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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

I didn't say it was just, it is simply right.

"My view is that the gazillionaire monopolistic
Gates can afford to lose a bit for a little kid to get access
to a
computer. But then, [this is] just my view."

These are the words of someone I know. I consider them a friend and while I'm happy to do work for them, the reality is that my position on piracy - that I won't contribute to it - could cost me a connection or an opportunity to earn a living.

The view portrayed by the words "gazillionaire monopolistic Gates" fails to recognise those that built, shipped, and supported the various releases of Microsoft Windows. Mr. Gates was the coach, but the players are very much deserving. I was once a player, my friends are still players and as a developer myself I'm getting a little sick of this "poor me" excuse for theft.

Another friend of mine pointed out to the developer community that Windows has given a good number of us jobs. Perhaps we need to look around at the other manners in which this "billionaire brat" has made the world a better place. I've met the man and while he is many things, I don't see a need to call him names. His is BillG, Mr. Gates, and yes, Mr. Windows. he also a person who made very smart moved in a capitalist framework and his company is being held up as a big evil empire. There is absolutely nothing evil about Microsoft, just the occational idiot who works there, and we all know idiots that work anywhere.

Window was nothing more than a blip on the radar in 1989, Windows/x86 was the thing you ran if you wanted to run Microsoft Office. It was just taking hold in the business world and the release of Windows 3.x was the turning point. I started at Microsoft the day before it launched and stayed for nearly 7 years. I look back at the growth of Windows, the applications, and the demands people have put on what has become a very strong and reliable Operating System. As much as the Linux biggots will scream at me for suggesting Windows is a stable OS, it is when you have a reliable piece of hardware and good software, you're set.

Okay, that argument aside, let's try this. Any of you people that feel that pirating Windows, or any software, is justified... RUN LINUX. Just try to do what you want to do in Linux. It is doable, no question, you might need to learn a whole host of other methods and technical crap to get things done, but if you want "free" then try it. Go run Linux! If you're non-technical, you'll be back.

I acknowledge that Linux is getting better, stronger for the desktop, and is a very good choice for the server-side of computing. It is still not "ideal" for the end-user. The validity of Linux is not my argument here, the argument is that people want software and don't want to pay. If you used this logic on hardware it would be called theft. What are you teaching your children if you buy them a computer with stolen software on it?

As for this friend of mine, she's made her point and while I'm normally forgiving, as she's decided to ask for someone else's help, someone with less integrity and more willingness to help her break the law. I think this is the point at which I turn the other cheek and walk the other way. I wonder if she'll ever understand, I hope she does. As for my business relationship with her, that's done.

She is not the only person to say this. She is one of many people I know that are willfully pirating software, movies, and music for the simple reason of want. She wants to install Windows 2000 on her son's new computer, it has no OS. His loss is not the use of a computer, he has another. He's losing access to a system he can PLAY GAMES ON! Frankly if you can't afford the gas, don't buy the car!

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