My cat is a dog! The twisted logic of ZDNet's DOS FAT FUD

Drive-Letter Letter-Time

Many, many, many of you wrote in about Befuddled by file systems, browsers, computer history?

Here's a selection.

I suffer this phenomena for years. Everytime when someone wrote crap in a mag, friends of mine who read that believe the stuff and try to tell me I'm stupid.

Tom Servo

You were much to kind to David B. That article he wrote was one of the most biased and inaccurate pieces of garbage I have ever had the misfortune of reading.

DP Arnold

My cat has four legs.
My dog has four legs.
Therefore my cat is a dog.

It's called a syllogism, kids.


This correspondent homed in on the assertion that HTTP is "like any other file system"...

To: David Berlind
How do you lock a file using HTTP (or IE)? How do you write a file using HTTP (or IE)?

How do you move directories around? How do you read a file's time stamp? HTTP is Hyper Text Transfer Protocol, designed to move HTML - Hyper Text Markup Language, NOT a filesystem.

Is it so hard in UNIX to:
mkdir /C\:\\
mkdir /D\:\\
mkdir /E:\:\\

... to make it look like DOS for you Dumb Obstinate Sysops!!!

Have you been reading an acronym dictionary that only glosses over the terms and mentions some history?

The pen is truly mightier than the sword; in this case it committed Hara-kiri.

Appalled by stupidity,


The nightmare continues.

IE is a file browser and so therefore must be bundled with Windows....?

Shades of South Park's Chewbacca Defence!

Mike Coppins

This correspondent reckons cheap shots aren't justified - we've going around calling kettles black:-

Be nice. Stories at The Reg are frequently littered with errors too. If you disagree with Berlind's points (and who wouldn't?) then by all means criticise, but low blows at his use of language are petty and unnecessary.


Fair enough.

How about an all star Death Match! David Berlind v Steve Gibson?

Pat Dougan

Thanks ever so! I don't know when I laughed so much.
Maybe I'm paranoid, but what I see in the quotes you
gave us added up to a non-IT-literate journo's vague
memory of what some Microsoft marketing types might
have told him.

Dickens did this sort of thing well. Remember the
poor man in Bleak House who keeps talking about how
a lawyer made him sign an "Alfred David"?

It is frighteningly easy for MS to tell people like
Berlind that IE ought to be part of the OS "because
it's a file system". Whereas in fact, insofar as it
is integrated with the OS it's only because they chose
to make it so.

Tom Welsh

However Berlind has one supporter. A confused chap, by the sound of it:-

I just wanted to mention that I (for one) don't believe the "Reality Check" article you ripped apart on The Reg is as flawed as you seem to suggest.

Yeah, he makes some bold claims, and some of his technical "facts" aren't quite accurate, but that doesn't obscure or invalidate his point, and what's perhaps worse is that it appears many people (including yourself) are regarding it as a swipe at non-MS platforms.

Anyway: obviously you're aware that he's trying to say that HTTP and FTP are network file access/transfer protocols of varying complexity, and groups them with NFS and SMB (and in that context, it's fair to say that HTTP is pretty bog standard).

And yeah, okay, HTTP is often used to stream the output of real-time scripts executed on the HTTP-server backend, but it still relies on the pretence that it's a static file.

It's a gritty technicality, but I believe he makes a fair point: the DoJ are saying "you can't ship Internet Explorer with your operating system", when in fact half of Internet Explorer is a handler for a suite of network file-access protocols, like NFS. But no-one's saying Sun can't ship NFS with Solaris.

In my opinion he has forgotten/glossed over the fact that the other half of IE is the HTML renderer, which I suppose is really what all the fuss is about.

So how can MS get away with shipping an HTML renderer with their OS? Well it's crazy, but it might just work - make the OS user interface HTML-based so that the product cannot exist without an HTML renderer. Oh, that's Windows XP.


No it isn't. And what's a 'real-time script'?

Alex - you're mad. ®

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