Digital Xenophobia - Mandriva

This is a discussion on Digital Xenophobia - Mandriva ; Nothing annoys me more than some national organisation paid by my taxes telling me that it will not accept something delivered other than from a Windows program. The latest of these is Companies House. Their on-line Accounts form DCA, designed ...

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Thread: Digital Xenophobia

  1. Digital Xenophobia

    Nothing annoys me more than some national organisation paid by my taxes
    telling me that it will not accept something delivered other than from a
    Windows program.

    The latest of these is Companies House. Their on-line Accounts form DCA,
    designed only for dormant companies consists of an Adobe interactive pdf
    file. Once completed, a click on the Submit button should cause it to be
    acknowledged as having been successfully filed.

    The site says you have to use Adobe Reader version 7.0.9 but in practise the
    latest version is used. The latest Linux version of the reader is
    8.1.2 /06/21/2008. The latest Windows version is 8.1.2.

    Attempts to upload from Linux generated a dialog box saying that a
    certificate had to be recovered by opening a console and entering:

    acroread -installCertificate ewf.companieshouse.gov.uk 433

    This (after a long wait) produced a 'connection timed out'; errno=29
    message.

    Ah! said the expert at CH. Our system was down over the weekend, your IP's
    server needs to catch up(?)

    The next attempt produced 'submission rejected. Invalid submission Number
    004-662887'. But this time it did so from both Linux and Windows XP.

    Ah! Said the CH expert. You are using an old template. Adobe changes them
    every six months. We've now put a notice on the site to that effect.

    Sure enough, the new version had 005-662887 in its title, but attempts to
    upload it from Linux failed again while under Windows, it went through.

    So those of you whop complain when I say that I have to use Windows in my
    work may now understand how frustrating and time consuming, attempting to
    do without it can be.






  2. Re: Digital Xenophobia

    On Wednesday 10 September 2008 16:30, someone identifying as *Alan Secker*
    wrote in /alt.os.linux.mandriva:/

    > Nothing annoys me more than some national organisation paid by my taxes
    > telling me that it will not accept something delivered other than from a
    > Windows program.
    >
    > [...]
    > So those of you whop complain when I say that I have to use Windows in my
    > work may now understand how frustrating and time consuming, attempting to
    > do without it can be.


    And things won't change unless we as the GNU/Linux community make a stand.
    This is what Free Software is all about: our right to use the software that
    *we* want, and not what some company or organization dictates us to use.

    --
    *Aragorn*
    (registered GNU/Linux user #223157)

  3. Re: Digital Xenophobia

    On Wed, 10 Sep 2008 17:56:25 +0200, Aragorn wrote:

    > And things won't change unless we as the GNU/Linux community make a
    > stand. This is what Free Software is all about: our right to use the
    > software that *we* want, and not what some company or organization
    > dictates us to use.


    The organisation in question is the UK government, not known either for
    its openness to suggestion or to supporting anything other than the
    products of large companies with deep pockets :-(

  4. Re: Digital Xenophobia

    On Wednesday 10 September 2008 19:31, someone identifying as *Mark Madsen*
    wrote in /alt.os.linux.mandriva:/

    > On Wed, 10 Sep 2008 17:56:25 +0200, Aragorn wrote:
    >
    >> And things won't change unless we as the GNU/Linux community make a
    >> stand. This is what Free Software is all about: our right to use the
    >> software that *we* want, and not what some company or organization
    >> dictates us to use.

    >
    > The organisation in question is the UK government, not known either for
    > its openness to suggestion or to supporting anything other than the
    > products of large companies with deep pockets :-(


    Well, if protest won't get them to listen, then maybe a boycot will...?
    Anyone who is adamant with me about their support for Microsoft only will
    get an equally adamant reaction from me that they are not compliant with
    internationally agreed-upon standards, and if necessary I threaten them to
    take my business elsewhere.

    Yet I am but one person, but if more people were to unite and do this sort
    of thing, they'd soon have no choice but to comply if they want to keep
    their customers.

    --
    *Aragorn*
    (registered GNU/Linux user #223157)

  5. Re: Digital Xenophobia

    On Fri, 12 Sep 2008 19:24:34 +1000, Doug Laidlaw wrote:

    > On the more general point, if you want the organization to write a
    > package you can use, why should they have to write two, one for you and
    > one for the majority? Linux may be free for you to use, but I can
    > guarantee that even if they write their tax software in Linux, they
    > won't be releasing the code under the GPL.


    A datapoint: I live in the Canton and Republic of Geneva. Geneva
    supplies all its taxpayers with a program called GeTax for doing their
    tax return. It is available in versions for Windows, MacOS, and Linux.

    Geneva has 250,000 residents. The UK has about 60 million. Clearly it
    is not about levels of resources, but about political wiillingness.

    Your remark about the GPL I have to confess don't quite understand.

  6. Re: Digital Xenophobia

    Doug Laidlaw wrote:
    > Aragorn wrote:
    >
    > our right to use the
    >>>> software that *we* want:

    >
    > What right? What is its source? Is it granted by the U.N. Charter of Human
    > Rights? "Our claimed right" would be more accurate. The organization is
    > more aware of your "right" to keep costs down, so that you pay less.
    > Writing two of everything doesn't advance that right.


    Not to belabor the point beyond recognition, but many of the problems
    are issues of adherence to industry or international standards,
    rather than provision of multiple versions of the software itself.

    In this, apart from failure to adhere to standards, Microsoft refusal
    to openly release critical elements of OS code are a major problem
    for those who would create alternative but interoperable software for
    a variety of purposes. Were Micro$loth pure as the driven snow, this
    issue might well be ignored, but M$ is a convicted monopolist both in
    the United States and Europe. That stigma, in both areas, means
    there is much that Microsoft is forbidden to do, and much that it
    must do, and M$ appears to be interpreting the court-ordered remedies
    as narrowly as possible, to phrase it gently.

    The conviction in Europe was much more onerous than the U.S.
    judgment, but in either area it is not unreasonable to demand that M$
    abide by the terms of law and court-order applicable. Of course,
    those who are programming for free often do not have big bucks in the
    bank to hire lawyers to joust with M$ lawyers in attempts to get the
    law and court orders enforced. Hence, there is reasonable grounds
    for appeal to alternative (in military parlance, asymmetric) means to
    deal with an opponent when one cannot succeed in head-on mirror-image
    confrontation.

    Cheers!

    jim b.

    --
    UNIX is not user unfriendly; it merely
    expects users to be computer-friendly.

  7. Re: Digital Xenophobia

    On Fri, 12 Sep 2008 15:41:40 +0200, Aragorn
    wrote:

    >As I get older, I find that I'm becoming more and more agitated by people
    >not being able or willing to think for themselves and allowing themselves
    >to be mislead by such obvious and superficial things as propaganda and
    >expensively sounding titles or concepts, without understanding what's
    >underneath the name. :-/


    Thank goodness it's not just me then !
    --

    Cheers,

    DrT

    ** Stress - the condition brought about by having to
    ** resist the temptation to beat the living daylights
    ** out of someone who richly deserves it.

  8. Re: Digital Xenophobia

    On Wednesday 17 September 2008 17:17, someone identifying as *DrTeeth* wrote
    in /alt.os.linux.mandriva:/

    > On Fri, 12 Sep 2008 15:41:40 +0200, Aragorn
    > wrote:
    >
    >> As I get older, I find that I'm becoming more and more agitated by people
    >> not being able or willing to think for themselves and allowing themselves
    >> to be mislead by such obvious and superficial things as propaganda and
    >> expensively sounding titles or concepts, without understanding what's
    >> underneath the name. :-/

    >
    > Thank goodness it's not just me then !


    Well, compared to some of the people I get to encounter in this day and age,
    the AOL customers hitting Usenet in September of 1993 were sheer geniuses,
    and I'm not just talking of computers and operating systems but of lots of
    things in which the obvious and superficial does not quite cover the deeper
    story.

    I've just had a days-long debate about GNU/Linux versus Windows in a totally
    unrelated newsgroup - /be.politics,/ not really a group with a high degree
    of intellect, and severely polluted by crossposting trolls, neo-nazis and a
    few nymshifting (ultra)rightwing zealots en psychotics - and for the
    record, I was not the one who initiated that debate.

    I didn't win the debate either, because that guy is hopeless. At least, if
    you're dealing with a Microsoft shill, then you know that *he* knows he's
    lying through his teeth, and if you're technically a bit savvy, you can put
    him in his place right away, but this guy... He's absolutely fanatic and
    religious about Windows and about Internet Explorer.

    For everything I tell him about Windows, he wants to see links as proof,
    because he refuses to accept anything I tell him of the Windows security
    model and how it is bypassable. He even threw things like /umsdos/ at me,
    but of course I know how that works better than he does, and I could refute
    it, but still he claims victory and won't let go of the debate.

    He's like the /matt_left_coast/ of /be.politics/ - for those here
    in /alt.os.linux.mandriva/ who still remember that one - and so I wisely
    backed out of the debate when he told me I should take a look at the new
    Internet Explorer. He can have his Windows and his Internet Explorer.
    As long as it's not on my computer, I don't give a damn anymore. ;-)

    I figure we're not going to hit October 1st 1993[1] any time soon. Too bad
    they're not paying us by the hour.

    *[1]* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_September

    --
    *Aragorn*
    (registered GNU/Linux user #223157)

  9. Re: Digital Xenophobia

    Aragorn wrote:

    > He can have his Windows and his Internet Explorer.


    You'll /never/ learn! 8-) You really shouldn't feed the trolls!

    C.

  10. Re: Digital Xenophobia

    On Wednesday 17 September 2008 21:37, someone identifying as *Christopher
    Hunter* wrote in /alt.os.linux.mandriva:/

    > Aragorn wrote:
    >
    >> He can have his Windows and his Internet Explorer.

    >
    > You'll /never/ learn! 8-) You really shouldn't feed the trolls!


    Well, it's not a newsgroup regarding information technology. It's a
    newsgroup regarding Belgian politics. I've forgotten what exactly it was
    that I had written to trigger the debate, but I got suckered into it.

    In fact, I *have* learned my lesson... One /left_coast/ was enough for me,
    so I simply barged out of the debate. ;-)

    P.S.: Your newsreader is set up to request a reply via e-mail as well, but
    given that the e-mail address set there is invalid, that would of course
    never work. ;-)

    --
    *Aragorn*
    (registered GNU/Linux user #223157)

  11. Re: Digital Xenophobia

    On Wed, 17 Sep 2008 20:07:23 +0200, Aragorn
    wrote:

    >For everything I tell him about Windows, he wants to see links as proof,


    That's a favourite trick of lefties/commies when they are losing the
    argument.
    --

    Cheers,

    DrT

    ** Stress - the condition brought about by having to
    ** resist the temptation to beat the living daylights
    ** out of someone who richly deserves it.

  12. Re: Digital Xenophobia

    On Wednesday 17 September 2008 23:03, someone identifying as *DrTeeth* wrote
    in /alt.os.linux.mandriva:/

    > On Wed, 17 Sep 2008 20:07:23 +0200, Aragorn
    > wrote:
    >
    >> For everything I tell him about Windows, he wants to see links as proof,

    >
    > That's a favourite trick of lefties/commies when they are losing the
    > argument.


    Ehm... Well, I'm not a communist, but I *am* a /leftie,/ as you call it. I
    have a leftwing liberal and a nuanced progressive political orientation. I
    believe in a strong but lean and efficient government which exerts enough
    control over the economy to ensure fair trade principles, but I do not
    oppose to private enterprises, as long as they play by the rules.

    I'm not a socialist, for what it's worth, but here in Europe we have many
    more types of political orientation than the USA has, and therefore you
    guys typically see things in a more polarized way.

    But then again on the other hand, economic pressure is far greater here in
    Europe, and especially in Belgium, to such an extent that there is too much
    industry and too many people packed in too small a country, and we have a
    nanny government constantly telling us what to do and what not to do. This
    is something I don't like. The US is far more relaxed in that perspective.
    Employees in the US at least still have room to breathe. ;-)

    Also, on account of the GNU/Linux versus Windows thing, I used to spend some
    time - about a year and a half, I think - in /comp.os.linux.advocacy,/ and
    from my experience there, those fanatically in favor of Windows were all of
    the rightwing, and even the extreme right - think KKK and stuff like that.
    And incidentally, the person I was having that debate with just now also
    leans towards rightwing extremism. He's an adept of the political party
    here in the Flanders - the Dutch-speaking region of Belgium - who wants to
    split off the Flanders from the rest of the country, and who strongly
    oppose to anything from another culture.

    --
    *Aragorn*
    (registered GNU/Linux user #223157)

  13. Re: Digital Xenophobia

    On Wed, 17 Sep 2008 22:11:43 +0200, Aragorn wrote:

    >
    > In fact, I *have* learned my lesson... One /left_coast/ was enough for
    > me, so I simply barged out of the debate. ;-)



    Now that is a name from the past. He is still in my killfile.
    --
    Neil
    reverse ra and delete l
    Linux user 335851

  14. Re: Digital Xenophobia

    On Thursday 18 September 2008 11:41, someone identifying as *Neil Ellwood*
    wrote in /alt.os.linux.mandriva:/

    > On Wed, 17 Sep 2008 22:11:43 +0200, Aragorn wrote:
    >
    >>
    >> In fact, I *have* learned my lesson... One /left_coast/ was enough for
    >> me, so I simply barged out of the debate. ;-)

    >
    > Now that is a name from the past. He is still in my killfile.


    Not here - this is another machine than the one I was using back at the time
    - but from what I can tell he's no longer monitoring this newsgroup, or at
    the very least, he's not posting here anymore, and I don't see him posting
    in /comp.os.linux.hardware/ either.

    I've quit /comp.os.linux.advocacy/ and /comp.os.linux.misc/ quite a while
    ago, and those were two groups I know he was monitoring back then - if only
    so as to stalk others.

    I don't know what's become of him, and frankly I don't give a damn,
    either. ;-) It's nice and quiet without him around. :-)

    --
    *Aragorn*
    (registered GNU/Linux user #223157)

  15. Re: Digital Xenophobia

    On Thu, 18 Sep 2008 00:36:38 +0200, just as I was about to take a
    herb,Aragorn disturbed my reverie and
    wrote:

    >and too many people packed in too small a country, and we have a
    >nanny government constantly telling us what to do and what not to do.


    Snap here in the UK

    >This is something I don't like.


    Don't get me started .

    As we are getting more than a tad OT, best to stop here. CU around.
    --

    Cheers,

    DrT

    ** Stress - the condition brought about by having to
    ** resist the temptation to beat the living daylights
    ** out of someone who richly deserves it.

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