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Re: st: Stata for windows, was: Graph problem

From   "Michael Blasnik" <[email protected]>
To   <[email protected]>
Subject   Re: st: Stata for windows, was: Graph problem
Date   Mon, 6 Oct 2003 11:20:58 -0400

It's nice to hear that you weren't ranting ;).   I said in my post that
Stata for Windows has crashed fewer than 5 times in 10 years of very heavy
use -- to me that is very stable for any software on any platform.  I have
never lost any Stata work due to a crash of Stata or Windows.  Are you
saying that you have never had any Linux application crash ever?  How about
Mac users out there?

I'm not saying that Windows is a great OS or better or more stable than any
other OS.  However, if you have a crash per week of WinXP then you probably
have some fixable problems -- I find XP to be pretty stable and suffer far
fewer crashes.  Maybe you need better tech support.  I am not an MS
apologist -- I think that MS Word is a generally poor word processor and
Windows has problems with "cute" features and security -- but I haven't
really found that Windows is "crippling" and I don't spend my days "fighting
with it".   Maybe I'm just lucky.

I am self-employed and can use any OS I want -- I've considered switching to
Linux or OS X -- but Windows hasn't really been a problem for me and I think
the cost in terms of my time, software changes, compatability with my
clients' software, and cross-platform hardware support issues would not be
recouped by experiencing one fewer OS crash every couple of months.

I also think Stata's long history of development shows that they aren't
short-changing other operating systems to focus on Windows.

Michael Blasnik
[email protected]

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "SamL" <[email protected]>
To: <[email protected]>
Cc: <[email protected]>
Sent: Monday, October 06, 2003 10:35 AM
Subject: Re: st: Stata for windows, was: Graph problem

> I wasn't ranting.  But, thanks Michael for confirming my statement.  Stata
> is great on Windows--and that is indicated by saying it crashes far less
> than any other Windows software.  Hooray! :-)
> I know that many people are forced to use an OS that is as crippling as
> Windows because someone else made the decision.  All I can say to that is
> that's unfortunate (and, see below).  I am fortunate here in that persons
> get to decide what OS they want to use.  Most go with Windows and spend
> their days fighting with it.  I am a heavy stat user in my department, and
> felt MS creates so much instability and often gets calculations wrong
> (e.g., the excel probelm with sqrt(2)), not to mention that MSWord *still*
> cannot by default put footnotes at the bottom of the correct page, so I
> went with another OS.
> But, so that I may interface with many individuals who use Windows, I have
> a linux box and a windows XP machine side-by-side in my office.  The linux
> box has *never* crashed in two years of service.  The windows XP machine
> crashes an average of once a week.
> That said, I have no expectations stata will stop writing for windows.
> Indeed, I would think stopping writing for windows would be unwise.  My
> expectation, I thought, freed me to make an extreme statement.  If that
> frightened or angered some, I sincerely apologize.  To be clear, I do not
> want Stata to stop writing for Windows (like they listen to me, anyway
> :-)).  My point, was, however, that I doubt windows accounts for most
> users--a small proportion of purchases by institutions can account for
> hundreds of users.  And, those using non-MS OS's should know that the MS
> strategy of withholding information means to write good software for
> Windows one must throw much more money and time at the problem than for
> other OS's.  To those who were lamenting the cost of manuals, here is
> another factor in cost--the strength of the documentation in the OS
> platform.  All this led me not to really want stata to stop writing for
> windows.  I only wanted to suggest (and hope) that Stata does not get
> side-tracked into dealing with problems MS creates, and ultimately end up
> giving insufficient attention to the many who use much more stable OS's.
> This would be evident were we to begin seeing rolling releases of stata,
> where versions for different platforms are released at different times.
> Or, weaker documentation for some platforms' versions.  Or, decreases in
> the rate at which new models and options are added.
> So, as far as I can tell this hasn't happened.  And, its great Stata
> crashes less than other Windows software; this is likely due to the better
> programmers at stata than other places.  But it is still true--we all pay
> the costs of Bill's predatory strategy--in delayed advancements, crashed
> machines, and lost work---even when we avoid Bill's software.  I'm just
> hoping that cost can be kept low.
> Sincerely and respectfully,
> Sam
> On Mon, 6 Oct 2003, Michael Blasnik wrote:
> > I feel a need to reply to SamL's rant against MS Windows and apparent
> > suggestion that Stata should stop developing for Windows.  I certainly
> > that Windows and MS have many shortcomings, but SamL's suggestion is
> > and the primary justification -- Stata crashes are common and
> > under Windows -- is just plain wrong.  I have used Stata for Windows
> > it first came out (about 10 years ago?, before that I used Stata for
> > and I typically spend 20 hours/week  actively using Stata.  I have used
> > under the more buggy versions of Windows prior to XP (my current
> > and still I have experienced fewer than 5 Stata crashes in all 10 years
> > use and none of those crashes brought down the operating system.  Stata
> > the most stable piece of Windows software I have ever used -- crashing
> > less than any MS products.
> >
> > Michael Blasnik
> > [email protected]
> >
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "SamL" <[email protected]>
> > To: <[email protected]>
> > Cc: <[email protected]>
> > Sent: Sunday, October 05, 2003 8:30 PM
> > Subject: Re: st: RE: Graph problem
> >
> >
> > > Just a quick note.  What was Stata thinking (by investing in a Windows
> > > version)?  I know, I know, lots of people use Windows.  But, that the
> > > machine crashes probably has nothing to do with Stata.  It is quite
> > > that some or many of those people writing Stata about the machine
> > > when Stata does something have the same problem whenever they use
> > > non-MS software--netscape, WordPerfect, anything.  That has been my
> > > experience with *every* windows operating system since MS "superceded"
> > > Windows 3.1--the last one where you could easily switch out to DOS.
> > >
> > > Windows crashes at the slightest wind.  Every release is promised to
> > > stable, and every release fails.  A major reason for this is MS
> > > tells non-MS programmers all the rules of Windows, so that non-MS
> > > programmers will necessarily write software that will at times clash
> > > some arcane Windows rule (and crash or hang the system).  And, MS
> > > incompetence means even their own non-OS software, hastily written,
> > > tested, and user-unfriendly, also crashes constantly.
> > >
> > > MS used the former mentioned predatory technique and others at the
> > > and continues to do so.  I hope Stata will not end up diverting more
> > > more energy and investment to the impossible task of writing stable
> > > software for an OS for which Stata will never receive complete
> > > documentation.  Instead, I hope Stata pays equal or more attention to
> > > writing for operating systems that are designed for users to get work
> > > (e.g., linux) as opposed to operating systems designed to maintain the
> > > dominance of one northwestern U.S. corporation.  It is only by this
> > > approach that Stata will avoid getting bogged down into the quagmire
> > > spending more and more effort just trying to get the menus right on
> > > screen, and will be able instead to steadily introduce truly useful
> > > advances (e.g., more models, more options, more presentation quality
> > > stuff--more more more!).
> > >
> > > Not to start an MS-war, but something *had* to be said re: the thread
> > > about windows crashing when something is changed.
> > >
> > > Respectfully,
> > >
> > > Sam
> > >
> >
> >
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