Bill Gates’ legacy

As a result of it being Gates’ last day at Microsoft yesterday, I got rather sick of reading nonsense about his supposed contributions to the computing industry. So, this is the legacy of Bill Gates as I see it.

Microsoft have never led the way with anything. They’ve barely ever even managed to innovate anything. This is astonishing for a large technology company, especially one so rich. All they’ve ever done is steal ideas from other companies and, when they couldn’t even manage to do that, simply buy the other companies. Contrary to what’s being reported in quite a few places, Microsoft didn’t even develop the MS-DOS operating system that would become the foundation of their Windows empire – they just bought it off someone else and renamed it.

Microsoft products get used because the company brute-forces their products into the marketplace by exploiting their undeserved desktop monopoly and by bullying the competition. Microsoft therefore don’t deserve to be where they are today, and Bill Gates doesn’t deserve any respect or recognition for what he’s done. He’s not a geek, he’s a bully and a thief. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make money, but it becomes a problem when it’s unethical greed happening at the expense of competitors who are far more deserving. As a result of Microsoft’s influence, the computing industry is years behind where it should be, and full of products that don’t deserve to be there.

And as for Gates’ supposed ‘vision’ about one PC in every home, the idea that Microsoft have had much to do with that is ludicrous. The thing that has done the most to make personal computers so ubiquitous is the Internet, and Microsoft had no involvement with that whatsoever. As usual, they were hopelessly behind the times, and they didn’t even ‘get’ the Internet until some time after many other technology companies had. Consequently they had to do a lot of catching up very quickly, once again by abusing their desktop monopoly to make Internet Explorer the most popular web browser.

Microsoft seem to be failing to keep up with the ‘Web 2.0′ technologies that are happening now, and as a result their power and influence are hopefully starting to wane. Perhaps this will lead to a time when we can all finally get beyond Bill Gates’ legacy and enjoy using technology which works properly and which can evolve at the proper pace without the Microsoft stranglehold ruining it for us all.

More OS X Server woes

Just as I thought the Leopard version of OS X Server was settling down and starting to work properly on our departmental server, I’ve now encountered yet more problems with it. This time Screen Sharing won’t authenticate any users so it’s now impossible to get a remote desktop session on the machine. This has happened since I installed the 10.5.3 update, and I suspect it indicates yet more bugs in Open Directory, but I don’t know for sure at the moment.

Whilst I’m not keen on the idea of using OS X Server in a data centre environment, I think it should be an ideal thing to use in an office environment, and I’m extremely disappointed it can’t even manage that properly. It’s so full of bugs it doesn’t even feel like a beta release, let alone like a finished product.

Apple seem to be keen on competing with Microsoft in ‘the enterprise’ with directory servers, calendaring, push email and so on and so forth, but if this product is a representative of their efforts in this area then they don’t stand a chance.

Impressed with Firefox 3

I’m extremely impressed with the page loading times in Firefox 3. That, combined with its other improvements and benefits, have caused me to switch to it as my main browser, at least for a trial period.

One drawback of doing this, though, is that the Safari multi-touch gestures don’t work in it, but I guess someone will fix that soon. The other problem is that my bookmarks won’t get synchronised across computers via .Mac (or MobileMe as it’s soon to be known), so I guess I’ll have to find an alternative third-party solution for that which works with Firefox 3 (Google Browser Sync, which looks like the best option, annoyingly doesn’t work with 3).

Edit: Foxmarks seems to do the trick pretty well for bookmark synchronisation.

Crap Logitech software

I’ve been wondering for a while why my Mac Pro has been incredibly slow to do anything. It seemed to be grinding horribly all the time, particularly when opening new windows. Looking in the system.log, I saw worryingly frequent instances of ‘LCC Scroll Enhancer loaded’, which refers to a component of the Logitech Control Center software that I installed for use with my nice new Logitech VX Revolution mouse. So, I uninstalled the Logitech Control Center, and all of a sudden my Mac is running at normal speed once again.

That’s good news in a way, but annoying in that I’m going to have to find some alternative control software for my new mouse, which will probably cost more money. There also seem to be plenty of other people in a similarly crap situation. It’s pretty bloody poor that Logitech can’t provide decent software themselves.

New song definitely finished now

This time I’m sure I have actually definitely finished Did You Ever?. Unfortunately the vocalist isn’t very good and he had to be recorded through a crap mic with no preamp, but I did the best I could with what I had. I’ve uploaded it to the usual place.

I’ve also uploaded FBPR by Darien, on which I did much of the music and production. I hope he doesn’t mind. As far as I know it’s hardly been heard by anyone, so I thought it was worth giving it a bit more exposure.

iPhone 3G

It looks like Apple have addressed some of the deficiencies of the iPhone – 3G, GPS, third party applications – but it still doesn’t appear to record videos, it still doesn’t seem to do MMS, and it still only has a two megapixel camera. Disappointing.

At least it’s going to be somewhat cheaper to buy initially, but I guess that just means you have to have a longer contract with higher monthly payments.

Doctor Who

Interesting to see that the current Apple Keyboard is such a triumph of design that they will still be using it 30,000 years in the future (or whatever ridiculously large number of years it was).

Did I enjoy the episode? Not really, disappointingly, even though it was a Steven Moffat one. It was too silly, too camp, too naff, too annoyingly bombastic, too lacking in suspense due to the fact that he fixes everything in two seconds with the sonic screwdriver, etc., etc., etc…