March 25th, 2008


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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.


 
location: work
Current Mood: GEEK RAGE
Current Music: Nine Inch Nails - Happiness In Slavery

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Comments:



 
[User Picture] From: lisa_e_is_me
Date: March 25th, 2008 - 06:40 pm
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"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"

Hee. Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Ha!

What do you use now, instead of Windows?


 
[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: March 25th, 2008 - 06:47 pm
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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.


 
[User Picture] From: lisa_e_is_me
Date: March 25th, 2008 - 07:12 pm
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I had no idea those options were even out there. I think it's a pretty well kept secret from people like me who are totally unsavvy when it comes to all things computer.

I sort of feel like I should send you a check in exchange for so much information. You know your stuff!


 
[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: March 25th, 2008 - 07:21 pm
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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.


 
[User Picture] From: discogravy
Date: March 26th, 2008 - 04:17 am
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chugging the haterade

windows-gimp is made considerably sexier by use of "gimpshop".

I find it amusing that you were a staunch MS advocate when they sucked the hardest; now that they are sucking a bit less (although in other ways, just as much...sigh) you're all up in linux-land. Where are the hateful diatribes against YaST and SuSE?




 
[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: March 26th, 2008 - 04:25 am
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Re: chugging the haterade

I hated hated HATED YaST and SuSE back in the 90's when I tried them.

And if you think Microsoft sucks less now than it did eight years ago, you're sporting an extra fucking chromosome.


 
[User Picture] From: discogravy
Date: March 26th, 2008 - 04:27 pm
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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.


 
[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: March 25th, 2008 - 07:25 pm
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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. =)


 
[User Picture] From: lisa_e_is_me
Date: March 25th, 2008 - 07:33 pm
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Oooh, I think I need Pidgin...I really like the sound of that one.

And I appreciate how you assume I'm smart enough to comprehend everything you just said, but I'm actually the kind of person who is distracted by shiny things, and has to stop and think about what the difference is between operating systems and applications. Which is probably the same as someone telling me they can't remember the difference between shoes and a shoe store, but for me, all that sexy gigawhat-talk is hard to keep up with.


 
[User Picture] From: enotnert
Date: March 26th, 2008 - 12:13 am
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quotes between me and a prof today

"yeah I need office for powerpoint"
"I see you already installed OO.org"
"yeah, you know I'm an open source advocate as much as the next guy"
"wait. . . I'm with you on this josh, OO.orgs powerpoint clone isn't up to par"
"yep"
"thats what we get for having people rely on slideshows constantly"
"yep"
"and people growing up using this and being trained in this"
"pretty much, and as a professional they don't want me having the same background on every slide"
"I hear they fix that in the new version getting close to roll"
"thank god man, thank god, if it weren't for wireless, I could ditch windows"
"yup. . . "


 
[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: March 26th, 2008 - 02:30 am
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My wireless works utterly and completely out-of-the-box without tweaking on one box, and on the other I just had to run wpa_supplicant from the command line. Not exactly tough.


 
[User Picture] From: clme
Date: March 26th, 2008 - 08:32 am
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Wow. Last I checked 30% of the wireless adapters still didn't work under Linux. Things are changing quickly.

What was it people were constantly bitching about a few years ago? Atheros? BCM? Integrated laptop cards?


 
[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: March 26th, 2008 - 12:52 pm
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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).)


 
[User Picture] From: pantsnotneeded
Date: March 25th, 2008 - 08:03 pm
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Yay for OS X?


 
[User Picture] From: lauracroft
Date: March 26th, 2008 - 12:18 am
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My, aren't you square as can be? Once I went through the activation the first time, I would've restarted the wizard and said Yes, the motherboard was defective.

And yes, in the days of Office 97 I installed all copies with the code "111-0000001"

I'm bad ass like that. :-P


 
[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: March 26th, 2008 - 02:32 am
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I used 000-0000007.

As for being "square as square can be", I do this professionally. Cutting licensing corners is one thing, but redoing things from scratch after having it made ENTIRELY clear that you're outside the "licensing" professionally is another thing entirely. I'm not going to risk my income and my business assets to enable somebody else to run Windows more cheaply. If they don't like the cost, they can fucking cowboy up and not pay Microsoft their danegeld themselves.


 
[User Picture] From: lauracroft
Date: March 26th, 2008 - 03:43 am
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tru...



 
[User Picture] From: clme
Date: March 26th, 2008 - 01:51 am
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Huh. Thats very strange. I've done that very same thing (call for reactivation) dozens of times myself. It makes me wonder if someone else was using that key (activated on like a dozen computers) or if it was some sort of OEM only key.

Its still bullshit... but I'm so used to call center lady that its very out of the ordinary bullshit. Its exactly what we were all afraid of back in 2003, come to think of it.


 
[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: March 26th, 2008 - 02:34 am
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My vendor confirmed this - it's recent as in the last few weeks; there is no more call center lady, it's all completely automated, and yes, if you upgrade a motherboard you are told you're outside licensing and they refuse to issue you a key.

Fuck microsoft.


 
[User Picture] From: clme
Date: March 26th, 2008 - 08:24 am
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OK. I had to check this out and figure out what the heck was going on.

OEM licenses are special cases... if that old computer was an HP or Dell (or using an HP/Dell key somehow) then a new license is only supposed to work on the same hardware. ("Has this ever been installed on a different computer" they always ask me).

As far as mainboard upgrades... If the old hardware wasn't faulty then by MS logic you're still using Windows on it. After all, no one just buys a new mainboard, they buy a new computer right? :rolleyes: (Gee, wonder if Vista launching has something to do with no more bodies at the call center?)

Something is getting lost in translation there, regardless. They should be following up that question with "is this copy of windows still loaded on another computer" just like the nice Indian lady always did but for some reason they aren't.

I guess the lesson there is to always answer "yes" when asked if the old hardware was faulty.

It annoys all the more because they still have a "What if I upgrade my mainboard" question in licensing FAQs.


 
[User Picture] From: clme
Date: March 26th, 2008 - 08:25 am
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"Slow" and "not what I want to use here" counts as "faulty" in my eyes. There. I just rationalized what I was going to do anyway.


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