July 21, 2009 by openbytes
This is my chance to give my opinions to the article featured here: http://armchairtheorist.com/2009/07/21/the-curious-case-of-boycott-novell
It is written by a chap called Johnathon Wong and he works for Microsoft. He decided to make his opinions known on the website Boycott Novell and Roy (the sites owner)
So this is my story. Let me start by saying my job is not relevant, I have no financial interest in any platform/software suceeding. I am a husband, a father and live in a small village in South East England. Before I make my observations on Mr Wong and his opinions, I would like to take you back to August 08, as this was the date I finally removed the last ties I had to Microsoft software at home. For a long time I had been dual booting, but it was only when I had spent months of never booting Microsoft’s software that I decided to remove it completely.
For your information I started my computing life with the ZX Spectrum, then the Amiga (which I still love) and hit PC’s around Windows 3.1 (in relation to home that is) I never liked Vista, although it has to be said I cannot and will not fault XP (infact if you look back on this blog, for a Linux view, I defend and champion XP quite a bit)
Sorry, I digress. Back to August 08 and my break from Microsoft products at home. After a few weeks of getting over the initial fear of having nothing Microsoft on any of my systems, I decided to do a little posting on forums, blogging and talking in chat rooms. I was keen to discuss my experiences away from Microsoft products and was looking forward to getting into debate about the merits of each system.
How wrong was I. From day one when I dared to suggest an alternative to Microsoft products I was met with a often vulgar and regularly offensive barrage of abuse. Now what ever anyone thinks about my views, you will see from all my posting history that I am never vulgar, detest swearing in posts and I challenge that behaviour robustly in others.
I found Boycott Novell as a result of reading about similar experiences that a Linux advocate had and he mentioned Boycott Novell.
Now let me say, I don’t agree with everything anyone says, that goes for Roy and any other site I visit. I have read many claims about Roy and talking from personal experience (not hiding in the shadows of an IRC channel) I’ve found him to be polite, pleasant, intelligent (whatever you think of his views he’s certainly got the tech knowledge). It is my opinion that it would be very unhealthy if everyone agreed with everyone else and I think all the Boycott Novell chat room users have differing views on many subjects.
I don’t believe Microsoft is around every corner, but what I would first like to do is challenge Mr Wong and his facts as he is not (IMO) telling the whole story.
Before I do that, I would like to ask him: “What on earth is a Microsoft employee doing, hiding in the shadows of an IRC channel in his spare time?“ – You certainly didn’t make your presence known to me, you made no effort that I saw to engage in conversation and if, as you suggest Roy is so wrong (and nobody agrees) what on earth are you doing posting on the matter? Do you do this for all the alien conspiracy websites? what about the fake moonlanding theories? If you do, you must be a very busy chap.
Mr Wong, I’m not sure if you are old enough to remember them, but I was present for the ST/AMIGA “wars” of the early 90′s. Trust me, they were nothing like this. This whole Linux/Microsoft “war” (for want of a better word) has taken a far more vulgar and dubious tone. Sure there are people on both sides that take some issues too far, but then during my time of the 16bit wars, I cannot recall a Commodore employee doing what you are doing now, even if it is in the spirit of “your own time”
Correct me if I am wrong, but surely the fact that you identify yourself (if albeit a little later) that you are an MS employee, then really you couldnt be impartial could you? If you had an honest held belief that another product was superior to Microsoft’s would you be able to post about it, even in your spare time? of course not. I think Redmond would have something to say if you wrote an article saying that the Ipod was better than the Zune (for example)
Mr Wong and his assumption that the link to his blog is good enough for ID of his job, I believe are mistaken, Ive found that I get very few hits from avatar and comment links because I don’t think the majority of people can be bothered to click on them, I certainly dont. My WordPress’ stats are available to me suggest that I am correct. (I can publish if anyone requires, just like my hits, I make no secret of how many people visit)
Mr Wong highlights Linsux
So now we move on to Linsux, of which I have very little to say. What I will ask is that any adults reading this post actually go over to the forums at linsux and read what these people post about and the tone in which they do it. Mr Wong doesnt seem to quote the types of posts on that forum (I expect he was merely concentrating on BN this time and will maybe consider doing a follow up article)
To save you clicking, let me highlight some of them here (and please excuse my use of #, but I refuse to put swearing in my posts) These are posts from the administrator of the site and I think it shows the level in which they operate, which it appears Mr Wong was not prepared to show on his “article” Keep in mind too that impartiality on Roy’s opinion could be argued as the admin has the following under his avatar “Windows 7 == The standard”
“Yeah, no sh#t. Now it’s time to see Roy’s response and put it in Flames. lol”
Now keep in mind Mr Wong suggests that Linsux represents the Linux community, lets look at some of the admins opinions on FOSS etc:
“Linux almost 100% of the market share of netbooks but people protested and Windows started being thrown on. Once 7 comes out, the Linux numbers will, once again, go down.”
“Seriously? Canonical is actually a Linux company and they finally release Launchpad code? So, Microsoft beat an Open Source/Linux company to releasing something under one of the GPL’s. Freaky.”
“But, when you’re whole system can only really use Google products (at least until Office online comes out), what do you do?”
“Has anyone checked to see if he has brain cancer or some sort of tumor? For once, I’m being serious. His actions are getting more and more erratic. It kind of makes me wonder. And, if not, then he needs to just f#cking stop, already.”
So this is a Linux user representing the Linux community is it Mr Wong? (and more importantly the admin of the site) Afterall, in your post you did say “Here is a post from the Linux community Linsux.org:” I wonder how many of the real Linux community would agree with the points made at Linsux Mr Wong? Mr Wong do you really hold these type of views in regard in one hand yet suggest that Roy has issues in the other?
C.O.L.A – Comp.os.Linux.Advocacy
Here is another example on strange happenings. Take a look at this particular newsgroup and see that an innocent topic on an Linux IT related subject is met with a barrage of personal remarks. I recently tried to prevent the usual abuse by ending my post with the following:
“To save certain posters time here, can we just say that I’ve already been called all the offensive names under the sun, it will save some people typing them if we just pretend you’ve already offended me and I’m very upset. :)”
To which I received the reply:
“What about your family? Can we start in on them?”
Need I say more? The thread of this is called “IT Pro’s speak on Linux (market research report) & Linux on the shelves again!” It was hardly a “conspiracy post” and if you read my article about it here: http://openbytes.wordpress.com/2009/07/20/it-pros-speak-on-linux-linux-on-the-shelves-again/ I would hope you would agree its not as if I am shaking my fist at the sky and talking to invisible aliens. I am certainly not a conspiracy theorist.
Everything above is not paranoia (since I’m not suggesting anything, merely highlighting the actions that have been taking place) I don’t see Microsoft in every shadow (thank God) but I do have an honest held believe that Linux/FOSS is far superior to Redmonds offerings and for that I am subjected to the type of behaviour Mr Wong claims Roy does to him. I don’t believe in playing the victim Mr Wong and this post would not have been written if you hadn’t made the statements you did.
I look forward to seeing you write an “expose” on what you claim was the Linux community (Linsux) and I look forward to maybe hearing why you think that I (and other users/advocates of FOSS) are abused frequently on the net.
I really don’t believe you will give an answer though. I would ask kindly though Mr Wong, if you are trying to represent the umbrella of views of BN (and that includes Roy as well as the many users who go to the chat room to DEBATE – check the logs Mr Wong, its not all patting each other on the back). Mr Wong your summary of Roy and BN are not one that I recognize and since I consider myself of sound mind and body, one of us has a problem Mr Wong, is it me or you?
As always, I let the readers decide whilst I am typing a similar post about the COLA regular Moshe.
Goblin – firstname.lastname@example.org