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V Plamondon

V Plamondon

Member Since 03 Feb 2007
Offline Last Active Mar 20 2011 08:36 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Microsoft pays for inaccurate "Apple Tax" study, issues 3rd TV ad

15 April 2009 - 06:02 PM

AndrewNZ, I apologize for jumping down your throat. Reading your response it becomes apparent to me that you seem to have more experience with OS X than me, and I am going to take your word that I should not have made such broad generalizations about OS X without knowing all the facts, and that my broad generalizations were wrong.

I guess I should have said that, so far, I have had a very positive experience with OS X and the computers I maintain or fix on a regular basis.

I should mention that most of the friends/family/coworkers/aquaintances I have are to varying degrees computer illiterate and many of them expect to hit the power button and the computer will do anything and everything they expect, such as record movie blogs (in the absence of a webcam/appropriate software etc.), and that sometimes affects my attitude.

The other thing that drives me crazy, is some people's tendancy to download every little piece of software from any old idiot, that tends to bloat and destabilise windows. In retrospect, instead of making a broad generalsation about the stabilty of macs in which I am not in possession of all the facts, I should have stated that I appreciate that there seems to be less idiotware for OS X contributing to such problems.

To clarify my point about professional assistance, we all need assistance at some point. Because of the way people I know use computers, if their OS doesn't hold their hand to some degree, they need a lot of assistance, especially since their is so much malicous windows code available.

To microsofts credit, I think their OS's are actually well designed, and for informed users who maintain their sytem, they work quite well.

Another issue that plagues windows is driver stability issues, a very good reason to NOT use cheap hardware in one's computer systems, as it's definately not worth saving a few dollars, as it bites one in the ass every time.

I guess I am really wandering off topic, so even though I could wine about windows for a variety of reasons, I will stop here and go to the point that I originally wanted to make, that if apple computers had an "apple tax" (I don't think so), they have added value for various reasons to compensate for that tax (in my opinion).

In a way, I admire Apple's business sense, as since they have stopped trying to compete with Microsoft, they have been doing better and better (financially), until they have become a force to be reckoned with, that Microsoft have now taken notice. Whether Apple sell's 10000 macs or 10 million, apple is always going to make a good profit on their hardware sales, and Microsoft provoking Apple may awaken the David to their Goliath.

I doubt we have to worry about that though, as I believe Apple and Microsoft recognize that they are in a Coca Cola/Pepsi Cola, or Duracell/Energizer type of competition/synergy.

In Topic: Microsoft pays for inaccurate "Apple Tax" study, issues 3rd TV ad

14 April 2009 - 03:27 PM

AndrewNZ, I think we wandered away from the point I was trying to make, that if there were an "apple tax", that the benefits of macs would compensate for the "apple tax".

Not so. Each time I update to a new OS X point release I do a clean install. I do this because in my humble experience, I have things that worked fine in the existing install break, and Apple are frequently at a loss as to how to fix the issues. The Apple community also is oftentimes unable to find a solution, despite their many and varied workarounds.

Not saying that mac users never have to do a clean install, what I am saying is that Mac OS doesn't become unstable through regular use (viruses, antivirus software, malicous spyware and antipiracy code, etc) as quickly as windows, and I'm not suggesting it's Microsoft's fault either, that's just the reality of the situation.

So does Windows. If you buy a PC with the OS and software already installed, it too just works.

My point is that their is value in the appropriate software already being installed and usable, the lowest price I've seen in my locale to preinstall software is $100.00. The major manufacturers bundle additional software, but not for free, I'll concede that Apple does the same for iLife. Nothing I've seen in XP or Vista tells me that a vanilla install has the same functionality as Mac OS.

The average Windows user doesn't need those professional services either. For example, my big sister has been a Windows user for more than a decade and she's never needed such assistance. In fact, she's never even asked me for help. While that doesn't answer for every Windows user out there, it's plain that your first point above implies that all people who use OSes other than Mac OS X need a computer professional to use those OSes. That is certainly not true. Some people do, of course, but some Mac users also need professional assistance.

I am in the position of being the friend/roommate/family member/IT professional often asked for advice, help with installation issues, actually fixing problems, and more of my spare time is consumed by the 2 windows pcs I maintain than the approximately dozen linux boxes and handful of macintoshes that I am occasionally asked to look at.

As far as I'm concerned, anyone asking a friend/roommate/family member/IT professional for help, is aquiring the services of a professional, regardless of whether money exchanges hands, and personally, I am very insulted by those who place such demands on my spare time and don't appreciate it.

Your experience may be different, but my experience has been that windows users need more professional assistance than mac users, and I'm not saying that all windows users need assistance and mac users don't need any.

It "works right" is, I'm afraid, a matter of opinion. You can decry Windows as much as you like, but I have never seen that OS brought to its knees by a corrupt font. That's right, something as inconsequential as a friggin' font can cripple OS X 10.5.6. If that's your idea of working "right", it's a whole lot different to mine. There's a bucketload of things that the Mac OS gets away with beause it's a closed universe and the engineers can cobble up hacks to disguise its shortfalls, but when you compare it to how seemingly smoothly Windows now deals with seemingly infinite numbers of unknown drivers and new hardware, it makes you realise just how well engineered it is. Regardless of the flak that it takes.

Apparantly, you have needed the services of a computer professional at some point, actually proving my point. I'm sure a professional's first suggestion was to rebuild the font cache, and if such didn't work, delete the font. If it might have been neccesary to enter single user mode or boot from a live cd of some sort to do so, if neither of these would of worked, your problems were not caused by a corrupt font.

Perhaps so. Is your main OS Windows? Or OSX86? I don't know what you're getting at, but my Win7 and Vista installations auto update themselves with whatever security fixes the OS or software makers think are needed. And guess what? It just works. Go figure.

I don't know why I would have to clarify "malicous windows code" to "malicous code, probably not written by microsoft, running on windows", as I was assuming most people would assume that microsoft does not write malicous code.

Tell you what, run windows vista for six months, using and installing all the software you normally use, track the time you spend maintaining your system, and you will be surprised. Now decide if you want to inflict that hassle on an average user, who may not know how to do such.

The article that spawned this thread was a pro-Apple, biased piece from a Mac fansite that spends its waking moments bashing anything that looks to threaten Apple. One of the things I like about InsanelyMac is the fact that most here, while enjoying the products that Apple produces for the most part, are not the blinkered fanboys you find in droves at AppleInsider, MacDailyNews and Macworld to mention a few. We're all entitled to our opinions, but some stuff would be best left unsaid or reserved for the fansites as above. In my humble opinion, of course.

To me this suggests you are impying I should have kept my opinion to myself. Why?

In Topic: Microsoft pays for inaccurate "Apple Tax" study, issues 3rd TV ad

13 April 2009 - 08:20 PM

If one were to shift the focus from "Apple charges 'apple tax'" and look at what one gets for the 'apple tax' we would be pleasantly surprised.

Although I don't have a macintosh, I believe the macintosh is an excellent value for anyone below "computer guru" status, and I'll use my mom's recent aquisition as the first example.

Knowing I did not use macintoshes my mom had refrained from getting my advice, but I think she was surprised when she did. I basically told her that starting from the Macbook white, any of the macintoshes would meet her needs.

The moment I walked into the Apple Store with her I was quite impressed, Apple computers were set up everywhere and accessible for everyone to try out. The salesman walked her through everything the macbook could do, to allow her to see if it could fulfill her needs.

When we examine the needs of an ordinary consumer, the average consumer is looking for something that fulfills their needs, and they couldn't care less about the bells and whistles, so how does Apple fulfill their needs.

Let's look at all the basic factors:

For the average person, literally any computer will be capable of meeting anyones needs, computer gamers will require competant graphics capability beyond the minmum, and windows users (whether using pc's or macs) will require more ram beyond the minimum.

At first glance, it would seem that macintoshes are at a significant disadvantage, but let's examine what we must do to set up a new computer for personal use.

If I set up someone's windows pc for them, (sometimes install, optimise, ms office or openoffice, nero, firefox, drivers, printer setup, copy data from old, media software of various kinds, etc) it takes me 2 to 5 hours, and as I bill out $250.00 an hour for what I currently do, that is $500.00 to $1250.00.

If my mom sets up her own windows pc it takes her 10 to 20 hours to set up her computer, and at her wages of $40.00 an hour, that is $400.00 to $800.00.

If some one who is living in poverty, making $7.00 an hour for example, spent 15 hours settin up their pc, it would cost them $105.00, but it is safe to assume, that unless buying a used or refurbished mac, people below a certain wage level (maybe below $20.00 an hour) cannot realistically afford an apple, so whatever value the "apple tax" affords them doesn't matter.

Anyone realistically planning to purchase a new computer is realistically going to need to budget anywhere from $500.00 to $2500.00 in order to do so. If a new buyer is ok with refurbished, than mac mini's and macbook white's are available starting at $500.00 USD.

For mainstream gaming the minimum required will be one of the new macbook white ($1149.00 CAN) or the mac min ($729.00 CAN) and running windows will require at least 1 more GB ram ($60.00 CAN).

At this point it seems that windows pc's are $200.00 to $300.00 cheaper than mac's, but when we examine how long it took my mom to set up her mac, in which she didn't need any help with, it only took her a couple of hours to be on the run. That by itself is a great feature justifying the greater cost.

There are many more reasons why mac's are great for the average person;

- Don't need to reformat and reset up main OS every 3 - 12 months.
- For those who aren't very computer literate, it just works.
- Don't need the services of a computer professional to maintain and service, it works right.
- VMWare Fusion is an excellent way to run windows, while protecting your main OS from malicous windows code.
- the proliferation of hackintoshes allow anyone to benefit from Apple's software.

In Topic: Update: Hackintosh Legality

06 March 2009 - 07:25 AM

Try reading this:

The "continuing violations doctrine" provides that in certain contexts, continuing misconduct by a defendant will justify the aggregation or parsing of its misbehavior, with the effect of rescuing a plaintiff's claim or claims from the relevant statute of limitations.


The "continuing violations doctrine" can theoretically be applied to any cause of action, including copyright violations.

What you seem to be advocating here is that you can violate anyones copyright, so long as you notify them of your violation and they do not sue you in a timely manner. Sorry, I do not think courts will uphold such an untenable practice.

I would add that Apple could also make a distinct claim on the release of new versions of OS X. So, if a Court decided that the statue of limitations had run out on say 10.4 Tiger, the Court might still hear Apple claims on 10.5 Leopard and etc.

The only gain in applying the "continuing violations doctrine" is that the statute of limitations does not ever run out. The affirmative defense of "estoppel by acquiescence" still applies.

I study case law to minimize my exposure to the overtly corrupt American legal system.

There really isn't much evidence of significant corruption in many legal jurisdictions, although there is significant amount of reprehensible misuse and misconduct of litigants in most jurisdictions.

Actually, I find that studying case law refutes my "beliefs." In short, like TV, case law significantly misrepresents reality. After studying case law, I was shocked to see how courts really operate.

The vast majority of cases, I would think about 99%, yield no published case law. Furthermore, since judges "write" (it is actually plagiarized to a large extent) the case law, they are free to distort the facts of the case however they please in order to make their ruling seem correct.

If you expect any reasonable application of law, you have to plan to take your case to an appellate court (they "write" the majority of case law). This takes years and the odds that an appellate court will correctly apply the law are far below 100%.

How have you come to these conclusions? And what do they have to do with this topic?

In Topic: The EULA and you.

06 March 2009 - 01:44 AM

That's not so clear anymore. Have you followed the Blizzard v MDY case? Here's the most interesting bit:

Blizzard argued, and Judge Campbell agreed, that when users violated the World of Warcraft EULA, they no longer had a license to play the game and were therefore guilty of copyright infringement. As Siy noted in a blog post last year, Blizzard's theory, if taken literally, would mean that violating any of the rules in the EULA and Terms of Service, such as choosing a screen name that didn't meet Blizzard's guidelines, would be an act of copyright infringement.

That's all irrelevant in the case of finding some clever way to get OSX installed without agreeing to the EULA or violating the DMCA.

In the Blizzard vs. MDY Case, MDY did not contest whether or not they had entered the contracts in question, Blizzard's EULA and TOU, and as such MDY is subject to all the terms and conditions of those contracts. Accordingly, MDY is guilty of copyright infringement, because said contracts revoke the contractees access to Blizzard's intellectual property upon any violation of those contracts.

In a court of law, the only practical defense against a license agreement, is to show or prove that such a contract is invalid, void, or not applicable, otherwise, unless illegal, all terms and conditions apply.

Since WOW requires a server to play, Blizzard's EULA and TOU cannot be bypassed unless someone prevents the client from administering Blizzard's contracts, or use a non-Blizzard server.

You can skip Blizzard's EULA by modifying WOW's config.wtf, but you must agree to Blizzard's TOU, and therefore their EULA as well, when you sign up for an account, so the only way to play WOW without agreeing to Blizzard's contracts is by modifying WOW's config.wtf and using non-Blizzard servers.

Blizzard vs. MDY illustrate very well how completely contracts, under the disguise of license agreements or terms of use, restrict our rights.
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