Sometime back in 1998, Microsoft was taken to court over accusations of monopolistic practises. The specific reason was for their browser, Internet explorer, which came bundled in windows 98. Competitors like Netscape and Opera could not compete with something that was a part of nearly every single new computer. Because of the hidden and proprietar nature of Windows, IE could be optimized to run better. Eventually, Microsoft was hit with an antitrust penalty.
However, the REAL monopoly microsoft has is OEM (original equipment manufacturer) installations of windows. Nearly every single computer that you buy new comes with Windows. While this may be because Windows is the most popular and widely used OS, it's also because MS offers incentives for vendors to install it on a new computer.
Or, more appropriatly, Microsoft threatens companies with penalties (increased cost per installation) if they ship PCs without windows.
While many people can choose to uninstall windows from their new machine, and install FreeBSD, GNU/Linux, Solaris, UNIX, MacOSX or any other number of other systems,This does not change the fact that Microsoft has already profited on that lisence. The End User Lisence Agreement (EULA) states that if a user does NOT agree with the agreement, they can contact their manufacturer for a refund. That refund comes from the maker of your computer (Dell, Acer, HP etc) NOT from Microsoft. Naturally, vendors are very hesitent to refund anything. They payed for the lisence once, and now they have to pay again, Either way, Microsoft still has sold a lisence. Manufacturers are also hesitant to refund money because the cost of a retail version of windows ($199can for Windows 7 home premium) is far more then what the manufacturer payed for the OEM installation. Because of Microsoft's contract enforced policy, vendors cannot reviel what they pay. The best estimate is somewhere around $60-$80 for windows 7.
(I count myself among the few people who have actually read the entire EULA, in all it's disturbing detail)
March 19th, 2010
February 26th, 2010
A month or two ago, I heard about Linux Mint (www.linuxmint.com/) and gave it a try.
Mint is based on Ubuntu (which is based on Debian, which I tried once a very long time ago), one of the more popular desktop distributions. (My brother Runs Ubuntu) It has cosmetic changes to the interface, intuitive features like a master control center, and a nice rounded set of applications. It shares a repository with Ubuntu.
All my hardware worked right off the bat. I downloaded a bunch of programs from the repository.
aMSN: Way better then pidgin for MSN Messenger
WINE: With WINE, I can run many of my favorite windows games: Counterstrike:Source, Half-Life 2, Left 4 Dead and Bioshock.
Stellarium: An awesome planetarium in real time. It has a wonderful and beautiful interface.
I'm very, very impressed at just how far free software (free as in free speech) has come in just 5 years. I honestly would not hesitate to recommend it to people with limited computer experience.
May 19th, 2009
So there I was, in my tent, minding my own business, when I hear a clatter of pots and pans, and a scream of pain. Dashing outside, I instantly knew what was happening: Mel was having her baby! Preparing a makeshift obstetrics ward in the Canadian sheild was a difficult task, but I suceeded, with help from my trusty partner Graham, in delivering a healthy baby girl. Taking a well earned break, I reclined in my tent to relax. My breif repose was interupted by a 900lb bear, who clawed through the wall of my tent. Leaping out, I instantly saw the look of pure savage on the bear's bloodstained maw. I knew at that moment, that the bear had devoured Mel's baby. Filled with rage, I roundhouse kicked the bruin in it's side, and engaged it at close quaters. After an epic fight, I subdued the bear with my brute strength. I plunged my father's trusty knife into the bear's throat, slaying the beast.
(Less bullshit here and here)
May 8th, 2009
Question 1: Catagory: Cycling
How to make a booster for my bicycle?
(I felt like Boomhauer from King of the Hill reading that)
Question 2: Catagory: Parenting
How do you kiss your twelve year old boyfriend?
(Well, I wouldn't kiss him in public, since I'd go to jail and loose my job)
Question 3: Catagory: Men's Health
Is there any house hold drugs that can get you high?(desperate?)
February 3rd, 2009
January 25th, 2009
Watchmen, to me, is about morality, and the concept of good and evil. Watchmen gives us a few, very opposing, ideas of good and evil, through several characters.
Ozymandias, the "villain" embraces the "Ends justify the means" concept. He wants the very best for humanity, and feels that he is the saviour of humankind. He actually looks down upon the rest of man as needing a guiding hand, and not knowing what is good for them. This wears on him, and it shows through the comics. What he's doing is right, but the steps towards it pain him.
The Comedian, who is explored through flashbacks, is nihilistic and cynical. He "gets the joke" as Rorschach says. He knows that the common person needs a figurehead, someone to rally under. As long as he does token "good" acts, he will be embraced by the American people. "Good" for the comedian is only what is in fashion at the time. His personal actions are otherwise deplorable, he raped a fellow crime-fighter, as well as murders a pregnant woman.
Doctor Manhattan, the only real Superhero in the book, is utterly unconcerned with humanity. He's incredibly fatalistic, paralyzed because of his ability to see the past, future and present together. He sees humanity as unimportant, his only ties to it being emotional connections with a few select people. Morality and any concept of evil or good are entirely unimportant to him.
Rorschach is one of my favorite comic book characters. He's an sociopathic, right-wing, conspiracy nut. Evil must be punished in the most harsh way possible, even if it means torture and murder. Rorschach stands for a very different "truth, justice and the american way"
On the whole, The story of Watchmen serves simply as a device to explore the characters. The characters themselves exist, more or less, to explore morality, good and evil, and the entire concept of masked superheros.
November 11th, 2008
Anyone who's been a student probably has an earful about textbook prices. I got a few of mine used, and one or two new. The most I've spent on a book is $80. To me, that's about as much as I'd spend. That book was pretty decent. Large, full colour, full of usable information. I'd actually want to keep it for personal reference.
One of the required items on our list is "The Science of Early Childhood development" It's an online resource. I took a course previous to college that used this resource, as I still have the disks that I took my course with. We never had to use it in our first semester (even though it was "required" for 2 courses)
Well, that was 1st edition, all the first editions have expired. The entire course is online now, no disks required. You'd think this would make it cheaper. You'd also think it would be cheap, because it was developed by Red River itself!
For a 2 year ACCESS CODE. The catch is that you have to be a current student to use it. Since I graduate in a year, I only really get access for one year. I won't be able to use it for personal reference, or give it to someone else, or check back in the future. I don't even have any gaurantee that We'll actually use it, since we haven't required it the two other times it's been claimed we do.
October 27th, 2008
September 21st, 2008
This woman at work is Vegan and < Agripa > 09/20 21:01:29
I am attracted to her. I am not at all vegan, enjoying my carnivorous nature. The question I have is that if I should get her out on a date and avoid a delicious steak in the process, and I must suffer through a vegan meal in some tarnished alternative part of town as part of the seduction game, what fare shall I partake that would not get me all gassed up and possibly prove an embarassment once we return to her beatnik abode for drinks?