March 25th, 2008
|jimbojones||02:20 pm - Microsoft, seriously, fuck right the hell off|
So I'm doing a major hardware upgrade for a customer. They've got a box with a single-core processor, they want a dual-core processor; they're gonna need a new motherboard to go with it since they're going from the older 939 socket to AM2. No big.
Change the hardware, reinstall Windows XP Pro, and of course it doesn't want to activate over the internet. No big; you call the number, you give the computer on the other end of the phone a bunch of numbers, it gives you a bunch of numbers, life is good. Done it a jillion times. Give the machine my numbers. It says "this product has been activated before, I'm going to have to ask you some questions." Well, this is a change; last time I did this they forwarded me from the machine-lady to a call-center-in-India-lady; but okay. How many machines is this copy of Windows installed on? "One." Is this the first time you've activated this copy of Windows? "No." Has there been a major hardware change since the last time you activated this copy of Windows? "Yes." Have you replaced the motherboard in this machine since you last activated this copy of Windows? "Yes." Was the motherboard defective? "No."
I'm sorry, I cannot activate your copy of Windows. When you purchased Windows, you were subject to certain licensing restrictions which you are not in accordance with; please contact your vendor to purchase a new copy of Windows.
Are you fucking SHITTING me? Well, fine goddammit, this is some serious bullshit highway robbery given that a new copy of Windows costs literally every PENNY as much as the new hardware does; but it's not like it's my money. Call the customer, explain that Microsoft would like to insert penis in their ass, get their approval to guide Microsoft's cock all the way in (aka spend $150 on a completely bullshit new copy of Windows), buy new copy of Windows, click "Change Product Key", put in new Product Key from new copy of Windows. Internet Activation Successful.
Install Windows Update from the website. It wants to reboot. Okay. Computer reboots. "This copy of Windows will need to be activated before you can log on." What the FUCK? You already activated! Well, okay, fine. "This copy of Windows has already been activated." No shit, sherlock. AND IT LOGS ME BACK OUT. Click the username to log on again... "This copy of Windows will need to be activated before you can log on." ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS. Endless loop. No, rebooting doesn't help.
So, now, I am reinstalling Windows from fucking scratch again on this goddamn machine, three hours of my life down the goddamn drain. Fuck you, Microsoft, I was one of your staunchest advocates from the mid-nineties through the early 2000s, but at this point I cannot wait for you to die in a goddamn fire. Nothing but people's dependence on third-party software you did not develop is mooring anyone to your DRM-riddled crapware platform anymore, and it will fucking please me IMMENSELY watching more and more people realize this and get the hell rid of you like I did.
Current Mood: GEEK RAGE
Current Music: Nine Inch Nails - Happiness In Slavery
I'm using Ubuntu Linux. EXTREMELY fast, friendly, easy-to-use - but all the software in the shiny boxes at the store doesn't run on it; it's kind of a whole different world. In general terms there's nothing whatsoever you can do on Windows you can't do in Linux, but it is a different world.
For example instead of buying Microsoft Office (which you cannot get for Linux) you can use OpenOffice (which is installed by default on a new Ubuntu installation) or a few other free office suites. Instead of buying Photoshop you use something (free) called the GiMP. Etc, etc.
In most ways it's actually considerably EASIER to learn and use than Windows; for example the way you get the GiMP if you want to do major photo editing is to open the Package Manager (from the equivalent of the Start Menu), look at a list of literally tens of thousands of free software packages (which you can filter into sections like graphics, internet, office, etc - or you can just type "photo edit" in the search box and see what comes up) then click the check box next to it. Package Manager asks "do you want to install this software and its dependencies?" you click "yes", and it downloads and installs. Bingo, it's that easy. Done. If you want it gone, you can go back in to Package Manager and uncheck the box - and it will ask if you want it to uninstall, you say yes, and it goes away. REALLY goes away, not "sort of goes away but leaves all kinds of crap behind" the way Windows apps you uninstall do.
I could go on and on and WAY on beyond what you care about as to the various different ways it's superior to Windows; the amazing thing to me is not so much that it's technically superior - Linux/BSD have been that for a LONG time - but it's so much freaking EASIER in so many ways as well.
Well, you can get started on the Free Software train without even having to do anything big and scary - there is a port of OpenOffice for Windows, freely downloadable (and quite nice) at www.openoffice.org. Costs $0. GiMP for Windows is frankly not as nice as GiMP for *nix, but it's still freely available on Windows from http://gimp.org
. If you aren't using Firefox instead of Internet Explorer, you should be, and it's at http://www.getfirefox.com
. Thunderbird is a much better email client than, for example, Outlook Express, and it's available at http://www.getthunderbird.com
. If you use instant messaging, Pidgin is a free client that will handle Yahoo IM, MSN IM, AIM, Google Talk, and a bunch of other types you probably haven't even heard of, all with one big unified buddy list so you don't even have to worry about which friend is on which protocol - and you can find it at http://www.pidgin.im
Best of all, all of the above apps are not only free and open source, they're "cross platform" - meaning they DO run on both Windows and Linux (and Mac OSX), so no matter what operating system you end up on, your applications
stay the same.
This is what's going to kill Microsoft in the end.
| ||From: discogravy|
Date: March 26th, 2008 - 04:27 pm
Re: chugging the haterade
2k was an exception in that it was the only really solid workstation release that hasn't sucked. Vista, XP, ME, 98SE, 98, 95 and 3.x alllllll sucked (vista gets .5 kudo for /trying/ to improve security but since they fucked it up and just made it confusing and annoying, they get it taken away again. -9 kudos for the multiple versions and licensing bullshit. If you don't worry about licensing for whatever reason (corp or you're a thief, whatever) then that's not a big deal for you.)
Server-wise, 2k3 and AD have some nice things that are a serious improvement over NT. (Although something nice that sun has they they don't is RBAC so you can enfore 2-man rules.) 2k8/longhorn (i have played with it) has some nice things -- a citrix-killer (so you can publish apps), and I hear tell that exchange will be getting a load-balancing clustering thing, and sometime in the coming release there will be a VMware-killer no doubt.
Oh, also if you need to edit audio files, there's Audacity at http://audacity.sourceforge.net
Incidentally, GiMP and Audacity are both pretty hardcore professional tools for what they do (image editing and audio editing), but there *are* also "easy, simple" programs that are just as free - so don't get the idea "all this open source stuff is hard"; those are just two examples of pretty hard-core full-featured applications. =)
Wireless IS still one of the most frequent bitches; in general just about anything that's integrated into a laptop will be supported pretty well but add-in cards for desktops tend to be far, far sketchier. It definitely pays to google up the card you're considering before you buy it.
Supermega 3D cards are the other most common source of complaint, ESPECIALLY if you're running a 64-bit build of your OS. Nvidia is paranoid as fucking hell about their drivers and only supplies binary blobs that you have to somehow try to wrap a functioning driver around without being able to touch the blob, and their drivers suck for stability to start with - google "nvidia crash statistics vista" and you'll see what I'm talking about. Since AMD bought out ATI they have open sourced a lot of code, but there is still a lot of progress required on the opensource ATI drivers so that can be dodgy too - again, especially on 64-bit platforms. The very newest Intel ALSO can be dodgy under 64-bit, although from what I understand Intel pretty much always works under 32-bit, and Intel isn't doing the OMG OUR DRIVERS ARE TEH SECRUT thing so I expect their situation will resolve itself faster than the other two.
For the most part, much like the wireless, if it's onboard video it's going to Just Work without a hitch; but add-in cards are more likely to be problematic. And, regardless, should be googled. (For reference, so far I have yet to see an nvidia or ati onboard chipset not work, and I'm using an nvidia 7600GT on this machine, but I've seen massive issues with nvidia 8xxx (only under 64-bit builds) and Radeon HD 2600 Pro (also only under 64-bit builds).)