Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1   Report Post  
Old August 18th 07, 11:19 PM posted to rec.games.chess.computer
external usenet poster
 
First recorded activity by ChessBanter: Jul 2004
Posts: 834
Default Bill Gates vs. Richard Stallman -- Guy Macon




crwydryn wrote:

It is refreshing to see someone standing up for the GPL.


Thanks!

My *hope* is that both parties will start following the spirit
of FOSS and stop trying to add restictions such as "requiring
author attributions" and "prohibiting misrepresentation of
the origin of the material" that the GPL clearly says are not
required.

Imagine the mess if every contribution to a large Open Source
project such as Debian (21 CDs or 3 DVDs last time I checked)
had to have attribution for every contributor. My new one
terrabyte hard drive wouldn't be big enough to hold the source
and docs! And imagine the disputes over who wrote what first
or deciding if two developers got the same idea or if one of
them copied the other.

The way Free Software is *supposed* to work -- and they way
both of our combatants agreed to when they used GPL Scid
code -- is that everybody takes the best code of everybody
else and uses it to make a derivative with a new name and
new attribution. That was the way things were in the early
days of computing before that first coder decided that he
"owns" the code he wrote. That code was Altair BASIC, it
cost $500 per copy (What cost $500 in 1975 would cost over
$2000.00 today) and the name of the coder was Bill Gates.

The following is Bill Gates' open letter to microcomputer
hobbyists which he had published in the Altair newsletter
and the Homebrew Computer Club Newsletter. I would ask
Pascal Georges and David Kirkby to compare it to the
classic Richard Stallman essays _Why Software Should Not
Have Owners_ and _Why Software Should Be Free_ They are
he [ http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/ ].

|
| February 3, 1976
|
| An Open Letter to Hobbyists
|
| To me, the most critical thing in the hobby market right now
| is the lack of good software courses, books and software
| itself. Without good software and an owner who understands
| programming, a hobby computer is wasted. Will quality
| software be written for the hobby market?
|
| Almost a year ago, Paul Allen and myself, expecting the
| hobby market to expand, hired Monte Davidoff and developed
| Altair BASIC. Though the initial work took only two months,
| the three of us have spent most of the last year
| documenting, improving and adding features to BASIC. Now we
| have 4K, 8K, EXTENDED, ROM and DISK BASIC. The value of the
| computer time we have used exceeds $40,000.
|
| The feedback we have gotten from the hundreds of people who
| say they are using BASIC has all been positive. Two
| surprising things are apparent, however. 1) Most of these
| "users" never bought BASIC (less than 10% of all Altair
| owners have bought BASIC), and 2) The amount of royalties we
| have received from sales to hobbyists makes the time spent
| of Altair BASIC worth less than $2 an hour.
|
| Why is this? As the majority of hobbyists must be aware,
| most of you steal your software. Hardware must be paid for,
| but software is something to share. Who cares if the people
| who worked on it get paid?
|
| Is this fair? One thing you don't do by steeling software is
| get back at MITS for some problem you may have had. MITS
| doesn't make money selling software. The royalty paid to us,
| the manual, the tape and the overhead make it a break-even
| operation. One thing you do is prevent good software from
| being written. Who can afford to do professional work for
| nothing? What hobbyist can put 3-man years into programming,
| finding all bugs, documenting his product and distribute for
| free? The fact is, no one besides us has invested a lot of
| money in hobby software. We have written 6800 BASIC, and are
| writing 8080 APL and 6800 APL, but there is very little
| incentive to make this software available to hobbyists. Most
| directly, the thing you do is theft.
|
| What about the guy who re-sell Altair BASIC, aren't they
| making money on hobby software? Yes, but those who have been
| reported to us may lose in the end. They are the ones who
| give hobbyists a bad name, and should be kicked out of any
| club meeting they show up at.
|
| I would appreciate letters from any one who wants to pay up,
| or has a suggestion or comment. Just write me at 1180
| Alvarado SE, #114, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87108. Nothing
| would please me more than being able to hire ten programmers
| and deluge the hobby market with good software.
|
| Bill Gates
|
| General Partner, Micro-soft
|

Again, compare the above to _Why Software Should Not Have Owners_
and _Why Software Should Be Free_ by Richard Stallman at
[ http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/ ].

--
Guy Macon
http://www.guymacon.com/

  #2   Report Post  
Old August 19th 07, 12:05 AM posted to rec.games.chess.computer
external usenet poster
 
First recorded activity by ChessBanter: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,305
Default Bill Gates vs. Richard Stallman-- Guy Macon

Guy Macon wrote:
... That was the way things were in the early
days of computing before that first coder decided that he
"owns" the code he wrote. That code was Altair BASIC,



Anyone who believes that this was anywhere near th "early days of
computing" is a hopeless newbie.

--
Kenneth Sloan
Computer and Information Sciences +1-205-932-2213
University of Alabama at Birmingham FAX +1-205-934-5473
Birmingham, AL 35294-1170
http://www.cis.uab.edu/sloan/
  #3   Report Post  
Old August 19th 07, 05:56 AM posted to rec.games.chess.computer
external usenet poster
 
First recorded activity by ChessBanter: Jul 2004
Posts: 834
Default Bill Gates vs. Richard Stallman -- Guy Macon




Kenneth Sloan wrote:

Guy Macon http://www.guymacon.com/ wrote:

... That was the way things were in the early days
of computing before that first coder decided that he
"owns" the code he wrote. That code was Altair BASIC,


Anyone who believes that this was anywhere near the
"early days of computing" is a hopeless newbie.


Straw man or lack of reading comprehension?

Nowhere in the above paragraph did I set a lower bound on
the period when software was free. I just set an upper
bound of 1975~1976.

If you had asked rather than assuming without evidence, I would
have told you that I consider the start of the time period in
which nobody owned software to have started either some time
after 1833 when Ada Byron-King met professor Babbage, or in
1941, when Konrad Zuse ran the very first program on the very
first programmable computer. Which date one accepts depends
on how one defines "software" -- is it really software if no
machine can run it, or is it just design notes?

Also, if you had asked, I would have told you that I consider
the difference between early computing and more modern computing
to be a matter of progress made, not years passed. Pretty much
nothing happened between the Difference Engine and Analytical
Engine and the Zuse Z3, things started slowly with Colossus and
Atanasof-Berry, and they didn't really start to take off until
ENIAC and CSIRAC.

I got my start on the NCR Century 50 (remember NEAT/3? it was a
sure bet to displace COBOL and FORTRAN...) and DEC PDP-8, and was
an engineering technician for the Perkin-Elmer/Wangco clones of the
IBM 30/30 Winchester drive. That's the one that caused IBM to keep
changing the interface of the System/360 so as to make the clone
drives incompatable.

I do believe that takes me out of the "hopeless newbie" category.

--
Guy Macon
http://www.guymacon.com/

http://www.guymacon.com/


Reply
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules

Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Goichberg's List samsloan rec.games.chess.analysis (Chess Analysis) 1 March 19th 07 09:09 PM
Goichberg's List samsloan rec.games.chess.play-by-email (Chess - Play by Email) 1 March 19th 07 09:09 PM
Goichberg's List samsloan rec.games.chess.computer (Computer Chess) 2 March 19th 07 07:25 PM
Goichberg's List samsloan rec.games.chess.misc (Chess General) 2 March 19th 07 07:25 PM
Goichberg's List samsloan alt.chess (Alternative Chess Group) 0 March 19th 07 07:25 PM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 03:38 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004-2019 ChessBanter.
The comments are property of their posters.
 

About Us

"It's about Chess"

 

Copyright © 2017