Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/04/28/corrections_and_carrionifications/

Corrections and Carrionifications

By Andrew Orlowski

Posted in Letters, 28th April 2003 07:10 GMT

Letters A couple of apologies are in order.

1. Software Engineers

re: Why Intel Doesn't Write Stuff Down (Because They're Smart)

Reader "oberon" wrote me a very angry letter indeed:-

"While most of the articles are timely, accurate, and insightful, this trash should never have been published," he writes. "What do you have against software engineers?"

Well, that's nuts, I thought. I had thought that I'd said that the barrier to entry in hardware is higher than software, without implying - because it's a barmy generalization - that all software engineers must necessarily, and the same heights couldn't be scaled by all?"

Then Frank Logan from Wasabi wrote to me:

"I enjoyed reading your article until I got to the point where you essentially said that software engineers were somehow inferior to hardware engineers. This mis-characterization pretty much eliminated your credibility and made what was an otherwise interesting report seem more like message board drivel."

So I went back and checked. And this sentence seems to cause the trouble. "It is a tribute to the superior modes of communication that hardware people seem to employ: terse, economic, efficient and full of value. Whereas software people tend to babble incoherently, getting themselves into all kinds of trouble." The offensive phrase is "tend to".

So this piece was in no way intended to support the inference that "tend to" means all software engineers are incoherent babblers.

Sun's Jim Waldo has an nice perspective which he told me when I barged into his office on Thursday. (It was Sun Labs' open days, and it's the one year you can do this without Sun Secruity Guards hauling you out of the building, and we wish there were more days like this).

"Hardware, software? It's the same thing - with different interfaces."

Leaving aside clumsy generalizations, we still maintain that Intel edited its communications and stayed out of trouble, while Microsoft blabbed and incriminated itself. Nevertheless, we're sorry for any offense caused, folks.

Especially in an article about, err, language.

2. Misleading Instructions

re:

This contained one gross inaccuracy. If you turned up, as we advised, at the AMC Kabuki 8 at 3:30pm on Wednesday, you will not have been able to catch the movie, MC5 - A True Testimonialshowing as part of the San Francisco International Film Festival. Because it wasn't showing then. It actually had two showings, one on Wednesday and one on Friday, at the Kabuki.

So apologies to anyone who missed out because of our bum advice. I caught the Friday showing and to hear a thousand people whooping (some weeping) as the credits rolled was quite something. The extraordinary reaction to this great movie give me hope it will find a broad theatrical release. You have to see the footage of the MC5 to realize what a physical party this was: they made a sound of Joy not heard in Honkie Culture for, I reckon, about two hundred years.

(We have introspection very well covered, but the cupboard is pretty bare when it comes to sounds of uninhibited joy. And you have to marvel at a rock movie where some of the best surviving live footage has shot by FBI surveillance teams).

Which leaves only one loose end to be tied up. Brother Wayne Kramer of the MC5 survived the band's crash and personal catastrophe. A survivor, he's now a musician in LA. And he uses Apple stuff (as that link proves), and at the very least deserves, we think, a prominent and very well paid role in their promotional material.

After all, isn't Think Different just the tame, shorthair version of the longhair original: Kick Out The Jams?

Jobs - you do must The Right Thing. ®