back to article Night out in London tonight: Beer, Reg and platform wars

Techies are often at odds with the world – but nothing matches the venom they save for other geeks foolish enough to devote their lives to other platforms. That’s why tonight we’ll be examining why the tech “community” more often resembles a seething primal soup of warring techno tribes. For this Reg lecture, Platform Wars, …

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  1. frank ly

    Pah!

    "...why it is that techies reserve their greatest ire for people who to all intents and purposes are just like them."

    Windows lusers are nothing like me!!

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pah!

      "Windows lusers are nothing like me!!"

      .... and to take it back to the Win3 vs OS/2 days ...." OS/2 is an operating system, Windows3 is merely an user enviornment built on top of MS-DOS" ... and that was why I voted against comp.os.windows on usenet :-)

      1. Lysenko

        Re: Pah!

        Pah^2 ... that's just an argument about what sort of net curtains to hang in your cookie cutter x86 front room. Now, Z80 vs 6502? That was a real ideological debate !! ;)

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Pah!

          Z80? 6502? Mere toys. Now LSI-11, that's what I call a real CPU.

    3. Les Matthew

      Re: Pah!

      "Windows lusers are nothing like me!!"

      Correct, this windows user doesn't resort to infantile name calling.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Pah!

        Except when calling someone "infantile" for making a joke, of course.

        1. mythicalduck

          Re: Pah!

          "Except when calling someone "infantile" for making a joke, of course"

          Even then he didn't. He referred to "name calling" as infantile, not the poster. There's a difference.

          1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

            Re: Pah!

            I would postulate that , as the OP had been indulging in name calling , the "infantile" extended to him , and therefore also the windows user himself.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Spoiler alert

    we’ll be examining why the tech “community” more often resembles a seething primal soup of warring techno tribes

    Confirmation bias, or, at least, "I've spent too much time/money learning it" syndrome.

    For real fun start naming platforms as football teams.

  3. Threlkeld

    We have been here before ...

    Anyone who has read 16th and 17th century pamphlets dealing with religious differences must feel a sense of deja vu when encountering many Mac/Linux/Windows discussions. The willingness to divert into argumentum ad hominem, the reluctance to establish common ground before addressing differences, and the total failure to read anything written by anyone else as carefully as it deserves are quite characteristic of both.

    In the case of pamphlets, the availability of the Bible in the local European language was one trigger. Translators went back to the oldest Greek and Hebrew texts and found inconsistencies with the Latin text which had been in use for 1000 years. But relatively cheap printing was the enabling technology. Reformers like Luther exploited it brilliantly to push forward the Reformation. Indeed, they were in some senses dragged forward by the technology. Without it their arguments would have been made in handwriting to a minority: with it, they sent Europe (and eventually and rather later England) into schism and turmoil. And quite a few people got burned. Literally.

    After a while, folk began to work out that showing politeness and respect doesn't undermine a strong argument, but actually makes it more likely to be heard and understood. But a good punch-up is always fun, no matter how pointless and counter productive. That never changes.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: We have been here before ...

      Anyone who has read 16th and 17th century pamphlets dealing with religious differences must feel a sense of deja vu

      Or just having grown up in Northern Ireland (or some of the urban areas of Scotland).

    2. strum

      Re: We have been here before ...

      >Anyone who has read 16th and 17th century pamphlets

      Indeed. Those who say that the Internet is the biggest driver of social change since the invention of printing should be aware that it works both ways.

      When printing reached the masses, it produced the same array of fake news, trolls, sock-puppets, brigading etc.

    3. fandom

      Re: We have been here before ...

      "they sent Europe (and eventually and rather later England)"

      Yeah, it's amazing how, with the technology of the time, they could get to Oceania, or wherever England happens to be.

      1. WolfFan Silver badge

        Re: We have been here before ...

        Yeah, it's amazing how, with the technology of the time, they could get to Oceania, or wherever England happens to be.

        England is lost, lost, LOST out in the North Atlantic, utterly cut off from civilization (and France). Soon the schools will be teaching hapless students such spellings as 'color' and 'center' as England drifts slowly, slowly, into the reach of the Dread Continent. T. May Not will be revealed to be the vile socialist that she really is, as will Lizzy Saxe-Coberg-Gotha. Charlie Saxe-Coberg-Gotha will actually have to get a job. It will be determined that, contrary to long-standing public belief, Anne Saxe-Coberg-Gotha really is almost as smart as her horse. Almost. And the US National Real Football Team will inherit a lot of English footie players... and will still lose to Trinidad and crash out of World Cup qualification.

        Scotland, on the other hand, will stay right where it is.

  4. LDS Silver badge

    I hate each and every platform/language/etc.

    Especially the ones I have to use on a given day....

    1. sandman

      Re: I hate each and every platform/language/etc.

      That's called being platform agnostic! So, almost an atheist, burn him!

    2. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: I hate each and every platform/language/etc.

      As do many people, just end up hating some more than others.

      Loathing windows, does not mean I think OSX, Linux or whatever is awesome, just that they are not as bad as Windows. I'm sure most peoples "preference" (bar a few fanboyz/girlz) is just along the lines of the least bad option.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I hate each and every platform/language/etc.

        Every OS Sucks. A ballad for the modern age.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d85p7JZXNy8

    3. Joe Werner Silver badge

      Re: I hate each and every platform/language/etc.

      Yes. They all suck. Fortran, C, cpp, postscript, bash, basic, java,... they are all "pyton" as the Norwegians say, spitting.

      About editors on the other hand... (well, editors in contrast to the bloat that is emacs) ;p *ducks* (it's Friday, I'll buy a beer for the first emacs user I meet today for this comment)

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: I hate each and every platform/language/etc.

        The fundemental problem is that there are huge groups of people who only are deeply familiar with one OS and then insist that it's the most superior despite (or because of) their total ignorance of the alternatives and their capabilities.

        1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

          Re: I hate each and every platform/language/etc.

          And another group of users who hate a platform for the technical equivalent of "not being available in pink."

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: I hate each and every platform/language/etc.

            Actually, it's my familiarity with successive versions of Windows that makes me despise it. But still, its the only OS that runs the (very good) software that I use, so Linux, MacOS et al aren't viable options.

            (Actually, I quite liked NT 4 and 7, though envious of features seen on other OSs).

  5. Jim 59

    I would go to the lecture but I'd end up rubbing shoulders with ex Spectrum owners who haven't washed since 1984, stuck up BBC Micro types, smug Amiga fanbois, oh and by the way, the person making the next comment below is the *worst* kind of person-

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well, what about C64

      I had a BBC model B.

      Clear typeface, sensible version of BASIC, booted from ROM, interface bus... Nice Microvitec colour monitor. No wonder I was smug.

      How I got from their to enterprise systems is anyone's guess... :)

    2. heyrick Silver badge

      Boo.

      What's not to like about the BBC? Inline assembler, loads of I/O, didn't crash the moment your fingers touched the keyboard, local area networking in the early eighties.......

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The cost?

  6. Jim 59

    ...and all yours for just 2 grand.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      But there was also the Electron. Same as the BBC , cut down but with various bits that could be added later, and much more. It was the techie minded, low cost version of the BBC. I learnt to write code in the 6502 assembly language on the good old Elk. And almost changed my career path to go into IT as a full time profession ( instead of spending the next twenty odd years training and supporting less tech aware folk as an addon to my main job).

  7. fluffybunnyuk

    another BBC owner here went from model B with a watford dfs to my beloved Acorn A310 Archimedes. 6502 assembler was better than Z80 by a street mile, but ARM assembler was like the holy grail. Oh and pengo loading time was 2seconds. Better than 30minutes on a speccy...

    Smug? Too right!

    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
      WTF?

      Are you me?

      That is almost word-for-word what I might have written.

  8. jake Silver badge

    ::shrugs::

    All hardware sucks. All OSes suck. All code sucks. All fanbois/grrls suck.

    There is no such thing as software. So-called "software" is merely the current state of the hardware, as defined by code.

    The sooner all you religious bigots realize the above is true for all platforms, the better off the world will be. Use what works and shut up about it.

    I really ought to practice what I preach ... but that never made a priest any money, now did it?

    1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: ::shrugs::

      'So-called "software" is merely the current state of the hardware, as defined by code.'

      See icon. It's amazing how there's a single word for "the current state of the hardware, as defined by code" so we don't have to keep saying that cumbersome phrase over and over again. English is good at reducing complex thoughts or phrases to a single word; i.e. it's efficient.

  9. 's water music Silver badge

    That phone platform you use...

    ...that's your mum that is

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: That phone platform you use...

      Strewth, that's the second Mary Whitehouse Experience reference in this thread.... It's currently available on BBC iPlayer Radio for the initiated.

  10. Palpy Silver badge

    Self-awareness?

    Count me out! My irrational biases are as dear to me as my kidneys.

    Kidding aside, I rather like and dislike most OSes according to how much I use them -- the more I uses X the more I get impatient with what it doesn't do which system Y does nicely. But often the system I use is mandated by forces greater than myself, such as my wife.

    Languages are another matter... Xrist, just let it compile and run this time! It should run! It's not perfect, but dammit... it should run... oh, wait. No it shouldn't, my mistake. Now let's see...

    Oh damn. May Javascript go to the devil. Tool of the devil!....

    ...still doesn't run.

  11. Daggerchild Silver badge
    Boffin

    Entropy

    Can a sociologist establish a measurement for the 'temperature' of a group of individuals, and the 'pressure' they are under, and then establish, for each personality type, the number of impacts per time period and force involved in each, required to cause additional energy release from the individual, escalating the reaction rate, or whether the impact energy is absorbed causing deformation of the structure?

    Funny how the same patterns can be found at different scales.

  12. Mike 16 Silver badge

    Groups and strife

    (Religious division) I'll just leave this here:

    https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2005/sep/29/comedy.religion

    (is it OK here to admit to reading the Grauniad? Honest, I only look at the articles)

    1. Mark 110

      Re: Groups and strife

      Yes its fine. Any paper that wears its heart on its sleeve and doesn't lie in the news articles (saves that for the Opinion) is fine. Guardian, Telegraph, Times (mostly), Indy. All good.

      The Daily Mail demands apologies. Opinion pieces masquerading as news on the front page are a bad thing.

  13. RealBigAl

    I have a glorious marketing brochure from ICT in the 1960s expounding the superiority of it's valve diode ICT1200 tabulating machine over the upstart IBM System/360. Mainframes, they'll never catch on for widespread use. Too susceptible to nuclear attack.

  14. Jim 59

    "another BBC owner here went from model B with a watford dfs to my beloved Acorn A310 Archimedes. 6502 assembler was better than Z80 by a street mile, but ARM assembler..."

    2 grand for less memory than a Speccy. No wonder you had to write everything in assembler.

  15. BeakUpBottom

    The BBC Model B ...

    ... had a hamster for a mother and it's father smelt of elderberries.

    Dragon 32 was the real machine for the great unwashed, boyo, way ahead of its time, powerful, expandable and didn't cost the earth buy and upgrade.

    And Dragon, in true British fashion, flopped, got bought out, and took out it's new owner on a continued deathslide.

    1. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: The BBC Model B ...

      I had a BBC parent (Acorn Atom) and it was fine - cheap version was possible (you purchased the kit and soldered away for ages instead of buying the pricier pre-soldered version!)

      The odd line of Basic wrapping masses of 6502 assembler when you coded

  16. Nolveys

    Can't go

    I would go, but I'm on a different part of the planet. I'll just have to watch the church scene from that Kingsman movie from a few years back.

  17. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
    FAIL

    You all suck

    BeOS 4 Lyfe, bitches!

  18. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    Tribes

    It's been mentioned in the article already. Techies are not much different to the regular blokes* and most people are still tribal. We like to group, to differentiate from other groups, being it on religion, country, profession, you name it - and technology platforms for techies. The latter, at least, is hardly ever cause for bloodshed** and hence a rather peaceful war.

    * Surely I don't want to exclude them but I've yet to come across any significant number of female techies who are equaliy obsessed about their platform being the best.

    ** Except (not really a platform though) those bloody sharp-edged fuckers of Olivetti computers. I hated them. And I also hate Windows 8, Office 365, Apple's locked platform rubbish....

    1. Mark 110

      Re: Tribes

      Windows 8 is a slightly weird concept. It sort of worked, but noone ever used it how Microsoft intended. I just sort of ignored all the tablet interface and worked around it.

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