Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Is your copy of Microsoft Genuine?

This is from MSNBC news stories,and is taken word for word.......

SEATTLE - Microsoft Corp. is pulling back from a system that disables programs on users' computers if it suspects the software is pirated, opting instead for a gentler approach based on nagging alerts.
Microsoft said late Monday it will roll out the new version of Windows Genuine Advantage with the first "service pack" for Windows Vista, due in the first quarter of 2008.

(MSNBC is a Microsoft - NBC joint venture.)

When computer users activate a copy of Windows Vista or try to download certain software from Microsoft's Web site, the Windows Genuine Advantage system scans their PCs for signs of pirated software. Today, if the tool finds an unauthorized copy of Vista, the glassy Vista user experience disappears and other features are suspended.

In the new version, PC users found to have a pirated copy of Vista will continue to be able to use their computers, but with unmistakable signs their operating system is a fake. The desktop wallpaper will turn black, and a white notice will appear alerting users to the problem. Each time they log in, they will be prompted to buy legitimate software, and every hour, a reminder bubble will appear on the screen.

Users with a high tolerance for irritation can put off switching to genuine software indefinitely, but those who relent and buy a real copy of Windows can do so at reduced prices — $119 for Windows Vista Home Premium, half the regular retail price.

Nice huh! Now they won't just reformat your whole hard drive and life as you know it, they will just shame and heckle you to death. Even if they are mistaken!

The hard drive crashed in my oldest Dell computer. That is not all that unusual as it is a used machine I purchased about a year ago from Hypertech here in KC, Ks. It was a corporate pull and had Windows 2000 Pro on it. Paid about 150 for it back then. But I had Ubuntu on it. Thats right "Linux" and it was just gone, as the drive went Whopada Whopada trying to reboot itself. Probably had a million hours on it!

But the latest release of Ubuntu is out ver 7.10 . Seven for 2007 and 10 for October. The versions are released every six months so the next one will be 8.04, nice huh. To get this you just google Ubuntu.com and download the file as an ISO and burn it to a CD. It is then a bootable disk that you load into your CD rom. It will give you all the instructions to load itself as a separate partition so you can go back to Microsoft or you can just use it as the total operating system as I did on this new hard drive. Ya I bought a 160 GB Hitachi at Hypertech for $55.

The nice thing about Ubuntu is that it is FREE! It comes with the operating system and the browser (FireFox by Mozilla) and the Evolution email client from Novell. You also get the complete Open Office system from Sun Micro systems. Did I mention it is all free?

Open Office contains the word processor, spreadsheet, presentation manager and the database programs. They will read any of the Microsoft files produced by Office 2007 and will write them back to that format so you can send them to your Microsoft bound friends. Neat Huh. And its free? No dinero needed. Licensed under the BSD (Berkley Software Design) license for you to use. Just don't change it without their knowledge. You do not have to worry about the software being a pirated version, they want you to distribute it. All you want. Tell all your friends! They even want to know what you don't like about the programs so they can change them for the better.

I use the Linux machine to run the amateur radio program Xastir, which is a Automated Position Reporting System, or APRS for short. This is quite a program and is beyond the scope of what we can cover here. But in the process I have become quite hooked on the Linux programs.

I am so much so hooked, that I have downloaded the windows versions of both FireFox and the Open Office. For both laptops. I use them most all of the time and do not have Office 2007 on either machine. I just can not bring myself to pay $129 for a disabled version of office 2007 that is called student and teacher version. Not when you get the entire suite for free and it does everything.

So that is what I have been doing here in KC to keep myself busy. Perhaps much busier than when I was working. Oops what was that W word back there? We can't bring ourself to do any of that kind of thing anymore. Perhaps this is more study and time spent having FUN!.............

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