Subject: Re: Merger
To: None <,>
From: Peter Brewer <>
List: macbsd-general
Date: 09/03/1994 15:11:58

Just to be clear, I don't think we should stop vilifying Apple.  I
agree completely that what they're doing is bad, and I want to make
them stop.  I just don't personally feel that I have the power to do
so.  And because they have a more winning paradigm for their users
than the children of the IBM PC, people who care will continue to
flock to them.   And because these people don't come from the hacker
community, there's no way to get them to participate in any boycott -
they've never heard of it and we have no way of telling them about it.

Basically, if every computer programmer in the world stopped buying
Apple computers, it would make a dent of about a half a percent in
their sales.   Maybe.   We simply don't have any clout.   If we could
reach their customer base, perhaps we could get them to boycott in
small numbers, but since their only credible alternative is
MS-Windows, it's unlikely that we'll succeed in this way.   These
people could be a valuable asset to the LPF in achieving its
legislative goals, but I don't believe they will ever stop buying


Nobody ever said anything about not 'villifying' Apple. Mac users are
often Apple's shrillest critics. I believe the issue RMS makes about
Apple's all pervasive litigation about having a copyright on any and
all desktop metaphors is valid. It affected Atari, it affected NuTek
and dissuaded others from attempting to create them for fear of 
having to spend exorbitant amounts of money on lawyers. 

However, LPF's and RMS's premise for the boycott is that it affects
programmers' freedom, that it could affect thousands of people if
not millions in an adverse way for years. But, let's face it...
Apple's chances of winning an appeal over Microsoft is slim to none.
This is why Apple is now licensing their Operating System to many
vendors. Also, consider this: If Apple goes under what then? How many
thousands or millions of people are affected if innovative and creative
companies such as Apple, Thinking Machines, and Commodore's Amiga 
disappear? How long before the monolithic non-innovative monopolies
such as Microsoft begin to assert their Operating System as the only
by making an ANSI or IEEE standard? While it is true that you could
still decide to ignore the standard and write your own I do not think
this would be good for all the disciplines affected. It is not a 
matter of Mac users defending Apple or 'rationalizing'. It is being
a bit intuitive in understanding that what Apple did in bringing
about the desktop metaphor and 'user-friendliness' and many other
innovations could be considered a national treasure. They, and 
companies like them are unique in this aspect and it would a great
deal of harm to a great many people. 

This does not mean we should support Apple when it tries to use lawyers
rather than innovative technology to maintain its edge. I hate anyone
who uses lawyers or lawyers who enjoy making tons of money off of
terrorizing helpless nascent entrepreneurs. When Apple uses innovation
it does wonderful things, when it uses lawyers it does horrendous things.
Spindler claims to be 'pragmatic'. Mr. Spindler, how about taking all
of that money you are spending on lawyers and using it for some new 
innovative research project instead? If Apple is 'into' fiscal responsibilty
how about all of the wasted $$$ going to lawyers. There are too
many lawyers wasting too much money! We need a salary cap and 
cost controls on lawyers just like health care, pro sports, etc.

-- Peter