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Microsoft Businesses Communications The Internet

Microsoft Migrating Live Spaces Users To WordPress 145

An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft has decided it can't compete with the established blogging platforms out there and will instead embrace one of them. Talking at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference, Dharmesh Mehta, Director of Product Management for Windows Live, announced that all existing Windows Live Spaces users will be migrated over to an account at This decision is one Microsoft has prepared for, and the CEO of Automattic, the company that runs and develops the WordPress platform, was also present on stage with Mehta. The two companies have worked together to ensure Spaces users will take all of their data with them when migrating and have visitors automatically forwarded to the new URL associated with their blog."
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Microsoft Migrating Live Spaces Users To WordPress

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  • by Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Monday September 27, 2010 @04:26PM (#33716080) Homepage

    Wordpress is quite flexible, and super easy to install onto your own hosting server.

    • by vivin ( 671928 )

      Agree. I had my own hacked-together custom blogging-platform that I wrote way back in 2002. I kept wanting to do the "grand rewrite" to add more features, but never got around to it. Finally I realized that I would just be reinventing the wheel and decided that the smart thing to do would be to go with Wordpress.

      They have really good documentation for their database schema and so I didn't have a very hard time migrating my old data over. With wordpress in place it's become very easy for me to make blog post

      • Question from non-blogger:

        Why do you need special software like WordPress? Why can't you just use standard MS Word or WordPerfect, convert it to HTML, and publish it online?

        • Or the built-in editors that come with Mozilla/seaMonkey and Opera?

        • by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Monday September 27, 2010 @05:16PM (#33716630)

          Because that makes garbage HTML?
          Really anyone who does that should be banned from the internets.

          • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

            by BenoitRen ( 998927 )

            WordPress also outputs horrible HTML, so that's not an argument.

            • by kchrist ( 938224 ) on Monday September 27, 2010 @09:04PM (#33718500) Homepage

              Wordpress actually outputs very little HTML and what it does is valid. The front-end markup is 99%+ determined by the theme (aka, templates, skins, whatever) - the theme uses the Wordpress API to pull data but but the display is entirely up to the developer. You're blaming the application for the bad markup written by a theme developer.

              And, for what it's worth, the default theme that ships with Wordpress is valid XHTML.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Why would someone need office software, why can't they just use MS Notepad?

          It turns out that customizing layouts (IE: you must be able to quickly make small or major changes or use templates made by others without having to modify the actual content in any way), adding plugins (galleries and whatnot), managing comments (how much links can there be? will they be visible before you've specifically checked that they're not spam? how will you ban certain commenters? Or give special rights to others?), observing

        • I have a very simple blog on blogspot, but I use it instead of HTML because of the built in indexing, time stamps, keywords, search. A customized turn-key solution has more bells and whistles than a made-from-scratch option would, unless I wanted to re-implement some subset of those bells and whistles from scratch.

        • by Hylandr ( 813770 )
          Because to the rest of your peers on the internet, your blog would have the appearance of one going to the prom by herself in a home-sewn jumpsuit of the same flower print material.

          It looks horrid, you can't hide it and it just generally should not be done. There are just some things that require certain finesse. Get a facebook page, and be happy.

          - Dan.
          • Yet appearance never bothered people who made sites on GeoCities, Angelfire, FreeWebs, etc. It's all about content.

            • You do know those are gone now?

              Appearances bothered someone.

            • If appearance doesn't matter, just use the default 2010 Wordpress theme [].

              I'll agree with you, though, those sites used to have all kinds of great (and sometimes nutty) information. It gave meaning to the word "web".

              But, as as been described above, you get tired of uploading .html files or doing other stuff that WordPress does for:
              -upload images and create thumbnails
              -create an gallery of past used images which you can search for by keyword
              -show related posts, automatically
              -create the URL automatically from yo

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Question from non-blogger:

          Why do you need special software like WordPress? Why can't you just use standard MS Word or WordPerfect, convert it to HTML, and publish it online?

          Maintaining a Wordpress style blog in Word or Wordperfect would be a nightmare. Sure, you could do a single page, but updating it would quickly become a nightmare. A purpose built tool like Wordpress also allows access from mobile phones. Also, do you want to allow people to post comments on your blog? Have fun getting that to work with Word. Take a peek, you'll realize that, like most things, there is more to it then there seems.
          Disclaimer: I am not a Wordpress user,

        • by Hooya ( 518216 )

          Answer from a non-blogger - so take it with a grain of salt. Don't know if wordpress or the likes actually does this but i would think it does...

          Here's how it would play out:

          - write the first blog with word (or what have you). all good.
          - write the second blog entry. then worry about a link back to the old entry. and update the old entry with a link to the the new entry.
          - write the third entry. now it's a kind of a mess to try and update all three so.. hmm.. quick scripting to look at the file structure to l

          • That's easy. Each weblog entry would be its own separate page that links back to the index. Then you only need to update the index every time you make an entry.

        • Assuming this isn't a troll, the answer is pre-coded functionality. Go to and do some reading or install it and play with it yourself.

          The bigger issue is that word processors, especially Microsoft Word, should never be used for generating anything on the web. There's tons of unadulterated crap spewed out by Word which makes a mess of everything.

          Notepad or any other editor? No problem as long as it's pure 100% USDA choice text.

          • I'm a teacher and a part-time web designer. I have a custom journal site for my students. One student had an issue where they were getting a truncated error for the journal. It was an nText field. The student had only written about four pages of text. I was confused until I asked her if she cut and pasted from MS Word. She said yes, so I looked at the source. Literally twenty times the code than content. If all the blogs were written in MS Word, I'm afraid the internet would cease to function.

            • Yep, exactly. And imagine if Microsoft succeeded with the whole Frontpage-plus-proprietary-extensions crap. Scary thought.

        • Why do you need special software like WordPress? Why can't you just use standard MS Word or WordPerfect, convert it to HTML, and publish it online?

          Please, please, don't do this. I've had to waste numerous hours fixing web pages that people created using Word. Half the time they don't even display correctly in Internet Explorer! The code ends up being such a mess that it's not really feasible to clean up with a text editor either, and a good bit of the time software like Dreamweaver will just choke on the page.

          I fortunately now have the backing from my boss to just tell people (even faculty) "sorry it's not working, but the only solution is for you to

        • Because it's easier to build and maintain a blog with tools specialized for the purpose.

          There's more to the project of developing and maintaining a blog than just typing in the blogger's posts. There's authenticating commenters, and accepting or rejecting their comments -- which is critical, as you've got to inhibit spam comments, and if your blog is at all controversial, you'll likely get trolls that you have to deal with. There are lots of conveniences that have been developed for blogs: creating and main

          • Car analogy!

            Seriously, though, even people who make their money with other technologies (Java, etc.) use WordPress to blog.

            Just like Microsofties use iPods to listen to music.

        • Wordpress and a number of other blogging software out there confirm to a number of publishing, subscription, customization, and xml feed standards that make it easier to do all those things. There was one in particular I found was deeply entrenched in many blogware offerings but its exact name escapes me at the mo.

        • by sodul ( 833177 )

          Case in point, my wife has a Wordpress blog that is hosted in our 'garage' server. It is much, much easier for me to administer her little section of the server and I really do not have to explain 'files' to her. Add to that the many features that come for free and that are nicely integrated: user management and access control, page views counts, comments. Best of all you can update it from almost anywhere, even from your iphone while you wait at the dentist.

          Me, I prefer to do it the old fashioned way, with

        • Because WordPress gives you a comment system, plugins, themes, indexing, tags, categories, an admin page, and a bunch of other stuff that you no longer have to take care of yourself.

          It would be a nightmare trying to add any of that stuff to HTML generated by Word or WordPerfect.

        • by Xest ( 935314 )

          Because using Word or Wordperfect generated HTML on a real internet facing website is a little bit like raping the internet. It's just wrong.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Wordpress looks very clean on the outside, however the core code lacks quality. It's api is very easy and nice to work with, but beneath all these, global variables and functions speak for themselves, even if this is php we're talking about.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        It was less than two years ago when I registered to But when I tried to log on, I couldn't. It took a while for me to realize the reason: My password had < character that had been changed to the HTML entity. (IE: If my password would be "I<3Slashdot" it would have been changed to "I&lt;Slashdot") At this point WP wasn't taking its first steps or anything! So, if they still had problems with something as basic as what fields to escape (and how) when people register a new account, I'm

    • wordpress isn't bad from a front end point of view, but the backend API is a fucking mess.

      I never thought I'd ever pine for the Joomla! API.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by rident ( 1287114 )
        Yeah I couldn't handle either mess. I've built some of my web apps on DooPHP which I've found to be really well coded (building a blog would be a snap, in fact it's one of their demo apps) and based a couple communities on Simple Machines Forum, which is kinda messy on the backend, and another on Vanilla Forums which is actually quite nice underneath. [] [] []
    • Surprised nobody's dusted off the old microsoft motto -- Embrace, Extend, Extinguish. They could hit all sorts of birds with this stone...Wordpress, GPL, PHP, just to name some off the top of my head.
    • by RichiH ( 749257 )

      And it even allows others to easily maintain your box for you. Sure, they might use it to send the occasional spam message, but that's a small price to pay.

      Though to be fair, the rate with which they are finding remote exploits seems to be going down.

  • by hawks5999 ( 588198 ) on Monday September 27, 2010 @04:31PM (#33716144)
    And the hundreds that read Live Spaces blogs?
  • For a minute I thought that meant all live users would have their accounts migrated over, but in reality it's just spaces users. I have yet to actually talk to someone who has a Live Space account and that's probably why Microsoft is doing the switch. That's probably good but do people still blog these days? Last I heard, millions of blogs are being abandoned because it's phasing out and takes too much time to maintain them.
    • I think blogs had their day, but things are moving toward facebook and twitter, the microbloggng where you can reach users where they live, instead of requiring that they come to visit you.
      • That's called RSS.

        But I don't think blogs will be dead soon; plenty of interesting people have more to write about than what fits in 140 characters. Many complement both by "advertising" their blog posts on Twitter.

        Personally, I find Twitter to be annoying to keep track of. Too much clutter and random talk between users about unrelated matters between the interesting links.

        • How many people use RSS? Only a subset of people who even read blogs.

          How many people use Facebook and Twitter?
  • by ArhcAngel ( 247594 ) on Monday September 27, 2010 @04:32PM (#33716170)

    Pigs were seen flying over central park.

  • by MonTemplar ( 174120 ) <> on Monday September 27, 2010 @04:36PM (#33716190) Journal

    I cannot even remember when this was first announced, let alone anything since. I guess Microsoft's ability to push their services ain't what it used to be...


    • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

      I saw you on Facebook.

    • Microsoft kills products all the time (often times, I would argue, prematurely). This one doesn't surprise me either, since even Google decided there wasn't money in this (as made evident by how much Google Sites sucks).

      Anyway, WordPress rocks!

      • That's odd, I recall that Google has a pretty successful blogging platform - namely, Blogger and BlogSpot.


  • Microsoft (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DaMattster ( 977781 ) on Monday September 27, 2010 @04:44PM (#33716286)
    On one hand, this is an interesting move. On the other, I am surprised that they would go with WordPress because it is a GPL product. The GPL is an anathema to Microsoft precisely because if they modify the source code, they must contribute changes back. Perhaps, it is possible to extend WordPress through closed source plugins; although even that is to navigate a minefield.
    • Re:Microsoft (Score:5, Insightful)

      by PipsqueakOnAP133 ( 761720 ) on Monday September 27, 2010 @04:57PM (#33716428)

      I'd say in this case, GPL shouldn't matter to them because they're interacting with a company that, according to wikipedia, controls over 50% of the project anyhow.

      I'm not even sure Microsoft's actually doing any sort of source change or anything, which would essentially mean no license burden.

      As much as people think there's some sort of conspiracy for/against GPL, I think many other things matter more. Like ease of use, ease of integration, and convenience. The biggest fear that any company has regarding GPL isn't that GPL becomes popular. It's that GPL will force them into releasing private code.

    • The GPL only requires that you make available the original source, and your changes to it, to anyone who receives the executable form from you, and you must make them available without restriction as to how they are used. If you don't publish the executable, there is no requirement to publish source and changes.
    • Good luck getting the source out of anyone for a web app...
    • by kikito ( 971480 )

      On top of that, it's PHP-based, which is not exactly one of those shiny MS-controlled technologies.

    • by Qubit ( 100461 )

      Microsoft may not like GPLv2, but at least it's not GPLv3. There's only basic patent language in v2, and v3 really turbo-charges the language, providing much better protection from software patent lawsuits.

      But in some ways it's a moot point, as Microsoft won't be hosting or distributing any of this software (AFAIK), they're just pointing some of their customers over there for service.

      And hey, if it throws some extra money towards Automattic, then that's cool, too.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Abcd1234 ( 188840 )

      The GPL is an anathema to Microsoft precisely because if they modify the source code, they must contribute changes back

      A common misreading of the GPL, certainly, but a misreading nonetheless.

      The stock GPL requires that you provide source code to anyone who possess binaries you've produced. Obviously this doesn't apply to web applications, which is why the AGPL [] exists.

    • At some point in a successful project, it seems as though the people using the project cross a line such that they are generally discouraged by the scale/complexity of the code to do anything other than use it as-is.

      I'd say WordPress crossed that line a long time ago.

    • Microsoft has already released some code under the GPL - remember those Linux drivers for Hyper-V?

      There's also an MS license, Ms-RL [], which is strong copyleft. I can't recall any products released under it so far (IronPython and IronRuby, which I know of, used to be under Ms-PL, which is BSD-like; now they are under Apache license), but I'm sure there are some.

    • by Osrin ( 599427 ) *

      Microsoft has made contributions to the Linux Kernel over the last twelve months, I'm not sure that the GPL is much of a roadblock anymore.

  • by devent ( 1627873 ) on Monday September 27, 2010 @04:50PM (#33716350) Homepage

    Wow. The most profitable I.T. company, the I.T. company that suppose to be the number one software company in the world, which have monopoly on operation systems and in the office market, officially admitting that their IIS, MSSQL, .NET and ASP.NET crap can't compete with Wordpress, an Open Source CMS system, running on plain old PHP and a MySQL database.

    Mustn't that be a blow to all the Microsoft's chills and so called I.T. consultants that are trying in masses to convince small business and enterprise users to buy in to the ASP.NET stuff, that is suppose to be so enterprise ready and suppose to scale so well on the Microsoft IIS server? How are they going to convince anyone if Microsoft itself says "... it can’t compete with the established blogging platforms ..." with their ASP.NET and IIS Server 7.0 (which on [] is running)?

    • by MozeeToby ( 1163751 ) on Monday September 27, 2010 @04:57PM (#33716432)

      What is good for an enterprise is not necessarily good for your average blog. Well, there you go, that was pretty easy to spin (if you insist on calling a rational statement 'spin' anyway).

      • I'd call that spin... cause whatever the reason is that makes those services so bad that they can't manage a simple BLOG app, then enterprise apps are not any better off by nature.
        • An enterprise app would need more features than a blog, just because a free CMS can offer the basic features more simply (for the average blog user especially) than doesn't mean that the free CMS can offer advanced features as well as Obligatory car analogy: If the only place you drive your 14 passenger van is a quarter mile to work and back (alone) then it makes sense to replace it with a Smartcar, that doesn't mean that a Smartcar is capable of doing everything a 14 passenger van is cap

          • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

            by Foofoobar ( 318279 )
            yes and I'm sure thats the reason why Microsoft couldn't compete... because millions of customers found that Microsoft's feature rich application was just too feature rich for their needs and had nothing to do with scalability or anything else. Keep that spin coming.
            • It wasn't popular enough to test scalability so we can't say a thing about whether scalability is the reason they killed it or not.
              • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

                by Foofoobar ( 318279 )
                Not popular enough to test scalability? Are you serious? They are migrating a couple million. You can test scalability with that easily. Wow, the spin keeps coming. Does Microsoft pay you by the excuse?
                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by KarmaMB84 ( 743001 )
                  Hotmail has over 360 million users which is quite a bit larger than the 30 million users they claim Spaces had. I don't see how scalability could've been an issue here. Now the fact that Spaces pretty much sucked to the point they're willing to take a hit on their Windows Live brand by jettisoning it is another issue entirely.
                  • LOL. Wow. Spending your points to all counter points as 'troll' sort of verifys you as a spin doctor trying to MUTE to truth of the matter. I'm just wondering which Microsoft campus you are on at this point.
        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          You're all making the assumption that this decision is a technical one. You could easily argue that if they were dropping their internal solution and would use a different solution but continued to host it themselves, but that is not the case. In either situation the application is so abstracted from the underlying platform that it is frankly of little relevance. This was a business decision; Microsoft is looking to stop throwing money at blogging.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Klync ( 152475 )

        Ironically, I came to read the comments here while waiting for my webmail to load. By the time I finished reading these comments, the spinner on my other tab had stopped. The result?

        Request Timed Out. ...
        Version Information: Microsoft .NET Framework Version:2.0.50727.3607; ASP.NET Version:2.0.50727.3614

        The parent is right. I try not to get involved in platform wars, but the same hardware running windows + mssql + iis + simply cannot keep up with any *nix + mysql + apache + php stack. Not to mention

        • by Klync ( 152475 )

          Hey Mods! I'm getting modded funny here, but I'm not kidding - I still can't check my email and this is frustrating, not funny at all. I didn't feel like gogling this for my original post, but to make this one worthwhile, I present Exhibit A: []

        • by micheas ( 231635 )

          Ironically, I came to read the comments here while waiting for my webmail to load. By the time I finished reading these comments, the spinner on my other tab had stopped. The result?

          Request Timed Out. ...
          Version Information: Microsoft .NET Framework Version:2.0.50727.3607; ASP.NET Version:2.0.50727.3614

          The parent is right. I try not to get involved in platform wars, but the same hardware running windows + mssql + iis + simply cannot keep up with any *nix + mysql + apache + php stack. ...

          Hmm, too bad that Wordpress doesn't run apache, they run nginx.

      • by grcumb ( 781340 ) on Monday September 27, 2010 @05:15PM (#33716622) Homepage Journal

        What is good for an enterprise is not necessarily good for your average blog. Well, there you go, that was pretty easy to spin (if you insist on calling a rational statement 'spin' anyway).

        It's spin because it's plausible, but factually incorrect. From the website []:

        There are over 27 million WordPress publishers as of September 2010: 13.9 million blogs hosted on plus 13.8 million active installations of the software....

        According to Quantcast, over 260 million people worldwide visit one or more blogs every month, and they view over 2.1 billion pages on those blogs each month....

        (Bolded for your convenience.)

        A chart [] showing Wordpress performance vis a vis Blogger, Movable Type and Typepad.

        Smells like enterprise to me.

        • by IICV ( 652597 )

          Smells like enterprise to me.

          *sniff* I love the smell of enterprise in the morning. Smells like... napalm.

    • It simply boils down to "was LiveSpaces paying for itself?". And the answer would be no, so now MS gets to have a PR day while dumping a cost centre onto someone else. Double win for MS - doesn't say anything about IIS, or MSSql one way or the other tho.
    • Why is this marked troll? Its a completely valid point this post makes.

    • by FreelanceWizard ( 889712 ) on Monday September 27, 2010 @05:53PM (#33716954) Homepage

      You're claiming that the success or failure of an application is a direct condemnation of the infrastructure stack that runs it? On that basis, I could cite any LAMP application that was ditched for a Microsoft stack application and say that Apache, PHP, and MySQL can't compete with (insert name of Microsoft stack application here) running on plain old .NET and an MSSQL database.

      Don't confuse the technology platform with the application. One can build garbage -- or, in this case, an unpopular site -- on any stack. In this case, as others have aptly pointed out, Microsoft dropped Live Spaces not because it didn't work or scale, but rather because it wasn't sufficiently profitable to justify the continued expense for its maintenance.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by devent ( 1627873 )

        But it's not any random software company. It's Microsoft, which try to push their software stack to small to big enterprises. Their software stack is IIS, .NET, ASP.NET and MSSQL. And now they are admintting that their software stack can be replaced by the plain old Php with plain old MySQL server.

        Space was not only a blogging platform, it was an advertisement for their software. If that was any random software company with ditches their own software and go with an open source solution I would not write tha

        • here they are admitting that "... it can’t compete with the established blogging platforms ...". How many Man-Hours and money have they invested in Spaces?

          Out of all of your posts, I think that *this* sentence is the nearest to the mark, but not for the reason you think it is - the key word you have included is 'established', which means a lot in this discussion. Its always difficult to compete against established competition, especially when you are not providing anything really different to their offering.

          Wordpress is a big fish in this pond, they have an established infrastructure and revenue model - Live Spaces was not paying for itself, the revenue mode

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anpheus ( 908711 )

      Microsoft isn't an I.T. company, they're a software company. They've branched into different spaces sometimes, and they dogfood their own products for other companies, but Microsoft also has other companies, "I.T. companies" manage their I.T. There was a recent article about Microsoft switching vendors for I.T. support and help-desk personnel.

      Maybe they just didn't want to support millions (ah, who are we kidding, hundreds) of bloggers anymore and decided Wordpress was a good place to shunt them off to. Eve

    • It's not a matter of competing on technical merit - blogging software doesn't put any significant burdens on the technology stack. It's purely a matter of positioning and customer base. Which, apparently, didn't go so well for Live Spaces, given how few people are even aware of its existence.

  • A lot of users still use msn, and as a result uses spaces for casual blogging. If Microsoft is even anything close to caring, it would have done much better for those users. Instead now they are selling these users over to another company.

  • I thought the article was about Microsoft moving to Wordpress. From my point of view, using Linux,Apache,PHP,mySQL, and Wordpress would do the Windowed Ones some good.
  • I am stunned they didn't move everyone onto a dotnetnuke service regardless of the fact it's not great. If this is a "dead weight" scenario, then I have a feeling Microsoft's on the long road to shedding customers. The R&D value of running a blogging platform as an established social media is dead too?

    When did Microsoft stop leveraging assets to achieve strategic successes that harmonize the enterprise?

    Seriously though, that's pretty damning they can't pick a Free project out of obscurity and come up w

    • by gtall ( 79522 )

      "When did Microsoft stop leveraging assets to achieve strategic successes that harmonize the enterprise?"

      Hehehehe...made my whole day. Although seeing someone parrot the MS Marketing Dept so well is a bit disturbing.

    • by Capt.DrumkenBum ( 1173011 ) on Monday September 27, 2010 @06:21PM (#33717212)

      When did Microsoft stop leveraging assets to achieve strategic successes that harmonize the enterprise?

      I needed a shower after reading that. I can't imagine how you will ever feel clean again.

  • You know they're just going to go and buy Wordpress now and integrate it into Office, don't you.

  • I must be really behind but i can honestly not recall Live Spaces. I have visited exactly 1 blog there and after reading three lines i thought it was some kind of marketing site for Microsoft like gethtefacts or something. Guess the astroturfers be moving to Wordpress soon =)

  • I really like WP, IMO it's actually the best CMS out there in the sense of easy to use and doesn't require you to have a hands on php developer in house or on contract to change up the layout or add in new features, unlike the more robust CMS Drupal.

    Of course I say this not having played with Joomla or Modx and of course it's slightly off topic since this is about the blogging features and not the CMS features...

  • Microsoft did this before with bCentral ecommerce platform. they suddenly come up and said that you had 1 month to migrate your store to someplace else, and that they would be closing your bCentral hosted store on you in a month. imagine the plight of countless small shop owners who were in shock. hobby kind of shop owners who maintained a shop for kicks or small money probably wasnt as high as other services, because bcentral was older, and because it was 'microsoft', a lot of serious business owners trust
  • []

    I guess Microsoft is saying that their own blog can't quite measure up to Wordpress, which is obviously the product of incompetence since it's open source. [] What does that say about Microsoft's work? ;)

"This is lemma 1.1. We start a new chapter so the numbers all go back to one." -- Prof. Seager, C&O 351