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Author Topic: My adventures in Microsoft land
Robofication, Lightly Roasted
Jingle Bell Hock


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Who's bright idea over at Microsoft was it that you had to activate Windows every 3 installs?

Recently, my computer blew up on me. My video card just zapped--no longer working. Of course, diagnosing hardware problems is kind of hard.

Since I wasn't getting any video, I had to get a new Video Card. I installed it and everything was fine....that is, until Windows started booting up.

I kept getting blue screens of death and auto reboots. Safe-mode, reboot. Safe-mode with prompt, reboot. Turned off auto-reboot on system failure, hex code. I couldn't decipher the code (I haven't memorized the esoteric codes Microsoft spits out and couldn't get on the net to figure it out).

So, I reformatted. Reinstalled Windows, and happily it booted up. I reactivated the software and, when my desktop appeared, BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH!

Reboot. BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH!

So, after many hours of fiddling about, I found out a memory stick of mine had gone to the great CPU in the sky.

I heaved a sigh of relief thanking Charles Babbage that it wasn't my processor or any other intregal mother board part.

I removed the memory stick, reinstalled Windows, (since I had reformatted during my great hardware sweep), reactivated Windows, and was happy (except for the missing gig of memory).

Well, today, I got another memory stick and, while singing a happy little tune, installed it. Boot up Windows and am greeted with "The Hardware on your computer has drastically changed and Windows needs to be re-activated."

I grumped, wondering why adding MEMORY is considered a drastic hardware change. Maybe a new processor or putting a kitten inside the computer. But Memory!?

So, I attempt to re-activate Windows yet again and am told that my serial number is not a Windows Geniune number.

I stared at those little white words for a bit, contemplating their meaning. I bought this software directly from Microsoft. The serial number is wrong.

One half of my brain looked at the other and said "Hey, it's dark in here."

On the phone with an Indian technician (who sounded like he needed sleep). Spilling out numbers half slurred and half in a thick Indian accent. Windows is activated and I'm happy.

Except, what happens when I put in a new harddrive? More memory? Perhaps a new processor?

Stupid Microsoft. Your WGA plan is hamfisted and is only causing paying customers headaches. The crackers and hackers have already gotten around it.

Dumb Microsoft. But at least I can play Oblivion again.

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"As convenient as it may be, it's time I started taking responsibility for the messes I've created instead of always blaming everything on the law of entropy"

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Spamamander in a pear tree
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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Yarrgh. This has been my number-one bitch since Win XP came out. I have already replaced my memory and a video card, I'm afraid to make another hardware change for this reason. How could me upgrading to a higher speed graphics card POSSIBLY translate into me installing Windows on a new machine?

I figure if the knowledge base they have on my computer from using their product is already this detailed, I sure as hell don't want to know what kind of goodies Vista is going to have in its inner workings.

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"There is a race between mankind and the universe. Mankind is trying to build bigger, better, faster, and more foolproof machines. The universe is trying to build bigger, better, and faster fools. So far the universe is winning." -Albert Einstein

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martin-at-work
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Same thing happended to my sister. She rang MS who said that she should contact the computer vendor (!) but I told her to persist with MS.

After several hours on the phone, it seems that the problem was caused by her daughter setting the time/date to something different and this caused Windows to believe that my sister was a pirate.

Simple huh.

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Robofication, Lightly Roasted
Jingle Bell Hock


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I was told to contact my vendor too.

I told the guy to hold on a minute. Said to myself "Is this copy of Windows legit?" Replied "Of course it is, I bought it directly from Microsoft, here's the receipt."

Said to the guy on the phone, "My vendor says this copy of Windows is legit."

I built my damn machine...so I don't have a vendor. I bought the copy of Windows from Microsoft itself. Even have the bubbly envelope with the receipt and all.

Oh joy, I can't wait until Vista (previously Longhorn). The pirates out there have already cracked Vista (just do a mini-search--there's a whole DVD floating around with Vista and all sorts of pirated programs installed).

Me, I go the legal route. And have to jump through their damn hoops. If I were a pirate (and I'm quite tempted to become one) I wouldn't be on the phone in the first place.

I hate calling tech support. HATE IT! This is the first time in 5 years I've had to call tech support. Over some dumbass "anti-piracy" code that's easily broken.

Don't get me started on the WGA stuff they have. OH NOES! CANT'S DOWNLOAD WINDOWS DEFENDER!!!!one!!! Guess I'll just crack the .msi

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"As convenient as it may be, it's time I started taking responsibility for the messes I've created instead of always blaming everything on the law of entropy"

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MaxGunnar
Deck the Malls


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That's why ppl have been using hacked versions for the last few years. The computer hobbyist is always changing and tweaking his system hardwear and softwear and doesn't want to go thru the hassle of a "mother may I" from Billy G every time they change a hard drive mo board or a nic
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Robofication, Lightly Roasted
Jingle Bell Hock


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I have an ethical crisis with piracy and hacking. Bill Gates is actually a really great man. He actually aided in the creation of a synthetic drug for Malaria. Normally, the drug cost $2.00 something per dose because the main ingredient came from a seed that was crushed. Because of Bill and Melinda Gates, and their donations, scientists were able to create a synthetic form of the seeds acid and the cost became 25 cents per dose.

Amazing stuff. So, I don't blame Bill G. He really doesn't call the shots there anymore anyway.

Anyway, I don't like Microsoft...but I feel somewhat icky getting cracked or hacked software from them.

And...well...I do have hacked software...yeah. Heh. *ahem*

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"As convenient as it may be, it's time I started taking responsibility for the messes I've created instead of always blaming everything on the law of entropy"

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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This is one of the main reasons I've decided to stick with Win2000 (frankly, is there anything you can do in WinXP that's not possible in Win2000?) until ReactOS reaches a state where I can drop Windows once and for all. On the one machine where I have to use WinXP (those effers at Compaq do not provide drivers for Win2000 or even for DOS!), I use a pirated license that does not require activation (one of those open license packages). I have a legal copy, but the activation is just not worth the hassle, so I prefer to ley the magic of the internet provide for me.

What's even more annoying is that they even require activation on licenses provided through DevNet, licenses which are expressly for testing, which means they will be reinstalled often, sometimes several times a day.

As for Vista, it has some nice features, but basically, as a developer with some hardware background, I have to say that it borders on idiocy. I have never believed that MS makes Windows slower on purpose to further hardware sales, but the basic architecture and many design decisions of Vista are close to make me a believer. Some of these decision make it painfully clear that the technicians are no longer in control over the technical decisions at Microsoft. My favourite example is using 3D rendering of the desktop, because they think that it will be faster since all modern computers have 3D acceleration. Anyone with any technical insight at all instantly realize how stupid this is. Flat blits are always faster than 3D rendering, in fact, a flat blit is the last operation of a 3D rendering, so there is no way a 3D rendered desktop will be faster, regardless of the amount of acceleration you have. Acceleration can only make it less slow.

I spend a lot of money to have fast machines, and I don't want them to get bogged down by useless and pointless stuff like that.

Microsoft, you are heading down the wrong path, you need to turn around. My humble suggestion is to rollback to the Win2000 source code in the CVS and restart the development from there. Nothing good has happened after Win2000.

--------------------
/Troberg

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Robofication, Lightly Roasted
Jingle Bell Hock


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I'd go full Linux if Wine would actually work with DirectX 9. I could play WOW with Wine, but the rendering was a bit off and not as "sparkly" as in the Windows environment.

God forbid I try Oblivion.

But I was and am a Linux lover....if only I could break this damn gaming habit. [Big Grin]

--------------------
"As convenient as it may be, it's time I started taking responsibility for the messes I've created instead of always blaming everything on the law of entropy"

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Have a look into ReactOS, it looks like it have the possibility to become best of both worlds: http://www.reactos.org

It aims to be an open source, GPL licensed Windows clone, capable of using drivers for Win2000 and WinXP. Shell wise and kernel wise, it will probably be a bit more like the *nix variants, but the API's are intended to be 100% Windows compatible, allowing it to natively run Windows software without any emulation. It has the potential to be a Windows with the openness and effectivity of a *nix.

If they get this to work with a nice installer and some nice looking shells, I think they may become a serious challenger for Microsoft Windows. Basically, if they can do everything MS can, but for free and with all the positive side effects that open source has, there would be no real reason to go the MS route.

Also, by being open source, it also by definition becomes bug free, something which MS Windows never has been even close to. I'm sure some people will question this, so I'll explain myself.

If a program (or OS) has a setting in the user interface that a user can change to get rid of some unwanted behaviour (aka bug), it's not considered a bug. With open source, the user interface has been extended, all the way down to include the source code. So, if a user finds some unwanted behaviour, he always have the option of fixing it himself, as he has full access to the source code. By definition, this means that open source can not contain bugs.

God knows there are some things I'd like to fix in the Windows TCP/IP stack, kernel and file system...

--------------------
/Troberg

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Robofication, Lightly Roasted
Jingle Bell Hock


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ReactOS looks *very* nice. I'm always hesitant about installing Alpha software though. I'm not a developer or anything close to one, I'd mainly just be a user.

So I wouldn't contribute much to the growth of the software. It's a shame...I really should learn more.

I'm a big Gentoo fan though. [Big Grin] Mainly for everyday computing.

--------------------
"As convenient as it may be, it's time I started taking responsibility for the messes I've created instead of always blaming everything on the law of entropy"

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
ReactOS looks *very* nice. I'm always hesitant about installing Alpha software though.
Same for me, that's why I'm waiting.

--------------------
/Troberg

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NeeCD
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
(frankly, is there anything you can do in WinXP that's not possible in Win2000?)
Unfortunately, yes. I have a phone that plays music, which is great. It uses (only) Windows Media Player 10 to transfer the music to the phone. WMP 10 can only be installed on XP machines. Luckily, even though I have Win98 and Win2000 at home, most of my music is on my computer at work, which is XP. Seriously, how hard would it be to make WMP10 compatable with Win2000? But I think that's a whole other issue.

Anyway, that is the one thing that has affected me. As always, YMMV.

--------------------
I wondered why the Frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
What does "Bookachow", "YOMANK!" and other lingo mean?

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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I never use WMP, I prefer MPC and VLC.

That said, I see no reason why WMP10 shouldn't run on Win2000, so if you just can find some way to fool it that you are installing on WinXP it might work.

That said, perhaps the best bet is to try to find some third party software to do it. If you are annoyed by this, others are bound to be as well, and some of these will be programmers.

Perhaps you can find some software for the phone that makes other transfers possible, I've seen both an FTP server and an FTP client for my phone. This is of course assuming that the phone is at least capable of running java software.

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/Troberg

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martin-at-work
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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quote:
Originally posted by Troberg:
I have never believed that MS makes Windows slower on purpose to further hardware sales, but the basic architecture and many design decisions of Vista are close to make me a believer. Some of these decision make it painfully clear that the technicians are no longer in control over the technical decisions at Microsoft.

MS doesn't sell hardware, so increased HW sales don't really help them. They're just trying to make it look purty.

Apple, however, does benefit from HW sales, though their OS has been improving in speed since release.

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
MS doesn't sell hardware, so increased HW sales don't really help them. They're just trying to make it look purty.
Not directly, but the hardware industry and MS have their hands pretty far down each other's pockets.

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/Troberg

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Jordashe
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Back to topic - poke around online, and there are writeups that explain how the re-registering your copy of XP works. I had to do it after my last rebuild, since I had changed the RAM and the motherboard. I got to deal with an automated call system, which read the serial very slowly and clearly.
But everything that I've heard/read about Vista makes me wary to try it. They need to strip the system down drastically, and eliminate a whole lot of the backwards compatibility.
I do use a legitimate copy of XP, though I have gradually come to prefer 2000 Pro, mostly because it seems to be less annoying about resetting settings.

Posts: 121 | From: Charlottesville, VA | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

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