong because it's just a rearrangement of previously discovered
musical notes. Just liking licensing your software under the GPL is
morally wrong because copyright is morally wrong and the GPL depends on
copyright.
sounds like a bunch of academic mumbo jumbo from pocketbook
philosophers. By the same concepts expressed in this thread, it's
morally wrong to debate the subject because it's using thoughts already
expressed in some form or another by other people.. It's morally wrong
to communicate such mumbo jumbo using communication methods previously
discovered :)
Mister Ed
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Jason Edwards
2008-01-22 20:35:04 UTC
Permalink
Extremes? Cluelessness is more like it...
Post by William Attwood
Looks like we're enjoying all types of extremes today, aren't we? Shall we
take it a step further, saying you shouldn't be allowed to do anything since
it's building on someone else's ideas? Should we ban our society building
blocks and have everyone start from scratch? I'm sure everyone inventing
the wheel and finding fire would be a great use of time.
Let us jump back to software, and avoid morals and ethics; both of which are
relative.
Where's the first thread? I do believe I deleted it. ;)
-Will
Post by Mister E
Post by Stuart Jansen
Post by Jason Edwards
For me, closed-source software is morally wrong because it's built on
top of other people's ideas.
Just like making a living writing books is morally wrong because there
are only seven stories[1] and photocopiers fundamentally alter the
economics of publishing. Just like making a living writing music is
morally wrong because it's just a rearrangement of previously discovered
musical notes. Just liking licensing your software under the GPL is
morally wrong because copyright is morally wrong and the GPL depends on
copyright.
sounds like a bunch of academic mumbo jumbo from pocketbook
philosophers. By the same concepts expressed in this thread, it's
morally wrong to debate the subject because it's using thoughts already
expressed in some form or another by other people.. It's morally wrong
to communicate such mumbo jumbo using communication methods previously
discovered :)
Mister Ed
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Levi Pearson
2008-01-22 21:04:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Attwood
Let us jump back to software, and avoid morals and ethics; both of which are
relative.
This is the crux of it, isn't it? There are powerful arguments that
morality/ethics are not indeed relative. I think most people agree
that there are at least a subset of ethical rules that are universal.
Our nation is founded upon that idea, at least.

Of course, the problem is that with only logic and self-reflection as
tools, it's difficult to figure out to everyone's satifsaction what
those universal rules are. The philosophers have been at it for
thousands of years, though, so we're not completely lost.

I think the philisophical grounding of ethics has value even to those
who subscribe to the religious view that ethics are defined by deity,
since it makes it possible to find common ground with those who don't
follow the same religion or who follow no religion at all.

Anyway, I hope this little digression from a digression doesn't lead
to another debate; I just wanted to share my thoughts on this and
perhaps shed some light on my motivation for the last debate.

--Levi

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William Attwood
2008-01-22 21:23:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Levi Pearson
Post by William Attwood
Let us jump back to software, and avoid morals and ethics; both of which
are
Post by William Attwood
relative.
This is the crux of it, isn't it? There are powerful arguments that
morality/ethics are not indeed relative. I think most people agree
that there are at least a subset of ethical rules that are universal.
Our nation is founded upon that idea, at least.
I must be one of those people that don't agree on anything being universal.
;)
Post by Levi Pearson
Of course, the problem is that with only logic and self-reflection as
tools, it's difficult to figure out to everyone's satifsaction what
those universal rules are. The philosophers have been at it for
thousands of years, though, so we're not completely lost.
A third item to add is reflecting on the actions of others and the
consequences of those actions. I do believe we all find more important
philosophical conundrums to toy with than the belief in morals and ethics;
since you can't exactly argue belief or opinion.
Post by Levi Pearson
I think the philisophical grounding of ethics has value even to those
who subscribe to the religious view that ethics are defined by deity,
since it makes it possible to find common ground with those who don't
follow the same religion or who follow no religion at all.
Society decides the common ground; it's only by statistics that you find
most society is based on religion, therefore being based on one or more
deity. If you dive into societies where culture has no religion, you'll
find a different set of rights and wrongs, aka ethics and morals (at their
basics)..
Post by Levi Pearson
Anyway, I hope this little digression from a digression doesn't lead
to another debate; I just wanted to share my thoughts on this and
perhaps shed some light on my motivation for the last debate.
If it did lead to a debate, I'm sure it would be a lengthy one with very few
meaningful entries, and a lot of banter from those wanting to post an
opinion. Let's curb that a bit by agreeing that everyone here can disagree
in their own ways. This thread has had some good responses, but for the
most part, it turned into a downward spiral with no end.

Hope to see more meaningful posts on Plug... Anyone want to talk about
Ubuntu? ;)
Post by Levi Pearson
--Levi
Thanks Levi, and the rest of you out on Plug (some of which might know me...
just might).

--Will
Post by Levi Pearson
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Levi Pearson
2008-01-22 21:47:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Attwood
I must be one of those people that don't agree on anything being universal.
;)
Would you mind telling me where you live? I know a group of thugs
that would like to take your stuff and kill you for fun, and they
don't think there's anything wrong with that, so you don't have any
objection, do you?

(For the record, the above scenario is purely fictional and is meant
to illustrate the universal nature of the human right to life and
property ownership. It should in no way be construed as a threat.)

--Levi

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William Attwood
2008-01-22 21:58:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Levi Pearson
Post by William Attwood
I must be one of those people that don't agree on anything being
universal.
Post by William Attwood
;)
Would you mind telling me where you live? I know a group of thugs
that would like to take your stuff and kill you for fun, and they
don't think there's anything wrong with that, so you don't have any
objection, do you?
I was going to go down the serial killer route.... There isn't a universal
right to life and property; some cultures live in such a way that there is
no property ownership-- everyone in the society has equal access to all
items, and they may simply leave them behind when they move on; is it
temporary ownership, soceity ownership, or no ownership-- up to you to
assume, I guess..

If you take a gander outside of the box, you'll notice that most of what you
believe, know, and agree to be true, is only so based on your society, and
is in no way universal.. Everything is based on society, and it's up to us
to adhere to what our society believes to be right and wrong, or not to and
suffer the consequences (good, or bad). Focus on my above use of the word
agree.. We all agree with what we are comfortable with or what we are pushed
into; that doesn't mean it's universal, that just means we have validated it
ourselves in a way that we can agree with it.

--Will
Post by Levi Pearson
(For the record, the above scenario is purely fictional and is meant
to illustrate the universal nature of the human right to life and
property ownership. It should in no way be construed as a threat.)
--Levi
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Levi Pearson
2008-01-22 22:12:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Attwood
I was going to go down the serial killer route.... There isn't a universal
right to life and property; some cultures live in such a way that there is
no property ownership-- everyone in the society has equal access to all
items, and they may simply leave them behind when they move on; is it
temporary ownership, soceity ownership, or no ownership-- up to you to
assume, I guess..
I would suspect that if someone is currently using something, and
another person snuck up on them and took it before they were finished
using it, it would be considered wrong. Voluntarily relinquishing a
given piece of property is different from having it involuntarily
taken. Protecting this right is one of the fundamental purposes of
society, but it gets taken care of in different ways. The one you
illustrate is very different than ours, but it's protecting the same
basic right.
Post by William Attwood
If you take a gander outside of the box, you'll notice that most of what you
believe, know, and agree to be true, is only so based on your society, and
is in no way universal.. Everything is based on society, and it's up to us
to adhere to what our society believes to be right and wrong, or not to and
suffer the consequences (good, or bad). Focus on my above use of the word
agree.. We all agree with what we are comfortable with or what we are pushed
into; that doesn't mean it's universal, that just means we have validated it
ourselves in a way that we can agree with it.
I agree that we're highly context-sensitive beings, and that certainly
our societies have built up cultural norms that do vary from culture
to culture. I don't think this rules out the concept of universal
ethical principles, though they way in which different cultures
express those principles will vary. I also believe that in some
cases, cultures will embrace things that are morally wrong, and aren't
justified in doing so just because they are able to and they all (or
at least sufficient numbers to enforce it) agree to it.

I'm probably not going to be able to talk you out of your relativism,
though, so I guess we'll have to leave it at that.

--Levi

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Bryan Sant
2008-01-22 20:38:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Levi Pearson
It would also be
nice (for me, at least) if everyone gave me a $20 bill. That doesn't
mean they're rude if they don't.
... but they are rude if they don't give me $10,000/yr in "free" healthcare.

-Bryan

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Stuart Jansen
2008-01-22 00:52:35 UTC
Permalink
I've tried to stay out of the discussion, but...

Here's my take on the whole Free vs. proprietary debate:

Software is about relationships and a software license is a tool to
manage that relationship. In every healthy relationship there has to be
some give and take.

Hopefully we can all agree that not only is it morally wrong for any one
member of a relationship to behave in an extremely selfish manner, it is
often harmful to society as a whole. Hopefully, we can also agree that
the suffering party is sometimes (but not always!) equally responsible
for enabling selfish and destructive behavior in the relationship.

I choose to avoid proprietary software because I do not want to be
abused. I've been burned by proprietary software too many times.

Instead of software, lets talk about employees. Would you keep an
abusive employee because "replacing him would be too expensive"? Would
you excuse an employee that only "only hits others once in awhile"?
Would you allow an employee to force you to redesign your entire work
flow around him instead of integrating himself into your infrastructure?
Would you allow an employee to hold your data hostage because "he was
the lowest bidder"?

Of course not!

How is purchased software any different? You're the one paying.

Is it unreasonable for an employee to demand fair compensation for work?
Of course! The problem is, too many proprietary software vendors act
like they're in charge of the show, instead of acting like the
contracted service providers they are.

If a person does not respect me, I will limit my contact with that
person. If a vendor does not respect me, I will avoid doing business
with that vendor.

Of course, it cuts both ways. I have no right to demand that anyone do
anything for me for free. I have no right to demand that anyone be
prevented from writing proprietary software. I only have a right to
decide who I will do business with.

As Free Software defenders we must be certain that we're willing to put
our money where our mouths are. Too often, we demand Free Software, not
because we feel it is fairer but because we're cheapskates. If you're
not writing code, providing support, or paying license fees, you're
being a freeloader. If you're not contributing to a project's creation
and maintenance, you have no right to make any demands.

Which isn't to say you're not welcome. It's only natural that one must
free load until learning the skills necessary to contribute. Even
something as simple a bug reports and feature requests can be a form of
contribution. But they never convey a right to make demands!

All software sucks. (Well, except for SSH.) The way I see it, if I'm
using Free Software and I have a problem, I can roll up my sleeves and
get my hands dirty fixing the problem. Or hire someone else to fix the
problem. Or I can live with it. Contrast that to proprietary software.
I'm tired of paying for the right to be treated like an idiot by
under-payed toadies reading from a script when I try to report a
problem. I'm tired of wondering if my bug report is being ignored. I'm
tired of feeling helpless when a business critical problem isn't being
addressed even though I could probably resolve it quickly if I had
access to the code.

Some software sucks more than other software. Can there be a healthy
relationship between proprietary software vendors and customers? Of
course. Do I condemn such relationships? Of course not! But that doesn't
change my preference to simply avoid such relationships.

Does the fact that I've grown tired of abusive proprietary software
licenses make me religious? If so, so be it. I'm religious, and my
religion gives me control of my own future.


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Jeff Anderson
2008-01-22 01:02:43 UTC
Permalink
Just as long as it doesn't get religious to this point:

Loading Image...
Post by Stuart Jansen
I've tried to stay out of the discussion, but...
Software is about relationships and a software license is a tool to
manage that relationship. In every healthy relationship there has to be
some give and take.
Hopefully we can all agree that not only is it morally wrong for any one
member of a relationship to behave in an extremely selfish manner, it is
often harmful to society as a whole. Hopefully, we can also agree that
the suffering party is sometimes (but not always!) equally responsible
for enabling selfish and destructive behavior in the relationship.
I choose to avoid proprietary software because I do not want to be
abused. I've been burned by proprietary software too many times.
Instead of software, lets talk about employees. Would you keep an
abusive employee because "replacing him would be too expensive"? Would
you excuse an employee that only "only hits others once in awhile"?
Would you allow an employee to force you to redesign your entire work
flow around him instead of integrating himself into your infrastructure?
Would you allow an employee to hold your data hostage because "he was
the lowest bidder"?
Of course not!
How is purchased software any different? You're the one paying.
Is it unreasonable for an employee to demand fair compensation for work?
Of course! The problem is, too many proprietary software vendors act
like they're in charge of the show, instead of acting like the
contracted service providers they are.
If a person does not respect me, I will limit my contact with that
person. If a vendor does not respect me, I will avoid doing business
with that vendor.
Of course, it cuts both ways. I have no right to demand that anyone do
anything for me for free. I have no right to demand that anyone be
prevented from writing proprietary software. I only have a right to
decide who I will do business with.
As Free Software defenders we must be certain that we're willing to put
our money where our mouths are. Too often, we demand Free Software, not
because we feel it is fairer but because we're cheapskates. If you're
not writing code, providing support, or paying license fees, you're
being a freeloader. If you're not contributing to a project's creation
and maintenance, you have no right to make any demands.
Which isn't to say you're not welcome. It's only natural that one must
free load until learning the skills necessary to contribute. Even
something as simple a bug reports and feature requests can be a form of
contribution. But they never convey a right to make demands!
All software sucks. (Well, except for SSH.) The way I see it, if I'm
using Free Software and I have a problem, I can roll up my sleeves and
get my hands dirty fixing the problem. Or hire someone else to fix the
problem. Or I can live with it. Contrast that to proprietary software.
I'm tired of paying for the right to be treated like an idiot by
under-payed toadies reading from a script when I try to report a
problem. I'm tired of wondering if my bug report is being ignored. I'm
tired of feeling helpless when a business critical problem isn't being
addressed even though I could probably resolve it quickly if I had
access to the code.
Some software sucks more than other software. Can there be a healthy
relationship between proprietary software vendors and customers? Of
course. Do I condemn such relationships? Of course not! But that doesn't
change my preference to simply avoid such relationships.
Does the fact that I've grown tired of abusive proprietary software
licenses make me religious? If so, so be it. I'm religious, and my
religion gives me control of my own future.
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Levi Pearson
2008-01-22 01:09:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stuart Jansen
I've tried to stay out of the discussion, but...
*snip*
Post by Stuart Jansen
Does the fact that I've grown tired of abusive proprietary software
licenses make me religious? If so, so be it. I'm religious, and my
religion gives me control of my own future.
No, you've actually made a very well-reasoned practical argument. I
believe this kind of argument is what is necessary to make inroads
with software vendors so that the whole software ecosystem can
improve. And I believe it's arguments like this that are leading to
the increased openness we're seeing in the software world.

--Levi

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Von Fugal
2008-01-22 07:45:50 UTC
Permalink
* Levi Pearson [Mon, 21 Jan 2008 at 13:15 -0700]
<quote>
Post by Levi Pearson
Post by Lonnie Olson
No offense taken, but I think you are missing the "religious"
reasoning in the Free Software movement. The Free Software movement
reasons that every user of software has a right to each of the 4
freedoms outlined below.
* The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
* The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your
needs (freedom 1).
* The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor
(freedom 2).
* The freedom to improve the program, and release your
improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits
(freedom 3).
Any user that chooses software that strips them on one of these
freedoms is unfortunate. Software makers that deny these freedoms are
not "evil", but are unkind people by harming their customers deserved
freedoms.
Yes, I'm well aware of these freedoms that the Free Software
Foundation espouses. I agree that those things are nice. I don't
agree that people have any intrinsic right to those things. I believe
that we have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Aside from those, you've got whatever rights that aren't restricted by
government or community. Since those freedoms interfere with the
right to control how your personal creations are used, they fall
clearly in the 'negotiable rights' category, not the 'intrinsic
rights' one. I certainly don't feel they ought to be universal.
Woah woah, hold on, stop and evaluate. Since when is the "right to
control how your personal creations are used" a God given or intrinsic
right?? I dare say it's not! Your _property_ is one thing, but as soon
as you give something to somebody else, for whatever reason, it ceases
to be your property. Can I get another AMEN!
Post by Levi Pearson
Any assertion that those rights *are* universal must be religious,
since they clearly aren't fundamental to human nature and only God
could choose to grant them universally. :P
As well to copyright.
Post by Levi Pearson
Post by Lonnie Olson
Now, if you don't believe the 4 freedoms are beneficial to our
society, then I would understand your feelings. But I get the
distinct impression that you feel these freedoms are beneficial. What
is wrong with educating people about the unkind, freedom restricting
acts of non-free software developers?
That would be mis-education based on a faulty understanding (or
correct understanding and deliberate misuse) of heavily-loaded terms
like 'freedom' and 'right'. Copying or modifying someone's software
against their will is just as unkind, and telling them that they can't
exercise their copyright is just as freedom-restricting. Telling
people that everyone ought to have these four freedoms doesn't make it
so. Calling people who release their software under different terms
'unkind' is just being childish and anti-social.
Yeah, calling the FSF principles "rights" might be in poor taste, but
copyright itself is absolutely in poor taste itself. I'm not totally
against copyright, I think it has in cases some merit. But to call it
a "right" just rocks my boat.

Von Fugal
Levi Pearson
2008-01-22 17:07:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Von Fugal
Woah woah, hold on, stop and evaluate. Since when is the "right to
control how your personal creations are used" a God given or intrinsic
right?? I dare say it's not! Your _property_ is one thing, but as soon
as you give something to somebody else, for whatever reason, it ceases
to be your property. Can I get another AMEN!
You seem to be arguing for the right to reverse-engineer things here.
I'm all for that. I, on the other hand, was arguing that if I
distribute a compiled version of a program of my creation, I shouldn't
be compelled to distribute the source code as well.

You may also be making an anti-copyright stand here. While copyright
certainly isn't an intrinsic right, it is a negotiable one, and one
that pretty much all current governments recognize. I think it's
potentially a good thing, but currently subject to abuse.
Post by Von Fugal
Post by Levi Pearson
Any assertion that those rights *are* universal must be religious,
since they clearly aren't fundamental to human nature and only God
could choose to grant them universally. :P
As well to copyright.
I wasn't talking about copyright, and it's clearly not universal.
Post by Von Fugal
Yeah, calling the FSF principles "rights" might be in poor taste, but
copyright itself is absolutely in poor taste itself. I'm not totally
against copyright, I think it has in cases some merit. But to call it
a "right" just rocks my boat.
They are rights, but they are not intrinsic rights. One can provide
those rights in respect to specific software by licensing it with a
Free Software approved license. My objection to the Free Software
Foundation is that they advocate placing all software under a
compatible license as a moral imperative.

--Levi

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Levi Pearson
2008-01-21 11:58:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Justin Findlay
PLUG is ostensibly about Linux and Free Software. Perhaps the FSF has
become passé and it is popular to disparage them. I know you wouldn't
necessarily do that without good reason, but neither do I believe
blindly in the edicts of the FSF. I presume you are familiar with the
benefits of using/practicing OSS, so I don't understand why you would be
critical of me in using it exclusively.
I love open source software, and I use it frequently. It has been
around as long as computers have, because it's clearly a good thing.
I just don't believe that there is a principle binding upon humanity
to make all software free. That's where the religion comes in.
Post by Justin Findlay
My reasons are partly idealistic, experimental, curious, and
practical. I believe that software as OSS is necessarily better for
the world, so I've made it the staple of mine.
In the Japanese culture, rice is the staple of the diet. However,
that's not *all* they eat. I don't imagine it would be very
nutritious to eat nothing but rice.

Open source software is great because it does provide a lot of
opportunity to exercise curiosity and experiment with stuff. Just
because it is great doesn't mean that it should be the only way to
make software, or that it is the only software that should be used.
Post by Justin Findlay
Since OSS is developed in the open I am better able to learn
about/with it than its proprietary counterparts. The freedom to
copy, study, and modify it is an excellent benefit that proprietary
SW by definition cannot offer.
Yeah, I hear this a lot. How much do you actually study and modify
the Linux kernel? How often do you look at the source code to
Firefox? Not very often, I'll bet.

Would it be a great benefit to humanity if all the plans and specs of
your home appliances were available? Probably not, as it would likely
increase the cost somewhat and provide no benefit to anyone but the
rarest purchaser.

There is no universal principle that mandates all software to be free.
Free software is a great thing, but adhering to such an imagined
principle provides no moral high ground, cuts off access to useful
software, and generally does no good to anyone.
Post by Justin Findlay
Besides that I can get all the OSS I need without price. That is the
substance of my principle and I fail to know how this elicits your
condescension.
I.e., "I'm a cheapskate, so I refuse to support working programmers by
paying them money for their work." Nice principle there.

And you're calling me condescending? Maybe a little, but if we were
to talk about music, I think I'd get a little of that back from
you. :)

--Levi

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Justin Findlay
2008-01-21 19:05:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Levi Pearson
I just don't believe that there is a principle binding upon humanity
to make all software free. That's where the religion comes in.
Neither do I. I use it because it makes *my* world better and blithely
believe that it would make the rest of the world better as well.
Post by Levi Pearson
Post by Justin Findlay
My reasons are partly idealistic, experimental, curious, and
practical. I believe that software as OSS is necessarily better for
the world, so I've made it the staple of mine.
In the Japanese culture, rice is the staple of the diet. However,
that's not *all* they eat. I don't imagine it would be very
nutritious to eat nothing but rice.
Should I mix a little proprietary SW into my diet so that it will be
more nutritious? :-)
Post by Levi Pearson
Open source software is great because it does provide a lot of
opportunity to exercise curiosity and experiment with stuff. Just
because it is great doesn't mean that it should be the only way to
make software, or that it is the only software that should be used.
I'm curious as to whether you have a positive counter argument for this.
Post by Levi Pearson
Post by Justin Findlay
Since OSS is developed in the open I am better able to learn
about/with it than its proprietary counterparts. The freedom to
copy, study, and modify it is an excellent benefit that proprietary
SW by definition cannot offer.
Yeah, I hear this a lot. How much do you actually study and modify
the Linux kernel? How often do you look at the source code to
Firefox? Not very often, I'll bet.
I submit you hear it a lot because it's true. Just because *I* don't
read the source of all the SW I use doesn't negate the benefit.
Moreover, the OSS world is large and diverse and I suppose that there
are people out there hacking on most everything because they can.
Post by Levi Pearson
Would it be a great benefit to humanity if all the plans and specs of
your home appliances were available? Probably not, as it would likely
increase the cost somewhat and provide no benefit to anyone but the
rarest purchaser.
I may be one of those purchasers. :-)
Post by Levi Pearson
There is no universal principle that mandates all software to be free.
Free software is a great thing, but adhering to such an imagined
principle provides no moral high ground, cuts off access to useful
software, and generally does no good to anyone.
I hope my principles aren't imagined. I'm passionate about Free
Software goodness but maybe I'm unwittingly guilty of Free Software
religion as well.
Post by Levi Pearson
Post by Justin Findlay
Besides that I can get all the OSS I need without price. That is the
substance of my principle and I fail to know how this elicits your
condescension.
I.e., "I'm a cheapskate, so I refuse to support working programmers by
paying them money for their work." Nice principle there.
That's kind of a dogmatic argument.
Post by Levi Pearson
And you're calling me condescending? Maybe a little, but if we were
to talk about music, I think I'd get a little of that back from
you. :)
I think you misunderstood what I was trying to say. That's not hard to
do since I am often given over to rhapsodic effusions in the place of
cogent arguments, but I always enjoy arguing with you because your
logic and scintillating wisdom act like detergent on the understanding.


Justin

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Jonathan Duncan
2008-01-21 19:39:29 UTC
Permalink
Blah blah blah
<snip>
Stick with what you know and enjoy. If what you have known and
enjoyed does not float your boat anymore, switch to something else.
That is the beauty of our capitalistic and free society. You get to
pick whatever you want for whatever reason you want, no matter what
some other zealot may think about his/her religious preference.

Oh and yes, this whole thread has been mostly religious. If you
disagree then you should consult definition 3 of "religious":

http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/religious

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Von Fugal
2008-01-22 07:29:16 UTC
Permalink
* Levi Pearson [Mon, 21 Jan 2008 at 04:58 -0700]
Post by Levi Pearson
Post by Justin Findlay
Since OSS is developed in the open I am better able to learn
about/with it than its proprietary counterparts. The freedom to
copy, study, and modify it is an excellent benefit that proprietary
SW by definition cannot offer.
Yeah, I hear this a lot. How much do you actually study and modify
the Linux kernel? How often do you look at the source code to
Firefox? Not very often, I'll bet.
I just have to interject here (gasp! is that vontrapp!! Yeah, up late
helping my wife with homework). Sure it may not be often that one might
look at/modify source of things they use. But it sure is nice to know
it's there! And furthermore it's a crying shame and cause for much
cursing when you _do_ need it and it's _not_ there.

Just the other day I needed to get into an Apple (*cough*) closed source
wireless network that uses a nonstandard to get the key from the
passphrase. (grumble about stupid proprietary junk) So I promptly found
some open source software to crack the key, which in turn required me to
use an open source patch to my open source wireless driver to insert
into my open source kernel, and in the end of the day, I'm able to crack
that key in a couple hours. Now let's just see anyone do that with
Windows or Mac. :p

Von Fugal
Jonathan Ellis
2008-01-19 22:06:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Esplin
Your second argument kind of trumps your first one. Thanks to the
efforts of fink and/or macports, almost every packaged available for
linux is available for OSX.
Have you actually used both fink and, say, aptitude recently?

Fink sucks. It's a lifesaver, but it sucks.

-Jonathan

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Michael L Torrie
2008-01-19 22:10:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jonathan Ellis
Post by Alex Esplin
Your second argument kind of trumps your first one. Thanks to the
efforts of fink and/or macports, almost every packaged available for
linux is available for OSX.
Have you actually used both fink and, say, aptitude recently?
Fink sucks. It's a lifesaver, but it sucks.
Yeah. MacPorts is much much better, from what I hear. Fink has always
been a nasty hack, and nothing was ever in stable that I needed.
Post by Jonathan Ellis
-Jonathan
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justin
2008-01-19 23:11:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael L Torrie
Post by Jonathan Ellis
Post by Alex Esplin
Your second argument kind of trumps your first one. Thanks to the
efforts of fink and/or macports, almost every packaged available for
linux is available for OSX.
Have you actually used both fink and, say, aptitude recently?
Fink sucks. It's a lifesaver, but it sucks.
Yeah. MacPorts is much much better, from what I hear. Fink has always
been a nasty hack, and nothing was ever in stable that I needed.
but macports is slowwww. it took me 15 minutes last night to install
wget and lynx...

justin
--
http://justinhileman.com

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Michael L Torrie
2008-01-19 23:14:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by justin
Post by Michael L Torrie
Post by Jonathan Ellis
Post by Alex Esplin
Your second argument kind of trumps your first one. Thanks to the
efforts of fink and/or macports, almost every packaged available for
linux is available for OSX.
Have you actually used both fink and, say, aptitude recently?
Fink sucks. It's a lifesaver, but it sucks.
Yeah. MacPorts is much much better, from what I hear. Fink has always
been a nasty hack, and nothing was ever in stable that I needed.
but macports is slowwww. it took me 15 minutes last night to install
wget and lynx...
Well, like the "fink install" command, it compiles from source, no?
Post by justin
justin
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Michael L Torrie
2008-01-21 17:44:43 UTC
Permalink
This thread has been enlightening, to say the least. But not super
encouraging. What I'm getting from this thread is that suspend to ram
is possible on some laptops. But it may require some assembly.
Furthermore from what Thinkpad owners have told me (this extends to all
Linux laptops from what I can see) that battery life is well below
Windows XP on the same machine. 3 hours is considered "good" for a T61p
with a 9 cell battery. So for a variety of reasons, many of which would
seem to be beyond our control as Linux hackers, power management on
Linux just isn't there yet. This point of view, according to a slashdot
comment criticizing me, is FUD, but oh well.

I recently started playing a bit with Powertop[1]. For fedora or ubuntu
users I'm sure it's in the standard repositories. Using powertop is
very interesting. I recommend that anyone with Linux on their laptop
install it and see what it says. It will track power usage (when not on
AC power), CPU states, interrupts and so forth. On a desktop machine
you'll not get power usage statistics, but you will get interrupts per
second and the cpu states. My AMD desktop machine was very interesting.
The NVidia binary drive woke up the CPU between 60 and 100 times a
second. On a laptop this would really affect battery life. Also my CPU
never once reached the "C3" state, which on a laptop is where your cpu
should be spending 80% of its time, in battery conservation mode. So
obviously my desktop machine is a power hog. If any of you are running
the NVIDIA drivers on a laptop, there is an xorg.conf setting that you
can use to disable the VBLANK interrupt, except when it's demanded.
This reduces the number of CPU wake-ups pretty dramatically. Also
powertop can recommend a number of things, like setting the sleep (as in
idle) mode on the usb drivers, the audio drivers, etc. Someone claimed
that they were able to get a Gnome desktop down to 5 wake-ups per
second. Judging from my own Gnome desktop they must have disabled every
little thing, but still.

Anyway, I appreciate the feedback. Looks like I'll be holding off on my
decision for a while yet. Leopard will run on my PB 12", so we'll see
how that goes for now.

Michael


[1] http://www.lesswatts.org/projects/powertop/

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Charles Curley
2008-01-22 05:12:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael L Torrie
This thread has been enlightening, to say the least. But not super
encouraging. What I'm getting from this thread is that suspend to ram
is possible on some laptops. But it may require some assembly.
Ubuntu 7.10 just fell into place on my Thinkpad R51
(http://www.charlescurley.com/Lenovo.R51.html), including
suspending. While I haven't tried suspending to RAM, suspending to
hard drive works just fine.
Post by Michael L Torrie
Furthermore from what Thinkpad owners have told me (this extends to all
Linux laptops from what I can see) that battery life is well below
Windows XP on the same machine. 3 hours is considered "good" for a T61p
with a 9 cell battery. So for a variety of reasons, many of which would
I get more than 4.5 hours out of my 6.6 amp-hour (??) battery.
Post by Michael L Torrie
seem to be beyond our control as Linux hackers, power management on
Linux just isn't there yet. This point of view, according to a slashdot
comment criticizing me, is FUD, but oh well.
I recently started playing a bit with Powertop[1]. For fedora or ubuntu
users I'm sure it's in the standard repositories.
aptitude install powertop

Very nice, thank you. It is from Intel, so who knows what it will do
on AMD processors/chipsets.
Post by Michael L Torrie
Using powertop is very interesting. I recommend that anyone with
Linux on their laptop install it and see what it says. It will
track power usage (when not on AC power), CPU states, interrupts and
so forth. On a desktop machine
Actually it runs just fine while plugged in, which means it is good
preparation for running on battery. While plugged in, right now my
processor is running at 600 MHz 97% of the time, and 95% in C2 state,
whatever that means.
--
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Michael L Torrie
2008-01-22 05:45:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Charles Curley
Post by Michael L Torrie
This thread has been enlightening, to say the least. But not super
encouraging. What I'm getting from this thread is that suspend to ram
is possible on some laptops. But it may require some assembly.
Ubuntu 7.10 just fell into place on my Thinkpad R51
(http://www.charlescurley.com/Lenovo.R51.html), including
suspending. While I haven't tried suspending to RAM, suspending to
hard drive works just fine.
You've inadvertently confirmed what I am coming to fear. That
suspending doesn't just work. As you experience, hibernating to disk
works for the vast majority of users on most laptops (or even desktops).
Mainly because it has nothing much to do with power management.
Suspending, in my mind, means suspend to RAM (sleep). I would be
interested to hear of your experiences with this.

After using my powerbook for 4 years or more, I don't know how anyone
lives without it, or stands for anything other than fast suspend and
resume. Powering on and off the entire laptop (which is what hibernate
aka suspend to disk still involves) is time consuming. In this day and
age we should expect/demand that our machines go to sleep very quickly
and awake, ready for work, in the state we last left them, in just a
second or two. And I think I can legitimately demand this from linux on
a thinkpad, of all machines. I find it really odd how many of the folks
I've talked to think hibernation is good enough.

I suppose it saves energy in the long run. But frankly it's
embarrassing to pop the lid on a laptop and see it run through the bios,
load the kernel, load the suspend to disk image back, etc before I can
work with it. Especially when all the Apples around me (and even the
windows laptops now) just pop their lids and get up and running in a
second or two.
Post by Charles Curley
Post by Michael L Torrie
Furthermore from what Thinkpad owners have told me (this extends to all
Linux laptops from what I can see) that battery life is well below
Windows XP on the same machine. 3 hours is considered "good" for a T61p
with a 9 cell battery. So for a variety of reasons, many of which would
I get more than 4.5 hours out of my 6.6 amp-hour (??) battery.
For a comparison, my 4.0 amp-hour battery, when it was new, lasted for 4
hours on my PB 12". A new battery still would. I'm not sure the volts
on your battery. My battery was something like 11 volts (6 cells in a
3S2P configuration, for any RC junkies out there).
Post by Charles Curley
aptitude install powertop
Very nice, thank you. It is from Intel, so who knows what it will do
on AMD processors/chipsets.
Works fine on AMD machines, for the most part.
Post by Charles Curley
Actually it runs just fine while plugged in, which means it is good
preparation for running on battery. While plugged in, right now my
processor is running at 600 MHz 97% of the time, and 95% in C2 state,
whatever that means.
It runs fine, but can't give you a CPU electricity use estimate when the
AC is plugged in.

Idling the CPU down to the lowest speed when not needed is indeed a very
good thing. The bigger the C number (like C4), the less power the CPU
uses in that state, but the longer it takes the CPU to return to a state
where it can process instructions, or something to that effect. I read
somewhere that on laptops, you should shoot for most of your time in the
C3 state when you are trying to max out battery life. See the powertop
FAQ on this.

It turns out that lots of common software, including firefox,
gaim/pidgin, and even gvim can, without correct settings and even
patches, sap your battery. See
http://www.lesswatts.org/projects/powertop/known.php for tips.
Post by Charles Curley
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Shane Hathaway
2008-01-22 08:08:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael L Torrie
You've inadvertently confirmed what I am coming to fear. That
suspending doesn't just work. As you experience, hibernating to disk
works for the vast majority of users on most laptops (or even desktops).
Mainly because it has nothing much to do with power management.
Suspending, in my mind, means suspend to RAM (sleep). I would be
interested to hear of your experiences with this.
My Thinkpad T43, running Gentoo, suspends to RAM within 5 seconds after
I shut the lid. Resuming takes about 10 seconds, I think. Sleeping is
reliable enough that I don't think twice anymore about shutting the lid
and picking up the laptop any time I like. There are rare times when I
can't resume (the screen comes on but nothing happens until I hard
reset), but I think that only happens when the battery jiggles a little
loose during transport.

My wife's laptop also tries to suspend to RAM when she shuts it, but
about half the time it runs into some bug and stays on. However, it
seems to have the same bug in both Windows and Linux. I'm glad we got a
Durabook for her, since it has survived 3 foot falls onto a stone tile
floor with hardly a scratch. However, since it's not a very popular
brand, it's hard to get support for hardware bugs.
Post by Michael L Torrie
After using my powerbook for 4 years or more, I don't know how anyone
lives without it, or stands for anything other than fast suspend and
resume. Powering on and off the entire laptop (which is what hibernate
aka suspend to disk still involves) is time consuming. In this day and
age we should expect/demand that our machines go to sleep very quickly
and awake, ready for work, in the state we last left them, in just a
second or two. And I think I can legitimately demand this from linux on
a thinkpad, of all machines. I find it really odd how many of the folks
I've talked to think hibernation is good enough.
How long can a disconnected Mac typically sleep without running its
batteries out? That's the real trick. If my laptop could sleep for a
little more than a week, I would no longer have a reason to shut it off.
Unfortunately, mine only lasts a couple of days. I used to have a
laptop that could automatically hibernate itself after a few hours of
sleep, which was nice. I haven't tried that trick on this one.

Shane


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Michael L Torrie
2008-01-22 16:14:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Shane Hathaway
How long can a disconnected Mac typically sleep without running its
batteries out? That's the real trick. If my laptop could sleep for a
little more than a week, I would no longer have a reason to shut it off.
Unfortunately, mine only lasts a couple of days. I used to have a
laptop that could automatically hibernate itself after a few hours of
sleep, which was nice. I haven't tried that trick on this one.
On a new battery my PowerBook 12" sleeps for about a week. If I use the
machine every day (plugging it in), then I for sure never need ever turn
it off. Actually I haven't turned it off deliberately since it was new
4 years ago. Right now it will sleep for 3-4 days. Right now I use my
laptop several times a week, so I tend to plug it in at night just to
keep the battery topped off.

I'd prefer a laptop hibernate itself after the battery runs low during
sleep.
Post by Shane Hathaway
Shane
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Charles Curley
2008-01-22 16:09:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael L Torrie
Post by Charles Curley
Post by Michael L Torrie
This thread has been enlightening, to say the least. But not super
encouraging. What I'm getting from this thread is that suspend to ram
is possible on some laptops. But it may require some assembly.
Ubuntu 7.10 just fell into place on my Thinkpad R51
(http://www.charlescurley.com/Lenovo.R51.html), including
suspending. While I haven't tried suspending to RAM, suspending to
hard drive works just fine.
You've inadvertently confirmed what I am coming to fear. That
suspending doesn't just work. As you experience, hibernating to disk
works for the vast majority of users on most laptops (or even desktops).
Mainly because it has nothing much to do with power management.
Suspending, in my mind, means suspend to RAM (sleep). I would be
interested to hear of your experiences with this.
Well, that's what you get for drawing a conclusion on insufficient
data. I was silent on suspend not because it doesn't work but because
I had not done the experiment since installing Ubuntu 7.10. In fact it
has worked in the past with various Fedora (see my writeup). For the
halibut, I just did the experiment by closing the lid. Suspend works
just fine and dandy, wireless network and all.
Post by Michael L Torrie
After using my powerbook for 4 years or more, I don't know how anyone
lives without it, or stands for anything other than fast suspend and
resume.
Well, I guess you don't know me. One of my concerns is battery
life. My usual MO for unplugged use is to move the laptop from point A
to B. If I suspend, I use battery power. If I hibernate, I
don't. Usually the time taken is of minor concern because I have other
things to do while the laptop is hibernating or resuming.
Post by Michael L Torrie
Powering on and off the entire laptop (which is what hibernate
aka suspend to disk still involves) is time consuming. In this day and
age we should expect/demand that our machines go to sleep very quickly
and awake, ready for work, in the state we last left them, in just a
second or two. And I think I can legitimately demand this from linux on
a thinkpad, of all machines. I find it really odd how many of the folks
I've talked to think hibernation is good enough.
Maybe some folks aren't in all that much of a hurry.
Post by Michael L Torrie
Works fine on AMD machines, for the most part.
Post by Charles Curley
Actually it runs just fine while plugged in, which means it is good
preparation for running on battery. While plugged in, right now my
processor is running at 600 MHz 97% of the time, and 95% in C2 state,
whatever that means.
It runs fine, but can't give you a CPU electricity use estimate when the
AC is plugged in.
Ah, that makes sense.
Post by Michael L Torrie
Idling the CPU down to the lowest speed when not needed is indeed a very
good thing. The bigger the C number (like C4), the less power the CPU
uses in that state, but the longer it takes the CPU to return to a state
where it can process instructions, or something to that effect. I read
somewhere that on laptops, you should shoot for most of your time in the
C3 state when you are trying to max out battery life. See the powertop
FAQ on this.
Well, then I must be doing something right, even if inadvertently.
Post by Michael L Torrie
It turns out that lots of common software, including firefox,
gaim/pidgin, and even gvim can, without correct settings and even
patches, sap your battery. See
http://www.lesswatts.org/projects/powertop/known.php for tips.
That makes sense. Most applications are written with desktops, not
laptops, in mind. Also see the tips & tricks section.
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Brad Midgley
2008-01-22 16:34:44 UTC
Permalink
Michael
Post by Michael L Torrie
You've inadvertently confirmed what I am coming to fear. That
suspending doesn't just work.
as the joke goes, suspending works--it's the resume that has problems.
Post by Michael L Torrie
As you experience, hibernating to disk
works for the vast majority of users on most laptops (or even desktops).
Mainly because it has nothing much to do with power management.
Suspending, in my mind, means suspend to RAM (sleep). I would be
interested to hear of your experiences with this.
hibernate doesn't seem to depend on the hardware as much. My p1510
touchscreen won't work after hibernating... fortunately suspend
"usually" works for me. Sometimes it does hang. If I don't notice it
hung and put away the laptop then it gets really hot and wipes out the
battery. :(

That's what makes devices like Nokia n810, asus eee even more
interesting. It's got to be able to suspend using the OS they *ship*.

Brad

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