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Netfront Application Hacking Cease and Desist Order

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deusexaethera
deusexaethera Page Icon Posted 2007-09-24 5:52 PM
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Ah, but you see CE Geek, my right to do what I want with things that I purchase supercedes anybody else's right to stop me from doing what I want. The sole exception is when I'm going to hurt someone else with it.
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takwu Page Icon Posted 2007-09-26 2:49 AM
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hah, I always knew this thread would break my silence... and my 1337ness along with it

So...
I'm glad that a lot agree that it is Access' right to not allow modding their design.

Well maybe except deusexaethera. So i'll elaborate. i'm really not sure why a "software engineer" would not understand this. When you "buy a software", you're not buying its copyright; you're buying a license to use it. That license, at least in this case, would usually not include modification, which would not make sense anyway. You can of course buy the entire copyright of the software, and do whatever the hell you want to do with it, but that would cost you.

it cannot be compared to a physical product, where you are primarily buying a material, only put together in a certain design. in that case you can do what you want with such material, modifying its design.

instead, purchasing a software license is more comparable to purchasing a service. for example hiring an employee. you "purchased" this labour, but you do not have the right to modify this labour in any which way you want. Doing so will be a breach of agreement. if you hired me to flip burgers, there's no way i'll fix your roof while i'm at it, no matter how much you demand it.

ok i hope i haven't made this issue more complicated than it is. the bottom line is, a license is not possession.

Now, more importantly, for those who do agree with the license. Access has every reason to not market to the HPC platform. Selling software (ahem, licenses) is more than letting you have a copy of the binary. It involves a lot of support. If you paid for NetFront for PPC, and you find a bug while running it on PPC, you would demand the bug to be fixed, right? If they offer it for HPC, they will have to make sure they support it too. But they cannot, because the platform itself is dead for a long time (i.e. if they run into difficulties, MS will not help).

I understand that some developers/publishers still support HPC, but as far as I know they have all been supporting HPC while the platform was still alive. They have knowledge of the platform, and they are confident enough with it that they can continue to support their software on this platform. Access does not have that knowledge at all.

It is the same with PPC. Some updated software still support PPC2002 or even PPC2000, because they have been around when those platforms were still alive. However as far as I know, none of the developers that has not been using those platforms would add support for them, when launching a new product. They (the brand new products) all start at WM2003, and I estimate very soon there will be less support for that too. You'll have to have WM5 or later.

Now I anticipate someone would argue that they can release an unsupported version of Netfront HPC. First of all, they cannot make it free, because it would compete with their main product on the PPC platform - because PPC can run most if not all HPC software. So they will need to force this NetFront HPC to require the current license. They will have to make sure it has the same level of piracy deterence that exists in their main product - i.e. they don't want this HPC version to be hacked to work without license, which brings back the issue of competing with their main PPC version. Remember that Access has no HPC development experience, so making sure it isn't hackable is a lot of work, and a very big risk. All this research and development for an "unsupported" version of their software, in order to sell a handful of licenses to HPC users. If you were Access, would you do it?

I hope you guys understand the situation better now. And please be less self-centric; try to think of why Access do what they do; put yourself in their shoes. Hey I did lose my 1337ness over this... even altho I am selfless
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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2007-09-26 3:18 AM
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Good points made, takwu - and welcome back. It was definitely worth losing your "1337ness." Since I'm now a rebel without a cause, I'll shut up now.
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clintonfitchdotwife
clintonfitchdotwife Page Icon Posted 2007-09-28 12:12 PM
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deusexaethera - 2007-09-24 4:52 PM

Ah, but you see CE Geek, my right to do what I want with things that I purchase supercedes anybody else's right to stop me from doing what I want. The sole exception is when I'm going to hurt someone else with it.


Wow- this discussion took an interesting turn.

I agree that Netfront has the right to enforce their EULA. To answer deusexaethera about doing what you want to the program. Had those that hacked the software never shared it with anyone or posted the solution on a public forum Netfront would have never known about it & there never would have been a cease & desist order.

Illegal is illegal in my opinion even if you don't get caught. There are many people who feel otherwise. Some people feel that is it ok to break the law (or user agreements) if no one gets hurt or you don't get caught. I don't agree with that. I think we should do our best to obey our laws or user agreements for products that we buy.

So if you follow the argument out further- the software was modified (EULA broken), it was shared with other users in a public forum (thus getting caught by the developer), it did impact their business (they had to hire lawyers to defend their rights & reputation was hurt by having to enforce such rights possibly losing customers over it), it also hurt others in the process (HPCFactor was directly impacted by the public posting of these modifications).

So yes- to answer your statement- OTHERS WERE HURT BY IT!
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2007-09-28 3:00 PM
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takwu - 2007-09-26 8:49 AM

Well maybe except deusexaethera. So i'll elaborate. i'm really not sure why a "software engineer" would not understand this. When you "buy a software", you're not buying its copyright; you're buying a license to use it. That license, at least in this case, would usually not include modification, which would not make sense anyway. You can of course buy the entire copyright of the software, and do whatever the hell you want to do with it, but that would cost you.


yes, modification can make sense.. in this case we are talking about, for example...



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instead, purchasing a software license is more comparable to purchasing a service. for example hiring an employee. you "purchased" this labour, but you do not have the right to modify this labour in any which way you want. Doing so will be a breach of agreement. if you hired me to flip burgers, there's no way i'll fix your roof while i'm at it, no matter how much you demand it.


i've never heard this view before...
this analogy is quite bad, IMO.
the software developer doesnt have to do anythign / do any work when you hack the software.


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Selling software (ahem, licenses) is more than letting you have a copy of the binary. It involves a lot of support. If you paid for NetFront for PPC, and you find a bug while running it on PPC, you would demand the bug to be fixed, right?


not on HPC, as we would understand it is unsupported.

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Now I anticipate someone would argue that they can release an unsupported version of Netfront HPC. First of all, they cannot make it free, because it would compete with their main product on the PPC platform - because PPC can run most if not all HPC software. So they will need to force this NetFront HPC to require the current license.


who said it would have to be free?

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They will have to make sure it has the same level of piracy deterence that exists in their main product - i.e. they don't want this HPC version to be hacked to work without license, which brings back the issue of competing with their main PPC version. Remember that Access has no HPC development experience, so making sure it isn't hackable is a lot of work, and a very big risk. All this research and development for an "unsupported" version of their software, in order to sell a handful of licenses to HPC users. If you were Access, would you do it?


wrong, Access doesnt have to do anything. the software would be the same as the ppc one.

also ppc and hpc are compatible on API level (well, ok netfront 3.3 is not for ppc2000 anymore, but it doesnt really use new API stuff)


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I hope you guys understand the situation better now.


nope, totally confused now as to why you assumed this (the above) is what we've been demanding..




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clintonfitchdotwife - 2007-09-28 6:12 PM

Illegal is illegal in my opinion even if you don't get caught. There are many people who feel otherwise. Some people feel that is it ok to break the law (or user agreements) if no one gets hurt or you don't get caught. I don't agree with that. I think we should do our best to obey our laws or user agreements for products that we buy.


i think we should do our best to make people more happy. this is sometimes not the same as the law. law is made by just people anyway.

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So if you follow the argument out further- the software was modified (EULA broken), it was shared with other users in a public forum (thus getting caught by the developer), it did impact their business (they had to hire lawyers to defend their rights & reputation was hurt by having to enforce such rights possibly losing customers over it), it also hurt others in the process (HPCFactor was directly impacted by the public posting of these modifications).

So yes- to answer your statement- OTHERS WERE HURT BY IT!



wow, you could go to become a politician

anyway, you are right, hpcfactor could have been hurt, but thats only because Access is silly

no one forced Access to go and enforce this EULA...

they hurt themselves, their own sales with this, and hpcfactor, for nothing.


Edited by cmonex 2007-09-28 3:03 PM
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Leonard_Caplan Page Icon Posted 2007-09-28 4:09 PM
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cmonex - 2007-09-28 3:00 PM

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takwu - 2007-09-26 8:49 AM

Well maybe except deusexaethera. So i'll elaborate. i'm really not sure why a "software engineer" would not understand this. When you "buy a software", you're not buying its copyright; you're buying a license to use it. That license, at least in this case, would usually not include modification, which would not make sense anyway. You can of course buy the entire copyright of the software, and do whatever the hell you want to do with it, but that would cost you.


yes, modification can make sense.. in this case we are talking about, for example...

<SNIP>
In the six pages of post in this tread, the one by takwu is the most intellegant, and is based on facts as well as the law as written in most civilized countries of the world outside of Mexico.

I can understand that early on in the thread there were many who maybe did not understand the law, or the fact that ACCESS, whether anyone likes it or not, has the right to inforce it's EULA.

Continuing on with self serving opinions based nn either the lacl of understanding the facts, as takwu very eloquently spelled them out, is really counter productive. I guess that anyone here does have the right to continue to express self serving opinions, counter to both the law and the rights of ACCESS, but isn't it time that this gets put to bed?

Yes, I too am frustrated with the way this all panned out, however ... contiuing to moan, groan, and complain, as well as to try to justify opinions counter to the law and the rights of ACCESS will change nothing.

IMHO it is time to move on.

Len
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takwu Page Icon Posted 2007-09-29 3:10 AM
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thx Len for the kind words. worth breaking my silence for

however, since cmonex is a friend, we still need to sort things out

cmonex,
the analogy is not perfect, so it might need some explanation. think of the software (not the developer) as the employee you hire. The software license would be your employee's job.

you offer a job to do something specific. after you hired someone to do it, altering the job would not make sense, because you should offer a different job.

you buy a software license to do something specific. after you agreed to the license, altering this license would not make sense, because you should buy a different license.

it's still not perfect, but i hope you get the point this time.

About the HPC version being the same as PPC. Access cannot just take your word for it. They have to do a lot of research to prove that software on the HPC platform is just as secure as it is on the PPC. And I doubt it can be proven at all.

The most obvious issue being HPC is dead; if software is hacked on HPC in a way not possible on PPC, microsoft will have no responsibility. That point alone is enough for any software developer to not support a platform. And the point still stands rather or not someone thinks the platforms are technically the same in this regard (hacking).

btw, you've done it again, calling my point bluntly as "wrong". And I believe I've proven it to be right everytime
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2007-09-29 3:44 AM
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Leonard_Caplan - 2007-09-28 10:09 PM
Continuing on with self serving opinions based nn either the lacl of understanding the facts, as takwu very eloquently spelled them out, is really counter productive. I guess that anyone here does have the right to continue to express self serving opinions, counter to both the law and the rights of ACCESS, but isn't it time that this gets put to bed?

Yes, I too am frustrated with the way this all panned out, however ... contiuing to moan, groan, and complain, as well as to try to justify opinions counter to the law and the rights of ACCESS will change nothing.


1) i'm not really frustrated with their decisions - it doesnt affect me in the least. all the change is.. if someone needs help i will help in email.
2) i didnt really comment on all this earlier, so why not tell about my thoughts now.
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2007-09-29 4:06 AM
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takwu - 2007-09-29 9:10 AM

cmonex,
the analogy is not perfect, so it might need some explanation. think of the software (not the developer) as the employee you hire. The software license would be your employee's job.

About the HPC version being the same as PPC. Access cannot just take your word for it. They have to do a lot of research to prove that software on the HPC platform is just as secure as it is on the PPC. And I doubt it can be proven at all.

The most obvious issue being HPC is dead; if software is hacked on HPC in a way not possible on PPC, microsoft will have no responsibility. That point alone is enough for any software developer to not support a platform. And the point still stands rather or not someone thinks the platforms are technically the same in this regard (hacking).

btw, you've done it again, calling my point bluntly as "wrong". And I believe I've proven it to be right everytime



well, the software has no feelings like an employee does. so i dont see the point in the analogy..

about Access, i'm sorry if they dont understand hpc is the same as ppc apart from some gui elements.

as for calling anyone "wrong" - i thought it was a normal expression, sorry i'm not natively english, so if it is considered blunt then i was not aware of that.

anyway i believe this is not really about proving anything..
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Leonard_Caplan Page Icon Posted 2007-09-29 7:46 AM
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Just to set the record straight.

My post was not directed specifically to cmonex. I probably should have clicked on the Reply button rather than the Quote button. Sorry if it was taken that way cmonex.

My reply was directed to all that do not seem to "get it", and still seem to be "beating a dead horse".

Len
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takwu Page Icon Posted 2007-09-29 10:41 AM
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even if an employee has absolutely no feelings, it is still not right to change his/her/its job after hiring. As feelings is not what I'm cornerned about if this happens; it's about your agreement with this person/entity.

about Access, like I said before, put yourself in their shoes. they don't know the HPC platform, and they're not about to spend much resources to learn about it. there's simply not enough of a market potential for them to risk their current line of profittable product to support this platform. They could end up losing a lot of money if they do it. You might be sorry that you don't get to use their product, but i dont think they are sorry about losing this tiny market. From a business stand point they are doing "the right thing".

don't worry about the bluntness I'm not native english either, so I understand when tone of voice is missed. but when you talk about "right" or "wrong", certain technical stuff is clearly one way or the other. anyway...
xxoo
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deusexaethera
deusexaethera Page Icon Posted 2007-10-10 7:51 PM
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Oh god, where do I start.

This seems like a good place:

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takwu - 2007-09-26 2:49 AM

Well maybe except deusexaethera. So i'll elaborate. i'm really not sure why a "software engineer" would not understand this. When you "buy a software", you're not buying its copyright; you're buying a license to use it. That license, at least in this case, would usually not include modification, which would not make sense anyway. You can of course buy the entire copyright of the software, and do whatever the hell you want to do with it, but that would cost you.
The better question would be why you think you understand the issue better than I do, seeing how my expertise directly relates to the issue. I'm not going to get into a pissing contest over qualifications, but to put it simply, unless you design, implement, and sell software, then I know more about the issue than you do, regardless of your esteem in this forum.

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takwu - 2007-09-26 2:49 AM

it cannot be compared to a physical product, where you are primarily buying a material, only put together in a certain design. in that case you can do what you want with such material, modifying its design.
You're absolutely right, it can't be compared to a physical product, because the physical portion of the product is so easily reproducible and so widely available (assuming there even is a physical portion of the product, such as a CD or DVD) that to try to protect it is laughable. Which is why companies have resorted to selling licenses, not discs. (Sometimes those licenses come on microchips that plug into USB ports, which in my view is a much better way than a key-code, but selling the license is nonetheless the paradigm.)

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takwu - 2007-09-26 2:49 AM

instead, purchasing a software license is more comparable to purchasing a service. for example hiring an employee. you "purchased" this labour, but you do not have the right to modify this labour in any which way you want. Doing so will be a breach of agreement. if you hired me to flip burgers, there's no way i'll fix your roof while i'm at it, no matter how much you demand it.
You must have never worked for a company, then. If you hire me to flip a burger and then change your mind and want me to fix a shingle instead, you have the ability (not the right, necessarily, but f$% rights, they're just extra-special laws) to tell me to fix the shingle if I want to get paid. Likewise, I have the ability (again, not necessarily the right, see above for my opinion) to agree or disagree to remain in your employ. Short of slavery or indentured servitude, this is how employment ALWAYS works.

...and now back to the topic.

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takwu - 2007-09-26 2:49 AM

Access has every reason to not market to the HPC platform. Selling software (ahem, licenses) is more than letting you have a copy of the binary. It involves a lot of support. If you paid for NetFront for PPC, and you find a bug while running it on PPC, you would demand the bug to be fixed, right? If they offer it for HPC, they will have to make sure they support it too. But they cannot, because the platform itself is dead for a long time (i.e. if they run into difficulties, MS will not help).
So it seems you're unaware that PPC2003 == Win CE.NET + a fancy Today screen and a couple of extra DLLs which Microsoft does not object to people using. As long as PPC2003 is supported, by definition Win CE.NET is supported.

Anyway, as has been amply demonstrated, the modification necessary to use NetFront on Win CE.NET is to change two octets of data, which most likely amount to a version code or part of a DLL filename, or something equally miniscule. The actual operation of the software is unchanged, hence the only extra support necessary is to host an extra download and include a hyperlink to download the necessary PPC DLL files from Microsoft -- hardly an amount of effort worth alienating hundreds of customers in order to avoid.

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takwu - 2007-09-26 2:49 AM

Now I anticipate someone would argue that they can release an unsupported version of Netfront HPC. First of all, they cannot make it free, because it would compete with their main product on the PPC platform - because PPC can run most if not all HPC software.
A valid point, to a certain extent. They can make the Win CE.NET version of NetFront as hack-proof as the PPC version. Beyond that, they have to rely on satisfying their customers' desires well enough that their customers are willing to pay for the product. They are not doing this, so the blame for any lost revenue lies with them. (Let's ignore the people who will steal anything they can steal regardless of circumstance, because they are a constant in all scenarios.)

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takwu - 2007-09-26 2:49 AM

Remember that Access has no HPC development experience, so making sure it isn't hackable is a lot of work, and a very big risk. All this research and development for an "unsupported" version of their software, in order to sell a handful of licenses to HPC users. If you were Access, would you do it?
If I want to make money, yes. If demand for my product goes beyond my interest in making money, then I simply have to accept that the would-be customers whom I refuse to cater to will treat me in kind.

(In that respect, the people here who have actually purchased licenses for NetFront prior to modifying it, are treating Access better than they deserve.)

- - -

I'd like to re-type everything I said before, because it's so much fun to repeat myself, but the basic version is that if they don't want to cater to market demand, then they are at the mercy of the would-be customers that they have frustrated.

Furthermore, regardless of the type of a product -- be it a crowbar or an automobile or a software application or a haiku -- if the manufacturer refuses to customize the product to suit my needs then I (and everyone else) will either find another product, or modify the product myself to suit my needs. They can try to stop me from doing so by throwing license agreements in my face, but there are two reasons why this won't work:

1) the intent behind such license agreements is not to prevent me from being satisfied with my purchase, but to prevent me from sabotaging and/or reverse-engineering the software and robbing them of income, which I am not doing;
2) I don't care about the terms of their license agreement, because they refuse to do business with me in the first place.

Final words:

As a software engineer, I know what it takes to build and modify software, and I also know that software companies are run by a bunch of wheezing old farts who are just as greedy as any other business owners -- it is only due to the technical complexity of the product, its newness in the big scheme of things, and the relative ignorance of the lawmakers who have to decide what is legal, that this particular set of wheezing old farts has been able to get laws passed that protect their products far more than any product deserves to be protected. I make software for a living and I don't demand such complete control over my products -- that should tell you something.

Edited by deusexaethera 2007-10-10 8:15 PM
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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2007-10-10 8:18 PM
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deusexaethera - 2007-10-10 4:51 PM

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takwu - 2007-09-26 2:49 AM

instead, purchasing a software license is more comparable to purchasing a service. for example hiring an employee. you "purchased" this labour, but you do not have the right to modify this labour in any which way you want. Doing so will be a breach of agreement. if you hired me to flip burgers, there's no way i'll fix your roof while i'm at it, no matter how much you demand it.


You must have never worked for a company, then. If you hire me to flip a burger and then change your mind and want me to fix a shingle instead, you have the ability (not the right, necessarily, but f$% rights, they're just extra-special laws) to tell me to fix the shingle if I want to get paid. Likewise, I have the ability (again, not necessarily the right, see above for my opinion) to agree or disagree to remain in your employ. Short of slavery or indentured servitude, this is how employment ALWAYS works.


Not quite. This is why labor unions and labor-management contracts exist. This is a topic I know all too well, because my employer is always trying to add new duties and responsibilities to my job, wihch already includes more duties and responsibilities than can be completed satisfactorily without lots of overtime (which the employer rarely grants anyway). As we speak, I am leading negotiations in behalf of 2500 colleagues to draw a line on this very practice. Rights are hardly extra-special laws - in reality, they're just the opposite: they're conditions we all are entitled to without the need for special laws. (Or should we Americans rename the Bill of Rights "the Bill of Extra-Special Laws"?)
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deusexaethera
deusexaethera Page Icon Posted 2007-10-10 8:22 PM
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I would be happy to debate that point further in another thread. I don't want to lose track of the main topic in this one.
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2007-10-10 9:51 PM
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takwu - 2007-09-29 4:41 PM

even if an employee has absolutely no feelings, it is still not right to change his/her/its job after hiring. As feelings is not what I'm cornerned about if this happens; it's about your agreement with this person/entity.

about Access, like I said before, put yourself in their shoes. they don't know the HPC platform, and they're not about to spend much resources to learn about it. there's simply not enough of a market potential for them to risk their current line of profittable product to support this platform. They could end up losing a lot of money if they do it. You might be sorry that you don't get to use their product, but i dont think they are sorry about losing this tiny market. From a business stand point they are doing "the right thing".

don't worry about the bluntness I'm not native english either, so I understand when tone of voice is missed. but when you talk about "right" or "wrong", certain technical stuff is clearly one way or the other. anyway...
xxoo



umm, you are not getting what i meant. you really do not read what i say?

as i said, Access doesnt have to do anything. no need to support the hpc's or do anything at all because it would be a waste of time for them. yet, they wasted time on this cease and desist.

also about "wrong", i see now i wrote this:

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wrong, Access doesnt have to do anything. the software would be the same as the ppc one


i didnt say "you are wrong", hmm..

oh well, please read my posts a little more carefully because otherwise we are not getting anywhere.


p.s.: i care about feelings in this context. also, i did not make any agreements with the software.



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Leonard_Caplan - 2007-09-29 1:46 PM

My post was not directed specifically to cmonex. I probably should have clicked on the Reply button rather than the Quote button. Sorry if it was taken that way cmonex.


no problem!


Edited by cmonex 2007-10-10 9:53 PM
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