[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Benchmarks and Notches

  On Fri, 19 Dec 1997 06:48:33 -0500 (EST), Chuck Swiger wrote:
  >This just reinforces my previous post about how, when doing a comparison, that
  >economics completely flys out the window. It constantly amazes me, being a 12 year
  >veteran of bulletin boards, that people get into these "my x is better than your y"
  >with complete disregard to costs (I guess the "competing at the same price break"
  >is assumed).
  Whoa there pardner, you're riding off a cliff......................
  Cost is one of the major factors here. If you put a pile of cash into computing resources
  and proprietary hardware tweaks you can even get a Microsoft product to "perform" or
  at least appear to perform with the best of them.
  >And what does this have to do with antitrust and the problem of one company getting
  >royalties for a de-facto os standard (i.e., buying a pc and getting  win95 & company
  >whether you want it or not) just like buying a vcr and you get vhs.
  >It seems that the implication is, again,  that a "better" product has lost market share due
  >to some illegal market manipulations and machinations.
  Precisely so, since the REAL cost to own an Intel platform PC that runs a given app at
  an acceptable performance level is NOT just the difference between a "free" copy of 
  Win1895 and the modest sum you are charged for a copy of , lets say, umm OS/2 for 
  instance. The REAL cost is based on 
  1) the real cost of that "free" MS "OS" install (passed along as the license fee payed by
       the vendor and incorporated in your PC's "base" price).
  2) the investment of time (yours) and software (all those VERY popular 3rd party
      "uninstall" utilities) necessary to disinfect your harddrive (ie remove windoze) and
      install your OS of choice
  3) the added investment of time and sometimes cost of locating the ever elusive drivers
      for your chosen OS because the hardware vendors don't want to even discuss a nonMS
      driver (and that is NOT simply because they don't believe it would make money for them
      directly, but also because they are certain it will lose money for them indirectly - MS "tax")
  4) the cost of the extra resources (CPU upgrades and added RAM/HD storage) to make the
      MS code ("OS" and app) run at the same level of performance - as you address below,
      in your flawed auto metaphor - 
  5) all the "DUUHH-OH WOW, MAN" bells and whistles and idiot-proof "features" that 
     inhabit the MS "OS" and app that are completely unrelated to performing the function you
     want from your app and suck ENORMOUS doses of resources (including your time and
     sanity) right down the drain.
  >In a very real sense, when marketing to the masses one does strive for the lowest 
  > common denominator, which means lower quality.
  No kidding? And why, pray tell, does that mean you HAVE to make the worst product
  AND kill off the better products to make money? 
  > It should be no suprise then, that a  higher quality machine like a Mac (for the rest of
  > us!) costs more, and sells to the classes. 
  Pardon me while I gag.....Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but wasn't the Mac touted
  as the "peoples computer"? Isn't that why it has always had those cute little error
   messages like "The problem is too big, pick a smaller problem" (see also #5 above)
  and why the Mac was a sealed blackbox for so long to avoid tempting the "classes" 
  into thinking they could actually understand how their computer worked and maybe even
  (gasp!) fix or upgrade it themselves?   
  "classes"? Puhleeeease! 
  Don't get me wrong, I don't place the Mac at the bottom of the heap, its not that simple
  and always depends on what you want your machine to do for you and how much "cost"
  you are willing to invest in your own education....different strokes for different folks...........
  but lets leave the hardware preferences out of this discussion......If enough Macs (or 
  whatever alternative) were sold the prices on the HARDWARE would level out.  
  >One may as well wonder why a Ferrari has a smaller market share than a Geo, why it's
  > the technically superior machine! The difference is cost.
  So, you are saying we can only choose from a Ferrari (and one that has been hobbled
  for the street) and a Geo ? 
  Can we have a moment of silence for the drop in global intelligence we just experienced?
  Thank you.
  The middle of the road is covered by middle-of-the price/performance range vehicles. 
  And guess what - they all burn the same gas. (unless you take your Boxer out to the airport
  for fueling, which isn't a bad idea if you could also take a spin on the runway). And since 
  what we're talking about here is software and operating systems (or near operating systems)
  then what we are talking about is the gas. Which varies from makes-your-lawn-mower-cough 
  to "premium"(or what they call that these days) with a MAXIMUM spread in price of about 30%.
  You could buy 30 Geos for one Ferrari (3000%). 
  And your friendly neighborhood Geo dealer is not out firebombing Ferrari dealers at night or
  paying off dock workers and mechanics to refuse to handle the parts and labor for your Boxer.
  So by forcing (directly or indirectly) a lowest common denominator "OS" that costs about
  the same (or MORE in real costs) as one that really deserves the designation "operating system",
  and thus requiring twice the resources in hardware (all those "optional" performance packages 
  that are never thrown into the "base" price of any model you choose - car or computer), the
  "masses" can all expect to drive at highway speed without spilling oil, parts, or passengers 
  along the way (of course, we don't actually guarantee that - oooops Grandma just fell out of that
  IE "security" leak, but doesn't this new dashboard look REEEALLY COOOOL!).   Such a deal.  
  >Consider: The only 604 price I could find is this upgrade kit:
  >at £290 X 1.6 or $464 (actually a plug in card, not just the cpu).
  >The last upgrade I did here a vendor quoted 150Mhz pentiums at $102 and 166Mhz's at
  >~$150. So I got the slower 150Mhz's! I didn't get an inferior product because someone is
  >manipulating the market, I decided it was the best "bang for the buck" value for our
  >company, since we don't have an unlimited budget, and any money I can save makes
  >me look good.
  MS is not manipulating the price of CPU's, and certainly not the price difference between
  a  P150 and a P166. They ARE indirectly forcing the "upgrade" requirements between the
  RAM, CPU and HD space it takes to run Windoze3.x - Win1895 - WinNiceTry. And then
  there's the real longterm cost. Yeah, you saved 48 bucks - is that even an hour of your time?
  And how much will it cost you in down time to wait for that screen refresh or that recalculation
  of your spreadsheet, or that database report or to watch the clever graphics that dance across
  your screen whenever you have to reboot a locked machine, not to mention the fact that you
  can't leave your PC to just run on a batch request because of the likelihood that you need to 
  be there to respond to 7 layers of "do you really really really want to do that?" menus and
  "oooops Protection Fault! just what did YOU do you naughty user you?", reboot and go to
  your corner for a "timeout" till you learn you're not supposed to think.  
  >That's another self reinforcing factor in capturing a market share and keeping it: a high
  >volume of product can spread your cost and keep prices down, ensuring a large
  >market share that's difficult to break into.
  Right, and if you can sell enough P2000 Crapolas with Lose98 built in, you can actually
  come out ahead of the enormous PR budget it took to unload those turkeys......
  >Since this started with comparing Java VM's on different platforms - it may be a neat
  >hack, but economics with prevail - is there enough economic advantage to "write
  >once, run everywhere" making software cheaper, with the added cost of slower execution, to 
  >appear as better value, or lower cost of ownership to end users and corporate purchasers
  >than a much faster, more expensive native code product?
  Oh yeah, we WERE talking about software weren't we? And, of course when windoze had the
  same time and exposure Java has had, it was a runaway rocket of success - right?
  And how about if we could compare Java VM's with MS's billion dollar R&D budget behind 
  them? Or even running on top of an actual multitasking operating system instead of as a 
  "sport mirror" for a "Classic Reproduction" shell on a DOS frame with so many accessories
  choking the motor, it has trouble with a 15% grade.  
  >That, my friends, an informed market will decide, not what the DOJ orders MS to produce.
  "Informed" market? You can't have it both ways. Either we're bilking -oops- providing the 
  masses with that lowest common denominator they so richly deserve and have begged,
  nay, DEMANDED that MS produce, or we're actually informing "the market" by telling them
  exactly what it REALLY costs to be buying all their computer needs from the MS company
  store, and giving them the real option of chosing another way.  
  >There also appears to be a clear need for a sort of "Consumer Reports" or govt run testing
  >lab so there CAN be an informed market - we're drowning in advertising disguised as
  >technical "facts", promulgated by untrustworthy media companies with suspicious motives
  >and corporate loyalties.
  Somehow I just can't imagine you accepting the CR pick of the month software, based on all
  those objective technical considerations like the "WOW factor" and how low on the evolutionary
  chain we could go and still succeed in installing that app. We don't need to expand the gov't,
  we just need to hold the vendors AND the media to some semblance of truth in advertising.
  >I'd as soon trust a benchmark published by "MacMissionControl" as a Mac fanatic trusts
  >my quotes from "WinNT Mag"  :))
  You better smile when you say that. ;-)
  And does anyone with the MS seal of appproval even register on the trust meter? ;-)
  Regards (  Notice how this salutation seems to follow anything from sincere discourse to
  flaming attacks  ;-)   )
  Glenn T. Livezey, Ph.D.
  Director of Perinatal Research
  Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine
  Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
  University of Nebraska Medical Center
  600 South 42nd Street
  Omaha, NE 68198-3255
  Phone- 402-559-8064
  FAX- 402-559-7126
  e-mail glivezey@netserv.unmc.edu