Gnomie Jim Varnado of Tripower Software writes:

Chris, What in the hell is going on?

Way back in 1988 I had a career decision to make whether to become a QuickBASIC 4.5 programmer or a C programmer… an article in Byte magazine by Jerry Pournelle helped in my decision to become a QuickBASIC programmer…

Okay… then came Visual Basic 4.0, 5.0, 6.0 and then came .NET… also there was Windows 95, 95 SE, Win Me, Win NT, Win 2000, Win XP, and now Vista. With Vista being a gigantic leap backwards… (Bill Gates has a picture of Henry Ford hanging in his office as an example of failure. Perhaps Vista will be the triggering mechanism for someone to hang a picture of Bill Gates as an example of failure.)

And now we also have the modern mix of “cross-platform” languages… HTML, Java, Pearl, PHP, VB script, dog bones, skunk oil, and tree sap.

And with all of this wasted motion, avalanches, and tidal waves of money, and these decades of learning curves, open wallets, and wheel spin, there seems to be a pseudo-conspiracy to cloud and confuse every programming issue, every venue, and every decision as much as possible rather than as ‘little’ as possible.

So with Windows, OS X, Linux, Red Hat, Slax(?), and various ‘OSes on a stick’… which way to go?

What would be really fantastic is an article that answers very basic questions…

  1. What is the basic fundamental differences between the various available OSes?
  2. Will my Windows applications, such as Word, Excel, and other executable applications run on xx?
  3. Will my programming languages, such as VB 6, Help Studio, and InstallShield run on xx?
  4. Can I write and compile .exe files that run on Windows and xx?
  5. If xx won’t run Windows executables, are there justifiable reasons to switch anyway?
  6. In what other languages could I write my Tripower program?
  7. How much does it cost to replace applications, such as Word or Excel, in other OSes?
  8. Is there an “OSes for Dummies” book?
  9. How can the research and decision making process be as simplified as reasonably possible?
  10. Was there a reason Bill Gates bailed out of Microsoft?
  11. Will Web 2 applications take over current desktop applications?
  12. Is Web 2 the new standard or will it be just a supplement?
  13. What in the hell is going on?

At my age, I figure that I’ve got time for one more good solid programming language learning curve. Had I bought Microsoft Assembly 5.0 back in 1988, at least 90% of everything I would have learned and done would still be functional and valid today… is there a modern equivalent of the old Assembly language?

[tags]Microsoft Assembly 5.0, cross platform, Bill Gates, Microsoft, program, OS[/tags]