XP revisited

I recently bought a refurb PC that came with XP (refurb edition) installed and a COA plastered on the side of the case.

The box, destined for use as a Zoneminder server, was immediately upgraded to lubuntu.

As it happens, I have a piece of legacy Windoze software that doesn’t work so well under Wine.  It makes extensive use of the parallel port and pegs the CPU. And the author has recently “upgraded” to a .NET 2.0 infrastructure which is another stumbling block.

So I decided to install XP as a VirtualBox guest under Lubuntu on the same box where it was originally installed.  If that makes sense.

The install itself wasn’t terrible; it ran nicely under VirtualBox.  I did the Windows Genuine Advantage thing (typing in strings of tiny chars off a sticker) awhich blew up immediately with no indication why.  Failed and sent you to the MS WGA site, which loaded up some little applet that promptly whitescreened and hung.  Yay, payware.

I googled for WGA white screen and sifted through the possibilities.  Turns out the guest’s clock was off and that was enough to crash WGA.  Nice.  So the model is:

  1. charge for the product
  2. make the customer prove they are not a criminal
  3. do not bother to make the proof system robust
  4. and do not provide useful information if it fails.

I do not understand why people put up with this crap.  Why businesses buy into the constant cycle of needless upgrades and upsells.  Why we think virus incubation and excessive hardware requirements are acceptable.

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