08.06.20

Gemini version available ♊︎

Computing vs. Marketing

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Marketing at 9:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

2020 figosdev

Index

17th 1/2 and Market
Chapter 4: Computing vs. Marketing

Summary: “The important lesson here is that Windows is NOT a computer — it is actually a horrible thing that people DO to a computer, and to themselves.”

Imagine you go to a car dealership, and after buying a car, the dealer says “and when you run low on petrol, just bring it to a dealer and they’ll sell you more!”

Fuel may not be the best metaphor for software, but it is worth noting that you buy it from a petrol station, not from the car manufacturer. You decide what brand of fuel to put in your car, and the idea of having to use specific brands for specific cars is more or less ridiculous. Even small planes tend to use the same fuel truck, regardless of who makes them.

“In this fiction created to sell software, you don’t have a computer, you have a Windows computer or an Apple (Mac) computer.”Computers were designed originally for tasks (numeric and data processing) followed by programs with rudimentary instructions, and eventually operating systems were created. While computers can do jobs without operating systems, software has become a consumer industry — the makers of software would rather you think of your computer as being tied to the OS, or better yet think of it as the OS itself.

In this fiction created to sell software, you don’t have a computer, you have a Windows computer or an Apple (Mac) computer. So what are Dell and Lenovo in this imaginary world? Types of Windows computers, also known as a “PC” — and that is a PC? Its a computer that runs Windows!

As mentioned in the previous chapter, Microsoft has reinforced this illusion by making deals with manufacturers that made it difficult for them to offer choices in terms of what OS a computer came with.

Apple has simply tied their OS directly to their own hardware products. It’s possible, though difficult — to run Apple’s operating system on a computer that Apple didn’t sell. Its also possible to run a different OS on a computer that Apple sold. But these companies would prefer to tie your hardware to their software, as if they’re the same thing.

It’s true that your computer won’t do much without an operating system. Since the 1960s, various institutions and companies have worked to create software platforms that allow the computer to handle more than one program — even more than one user — at the same time. While the modest computing power of early 8-bit consumer devices were put to better use running a single program at once, by the time IBM came out with the AT with enough RAM for more tasks, it was possible and increasingly desirable to manage more than one task simultaneously.

“If you detach the two cables going to that box, (or slide it out of the laptop) your computer will be OS-free. It won’t have any files or operating system when you turn it on.”It is helpful to disrupt this illusion of the OS as the computer. If you have a decent quality laptop, and it isn’t one of the almost hermetically sealed aluminum capsules that Apple makes, you may find a panel on the back of your laptop (one some older models its even on the side) that allows you to remove the drive from your computer.

This is mostly a thought experiment, so don’t feel the need to get out your screwdrivers unless you’ve done this before — or have a laptop you don’t care about. The danger to your laptop could be small, but we don’t want to presume anything without other details.

After turning off and unplugging your computer, its possible to remove the drive. I had one very inexpensive laptop without a drive — instead it had a small module that contained the equivalent of a USB stick on it which served as the drive. If you have a desktop, there is usually an entire side of the case you can remove — the drive will probably be larger.

“Oftentimes, installing an operating system is nearly as simple as putting the right USB into the computer, turning it on and hitting enter several times.”Laptops and desktops have a variety of components inside, but in a laptop and especially the desktop, the ones most relevant at the moment are typically in black or silver boxes, ranging from the size of your hand to the size of your palm. The box with the most wires is the power supply — that’s the most dangerous part of the computer, and you can figure out where it is very easily, because on the outside of the case is the power cable that goes to it. Usually its located near the top and towards the back, but sometimes it is placed on the bottom of the case.

Immediately on the other side of where you put DVDs into the computer, you’ll find the optical drive. On desktops they are larger than hard drives, and on laptops they are typically larger than laptop hard drives.

A few models of laptop will make drive access difficult, but most are better than that. You usually don’t need to remove the drive to change the OS — normally you won’t have to open the computer at all. But inside your computer is a little silver and/or black metal box, which holds all your files, software and the OS. Some desktops even have more than one.

If you detach the two cables going to that box, (or slide it out of the laptop) your computer will be OS-free. It won’t have any files or operating system when you turn it on. You can erase everything on that little box and have no operating system (or files) when you put it back, and the computer will still be a computer. What happens then if you turn it on?

“The important lesson here is that Windows is NOT a computer — it is actually a horrible thing that people DO to a computer, and to themselves.”The first thing you’ll notice is that it still puts something on the screen. Typically this will be the OEM logo — Dell if you have a Dell, Lenovo if you have Lenovo, Acer if you have that, etc. This is not part of the OS, rather like the BASIC interpreter that starts when you switch on the C64, this logo is stored on a chip on the computer.

You should also be able to get to the BIOS settings. Technically it isn’t called BIOS anymore, the new term is UEFI — but lots of people still call it BIOS (for one because its only two syllables, and BI-OHS doesn’t sound as stupid as YOOFEE).

The BIOS lets you configure certain hardware settings, including which device to look on first for an operating system. This is something they should teach in computer classes, and they do if you take a repair class. But this isn’t just a repair task, it’s a fairly basic computer skill. At any rate, the rule for BIOS settings is write down anything you change (ESPECIALLY what you changed it FROM — what you change it to is slightly less important) and don’t change BIOS settings you don’t understand. That will help save you an expensive trip to a technician.

To get to these settings, you normally have to press a key on startup. These keys vary from machine to machine, but are usually one of the F1-F10 keys, with F1, F2 and F10 being popular — or Ins or Del. Often it will say on the screen.

“All kinds of things that put Microsoft more in control of your computer than you are, are right there, on that little silver and/or black box inside your machine.”If you press nothing, the computer will most likely proceed to look for an operating system on the hard drive. If you removed it, or erased the drive, now it will say something like “Operating System Not Found” and stop. This also may happen if your bootloader (on the hard drive) is not installed.

Oftentimes, installing an operating system is nearly as simple as putting the right USB into the computer, turning it on and hitting enter several times. Don’t know what a bootloader is? Doesn’t matter, one will be installed by default. Of course that depends on having the right USB stick and BIOS settings (you may well have the right BIOS settings already) and the right bootable USB stick is something you can learn to make yourself.

The important lesson here is that Windows is NOT a computer — it is actually a horrible thing that people DO to a computer, and to themselves.

If you have Windows installed, it is ultimately going to run updates when Microsoft wants it to — it is ultimately going to install what Microsoft wants. It will talk to Microsoft when they want it to. All kinds of things that put Microsoft more in control of your computer than you are, are right there, on that little silver and/or black box inside your machine. Don’t throw that box away though, it can be put to much nicer purposes after it is erased.

Licence: Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (public domain)

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Taking Techrights to the Next Level in 2023

    I've reached a state of "closure" when it comes to my employer (almost 12 years for me, 9+ years for my wife); expect Techrights to become more active than ever before and belatedly publish important articles, based on longstanding investigations that take a lot of effort



  2. The ISO Delusion: When the Employer Doesn’t Realise That Outsourcing Clients' Passwords to LassPass After Security Breaches Is a Terrible Idea

    The mentality or the general mindset at Sirius ‘Open Source’ was not compatible with that of security conscientiousness and it seemed abundantly clear that paper mills (e.g. ISO certification) cannot compensate for that



  3. Links 30/01/2023: Plasma Mobile 23.01 and GNU Taler 0.9.1

    Links for the day



  4. EPO Management Isn't Listening to Staff, It's Just Trying to Divide and Demoralise the Staff Instead

    “On 18 January 2023,” the staff representatives tell European Patent Office (EPO) colleagues, “the staff representation met with the administration in a Working Group on the project “Bringing Teams Together”. It was the first meeting since the departure of PD General Administration and the radical changes made to the project. We voiced the major concerns of staff, the organization chaos and unrest caused by the project among teams and made concrete proposals.”



  5. Links 30/01/2023: Coreboot 4.19 and Budgie 10.7

    Links for the day



  6. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 29, 2023

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 29, 2023



  7. [Meme] With Superheroes Like These...

    Ever since the new managers arrived the talent has fled the company that falsely credits itself with "Open Source"



  8. Not Tolerating Proprietary 'Bossware' in the Workplace (or at Home in Case of Work-From-Home)

    The company known as Sirius ‘Open Source’ generally rejected… Open Source. Today’s focus was the migration to Slack.



  9. The ISO Delusion: A Stack of Proprietary Junk (Slack) Failing Miserably

    When the company where I worked for nearly 12 years spoke of pragmatism it was merely making excuses to adopt proprietary software at the expense of already-working and functional Free software



  10. Debian 11 on My Main Rig: So Far Mostly OK, But Missing Some Software From Debian 10

    Distributions of GNU/Linux keep urging us to move to the latest, but is the latest always the greatest? On Friday my Debian 10 drive died, so I started moving to Debian 11 on a new drive and here's what that did to my life.



  11. Stigmatising GNU/Linux for Not Withstanding Hardware Failures

    Nowadays "the news" is polluted with a lot of GNU/Linux-hostile nonsense; like with patents, the signal-to-noise ratio is appalling and here we deal with a poor 'report' about "Linux servers" failing to work



  12. Microsofters Inside Sirius 'Open Source'

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ has been employing incompetent managers for years — a sentiment shared among colleagues by the way; today we examine some glaring examples with redacted communications to prove it



  13. Links 29/01/2023: GNOME 43.3 Fixes and Lots About Games

    Links for the day



  14. The Hey Hype Machine

    "Hey Hype" or "Hey Hi" (AI) has been dominating the press lately and a lot of that seems to boil down to paid-for marketing; we need to understand what's truly going on and not be distracted by the substance-less hype



  15. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 28, 2023

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 28, 2023



  16. Unmasking AI

    A guest article by Andy Farnell



  17. The ISO Delusion/Sirius Corporation: A 'Tech' Company Run by Non-Technical People

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ was hiring people who brought to the company a culture of redundant tasks and unwanted, even hostile technology; today we continue to tell the story of a company run by the CEO whose friends and acquaintances did severe damage



  18. Links 28/01/2023: Lots of Catching Up (Had Hardware Crash)

    Links for the day



  19. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 27, 2023

    IRC logs for Friday, January 27, 2023



  20. Microsoft DuckDuckGo Falls to Lowest Share in 2 Years After Being Widely Exposed as Microsoft Proxy, Fake 'Privacy'

    DuckDuckGo, according to this latest data from Statcounter, fell from about 0.71% to just 0.58%; all the gains have been lost amid scandals, such as widespread realisation that DuckDuckGo is a Microsoft informant, curated by Microsoft and hosted by Microsoft (Bing is meanwhile laying off many people, but the media isn’t covering that or barely bothers)



  21. This is What the Microsoft-Sponsored Media Has Been Hyping Up for Weeks (Ahead of Microsoft Layoffs)

    Reprinted with permission from Ryan



  22. [Meme] António Campinos Wants to Be F***ing President Until 2028

    António Campinos insists he will be EPO President for 10 years, i.e. even longer than Benoît Battistelli (despite having appalling approval rates from staff)



  23. European Patent Office Staff Losing Hope

    The EPO’s management with its shallow campaign of obfuscation (pretending to protect children or some other nonsense) is not fooling patent examiners, who have grown tired and whose representatives say “the administration shows no intention of involving the staff representation in the drafting of the consultant’s mandate” (like in Sirius ‘Open Source’ where technical staff is ignored completely for misguided proposals to pass in the dark)



  24. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 26, 2023

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 26, 2023



  25. Sirius Relegated/Demoted/Destined Itself to Technical Hell by Refusing to Listen to the Technical Staff (Which Wanted to Stay With Asterisk/Free Software)

    In my final year at Sirius ‘Open Source’ communication systems had already become chaotic; there were too many dysfunctional tools, a lack of instructions, a lack of coordination and the proposed ‘solution’ (this past October) was just more complexity and red tape



  26. Geminispace Approaching Another Growth Milestone (2,300 Active Capsules)

    The expansion of Geminispace is worth noting again because another milestone is approached, flirted with, or will be surpassed this coming weekend



  27. [Meme] Cannot Get a Phone to Work... in 2022

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ wasted hours of workers’ time just testing the phone after it had moved to a defective system of Google (proprietary); instead of a rollback (back to Asterisk) the company doubled down on the faulty system and the phones still didn’t work properly, resulting in missing calls and angst (the company just blamed the workers who all along rejected this new system)



  28. [Meme] Modern Phones

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ is mistaking “modern” for better; insecurity and a lack of tech savvy typically leads to that



  29. The ISO Delusion: Sirius Corporation Demonstrates a Lack of Understanding of Security and Privacy

    Sirius ‘Open Source’, emboldened by ISO ‘paperwork’ (certification), lost sight of what it truly takes to run a business securely, mistaking worthless gadgets for “advancement” while compelling staff to sign a new contract in a hurry (prior contract-signing scandals notwithstanding)



  30. Links 26/01/2023: LibreOffice 7.4.5 and Ubuntu Pro Offers

    Links for the day


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts