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Access to Conference

  At least one person on this list has asked why there seems to be no
  provision for providing inexpensive registration for members of
  non-profit groups, such as his Linux Users' Group.
  I believe this raises a more general point:  If this conference is about
  providing consumer alternatives to the Microsoft monopoly, then why is
  it ignoring obvious opportunities to solicit, formally, the opinions of
  the literally millions of advocates of non-aligned supporters of Free
  Software, Linux, FreeBSD, the WWW, etc?
  For instance, how were the participants in this conference selected?
  Was there a call for papers or panel suggestions?
  When was this conference announced?  How long did people have to arrange
  financing, absence from work, etc?  
  If I pay my $500.00 to attend the conference, in what sort of framework
  will I be able to participate?  How will the messages of those not in
  some celebrity anti-Microsoft factions be heard?  
  Last week, I sent messages to both of the email addresses listed on the
  Appraising Microsoft web site, politely requesting information on ways
  to participate in the conference--I never got a response.
  Forgive me if I sound agitated.  As a software developer living the
  nightmare of doing "Only Microsoft" every day, this means a great deal
  to me, as it must to many others who find their way to this list.
  To us, Mr. Nader's conference is the first--perhaps it will be the
  only--real popular endorsement of our views.  We are burned by the irony
  of going unheard, unlistened to, in an era of unprecedented access to
  communications media.  _That_ is the damage being done by the Microsoft
  monoply.  _That_ is why all this matters, IMHO.
  We don't dare miss this chance to be heard.
  Matthew Benjamin
  Developer, Comshare, Inc.  
  --My views certainly do not represent the views of Comshare, Inc.  --