Friday, January 4, 2002

From a book published in 1994

Oh, dear. Saalon wrote a flowing, cogent argument about my Thursday diary entry, but most of his argument is based on a misunderstanding of my entry. Specifically, he begins his argument as follows:

Brent points out that Corporate software is, beyond petty complaints, higher quality than “freeware” or “shareware.”

Unfortunately, this is a misrepresentation. I never said that I think corporate software is better than share/freeware. I said that I think corporate software is no worse in quality than shareware or freeware. I.e., I think that, on the whole, corporate software has the same ratio of good and bad products as the “independent” software market.

Before I move on, I also want to point out much of Saalon’s argument compares a few pieces of arguably low-quality corporate softwareMicrosoft Windows, Microsoft Office, Adobe PhotoShop, and Real Networks software — to a few pieces of arguably high-quality freewareApache and vi. Granted, Saalon admitted that he didn’t have particularly strong examples, but this discussion began when Saalon pointed out — rightly — that my specific recent experiences with Kamidake don’t prove that Joel Spolsky is right. A few specific examples — weak or strong — do not prove an overall trend.

At least, that’s my opinion.

Meanwhile, my credit card is nestled safely in the top drawer of my desk at home. Some might be surprised to discover that I only have one credit card; I’ve refrained from getting more because I dislike debt, and the USD $5,0000 credit limit on my current card is much more than I’ve ever spent in one month.

So, why is my credit card snoozing in one corner of a desk drawer? Because I have a rather high balance on it this month, and so I’ve decided to go into a severe purchasing freeze. For the remainder of January, I resolve that I won’t use my credit card at all, and I’ll only use my checking account to fulfill responsibilities like the rent, groceries, birthday gifts, etc.

Do I really need to curtail my spending habits so severely? Probably not, but I hope that this will be a good exercise in self-control. Maybe, by February, I’ll also have a different perspective on what I “need” to buy.

New anime music, from Ranma 1/2.

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