Loud ramblings of a Software Artisan

Friday 6 January 2006

Retro computing

Found on Boing Boing: Raymond Frohlich posted scans of the 1979 IBM Brochure for the IBM 4331 computer. page 1 and page 2. What I like is the "futurisitic" easthetic they gave to the pictures of the office space. A long way in 26 years.

That reminds me that I have a good deal of old thing (not that old) fromn some manufacturer at my mom's for collection value. Maybe I should run the scanner there.

Market Dumping by bundling

I'm not impressed at all, but at least this company listen to their customer, even if they don't satisfy it.

I got a nice Executive Customer Relations from Lenovo Canada on the phone. She called me following my request of refund for the operating system that came with my ThinkPad Z60t, operating system I don't want to use and was required to acquire with the hardware.

I'm not surprised by the answer: no.

She claims that in 5 years nobody asked to not have the operating system, on which I doubt, or she never got the information. She also claims that it is required to use the hardware. I can tell that it is not as I directly booted on my Linux installation CD without ever running that software.

What can we do? Apparently nobody in Canada has taken the care to investigate and enforce the law. And we should tell the proper authority (in Canada) about that problem. If every customer that buy a hardware bundled with software he does not use, like Windows with a laptop computer, complains, then it my open some eyes, at least I hope. If you have any case of a precedent in Canada, I'm willing to hear. The only attempt I know about in Canada is Yannick Delbecque's, still without any answer.

The law is here (direct link to the "offences" section). I'm not a lawyer, and therefore do not provide an advice, but my understanding that law is that bundling software in order to help prevent competition is somewhat considered as an offence to Competition Act. That company has also been found guilty, or somewhat responible on unfair licensing agreement with OEM. Settlements for 23M$ because some OS vendor couldn't bundle its product due to an already unfair agreement with OEM, or refunds obtained in small claim courts in the US.


Just remember that case is almost specific with each manufacturer and in each country. I'm making a case of Canada and its federal law. There could still be a provincial ruling of some sort. Anyway this is to my eyes a clear case of monopoly abuse