Whyyyyyy ???

You know the Dave Gorman (Modern Life is Good-ish) advert … where he shouts WHYYYYYY ??


Source (including screenshots):


And to pre-empt any questions relating to Peppermint … Yes probably (in fact it could probably be done more accurately with Peppermint’s XFWM4 window manager), but NO I won’t help ::slight_smile:

but NO I won’t help

Aw Pleeeeease :slight_smile:


To be fair, I did this about 6-7 months ago on my in-laws PC, except they’re on LMDE MATE. So, it’s also achievable on MATE as well as LXDE.

We’ve had this discussion before, but I’m talking about people who are in their 70s, who can’t grasp using a smartphone. After they’ve been using XP for 10 years, I’m not going to try to pull the rug from under them, and I’m not going bald over training them on a new OS layout. They’re happy that their PC is secure again, and does what they need it to (and they haven’t spent a penny on it), and I’m happy because it’s one more Linux PC in the world, but more importantly, it’s a working, secure PC that hasn’t lined Bill Gates’ pocket anymore.

Go on :smiley: You know you want to :wink:

Aaaargh, another one (posted on the Peppermint forum):

The DE formerly known as Metro on Peppermint :o

That’s it, the world has officially gone friggin bananas.

Treacle pudding layered with horse snot gravy anyone ?

Whyyyyyy ??

To be honest, I never thought XP looked all that good in the first place.

Bit ‘Fisher Price’ for my taste.

The first thing I would do after an install was tweak it to have the ‘classic’ (Windows 98) look.

Fair enough. Your in-laws are lucky to have your tech support and good luck to them. I love it when folks in their seventies embrace technology. I’m also happy that my PC is secure again, does what I need it to, and I haven’t spent a penny on it. (I’m not in my seventies yet, by the way…)

I’ve always sort of admired Bill Gates though. When he said (in the nineties?) that one day every home would have a PC, I thought he was mad. At that time they cost a fortune and were only really any use for office work. But thanks (I believe) to Microsoft’s mass marketing techniques, many of us now have several. I can count five plus a laptop. Also, he became the self-made richest man on the planet at a very early age, then gave most of it away to charities. Now that’s a CV.

That’s not to say I admire the current iteration of Microsoft though. Two different things. I might not have minded ‘upgrading’ Windows if the newer version had offered me something secure, and which I actually wanted, and hadn’t required me to ask Microsoft’s permission every time I wanted to change the hardware in my computer.

I’d dispute quite a few things in there…

  1. Personal computer in every home … that was well under way before Microsoft came to prominence (or even existed), but if you mean x86 ‘PC’ that would probably be more down to IBM’s hardware (and clones), the OS was incidental at the time and pure ‘timing’ luck on Microsoft’s part (or they’d likely be less that a footnote in history)

  2. Self made man … you mean in the right place at the right time (when IBM needed an OS), then squashing competitors with dirty tactics such as FUD and where that fails, copying their work, or buying them out then binning their better tech … or simly breaking/flouting the law.

  3. deserving admiration … the guy was/is a serial fraudster/con artist/liar/monopolist and it turns out spy, and IMHO probably did more to hold back computing than anyone else in history.

  4. Gave his money to charity … more like invested in “Big Pharma”, and some clever PR

Still admire him ?


Apparently I need to do some more reading (if I ever get the time).

I don’t even know what FUD means (at least, outside Scotland), but becoming the world’s richest man from being in the right place at the right time still requires a level of ability I certainly don’t have (but would quite like to). It’s a bit like saying George W bush is an idiot, even though he’s quite well off and was the most powerful man on earth (twice). I should be so stupid. I don’t have to like someone (or even his motives) before I acknowledge his abilities.

But I definitely remember how unaffordable personal computers were in the nineties. I worked in mainframe programming at the time, and I never expected to be able to afford one.

FUD = Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt

Like saying “Linux contains Microsoft code, and using it might leave you open to a court case” … no proof (and ccertainly he’d be best palced to provide it) … just spreading FUD.

OK, sure if you want to “recognise” his skills as a thieving bast*** and con artists, fair enough … I’d have to agree he’s VERY good at that … it’s the word “admire” I’m having problems with…


I can “recognise” the skill/audacity of say Ronnie Biggs without “admiring” him and building him into something he wasn’t :wink:

But I definitely remember how unaffordable personal computers were in the nineties. I worked in mainframe programming at the time, and I never expected to be able to afford one.

And how exactly did Microsoft bring down the price of PC’s ?

Surely it’s hardware mass production by many competing manufacturers of the opened up IBM PC architecture (and that architectures modularity) that brought prices tumbling down.
In fact if anything Microsoft have used their monopoly of the PC software market to kept PC prices artificially high … if IBM had done the same with the hardware PC’s would still cost a ton
Fact is, they’d be cheaper (and probably more advanced) without Microsofts dominance :o

Not sure if you can still see me down here from that soapbox :stuck_out_tongue:

Can’t believe I’m about to defend Bill Gates, but in the mid-late nineties, there wasn’t an alternative to Microsoft anyone would want to use as a home desktop. There may have been a small window in the early nineties (while DOS was still dominant), but once Windows 95 came out, it was game over until well after the millenium.

And your point ?

That while Bill Gates’ business practices were pretty dodgy to say the least, it’s not like consumers could vote with their feet as the monopoly Microsoft had was all-encompassing

Sorry still missing it ??? … OK let’s try again, and your point as it differs from mine ?


I don’t remember saying he didn’t (by breaking every moral and legal code out there) achieve a monopoly … just that:-

Said methods weren’t “admirable” nor is anything he’s done outside Microsoft.
He (or Microsoft) wasn’t the cause of the explosion in home computing.
He (or Microsoft) did not in any way make computing cheaper (or ‘better’ for that matter).

So which point am I being challenged on here ?

I’m a bit confused too, but I guess this one:

There wasn’t a natural alternative, so unless the lack of Microsoft would spawn one out of necessity, I think Microsoft did cause the explosion in home computing. It’s all hypothetical though, anyone got a time machine and no fear of causality?

So there were no Amigas, Ataris, BBC micros, ZX spectrums, etc. etc. ?

The “home” computer revolution was WELL under way before the IBM clone came on the scene … and in fact if ANYTHING brought the x86 IBM clone out of the workplace and into the home (dragging PC-DOS/MS-DOS behind it) it was Doom.

Microsoft (through luck and timing) were along for the ride … not as a cause, but purely as a benefactor.


Nothing hypothetical about it … I can say with 100% certainty, home computing was going to happen (indeed was already happening) with or without Microsoft.
And that the IBM clone rose to prominence ‘despite’ Microsoft, not ‘because of’ them.

Ok, so without Bill Gates & Microsoft, logically, PC-DOS remained until OS/2 (ugh) was released and then beyond. I’m sorry, I just can’t imagine the world of computing going that way. I guess Linux could have exploded onto the scene then, but desktop computing on Linux was a pipe dream at that point. The explosion from Linux 0.01 in 1991 to a desktop environment (circa 2.4, arguably 2.6) by 1995 is inconceivable to me.

Your point about Doom is interesting, I’d posture that Wolfenstein 3D had already started something but I’ll take it. That said, I was happily gaming on PCs in the late 80s, so I don’t see Doom as anything but a natural progression. Whether it “switched on” the home desktop market is a little debatable, but I can’t deny its impact. The internet didn’t hurt either, when the WWW kinda “appeared” in around 96.

Also, the problem with the C64s, Amigas, BBC, Spectrums etc, was fragmentation. Also hardware & OS didn’t help, I mean the BBC was a quality machine, but it didn’t move with the times (ditto Spectrum). Arguably the same thing the “public” argue against Linux & the multiple DEs with. You only need to look at the smartphone market to feel the tension - I won’t buy an iPhone because I’m “invested” in Android. If I had a Spectrum, I wouldn’t buy a C64 because I’d have to re-buy all of my apps/programs.

Ok, so without Bill Gates & Microsoft, logically, PC-DOS remained until OS/2 (ugh) was released and then beyond.

Actually no, OS/2 was a joint venture between Microsoft and IBM … and even Microsoft considered it better than anything they had at the time or they wouldn’t have stolen most of the code :wink:

Logically without Microsoft, IBM would have gone with CP/M or found another clone … maybe even finding Seattle Computer Products QDOS on their own … but the IBM PC was innevitable with or without Microsoft.

OK, there’s no way of knowing how the IBM PC would have faired with a different OS … but after the Amigas/Ataris/etc.you can be 100% sure that home computing wasn’t going away with or without Microsoft or indeed the IBM PC.

My point about Doom was the IBM clone was a pure workplace PC until Doom … Doom allowed it to break out of the workplace and into the home because even though it was more expensive than things like the Amiga (and technically inferior) it had the benefit of workplace familiarity and now the ability to render the need for a separate ‘game’ PC unnecessary.

The OS was no more the sales driving force behind the x86 IBM clone then than it is now.

Stand corrected about that OS/2 part then, only used it once and thought it was awful (seemed like Windows 3.1 done badly)

Not sure if I’m misunderstood you, but the OS is a driving force behind sales, otherwise you’d see more OEM machines ship with Linux and a £80 discount, especially when Windows 8 was universally rejected by all on release.

Back in the 90s it wasn’t, because there wasn’t a viable alternative (what were you using in the 90s, and why?)

Edit: Found this link - http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/historic-linux/distributions/debian-0.91/info/Manifesto
An interesting read! Can’t find when Debian acquired a X server, maybe it was more viable than I thought!

The OS is not a sales driving source (never was) … available software is.

Back then it was the hardware/software combination (and maybe a little school yard brand loyalty) … but still not the OS.

Do you think all the software houses wouldn’t have appeared had IBM chosen CP/M, or another OS ? … or indeed a different architecture had become prominent ?


what were you using in the 90s, and why?

Early 90’s … still using an Amiga A1200 because it made the PC look dumb in every respect

Late 90’s … PC with Windows because that’s all there was and my Amiga had died … certainly not because I wanted Windows (I didn’t buy a computer for the OS), simply because that (as far as I knew) was the only option … Windows isn’t a “selling point” when there’s no alternative.

I still fail to see how Microsoft/Windows helped sell home computers, as opposed to just worming their way into being on the computers that sold ?