% fortune -ae paul murphy

And what exactly is wrong with that?

Just in case you missed it.. here's an entire exchange between frequent contributer Carl Rapson and some "murph_z" guy from last week's discussion about what user's want:

Carl first:

I'd go further

"Why? because they just don't care about any if it - all this fancy PC stuff we care about is irrelevant to people who just want their applications to work."

I'd venture to say that most people don't really care about using computers in the first place. My experience has been that many view them as a "necessary evil" - something foisted on them by management or IT. There are plenty of people who would just as soon use paper and pencil to keep track of things; it's management with its incessant need to manage that insists on using computers to track peoples' work habits and productivity. Left alone, most people would just get their jobs done and not mess with machines in the first place.

Maybe if more people in management and IT understood this, it might alter how IT is approached in modern business. But of course things won't change - management and IT have to have excuses to exist (and control). And say what you will, Paul, Microsoft's "client-server" architecture and Sun's "Smart Display" architecture are essentially the same as far as control is concerned.

And this response - more or less, I had to clean up the guy's syntax and spelling to keep up standards around here:

Having a shampoo commercial moment - Shouting "yes! Yesss.."

- re:

>And say what you will, Paul, Microsoft's "client-server" architecture and Sun's "Smart Display" architecture are essentially the same as far as control is concerned.

You know I'm going to quote you on this, right? Because that's exactly right and the business choice is:

  1. Microsoft client-server (frequent failures, daily upgrades, 30:1 user to IT staffing ratios, lots of hassle, high cost software);

  2. Unix smart display (rare failures, upgrades mostly invisible to user, 1000:1 user to IT staff ratios, no hassle, cheap software).

Now, come with me for just one more tiny step... recognise that MS forces IT to tell the user what he is NOT allowed to do -meaning that MS forces centralised control.

Smart-displays let IT tell the user that anything he can do, he may do. Meaning that Unix with smart displays allows you to decentralize control.

Notice that I'm not saying that Unix forces you to decentralize control; it just makes that possible. In reality most people mismanage Unix and centralise control, but the difference is simply this: with Unix you can do it right, with Microsoft cost and reliability factors leave you no choices but to centralise control.

So why aren't more people making the obvious choice? Let me tell you a true story.

Once upon a time, well in 2002; I did an IT operations review at a client whose third ERP/SCM implementation attempt was failing largely because their internal Wintel development agenda contradicted the executive impetus to just buy a package and get it working. As part of the job I did an applications inventory and gave no special thought to one used to control the manufacturing process in their biggest and most profitable operation - something that had originally been written for Honeywell's AT&T Unix, and now ran on HP-UX with about 420 Wyse terminals scattered across the business.

The list left their CIO horrified: absolutely just shocked and appalled - why? because nobody he knew, knew about either the application or the hardware, in his data center, serving those users.

Six months later those Wyse 60s were gone: wiped out, disappeared, carried out to garbage bins and trashed by wintel support troops on jihad and the application was running on brand new IBM Windows 2000 machines - via SSH/telnet.

Paul Murphy wrote and published The Unix Guide to Defenestration. Murphy is a 25-year veteran of the I.T. consulting industry, specializing in Unix and Unix-related management issues.