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A tiny short story about software licenses from the point of view of the distant future.

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    From the same author, a bit of Stargate fan fiction about software testing: https://archiveofourown.org/works/3673335

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      From another, Instruments of Destruction about project-managing the second Death Star.

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          But for the reader who hasn’t watched Stargate: SG 1, the joke is that every random failure mode considered happened in the show’s 9 seasons. A search-and-replace could almost turn this into a story about the transporters in Star Trek.

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              https://forums.spacebattles.com/threads/the-united-federation-of-hold-my-beer-i-got-this.444873/

              “The United Federation of Hold My Beer, I Got This” is accurate enough ;)

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                after they’d gotten a theoretically and generally competent security officer, they accumulated way too many plots that hinged on him being stupid in a way that should have gotten him sacked.

                I’ve seen very little ST:TNG, but wasn’t Worf one of the (possibly the?) first Klingons in Starfleet? Maybe it would have been politically difficult to fire him?

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                  after they’d gotten a theoretically and generally competent security officer, they accumulated way too many plots that hinged on him being stupid in a way that should have gotten him sacked.

                  To be fair, time and time again he cautions the captain to be more careful, and is repeatedly ignored: http://comicsalliance.com/nobody-listens-worf-star-trek-next-generation-comics-andrea-tsurumi/

                  As for those ST transporters in general, who in the [expletive deleted] would have used them unless the alternative was sure death???

                  This was a long-running plot point in Enterprise; they have transporters but are too terrified to use them in anything but the most dire circumstances.

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            Something of an appendix with some more world-building for this story: https://github.com/DRMacIver/programmer-at-large-notes/blob/master/names.md

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              “In large contiguous civilisations with strong contract law it is common that rather than selling software you sell licenses, which grant the buyer the rights to use the software in a particular way.”

              “I don’t understand. Why would you ever buy that instead of the software?”

              “Most consumers did not wish to pay a year’s salary for a small program.”

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                Another detail: if I sell you the software, I can no longer sell it, since it is now yours. You can sell it though.

                The distinction is at the time pedantic and fundamental