Archive for June, 2002

Retro Computing Fun: NeXTSTEP -> OpenStep -> Mac OS X

Thursday, June 13th, 2002

Currently, most of my day is spent in OpenStep 4.2 working on porting a Very Large Body of Code from NeXTSTEP 3.3 to OS X / Cocoa. My current task is converting the NIB files from NS to OS as OS X can open OpenStep NIBs, but not NeXTSTEP NIBs. To complicate matters, the apps to be ported made relatively heavy use of InterfaceBuilder Palettes that are not going to be ported (obsoleted by new API). So, the port from NS->OS of the NIBs is actually not just a straight conversion as I’m also converting objects on the fly from one object model to another.
Very interesting stuff, really.

As we no longer have any Intel hardware that can run OpenStep, I’m running OS 4.2 under VPC for windows. It is faster than the native OpenStep-on-Until box I used 5 years ago. By jumping to full screen mode, you can’t even tell that Windows is the host OS!

Furthermore, it is possible– even easy– to configure VPC to allow the OpenStep box to have its own separate IP address. Once done, configuring OpenStep is exactly the same process it has always been (i.e. easy).

So, I’m no logged into an OS 4.2 box running under VPC that is mounting my home account, has all of the environment variables and defaults, etc.

Works flawlessly. Quite the retro-computing experience!

Rampant Piracy of Music

Wednesday, June 12th, 2002

It is obvious that the incredible noise that the RIAA (and, now, the MPAA) are generating in regards to the supposed ‘rampant piracy’ of music via the Internet– the supposed bazillions of $$$s lost– is just a show to distract the world from some other ploy.

I was in the China Town area of Manhattan a few days ago. Had some awesome soup dumplings and other delicacies at a hole in the wall that few tourists ever visit– ping me if interested.

While walking up Mott street to Canal– then a couple of blocks on Canal to the subway stop– I passed at least a dozen street vendors who each had several hundred CDs for sale. All were current hits and weird collections. All were $10/one, 3/$20, etc and everything was negotiable.

Unless the record companies have started distributing shoddy quality– lots of poorly aligned/printed K cards and booklets– loosely packaged CDs, most of the CDs were pirated copies.

In my 5 minute walk, I probably saw close to 2,500-3,500 CDs for sale and most of the vendors wer in the process of making a sale.

Now, of course, the copy protection “schemes” that the industry has used so far will do no good in this situation. To bulk copy that many CDs requires professional level equipment — the kind of stuff that is perfectly happy copying whatever the hell happens to be on the disc, red book compliant or not.

There is no proof– considerably proof otherwise– that downloading a song or album represents a lost sale.

Evidence and common sense would indicate that, if someone were willing to pay $10 for a pirated copy of Britney Spears latest dribble that is packaged to look somewhat legitimate, that individual is pretty much guaranteed not to drop $18 on a real copy.

Until I see any evidence that the RIAA/MPAA actually cares about real acts of theft of their materials that happens every day on the street corners of major cities around the country– as well as through mail order and online– I cannot take anything they say regarding piracy through downloads even remotely serious.