Discussion:
Written-by-Bill-Gates BASIC Source Code
(too old to reply)
Guy Macon <http://www.GuyMacon.com/>
2008-10-28 13:01:26 UTC
Permalink
I am curious as to whether any written-by-Bill-Gates, original-
source, not-a-later-disassembly, source code for any BASIC on
any system has ever been published. I would very much like
to examine the coding style, commenting philosophy, indentation
scheme, etc. that Bill Gates used when he was writing BASIC
interpreters.
--
Guy Macon
<http://www.GuyMacon.com/>
Auric__
2008-10-28 14:27:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Guy Macon <http://www.GuyMacon.com/>
I am curious as to whether any written-by-Bill-Gates, original-
source, not-a-later-disassembly, source code for any BASIC on
any system has ever been published. I would very much like
to examine the coding style, commenting philosophy, indentation
scheme, etc. that Bill Gates used when he was writing BASIC
interpreters.
My understanding is that the earliest ones were written in hand-optimized
machine code. Hard to comment when your code is entirely "0001 0110 1000
0111". (Of course, they could have written their comments on the paper
tape...)
--
Why don't Australians call the rest of the world "Up Over"?
Michael Mattias
2008-10-28 15:32:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Auric__
Post by Guy Macon <http://www.GuyMacon.com/>
I am curious as to whether any written-by-Bill-Gates, original-
source, not-a-later-disassembly, source code for any BASIC on
any system has ever been published. I would very much like
to examine the coding style, commenting philosophy, indentation
scheme, etc. that Bill Gates used when he was writing BASIC
interpreters.
My understanding is that the earliest ones were written in hand-optimized
machine code. Hard to comment when your code is entirely "0001 0110 1000
0111". (Of course, they could have written their comments on the paper
tape...)
That sounds like a 'fish tale' ... the fish gets bigger and better with
each passing day.

Mssrs Gates and Allen were already in the business of creating language
compilers by the time they created the first BASIC for the "personal-size"
computers. It's really hard to believe they did not start out like every
other developer in those days... first writing an assembler.

But the "ones and zeroes" story is certainly more entertaining.


MCM
Joe The Frisbee®
2008-10-28 16:09:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Mattias
Post by Auric__
Post by Guy Macon <http://www.GuyMacon.com/>
I am curious as to whether any written-by-Bill-Gates, original-
source, not-a-later-disassembly, source code for any BASIC on
any system has ever been published. I would very much like
to examine the coding style, commenting philosophy, indentation
scheme, etc. that Bill Gates used when he was writing BASIC
interpreters.
My understanding is that the earliest ones were written in
hand-optimized machine code. Hard to comment when your code is
entirely "0001 0110 1000 0111". (Of course, they could have written
their comments on the paper tape...)
That sounds like a 'fish tale' ... the fish gets bigger and better
with each passing day.
Mssrs Gates and Allen were already in the business of creating
language compilers by the time they created the first BASIC for the
"personal-size" computers. It's really hard to believe they did not
start out like every other developer in those days... first writing
an assembler.
But the "ones and zeroes" story is certainly more entertaining.
Really? So who wrote the assemblers they used? Digital Research?
Jawade
2008-10-28 16:26:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joe The Frisbee®
Post by Michael Mattias
Post by Auric__
Post by Guy Macon <http://www.GuyMacon.com/>
I am curious as to whether any written-by-Bill-Gates, original-
source, not-a-later-disassembly, source code for any BASIC on
any system has ever been published. I would very much like
to examine the coding style, commenting philosophy, indentation
scheme, etc. that Bill Gates used when he was writing BASIC
interpreters.
My understanding is that the earliest ones were written in
hand-optimized machine code. Hard to comment when your code is
entirely "0001 0110 1000 0111". (Of course, they could have written
their comments on the paper tape...)
That sounds like a 'fish tale' ... the fish gets bigger and better
with each passing day.
Mssrs Gates and Allen were already in the business of creating
language compilers by the time they created the first BASIC for the
"personal-size" computers. It's really hard to believe they did not
start out like every other developer in those days... first writing
an assembler.
But the "ones and zeroes" story is certainly more entertaining.
Really? So who wrote the assemblers they used? Digital Research?
They were made with punch tape.


Met vriendelijke groeten, Jawade.
--
http://jawade.nl/ Veel vernieuwd! Diskeditors met MBR-rebuilders!
Bootmanager (+Vista +Linux), ClrMBR, SDir v DIRgrootte, POP3lezer,
DOS-Filebrowser, Kalender, Webtellers en IP-log, USB-stick tester.
Post by Joe The Frisbee®
Post by Michael Mattias
Post by Auric__
Post by Guy Macon <http://www.GuyMacon.com/>
Interesse in e-roken? Zie de groep alt.e-roken.nl <<<<<<<<
Joe The Frisbee®
2008-10-28 17:17:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jawade
Post by Joe The Frisbee®
Post by Michael Mattias
Post by Auric__
Post by Guy Macon <http://www.GuyMacon.com/>
I am curious as to whether any written-by-Bill-Gates, original-
source, not-a-later-disassembly, source code for any BASIC on
any system has ever been published. I would very much like
to examine the coding style, commenting philosophy, indentation
scheme, etc. that Bill Gates used when he was writing BASIC
interpreters.
My understanding is that the earliest ones were written in
hand-optimized machine code. Hard to comment when your code is
entirely "0001 0110 1000 0111". (Of course, they could have written
their comments on the paper tape...)
That sounds like a 'fish tale' ... the fish gets bigger and better
with each passing day.
Mssrs Gates and Allen were already in the business of creating
language compilers by the time they created the first BASIC for the
"personal-size" computers. It's really hard to believe they did not
start out like every other developer in those days... first writing
an assembler.
But the "ones and zeroes" story is certainly more entertaining.
Really? So who wrote the assemblers they used? Digital Research?
They were made with punch tape.
Who spiked the punch?
Phred
2008-10-29 14:13:15 UTC
Permalink
[snip]
Post by Joe The Frisbee®
Post by Jawade
Post by Joe The Frisbee®
Really? So who wrote the assemblers they used? Digital Research?
They were made with punch tape.
Who spiked the punch?
Jeb Bush?

Cheers, Phred.
--
***@THISyahoo.com.INVALID
Jawade
2008-10-30 21:50:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phred
[snip]
Post by Joe The Frisbee®
Post by Jawade
Post by Joe The Frisbee®
Really? So who wrote the assemblers they used? Digital Research?
They were made with punch tape.
Who spiked the punch?
Jeb Bush?
No, the one with a kind of punch-type-writer.


Met vriendelijke groeten, Jawade.
--
http://jawade.nl/ Veel vernieuwd! Diskeditors met MBR-rebuilders!
Bootmanager (+Vista +Linux), ClrMBR, SDir v DIRgrootte, POP3lezer,
DOS-Filebrowser, Kalender, Webtellers en IP-log, USB-stick tester.
Post by Phred
Post by Joe The Frisbee®
Post by Jawade
Post by Joe The Frisbee®
Interesse in e-roken? Zie de groep alt.e-roken.nl <<<<<<<<
Ian Spencer
2008-10-31 08:39:18 UTC
Permalink
"Jawade" <***@hotmail.com> schrieb im Newsbeitrag news:***@txtnews.caiway.nl...
In article <***@mid.individual.net>, ***@yahoo.com
says...
Post by Phred
[snip]
Post by Joe The Frisbee®
Post by Jawade
Post by Joe The Frisbee®
Really? So who wrote the assemblers they used? Digital Research?
They were made with punch tape.
Who spiked the punch?
Jeb Bush?
No, the one with a kind of punch-type-writer.


Met vriendelijke groeten, Jawade.
--
Is this a joke or is it really not clear that to punch anything onto tape
you first had to code it into 1's and 0's on paper. I should know I wrote an
assembler for the Honeywell 112 computer just like that.

Cheers
Ian
Auric__
2008-10-31 15:15:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jawade
Post by Phred
[snip]
Post by Joe The Frisbee®
Post by Jawade
Post by Joe The Frisbee®
Really? So who wrote the assemblers they used? Digital Research?
They were made with punch tape.
Who spiked the punch?
Jeb Bush?
No, the one with a kind of punch-type-writer.
Punch the typewriter? Wouldn't that hurt your hand?
--
Emacs might be thought of as a thermonuclear word processor.
-- Neal Stephenson
Jawade
2008-10-31 16:08:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jawade
Post by Phred
Post by Joe The Frisbee®
Who spiked the punch?
Jeb Bush?
No, the one with a kind of punch-type-writer.
===
Post by Jawade
Is this a joke or is it really not clear that to punch anything onto tape
you first had to code it into 1's and 0's on paper. I should know I wrote an
assembler for the Honeywell 112 computer just like that.
Mmm, maybe a little bit, but there were punch tape writers.
I believe they made one byte in once. They worked without
CPU. :-)

Met vriendelijke groeten, Jawade.
--
http://jawade.nl/ Veel vernieuwd! Diskeditors met MBR-rebuilders!
Bootmanager (+Vista +Linux), ClrMBR, SDir v DIRgrootte, POP3lezer,
DOS-Filebrowser, Kalender, Webtellers en IP-log, USB-stick tester.
Post by Jawade
Post by Phred
Post by Joe The Frisbee®
Interesse in e-roken? Zie de groep alt.e-roken.nl <<<<<<<<
Ian Spencer
2008-10-31 17:39:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jawade
Post by Phred
Post by Joe The Frisbee®
Who spiked the punch?
Jeb Bush?
No, the one with a kind of punch-type-writer.
===
Post by Jawade
Is this a joke or is it really not clear that to punch anything onto tape
you first had to code it into 1's and 0's on paper. I should know I wrote an
assembler for the Honeywell 112 computer just like that.
Mmm, maybe a little bit, but there were punch tape writers.
I believe they made one byte in once. They worked without
CPU. :-)

Of course but which key or keys did you want to hit ? to create a machine
code instruction you still had to work out the pattern of 1s and 0s first
(by hand) then convert them to Octal or Hex (ex. 356 Octal or EE Hex in
those days it was mostly Octal you didn't see Hex much). Then hit the
appropriate keys to punch the byte. It was usually easier to write a small
program to accept the Octal input into the computer and let it punch the
byte for you. Afterwards you had a tape with the program you had been
writing on it in binary form.

It was a grand life.....
Ian
Jawade
2008-11-01 11:45:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jawade
Post by Jawade
Post by Phred
Post by Joe The Frisbee®
Who spiked the punch?
Jeb Bush?
No, the one with a kind of punch-type-writer.
===
Post by Jawade
Is this a joke or is it really not clear that to punch anything onto tape
you first had to code it into 1's and 0's on paper. I should know I wrote an
assembler for the Honeywell 112 computer just like that.
Mmm, maybe a little bit, but there were punch tape writers.
I believe they made one byte in once. They worked without
CPU. :-)
Of course but which key or keys did you want to hit ? to create a machine
code instruction you still had to work out the pattern of 1s and 0s first
(by hand) then convert them to Octal or Hex (ex. 356 Octal or EE Hex in
those days it was mostly Octal you didn't see Hex much). Then hit the
appropriate keys to punch the byte. It was usually easier to write a small
program to accept the Octal input into the computer and let it punch the
byte for you. Afterwards you had a tape with the program you had been
writing on it in binary form.
It was a grand life.....
Ian
I thing there was soon worked with hex, because it gives you
enaugh for the "ascii". Working out the program at paper with
hex and write the punch tape with the engine, who makes 1 and
0 ath the punch tape.

My first "computer" was a game computer Philips with a
assembler module. I had 100 bytes for a program, to write with
a kind of primitive assembler or in hex code. I have it used
very intensive, I found it great. :-)


Met vriendelijke groeten, Jawade.
--
http://jawade.nl/ Veel vernieuwd! Diskeditors met MBR-rebuilders!
Bootmanager (+Vista +Linux), ClrMBR, SDir v DIRgrootte, POP3lezer,
DOS-Filebrowser, Kalender, Webtellers en IP-log, USB-stick tester.
Post by Jawade
Post by Jawade
Post by Phred
Post by Joe The Frisbee®
Interesse in e-roken? Zie de groep alt.e-roken.nl <<<<<<<<
Bill Leary
2008-10-31 17:49:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jawade
Post by Ian Spencer
Is this a joke or is it really not clear that to punch anything onto tape
you first had to code it into 1's and 0's on paper. I should know I wrote an
assembler for the Honeywell 112 computer just like that.
Mmm, maybe a little bit, but there were punch tape writers.
I believe they made one byte in once. They worked without
CPU. :-)
I recall using one of these things.

It was reminiscent of those Hollerith card punch (see
http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/specialprod2/specialprod2_5.html)
except that it had a single row of holes and a few small pins to engage the
tractor holes on the tape to ensure alignment. You'd slide the paper tape
through it one character at a time. Then you'd set the punches with one or
more of the seven toggle, then push down the "punch" lever to punch them all
out. Now that I think of it, as the punch level came back up (spring
loaded), it advanced the tape one position for you and released all the
toggles.

We were supposed to use it to add a few characters to the leader of a much
longer tape to indicate the time and date we used the tape in the machine.
There was, maybe, six or ten feet of blank leader. You'd punch in the date
and time, send it through the machine, cut off the previous date and time
holes, put in new ones, and so on until you used up the leader, at which
time you tossed the tape and got another one.

In practice, we mostly used it to create "banner" tapes by punching visible
letters using a 5X7 matrix. We had labels all over the place done up like
this. COFFEE, BREAK ROOM, and that sort of thing.

- Bill
Jawade
2008-11-01 11:56:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Leary
Post by Jawade
Post by Ian Spencer
Is this a joke or is it really not clear that to punch anything onto tape
you first had to code it into 1's and 0's on paper. I should know I wrote an
assembler for the Honeywell 112 computer just like that.
Mmm, maybe a little bit, but there were punch tape writers.
I believe they made one byte in once. They worked without
CPU. :-)
I recall using one of these things.
It was reminiscent of those Hollerith card punch (see
http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/specialprod2/specialprod2_5.html)
except that it had a single row of holes and a few small pins to engage the
tractor holes on the tape to ensure alignment. You'd slide the paper tape
through it one character at a time. Then you'd set the punches with one or
more of the seven toggle, then push down the "punch" lever to punch them all
out. Now that I think of it, as the punch level came back up (spring
loaded), it advanced the tape one position for you and released all the
toggles.
We were supposed to use it to add a few characters to the leader of a much
longer tape to indicate the time and date we used the tape in the machine.
There was, maybe, six or ten feet of blank leader. You'd punch in the date
and time, send it through the machine, cut off the previous date and time
holes, put in new ones, and so on until you used up the leader, at which
time you tossed the tape and got another one.
In practice, we mostly used it to create "banner" tapes by punching visible
letters using a 5X7 matrix. We had labels all over the place done up like
this. COFFEE, BREAK ROOM, and that sort of thing.
Hihi, very usefull. I think the punch tape time was not so long.
But a great time, there was so much to do improve, to pioneer.
I have worked with cassette tapes at my first real computer, it
was going well, only it takes much time. Then MSX with a real
floppy drive. Wow.


Met vriendelijke groeten, Jawade.
--
http://jawade.nl/ Veel vernieuwd! Diskeditors met MBR-rebuilders!
Bootmanager (+Vista +Linux), ClrMBR, SDir v DIRgrootte, POP3lezer,
DOS-Filebrowser, Kalender, Webtellers en IP-log, USB-stick tester.
Post by Bill Leary
Post by Jawade
Post by Ian Spencer
Interesse in e-roken? Zie de groep alt.e-roken.nl <<<<<<<<
Charmed Snark
2008-11-04 17:50:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jawade
Post by Bill Leary
Post by Jawade
Post by Ian Spencer
Is this a joke or is it really not clear that to punch anything
onto tape you first had to code it into 1's and 0's on paper. I
should know I wrote an
assembler for the Honeywell 112 computer just like that.
Mmm, maybe a little bit, but there were punch tape writers.
I believe they made one byte in once. They worked without
CPU. :-)
I recall using one of these things.
It was reminiscent of those Hollerith card punch (see
http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/specialprod2/specialprod2_5
.html) except that it had a single row of holes and a few small pins
to engage the tractor holes on the tape to ensure alignment. You'd
slide the paper tape through it one character at a time. Then you'd
set the punches with one or more of the seven toggle, then push down
the "punch" lever to punch them all out. Now that I think of it, as
the punch level came back up (spring loaded), it advanced the tape
one position for you and released all the toggles.
We were supposed to use it to add a few characters to the leader of a
much longer tape to indicate the time and date we used the tape in
the machine. There was, maybe, six or ten feet of blank leader.
You'd punch in the date and time, send it through the machine, cut
off the previous date and time holes, put in new ones, and so on
until you used up the leader, at which time you tossed the tape and
got another one.
In practice, we mostly used it to create "banner" tapes by punching
visible letters using a 5X7 matrix. We had labels all over the place
done up like this. COFFEE, BREAK ROOM, and that sort of thing.
Hihi, very usefull. I think the punch tape time was not so long.
But a great time, there was so much to do improve, to pioneer.
I have worked with cassette tapes at my first real computer, it
was going well, only it takes much time. Then MSX with a real
floppy drive. Wow.
When I was young and starting a family, we only had a Vic20 at home. No
disk drive though (that was just an expensive dream). I do recall learning
that programs saved on cassette tape, saved each record twice for error
recovery (for reading). That was our first "gaming platform", where I even
wrote a game or two (one was "fly swatter").

When I later in life won a IBM XT computer with 20MB hard disk (at a
hamradio flea market), I thought I had hit the "big time". :)

Warren.
Bill Gunshannon
2008-10-28 16:30:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joe The Frisbee®
Post by Michael Mattias
Post by Auric__
Post by Guy Macon <http://www.GuyMacon.com/>
I am curious as to whether any written-by-Bill-Gates, original-
source, not-a-later-disassembly, source code for any BASIC on
any system has ever been published. I would very much like
to examine the coding style, commenting philosophy, indentation
scheme, etc. that Bill Gates used when he was writing BASIC
interpreters.
My understanding is that the earliest ones were written in
hand-optimized machine code. Hard to comment when your code is
entirely "0001 0110 1000 0111". (Of course, they could have written
their comments on the paper tape...)
That sounds like a 'fish tale' ... the fish gets bigger and better
with each passing day.
Mssrs Gates and Allen were already in the business of creating
language compilers by the time they created the first BASIC for the
"personal-size" computers. It's really hard to believe they did not
start out like every other developer in those days... first writing
an assembler.
But the "ones and zeroes" story is certainly more entertaining.
Really? So who wrote the assemblers they used? Digital Research?
Back when I first started doing this stuff you wrote in Assembler
notation and then hand assembled the code. It's a lot easier to
comprehend the structure and function of the the program when you
can see:
CALL F022
as opposed to:
11001101111100000000100010

So, did he write all those ones and zeroes on the back of a cocktail
napkin on board an airplane? :-)

bill
--
Bill Gunshannon | de-moc-ra-cy (di mok' ra see) n. Three wolves
***@cs.scranton.edu | and a sheep voting on what's for dinner.
University of Scranton |
Scranton, Pennsylvania | #include <std.disclaimer.h>
Joe The Frisbee®
2008-10-28 17:16:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Gunshannon
Post by Joe The Frisbee®
Post by Michael Mattias
Post by Auric__
Post by Guy Macon <http://www.GuyMacon.com/>
I am curious as to whether any written-by-Bill-Gates, original-
source, not-a-later-disassembly, source code for any BASIC on
any system has ever been published. I would very much like
to examine the coding style, commenting philosophy, indentation
scheme, etc. that Bill Gates used when he was writing BASIC
interpreters.
My understanding is that the earliest ones were written in
hand-optimized machine code. Hard to comment when your code is
entirely "0001 0110 1000 0111". (Of course, they could have written
their comments on the paper tape...)
That sounds like a 'fish tale' ... the fish gets bigger and better
with each passing day.
Mssrs Gates and Allen were already in the business of creating
language compilers by the time they created the first BASIC for the
"personal-size" computers. It's really hard to believe they did not
start out like every other developer in those days... first writing
an assembler.
But the "ones and zeroes" story is certainly more entertaining.
Really? So who wrote the assemblers they used? Digital Research?
Back when I first started doing this stuff you wrote in Assembler
notation and then hand assembled the code. It's a lot easier to
comprehend the structure and function of the the program when you
CALL F022
11001101111100000000100010
So, did he write all those ones and zeroes on the back of a cocktail
napkin on board an airplane? :-)
Probably a bi-plane.
Jack Crenshaw
2008-11-24 07:47:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Gunshannon
Post by Joe The Frisbee®
Post by Michael Mattias
Post by Auric__
Post by Guy Macon <http://www.GuyMacon.com/>
I am curious as to whether any written-by-Bill-Gates, original-
source, not-a-later-disassembly, source code for any BASIC on
any system has ever been published. I would very much like
to examine the coding style, commenting philosophy, indentation
scheme, etc. that Bill Gates used when he was writing BASIC
interpreters.
My understanding is that the earliest ones were written in
hand-optimized machine code. Hard to comment when your code is
entirely "0001 0110 1000 0111". (Of course, they could have written
their comments on the paper tape...)
That sounds like a 'fish tale' ... the fish gets bigger and better
with each passing day.
Mssrs Gates and Allen were already in the business of creating
language compilers by the time they created the first BASIC for the
"personal-size" computers. It's really hard to believe they did not
start out like every other developer in those days... first writing
an assembler.
But the "ones and zeroes" story is certainly more entertaining.
Really? So who wrote the assemblers they used? Digital Research?
Back when I first started doing this stuff you wrote in Assembler
notation and then hand assembled the code. It's a lot easier to
comprehend the structure and function of the the program when you
CALL F022
11001101111100000000100010
26 bits???

Jack
Post by Bill Gunshannon
So, did he write all those ones and zeroes on the back of a cocktail
napkin on board an airplane? :-)
bill
Bill Gunshannon
2008-11-24 13:05:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jack Crenshaw
Post by Bill Gunshannon
Post by Joe The Frisbee®
Post by Michael Mattias
Post by Auric__
Post by Guy Macon <http://www.GuyMacon.com/>
I am curious as to whether any written-by-Bill-Gates, original-
source, not-a-later-disassembly, source code for any BASIC on
any system has ever been published. I would very much like
to examine the coding style, commenting philosophy, indentation
scheme, etc. that Bill Gates used when he was writing BASIC
interpreters.
My understanding is that the earliest ones were written in
hand-optimized machine code. Hard to comment when your code is
entirely "0001 0110 1000 0111". (Of course, they could have written
their comments on the paper tape...)
That sounds like a 'fish tale' ... the fish gets bigger and better
with each passing day.
Mssrs Gates and Allen were already in the business of creating
language compilers by the time they created the first BASIC for the
"personal-size" computers. It's really hard to believe they did not
start out like every other developer in those days... first writing
an assembler.
But the "ones and zeroes" story is certainly more entertaining.
Really? So who wrote the assemblers they used? Digital Research?
Back when I first started doing this stuff you wrote in Assembler
notation and then hand assembled the code. It's a lot easier to
comprehend the structure and function of the the program when you
CALL F022
11001101111100000000100010
26 bits???
Sorry, left off the leading zeroes when I cut&pasted that. Surely you
didn't think I computed that in my head. I havcen't had to do that for
at least three decades. :-)

bill
--
Bill Gunshannon | de-moc-ra-cy (di mok' ra see) n. Three wolves
***@cs.scranton.edu | and a sheep voting on what's for dinner.
University of Scranton |
Scranton, Pennsylvania | #include <std.disclaimer.h>
Al Kossow
2008-10-28 16:52:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joe The Frisbee®
Really? So who wrote the assemblers they used? Digital Research?
Their original BASIC was cross-assembled on Harvard's PDP-10 with a cross-assembler
that they wrote.

http://www.interact-sw.co.uk/altair/other%20versions/ian.htm
Joe The Frisbee®
2008-10-28 17:18:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Al Kossow
Post by Joe The Frisbee®
Really? So who wrote the assemblers they used? Digital Research?
Their original BASIC was cross-assembled on Harvard's PDP-10 with a
cross-assembler that they wrote.
http://www.interact-sw.co.uk/altair/other%20versions/ian.htm
Hmm... it's a wonder they (Harvard) didn't get after them for using their
computers for personal use.
Gordon Rahman
2008-10-28 20:53:59 UTC
Permalink
Hello Guy Macon,
Could you put your question in a easier way?
Maybe it's only me, but I don't think you've
been answered in the sligthest good way we should have done.

Here is my answer.
Did Gates and Allen adopted other listings to write theirs?

Example:
Tandy bought a BASIC from someone who adopted
some part of some and so on ?..... but
even today this listings are copyrighted!

So just ask Bill if he wants to show you his listings.
Ask him if you might disassemble it.

Good luck.

Gordon
Post by Guy Macon <http://www.GuyMacon.com/>
I am curious as to whether any written-by-Bill-Gates, original-
source, not-a-later-disassembly, source code for any BASIC on
any system has ever been published. I would very much like
to examine the coding style, commenting philosophy, indentation
scheme, etc. that Bill Gates used when he was writing BASIC
interpreters.
--
Guy Macon
<http://www.GuyMacon.com/>
Charles Richmond
2008-10-29 01:10:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gordon Rahman
Post by Guy Macon <http://www.GuyMacon.com/>
I am curious as to whether any written-by-Bill-Gates, original-
source, not-a-later-disassembly, source code for any BASIC on
any system has ever been published. I would very much like
to examine the coding style, commenting philosophy, indentation
scheme, etc. that Bill Gates used when he was writing BASIC
interpreters.
Hello Guy Macon,
Could you put your question in a easier way?
Maybe it's only me, but I don't think you've
been answered in the sligthest good way we should have done.
Here is my answer.
Did Gates and Allen adopted other listings to write theirs?
Tandy bought a BASIC from someone who adopted
some part of some and so on ?..... but
even today this listings are copyrighted!
Gates and Allen worked from a public domain flow chart of
the BASIC compiler produced by Kemeny and Kurtz.

Allen indeed wrote Macro 10 macroes that would assemble to
the right binary for the 8080. He also wrote an 8080 simulator
to run on the PDP-10.
--
+----------------------------------------------------------------+
| Charles and Francis Richmond richmond at plano dot net |
+----------------------------------------------------------------+
Guy Macon <http://www.GuyMacon.com/>
2008-10-29 03:38:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Charles Richmond
Gates and Allen worked from a public domain flow chart
of the BASIC compiler produced by Kemeny and Kurtz.
Now THAT would be a cool thing to read! The obvious Google searches
( Flowchart BASIC Kemeny Kurtz ) didn't find it; dos anyone know
where I can find a copy?
--
Guy Macon
<http://www.GuyMacon.com/>
HenkSWT
2008-10-29 10:09:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Charles Richmond
Gates and Allen worked from a public domain flow chart
of the BASIC compiler produced by Kemeny and Kurtz.
Now THAT would be a cool thing to read!  The obvious Google searches
( Flowchart BASIC Kemeny Kurtz ) didn't find it; dos anyone know
where I can find a copy?
--
Guy Macon
<http://www.GuyMacon.com/>
Hi,
Take a look at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Kemeny
http://www.alibris.com/search/books/isbn/0471810878
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=aWTtMyYmKhUC&pg=PA249&lpg=PA249&dq=Kemeny+and+Kurtz&source=web&ots=stF9D1qupR&sig=dhVcmvrgwW-egUvCeoO1_9DokHw&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=10&ct=result#PPA246,M1
Christian Brandt
2008-10-29 18:02:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Guy Macon <http://www.GuyMacon.com/>
I am curious as to whether any written-by-Bill-Gates, original-
source, not-a-later-disassembly, source code for any BASIC on
any system has ever been published. I would very much like
to examine the coding style, commenting philosophy, indentation
scheme, etc. that Bill Gates used when he was writing BASIC
interpreters.
I don't know how Bill did it but I programmed some stuff on that eras
hardware myself (one Altair 8800 and one KIM-1 clone). Basically you had
a hexnumber-keyboard with six to eight hexdigits where you selected
between "display or modify adress $0000" and then started to enter
machine language in hex codes. Results of programms were stored at a
address and after the program brk'ed you displayed that content.

The first thing people did was to hook up a serial Keyboard and a
serial Terminal and feeded some simple Terminal-Software through the
hex-io so the terminal was actually used (I still have an DEC110
Terminal in the basement but no KIM or Altair). After that you started
to hack in some simple Assembler/Disassembler and then you where ready
to go. Our RS232-Routines for the Altair-Clone were around 300 bytes and
we copied them from a german electronic magazine (telefunken or
something), it also supported printing to an RS232 printer, the
disassembler was printed in a very early computer magazine from england,
around 2000 bytes. With a whooping 4k ram this was quite useable because
you really had the system completely for yourself, no OS, no screen
memory, nothing... usually later you tried to burn that stuff into an
eprom because reentering 2000-3000 bytes upon every program was
pretty... disgusting. No affordable floppy drives back then, building
your own eprom burner was actually cheaper and quite reliable.

Christian Brandt
Frank Cox
2008-10-29 18:47:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Christian Brandt
I don't know how Bill did it but I programmed some stuff on that eras
hardware myself (one Altair 8800 and one KIM-1 clone). Basically you had
a hexnumber-keyboard with six to eight hexdigits where you selected
between "display or modify adress $0000" and then started to enter
machine language in hex codes. Results of programms were stored at a
address and after the program brk'ed you displayed that content.
About 20 years ago (which is still a way back but not that far back) I
programmed, debugged and maintained a set of traffic lights that ran on
PLCs with just that arrangement (hex keyboard, etc). The "fun part" of
that is that the controllers were outside in boxes strapped to the poles
that the lights were mounted on (one controller per intersection). Not
bad to deal with in June -- less so at -50 degrees in January when the
police call in with a complaint that the lights aren't working.

The lights were running on rural power lines (read: crappy) so that led
to interesting things happening with the PLCs during snow storms and the
like.

There actually was a serial port on those units so you could
theoretically hook up a laptop on a long cable and work on the lights
while sitting in the truck, but we never seemed to have the budget to
purchase a laptop to do the job.

I remember the police chief coming into my office one winter day carrying
a box that contained a toque and a tiny bottle of brandy. His first line
was, "You know what I'm here for and I brought you some supplies this
time."
John Crane
2008-10-30 02:45:28 UTC
Permalink
Well, not BASIC itself but...

He did write a series of articles on Programming Tips, Techniques, etc. for
the MITS newsletters. You can probably get some clues out of those.


-J
Post by Guy Macon <http://www.GuyMacon.com/>
I am curious as to whether any written-by-Bill-Gates, original-
source, not-a-later-disassembly, source code for any BASIC on
any system has ever been published. I would very much like
to examine the coding style, commenting philosophy, indentation
scheme, etc. that Bill Gates used when he was writing BASIC
interpreters.
--
Guy Macon
<http://www.GuyMacon.com/>
Greegor
2008-10-30 05:02:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Crane
Well, not BASIC itself but...
He did write a series of articles on Programming Tips, Techniques, etc.  for
the MITS newsletters.  You can probably get some clues out of those.
Are those MITS newsletters archived somewhere?
John Crane
2008-10-30 16:19:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Crane
Well, not BASIC itself but...
He did write a series of articles on Programming Tips, Techniques, etc.
for
the MITS newsletters. You can probably get some clues out of those.
Are those MITS newsletters archived somewhere?


Years ago when I was researching this, I only found a few issues on the net.
So I ordered the full set on CD from Dynacomp.

http://www.dynacompsoftware.com/

And BTW, these guys have been in business since the 70's. You can see their
ads in old issues of Byte. They are one of the few survivors of that era.

Nowdays, there may be a full set on the net somewhere.
They were called "Computer Notes".


-John
Charmed Snark
2008-10-30 16:43:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Greegor
Post by John Crane
Well, not BASIC itself but...
He did write a series of articles on Programming Tips, Techniques,
etc. for
the MITS newsletters. You can probably get some clues out of those.
Are those MITS newsletters archived somewhere?
Years ago when I was researching this, I only found a few issues on
the net. So I ordered the full set on CD from Dynacomp.
http://www.dynacompsoftware.com/
And BTW, these guys have been in business since the 70's. You can see
their ads in old issues of Byte. They are one of the few survivors of
that era.
Nowdays, there may be a full set on the net somewhere.
They were called "Computer Notes".
-John
A little googling seems to show the following resource:

http://www.startupgallery.org/gallery/computernotes.php

I didn't review it much, but it would appear that all of the articles are
there.

Warren.
Charles Richmond
2008-10-31 03:33:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Greegor
Post by John Crane
Well, not BASIC itself but...
He did write a series of articles on Programming Tips, Techniques, etc.
for
the MITS newsletters. You can probably get some clues out of those.
Are those MITS newsletters archived somewhere?
Years ago when I was researching this, I only found a few issues on the net.
So I ordered the full set on CD from Dynacomp.
http://www.dynacompsoftware.com/
And BTW, these guys have been in business since the 70's. You can see their
ads in old issues of Byte. They are one of the few survivors of that era.
Nowdays, there may be a full set on the net somewhere.
They were called "Computer Notes".
This publication is where Bill Gates wrote his diatribe about
the hobby programmers being *thieves*...
--
+----------------------------------------------------------------+
| Charles and Francis Richmond richmond at plano dot net |
+----------------------------------------------------------------+
Bill Leary
2008-10-31 07:02:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Charles Richmond
Post by John Crane
Nowdays, there may be a full set on the net somewhere.
They were called "Computer Notes".
This publication is where Bill Gates wrote his diatribe about
the hobby programmers being *thieves*...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Letter_to_Hobbyists

- Bill
Alex Buell
2008-10-31 08:52:53 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 31 Oct 2008 03:02:07 -0400, I waved a wand and this message
Post by Bill Leary
Post by Charles Richmond
This publication is where Bill Gates wrote his diatribe about
the hobby programmers being *thieves*...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Letter_to_Hobbyists
As he's made billions, I think he's got a damned cheek writing that.
--
http://www.munted.org.uk

Fearsome grindings.
Joel Koltner
2008-10-31 17:12:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Buell
As he's made billions, I think he's got a damned cheek writing that.
He wrote it long before he had billions, and even if that weren't the case,
stealing from someone with billions vs. stealing from someone with very little
is still stealing -- it shouldn't be done, even if in one case it hurts the
guy less than another.

In general I'm not about to defend Bill Gates or his business practices --
some are reprehensible -- but in this particular case his letter and its point
is entirely reasonable.
Marc 'BlackJack' Rintsch
2008-10-31 19:21:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joel Koltner
Post by Alex Buell
As he's made billions, I think he's got a damned cheek writing that.
He wrote it long before he had billions, and even if that weren't the
case, stealing from someone with billions vs. stealing from someone with
very little is still stealing -- it shouldn't be done, even if in one
case it hurts the guy less than another.
That's not the point, he *made* billions *despite* the ongoing
"stealing". Maybe even *because* of all the unauthorized copies. That's
one reason for Microsoft's dominant market position in operating systems
and office software. And copying something virtual is IMHO something
different than taking something physical away from someone.

Ciao,
Marc 'BlackJack' Rintsch
Charles Richmond
2008-11-01 02:20:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joel Koltner
Post by Alex Buell
As he's made billions, I think he's got a damned cheek writing that.
He wrote it long before he had billions, and even if that weren't the case,
stealing from someone with billions vs. stealing from someone with very little
is still stealing -- it shouldn't be done, even if in one case it hurts the
guy less than another.
In general I'm not about to defend Bill Gates or his business practices --
some are reprehensible -- but in this particular case his letter and its point
is entirely reasonable.
Prior to the "unbundling" court decision against IBM, software
was bundled with the system that used it. Software was *not*
considered a product all on its own. Gates should have considered
this and avoided the "high handed" tone of his flaming letter.
Software *was* once free, and it is *not* unusual for the
computer community to have some residual feeling about this.

As someone else pointed out, Mi$uck BASIC probably *gained*
more than it lost because of this "piracy".
--
+----------------------------------------------------------------+
| Charles and Francis Richmond richmond at plano dot net |
+----------------------------------------------------------------+
Phred
2008-11-01 10:00:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Charles Richmond
Post by Joel Koltner
Post by Alex Buell
As he's made billions, I think he's got a damned cheek writing that.
He wrote it long before he had billions, and even if that weren't the case,
stealing from someone with billions vs. stealing from someone with very
little is still stealing -- it shouldn't be done, even if in one case it
hurts the guy less than another.
In general I'm not about to defend Bill Gates or his business practices --
some are reprehensible -- but in this particular case his letter and its
point is entirely reasonable.
Prior to the "unbundling" court decision against IBM, software
was bundled with the system that used it. Software was *not*
considered a product all on its own. Gates should have considered
Nonsense. There was plenty of paid-for software around 40 years ago.
(Of course, most of us couldn't afford the licences, much less the
hardware to run the stuff at home. ;-)
Post by Charles Richmond
this and avoided the "high handed" tone of his flaming letter.
Software *was* once free, and it is *not* unusual for the
computer community to have some residual feeling about this.
*Some* software may have been "free" in the sense it was thrown in
with the systems to make them actually do things. But then, *some*
software is free these days too -- and there would be many who
frequent USENET discussions who would claim it is superior to the
commercial stuff.
Post by Charles Richmond
As someone else pointed out, Mi$uck BASIC probably *gained*
more than it lost because of this "piracy".
Cheers, Phred.
--
***@THISyahoo.com.INVALID
Greegor
2008-11-02 21:36:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Charles Richmond
Post by Joel Koltner
Post by Alex Buell
As he's made billions, I think he's got a damned cheek writing that.
He wrote it long before he had billions, and even if that weren't the case,
stealing from someone with billions vs. stealing from someone with very little
is still stealing -- it shouldn't be done, even if in one case it hurts the
guy less than another.
In general I'm not about to defend Bill Gates or his business practices --  
some are reprehensible -- but in this particular case his letter and its point
is entirely reasonable.
Prior to the "unbundling" court decision against IBM, software
was bundled with the system that used it. Software was *not*
considered a product all on its own. Gates should have considered
this and avoided the "high handed" tone of his flaming letter.
Software *was* once free, and it is *not* unusual for the
computer community to have some residual feeling about this.
As someone else pointed out, Mi$uck BASIC probably *gained*
more than it lost because of this "piracy".
--
+----------------------------------------------------------------+
|   Charles and Francis Richmond     richmond at plano dot net   |
+----------------------------------------------------------------+
Was MITS Altair Disk BASIC the same as
what somebody referred to as Extended BASIC?
It went beyond the 8K BASIC, right?

I tinkered with Random Access disk functions
a bunch but kept having problems with the
random access block size stuff.

It LOOKED like a programmer could define
a block size different from standard.

Was that actually working right back then and
in the later versions for CP/M or MSDOS?
Jonathan Berry
2008-11-03 04:21:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Greegor
I tinkered with Random Access disk functions
a bunch but kept having problems with the
random access block size stuff.
It LOOKED like a programmer could define
a block size different from standard.
Was that actually working right back then and
in the later versions for CP/M or MSDOS?
There must have been different block sizes in CP/M because
it could handle DSDD 8" diskettes, holding 1.2 MB.

I remember that my copy of CP/M 2.2 came with a handy manual
which, amongst other things, had sample code so that you could
write a driver for a hard drive and incorporate it into the OS.
With only 64K RAM, of course, there was no room for wastage.

CBASIC was an excellent structured BASIC for CP/M (and later
CB80 and CB86 bridged it into the DOS world). IMHO, we are
still paying for the compromises implicit in 4K BASIC-in-ROM
implementations.


--
happy
Jonathan Berry and Erika http://members.shaw.ca/berry5868/fun.htm
Joel Koltner
2008-11-03 18:24:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Charles Richmond
Gates should have considered
this and avoided the "high handed" tone of his flaming letter.
Reasonable point.
Post by Charles Richmond
Software *was* once free, and it is *not* unusual for the
computer community to have some residual feeling about this.
OK, but I think it's clear *today* that overall we're better off with hardware
and software being "unbundled" (and software companies being allowed to charge
for their works). There are millions of people who'd suddenly be unemployed
if it was decided that intellectual property did not have some of the same
legal protections as physical property does (including unauthorized
reproduction being illegal). I agree that intellectual and physical property
are not identical, however -- certainly the punishment for stealing $10,000
cash from an indvidual should be a lot more severe than duplicating a piece of
$10,000 software --, and it is a somewhat gray area (if I purchase a DVD, I
absolutely should be able to transfer it to my PC, my iPod, etc., despite what
the MPAA may desire). As time goes on there'll be plenty of struggles to
clarify IP law, and I certainly hope that those on the side of "reasonable
use" will be able to ward off the commercial interests who often push quite
heavily for highly-restrictive use.
Post by Charles Richmond
As someone else pointed out, Mi$uck BASIC probably *gained*
more than it lost because of this "piracy".
Possible, or at least it probably happened faster than if there had been some
way to prevent piracy altogether.
---Joel
Auric__
2008-11-03 18:56:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joel Koltner
Post by Charles Richmond
As someone else pointed out, Mi$uck BASIC probably *gained*
more than it lost because of this "piracy".
Possible, or at least it probably happened faster than if there had been
some way to prevent piracy altogether.
I have an essay somewhere (not written by me) that claims that Microsoft
unofficially encouraged piracy, and lists a few numbers that seem to support
the idea.
--
No more precious energy coming down your tube, idiots!
Greegor
2008-11-03 20:40:39 UTC
Permalink
When I managed some retail computer stores in the 1980's,
lots of people would come in and get an in person
and detailed demonstration but then buy it mail order.

The stupid part was that our price was cheaper than mail order!

I had a person call up who said that they had
an application that needed to print on three part
forms, and were having trouble finding a printer that
would work. They promised that if I had a printer
that could print on it, they would buy it from me.
They brought their form in, I tested it in a
high end Okidata and it printed just fine.

When I called to close the sale they said they
bought it mailorder.

They actually paid more than my local retail price.

(People were in such a strong mindset that
mail order is cheaper that some didn't even check.)

Please forgive me but if somebody could
do that, I suspect they ripped off the
expensive software as well.

My point is that if people can get something
cheaper or free they will, with no regard to
any promise made or ethical concern.

It's not about right or wrong.
It's about "Can they get away with it?".

And when it gets to be extremely common,
even the people who try to be ethical will
at some point feel foolish about being the
lonely few.

I have lots of complaints about how Microsoft
treats customers but I can also understand
why they do all of the hyper paranoid
""Genuine Advantage"" validation crap.

But I'm confused, haven't Gates and Microsoft
dropped their copyright claim on Altair BASIC?
Michael Mattias
2008-11-03 20:45:15 UTC
Permalink
.... I agree that intellectual and physical property are not identical,
however -- certainly the punishment for stealing $10,000 cash from an
indvidual should be a lot more severe than duplicating a piece of $10,000
software --, and it is a somewhat gray area
First of all, it's not "gray" at all. The owner of the intellectual property
may license the property under any terms he desires. That his terms are
silly or impractical is immaterial.. if the terms are that bad, no one will
buy a license.

Second, why is it so different to steal $10, 000 worth of "hard goods" than
stealing a $10,000 software license? (Answer: there is NO difference!).
--
Michael C. Mattias
Tal Systems Inc.
Racine WI
***@talsystems.com
Joe Forster/STA
2008-11-03 21:28:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Mattias
The owner of the intellectual property
may license the property under any terms he desires.
When you work for a company, the company will become the owner of what
you create and they will license it as they desire. Why aren't _you_
the licensor of your own intellectual property? Because you "give up"
your rights for the money you earn. But who give you this money? The
company? No, they're only between you and the user who actually pays.
And the company, this intermediator takes _your_ rights away with
_someone else's_ money?
Post by Michael Mattias
First of all, it's not "gray" at all.
Is it not?
Michael Mattias
2008-11-03 21:55:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joe Forster/STA
Post by Michael Mattias
The owner of the intellectual property
may license the property under any terms he desires.
When you work for a company, the company will become the owner of what
you create and they will license it as they desire. Why aren't _you_
the licensor of your own intellectual property? Because you "give up"
your rights for the money you earn. But who give you this money? The
company? No, they're only between you and the user who actually pays.
And the company, this intermediator takes _your_ rights away with
_someone else's_ money?
This is a completely different issue. This is question of who is the
rightful owner of intellectual property, which is independent of the
rightful owner's rights, or the issue of which I spoke earlier: stealing.
Post by Joe Forster/STA
Post by Michael Mattias
First of all, it's not "gray" at all.
Is it not?
The rights of the owner are not gray at all.

The situation you paint above is not really gray, either: it's just
"muddled" because the parties did not spell out who would own what under
what conditions. It's your basic "poorly structured and worded
contract/employment agreement." Whomever wrote this must have a brother
who is a lawyer in need of work.

MCM
Joe Forster/STA
2008-11-03 23:32:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Mattias
Post by Joe Forster/STA
When you work for a company, the company will become the owner of what
you create and they will license it as they desire.
This is a completely different issue.
Not quite. People, except for the self-employed, work for companies
and are forced into contracts that take away their rights for their
intellectual property. So, even if you in theory have the rights for
what you created, in practice the company licenses it and you have no
power to change that license. Now, who steals (?) from whom: the
company from you by taking your rights away (have you been paid enough
for that? have you retained _some_ of the rights?) or the user
directly from the company and indirectly from you by creating a not
allowed (by whom?) copy of a material that was originally (!) your
intellectual property?

If a friend of mine creates an unlicensed copy or downloads a pirate
copy of the software I wrote, he may get punished because it's not
"my" software anymore but that of the company I work for. In theory,
even if _I_ created that unlicensed copy, he'll get in trouble. Do I
have any power over the use of my own creation? No, I don't.

We have no lawyers in our family and proud of that.
Michael Mattias
2008-11-04 00:03:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joe Forster/STA
People, except for the self-employed, work for companies
and are forced into contracts that take away their rights for their
intellectual property.
No, you are not "forced" The twelveth amendment prohibits slavery or
involuntary servitude except for punishment of a crime if which you have
been convicted via due process. You can say no to the job, or quit it.
Post by Joe Forster/STA
So, even if you in theory have the rights for what you created
This is not a valid theory. Ownership inures to the party specified in the
agreement which results in the creation of the intellectual property. In the
absence of an agreement to the contrary, in an employer/employee situation
ownership inures to he who pays... the employer.

You take the paycheck, the employer owns your work. Sounds fair to me.

Disclaimer: I *am* self employed. Nobody ever paid me a so much as a dime to
develop any of my copyright products.

Yes, I have come up with some "clunkers." You remember "TraveLog?" No?
Well,. no one else does, either.

MCM
Joe Forster/STA
2008-11-04 00:26:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Mattias
You take the paycheck, the employer owns your work. Sounds fair to me.
Then the user pays for the product. The company takes the check, the
user owns my/their work. Sounds fair to me.

Ohhh... But, when it comes to software or digital media, the user
doesn't _own_ the product, only gets the right to use it (not
duplicate, not reverse-engineer, not create a derivative thereof etc.
etc.)? Sounds unfair to me.

Also, try changing a contract to your own advantage. What percentage
of (potential) work places will allow you to do that? If only a few,
you don't have an alternative: again, in theory you're not forced but
in practice you actually are. (Yes, unless you're self-employed. What
percentage of workers are self-employed: minority or majority?)
CBFalconer
2008-11-04 00:00:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joe Forster/STA
Post by Michael Mattias
The owner of the intellectual property
may license the property under any terms he desires.
When you work for a company, the company will become the owner of
what you create and they will license it as they desire. Why
aren't _you_ the licensor of your own intellectual property?
Because you "give up" your rights for the money you earn. But
who give you this money? The company? No, they're only between
you and the user who actually pays. And the company, this
intermediator takes _your_ rights away with _someone else's_
money?
That depends on the laws in the area in which you are working.
Possibly modified by agreements you signed when hired.
--
[mail]: Chuck F (cbfalconer at maineline dot net)
[page]: <http://cbfalconer.home.att.net>
Try the download section.
Phred
2008-11-04 13:21:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joe Forster/STA
Post by Michael Mattias
The owner of the intellectual property
may license the property under any terms he desires.
When you work for a company, the company will become the owner of what
you create and they will license it as they desire. Why aren't _you_
the licensor of your own intellectual property? Because you "give up"
your rights for the money you earn. But who give you this money? The
company? No, they're only between you and the user who actually pays.
And the company, this intermediator takes _your_ rights away with
_someone else's_ money?
Only if they manage to sell what you developed. You get paid anyway.

Cheers, Phred.
--
***@THISyahoo.com.INVALID
Marc 'BlackJack' Rintsch
2008-11-03 22:21:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Mattias
Second, why is it so different to steal $10, 000 worth of "hard goods"
than stealing a $10,000 software license? (Answer: there is NO
difference!).
As already said there *is* a difference. In the first case the victim
has $10,000 less in the second case the victim has $0 less.

The second isn't even "stealing" but "making an unauthorized copy".

Ciao,
Marc 'BlackJack' Rintsch
Michael Mattias
2008-11-03 23:17:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Marc 'BlackJack' Rintsch
Post by Michael Mattias
Second, why is it so different to steal $10, 000 worth of "hard goods"
than stealing a $10,000 software license? (Answer: there is NO
difference!).
As already said there *is* a difference. In the first case the victim
has $10,000 less in the second case the victim has $0 less.
The second isn't even "stealing" but "making an unauthorized copy".
Try "making an unauthorized copy" of one of my pieces of copyright software
and we'll see what it's called.

You can deal with your priest, minister, rabbi or imam on the moral issues
involved.

On the secular side, my file is already open for reporting piracy and one
more letter makes no difference to me and you can deal with the Federal
Bureau of Investigation. I'm told it's not fun. I was glad to hear it.
--
Michael C. Mattias
Tal Systems Inc.
Racine WI
***@talsystems.com
Marc 'BlackJack' Rintsch
2008-11-04 00:51:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Mattias
Post by Marc 'BlackJack' Rintsch
Post by Michael Mattias
Second, why is it so different to steal $10, 000 worth of "hard
goods" than stealing a $10,000 software license? (Answer: there is NO
difference!).
As already said there *is* a difference. In the first case the victim
has $10,000 less in the second case the victim has $0 less.
The second isn't even "stealing" but "making an unauthorized copy".
Try "making an unauthorized copy" of one of my pieces of copyright
software and we'll see what it's called.
Not "stealing".
Post by Michael Mattias
You can deal with your priest, minister, rabbi or imam on the moral
issues involved.
I don't make unauthorized copies of your software → no moral issues.
Post by Michael Mattias
On the secular side, my file is already open for reporting piracy and
one more letter makes no difference to me and you can deal with the
Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Reporting "piracy"? Another term that doesn't apply to unauthorized
copying. Unless you commit it within international waters, maybe. ;-)

That term is even stronger than "stealing" because "piracy" usually
involves kidnapping or forcing people at gun point to leave a ship. And
that is IMHO really *much* worse than making a digital copy without
threatening someones health or even life.

And I don't think I'd have to deal with the FBI. Their jurisdiction is
limited.

Ciao,
Marc 'BlackJack' Rintsch
Joel Koltner
2008-11-05 00:30:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Mattias
Second, why is it so different to steal $10, 000 worth of "hard goods" than
stealing a $10,000 software license? (Answer: there is NO difference!).
Of course there is. If you steal $10,000 cash, the personal you took it from
clearly suffered $10,000 in damages. If you steal a $10,000 piece of
software, 99.9% of the time, the person you stole it from didn't suffer
$10,000 in damages. Software piracy (and other intellectual property crimes)
is a somewhat gray area because it's usually very difficult to demonstrate
what the damage really is. Indeed, as some people in this thread have
mentioned, it's possible that pirating software can actually *benefit* a
company ("negative damages"), by making it more popular! Now, punishment in
the U.S. is based on (1) compensating victims for actual damages and then (2)
some additional amount that's meant to be a deterrent to future infractions.
Hence, while it's clear that software piracy should be dealt with via some
form of punishment to fulfil purpose (2) up there, the appropriate "amount" is
not at all clear-cut.
Groepaz
2008-11-05 01:31:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joel Koltner
Indeed, as some people in this thread have
mentioned, it's possible that pirating software can actually *benefit* a
company ("negative damages"), by making it more popular!
giana sisters \o/
--
http://www.hitmen-console.org
http://www.pokefinder.org
http://ftp.pokefinder.org

Java is high performance. By high performance we mean adequate. By adequate
we mean slow.
<Mr. Bunny>
Michael Mattias
2008-11-05 14:15:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joel Koltner
Post by Michael Mattias
Second, why is it so different to steal $10, 000 worth of "hard goods"
than stealing a $10,000 software license? (Answer: there is NO
difference!).
Of course there is. If you steal $10,000 cash, the personal you took it
from clearly suffered $10,000 in damages. If you steal a $10,000 piece of
software, 99.9% of the time, the person you stole it from didn't suffer
$10,000 in damages.
Oh, but I did.

I developed the software based on the likely number of licenses I would sell
at what price, balanced against my investment in creating it.

It's really no different from stealing any other copyright performance such
as a rock concert, opera, or professional sporting event.

Of course from a moral perspective, the dollar amount is immaterial; "Thou
Shalt Not Steal " does not come with a value disclaimer, does it?


MCM
Marc 'BlackJack' Rintsch
2008-11-05 14:40:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Mattias
Post by Joel Koltner
Post by Michael Mattias
Second, why is it so different to steal $10, 000 worth of "hard
goods" than stealing a $10,000 software license? (Answer: there is NO
difference!).
Of course there is. If you steal $10,000 cash, the personal you took
it from clearly suffered $10,000 in damages. If you steal a $10,000
piece of software, 99.9% of the time, the person you stole it from
didn't suffer $10,000 in damages.
Oh, but I did.
I developed the software based on the likely number of licenses I would
sell at what price, balanced against my investment in creating it.
No one forced you to make that investment or making a wrong guess about
the number of customers willing to buy that software. Calculating with
money you don't have is your risk.

And that somebody made an unauthorized copy doesn't imply he would have
bought an authorized copy if he hadn't have the chance to make an
unauthorized one.
Post by Michael Mattias
"Thou Shalt Not Steal " does not come with a value disclaimer, does it?
It doesn't say unauthorized copying is stealing either.

And "Thou Shalt Not Make Unauthorized Copies" should have an exception
for "retro computing" stuff IMHO, where it is sometimes hard to
impossible to get authorized copies, e.g. when it is unclear who may
authorize a copy anyway.

Ciao,
Marc 'BlackJack' Rintsch
Michael Mattias
2008-11-05 15:11:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Marc 'BlackJack' Rintsch
And "Thou Shalt Not Make Unauthorized Copies" should have an exception
for "retro computing" stuff IMHO, where it is sometimes hard to
impossible to get authorized copies, e.g. when it is unclear who may
authorize a copy anyway.
Let's not confuse "what the secular|moral law is" with "HOW a copyright
owner chooses to offer licenses."

If I as a publisher offer license terms which are overly restrictive in the
eyes of a potential licensee, I lose the sale. My bad.

I can only *offer* my product to the public with certain features at certain
prices with certain terms; the market makes the ultimate decision.

I know many people have trouble with the concept that intellectual property
is , well, *PROPERTY*; I know I did at one time.

However, for the past fourteen years intellectual property has been the sole
source of food on my table.

Trust me, when it's *your* food on *your* table, you develop an
appreciation for the concept.

MCM
m***@privacy.net
2008-11-06 12:13:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Mattias
I know many people have trouble with the concept that intellectual property
is , well, *PROPERTY*; I know I did at one time.
However, for the past fourteen years intellectual property has been the sole
source of food on my table.
Trust me, when it's *your* food on *your* table, you develop an
appreciation for the concept.
Try to wrap your mind around this:

Just as those who steal your work tell themselves lies about nobody
being harmed at all, you are telling yourself lies about being
harmed in every case and about the harm being exactly the same as
if a physical object was taken from you. Both of you are ignoring
reality in a way that just happens to benefit you.
Jim Brain
2008-11-06 01:04:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Marc 'BlackJack' Rintsch
No one forced you to make that investment or making a wrong guess about
the number of customers willing to buy that software. Calculating with
money you don't have is your risk.
I think you're arguing against yourself here. If software authors are
not allowed to amortize their costs over expected sales, innovation will
suffer, which affects you. It is in your best interest to encourage
innovators to amortize those costs.

I can't agree with the distinction in any case. Things do not have to
be "real" to incur damages. If I take your identity and start using it
for things you do not wish, there are damages. If you're OK with that
and won't sue me, then I suppose you would not calling it "stealing your
identity", but I believe most people would, because they would put a
price on their identity and the goodwill lost when it was used without
authorization. Keeping the distinction also allows me to capture and
hold your personal information, including credit card and bank
information. Since you didn't "lose" anything when I captured that
information without your authorization, it's not "stealing" in your
eyes. I say it is, because there is a very high potential for me to use
that information for nefarious means, which can cause very real loss and
damages to you. Waiting until I do so in order to put a price on the
information I have is like cappturing the house after it leaves the
barn. I should be punished for simply acquiring that information
without authorization, regardless of how I might use it.

In any case, even if one feels the term is ill-used (you could make some
argument that the term "stealing" can only be used which actual funds
have been taken, or physical objects that represent physical funds have
been taken, and that taking of virtual items should be called
"vstealing" or some other cute name), the effect is the same. The
holder illegally obtains some item of value. We can debate the
terminology forever, but the court will not care. It's not legal in the
eyes of the law, no matter what you call it. And, a layperson
understands that the illegal transaction resulted in one person having
access to work effort that was not adequately compensated. Why?
Because everyone works, and they understand being compensated for work
effort. Technology does not change that fundamental idea.

Now, realistically, there are major issues with this one-size-fits-all
approach. Orphan work effort is one many of the included USENET groups
care about deeply, because the law is at odds with human's desire to
preserve our history and heritage. The software of the era defines who
we are and how we get here. To lose it would be a loss beyond words.

I can also agree that a certain amount of unauthorized access tends to
help in popularity. But, that's like saying that a certain amount of
underage drinking tends to create more responsible adult drinkers.
While one can see the connection (mandating that people wait until a
certain age just heightens the date and causes binges when the date
arrives), it's far too slippery a slope for folks to agree with. And,
neither has to be that way. Parents have always been free to introduce
alcohol to teenagers in the home environment, where it can be controlled
and discussed. Likewise, retailers and authors can distribute free
copies, offer huge rebates, etc.

I tend to agree with the person who said that most folks who illegally
copy SW (current SW, not orphan stuff) would not buy the SW at any
price. So, one needs to temper their support for this person by how
they might further the goals of the SW (more sales). Impossible to
quantify, in my opinion, and if you condone it for this reason, I think
you have to condone it for any reason (I am out of work, I need this
game to help with the stress...), The company is going through hard
times now, but we will be sure nad buy lots of your SW soon. We're
going to illegally use it for the moment, though.

To Gate's letter, I find some irony there. I think people rightly ding
Gates for his letter, but for the wrong reason. Most people assume he
was worth a lot at the time (he wasn't poverty-stricken, but he was
pre-millionaire), which is not true, but another poster hit the nail on
the head. The market at the time was nascent and many hobbyists were
minicomputer/big iron operators by day. They came from an environment
where the SW was free and the HW/support cost money. As well, most
early adopters furthered this approach to SW by giving away useful
programs for free. Thus, it was truly radical for Gates to write his
letter. Basically, I see his letter as saying "We don't subscribe to
the conventional thinking concerning SW value, so quit assuming we're
joking about it!" It's one of those "correct information, terrible
delivery" letters. I wrote some, and I am sure most of us did, at a
time when we were idealistic and assumed that people would just take our
words at face value. But, unlike Gates, I'm not a billionnaire, so no
one remembers my letters.

Jim
Marc 'BlackJack' Rintsch
2008-11-06 08:32:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jim Brain
Post by Marc 'BlackJack' Rintsch
No one forced you to make that investment or making a wrong guess about
the number of customers willing to buy that software. Calculating with
money you don't have is your risk.
I think you're arguing against yourself here. If software authors are
not allowed to amortize their costs over expected sales, innovation will
suffer, which affects you. It is in your best interest to encourage
innovators to amortize those costs.
Yes of course. I'm not saying making unauthorized copies is legal or
should be legal nor that it is morally right, just that there is a
difference of taking something away opposed to not giving something. The
difference between losing something you *have* opposed to loosing
something you dreamt of getting someday, maybe.

Except for the "retro stuff" I use only free or paid for software.

Ciao,
Marc 'BlackJack' Rintsch
Greegor
2008-11-05 18:58:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Mattias
Of course from a moral perspective, the dollar amount is immaterial; "Thou
Shalt Not Steal " does not come with a value disclaimer, does it?
I jaywalk often.
Sam Gillett
2008-11-08 07:36:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Greegor
Post by Michael Mattias
Of course from a moral perspective, the dollar amount is immaterial; "Thou
Shalt Not Steal " does not come with a value disclaimer, does it?
I jaywalk often.
I don't think the ten commandments apply to jaywalking..... ;-)
--
Best regards,

Sam Gillett

Change is inevitable,
except from vending machines!
dott.Piergiorgio
2008-11-08 11:33:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sam Gillett
Post by Greegor
Post by Michael Mattias
Of course from a moral perspective, the dollar amount is immaterial; "Thou
Shalt Not Steal " does not come with a value disclaimer, does it?
I jaywalk often.
I don't think the ten commandments apply to jaywalking..... ;-)
especially in Italy, where everyone on foot is *expected* to jaywalk....

Best regards from Italy,
Dott. Piergiorgio.
Joel Koltner
2008-11-05 20:28:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Mattias
I developed the software based on the likely number of licenses I would sell
at what price, balanced against my investment in creating it.
The number of licenses you can *sell* isn't realistic if it's based on,
"anyone who uses the software will be paid for it." This is true in the
non-software/intellectural property world as well: All business plans for,
e.g., Wal*Mart assume that there'll be a certain amount of theft from the
store that's unavoidable.

There's no way of knowing for certain, but in general I suspect that number of
people who pirate software who would actually go and buy the software if it
were impossible to pirate is probably well under 1%. (Although I'd readily
admit that it could be much higher for certain "core" programs like operating
systems (e.g., Windows) and perhaps office productivity software.)
Post by Michael Mattias
Of course from a moral perspective, the dollar amount is immaterial; "Thou
Shalt Not Steal " does not come with a value disclaimer, does it?
No, it doesn't, but of course the tricky part is defining "stealing:" When it
comes to intellectual property, while it's quite clear that copying a Word
install CD is stealing, in general it's nowhere near as obvious. I.e., if you
use word, like a particular feature in it and implement that feature in a
program of your own, is that stealing?

---Joel
Michael Mattias
2008-11-05 20:44:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joel Koltner
Post by Michael Mattias
I developed the software based on the likely number of licenses I would
sell at what price, balanced against my investment in creating it.
The number of licenses you can *sell* isn't realistic if it's based on,
"anyone who uses the software will be paid for it." This is true in the
non-software/intellectural property world as well: All business plans for,
e.g., Wal*Mart assume that there'll be a certain amount of theft from the
store that's unavoidable.
In my case, it actually IS pretty realistic. None of my products are
"consumer" products... they are only used by businesses.

And to be honest, these days buinesses themselves are some of the best
"license enforcers" out there.
--
Michael C. Mattias
Tal Systems Inc.
Racine WI
***@talsystems.com
Joel Koltner
2008-11-05 21:54:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Mattias
In my case, it actually IS pretty realistic. None of my products are
"consumer" products... they are only used by businesses.
Suing a business that pirated your software (and is actively using it to
further their business interests) will definitely garner a higher
fine/punishment than suing some pimpy-faced teenager who did just did it for
the "thrill"... and I certainly support such a "heightened" penalty in that
scenario.

My mother grew up in Racine, so I've had the occasion to visit a few times...
seems like a nice town.

---Joel
Greegor
2008-11-06 00:42:23 UTC
Permalink
MCM > None of my products are "consumer" products...
MCM > they are only used by businesses.
MCM >
MCM > And to be honest, these days buinesses
MCM > themselves are some of the best
MCM > "license enforcers" out there.

In general perhaps, especially BIG companies.

Though I saw smaller businesses that bought
one license for AutoCAD and set up
8 computers without site licensing.
Groepaz
2008-11-06 09:21:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Greegor
MCM > None of my products are "consumer" products...
MCM > they are only used by businesses.
MCM >
MCM > And to be honest, these days buinesses
MCM > themselves are some of the best
MCM > "license enforcers" out there.
In general perhaps, especially BIG companies.
Though I saw smaller businesses that bought
one license for AutoCAD and set up
8 computers without site licensing.
i have seen similar stuff many times. infact, probably _most_ so
called "small businesses" dont really care (or even know) about proper
licensing.
--
http://www.hitmen-console.org
http://www.pokefinder.org
http://ftp.pokefinder.org

Homes for the homeless, jobs for the jobless, neverthe for the nevertheless.
Dombo
2008-11-05 21:17:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joel Koltner
Post by Michael Mattias
I developed the software based on the likely number of licenses I would sell
at what price, balanced against my investment in creating it.
The number of licenses you can *sell* isn't realistic if it's based on,
"anyone who uses the software will be paid for it." This is true in the
non-software/intellectural property world as well: All business plans for,
e.g., Wal*Mart assume that there'll be a certain amount of theft from the
store that's unavoidable.
There's no way of knowing for certain, but in general I suspect that number of
people who pirate software who would actually go and buy the software if it
were impossible to pirate is probably well under 1%. (Although I'd readily
admit that it could be much higher for certain "core" programs like operating
systems (e.g., Windows) and perhaps office productivity software.)
If it would be impossible to pirate the software people might be more
inclined to buy/use cheaper alternatives.
Joel Koltner
2008-11-05 21:58:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dombo
If it would be impossible to pirate the software people might be more
inclined to buy/use cheaper alternatives.
Good point... the vast majority of people who pirate something like Microsoft
Office would be perfectly well served by 100% free alternatives like
OpenOffice, IMO.

I don't *like* Microsoft product activation for Windows/Office, but I don't
find it particularly onerous either: I've never had a problem getting valid
installations activated, and thereafter they have "just worked." In the back
of my mind, though, I sometimes worry that I'll be out in the middle of
nowhere when suddenly it does decide to deactivate itself. :-(
Engineer
2008-11-06 13:27:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joel Koltner
I don't *like* Microsoft product activation for Windows/Office, but I don't
find it particularly onerous either: I've never had a problem getting valid
installations activated, and thereafter they have "just worked." In the back
of my mind, though, I sometimes worry that I'll be out in the middle of
nowhere when suddenly it does decide to deactivate itself. :-(
For religious reasons (Quaker) I have legal copies of everything
on my PC, but for most Microsoft products I also have CD copies
I got through The Pirate Bay. I need to know that I can reinstall,
even if my cell phone gets no signal and there is no Internet
connection. The pirated copies give me that assurance by bypassing
Windows Genuine Advantage --which treats me like a crook.
Dombo
2008-11-06 19:00:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Engineer
Post by Joel Koltner
I don't *like* Microsoft product activation for Windows/Office, but I don't
find it particularly onerous either: I've never had a problem getting valid
installations activated, and thereafter they have "just worked." In the back
of my mind, though, I sometimes worry that I'll be out in the middle of
nowhere when suddenly it does decide to deactivate itself. :-(
For religious reasons (Quaker) I have legal copies of everything
on my PC, but for most Microsoft products I also have CD copies
I got through The Pirate Bay. I need to know that I can reinstall,
even if my cell phone gets no signal and there is no Internet
connection. The pirated copies give me that assurance by bypassing
Windows Genuine Advantage --which treats me like a crook.
The irony is that anti-piracy measures tend to hurt legitimate users
more than illegitimate users, since illegitimate users typically use a
hacked version with the anti-piracy protection (which can be quite
troublesome) removed. For example I don't mind paying for a DVD, but
most DVD's I can buy here have nag screens that tell you not to copy,
not show the DVD in public...etc which takes minutes (you cannot skip
them) before you get to the main menu. It can easily take 5 minutes to
get to actually see the movie. However when download a movie all the
annoyances usually removed and I can watch the movie within seconds.
Some anti-piracy measures almost force one to use a pirated version.
d***@gmail.com
2008-11-08 13:39:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dombo
The irony is that anti-piracy measures tend to hurt legitimate users
more than illegitimate users, since illegitimate users typically use a
hacked version with the anti-piracy protection (which can be quite
troublesome) removed. For example I don't mind paying for a DVD, but
most DVD's I can buy here have nag screens that tell you not to copy,
not show the DVD in public...etc which takes minutes (you cannot skip
them) before you get to the main menu. It can easily take 5 minutes to
get to actually see the movie. However when download a movie all the
annoyances usually removed and I can watch the movie within seconds.
Some anti-piracy measures almost force one to use a pirated version.
You can "fast-forward" through it, which means it is still playing it,
but for less time, just like you could on a VHS.
m***@privacy.net
2008-11-08 23:51:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@gmail.com
Post by Dombo
The irony is that anti-piracy measures tend to hurt legitimate users
more than illegitimate users, since illegitimate users typically use a
hacked version with the anti-piracy protection (which can be quite
troublesome) removed. For example I don't mind paying for a DVD, but
most DVD's I can buy here have nag screens that tell you not to copy,
not show the DVD in public...etc which takes minutes (you cannot skip
them) before you get to the main menu. It can easily take 5 minutes to
get to actually see the movie. However when download a movie all the
annoyances usually removed and I can watch the movie within seconds.
Some anti-piracy measures almost force one to use a pirated version.
You can "fast-forward" through it, which means it is still playing it,
but for less time, just like you could on a VHS.
On most commercial DVDs you cannot fast forward through the FBI
and Interpol warnings.
Charmed Snark
2008-11-13 21:52:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joel Koltner
Post by Dombo
If it would be impossible to pirate the software people might be more
inclined to buy/use cheaper alternatives.
Good point... the vast majority of people who pirate something like
Microsoft Office would be perfectly well served by 100% free
alternatives like OpenOffice, IMO.
I don't *like* Microsoft product activation for Windows/Office, but I
don't find it particularly onerous either: I've never had a problem
getting valid installations activated, and thereafter they have "just
worked." ...
Collectors of old equipment, O/S and apps are going to have to hack that
eventually. When MS stops supporting these things, there will be nothing
around for activation of software on museum pieces. But for me
personally, I don't care about a MS museum anyway. ;-)

Warren.
m***@privacy.net
2008-11-14 09:44:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Charmed Snark
Post by Joel Koltner
I don't *like* Microsoft product activation for Windows/Office, but I
don't find it particularly onerous either: I've never had a problem
getting valid installations activated, and thereafter they have "just
worked." ...
Collectors of old equipment, O/S and apps are going to have to hack that
eventually. When MS stops supporting these things, there will be nothing
around for activation of software on museum pieces. But for me
personally, I don't care about a MS museum anyway. ;-)
Consider the situation faced by one of my former employers:
thirty thousand documents that are carefully formatted with
any significant changes in formatting needing approval by
contract lawyers at three different large corporations.
These documents so, however occasionally need to have the
content revised, with the lawyers only having to approve
the new wording, not re-approving the entire document.

Alas, the documents were created with a specific version of
WordPerfect for DOS to be printed on a specific printer.
So they keep multiple legacy systems up and running, with
new-old-stock hardware and boxed software in case of a
hardware failure.

Now imagine the same thing happening sometime in the future
when Microsoft has gone the way of WordPerfect. (Don't imagine
that it will never happen; remember that WordPerfect at one
time totally dominated the market for word processing...)
But this time add the fact that the software will not install
or work properly unless certain specific websites contain
certain validation programs and or updates.

You don't even need to have Microsoft go belly up to end
up hosed. For example, those who bought music from MSN
Music under the "Plays For Sure" Windows Media Digital
Rights Management system are hosed. Microsoft shut down
MSN Music in 2006 in favor of Zune Marketplace and shut
down the Plays for Sure license key retrieval servers
this year. Without access to the keys, your legally
purchased songs are limited to a maximum of five machines
and the OS present at the last time of authorization.

References:
http://blog.wired.com/sterling/2008/04/dead-media-be-3.html
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/microsoft/2004074417_playsforsure15.html
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080422-drm-sucks-redux-microsoft-to-nuke-msn-music-drm-keys.html
Joe Forster/STA
2008-11-14 16:49:43 UTC
Permalink
I saw many bookkeepers run bookkeeping programs for DOS (still
developed!). With PC emulators such as DOSbox, VMware or M$ Virtual
PC, it's acceptable but to use obsolete _hardware_ is a bad idea. If I
were your previous employer, I would try to get rid of those certain
kinds of printers, e.g. by coding a virtual printer driver that
captures the output of the software and renders it into PostScript,
PDF or something more general.
Lance Lyon
2008-11-15 03:31:10 UTC
Permalink
Hi Joe,
Post by Joe Forster/STA
PC, it's acceptable but to use obsolete _hardware_ is a bad idea.
I had to have a small giggle over this considering the group it's posted in
:)

Lance
Tom Lake
2008-11-15 09:40:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lance Lyon
Hi Joe,
Post by Joe Forster/STA
PC, it's acceptable but to use obsolete _hardware_ is a bad idea.
I had to have a small giggle over this considering the group it's posted in
:)
Of course he meant something like,
"to use obsolete _hardware_ [for a business application] is a bad idea"

Tom Lake
Joe Forster/STA
2008-11-15 16:37:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lance Lyon
Post by Joe Forster/STA
to use obsolete _hardware_ is a bad idea.
I had to have a small giggle over this considering the group it's posted in
:)
I know, I know, :-) but I think Commodore hardware doesn't become
obsolete (or get broken) as fast as PC hardware does. Probably,
because of its (personal, not financial) value and that it's not being
further developed anymore.
Martin Schemitsch
2008-11-06 09:02:38 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 05 Nov 2008 21:28:49 +0100, Joel Koltner
Post by Joel Koltner
There's no way of knowing for certain, but
in general I suspect that number of people
who pirate software who would actually go and buy
[...]
Post by Joel Koltner
is probably well under 1%. (Although I'd readily
admit that it could be much higher for certain "core"
programs like operating systems (e.g., Windows)and perhaps office
productivity software.)
Open Office? ;)

At least that's what I use... ;)

Martin
--
----------------------------------------------------------
"I don't know. I'm making this up as I go!"
(Ford as Dr. Jones Jr. in 'Raiders of the Lost Ark')
----------------------------------------------------------
m***@privacy.net
2008-11-06 12:20:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joel Koltner
There's no way of knowing for certain, but in general I suspect that number of
people who pirate software who would actually go and buy the software if it
were impossible to pirate is probably well under 1%. (Although I'd readily
admit that it could be much higher for certain "core" programs like operating
systems (e.g., Windows) and perhaps office productivity software.)
...and much lower for expensive CAD systems, software development tools, etc.
If a program costs tens of thousands of dollars, the "WaREz d0ODz" will
collect it and never use it -- they might not even know what it does!
And they would *never* have bought a copy.
Joel Koltner
2008-11-06 17:52:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by m***@privacy.net
...and much lower for expensive CAD systems, software development tools, etc.
Yep, agreed. If Matlab ($$$) were impossible to pirate, I think the main
result would just be a sudden increase in the number of Scilab (or perhaps
NumPy -- both free) users... but not any significant increase in Matlab sales
whatsoever.

(Not that I'm suggesting any of this makes it OK to pirate software, of
course. Just that the numbers the industry generates about how they "lost"
so-many-millions of dollars in software sales is ridiculous... if was never
there to begin with...)
Phred
2008-11-07 13:12:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joel Koltner
Post by m***@privacy.net
...and much lower for expensive CAD systems, software development tools, etc.
Yep, agreed. If Matlab ($$$) were impossible to pirate, I think the main
result would just be a sudden increase in the number of Scilab (or perhaps
NumPy -- both free) users... but not any significant increase in Matlab sales
whatsoever.
(Not that I'm suggesting any of this makes it OK to pirate software, of
course. Just that the numbers the industry generates about how they "lost"
so-many-millions of dollars in software sales is ridiculous... if was never
there to begin with...)
I have to agree with that... Some years ago that software anti-piracy
org (BSAA??) or something similar mentioned the case of a bloke who
had pirated copies of some 700 programs, with the implication that
this bloke alone had cost "the industry" tens of thousands of dollars.

Give me a break! No one in a life time could possibly find a use for
that many programs! In fact, it suggests he was so busy "collecting"
the damn things he probably never got round to using any!

Cheers, Phred.
--
***@THISyahoo.com.INVALID
Joe Forster/STA
2008-11-05 21:56:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Mattias
I developed the software based on the likely number of licenses I would sell
at what price, balanced against my investment in creating it.
Many of the pirates wouldn't have bought your software if it were not
available as warez - for what reason? irrelevant! - so the money of
those people is lost for you anyway. (I'm sure reading
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_pro_and_anti-warez_arguments
would do you good to broaden your view.)
Post by Michael Mattias
It's really no different from stealing any other copyright performance such
as a rock concert, opera, or professional sporting event.
If you mean getting into a rock concert without buying a ticket - e.g.
by climbing through the fence -, yes, it's no different. How serious
are the financial damages that the performers suffer? If the quality
of their work is high enough, people will almost literally kill each
other to be able to buy tickets. That's no different with software or
movies either: shit won't sell AND will even fail to become highly
warezed material.
Post by Michael Mattias
Of course from a moral perspective, the dollar amount is immaterial; "Thou
Shalt Not Steal " does not come with a value disclaimer, does it?
1. If software piracy is not considered stealing - and we're arguing
about exactly that - then this statement is completely irrelevant.
2. There are other (read: non-catholic) religions that consider the
capitalistic way of life in today's so-called "Western countries" a
spit in the face of benevolent people. Capitalism itself is a
legalized system of the people "above" stealing from the people
"below", i.e. skimming off the fruits of their work without giving
back much in change. (Not that it was very different in the past...)
Greegor
2008-11-06 01:45:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joe Forster/STA
Post by Michael Mattias
I developed the software based on the likely number of licenses I would sell
at what price, balanced against my investment in creating it.
Many of the pirates wouldn't have bought your software if it were not
available as warez - for what reason? irrelevant! - so the money of
those people is lost for you anyway. (I'm sure readinghttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_pro_and_anti-warez_arguments
would do you good to broaden your view.)
Post by Michael Mattias
It's really no different from stealing any other copyright performance such
as a rock concert, opera, or professional sporting event.
If you mean getting into a rock concert without buying a ticket - e.g.
by climbing through the fence -, yes, it's no different. How serious
are the financial damages that the performers suffer? If the quality
of their work is high enough, people will almost literally kill each
other to be able to buy tickets. That's no different with software or
movies either: shit won't sell AND will even fail to become highly
warezed material.
Post by Michael Mattias
Of course from a moral perspective, the dollar amount is immaterial; "Thou
Shalt Not Steal " does not come with a value disclaimer, does it?
1. If software piracy is not considered stealing - and we're arguing
about exactly that - then this statement is completely irrelevant.
2. There are other (read: non-catholic) religions that consider the
capitalistic way of life in today's so-called "Western countries" a
spit in the face of benevolent people. Capitalism itself is a
legalized system of the people "above" stealing from the people
"below", i.e. skimming off the fruits of their work without giving
back much in change. (Not that it was very different in the past...)
If you're going to make the socialistic argument
against capitalistic goals of programmers then
are you also also goint to point out the huge
disadvantages of software written by committee? <grin>
Joe Forster/STA
2008-11-07 22:36:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Greegor
If you're going to make the socialistic argument
against capitalistic goals of programmers then
are you also also goint to point out the huge
disadvantages of software written by committee?  <grin>
I honestly tried to understand what exactly you mean but I couldn't.
If your "commitee" means the board of managers that fuck up everything
that is good, having arrived from talented programmers, then I agree
but that's a problem with capitalism, not socialism.
Phred
2008-11-08 13:34:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joe Forster/STA
Post by Greegor
If you're going to make the socialistic argument
against capitalistic goals of programmers then
are you also also goint to point out the huge
disadvantages of software written by committee? =A0<grin>
I honestly tried to understand what exactly you mean but I couldn't.
If your "commitee" means the board of managers that fuck up everything
that is good, having arrived from talented programmers, then I agree
but that's a problem with capitalism, not socialism.
True. But with some forms of extreme socialism there is no provision
for a contribution by individual "talented programmers"; everything is
done by committee. ;-)

Cheers, Phred.
--
***@THISyahoo.com.INVALID
m***@privacy.net
2008-11-06 12:06:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Mattias
Michael Mattias wrote..
Second, why is it so different to steal $10,000 worth of "hard goods"
than stealing a $10,000 software license? (Answer: there is NO
difference!).
Of course there is. If you steal $10,000 cash, the personal you took it
from clearly suffered $10,000 in damages. If you steal a $10,000 piece of
software, 99.9% of the time, the person you stole it from didn't suffer
$10,000 in damages.
Oh, but I did.
I developed the software based on the likely number of licenses I would sell
at what price, balanced against my investment in creating it.
It sounds like you are assuming that every pirate would buy a copy.
In the real world, many pirates just collect boatloads of stuff
that they never even run, others are students who are too poor to
pay, others are using pirated software as a "try before you buy"
scheme. Only that subset who would have bought if they couldn't
copy -- and who are willing to not get tech support -- actually
harm you.

Your "there is NO difference!" claim is stupid. Any 3rd grader
can see that there IS a difference.
Phred
2008-11-05 14:49:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joel Koltner
Post by Michael Mattias
Second, why is it so different to steal $10, 000 worth of "hard goods" than
stealing a $10,000 software license? (Answer: there is NO difference!).
Of course there is. If you steal $10,000 cash, the personal you took it from
clearly suffered $10,000 in damages. If you steal a $10,000 piece of
software, 99.9% of the time, the person you stole it from didn't suffer
$10,000 in damages.
"Hard goods" is not really the same as cash. If we're talking
material goods versus software, then there is not much difference.
For example, if you steal a $1000 suit from a shop, the person you
stole it from probably only suffered damages of $5 plus postage from
Fiji. [Err... make that "from China" these days.]

Anyway, the real value is neither here nor there. Theft is theft.
Post by Joel Koltner
Software piracy (and other intellectual property crimes)
is a somewhat gray area because it's usually very difficult to demonstrate
what the damage really is. Indeed, as some people in this thread have
mentioned, it's possible that pirating software can actually *benefit* a
company ("negative damages"), by making it more popular! Now, punishment in
the U.S. is based on (1) compensating victims for actual damages and then (2)
some additional amount that's meant to be a deterrent to future infractions.
Hence, while it's clear that software piracy should be dealt with via some
form of punishment to fulfil purpose (2) up there, the appropriate "amount" is
not at all clear-cut.
Cheers, Phred.
--
***@THISyahoo.com.INVALID
Peter Hill
2008-11-04 07:53:26 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 3 Nov 2008 10:24:42 -0800, "Joel Koltner"
<***@yahoo.com> wrote:

and it is a somewhat gray area (if I purchase a DVD, I
Post by Joel Koltner
absolutely should be able to transfer it to my PC, my iPod, etc., despite what
the MPAA may desire).
If you buy an iMusic track for your iPod, it's clearly intended for
one iPod user. Should you buy a public performance license to play it
though a docking device in a car with 3 of your family and friends as
an audience? Or at a party in your own home? Or to a firiend on
splitter earphones.

I'm sure the MPAA would like to say YES.
--
Peter Hill
Spamtrap reply domain as per NNTP-Posting-Host in header
Can of worms - what every fisherman wants.
Can of worms - what every PC owner gets!
d***@gmail.com
2008-11-08 13:30:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Hill
On Mon, 3 Nov 2008 10:24:42 -0800, "Joel Koltner"
and it is a somewhat gray area (if I purchase a DVD, I
Post by Joel Koltner
absolutely should be able to transfer it to my PC, my iPod, etc., despite what
the MPAA may desire).
If you buy an iMusic track for your iPod, it's clearly intended for
one iPod user. Should you buy a public performance license to play it
though a docking device in a car with 3 of your family and friends as
an audience? Or at a party in your own home? Or to a firiend on
splitter earphones.
I'm sure the MPAA would like to say YES.
The MPAA is the trade group for motion pictures. They probably don't
care about people making multiple copies of their music. It might hurt
them indirectly, since people might go to music which is no drm free
CDs instead of to movies which are on DRMed DVDs though.
Phred
2008-11-04 13:13:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joel Koltner
Post by Charles Richmond
Gates should have considered
this and avoided the "high handed" tone of his flaming letter.
Reasonable point.
Post by Charles Richmond
Software *was* once free, and it is *not* unusual for the
computer community to have some residual feeling about this.
OK, but I think it's clear *today* that overall we're better off with hardware
and software being "unbundled" (and software companies being allowed to charge
for their works). There are millions of people who'd suddenly be unemployed
if it was decided that intellectual property did not have some of the same
legal protections as physical property does (including unauthorized
reproduction being illegal). I agree that intellectual and physical property
are not identical, however -- certainly the punishment for stealing $10,000
cash from an indvidual should be a lot more severe than duplicating a piece of
$10,000 software --, and it is a somewhat gray area (if I purchase a DVD, I
absolutely should be able to transfer it to my PC, my iPod, etc., despite what
the MPAA may desire). As time goes on there'll be plenty of struggles to
What nonsense... Just because you *can* do it easily doesn't mean you
should be allowed to do it! Let's go back a few decades -- if you
bought a 12" LP record did you think you should be able to duplicate
it at will?
Post by Joel Koltner
clarify IP law, and I certainly hope that those on the side of "reasonable
use" will be able to ward off the commercial interests who often push quite
heavily for highly-restrictive use.
Actually, I'm quite sympathetic to the idea that *I* should have some
flexibility in the use of software I've purchased. From a purely
pragmatic point of view there is no loss to the software company (I'm
certainly not going to buy two copies just for convenience) and there
is the very real PR gain for them in having a happy customer promoting
their products.

However, I think it's reasonable for a company to restrict use of a
single copy to a single user at any one time. ISTR Borland got a lot
of positive response from users with that sort of EULA.

Cheers, Phred.
--
***@THISyahoo.com.INVALID
Tom Lake
2008-11-12 02:21:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Guy Macon <http://www.GuyMacon.com/>
I am curious as to whether any written-by-Bill-Gates, original-
source, not-a-later-disassembly, source code for any BASIC on
any system has ever been published. I would very much like
to examine the coding style, commenting philosophy, indentation
scheme, etc. that Bill Gates used when he was writing BASIC
interpreters.
You must win some kind of award for a long series of replies!

Does anyone know what the actual record is on Usenet?

Tom Lake
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