I received an email from Tim N …

I received an email from Tim Newsome yesterday. He talked about giving a demo real time priority so it could execute smoothly. I would have agreed with him a few months back but I believe Linux is capable enough to handle the strain of a demo without resorting to giving it (the demo) complete access to the CPU. Hardware prices are dropping every day, and entry level machines are now much faster than the machine I work on at home(or at work..)
I want to see demos running on an X desktop. Maybe, with a slightly higher priority than other apps and it is possible.
Hey Tim! Wanna code a demo?

Something completely different now.
Recently I was on the receiving end of the evangelism of a highly sophisticated organisation wanting me to support it. I did too. I completely believed what I was told for 2 weeks. The organisation is Amway.
This is a company that will deliver products your door, at a cheaper price and promising a full money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with any product. There’s more to it than that, if you tell people about Amway and they buy goods, you get a small percentage bonus if they buy over a certain value of goods.
The problem is, the system is brain washing.

You’re encouraged to go check out Amway, but after hearing how good it is from the Amway representative and the fact that it is probably a friend who introduced you to Amway, many people will likely not check out Amway. I didn’t.
It was only after telling a friend, Dave, about the business that I checked up on it. He asked me questions about taxes and things I couldn’t answer. He brought up ideas that frightened me at the time. Do a search for the word Amway on Yahoo now and see some of the sites dedicated against Amway. They’re what I found.
I confronted my Amway “upline” with questions from Dave. He answered some of the questions well enough, and he did say that a company called “Donnagh & Bradstreet” would say that Amway are ok. I accepted this at the time.
The same evening I searched Yahoo for “Amway” and found out that “Donnagh & Bradstreet” are an acreditation firm. They’re guys who know if a company is a good bet to lend money to. Obviously I didn’t want to loan Amway money so their information would have been useless.
There’s also a list of steps to take to guarantee success in Amway. One is the system of motivational books and tapes. This isn’t an Amway thing, but organised by others. Later I remembered that on Will Smiths’ latest album there’s a guy who wants to do a business deal with Will, and promises him some of the proceeds of the motivational tapes and books..
They’re smart. I talked to a person I was told introduced Amway to Ireland, and the guy was a brilliant salesman. No, more than that. He had an answer for everything. One slip up though. He used Bill Gates as an example of a successful business man. To a non-computer person this might be encouraging but not to me. He described his business more eloguently in that sentance than at any other time.
I complained to him that a friend had tried a washing powder and wasn’t happy with it.
He asked me if I thought she was an expert in washing powders.
I replied, “No, but I’m sure her mother is.”
To which he replied, “Ah! But there’s plenty of mothers will buy it!” and smiled with a terrible grin.
As a learning experience, Amway can’t be beat. I learned more about myself and about human behaviour and motivation than I have in a long time.
Why is this relevant to Linux? Have you asked yourself why the GPL is the way to go when coding software? Have you looked at the Artistic Licence Perl is distributed under? Do you know the complete facts about something you’re advocating?


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