[conspire] Resizing NTFS

Heather Stern star at starshine.org
Sun Oct 20 12:18:54 PDT 2002

> In the DOS/Windows, MacOS, and PalmOS worlds, genuinely open-source
> software has never caught on, much.  This is in part because of
> shareware offerings:  Why bother writing an open-source modem program,
> when everyone has Qmodem or Telix?  And all of those people who
> downloaded Qmodem or Telix, or got them from a friend, are vaguely aware
> that they're obliged to pay for them if they use them, but 99+% of them
> just get used to ignoring such obligations, because they can.
> So, DOS et al. users started developing an attitude that licences are
> things that theoretically apply to you, and in an ideal world you'd read
> them, but as a practical matter you just type "Yes" and use anything you
> can get your hands on.  I mean, if they were serious about your paying,
> they'd force you to, right?
The original "strong premise" for shareware, and for genuinely paying
up, was the following:

1. What if it *doesn't* work / isn't good for you?

   You bought the stuff at the store, see them stiff you on the 
   manufacturer's 30 day return policy (send them mail.  you needed a 
   special note on your receipt?  huh, why didn't you ask for that when
   you bought it?  /honest!  They really *said* things like this!  The
   world has changed a little bit since then, but still/ well, I can
   call my manager /who's on a coffee break./ ), watch them try to stiff 
   you on your state's 10 day return policy (sadly, a use remains for
   adult tantrums), waste a bunch of time in line even waiting for them too.

   Or: you download it at your friendly local BBS, get some reviews from
   some fellow nerds who actually *tried* it so they know what they
   stupid installer at least looks like, and if it doesn't work, then
   heck, it was just the same as if you had to do things The Hard Way
   anyway.   if it does, pay up; one of your local buddies might be a
   shareware author too.  You'd buy the guy a beer, wouldn't you?  So
   why not a fiver for shareware.

   (as for tried it, yes, some lucky geek always gets to be first on the
   chopping block.)

   (yes, the glitch here is the prices have gone up.  I recall when 
   paying 5 or 10 got you the thank you note, and paying 25 got you
   source code.  Those were the days.  Most of them don't offer source

   (Get Out The Cane And White Beard:  yes, I also recall when the
   only way you could get decent software was in source form.  No
   matter what else you think of Magazine BASIC, it was cross platform
   and it worked. c.f. my autobiographical filksong, LG, author bios.)

2. Aww c'mon, the expensive ones are half the price of the things in
   the store, and much better than half as good.

   Sometimes better, since the authors actually use them for the
   advertised effects.

   Interestingly enough, the same premise that some people use to push
   Linux and BSD.  Not just "it's free"  (pick a style of freedom) and
   not just "we have source" (which means not much to a newbie.  to the
   right sort of person "we don't charge $450 for gcc - so you can
   recompile anything you want" is muuuuch more powerful) but also,
   our little penguin's igloo doesn't fall down the way the house made
   out of Windows does all the time.
   If I had a dollar for everytime a newbie shrugged off the "crashes
   less" commentary, then listened raptly to my tales of doing really
   bad things to systems and recovering by beating my way to a shell
   prompt... why, I could probably throw a big pizza party.
> This attitude doesn't stop with shareware.  At many companies I've
> worked at -- including two proprietary software firms(!) -- people
> bootleg retail software without a second thought.  Because everyone 
> thinks taking licence agreements seriously and paying for what you use
> is someone else's problem.
> _These_ are the people who accuse _us_ -- open-source software users --
> of being too cheap to pay for software, and of ripping off proprietary
> software companies when we can.  They can't imagine any reason to use
> open-source software other than cost.  And _they'd_ rip off proprietary
> software companies in an instant, so why wouldn't we?

We speak from a position of power.  Our stuff is "free" (as in sharable,
not as in unrestricted) ... even the folks at MS' home office can use
it.  But they would never pay the price to use its *parts* inside their
own goods.

> Which brings us back to BootIt NG:  You could read that licence
> attentively, and say in all honestly that it absolutely permits LUGs
> to hand out tens of thousands of copies, each to a person who will need
> it exactly once, and have quantity _zero_ of those happy customers pay
> TeraByte a dime.  Which is pretty much what happens with shareware,
> generally.
Yes; it goes in the "pay" vs "free" section of some large CD full of
software, by two weeks later people dunno which was which even if they
cared, and few people succumb even to nagware.  Some will pony up for
timebomb ware ... which I've always deeply mistrusted.

Anybody send any very weirdly phrased postcards out to Columbia Univ. for 
their fonts, or spend a moment off thinking about third world countries?  
These are the kinds of things some folks have listed as their "how to 
register your software" when they haven't any expectation of people sending 
them money anymore.
> And people hearing about this say "Well, I guess it's true that Linux
> users are too cheap to pay for anything, which is the only reason they 
> use open source."
 Huh.  I'd like to see those guys build their own kitchen cabinetry from
 raw lumber they were given and then say it didn't cost them anything.

 They *can* ... if they consider their time to have no value.  c.f. 
 Shareware Advocacy Item 2.  (If it saved you more time then he's
 charging don't waste any more time whining about it.)
> What I'm saying is that it's not in our interest to participate in that
> happening, and we don't have to do so.  We can tell users "You want
> BootIt NG?  Fine; we'll give you a copy if you pay the shareware fee.
> If you'd rather not, feel free to get a copy without our help."  Those 
> users may stiff TeraByte, but at least we didn't help.  And we set a
> good example.

Hey, if I'm at a fest and some Shareware thingy mangles a disk so we
have to do things The Hard Way, I'll help 'em shred the check, if they

What they hell, I'll recommend some good Free word processors for the fellow
so he can flam the fellow on letterhead, the old fashioned way :)

  . | .   Heather Stern                  |         star at starshine.org
--->*<--- Starshine Technical Services - * - consulting at starshine.org
  ' | `   Sysadmin Support and Training  |        (800) 938-4078

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