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Why Windows Is Like COBOL October 23, 2006

Posted by screaminglunatic in Uncategorized.

Back in the acient days, where COBOL was the dominant computer language, most of those in managment hadn’t taken any computer training. After all, they were management. But, because managers egos are bigger than their brains, they demanded a computer language that they could look at and at least recognize some of the wording. In reality, there were and are far better languages, but managements need for at the appearance of competance is paramount.

Now these day there is a Network operating system that is far better than Windows servers. Novell is far more robust and capable of delivering the infrastructure that most organizations require. But, because desktops are windows and just about everybody has some experience with windows, novell is falling behind. Some management type can sit down in front of a windows server and things are familiar, not necessarily better.

So you see, Windows is like COBOL, management likes it because they can understand it. Not because it makes better business sense.



1. spinoza1111 - February 9, 2009

(Sigh) when will techies learn that you don’t “sell” something by knocking the competition or worse, the customer with signing authority?

Cobol is dead, although in the past, we did things with it that worked: see my post http://spinoza1111.wordpress.com/2009/02/01/1981-chicago-data-processing-a-cobol-story/ for how and why I simulated a PBX in Cobol. Cobol was driven by the military-industrial complex of the past.

Now, it is true that IT managers don’t have technology smarts in many cases. But few technicians know why this is so. The reason is in a short book by the late economist John Kenneth Galbraith, “The Economics of Innocent Fraud”.

Galbraith believes that management, far from contributing any smarts in excess of the operations research, engineering, and programming of the techie, are essentially an American priesthood. They represent the actual owners of the means of production, because ordinary people, if they had to deal with owners, would soon see the injustice of it all.

As such, part of the managers’ job is making sure that the economy as a whole is not producer-driven in the interests of actual producers. This was tried and it failed in the Soviet Union, where the engineers and hard-hats basically made decisions better left to a market, and the shops were as a result either empty, or filled with goods such as suits that didn’t fit and rotgut vodka that nobody wanted.

Making you as a computer programmer use Cobol, or forcing a Linux whiz to use Windows, or making a graphic designer draw with a mouse, is irrational, but it also forms the socialization function of keeping a class system going.

Furthermore, and nobody likes to talk about it, but Open Source can be usefully viewed as a virtual form of chattel slavery, where the slavery is invisible and therefore morally acceptable. That is, Microsoft programmers got paid for developing Windows, whereas the provenance of Linux and other grand and glorious Web 2.0 software artifacts is partly in the theft of other people’s hard work.

2. screaminglunatic - February 9, 2009

WHEW………talk about over intellectualizing a subject. You gotta go out and get yourself laid pal……and the graduate school Marxism, get real.

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