So I’ve been stuck at work later than usual, getting in later than usual, busier than usual, add those together and you’ve got one Network Admin who is eagerly looking forward to being set free for a weekend. So I get into work around 8:30, and no sooner am I at my seat than I am accosted by requests for assistance. About 2 months ago I was told that a department needed an application that did a, b, and c. So I picked up an application that did a, b, and c, showed them how to use it, and left it at that. Maybe one or two other times in the past two months I was asked how to do something, but overall I received very little input. So this morning, I find out that they don’t know how to use the software, they don’t use the software, they still need to do a, b, and c. I’m surprised of course, as I’ve already shown them how to do what they want a couple times, and over the course of 2 months it was never brought up that they simply dodged the learning curve like James Dean in a silver Porsche. So I tell him, write down a list of what he needs to know, and I’ll explain it. So I tell him, write down a list of what he needs to know, and I’ll explain it. So I tell him, write down a list of what he needs to know, and I’ll explain it. About a half hour later he’s back, re-iterating the previous problem, no list in hand as its creation had been delegated to an underling, and now stating that he needs to be able to do d, e, f, and g. Now the application I set up could do a, b, and c, just fine, and it integrated into what we were already using. So I tell him, get me the list, and I’ll explain it to him. So I tell him, get me the list, and I’ll explain it to him. So I tell him, get me the list, and I’ll explain it to him. So another hour goes by. Still no list, no actual questions, just complaints, he comes back, and says that he needs this new program because the one I set up doesn’t do d, e, f, and g. He even went as far as to call the company which produced the application, and they confirm it can’t do exactly what he wants. At that point, I’m pretty much at my wits end, I’ve explained, re-explained, and re-re-re-explained exactly what I need him to do for me. The end result? I install the new program. I’ll bet a paycheck that within 2 months he’ll complain that he doesn’t know how to use it and that it does not do what he wants it to do. *sigh*. Now take those events, multiply it by 3, and you’ll see exactly why I’m going straight to the bar after work.
Caught an interesting article off of PCWorld today, the author outlines just how he thinks Microsoft could kill Linux. To paraphrase, Microsoft could release MS-Linux which would support Windows drivers (a problem with every Linux distribution is the driver support for hardware), charge for everything from the driver layer up (including the GUI), rely on open-source for the base O/S, and then cash in as developers find a new hobby instead of furthering the Microsoft empire. It makes sense in a way, but in another light I see it as a big problem for Microsoft, as on one hand it could conceivably put a dent in Linux development…it could also kill Microsoft by providing every user in the world a way to run Windows applications on a free operating system…something that projects like ReactOS and Wine have been working on for quite some time.
One more topic on the computer front. After February 28th,Windows Product Activation will be disabled permanently. Thats right, no more convenience of point and click activation for a new computer, now you must call the Microsoft SS and manually get the activation code. Of course, with the availability of programs which can generate the exact same code from both valid and invalid license keys, this seems to be nothing more than treading water on Microsoft’s part. Honestly, if Microsoft wanted to put a large dent in the piracy of its software, it’d cut the price. Start selling WindowsXP Professional for $50 instead of $150 or $200, sell XP Home for $25. See, there will always be software pirates looking to obtain the latest software for free. But there’s a point where people will say “Well, it’s only $25” or “Well, it’s only $50.” Hell, some of those people could be potential Linux converts. Why build a top of the line computer to run Linux when for a mere $25 more you can actually have functioning plug & play, driver support, etc… All software prices drop over time, except for Microsoft products. Those prices are fixed, and those prices are a MAJOR contributor to the piracy of their software. Case in point, I have 3 computers at home, 1 is running XP Professional, the other two are running Red Hat Linux 9. I didn’t feel like spending $600 or pirating software, so I downloaded from their competitor. Time to stop dreaming Mr.Gates, and really stick it to the Penguin.