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theNerd
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Joined: 01 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2005 8:59 pm   

Big Shot Microsoft Windows Architect Splits for Google
 
Couldn't resist posting this Very Happy


http://www.microsoft-watch.com/arti...,1772125,00.asp

Thursday, March 03, 2005
Microsoft Loses Key Windows Architect to Google
By Mary Jo Foley

Mark Lucovsky, a former Microsoft distinguished engineer, has quietly abandoned the Redmond ship for one of Microsoft's archrivals.

One of Microsoft's key Windows architects has defected to Google. But at least so far, no one is talking about what Marc Lucovsky's new role will be at one of Microsoft's major rivals.

A 16-year Microsoft veteran, Lucovsky was one of a handful of "Distinguished Engineers" at Microsoft. He is credited as one of the core dozen engineers that came from Digital Equipment Corp. to Microsoft and built the Windows NT operating system. He was charged with building the Windows NT executive, kernel, Win32 run-time and other key elements of the operating system. NT was the precursor to Windows Server.

In 2000, Lucovsky was named the chief software architect for Microsoft's .Net My Services (code-named "Hailstorm") effort. .Net My Services never materialized in the form a set of personal Web services, hosted by Microsoft that Microsoft originally envisioned. Instead, the company has folded a number of the .Net My Services technologies into other Microsoft products.

Scripting.com's Dave Winer mentioned on his blog earlier this week that Lucovsky had defected to Google, with no further details.

Lucovsky "voluntarily left the company on 11/18/04," confirmed a Microsoft spokeswoman. "Obviously Microsoft can't comment on whether or not he now works for Google."

Google officials did not return calls requesting comments on Lucovsky.

Winer, like a number of industry watchers, are wagering that Google hired Lucovsky to help the search-engine king build an operating system.

But no one knows for sure. And even Lucovsky, whose newly minted blog lists Google as his employer, isn't saying what his new role at Google will entail.

Luckovsky isn't sparing harsh words for his former employer, however, pointing fingers at everything from Microsoft's difficulties in shipping software to its users on time, to its policy of requiring users to validate that they have non-pirated versions of Windows in order to obtain fixes and downloads.

In a blog posting dated February 12, Lucovsky railed against Microsoft for being unable to ship software.

"I am not sure I believe anymore, that Microsoft 'knows how to ship software,'" Lucovsky wrote.

"Microsoft is supposed to be the one that 'knows how to ship software,' but you (the end user) are the one doing all the heavy lifting. You are the one that has to ship their software the last mile, install it on end user machines, ensure their machines still work after you perform this platform level surgery," he continued.

"I would argue that Microsoft used to know how to ship software, but the world has changed... The companies that 'know how to ship software' are the ones to watch. They have embraced the network, deeply understand the concept of 'software as a service,' and know how to deliver incredible value to their customers efficiently and quickly," Lucovsky added.

Lucovsky wrote positively about Amazon.com's model for delivering new software bits to its customers.

When Amazon makes a fix to its software, "not a single customer had to download a bag of bits, answer any silly questions, prove that they are not software thieves, reboot their computers, etc. The software was shipped to them, and they didn't have to lift a finger. Now that's what I call shipping software," Lucovsky said.
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Rorso
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Joined: 14 Oct 2000
Posts: 1368

PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2005 9:30 pm   
 
I think Microsoft is doing a lot of bad things at the moment and .NET is one of them. Their "C++ .NET" language is barely C++ at all. More like "C++ .DESTROYED". There we can talk about taking a standard and ruin it. Once you write it as "C++ .NET" porting it to "C++" is a huge task.

It is likely we'll see more anti-piracy stuff happen. After all you hear more and more about it. This might not be as bad as it sounds as I suspect it might make prices on software drop. The reason is that nowadays you are more or less expected to copy software. Even newbie PC magazines encourage it by having articles about professional software that barely any hobbyist would be able to afford.

So people copy this expensive software and learn it, and companies probably buy it. Then who will buy the cheaper but almost as good software? Piracy seems to encourage monopoly. Will people still use Windows if they have to pay for it? Either it encourages less monopoly and we get a more competive atmosphere or it ends with people moving to free software, leaving commercial software.
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Darker
GURU


Joined: 24 Sep 2000
Posts: 1237
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2005 9:33 pm   
 
Blech.

Hailstorm was MS's bid to host your documents for you, and you would work on them from online.

No thanks, I don't trust MS's security to handle my private info -- which is why I install firewalls, antivirus and spam blockers in addition to their OS.
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theNerd
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Joined: 01 Mar 2005
Posts: 277

PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2005 10:17 pm   
 
Rorso,

You are very right about .NET. ASP.NET is not too bad but desktop .NET is a bad idea. I could go on and on about how much I dislike .NET and why but perhaps in another thread.

One of the main reasons I posted this was because I remember the days when Microsoft underhandedly bought up all the talent away from great software companies. It is nice to see great talent leave them to go to another company. I'm not saying its going to be a trend but it would be nice if it were.

Darker,
You are very right about Microsoft's security. That would be the dumbest thing to for anyone to do... let Microsoft host their documents. My fear (beyond the obvious security risks) of using Microsoft's software via a thin client model is the whole rental idea where I pay monthly fees and the risk of being gouged. If everyone who is using Microsoft products switched to the thin client model they could up the prices considerably. I know Microsoft has seriously considered the rental model even for the Windows OS.

I use to work for a company that was a Microsoft Solution Partner and I would get some good inside information. Back in '96 (I think it was) we were told that the purpose for the Active Desktop and auto-update was so Microsoft could push their own data and apps onto the user's computer. But, it was even more sinister than that (in my opinionated words.) We were told that Microsoft intended on starting their own international bank by putting the banking functionality right on everyone's desktop world-wide. They had satellites in place and banking ATM machines ready to go. We were told that the only thing preventing them from "throwing the switch" was the anti-trust law-suits at the time. I wonder what every happened to that idea of theirs. (I wonder if we were told that to see our reactions?)
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23377
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 3:25 am   
 
theNerd, the following links to "Joel on Software" have been posted around here before, but in case you haven't seen them, they are really worth a read:

How Microsoft lost the API war

and

Microsoft goes bonkers

Definitely "must reads" for anyone about Microsoft and .NET. I'm not sure that one guy leaving will make a difference. Microsoft *does* tend to do a pretty good job hiring smart people. They certainly hired most of the smart people away from Borland. If this guy was one on the "API side" as Joel talks about, then it might make sense that he'd be disenchanted with the direction Microsoft is moving.

I basically agree with you (and him) that Microsoft is losing focus, and it' going to be very interesting to see how they turn things around and try to get people to buy Longhorn or to actually upgrade other MS software, like Office. I talk with a lot of other computer people, and the fraction who are interested in upgrading to new versions of *anything* these days is *very* low.

In a way, Microsoft shot themselves in the foot by making WinXP so stable. Now there little need for something else. And everytime they start talking about yet-another-interesting-technology, it either gets twisted around into something else, or dropped completely (like the new database-driven file system that they originally talked about for Longhorn, but apparently has been dropped).

And developers are the ones they are starting to really upset and lose. The VB.NET incompatibilities with VB 6 were the first step. A *lot* of VB developers are refusing to use VB.NET because of this. Then, as Rorso mentioned, the issues with C++.NET vs C++ are continuing the trend. I have yet to see a piece of *desktop* software written in .NET that I like...it's all slow, bloated, and buggy at this point. And Developers are not happy about that either and feel like existing technologies they have paid a lot of money for are being abandoned. This is continuing with the whole WinForms mess, since it's unclear whether WinForms will continue to exist or be replaced by new incompatible stuff like Avalon.

As I said, it will be an interesting few years to watch. In my personal opinion, it's not a good time to buy Microsoft stock Wink
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theNerd
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Joined: 01 Mar 2005
Posts: 277

PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 4:01 am   
 
I'm a regular reader of Joel on Software. I really enjoy his style of writing.

I think you are very accurate in saying desktop .NET software is very slow and bloated. At one point I was starting to look at C++ .NET because of the garbage collection, etc. but I found out that it was quite a departure from the traditional C++. Wasn't quite what I was looking for. As far as "VB .NOT", forget it. Our group at work decided to go C# for our web development. I'm still doing old asp, and fortunately, they still have me do a lot of low level windows apps so the .NET framework is out of the question for that.

I played with a demo of Delphi once and found it pretty snappy. I found it had a pretty good balance between being fast and easy to program for. I think VB ruined me to some degrees. Although I programmed in C before I programmed in VB all my jobs have most of the time required me to write programs in VB. I disliked it at first but VB makes programmers lazy (at least I'm speaking for myself.) I've been thrown on a few MFC and ATL projects but not much. I've lost my like for C/C++ though. I like the threading in MFC but not a whole lot more than that. If I could get an older version of Delphi I would but its still too expensive. I've been considering PowerBasic lately for my DLL needs. It's only a $199 but I'll still have to wait quite awhile before I have that money. I really can't justify it yet and still don't know if it's a good language to use.

Oh, and I wanted to add that I found my new .NET language replacement. It's called zApp!! Very Happy Very Happy I am very excited about the direction you're taking it. I am going to be up very late tonight finishing off my one app leaving only some documentation to do tomorrow. That will free me up for some very dedicated zApp studying. At work I have two computers and lately I've had zuggsoft on the one computer so I read the documentation when I'm waiting for something like a VMWare virtual machine to load for testing my latest builds. Razz

Well, I know your busy, Zugg, and you have your plate full and I better get my project done tonight so I can finally put some time into zApp. I am very excited about it and its potential. That being said I am still constantly refreshing the Forum while I'm working in case new messages are posted. Smile Bad and a bit of a timer waster but I can't help myself.
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MattLofton
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Joined: 23 Dec 2000
Posts: 4834
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 8:10 am   
 
On a related note, MS is going to upload SP2 to everyone using Auto-Update, whether they want it or not (you have until April 12).
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Rorso
Wizard


Joined: 14 Oct 2000
Posts: 1368

PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 10:49 am   
 
MattLofton wrote:
On a related note, MS is going to upload SP2 to everyone using Auto-Update, whether they want it or not (you have until April 12).

I think you can always turn off autoupdate so you should be able to say no to it.
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Rainchild
Wizard


Joined: 10 Oct 2000
Posts: 1551
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 9:26 pm   
 
I wonder if tht means April 13 is when SP2 takes over the world and holds the US Government to ransom? Hmm, but MS wouldn't do that...

Back on topic - VB.NET was much better than VB6... but it'd make more sense to go VB6->C#.NET since the learning curve is just as steep no matter which way you go. Of course, the whole .NET suite is slow and nasty, but so is VB6 ;)

I wish my job was completely VB-free, but as it stands still approx 20% of it is done in VBA. Annoys me no end because after a week of doing VB syntax I keep forgetting to put semi-colons on my C++ hehe.

The whole Borland suite is so good though, I don't know what I woulda done without C++Builder... MFC annoys me to no end (which is about another 20% of my work) but C++ builder and Delphi rock my world.
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Kiasyn
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Joined: 05 Dec 2004
Posts: 196
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 7:56 am   
 
I would never work for Microsoft... I hate them >.>... I would love to work for google tho unfortunately I don't fill any of their requirements... being 15 and in NZ sucks sometimes... (NZ Tech Edu for people my age SUCKS... they're up to teaching me how to move a file)
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Darker
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Joined: 24 Sep 2000
Posts: 1237
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 1:35 pm   
 
Heh, I used to date a girl who was president of the Aoteroa (sp) Polytechnic Students Union. She complained about the technical education funding/facilities/opportunities there all the time.
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slicertool
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Joined: 09 Oct 2003
Posts: 459
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 1:56 pm   
 
In response to Kiasyn:

Sadly, without Microsoft we'd all be sitting on Macintosh computers without the ability to right-click. Muds probably would have faded out a long time ago, because Macs couldn't telnet 'easily' back then. Without Microsoft, many of the UI features that we've come to know and love wouldn't exist or would take much longer to exist.

Microsoft provides a competitor to just about everyone in the computer industry. Without competition, things begin to grow stagnant and the need for the corporations to improve on their product isn't there. If I were the only company that made software to do a certain thing and my software works... where is the need to spend more money on programmers to improve it?

Yes, Microsoft is a powerhouse. Yes, they can be called evil, bad, monopolistic, or a sign of the apocolypse. However, without companies like Microsoft out there, things would grow stagnant.

(Email clients are a good example to this... Microsoft doesn't have a real competitor)
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theNerd
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Joined: 01 Mar 2005
Posts: 277

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 5:31 pm   
 
slicertool, you are correct and I don't disagree with you. I use to be an Amiga nut and I wish they had succeeded. In 1984 it was full-color (great for animations) with the first preemptive multi-tasking operating system (with 2 mouse buttons Smile ). Mac did not have that ability until OS 9 and Windows didn't have preemptive multi-tasking until Win95. That's 11 years after Amiga was first doing it. But I digress....

I am currently using Thunderbird for my email client and I am very much looking forward to eMobius. If it ends up being what Zugg promises, and I have no reason to doubt him, it will be the best. I will happily promote its adoption amongst everyone I know.

Edited to add: I am also looking forward to the ability to add plug-ins of my own. It sounds like it will be feature rich anyway, but I'll try and find some excuse to write a plug-in for it Very Happy
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
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Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 6:20 pm   
 
I agree that Microsoft has served a very useful purpose in terms of competition and in terms of helping to standardize the desktop to some extent. If it wasn't for Microsoft, then I wouldn't be able to write an application that 90%+ of the desktop computers could run. I'd have to develop a Mac version, an IBM PC version, etc, etc.

However, there comes a point in the growth of a powerhouse where it gets dangerous. The positive aspects of the Microsoft competition are all in the past now. Now that they are *sooo* big and monopolistic, they can steer people in whatever direction they want.

If Microsoft picked a "good" direction, then we wouldn't be complaining. If they were doing stuff like they used to where they'd release a program that was better than the competition and help drive the industry along, that would be great. But I think the point of this thread is that Microsoft has changed. They are on the edge of making some very poor decisions and potentially driving the desktop in a bad direction.

The *concept* of .NET is wonderful (and very Delphi-like as we have mentioned before). The problem is in it's current execution and implementation. I'll continue to use the ATI Catalyst Control panel application as a perfect example of how people are using .NET for the *wrong* applications. I don't want a control panel application that takes 10 seconds to load on a 3Ghz computer, and takes up 60MB of my RAM. I don't care how cheap RAM and disk space is, this just isn't right. The *SAME* application could have been written using other existing technologies and it would have been small and fast with the exact same look and functionality.

Maybe .NET applications won't be so bloated and slow someday. But people are not going to upgrade to Longhorn just for that. If Microsoft was focusing on what the end-user wants then we might be a bit happier. But instead it seems that the techno-geeks have taken over the company and are developing a lot of stuff with fancy acronyms that doesn't necessarily improve the end-user desktop experience.

Sure, I'd love to have a GUI front end that used scalable graphics like they are talking about for Longhorn. The Mac already does it and currently has a big edge in the main desktop GUI. Microsoft is trying to catch up. So, this is a good concept. But you don't necessarily need to rewrite the entire OS to accomplish this. You can already get software that does stuff like this from the Stardock people (look at ObjectDock, it is waaay cool). Microsoft should be making interative changes like this and not try to rewrite the entire OS from scratch again. People want continued stability and not some flaky, bloated, bug-ridden OS like we used to have. And right now I have very little confidence in the ability of Microsoft to deliver a stable version of Longhorn that maintains the compatibility with the Win32 API that we need.

Now, it's true that they haven't actually done much bad stuff *yet*. The Developers are the first ones complaining about a lot of aspects of .NET and it's theoretically possible that Microsoft will actually listen to this feedback and make improvements so that .NET becomes a more viable development platform. For example, how about actually releasing a linux version of the .NET platform to show the world that Microsoft is serious about cross-platform applications. In *theory* .NET applications could run on most any platform, but until this is demonstrated with *real* applications, a lot of people will continue to believe that .NET is just another way for Microsoft to suck them in. For example, if I write code in "standard" C++, it's relatively easy to port. But if I write it using C++.NET, then I'm really stuck in the .NET world and might be stuck. Microsoft should be working to make there stuff more universal and less proprietary, otherwise writing in C++.NET is no better than Delphi (and is worse since Delphi at least has a linux version).

Of course, the reason Microsoft is going the direction they are is all because of money. Their stockholders are upset with the lack of growth, especially compared to a few years ago when their stock was soaring. They are *desperate* to figure out how to sell a new version of Windows, or a new version of Office. Until they realize that they simply are not going to make as much money as they used to, then we are all in trouble. In order to sell their products and make more money, I'm really afraid of the direction they are planning to take us.

Their motto used to be "Where do you want to go today?". I emphasize the word *you*. These days the motto seems to be "Come with us today...we know best". More and more they are trying to get you to work the way *they* want you to work, rather than giving us the choices we need to work the way *we* want to.

Anyway, a long rant to simply say: Yes, they have been a useful competitive force in the past, but have grown so large they are now starting to have an adverse effect on the entire world.
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Rorso
Wizard


Joined: 14 Oct 2000
Posts: 1368

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 6:59 pm   
 
Quote:
For example, if I write code in "standard" C++, it's relatively easy to port. But if I write it using C++.NET, then I'm really stuck in the .NET world and might be stuck. Microsoft should be working to make there stuff more universal and less proprietary, otherwise writing in C++.NET is no better than Delphi (and is worse since Delphi at least has a linux version).

It isn't only that. I believe the C++ standard is made by a group of people (representatives) but C++ .NET is made and owned by Microsoft as far as I understand it. What Microsoft has done is to take a programming language and ruin it. Will future versions of their C++ compiler support "C++" and not only "C++ .NET"? Is C++ .NET patented?

At times I wonder if commercial software really is good. To sell an operating system used by a huge amount of users around the world means a great amount of power. What would happen if Microsoft decided to stop selling their OS in countries with laws they don't like? How long would the country survive?
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theNerd
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Joined: 01 Mar 2005
Posts: 277

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 7:29 pm   
 
C# is not that bad of a language (as long as you are not expecting C++). It is pretty good. Microsoft did allow C# to be made into a standard. This means that HP's Mono project will enable you to write .NET compatible stuff in C# that will run on Windows, Linux and Mac.

http://www.mono-project.com/About
http://www.go-mono.com/c-sharp.html

You can then use an editor like this: http://www.c-point.com/c_sharp_editor.php
Or the excellent freeware SharpDevelop: http://www.icsharpcode.net/OpenSource/SD/

I still don't want to go the .NET or Mono framework path at this point. I see no real benefits to it. If I want to write a cross-platform app that bad I can always use something like Revolution or ANSI C++ and write the specific libraries for the target computer.
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Kiasyn
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Joined: 05 Dec 2004
Posts: 196
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2005 6:25 am   
 
Maybe slicertool, but some other competition might start up? (I'd prolly hate them tho too...) :X
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The Raven
Magician


Joined: 13 Oct 2000
Posts: 463

PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2005 9:06 pm   
 
Quote:
How long would the country survive?
Pretty long. There's no reason that the country could not A) Pirate it, B) Use Macs, C) Use Linux. Chances are they would do A).
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theNerd
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Joined: 01 Mar 2005
Posts: 277

PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2005 9:32 pm   
 
--- Whoops! I got a duplicate post. See below ---


Last edited by theNerd on Thu Mar 24, 2005 9:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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theNerd
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Joined: 01 Mar 2005
Posts: 277

PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2005 9:34 pm   
 
Quote:
What would happen if Microsoft decided to stop selling their OS in countries with laws they don't like? How long would the country survive?

Linspire 5.0 just came out and it's getting great reviews. A lot cheaper and more reliable than Windows and it comes with enough software it can be used right out of the box by the average user.
http://madpenguin.org/cms/html/47/3717.html
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The Raven
Magician


Joined: 13 Oct 2000
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2005 9:49 pm   
 
I'm moderately interested in the various Windows clones. I could never use them myself, because not a one (I've checked) impliments all the undocumented keyboard shortcuts I use. I can use my Windows GUI usefullly without a mouse... I could not switch to a GUI that was not keyboard friendly.

Not to say I don't use other OS... I use Linux, but command line only, I don't install X.

My father in particular though, is a candidate for Linspire or Lindows or the like. I'm going out to his home this summer for a few months, we'll see if I can get him a computer he can use functionally. His previous computer became so bogged with crap he threw it out.
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theNerd
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Joined: 01 Mar 2005
Posts: 277

PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2005 9:54 pm   
 
Just in case you didn't know, Linspire was previously called Lindows but its name was changed because of a deal made with Microsoft.
http://www.linspire.com
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Kiasyn
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Joined: 05 Dec 2004
Posts: 196
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2005 11:12 am   
 
semi off-topic: :P I accept donations of so bogged computers with crap! :P
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