Microsoft Wga And Other Crappy Updates

Over the past couple months, Microsoft has had a number of updates that flat-out make one’s machine run less efficiently. The ones released over the past two weeks have made my computer come to a crawl for many internet related applications, and after reading about what they did with WGA (windows genuine [dis]advantage) where they made it phone home and give info about my computer every day AND whenever I restarted, I became very disgruntled.
I think this whole licensing thing is getting out of hand. I think what Sony did was mild compared to what Microsoft tried to pull off with their WGA, and the things that the music industry has in store for us, especially in conjunction with Windows Vista, is greed taken to an entirely new level. I understand that companies lose money from pirating, but the amount they charge certainly makes up for it, and you know damn well that if they succeed in getting people to stop pirating as much, they’re not going to pass that difference in costs of the products to consumers, in fact, they’ll make them cost more because of how much effort and money they spend on the anti-piracy techniques.

Did you know that it’s the music industry’s plans to make CD’s that can only be played so many times and then you have to pay a licence fee to play it more? Did you know that Microsoft is putting severely CRIPPLING digital rights management in Vista? Did you know that Microsoft is going to charge a monthly subscription fee for windows updates for server versions of their OS, and they’ll probably eventually do the same with the consumer editions? Did you know that Vista will make OpenGL an emulated layer running in DirectX so any OpenGL apps will come to a crawl so they can make DirectX look “superior”? Did you know that Vista takes 15gigs on the hard drive?

The past couple days I’ve been working with Linux again because I’m so frustrated with the way things are starting to look. I’d also like to re-install windows on my windows drive and make it have no access to the internet and not get ANY windows updates so I can keep it running efficiently. Even service pack 2 did a number on efficiency.

Unfortunately, Linux is also the most frustrating operating system to work with because of all the things that have to be done by hand just to get things working, but I’m hoping in the end it will be worth it. I tell you, if I could afford a mac right now and was willing to pay 2 times the price for the same hardware, I’d proabably give my Windows machine away.

Ah. Sounds cool. Looking forward to it. :walkman:

I never wanted to get a mac and I never wanted to get linux, simply because I would be lost with those two. Linux is way too geeky for me, I always say “sorry, I have a rich und fullfilling live and I dont need another one”. And Macs are the complete opposite, in a negative way.
Those Computers drive me crazy because they treat me like a six year old. “Oh you better dont use that. Oh no, better not fiddle around here. Better enjoy our colourful graphics. Don’t think too much.”. A Computer that is still sold with a one-button mouse in 2006 says f****ing everything. I was forced to work on a Mac for some months and it drove me insane. One of the first things to do was to bring my Logitech-Mouse to work everyday for that second mouse button, and what can I tell you ? In Freehand there is a context-menu on the RMB, you click on an object and a list of valuable options normally hidden deep in the menus pops up. For the Mac-version of Freehand that context-menu is simply gone. Nothing happens when you rightclick anywhere, they did remove the entire code. Sorry, I wont get a lobotomy to enjoy a Mac, I like the way I am.
And I dont like that religious thing about Apple. They are not that great. Their hardware and software is not that cool. The iPod is not the holy grail. One thing they understood however is that its important to pay a large staff of top-designers to make pretty middle-range stuff look sexy. and thats all about Apple there is. (Same thing with Motorola btw.))

Windows is the best OS for me, I did not install XP for a long time and now I am glad I did because its way better then the old versions and the one time I had to reinstall was because I was a moron and installed stupid tools from the net which f****ed it up.
Its customizable up to a level I need, it works and there are a quadzillion programs out there, for anything you can think of and for a range of prices. Linux seems to concentrate on the more technical aspects of using computers and mac did a fine job of making it unbelievably hard to develop software for decades. They have no real freeware-scene and those few people devleloping software independently seem to want money really bad.
A few years ago someone had shown me “a cool drumsynth for MacOS”, it was a complete ripoff of Stomper (anyone remember, it was freeware from the hammerhead guy if I remember correctly), looked bad and it did cost 49 $. thank you, no.

However, Microsoft has been evil for years now and they start to get more evil, that is true. Its the same with other Companies, the whole “Adobe buys Macromedia” thing for example is simply unethical, while it makes sense in a business-way its a horrible thing to do. Its true that the big companies start to act completely crazy.

But there always have been people providing hacks for windows and anything else you can think of. The DVD and its superior encryption is a joke meanwhile. copyprotected audio-cd did crumble faster than you can say “I dont agree with cutting my rights.” What they want and if they achieve it are completely different things.
And the other point that gives me strength is that currently the freeware/opensource scene becomes stronger and stronger. Alot of programs from big companies can be replaced with opensource-alternatives meanwhile, the most prominent being openoffice and firefox. I never had Microsoft Office installed because I didnt want this shit on my harddrive, now I have the complete OpenOffice Suite, and it simply rocks.
I have never been a warez-freak but I had my share of things I couldnt afford at all normally, alot of that stuff is being replaced with open-source alternatives and all that is left is some kind of bad feeling that I can’t contribute much to that scene. (Well, maybe do freeware-music for them programmers to listen to while programming. Or something.)
Just check all the music-software lately. So much cheap and working production environments are being developed lately, its starting to make less sense to pay loads of money for big software with strange copyprotections. Logic 5 only for Mac ? Do that, I don’t care.

So I think that there will come a time where its either only required to have a paid microsoft windows installed (plus a few good hacks to prevent you from the most evil shit) and have the harddrive filled with free or cheap software from honest developers that either deserve their money or are such good persons (I mean that) to give their software away for free.

However, one thing that is often ignored in my personal opinion is that an OS like Windows is not at all comparable to your average program.
Its an insanely huge and complex architecture of code that is prone to errors and mistakes. I get crazy over statements like

“Mac OS is so great, its much more stable than Windows.” Really ? Might it be because there are about 100 different possible hardware-configs for a Mac (talking about core, gfx-card and other internal stuff here) opposed to a quadzillion for windows ? Plug some hardware from 96 into a Windows PC and chances are good that it is supported and works. Apple simply stops support for older hardware after some time. Get a new Mac, morons. They also have only a few “selected” partners for hardware, wow, thats an clever way to get lazy and even sell it as an advantage.
And just look at Linux, I am thinking about opening a “my hardware does not work under linux”-forum with the occasional google-ads, I guess this might save my whole retirement.

or “Windows is so unstable, it crashes all the time” No, its not windows that crashes, its mostly some badly hacked-together-program that does stupid shit and crashes and takes windows down the hill with it. Install windows on a PC and just use the programs that come with it, and I bet you it will work for years without any problem. The moment you start installing other programs, thats where it becomes whacky.
I am amazed that so far my WinXP has never frozen on me ever, no matter what badly-coded programs I used. That is a real technical achievement, believe me. And yet again this invites programmers to debug even less, because windows “can take this”. The dial-in-program of my internetprovider for example has to be shut down everytime, it simply can’t exit in a normal way. I called their hotline and asked them about it and their answer was “yeah we know, but thats not a problem under XP, just kill it.” go figure.
And all the bluescreen stories of XP that I heard where hardware related, and thats really something you can’t fix with software. I mean, I have utter respect for developers that are able to create a software that can take virtually any shit from a program running in its core. Throw random code at windows and it can take it, thats amazing. I have heard more mac-crash stories lately then windows-crash stories.
And on another note, all those beloved mac-users with their fancy little machine are right in update-hell now too. Again its fascinating how steve jobs can sell this as a good thing. Really, makes my head aching.

to sum it up, microsoft was always trying to push some bad limits and there always where people around hacking that stuff. I am not afraid of the future, there where always way to dodge their shit, and I wont leave the windows-pc world until there is an alternative that really gives me some advantage. and macs or linux dont do this at all.

I’m thinking about using Windows 2000 again instead of XP for my music stuff. Win2k is so much stabler (imho) and far less annoying (no dogs or popups that tell me what to do and that there are unused icons on my desktop; I like those unused icons, ok?).

I have to disagree with two points about the Mac. At the Technical University Delft’s computer science department they are currently heavily used as laptops because you can go extremely geeky with them: it’s UNIX now after all. Also, they ship with two mouse buttons now, with scroll wheel. The default is just that both buttons are mapped to button 1, you can change that easily.

but a two button mouse is useless if the developers don’t know how to use it. Really, I was stunned that the whole RMB functionality in Freehand is simply cut out of the Mac version. There is not even an option to enable it or something, its simply gone. “Well, we better don’t hassle people with that.” And I know Mac users that are simply distracted by a second mouse button. Don’t want to be a complete ass here, but what exactly is so complicated about having two buttons on a mouse, one for your pointfinger and one for your middlefinger ? I don’t get it. And keyboard shortcuts for Mac-Programs is another sad, sad story.

And MacOS/Unix … dont get me started on that. “Oh look, those hard-and-for free working geeks managed to get Linux stable, lets port it to Macs, wrap a nice GUI over it and sell it as the best invention ever. People will think we are genuises.” f****ing ripoff.
edit:and another addition because I just happened to read it somewhere : Macs are not “safe”. They are uninteresting. If you want to to write a worm that can chew itself trough the net you won’t start that on a Mac, because you have to scan a huge range of IP to find a few hosts that works for you. Go for Windows and you make the news. But whenever one of those hackers start to really concentrate on something, they always find stuff. I remember that during my Mac-Time Apple had to issue a few security-updates because obviously some sixteen year old spent ten minutes with the idea “lets find a bug in apples security system!”. but ofcourse those where not “security updates” but mere little OS-improvers that people should install please, and fast. Until someone within apple started talking on slashdot or whereever that was. its all so pathetic.


And about w2k and winxp : thats what I meant with tweakable, invest half an hour on a freshly installed winxp and all that ridiculous bullshit is gone. again with the help of freeware tools and hacks from the net. My winXP behaves like I want it to.

Mac users rather use that middlefinger to f-sign the windows users.

I don’t know how long i will stick to XP, but 15GB for Vista is a lot of space to waste on a platform…
I don’t want all that bloatware running on my desktop.

Well, it seems your problem lies with the Freehand devs, not Apple… Mac Renoise works with right click! ;)

My point was (sorry, was not clear) that Macs are not just for noobs, they’re also excellent for nerds. We geeks need our bash shell, X and nerd tools etc.

Also, Windows isn’t just interesting. The other half is: only morons make their OS the way that services listen to internet ports, the standard user is root and have a script language that can send information automatically via email to your contact list (- unsafe by design). Oh and Microsoft it seems. Though SP2 finally fixes most of this.

It’s a shame there are that many Mac zealots. If you’re a “normal” Mac user you also get associated with them, that’s annoying. If I use a platform (and I use all big three since every one has a specific thing it’s good at), I don’t want to be part of any “religion”, thank you.

Foo?'s 2c:

I just built a very fast and powerful PC with XPsp2pro on it, not connected to the internet. I’ve stripped it back to bare-bones and optimised everything for audio performance. It works quite good… but…

I think the next machine I will buy will be a Mac laptop (g5 or 6 by the time I get around to it). Core Audio is lightyears ahead of MS anything. Hopefully OSx doesn’t go down the same insane coporate road as windows - I just want a rock solid live-portable computer.

Anyway, once Google makes their thin-client OS you can kiss everything goodbye. MS will die, Google is the real monster. After all, who controls content?

Various gossip columns mention google denies the purpose of competing with MS (or any other platform) with their GooOS.
You just mention Thin Client, i’m sorry, but a Thin Client is not a monster and i don’t think you could create your music on a remote server without having the physical access to the auxilaries.

Sorry I’m leaving holes in my 2c:

Music makers won’t be using mainstream machines. The bulk of users out there would only need a simple thin-client environment, with bought contract access via a simple ipod like interface. The real computer geeks will go underground again.

Let’s hope I’m wrong.

I have heard some rumours that Microsoft are supposed to have worked a lot on making the sound engine faster and better than on Mac with Windows Vista…

I don’t know but the teenagers growing up now take for granted that all music should be free.
I think that is just a spoiled attitude and a huge ignorancy. Sure madonna don’t need any more millions I don’t see her using any money to do anything good only spending it on some expensive kaballa.
But most 99.9% of the musicians aint madonna.

If it continues to be this easy to download music without paying zero to any musician it wont be possible to live on making music.

It will be like in the old days when mozart died out of poverty only 36 years old…And we will only get hobby musicians.

Atleast that is what is happening in sweden…
And its probably the sad truth.

I’ve been waiting for this day for over 10 years! Bring it on, f****ers.

As for all of the above rant on mac os x all I can say is, who keyboarded? Seriously, ranting when you don’t know what you are talking about, amazing. You want two buttons on a mac? PLUG ONE IN! You want to not be treated like a baby, want complexity? DROP TO THE UNIX PROMPT! When was the last time you used a mac? 1996? I was windows before, because it was there. I was linux for work, because it was there, if you are serious about computers, OS X is one of the best. Freeware hacks… yippie! Shit with a GUI. It wasn’t ripped from linux, it was ripped from BSD… most of it developed at NEXT, the company Steve Jobs worked at before going to back to Apple… BSD, the same place Microsoft ripped it’s TCP/IP stack. At least mac has the decency to share their changes.

Keep flexing though, i’m enjoying the view.

PS: I’m no mac zealot. Pre OS X as their mainstream platform I thought it was a piece of shit. I just think when you use your own personal experiences as the basis for sound reasoning, everyone looks like an asshole. Given the circumstances, I would never switch back to windows, it’s terrible. I use XP everyday at work, I hate it. To each their own.

No freeware for OS X:

…please ignore the above 8000+ from a website you never heard of, check version tracker for more.

EDIT: Argh, I hate this new board! :)

Have you tried UBUNTU? My co-worker was raving on how it installed on his brand new laptop and everything worked automatically including arcane hibernate buttons and such. Check it out:

It will go back underground where it came from. Make money from playing live, that’s the real life of a musician. I agree with Conner BW, bring it on → only the big players are going to loose, which means no more corporate music, yeehaw.

Windows, the only operating system where the power users complain about too much power… “Don’t treat me like a baby, treat me like a man-child!” - lol

Ubuntu is amazing and saved me about a year and a half ago.

I was having some issues with windows xp that involved the operating system hanging as it booted. Certain files were becoming corrupted and I couldn’t identify the problem at first; assumed my hard drive was about to take a crap.

I would reinstall windows xp and within a couple of hours the entire os would become so unstable I couldn’t use it any longer.

Lucky for my sake I had started trying out different versions of linux. Knoppix bootable cd being the first one and wouldn’t you know it, it worked like a charm. I was having some financial issues so I couldn’t just build another pc. Things were not so simple, but I did need to use my computer so I eventually came across Ubuntu version Warty Warthog (yeah, silly isn’t it?) and I was able to install it without any issues and I was able to use firefox and several applications to hold me over until I could get my hands on some new hardware.

Well after about 5+ windows xp installs and constant crashing and rather pleasant Ubuntu experience I eventually wanted to get windows going again so I took the entire computer apart and realized that the majority of the capacitors that were on my motherboard, including ALL that surround the processor socket to help regulate temperature had that all too familiar bulge which = trouble.

It’s funny because over time I would smell something coming from the computer. Wouldn’t last long. I had always felt uneasy about it, and just assumed it was nothing to worry about ;). Eventually enough of them had died that it was adversely affecting windows xp.

Now why Ubuntu running in a linux environment could tolerate this obvious hardware problem and xp could not, I don’t think I will ever know.

Perhaps more anecdotal than anything, it sure says a lot about linux… I researched the issue further and many who had my same epox motherboard purchased around the same timeframe had the same exact problem. Bad batch of capacitors from a vendor.

I don’t agree with the notion that crappy programs are responsible for bringing windows down. I don’t know of too many people who DON’T do a fresh install of windows on a routine basis because at some point it starts having issues.

I was really hoping beOS would have taken off. Hell, if I could have my way I would never have purchased a IBM/compat and kept my Amiga; I was a zealot for commodore and am not ashamed of it.

You Amiga owners know what I am talking about; wtf were the alternatives back then.

BTW the point that was mentioned earlier about Windows continued support of legacy hardware was not a good one and crippled the platform for some time. That was anything but an advantage…

I could not agree more!

The music I listen to consists mainly of underground artists (a good chunk renoise users) and were kind enough to share their music with the internet community. I still go to live concerts of commercially based musicians when they are in town. I would rather pay $35 to see an artist than spend $15-20 on their release that has 2 worth while songs out of 10 tracks.

If they stop making music because of it becoming an issue with their income, so be it. They obviously are making music for the wrong reasons in my opinion; let them get a real job like the rest of us…

The last time I used a Mac for a longer time was a year ago, I agree to that.

However, my opinion is based on a long experience with Macs, I had to work with them from time to time for quite a while.
I am someone who has always been tweaking his OS for better usability and to save time, this does not mean that I spent hours on that stuff, but things like those mentioned “my buttons go away after a while” are things that can be fixed with two clicks, if you know how to, its not a given annoyance and can be changed very easily.
Most of the things I do is to make me work faster, I dont know if I have a mild form of ADD or something, but I tend to get frustrated if things take a long time or by those small waits for menus fading in and out or useless animation, I want to be fast.
And about the two-button/shortcut stuff : My experience is based on major graphics-programs that I have been using on Mac and PC and fact is that the Mac versions (for unknown reasons) have less keyboard shortcuts and less mouse-functionality. This does not apply to Freehand only, its the same in indesign and photoshop just for example. Shortcuts I use regularly in the windows-version are simply not there on the mac-version, you have to use the menu, which makes me slow.

And I know about Versiontracker and that it has started but its still a long way from the amount of good and useful programs for windows. Back in MacOS9 days there was not much free/independent software.

However, really, to each is own, thats my experience and taste.

And about the thinclients … Well, it always struck me that PCs tend to get bigger and better but still alot of people are using it for the same stuff. I don’t get it why someone has to buy a 4Ghz dualcore for writing stuff down in word or doing some excel stuff, thats something that already worked years ago on a 200 Mhz Pentium.
I was working at the local university some years as admin, and when they started to replace old PCs I had a hard time getting PCs that were not totally overblown. In the end I assembled 10 PCs from scratch myself, because the pre-assembled were just “too much”. People didn’t need 3D-GFX-Cards, Soundcards, 100 GB harddisks (it was all server-based and they were meant not to save stuff locally) and huge CPUs, 80% of the stuff they did was writing essays and other text in Word and the other 20% were Email and the occasional websurfing. However, companies like Dell meanwhile offer PCs for a very low price, some local shop lately had a “usable” lowlevel PC for 199 €, I referred some friends to this which I know only need a PC to (again) have to write the occasional paper for university, do abit of ebay, write mails and otherwise have no interest in computers. So I guess that thinclient-thing is not working (and its not the first attempt for something like this)

“It will go back underground where it came from.”
So if everything is underground everything will become better?

If everything becomes underground the underground is less underground because there is no topfloor…

I think everything that is done today still comes from the underground. Noone starts as a big star.

Even the producers who makes that kind of pop music have a value for me, though I don’t buy much of their stuff.
They do contribute to the big range of music available and I do belive that multitude is a good thing.

Sure it can be annoying but one don’t have to listen to it or buy it.

I think it will probably only mean people will have less time to spend on making music, developing their skills.
It will mean less people will risc spending money on a music education because there will be no future in music.
Meaning less songs are made and the songs will probably be less good and musicians poorer musicians…

Corporate music? What is that?
How big should the label be where do you draw the line?
10.000 sold records? 50.000 100.000 or 200.000 500.000 1000.000?

Is everything that is given out on a big label automaticaly bad music? I´m sorry but than I just think that you limit yourself instead of being open minded…

How did it end up on a label in first place and how did the label end up becoming a big player?
Everything starts in the underground even artists comes from the underground do they automatically become less good
artists or their music less good when given out on a label?
Sure some people think that. I know band that was better when they where underground but I don’t think that applies to everything.

The record companies have given them paid time to create new records that they in turn promise to promote to turn people attention to their music, in exchange for getting part of the money that the future record would sell.

I don’t think taking away that oportunity means the world would become better.

Just my 2 cents…

Yep, you know the score! The holy Amiga is the only computer it’s worth to be a zealot of. It took PC and Mac what 10 years to catch up with e.g. the amount of colours and digital audio and even then it was more than 10 times as expensive.