Taking control

December 28th, 2001

I’ve been a tireless enthusiastic supporter of Microsoft and their products since 1980. BASIC-in-ROM, DOS, Windows, QuickBASIC, VB, IIS/ASP, IE, Word, Excel. I’ve been an MS developer and/or MSDN member personally or through employment since 1987. Microsoft’s support for its developer community was without parallel.

Over the years, while Microsoft’s product groups have continued to focus on some pretty great products, the company’s direction has become increasingly coloured by avarice, lock-in, manipulation. Customers are no longer pulled but pushed, developers no longer regarded as partners but servants. It’s beginning to remind me of Frank Capra’s Bedford Falls when it became Pottersville without George Bailey’s influence. A heartless, callous place.

I’ve decided this week to retire my NT server.

“Pentia” is a dual-P166-MMX box running NT4 which has been my home server for a number of years, serving up file, print, scan, dial, fax, http, ftp, dns, smtp, proxy, cd-rw, vnc, various perl daemons, and acting as my main workstation too for some time, running Visual Studio, MS Office, my accounting package, pretty well everything under the sun. It’s been a great machine. It’s been a great platform.

I’m replacing it with Douglas, my new Mandrake Linux box. I’ve got Samba providing file and print, Apache/PHP/MySql for http apps, ftp. I’ve long since moved my dns hosting to zoneedit, scan and fax to my Win2kPro workstation machine. I was going to run VMWare on it to support some IIS stuff, but I’ve decided to port it to PHP instead.

I still have my test machine, with numerous slide-in drive drawers, to run development environments and testbeds for Microsoft products when necessary, and I will still run Win2k on my workstations and notebooks in order to stay compatible with my client base, but on my server, I will no longer be reliant on Microsoft.

And by becoming comfortable with Linux, I will be preparing myself for wider vistas of learning and expanded opportunities.

It’s not expensive to do, you know. A refurbished pentium machine can be had for less than $100CDN. Linux is free to download or very cheap to buy. It’s in your best interest.

When asked, I will recommend to all my clients to move all but the most entrenched MS applications to other platforms. I truly believe it makes good business sense to do so.

Microsoft will stop being a bully and a brat on the day when people show them that they will lose business unless they smarten up and stop treating us like cattle.

We’re not cattle. We refuse to have you steer us to your abattoir.

I’m bustin’ out of this corral. Who’s coming with me?

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