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The values of the computer time we have used exceeds $40,000.

That might be true, but he didn't pay for it. He stole it, ostensibly watching runs of other folk's stuff and generally baby-sitting the computer.

the amount of royalties we have received from sales to hobbyists make the time spent of Altair BASIC worth less than $2 an hour.

Not bad bucks for a kid in those days when mowing lawns and pumping gas were considered suitable jobs and gas was $.25 a gallon.

Why is this? As the majority of hobbyists must be aware, most of you steal your software.

Why is it only poor sales of his programs lead to this conclusion? There has never been any proof of stealing. The majority of hobbyist programmers shared the stuff they did for the heck of it, for the props and applause of their fellows. Just because his system didn't sell doesn't mean anyone stole it. Although the Altair was the first kit sold, it wasn't the first or only hobby computer about.

One thing you do do is prevent good software from being written.

Pity it didn't stop him from continuing his stealing ways. Not even when he controls the market do good programs get written - even at his inflated prices.

Who can afford to do professional work for nothing?

That was untrue. They lied about having an emulator to get Altair to hire them. One of the guys spent most of his time writing one, and the rest went dumpster diving to see what they could find and use, and they stole all the computer time, rent and food was paid by mom and dad, even his flashy sports car was paid for by them. He screwed around with his studies and did what he does now, ie only what he wants to do - and bolstered by Daddy's legal status, he has the gall and the vocabulary to match to write this crap.

Who can afford to do professional work for nothing? What hobbyist can put 3-man years into programming, finding all bugs, documenting his product and distribute for free? The fact is, no one besides us has invested a lot of money in hobby software.

That is because there was no need to. Those who cared enough about hobby computers were folks that built them, generally kids, usually not the best at people skills. They worked in groups with other hobbyists and the last thought they had was anything commercial.


Gates today is still stuck in that same mode - trying to get some good publicity for the company, he has himself filmed in India, which is at the tipping point beyond which AIDS there cannot ever be stopped (it's the claim anyway). Interviewer wants to know what strings are on that $800,000 he's donating, as the problem is getting medicines which some illiterate people can manage to take correctly (educated people already know how to prevent AIDS).

Gates hems and haws and stumbles thru the mine field. 'Well this money is for anti-AIDS EDUCATION (useless bit of propaganda then). It's going to the schools to have them teach ABSTINENCE!'

Huh?

The mine field for him there is that for the money to do any good, it has to go to the clinics that dispense Indian made drugs, where because of copyright laws in India the companies can reverse engineer the oh-so expensive American versions which must also be taken in a cocktail several times a day. The Indians put the stuff into one pill taken at wake up, the one meal most get, and sleep time. Easy to remember - and it costs about 1/10 what the pricey drugs from here do.

But it's a violation of copyright law, which he only seems to care about when it's someone copying something of his.

~B

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