Archive for Technology
Microsoft, in their infinite Wisdom… I'm sorry, did I say Wisdom? I meant Greed. Anyway, in their infinite greed they decided that the Windows Vista Upgrade Disc would no longer accept the CD for a previous Windows version as proof enough to qualify for an upgrade. Windows has to actually be installed on the hard drive in order to qualify.
Apparently, some small group of people who have never owned Windows before and happened to be building their own PCs decided to borrow their neighbor's Windows Installation Disc to "qualify" for the upgrade editions of previous versions of Windows, thus unfairly getting a lower price and cheating Microsoft out of a portion of their profits.
This new requirement is apparently designed to squeeze just a little bit more of that money out of the few people who are doing what I just described in the previous paragraph, but are too lazy to actually install their neighbor's version of Windows on the hard drive before using the Vista Upgrade disc. This had the side effect of forcing anyone who wants to do a clean install of Vista to purchase the full version, even if they already own a previous version of Windows. Of course, Microsoft is all broken up about this.
Unfortunately, Microsoft is working multiple marketing angles, and the "let's make it impossible to do a clean installation of Windows Vista using an upgrade disc" angle had an unforeseen collision with the "let's get them hooked first, then start charging them" angle. Windows Vista permits itself to be installed as a trial version without any license-key — temporarily.
( For those who don't know, doing a "clean" installation means installing Microsoft Windows on a blank hard drive as opposed to upgrading from a version that is already installed which inevitably leaves some of the original files and drivers, sometimes causing problems. )
But temporary is all you need because once Vista is installed you can apparently then run the Vista install/upgrade program again (from inside Vista), type in your license key and opt to do a clean installation. — Special thanks to DailyTech.com for this fascinating Vista Trivia.
You read that correctly, you can use the upgrade disc to temporarily install Vista on a blank hard drive without a license, and then you can run the install program again and use the installed version of Vista to qualify for the upgrade.
Which means that Microsoft, in seeking to increase revenue by squeezing every penny out of people who were cutting corners, has inadvertantly released an upgrade edition that can be used to qualify itself for an upgrade to itself — so anyone who knows this little trick wouldn't have to buy the "full" (non-upgrade) version of Windows Vista in order to perform a clean installation — they wouldn't even need to own a copy of a previous version of Windows.
Of course, I don't recommend anyone do this. It is in violation of Microsoft's licensing agreement and therefore not legal, however it is ironic that in it's greed to pinch every possible penny from people playing with loopholes that Microsoft themselves created the biggest loophole yet. Some might say it's Karma.
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I understand the craze over the PS3. No, really. I get it. Seriously though, people, calm down. First let's look at the benefits of owning a Sony Playstation 3. You get a Blu Ray DVD player, so you can watch movies in Sony's new high definition disc format, and you get the most advanced graphics engine to-date.
Sounds pretty sweet, right? Of course it should sell for $600. Or $6000 for those that forgot to pre-order, pre-ordered too late, or just plain like getting ripped-off on eBay. It's really worth that much because it's the top of the line, super-duper, best console-in-class. Right?
Let's focus on the Blu Ray first. This is a format that has yet to be endorsed by all the major companies, and in fact looks like a decade from now it could be the next Betamax. If the Blu Ray player in any way influences your decision to buy this console, you probably should rethink your reasoning. If HD-DVD didn't exist I might be right there in line with you, but as it stands I'm not shelling out even $1 for a format that may be nowhere in 5 years.
But how about that advanced graphics engine? Ain't that something? No, not really. It's slightly more advanced than the Xbox 360's engine, primarily because it was developed around the same time using similar cutting-edge technology. But hey, if you think it's worth spending another $600 for something that's 5% better, or if you don't own an Xbox 360 then you might really love owning a PS3. Except for this next part…
Games. There aren't any. Sure, that's overstating the case but the bottom line is that there is not a portfolio of really awesome games just waiting to be purchased/rented and played the moment you have a PS3 hooked up to your television. In fact, Sony is still coming out with really awesome games for the PS2, which frankly if you don't currently own a console system, you might think about buying. The PS2 has a huge portfolio of great games, very good graphics even by today's standard, a built in DVD player, and it's cheap.
Did Sony delay the launch of the PS3 because they wanted to have a proper launch, or because they just didn't feel like competing with the Xbox 360? I'll have to go with the latter explanation because the console is not significantly better than the 360, it doesn't have the portfolio of games the 360 had when it launched, there are plenty of supply problems, basically Sony did absolutely nothing better than Microsoft did with their 360 launch, and quite a few things worse.
And take a look at a few of my posts here, I don't like Microsoft very much at all, but as they're using Windows Vista to try to push their security software, Sony is using the PS3 to push their Blu-Ray. So don't let yourself get caught up in this consumer madness and think about what you're spending your money on. You don't pay $600 for a piece of hardware that you hook up to your television. You pay $600 for FUN and ENTERTAINMENT. Are you really going to get that out of the PS3? Probably not.
Save your money until Sony has vendors selling games worth playing or until Blu Ray wins the battle of High Definition DVD's. Or just buy a PS2, or an Xbox or a 360. And always remember, when it comes to console gaming you want to buy fun, not black plastic encasing circuitry.