Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Time to move on

I've been hit twice already by Microsoft's new anti-piracy tool. Both incidents occurred yesterday evening at home. The first incident occurred on my big home system. I've had that license for nearly three years. I've never had a problem with it. And I've been tested twice already for license compliance. This third time I let it roll on through just to see what would happen. Nothing really happened to the machine, but something happened to me.

I finally got tired of having someone (virtual or otherwise) come into my house (again, virtual or otherwise) and essentially challenging my honesty to run software (the operating system in this case) I had paid for and which they already knew twice before (three times if you count the installation activation) was legal. That put me in a fine frame of mind so that when it happened the second time with my brand new shiney Gateway Core Duo M685 notebook, I only picked up the fixes I needed and disabled the 'piracy' fix. I've reported this to my corporate IT. I'm going to let them deal with Microsoft. And if it seems like they'll roll over, maybe, maybe not. Half my office runs Macs, and there are times I wish I did as well. The other alternative is Linux, and as bad as Linux can be, as Microsoft continues to aggravate me more and more I'm being motivated to permanently move over to some Linux distribution. That moves brings its own set of issues, and I'm still not sure if I want that or OS X. There are no good solutions I see, only the trading of one set of problems with another. OS X is as proprietary as Windows, and Apple can be more draconian than Microsoft. Linux has its cadre of zealots and then there's Linus and the kernel hackers who make hardware support, especially driver support for the latest hardware, a real living hell at time.

No easy solutions. Nothing but politics from all sides polluting the technology.

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