I am a software pirate

well…..that is what Windows Vista has told me twice, since I installed it earlier this year.

The first time I was told my activation key was not valid about 4 months after I installed and originally validated it. I had to ring up Microsoft, and read them 25 random characters that Vista spewed out. I then had to write down 25 characters that my Indian tech support friend repeated to me. Surprisingly, this was not fast, and resulted in a fair bit of downtime.

Today was much worse – I was booted into a non-functioning and completely locked down Windows environment. No start menu, no keyboard shortcuts, just an error message spewing forth some cryptic comments that would send mere mortals to the hills. Fortunately I clicked the hyperlink, which opened windows help, which then opened Firefox. I went to the MS site to try and validate my software as genuine. No luck, in IE or FF.

I ring MS tech support, spend ages explaining my problem, and then being told I will be charged to get it fixed. Once again, I am a MS customer who got locked out of my machine for doing nothing – and then I’m told it’ll cost me money to fix?! Nice….

I argued, and they relented, but still, I mainly fixed the problem myself – after rebooting my computer twice Windows let me through, and then I could go prove my genuine-ness by going to a MS site and downloading an ActiveX script for my unused Internet Explorer.

What leaves me scratching my head is – what would a customer do in my situation that didn’t argue – would Microsoft genuinely charge their customer to fix a problem the customer had no part in creating?

I’m so close to moving to Linux. I have used it in the past for a year to 18 months at a time, and being treated like a criminal by Microsoft not once but twice has me seriously unimpressed. What’s stopping me? I’m too busy right now to transition over – but watch this space – when I get downtime I seriously plan to make my second partition my primary partition.

Microsoft are coming to Massey

If you’re free this Thursday, Paul and Xiang from Microsoft will be presenting in AgHort 2 from 2pm-3pm. There will be a demo on some of the Microsoft Atlas technologies, and they will be looking for someone to take over the roll of Microsoft student ambassador/student partner, which was what I did this year.



Sorry for the lack of updates, I have been at the same time hectic and very lazy. I thought I’d pop on here to bring things up to date.

Firstly, my research into plugins is still progressing really well. I just performed some metrics on my code, and apparently since mid-March I’ve written 9836 lines of code (which does not include comments and whitespace). Based on my calculations, that’s a little under 2000 lines of code a month. Last week alone (when I started a new plugin, so I can easily see the number of lines written), I wrote 1889 lines of code. Taking into consideration I underwent surgery recently on my left hand, this is a pretty decent workload I would say. And yes, I’m willing to stand behind my code – it ain’t machine generated or poor-quality :P.

Additionally, the preparations for the wedding are coming along well. Julia and I have basically prepared most things now (invitations, locations, timing, etc). We recently upgraded our photographer to someone far better, and to be honest I’m very excited about this improvement. Julia and I have additionally selected the groomsmens suits, as well as my own. Suit hireage costs have gone up a lot since I last went to a formal ball! But ah well, a wedding is a wedding, its all about showing off the guys looking good and being well-groomed :P.

So that explains the ‘hectic’ part. The lazy part is due to the fact that I have long spells – up to weeks at a time – where I get very little work done. This means that frequently stuff just doesn’t happen until far later than it really should. I put it down to mainly getting far too engrossed in my plugins work – and then getting sick of any work in general.

Anyway, I guess I should plug the MS Student day in Wellington which I was emailed about (so probably all Massey guys already know this):

Jonathan Giles

First day

Well, Microsoft were here today. They gave a presentation to anyone that wanted to come along, which was all very good. Lots of stuff given out, and plenty of interest.
So much so in fact that the lecturers asked the presenters to do the presentation again in their lecture times. Therefore, we did another presentation in the afternoon to all first year engineering and technology students. Tomorrow we are presenting to all second years doing these courses.
This is likely to mean we will cancel the afternoon presentation for tomorrow, so don’t presume that it is on. If you want to come along, you may as well (if you can) come along to the 159.201 lecture at 9 tomorrow in the refectory down in the Arts area of Massey. Yes, 9AM on a Friday – how dedicated are you? Tell me you read this and we’ll sort you out a prize if you aren’t a second year

Microsoft vists begin

Tomorrow and Friday Paul and entourage from Microsoft will be at Massey. Do come along. It’s important to me: All Microsoft posters were ripped down almost instantaneously after being put up, and I think Microsoft would rather present to people rather than an empty room.
I can only summise that people really like Microsoft (or me), and want a Microsoft poster (or one with my handwriting on it) to put up at their own place. Thats understandable, but imagine how much better getting free Microsoft stuff would be, and learning about the stuff Microsoft is doing this year for us (or alternatively….meeting me…..bah…who am I kidding )
So, those places and times again:
Thursday, 16th March, AH2 from 11am to 12 noon.
Friday, 17th March, AH3 from 1pm to 2pm
See you there,