Microsoft's new tactics

Posted 26 Jan 2001 at 17:04 UTC by mobius Share This

MS has started using some familiar terms and ideas lately...

My uni has recently acquired a "student Consultant" from Microsoft. This person is an undergrad who has apparently got some friends at MS. Anyway, we're now being bombarded by microsoft 'events'. The first one was an info session, the sort where they give a presentation and take resumes. Fine, no complaints with that.

The next one, however, is a Windows 2000 Installfest. This boggles me, since I don't see much point in everyone getting together, putting in the CDs, and watching the installshield. Whee.

The other thing which MS is doing is www.studentdev.org. If you visit the site, the site name is "Microsoft(c) studentdev.org".

MS is apparently trying to change its image in exactly the way Denny suggests in the softwarefreedom article. It's a .org dedicated to microsoft products, with some e-group features tacked on. [on the bright hand, it doesn't appear to be very widely used]. From that and the 'installfest', I assume that MS is trying to create a sense of community similar to that of Linux. I won't be surprised when I see a local Microsoft(c) WUG.

Maybe all this means is that MS is getting a clue about the power of community. Maybe it means that even more uni grads are going to be propreitary programmers. I don't really know. In any case I'm considering attending the 'installfest', with copies of RedHat. ;)


Linux installfest, posted 26 Jan 2001 at 20:33 UTC by Iain » (Master)

Whats the difference between putting the CDs in and watching Installshield as opposed to putting the CDs in and watching "<Insert your favourite distribution here"'s installer"?

Maybe I just always missed the point of installfests.

Software Prosyletizing, posted 26 Jan 2001 at 23:39 UTC by tony » (Journeyer)

Iain,

Installfests are merely evangelical events. Linux power users get together and offer their assistance with Linux installation. Newbies attend because they want to install Linux, but are afraid-- after all, Linux is hard to install. (At least, that's what they've been told.)

Also, it's an excuse for Linux geeks to get together and talk shop. The AK-LUG also hands out CDs, and such. it's quite a bit of fun, when its all said and done. Not as fun as getting together with other hackers and cranking out some code (IMNSHO), but in Alaska there aren't that many real hackers. (I'd like to think of myself as a coder, but it's hard to tell, since I'm the only one in Sitka.)

As for Microsoft entering into "community-spirit" mode-- so what? They have their own share of cheerleaders and blind followers. Events like these will not have a revivalist appeal, but a more Cathedral-like pall. Again, IMNSHO.

Software Proselytizing, posted 26 Jan 2001 at 23:40 UTC by tony » (Journeyer)

Iain,

Installfests are merely evangelical events. Linux power users get together and offer their assistance with Linux installation. Newbies attend because they want to install Linux, but are afraid-- after all, Linux is hard to install. (At least, that's what they've been told.)

Also, it's an excuse for Linux geeks to get together and talk shop. The AK-LUG also hands out CDs, and such. it's quite a bit of fun, when its all said and done. Not as fun as getting together with other hackers and cranking out some code (IMNSHO), but in Alaska there aren't that many real hackers. (I'd like to think of myself as a coder, but it's hard to tell, since I'm the only one in Sitka.)

As for Microsoft entering into "community-spirit" mode-- so what? They have their own share of cheerleaders and blind followers. Events like these will not have a revivalist appeal, but a more Cathedral-like pall. Again, IMNSHO.

Software <add big word here>, posted 27 Jan 2001 at 01:02 UTC by Iain » (Master)

Tony: I guess I thought that happened, but I was confused when the article hinted that things like that couldn't happen at a Win2K installfest, and I don't really see why not. *shrug*

Microsoft WUG (c) (tm) (blah), posted 28 Jan 2001 at 18:16 UTC by Denny » (Journeyer)

Oh please can't we broaden that to cover all their product lines, making it simply a Microsoft Users Group? :)

I can just imagine the conversations...

"Going anywhere tonight?"
"Yeah, it's the local MUG meeting!"
"Ooh, can I come along, I've always wanted to be a bit of a MUG!"
"Sure thing... don't forget your license fee."

*grin*

Regards,
Denny

Heh, posted 28 Jan 2001 at 21:54 UTC by jgg » (Master)

I was going going to respond that my school is doing this too.. But then I noticed we go the same one..

Yes, I think it is very scary that the MS rep guy is trying to indoctrinate our primarily UNIX CS department and make the students cries for non-UNIX systems louder.. It is already bad enough in EE where the profs demand Windows only softwar.

BTW, the point that will clear up the confusion is this:

There is going to be a Windows 2000 Professional/Visual Studio 6.0 Installfest on Saturday February 10. It will take place from 9am to 5pm in the Lister Hall Map Room.

Participants will get FREE FULL VERSIONS of Windows 2000 Professional and Visual Studio 6.0 Professional on CD and we will help you install them. Pre-registration is required for the Installfest, so I know how many copies to get.

Fraser Gallop

Another detail to note is that the Windows Rep is also the VP Social for the CS Club!

UCLA WUG, posted 29 Jan 2001 at 02:09 UTC by witten » (Journeyer)

Check out the web page for the UCLA Windows Users Group, which was formed around the start of April of last year.

"Hmmm... a life... can I find one of those on the 'net?", posted 29 Jan 2001 at 03:05 UTC by rtmfd » (Journeyer)

I think that Linux and *NIX advocates should spend less time "preaching to the choir" and more time emitting code. Just my 2 cents.

Ian Baird

Re: "Hmmm... a life... can I find one of those on the 'net?", posted 29 Jan 2001 at 03:55 UTC by carmstro » (Journeyer)

I agree that the subject of this particular article was a bit silly, but I've gotta say that advocates wouldn't be advocates if they never preached anything. :)
I do think advocates have their place, but I also believe that hackers are more important -- my two cents. :)

corrupt, posted 29 Jan 2001 at 06:55 UTC by ali » (Apprentice)

jgg wrote:

Participants will get FREE FULL VERSIONS of Windows 2000 Professional and Visual Studio 6.0 Professional on CD and we will help you install them.

Hmmmm......... I may be a little bit corrupt... But, to be honest, *I* would join the installfest. One even could buy a new harddrive to install the stuff on and still make some profit.

Besides that, it's cool. You don't have to care about the usual crashing installer, weird errors, and such - there's a confused guy who does it all for you. Cool.

(Or am I the only one here who has a windows installation on his hd to play games and compile windows stuff?)

Re: "Hmmm... a life... can I find one of those on the 'net?",, posted 29 Jan 2001 at 14:11 UTC by lkcl » (Master)

what's a 'net?

code vs preaching, posted 29 Jan 2001 at 16:13 UTC by mobius » (Master)

First off, my apologies for the double post; my browser kept timing out after I hit the "post" button.

Second, I'm only checking the article now because I spent the weekend networking my apartment. :) :) :) No code was produced, but much was learned.

And now for an actual reply:
No, I don't think there's any reason MS can't create communities of its users; it can only be a step in the right direction, away from isolated individuals without a common voice. I don't think that installfests are the way for MS to go, I'd rather see them come up with their own brand of community rather than copying Linux. After all, the two demographics are hugely different. They should probably have "reinstallfests" instead. :)

Iain, admittedly there's not a lot of difference between a Windows install and a Mandrake(just picking one at random, I have nothing against it) install. The difference is that some linux installs [debian, etc] let you choose in great detail what, where, and how you want to install packages. I can see a much greater need to have gurus nearby for guidance during this process, since even non-newbies may not know what to do.

Anyone who didn't check out the UCLA Windows Users Group link, it's highly recommended. :)

Re: UCLA WUG, posted 29 Jan 2001 at 22:49 UTC by BenFrantzDale » (Journeyer)

In reply to witten's post regarding the UCLA Windows Users Group, It appears (I hope) to be a clever spoof. (Their screenshots page shows a picture of an Airport Arival/Departure board with a BSOD.)

--Ben

Re: What a 'net is, posted 31 Jan 2001 at 02:38 UTC by schoen » (Master)

lkcl, a 'net is a LISP or Scheme atom, like in the Scheme function

(define return-net-atom (lambda () 'net))

Re: What a 'net is, posted 31 Jan 2001 at 15:49 UTC by sneakums » (Journeyer)

'net expands to (quote net), which is not an atom but a special form.

Example:

 (cdr ''net)
  ==> (net)

I am intentionally doubling the quote marks (since cdr evaluates its argument) in order to obtain the cdr of 'net.

Or perhaps I misunderstand what an atom is; my current understanding is that an atom is-not-a sequence.

An <b>atom</b> is not a <b>cons</b>, posted 2 Feb 2001 at 13:02 UTC by dan » (Master)

(Is this off-topic, or what?)

In Comon Lisp, an atom is any object that is not a cons.

Yes, this means that vectors are atoms - despite being sequences.

Re: atoms, posted 3 Feb 2001 at 13:11 UTC by sneakums » (Journeyer)

Well, I was pretty sure I was wrong, but I knew if I didn't ask that I'd never find out.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank John McCarthy, without whom this discussion would not have been possible.

New Advogato Features

New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.

Keep up with the latest Advogato features by reading the Advogato status blog.

If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!

X
Share this page