linux in the hansard

Martin Schwenke martin at
Thu Jun 20 15:19:02 EST 2002

Dear Senator Alston,

Please note that I've copied this message to the Canberra Linux Users
Group (CLUG), since they have a vested interested in this sort of

CLUG members, if you reply to this message, please show Senator Alston
the respect that he is due as a federally elected Senator.

I've also copied it to Bob McMullan MP (my local member) and Senator
Kate Lundy (Shadow Minister for Information Technology).  

>>>>> "John" == John Griffiths <john at> writes:

    John> Senator Alston:

    John> The answer to the honourable senator’s question, based on
    John> advice from Telstra, is as follows:

    John> [...]

    John> (3) In order to be eligible for the 2-way Satellite Internet
    John>     Service, customers require a PC subject to a defined set
    John>     of minimum specifications.  These specifications are
    John>     outlined in the customer offer.  Telstra does not
    John>     collate statistics on the number of customers who may
    John>     require the service but do not meet the minimum PC
    John>     standards, including those customers who may have an
    John>     Apple MacIntosh computer.  This would equally apply to
    John>     customers with computers using other operating systems
    John>     such as DOS, earlier Windows versions, Linux or BeOS.

I wish people would stop using the term "minimum specifications" to

* specifications that we are willing to support;

* specifications that we can support because we don't have the
  resources to support anything but the status quo; or

* specifications of an operating system produced by a company who are
  under investigation by one or more large countries.

The word "minimum" implies some sort of quantitative comparison.  The
other operating systems mentioned are not supersets of Microsoft
Windows, so Microsoft Windows does not represent part of a "minimum
specification".  The word "minimum" could (and should) be omitted from
the above statement to improve its accuracy.

I would hope that the Federal Minister for Communications, Information
Technology and the Arts would receive advice of a quality that could
help him avoid making incorrect statements such as the above.

Martin Schwenke

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