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RacerX



Joined: 03 Jan 2006
Posts: 333
Location: Twin Cities, MN

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 3:35 pm    Post subject: Perspectives on message boards like this one Reply with quote

I wonder about how everyone would feel about certain things if this board covered a different subject?

From the mid 80's to the mid 90's I honestly didn't think much about computers. My main interest included Porsches (early ones like the 356 models, pre-1974 911 models, 912 models and 914 models), Track & Field (I was a sprinter/hurdler) and Mathematics/Physics.

Stay with me here, this really isn't off the subject of this forum.

I wonder now, seeing as I don't currently own a Porsche, what it would have been like to be a member of a forum like this back then when I had several? Between 1986 and 1997 I owned a total of four different Porsches (a 911, a 912 Targa, and two 914s). It sounds to me like it would be pretty cool... talking with others who loved Porsches, sharing tips and the like.

But then I had to wonder after reading this thread, what would I feel towards someone who came to the forum to ask for help on a Porsche they just stoled? I mean, what if someone was asking how to disassemble the ignition and rearrange the tumblers to work with a new key? And it was on a car they didn't own.

Now I'm sure that people will say something like "But Porsches are expensive and are in no way like software." The thing is, I bought my second 914 for $400... they aren't that expensive. And just like NEXTSTEP/OPENSTEP media, Porsche isn't making 914s any more... but that doesn't justify stealing them. And I'm sure someone will also say "But it is a faceless crime because you aren't stealing from someone." But that is the worst excuse because when people rationalize doing the wrong thing in one area, they can build up a tolerance and start rationalizing in other areas too.

But what I'm asking about is how would I feel... the honest owner of a Porsche, about people who would come to a place where other honest Porsche owners share information asking about Porsches they have stolen.

See, to a degree, I look at that as a insult to what I care about. These people don't really care about Porsches, they are only in it for joy riding (basically, mistreating the cars). They have no intention of restoring the car to it's actual original functionality, and preserving the car's heritage is most likely the furthest thing on their minds.

It would be hard for me to be welcoming of people like that to a Porsche forum.

:roll:

... And you know, it is the same feeling I get when people like that come to a NeXT forum too.

Don't get me wrong, I love helping people... that is why I've invested hundreds of hours in the creation of my NeXT and Rhapsody web sites. But I can be reasonably assured that most of the people who actually read those sites are quite interested in the subject. Because it seems that most of the people who steal NEXTSTEP/OPENSTEP/Rhapsody aren't going to actually spend any time reading about those systems, the first thing (and most of the time, only thing) they want to see is screen shots... and most of my pages are of actual helpful info in using these systems rather than screen shots (as I assume that everyone reading my stuff sees their own screens everyday anyways).

But forums are different. People who don't really own this software can (without learning the OS) come and ask those of us that actually know the software why things aren't working. And odds are that they are just doing this for a joyride and to post some screen shots for others like them. In the end, they will never see why this software was special, why we love this platform, or how this platform is still amazingly modern more than 10 years after the last version was released by NeXT.

Additionally, I have found that people who pay for their hardware and software are far more likely to actually use what they have invested their money in than people who are getting this stuff for free. Someone who paid, oh... say $100 for NEXTSTEP would be more likely to figure out how it worked and why it was worth $100 of their hard earned cash.


So I was wondering if I am the only person who sees the ethical and philosophical issues with helping people like this? Or even see a problem with letting them join up as members (though we can rest assured they won't stay long anyways)?
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krfkeith



Joined: 15 Dec 2006
Posts: 127

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well that was a very interesting post, however I beg to differ. First of all, I don't like stealing, it's bad. How people and where people are stealing old porches from is beyond me. I disagree with what you said about joyriding software. I agree with you about the fact that the software is special bu how do you expect people to be able to know what this software is like if they can't access it? I have been trying to get a copy of Rhapsody DR2 forever simply for nostalgia but have never been able to because of the ridiculously high prices. I cannot pay $300+ for an OS I won't be able to use daily. I don't pay that for my normal OS (free, comes with computer). I love to show people NeXTstep to teach them about where OS X came from. People are so amazed when they compare how advanced NeXTstep was compared to Windows 3 and other current OSes. No, I don't own a legal copy of NeXTstep for Intel or Rhapsody for Intel. I simply can't find one. Not only is price a problem (I'm only 14, how do you expect me to pay more for an OS than I did for my iPod?), but so is availability. The richest guy in the world may want to buy OPENSTEP but simply can't find it. Playing with an OS is not the same as mistreating a car. Keep in mind that it is only 1s and 0s. Besides, how can I steal somethinf if no one is selling it? Is it bad if people want to take a "joy ride" with an OS to learn more about history? Honestly, I think this helps the OS as it teaches more people about it. By not allowing people to copy it, tou condemn it to die as soon as all the copies of it are gone. It's not like the developer will go out of business, because they already did. Before you condemn as some pirate illegal downloader teenager, consider I own two NeXTstations, four Newtons, and so many Macs I can't count. My NeXTstation wouldnt even work without out "illegal" copies of the OS. So you chose, kill an OS or keep it alive.
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Nightengale



Joined: 04 Jan 2006
Posts: 152
Location: SD CA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He speaks with his heart but his heart is young Obi Wan. Ok I just watched the six Star Wars but you know what I mean (hopefully Rolling Eyes ). BTW kudos for another good post.
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nextchef



Joined: 17 Aug 2006
Posts: 1007
Location: Missouri, USA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

krfkeith wrote:
My NeXTstation wouldnt even work without out "illegal" copies of the OS.


If you have a NeXTstation, then your copy of NS is not illegal, as the hardware is what carried the license for the software, not the software itself. Openstep is another story entirely, as are the rhapsody versions as well.

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nextchef



Joined: 17 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RacerX brings up some good points, but it is really a matter of degree and in the end everyone has to decide for themselves how they feel about this. I am of the feeling that in most circumstances knowledge should be freely given if you have it, for the betterment of all. That does not mean that I would not report someone if I thought they were misusing the information in some way that I had provided.

People do bad things, not tools or knowledge, and we all must not forget that.

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RacerX



Joined: 03 Jan 2006
Posts: 333
Location: Twin Cities, MN

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

krfkeith wrote:
Well that was a very interesting post, however I beg to differ. First of all, I don't like stealing, it's bad.

But you don't actually believe that based on the rest of your post. It seems that right and wrong are more a matter of convenience for you than anything.

Actually, you are in a more dangerous position as a 14 year old doing this than someone who is, say 40 years old.

Why?

You are still developing who you are as a person, and you are learning to rationalize stealing. That will become part of who you are and what you'll become as an adult.

When I was 14 and couldn't afford something guess what I did?

I DID WITHOUT.

You are stealing... be it from a person, or a nameless, faceless corporation, stealing is ethically and legally wrong. And you are rationalizing doing the wrong thing because you want what you can't have.

As you didn't seem to follow the train of thought I posted above, maybe you aren't mentally mature enough to understand, but quite frankly I have always felt that the younger a person is when they comment a crime the harsher the punishment should be. When people let young people off easy, they are infact setting them up to believe that the consequences of their actions in the future will be just as lenient. Maybe you are the perfect example of this.

Quote:
Keep in mind that it is only 1s and 0s. Besides, how can I steal somethinf if no one is selling it?

Interesting... but by that logic, a book is simply just a plant byproduct with letters printed on it and a car is just iron, carbon and a handful of other elements of nature that have always just been there.

But what you should keep in mind is that those 1's and 0's where arranged by the efforts of people just like the elements of a car or a book. And the unique abilities of how those 1's and 0's are arranged adds value in the same way that the words on the pages of a book or the design of the car effect their value.

I see no justification for you stealing.

If I want something I either earn it or do without. I don't steal.

And as I stated in my original post, Porsche doesn't make 356s, 912s or 914s anymore... so does that mean that if I see one on the street I should just take it because they don't sell them anymore?


Quote:
I disagree with what you said about joyriding software. I agree with you about the fact that the software is special bu how do you expect people to be able to know what this software is like if they can't access it? I have been trying to get a copy of Rhapsody DR2 forever simply for nostalgia but have never been able to because of the ridiculously high prices. I cannot pay $300+ for an OS I won't be able to use daily. I don't pay that for my normal OS (free, comes with computer).

And you just proved my point about why paying for something actually increases people's willingness to learn. I paid for my copies of NEXTSTEP, OPENSTEP and Rhapsody (I've spent more than $1000 on software since 1997), and that proved to be a wonderful incentive to actually learn how to use these systems as daily platforms.

But only NEXTSTEP was ever free with a computer, OPENSTEP and Rhapsody were nearly always an additional purchase. NEXTSTEP and OPENSTEP were both $800 and Rhapsody was $500... they are all much cheeper now then they originally were, but not enough to keep you from taking them if you want them.

You are most likely still too young to understand this.

When I was your age I didn't care much about school. Why? Because it was always there and I didn't have to pay for it. When I went to college I wasn't given any help at all, so I had to work for the money to take classes. My grades and attendance shot up dramatically when school was something that cost me money.

Quote:
Before you condemn as some pirate illegal downloader teenager, consider I own two NeXTstations, four Newtons, and so many Macs I can't count.

So before I condemn a thief for stealing I should also take into account that they paid their electric bill and rent?

Here is something you will learn as you get older... you get no credit in life for doing the right thing. And you absolutely won't be able to apply following the rules at other times to when you are braking them.

It doesn't matter what you have paid for... what matters is that you still feel okay with taking what you haven't.


Quote:
So you chose, kill an OS or keep it alive.

You aren't keeping any of these operating systems alive, and neither are any of the other people who steal them just to take a look. If you stopped (or never started) using NEXTSTEP or OPENSTEP, it wouldn't make any difference as you already admitted that you don't really use them to begin with.

What we should really be worried about is if I had been the same type of NeXT user that you are. What if I had only installed, looked at and decided that these couldn't be used for anything but nostalgia (just like you).

You don't have the experience using any of these operating systems to write about them from a real user's point of view, which is exactly what allowed me to make the sites I maintain.

But as it is, you aren't keeping this OS alive with statements like "I cannot pay $300+ for an OS I won't be able to use daily"
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Computolio



Joined: 06 Feb 2006
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So wait, downloading NeXTSTEP is like stealing a Porsche?

THAT'S A PRETTY GOOD ONE DUDE
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krfkeith



Joined: 15 Dec 2006
Posts: 127

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I don't understand is if you buy it on eBay or "steal" it, Apple doesn't get moeny either way. You really need to get over your self and you self-righteousness. Let me guess, you've never gotten a burned copy of a CD from a friend?
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neozeed



Joined: 15 Apr 2006
Posts: 691
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got my copies of nextstep 2.0, 3.2 & 3.3 on ebay. As well with my copy of OS 4.2.

Sure it takes *FOREVER* as from time to time NS/OS is envouge, and everyone *must* have 15 copies for whatever reason...

I know I'm 'evil' in that I'll offer to 'help' but at the same point I'm not going to say ftp://this.that.com/illegal/nextstep3.3.iso will get you going.. Afterall as we all know the ISO's don't boot and the average distro kid couldn't be bothered once they discover their beloved CD's are useless without... floppies.

OTOH it's nice to see new people..........

I'll be honest though, in 1994, if I had a contact to 'score' a copy of NS/Dev I would have. I simply could *not* afford the $6000 USD they wanted at the time.

However I do actually have a copy of OS X server 1.0 that I bought for $599 USD.... I guess it's not like that makes it any 'better'.

but I do currently have multiple copies of NS in my immediate possesion, and copies of OS in another city.

I still don't know is it better to turn the clear pirates away, or is it just as well to play dumb?

If I had a copy of OS4.2 on hand I'd have CRC'd the thing and given the kid the checksum. At the same time I wouldn't have given him an ISO. Afterall I paid good money for mine. I'm not about to throw it away.......
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RacerX



Joined: 03 Jan 2006
Posts: 333
Location: Twin Cities, MN

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Computolio wrote:
THAT'S A PRETTY GOOD ONE DUDE

Thanks, I'm always happy to help make clear ethical distinctions (though hopefully you aren't one of the ethically challenged who requires the help).

Of course, for those who read what I said, I was describing the situation from the point of view of those of us who don't steal... and in that case, the actions of others (in this case, stealing software) is equivalent.

Now, as for how the justice system will deal with such actions is totally outside the bounds of our discussion. I'm wondering what those who paid for what they have think about those who steal to get the same things.

Computolio wrote:
So wait, downloading NeXTSTEP is like stealing a Porsche?

Well, considering that the last Porsche I bought was the same amount as what I originally paid for my NEXTSTEP software, to me someone who is stealing either item is just as guilty.



But as this seems to have gotten the attention of those with fuzzy ethics, I would pose a second question to you guys that is quite different from that of my original post...

What is the difference between downloading an OS and shoplifting one from the store?

And I'm not asking about the risk of being caught... I'm asking about your ethical point of view of either act. The media itself is only worth a few dollars at best, so the value of either item is essentially equal, but I get the feeling that you guys think that downloading is okay but shoplifting isn't.

How do you guys differentiate between the two?

:roll:

Or do you guys even differentiate between them? That is, is the risk of getting caught shoplifting was as low as downloading, would you be okay with that too?



krfkeith wrote:
What I don't understand is if you buy it on eBay or "steal" it, Apple doesn't get moeny either way. You really need to get over your self and you self-righteousness. Let me guess, you've never gotten a burned copy of a CD from a friend?
And if I buy a used Mac off ebay or "steal" it, Apple doesn't get money either way too... Hmmm, so is that how you rationalize stealing?

Yes, I've gotten burned media from people trying to be nice... no, I've never used any of it as it wasn't mine to begin with. But then again, I also would be a much bigger target, so keeping my nose clean (as it were) is far more important.

Plus I would be willing to bet that none of you guys have yet dealt with lawyers for software makers on this subject... I have. :(

And to be clear, this thread was aimed at those of us who don't steal software, so the ones who should get over themselves are the ones who think stealing is bad, but do it anyways.

:eek: Oh... wait, that would be you! :lol:

So did you steal your NeXTstations? If you did or didn't, Apple/NeXT didn't get that money anyways. On the other hand, copies of NEXTSTEP bought from Black Hole Inc does end up sending a portion of that money back to Apple (and if you buy from Black Hole on ebay, then yes, Apple does get some of that money too).


I'm sorry that you think I'm self-righteous... but you are the person who put yourself in a position of doing exactly what you claim to know is wrong. And it isn't my fault that your rationalization for stealing doesn't hold up to scrutiny.

The least you could be honest about your ethics and take back your earlier statement ("I don't like stealing, it's bad.").
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nextchef



Joined: 17 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RacerX wrote:

As you didn't seem to follow the train of thought I posted above, maybe you aren't mentally mature enough to understand


Now that is uncalled for RacerX. There is no need to sully your response with personal attacks on the kid. You had a great opportunity here to explain your thoughts, and if not win him over at least get him thinking more about what you said. You might have even been able to explore more about what his position is, and why it concerns you so much, but you shot down that possibility now.

A wasted opportunity .. how unfortunate.
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RacerX



Joined: 03 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

neozeed wrote:
Afterall I paid good money for mine. I'm not about to throw it away.......

I guess I was mainly wondering to what degree this effects those who honestly own their copies.

What I have noticed as a difference is that the people who own their stuff go out of their way to make use of it... and the people who download it come and go in quite short order. I sure don't see those people as helping the community, so the question is do they hurt it?

The community is small enough that the real NeXT users are all pretty well known, they have been around and are going to keep being around... but what about those who pop in with illegal copies of stuff just to tell their friends I have used a NeXT system (even though they really haven't). Should we just dismiss them (which is generally what I do... though I really hate getting pushy PMs or e-mails from people to make copies CD for them).

Quite frankly, I would love to see if krfkeith could learn to use a NeXT system as a daily computer. Having talked about saving the OS from death, it would be interesting to see if he knows enough to put his knowledge of the platform to the test.

But at 14, I highly doubt he is up to it. Sad
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Nightengale



Joined: 04 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nextchef as RacerX pointed out no one gets credit for doing the right thing. RacerX has overwhelming done the right thing by posting, all of his posts in this thread. I do give him credit, much credit. I am not interested in any way shape or form what the 14 year old child has to bring to the table regarding ethics. Sorry I have heard more than enough from him and found no wisdom that can be learned.
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nextchef



Joined: 17 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nightengale wrote:
nextchef as RacerX pointed out no one gets credit for doing the right thing.

That still does not mean you should not try to do the right thing. Knowing in your heart that you did the right thing is what is most important, and is the best "credit" you can get in my book.

Nightengale wrote:
RacerX has overwhelming done the right thing by posting, all of his posts in this thread.


That is my point exactly, he has a lot of knowledge and has shown himself to be a great resource for this forum and the community at large, which is why the statement was so unfortunate. It was unnecessary for him getting his point across to "the child" as you put it, as it added nothing to further his assertions.
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Nightengale



Joined: 04 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I felt a slight sting coming up when I read that part by RacerX as well. The child will get over it, I believe he has to have the capability to learn, besides he is interested in NeXT so that puts him above the pack. RacerX gave him quite a bit to think about.

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.

All men make mistakes, but only wise men learn from their mistakes.

We must expect to fail...but fail in a learning posture, determined no to repeat the mistakes, and to maximize the benefits from what is learned in the process.

It is not because the truth is too difficult to see that we make mistakes... we make mistakes because the easiest and most comfortable course for us is to seek insight where it accords with our emotions - especially selfish ones.

I love this one:

It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character.

Ok enough of these mistake quotes, I can feel the flames licking at my feet.
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