Spudsoft’s A’Comin’!

Richard Murphy says:
May 13 2017 at 4:22 pm
I do not object to software advancing

BUT for large numbers of users most of what most software does is just bloat we are forced to but quite unneccasrily

If this mess says anything it is time for someone to produce functional business software that would also meet 90% of hosuehold needs

The correct answer to which is “Off you go matey”

Richard Murphy says:
May 13 2017 at 4:20 pm
For 99% of government users things like Libre Office on Linux mixed with some good template writing and some intelligent macros would cover every need

Yeo, that’s going to connect with every piece of technical software the NHS has, isn’t it?

Perhaps SnippaSoft then?

Richard Murphy says:
May 13 2017 at 5:47 pm
I am not being unfair: I made the point that this is deliberate technical obsolescence of no use to society that a monopolist can dictate

I am being unambiguous as to where the unfairness is. I am saying we should not permit such monopoly or the power it affords

Reply
Peter Crossan says:
May 13 2017 at 6:50 pm
Sure, Richard, Microsoft are dominant in the marketplace, but they do warn potential customers of the deliberate technical obsolence – which is one reason why I don’t use their products – so it’s a case of caveat emptor. And there are alternatives.

Richard Murphy says:
May 13 2017 at 7:25 pm
The alternative is ending their right to a monopoly

It’s a monopoly when Libre Office on Linux mixed with some good template writing and some intelligent macros would cover every need??

Rilly?

21 comments on “Spudsoft’s A’Comin’!

  1. He’s done another post today, apparently we need a state OS. That’s bound to be fucking brilliant!

    …and to cap it all, he thinks his phone is low powered and enough. It’s likely to be more powerful than a PC bought when XP first came out.

  2. “it is time for someone to produce functional business software that would also meet 90% of hosuehold needs”

    WTF? This would be the equivalent of there being nobody producing functional car batteries, tyres and engines.

  3. …and to cap it all, he thinks his phone is low powered and enough. It’s likely to be more powerful than a PC bought when XP first came out.

    Yes, Snippa should try installing XP on the shit-box PC it was delivered with in 2001 and see how well it runs once all of the update and service packs are added…

  4. It’s the basis of his stump-thinking: anything morally defensible must be easy to do. If it’s not already being done, or contradictory, it must be due to neoliberalism, or something.

    Given the rate of change in the use of software over the last few decades, the earlier Leyland/Morris analogies are too kind in my opinion. It’s more like asking a bunch of blacksmiths and leather workers to modify a horse-drawn carriage piece by piece and expecting to end up with a car that meets modern safety and economy standards.

  5. @BiC, no doubt he’ll assume that’s all down to bloatware bundled into the patches by eebil MS. Some truth to that (*looks at Flash Player*) but only some.

  6. Microsoft monopoly?
    Isn’t this the guy photographed looking smugly over the top of his “power people status” Apple laptop?

  7. I use Libre Office on my W7 laptop.

    There’s a good reason large organisations stick with Microsoft even though its expensive bloatware. DCMS changed to Google docs when I was there and productivity dropped by 50% at least as well as data being lost.

    It also makes recruitment easier as most people are ok with Windows and Office.

  8. Bloatware and the 80/20 myth

    Unfortunately, it’s never the same 20%. Everybody uses a different set of features. In the last 10 years I have probably heard of dozens of companies who, determined not to learn from each other, tried to release “lite” word processors that only implement 20% of the features. This story is as old as the PC. Most of the time, what happens is that they give their program to a journalist to review, and the journalist reviews it by writing their review using the new word processor, and then the journalist tries to find the “word count” feature which they need because most journalists have precise word count requirements, and it’s not there, because it’s in the “80% that nobody uses,” and the journalist ends up writing a story that attempts to claim simultaneously that lite programs are good, bloat is bad, and I can’t use this damn thing ’cause it won’t count my words. If I had a dollar for every time this has happened I would be very happy.

  9. Someone should point out to Spud that the NHS is a monopoly and that it places lives at risk because it dos not face effective competition.

  10. He’s one of those annoying people, often found on the left, who take a glance at a problem and think they can see a quick & easy solution where millions of industry experts couldn’t.

    There are times when that works. For example when a union is protecting jobs and/or pay for its members, an outsider can point out the self-serving nature of their pronouncements. That’s basic public choice theory. But in general companies don’t deliberately make things tough for themselves. (Individuals do sometimes make poor choices, but that’s a whole other topic.)

    Obligatory XKCD reference:
    https://xkcd.com/1831/

  11. I wonder if the newly released factoid that 4.7 % of NHS devices run XP will cause Spud to change his message

  12. It’s very easy to cover 90% of both household and business needs: A browser, a mail client, and an office suite (LibreOffice works).

    Same way that a motorcycle covers 90% of my automotive needs because I usually drive alone.

    But I don’t buy a product to cover 90% of my needs. I buy what covers 100% of my needs. If it was up to 99% I might be willing to endure more hardship for getting the remaining 1%, like renting a car or using a shared office computer. But I’m not going to do that every day.

    And that missing 10% is diverse. People need graphic design and music editing and 3D rendering and filing tax returns. Oh, and photo editing. And making an ugly montage movie out of pictures from the last company picnic set to Alphaville’s Forever Young.

    And once in a while you need a pivot table in your spreadsheet (you’d think an accountant would appreciate this!) and you find out that LibreOffice doesn’t do that (or not very well).

    Everything’s replaceable. Google and Apple can ban Windows because they have lots of programmers who can roll their own missing tools whenever they need. The NHS isn’t like that. Having a doctor or nurse spending time looking for IT tools or writing some python app to do something is a huge waste of a precious resource.

    Corporations everywhere choose Windows not because they’re lazy and stupid, but because it’s the cheapest way to get everything you need with as small IT departments as you can get away with. The NHS is not in any different position.

  13. SAP is going to release their Linux based enterprise software for £29.99 per PC. No team of analysts required.

  14. Andrew M,

    Nearly all innovation that is from outside happens because of someone outside with some expertise that isn’t common to that industry at that time. And it often seems to be about people putting two things together, like Ed Catmull being interested in both animation and maths and putting them together.

  15. Gamecock – Oh god please please not SAP. Possibly the only way the NHS could make things worse for themselves would be buying that.

  16. Any sane person looking at the NHS IT national/central systems strategy mess over the last few years (over a decade most probably) would know that govt shouldn’t be let loose anywhere near software development. Define standards and let the market deliver make much more sense.
    As an example many transit authorities are releasing data through APIs (google assisted in many cases) and letting other people write the transit applications for phones etc. Significantly cheaper for the transit company and usually better choice and quality for the user.

  17. “Gamecock – Oh god please please not SAP. Possibly the only way the NHS could make things worse for themselves would be buying that.”

    Dunno . . . I worked for CSC !!!

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/dec/30/nhs-computer-sciences-corporation-penalty-accounting-errors

    [Different division; I didn’t know any of these people. Their big mistake: They never asked for my help. I ran the cost accounting system for a large department of multinational corporation, until my system was replaced with SAP. Dumbasses spent $30,000,000 to replace me. Disasters followed as I went fishing and played golf. After 7.5 years, I still can’t get the smile off my face.]

  18. BiW,
    Fair point. I’m still waiting for someone from the games industry to take over the CAD business with something that renders at game speed.

    BniC,

    govt shouldn’t be let loose anywhere near software development

    There are some success stories, most notably OpenEyes.

    One of the problems with outsourcing is that you need to know exactly what you want up-front. But users rarely know exactly what they want.

  19. Gamecock I bet that made for a sweet retirement. But please have sympathy for your former colleagues stuck with the horror that is SAP.
    I have to use the blasted thing daily to order things at work. The GUI is horrific as they have used Javascript (MBs and MBs of it) to recreate what looks like the front end of an early 1990s Windows application. We were sold it because it the words of the consultant “it would make internal ordering like using Amazon”. I have a feeling he had never used Amazon.

  20. ‘But please have sympathy for your former colleagues stuck with the horror that is SAP.’

    NFW. They laid me off because I was the highest paid employee. I self trained myself on ABAP/4 so I could continue to help. Didn’t matter. Only my salary mattered, not my knowledge and experience. I hoped they’d choke on it, and they did. Ha ha ha ha.

    I worked for the multinational for 25 years, got the company watch, but was outsourced to CSC. Same job, same office, same desk. Different company name on paycheck. For 12 more years. It wasn’t my CSC colleagues that got stuck, it was the multinational. Since they dumped me off to CSC, I couldn’t care less. They got what they deserved.

    Sorry for you, Drip47, but not my former colleagues. Screw ’em.

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