Doing the right thing with Open Source

Giant Eagle has been giving Apple computers to schools because it is the right thing to do.  The business of selling groceries has nothing to do with computers or educating children but they do it for the good will of the community.

The woman I met in the waiting room mentioned to me that Windows 7 lacks DOS support. She also claimed that Windows XP-backward support is only provided with a those with a license for XP for use with virtualization. More Microsoft products to buy! Microsoft confirms it all here.

While Microsoft wants you to stop using all of your applications and games written for DOS or Windows XP, Windows system programmers are supposed to port all of their BAT scripts to “PowerShell.” I borrowed a Windows 7 machine to verify this for myself. Here is a screenshot.

As a professional system administrator, I hereby tell Microsoft that the PowerShell innovation is too little too late. Why would I leave Linux for Windows 7? Bash, Perl, Python, GCC… these are all open source are basic part of Linux to customize my environment and script my operating system.  Ever since 1995, an open source program called Cygwin has been bringing all of these programming tools to Windows users.  Open Source has been compensating for the inadequacies of the Microsoft-provided environment because it is the right thing to do. Fifteen years later Microsoft thinks I will be satisfied with PowerScript: a closed-source .Net-based development environment that is not even backwards-compatible with DOS BAT. No thanks Microsoft.

The good news for Microsoft users who need DOS compatibility brought to you by Open Source, not Microsoft. If this is you, check out DOSBox, FreeDOS, and VirtualBox.

Thank you to open source contributors doing the right thing and helping Windows users where Microsoft fails their own customers. You are doing the right thing.

When Microsoft’s market share is less than 50% come June 30, 2011, open source will continue to be here to support Microsoft’s legacy applications.

Update: I assumed that Powershell was a closed source Microsoft-only shell-based scripting language. I stand corrected. Again, with the power of open source AND bash, Linux, MacOSX, legacy Windows, and mobile Windows users can use Powershell on their systems with pash:

Microsoft can no longer hold a monopoly over even their own proprietary environments.

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2 Responses to Doing the right thing with Open Source

  1. I think it’s much better to use an Open Source alternative rather than to use a pirated closed source have to pay to use system.

    And considering, Open Source alternatives tend to have bugs fixed faster, and contain no nasty surprises, like Spyware, Malware and in some case Virus’s, it just gives me more reason to not use closed source applications.

    For the past 5 years, I’ve been developing Web Sites full time for my wife’s business, and in that time have only used Open Source products, like different Linux distributions, and Open Source software that come with them. I’ve had other developer’s try telling me things like, but you can’t do AJAX properly, or use Flash using Linux and Open Source products, and yet have been able to prove them wrong on every front. And when I’ve asked them where they’ve been, “Oh, I got a virus and had to reformat my computer”, yeah, that’s productive isn’t it. I have never once had to reformat any of my Linux machine’s due to such problems.

  2. darryl says:

    powershell, walks all over BASH, in fact it’s lightyears ahead, and then there is the excellent talk scheduler.

    My windows 7 machine certainly does support DOS, and there are many 3rd party applications available for windows if you need to do advanced batch work on Windows 7.

    There is no requirement to have to move OS’s or to use FOSS things, if you need to support DOS or batch files (does any actually STILL USE THEM?).

    But take a few minutes to find out about the capabilities of Powershell, you’ll find that it’s very very powerfull. And you’ll also find that anything you can do with BASH you can do with powershell, (and more).

    If you would like me to provide links to confirm this, I would be happy to should anyone ask, OR you can do it yourself, if you are aware of services such as Google, (or bing).

    So again, another challenge, show me something you can do with BASH, that you cannot acheive with Powershell. Then I will show you things that powershell can do that BASH will struggle with.

    But, thats not as nearly as interesting as generating unnessary FUD about Windows.
    (it’s almost as if you’re trying to win you’re bet, by further FUD and inconsistant arguments.

    But if you think that not having DOS, (or what you think is not having DOS) on windows is a show stopper, Then why is there not a huge outcry about not having that functionality.

    Seems Win 7 is very very popular, and now over 3 times more popular than Linux (on the desktop) after a short period of time. So to me it seems this FUD is not working.

    But it is ensuring, that the linux community is seen as using FUD and weak arguments, in an attempt to DIS Windows..

    If all you can find to pick on with Win 7 is “DOS”, does that mean you are having trouble faulting it ?

    And saying BASH is better than powershell, only says one of 2 things,

    You dont know how to use BASH, or you dont know how to use Powershell. Ive used both, and I know what I would prefer, and I know which is the more powerfull command line system.

    (neither BASH or powershell, is as nice to use DCE, from DEC VAX/VMS, which has an excellent scriping system. and embedded programming language, (as powershell has).

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