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    Story: Parents to sue tech firms for child murders

    Dear Editor

    How can anyone blame games and video's for some of the worlds freaks. I myself enjoy watching brutal and gory films and play at the same time brutal and gory games. So do every one of my friends and work colleagues, (well nearly all). How can it be justified that something they see or hear can have the effect of out right madness? It must take time and ill behaviour to achieve such a masochistic goal of shooting three kids. Do we know the full family story, was he being abused by his parents? If this law suit wins, it will strike a mighty blow to the games and video industry, can the country afford that? Will this be the end of decent films and games. Are we all going to be playing, smurfs grandpa's lost shoe, instead of quake 3 with all the gore. I don't think so.

    There is nothing that can beat some good primal death and destruction, I cant think of any good films that don't have at least one death, or car crash or building destroyed that I would watch. Its the stupid Americans, who always mess it up for the rest of us, because of the greediness and the way they easily blame someone else...


    Andrew Watts

    Story: MS Audio 4.0 to eat MP3

    Dear Sir

    Microsoft are like the Borg...we will assimilate...resistance is futile (or so they think). Who in their right mind would go for a proprietary standard over an open and established standard like MP3?? I suppose the next thing they'll be telling us is they have a MS Linux distribution.

    Steve Day

    Story: as above

    Dear Sir

    MS Audio 4.0 is awesome!

    But, alas they are going to need a reasonably priced hardware player to push it over the MP3 edge. How many hardware MS Audio devices are in the works as apposed to the number of MP3 devices?

    A $200 MS Audio player powered by CE would be great. I know Casio has demonstrated a new model that does exactly that, but I doubt it will be in th $200 price range.

    Story: as above

    Dear Sir

    Microsoft is missing the total point. If the music industry is worried about piracy, this won't stop them. Why would the pirates use a format that didn't allow them to be pirates? It doesn't make any sense. The pirates will still use MP3's, or they will start encoding the songs into non-protected MS Audio files. People have to realize the original source of the MP3's in the first place. Someone actually bought the CD. As long as they keep making CD's, there will always be pirated music. Microsoft has just made it easier. Now they can download two songs in the same time period.

    I am not advocating that piracy is good, its just that they are going about protecting it wrong!

    Ben Neigebauer

    Story: The anoraks' new clothes

    Dear Sir

    You have no idea what you're talking about. First, you're overlooking the basic reason that Linux has gained such popularity -- the fact that Windows NT has utterly failed to impress a large segment of the IT community. Hardly anyone disputes the instability, lack of true technological innovation, and general bloat that plagues most Microsoft products, especially Windows NT. If NT wasn't causing so many people so much stress, then Linux wouldn't be where it is today. Second, you say that IT has moved away from Unix and towards Windows. Unix hasn't gone anywhere. The market has grown enormously, and Windows NT has filled a niche towards the lower end of that market. How many supercomputers are running on NT derivatives? How many nuclear power plants, air ports, or military installations rely on NT for their critical systems? None. Third, the Linux movement is not an anti-Microsoft movement. Linux offers itself up as a replacement not only for NT, but for the traditional Unix OS's as well. Linux has been ported to dozens of hardware platforms, and the list is growing. There is of course an enormous amount of mistrust built up against Microsoft among Open Source advocates and IT professionals, but can you really say it's unjustified?

    At any rate, I'd highly recommend that you do a little more research before you belittle the efforts of so many people. Unless of course your article is simply intended as backhanded flame against Linux, which would be typical of ZD Net.

    Story: as above

    Dear Sir

    Very interesting article that I just read of your opinions/insights on Linux and the suits and anoraks. I do feel differently about what is happening with Linux... but do agree that all of us Tech Geeks... anoraks.... do tend to try to find something else new to tinker with once something is done. Linux is being driven by lots of things things 1.Money (which drives most things in this world) 2. Its Robustness (andcompatibility on older equipment)

    3. Open Source (if we had source for Win9x or NT .. it would in my opinion be very dominating and lots better).

    The money thing in my opinion is what is driving it the most.... partially due to the fact that Microsoft has been charging for its OS'es and will continue to do so. In corporate wide environments... such as MCI helpdesk where a company will have to spend tons of money for its thousands of user licences vs. with linux well its free.... seems like a no brainer to me. What I am waiting to see is how much more the apps and games will be ported over to Linux (did you hear the rumours of office being ported over? ). The more that happens then the more Linux will become more of a real competitor. If someone could design a program that converts apps to Linux......... wooo talk about big money. Another interesting thing I saw lately is VMware... check it out at...http://www2.vmware.com/products/productfaq.html.

    Products like VMware will make all of us anoraks very happy :) As far as what is next........ my guess would be JavaOS... or something very much like it. What do you think? Sorry to share so much with you when you did not ask.

    J. Scott Kennedy

    Story: as above

    Dear Sir

    Well you certainly have it all figured out don't you. I'm left doubting you've ever really worked in this industry, or, if like most writers you write about something you don't actually do.

    I've never seen anyone who's actually supported BOTH Windows and Unix platforms claim what you've claimed -- that Windows is the stable, safe-haven of conservatives and Linux is the new "make it work" challenge of the technical geniuses.

    At first I thought you had to be joking, I'm still not sure you aren't. Even Windows supporters readily acknowledge that their thrice daily reboots are getting old, and any that test Linux admit it's stability is superior by far.

    I'd be more likely to classify Windows as the sure win for blind, masochistic IT managers who are afraid to suggest a different approach, and Linux as the alternative for open-minded technologists who are willing to do some real-world research and actually admit when they're wrong.

    In the end, regardless of how much Microsoft pays you to write this sort of drivel, I'm sure anyone with any amount of real-world experience will react the same way and chuckle at your article. We know what's coming, and we'll laugh our collective asses off at "journalists" like you preaching Gatesism to the unemployed blind.

    David L. Jarvis

    Story: as above

    Dear Sir

    I agree with your ideas on human nature and the commerce side of your thoughts . But must you use inflammatory words like Evil empire to describe a company that made computers easy enough to use that anyone now can operate one or at least want one . What if other people started writing that you were a Neo Nazi how would you feel if all your good works and a life of struggle to become who you are today where attacked with slanderous lies. Just think about people and not lash out , please

    Scott Meyers

    Story: as above

    Dear Sir

    I just read your article -- and I feel that you made several valid points -- you were more optimistic than you have been in the past. Of course I am still more optimistic about the future of Linux than you and I also feel that it cannot help but be adopted by the "Suits". I feel, however, that the large corporations will not attempt to "own" Linux. They will provide much needed applications -- I just installed Corel WordPerfect 8 on my Linux machine at home and I love it. The division of Linux into different distributions does not hurt Linux at all because the kernel remains the same(Corel WordPerfect8 will run on any distrbution of Linux).

    This is not how Corporate OSes work so its no wonder that people find this aspect of Linux confusing. I think the marriage between an Open Source OS and corporate software will be a strong one but if something better comes along then you can be sure that the, to use your word -- "Anoraks" (Jackets?) will adopt it.

    I realize that to many people I am weird, I gave up skiing for snow boarding, I am 35 and I still love to ride my skate board, I ride a full suspension mountain bike to work everyday, I play ultimate frisbee at lunch and I definitely love tinkering with electronics and new software. I had no problem dropping C++ in favour of Java even though I had spent a significant amount of time and energy becoming proficient in C++. To top it all off my religious/spiritual preference is the Fourth Way, most people have never even heard of the Fourth Way! Is this the profile of an Anorak?

    Thomas Fonseca

    Story: Linux impact 'fairly limited'

    Dear Sir

    Well Mr. Gates, if your implying that Linux will have a limited impact in the desktop market (i.e. Windows 95 etc) then I'd whole hardly agree with you. On the other hand, if your suggesting that the so called dominance of Windows NT in the server market will not be threatened then I believe your sadly mistaken.

    I have had the pleasure of installing and maintaining a firewall come web proxy based on Red Hat Linux, and yes although applications such as Emacs are a tad daunting for the Windows community, overall the system is great. It is stable, needs little maintenance, and doesn't require the equivalent of a Cray supercomputer to run it.

    I have also had the misfortune to perform the same task with the Microsoft Proxy sever on Windows NT 4 and Internet Information Server 4. Now, Mr Gates I'm sure that you'd agree that your average system administrator is more concerned with the reliability, security, and efficiency of the systems that he controls, not with pretty user interfaces that hog all the system resources, and internet browser based software that seems hell bent on crashing and taking the whole system with it. "Reliable, efficient software that is easy to use and maintain", The old software engineering maxim, granted I wouldn't describe RedHat Linux as easy to use, but I would imagine that reliability would always come first for server based software, and in this case, Mr. Gates, I believe that you will find your server software sadly lacking.

    "Linux impact 'fairly limited'", I seriously doubt it !.

    Sean Connelly

    Story: as above

    Dear Sir

    Would this be the SAME Bill Gates who sternly pronounced that "Shareware is no good, and will shortly wither away"? Sorry I can't give you a precise date for the quote -- but if you want to track it down, it wasshortly before "Doom" swept the world -- Doom, you may recall was a shareware game. People went into computer stores to buy a new PC, and saw the "Windows Compatible" sticker -- and asked "Well, of COURSE it'll run Windows -- BUT WILL IT PLAY DOOM?" If it IS the Same Bill Gates, is it the same guy as the one who tells us in his new book that he keeps ALL his sales records on computer -- yet who swore a few months back when questioned by the DOJ that he keeps all his sales records on PAPER, and that NONE of them were on computer? If these three ARE all the same guy.... then with a track record like his, if he told me it was raining, I'd look out of the window to check before I believed it.

    Ron Walker

    Story: as above

    Dear Sir

    When with Bill Gates stop telling lies? Open Source is aimed at more complex software such as the Linux Operating System, and to simple word processors and spreadsheets. Yes you can get word processor and spreadsheets for free under Linux. But I use Linux for complex projects such as custom routers, fast WWW servers, multi-user environment (need I go on?). Basically I use Linux for all this stuff because Windows NT can't cope properly. NT runs dead slows compared to Linux, where I work we have a busy Linux server that has been up for 107 days, the most we get out of a busy NT server is 7 days. Come on Mr Gates, stop lying please.

    Steve Nash

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