[svlug] Wheel Mouse Optical... Evil?

Rafael raffi at ark.linwin.com
Sun Jan 6 02:29:02 PST 2002


On Sat, Jan 05, 2002 at 12:29:35PM -0800, Jeffrey Siegal wrote:
> Rafael wrote:
> > They bought or
> > licensed from those who designed that in the first place.

Majority of their mouse related patents are design patents.

> 
> You are mistaken.  At least to the extent that you are claiming that
> Microsoft's hardware group is any different from most other hardware
> companies in this regard.  They may contract out design work, or they
> may not.  The precise business arrangement between a manufacturer and
> the designers who work for it is none of our business, really, is it?

I recognize that they are software company in general.

> 
> > Microsoft never invented anything, correct me if I'm wrong. 
> 
> You're wrong.  Microsoft has had thousands of smart people, including
> some *very* smart people in its research group, working there for years,

Perhaps I should say, they never invented earth shaking product or a
method for making things. [1] Inventions few, inovations many.

Having smart people doesn't necessarily mean the company invented anything
extraordinary. Creating a distinctly shaped mouse is inovation rather 
than invention.

[1] It's possible that we'll see a scooter "invented" by MS in the near 
future.

> and they have invented a great many things.  You are welcome to browse

Example?

> the patent database at your convenience to see a small subset of these
> inventions.

Let's see their portfolio:
http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=/netahtml/search-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=ft00&s1=Microsoft.ASNM.&OS=AN/Microsoft&RS=AN/Microsoft

I bet they can write hundreds of patent applications that relate to their 
OS and it's relation to hardware. However, if they enforce their patent 
portfolio we are in big trouble.

cat /proc/pci

"PCI devices found:
  Bus  0, device   0, function  0:
    Host bridge: Intel Corporation 82810-DC100 GMCH [Graphics Memory ControllerHub] (rev 2).
  Bus  0, device   1, function  0:
    VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation 82810-DC100 CGC [Chipset Graphics Controller] (rev 2).
      IRQ 11.
      Prefetchable 32 bit memory at 0xe4000000 [0xe7ffffff].
      Non-prefetchable 32 bit memory at 0xe2000000 [0xe207ffff].
  Bus  0, device  30, function  0:
    PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801AA PCI Bridge (rev 1).
      Master Capable.  No bursts.  Min Gnt=4.
..............."

6,327,045 Computer network

I wonder how did Sun, HP, DEC, SGI transfer files and print jobs on their
systems prior to that invention?

6,301,612 Establishing one computer as a replacement for another computer
(LTSP ???)

"SUMMARY AND OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION 

The present invention relates to methods and systems for booting client
computers over a network using operating system components provided by a
server computer. According to the invention, the client computers may be
booted and automatically reconfigured regardless of changes made to the
hardware components of the client computer since the last time the client
computer was connected to the server. When replacement hardware or an
entire computer is added to the network, the client computer may be
connected to the network and booted with little or no user input.
Moreover, the operating system is automatically updated in response to new
hardware that must be operated during the bootup process. According to the
invention, the new computer or replacement hardware is treated by the
servers just as the previous computer or hardware. Furthermore, if a hard
disk has been replaced, the replacement hard disk automatically receives
copies of information previously stored on the original hard disk. One
result of the methods of the invention is that the new or modified
computer is configured identically to the original computer from the point
of view of the user."

If I remember correctly, we were able to boot Sparc workstations over the 
net in early 90's...

6,295,355 Learned speed dialing ???
6,285,363 Method and system for sharing applications between computer systems (X windows?)
6,249,822 Remote procedure call method
6,247,057 Network server supporting multiple instance of services to
     operate concurrently by having endpoint mapping subsystem for mapping
     virtual network names to virtual endpoint IDs

"                                  Map
          Virtual Endpoint       to. . .       New Endpoint
           129.56.85.7:80        {character pullout}      129.56.85.7:81
           129.56.85.8:80        {character pullout}      129.56.85.8:82"

Interesing reading indeed. I did not know that RPC is patentable for
example. I did not know that my Apache/email server violates patent 
6,247,057. Is this a joke or what? Burn all virtual hosts day?

6,246,409 Method and system for connecting to, browsing, and accessing
computer network resources

Compare that to inventions from National Semiconductor, Intel, AMD, HP, 
IBM, and thousands of individuals...

I'm sure there is good stuff somewhere in there, I'm just too tired to 
find it through 350 out of 1819 MS patents.

> Don't let your passion for Linux advocacy lead you to start making
> statements that simply aren't true.

Don't worry.
 
> > Logitech is a bit more expensive than other manufacturers but I expect the
> > mouse to work for many years to come. And why not "reward" manufacturers
> > of good products? Why always go for the cheapest stuff, perhaps made in
> > commie China and replace it once a year because it breaks more likely?
> 
> With all due respect (a courtesy it would be nice if you returned), I'm
> sure you have had good luck with Logitech mice, but the fact is
> Microsoft mice also appear to be excellent quality.  I've never had one
> fail and I have had several that are approaching ten years old and still
> work fine.

Good for you. Logitech mouse is also made in China...

> 
> And like I said, just a few weeks ago, I saw a Logitech keyboard fail to
> work with Linux (but worked fine with Windows) with one of those

Just a few weeks ago I saw an MS keyboard fail to work with windows. In 
the past 4 years I've seen more MS mice dead than Logitech simply because 
they are mechanical devices.

> USB-PS/2 adapters.  I see no evidence of MS's performance in this regard
> being any worse.  Seems about the same to me.

-- 
Rafael




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