Saturday, July 22, 2006

Here's how Microsoft got rich... a little story and not so far from the truth, alas

Salesman: "Hello sir, let me introduce you to our new product, the car that runs on water."

Customer: "ooh, that's nice, can I take it for a spin ?"

Salesman: "Of course you can, in fact you can take it home, and enjoy it, for free, in all its glory for an evaluation time of 14 days."

Customer: " Really ???, that's astounding"

Salesmen: "Oh yes, but you will need to phone our helpdesk to get a key to start it, however."

Customer: (frowns) " oh, ok!"

14 days later.

Customer steps into the Microsoft car-showroom, and is utterly pissed off.

Salesman: "Oh hello sir, So nice to see you again. What do you think about our new car? Isn't it splendid ?"

Customer: "you said this car runs on water ???, well I've got news for you, It doesn't. It runs on petrol like any ordinary car."

Salesman: "Strange... were there any problems ?"

Customer: "Well of course there were problems, I filled 'er up with water, and it just stopped working. Besides, It's slower, and what's worse, the controls are all in a different place, compared to your previous models. Furhtermore it kept asking my permission every single time for every action I undertook. "

Salesman: "Well yes sir, that's called 'evolution', and what did you do then ?"

Customer: "Well, I phoned my uncle, who is an inventor, to solve the problem. He built a completely new engine, got rid of the old one, the controls are back in the right place, it doesn't annoy me with the 'you-need-administrator-priviledges-to-perform-this-action-are-you-sure ?' question every time I decide to use the brakes, and now it runs on water like a charm. This car is now much more user friendy than before, and everyone will love it."

Salesman: "That's just perfect sir, well you see, it's so nice that you took time to evaluate our product. You know that here at Microsoft, we listen to our customers, could I have they keys back, please?"

Customer: "What ???"

Salesman: "Thank you for evaluating our lovely product. Be sure to buy up on the upgraded version of our car, who will be on sale next year in June. Thank you very much sir.
And remember.... stick with Microsoft."

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Windows Vista - A giant step ahead for Microsoft - a step back for the common users ?

This article is about the pros and cons of Windows Vista, for as much as there are pros ...

My system specs:


Athlon 64 3800 +
Ram 512
SATA HDD
GeForce 6600 GT SLI 128 mb grafic card


- I think it is time (NIMHO) not in my humble opinion, that Microsoft developers, Bill Gates and the whole damn Microsoft sluggish machine installs Fedora Core 4 or Ubuntu or Debian and starts taking notes on how operating systems are built.

Instead of getting better, their OS's are getting worse. The problem is that they field a semi-completed operating system for the whole damn customer market, regardless of the needs of those customers. An MCSE has different needs for windows than an 18 year old gamer.

With a Linux installation (let's take the Fedora Core example) you get to choose what type of installation you like, and it will be loaded with the optimal configuration needed to that user
:Desktop, Server, Dedicated server, etc...

So here's my roundup and evaluation of Vista: In short : IT SUCKS !!!

why, and what can be done about it ?

a) Get rid of the Media Center. It hangs most of the time and when it hangs a hard reboot is necessary. I can no longer launch the Task Manager to kill the bugger, which will provide me with a next up boot time of about 5.17 minutes (!!!).

b) A lot of Windows users are using windows only for 1 reason - Their favorite game does not run on Linux -

Bill, Make a special install setup for gamers only. No unneccesary services, -just enough to surf the internet, directX support, Direct3d support, print support, and a firewall that remembers the user's choices, like zonealarm Pro. Driver support is good in Vista, at least for my rig.

c) A program files folder, where I have FULL ACCESS rights as an admin user, just like XP. (very annoying if you cannot copy a modification to a game because of these freaking permission settings).

d)The popup boxes with information like "your computer might be at risk", and "updates are available" are simply annoying, get rid of them or at least a means of disabling them, THEY SUCK !!!!".

e)Boot up time of Vista is too long. In optimal conditions I have a startup time of 02.17 minutes that is tooooooooo bloooooody long. I guess Big Bill must be drinking a lot of coffee while waiting for his windows to boot.

f)Why is Internet explorer 10 detecting my proxy settings EVERY SINGLE time I start it up ? does Ie 10 come with alzheimer or what. Very annoying as well.

g) What in the world were you thinking, when you implemented UAC ?

I am logged in as administrator, and Vista asks me for credentials ? Now I have another problem, I am logged in as administrator, and if I want to desinstall an application after the update, it tells me "you need administrator priviledges to uninstall x". I cannot access my Control Panel anymore. When I run "secpol.msc" all the UAC shit is disabled, but it shows enabled on the security center screenie.

What is wrong with Microsoft ?


h) And last but not least, WHY IS IT SO F*cking SLOW ????? even with Aero off, it takes ages to show me my windows explorer.


Hey Bill, you could have spared yourself the ressources and the money you paid to those Vista developers and hired 2 whiz kids to beef up the grafical look of windows XP. It sucked too, but at least it was fast if you got rid of the unnecessary services.

SO VISTA TEAM, BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD, and make a FAST os, because unproductiveness is a waste, and time is money !!!


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Last thing I want to say: The whole Vista Evaluation thing is puppetry. Let me explain.

Microsoft is a billion Dollar company, and probably one of the richest companies on the planet. It got rich, not because it made the perfect OS, NO !
It got rich because they not only sell licenses to use their bits and bytes on every corporate PC, but they also sell support contracts. As long as their baby (windows) is buggy, the corporations that use their software will need support and will pay big bucks for this support.

Bill doesn't care about those peeps, who use an illegal version of windows at home, they will never buy a support contract, and therefore, will not make him rich.

Linux doesn't work that way: The OS is free, and there are enough peeps on the net who are willing to help and develop free of charge what is needed. It's a bit more chaotic, but at least it's less prone to viruses, malware, spyware etc...

Hopefully the Cedega team can make a DirectX version that supports all games on Linux, and our slavery to Microsoft will be over.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Program Files folder in Microsoft Vista read only

Instead of making everything easier, they tend to enjoy making things harder for the users of Windows at Micro$oft.

For example:

I have always loved simulation games, beside RTS. So I decided to install Mechwarrior Mercenaries 4 on Vista. I do a quick install, which installs the game in C:\program files\microsoft games\mechwarrior mercenaries.

I patched it with the official point release patch from M$ and that went fine.

I cannot install it on C:\Mercs , or a folder of my choice because the Mechwarrior Clan and Is packs (official Microsoft add ons) don't want to install it there. The installation of both add on packs keeps giving me an error message of MW4 vengeance is not installed on your pc.

The problem is that with winXP everything went fine and you could write/read/execute automatically in the program files folder.

If I want to install the mechpacks from mektek.net they give me an error, because they cannot overwrite a file in the MW4 Mercs installation.
Reason: Program files is read only. Super !!!

If I want to change the permissions, even as an admin, Vista tells me I don't have the privileges to do so.

Bloody hell, I am logged in as administrator

Thanks a lot again Bill !

The definitive guide to install MS Vista 2 Build 5384 and controlling the Time Bomb

IMPORTANT NOTICE. The downloads on this page of windows vista no longer work. Microsoft has removed the files. Keep ur DVD safe.

For those who want to tweak Build 2 5384 you can find a guide, on how to get rid of the annoyances Microsoft put in Vista by going here. I have used the guide myself.


For those who want to go directly to the installation of Microsoft Vista Beta 2 and the timebomb hack: goto MARK 2.

MARK 1.

Foreword:

0. I have found this solution on the net, and decided to put it as a guide on this blog. This is certainly NOT my invention, and the credits for this "work-around" certainly don't go to me.

1. This readme is meant for people who can't phone Microsoft to get a key for VISTA... hum, sorry, XP (because they live outside the US) and I am trying to help people enjoy Vista as much as I do and as much as Microsoft allows us to.

2. To all Microsoft employees, shareholders and also to Bill Gates and his henchmen, who happen to read this blog, I have this to say:

- I think it's particularily lame to ask a serial number during the installation of a BETA. If your product is bug-free, in the install as well as in the continuous running process, then, and only then you are entitled to ask a fee for your hard work. Otherwise it's back to the drawing board and come back to play when your homework is finished, Billy-Boy.

- If companies like Microsoft are allowed by law to toss crippleware over the wall that has not even been properly tested and ask money for it from the hard working taxpayer, well, they deserve everything they get.

For the other peeps let me tell you this:

- The only reason I still use Windows is to play games that require DirectX. Nothing more, nothing less. All other programs work perfectly under Wine or natively in Linux, and you will never be asked for a serial number (unless you install payware). -THAT IS BLISS -

- I do all the other stuff (design websites, watch DVD's, listen to Mp 3 etc... on my linux installation: Fedora Core IV build 2.6.11-1-i386_FC4

- I run DOOM 3 and QUAKE 4 natively on Linux, and yes they run without crashing and without blue screens of deaths, at a pace and detail level I can only dream of on a Windows platform.

- Dreamweaver MX (no, not the 2004 version) runs perfectly under wine.
See www.frankscorner.org for screenshots and how to.

Now, enough gibberish, let's install Big Bill's latest baby:


MARK 2

Since the evaluation subscriptions are over there is no way to extend the 14 days "trial" period with an activation key provided by e-mail from Microsoft. This is a guide to extend the life of Vista past those 14 days.

Is it legal ? I dunno, and frankly see if i care. It is NOT a Crack, or program that changes anything in Windows, it just runs a little software that came with your Vista installation from M$ itself and it just activates the 14 day trial from Vista again. If they have a problem with that at M$, they should find another way to secure their oh-so-precious operating system.

This is a step by step guide, so even noobs can print it out and follow it to the letter.

1 . Get windows vista here (about 20 mins download 3.2 gig from our friends at Microsoft) Note : It is a client version not a server version.

For 32 bit click here:

MS Windows Vista Beta 2 32 bit

For 64 bit click here

MS Windows Vista Beta 2 64 bit

Windows Vista Beta 2, English 64-Bit Edition

2. Burn it onto a DVD with Nero, Easy Cd Creator, or your favorite Cd burn software:

( Personally I used K3B on Fedora Core 4 Linux at a speed of 4x to have a quality, CRC-error free iso. At last Microsoft used an ISO image, so linux users can burn it onto a DVD without having to convert it to ISO format first - that’s marketing baby -)

3. Insert it into your DVD player and reboot the PC

4. Its a Beta but yes it will ask for an installation key: enter this one:

PVYFQ-2JTBV-9KXQ2-FQHDY-MTBVH

5. Follow on screen directions and while it installs go play on your X-Box, walk your dog, take a piss, put the kettle on, watch the Champion’s League scores etc…

6. When it’s installed you have a non activated Windows Vista beta 2 release that you can enjoy for 14 days. Jeeez… that’s really enough time to evaluate it isn’t it ????
..... NOOOOOT ! , so let's extend that trial period to our liking, shall we ?

7.

a)- For all you peeps who are afraid to stain their Vista with malware, viruses, spyware, and everything else .exe and .bat files are notorious for, follow Procedure 7a and make the time-bomb hack yourself.

b)- For every lazy bum, (just like myself) goto Procedure 7b and download the bat file.


Procedure 7a

-Bear with me: the exciting endeavour to create a .bat file to make the timebomb yourself:


step 1.

Press F1 to get the Windows Vista Help screen. (Yes for once it can help us)

- Type this : " File Extensions" press ENTER
- Click option 1
-At the "Show or hide file name exsensions" -screen, click the "show-me-step-by-step option".

This will unhide the extentions for known file types.

Question: Why do we need to do this ? (sorry guys it's also for noobs)

Answer: The guys and galls at M$ want to keep us happy and dumb and don't like us to see file extensions too much.

Question: Why not ?

Answer: Because we are about to make a file with the name SLReArmWindows.bat, and with known file extensions hidden, this file is really called SLReArmWindows.bat.txt, which we cannot execute to extend that 14 day VISTA trial period.

Still with me ?


step 2.

create a new .txt file with name SLReArmWindows.txt, edit it in notepad and copy the code BELOW the asteriscs into the file:
**************************************************************************
@echo This is an application which will #reset# the timebomb for 5381.1
@echo by v1c
@echo who found this trick? cw2k
@echo greetz: winxperts.net , antiwpa.org.ru and Levi
@echo press any key to reset..
@pause
rundll32 slc.dll,SLReArmWindows
cls
@pause ok, it’s done.
****************************************************************************
Note: only the lines without @echo are important and do the actual hack, but let’s have a little respect for the peeps who made this, so copy it all.


step 3.

save the file and change the extension from txt to bat, you will see the icon change as well (from a txt looking icon, to an icon with gears). Accept with "Yes", every popup window that Vista throws at you.


Procedure 7 b download timebomb hack (step 1+2+3) and unrar with winrar, af filesystem comparable to .zip Install winrar if you must.


Timebomb Hack


step 4. (IMPORTANT)

- Right Click !!!! (NO, NO, NO, not just CLICK, RIGHT CLICK !)
- Right Click SLReArmWindows.bat and select the option - Run as administrator.
- Follow the directions in the dos window.

That’s it !!!

Step 5. Verification

- How can you see that this actually worked ?

- goto Control panel -> System
- verify how many days you have left at the bottom
- execute the batch file as described above (as administrator) -
- reboot
- goto Control panel -> System again
- verify how many days you have left at the bottom again. It should be 14 days

Again for the lazy ones, install automate pro, or use the windows task scheduler to rid you of that cumbersome and tiresome task of running that batch file now and then.

Enjoy Windows Vista beta 2 (at least till july 07 2007)


- Note: DOES NOT WORK !!!
WILL SHOW AN EMPTY CONTROL PANEL IF DONE.

Disabling the 2 services responsible for the time bomb with msconfig

- SL UI notification service
- Software Licensing