Too Busy For Words - the PaulWay Blog

Tue 16th Nov, 2010

Strange Views

Birds have started sprouting from the ground. Trees hang with fishes, and mice rain from the sky. Thousand foot high potato vines stalk the landscape devouring houses. Record company executives decide to license everything as Creative Commons. Giant space cockatoos from beyond the galactic rim successfully buy all the Weetbix in Australia and use them to fabricate a crude rocket-ship. And, in other news, Paul buys a copy of Windows Seven.

No, it's really actually not that strange. Since I've started using Linux (back in 2004 - a lot of people think it must have been much earlier, strangely) I've been much more conscious of the licensing and conditions of using software. One of the thing that Microsoft implicitly relies on for its monopoly is the huge trade in illegal versions of Windows and other Microsoft software - it educates people to expect to use Microsoft, then they make their further purchasing decisions with that as an implicit default. And one of the standard benefits of using Free, Open Source Software is that you are legally licensed to copy it and share it. Once you put that as a benefit, you have to implicitly recognise that illegal copies are not right.

So, after building a new home gaming system, I decided to therefore get a new license for its Windows operating system. Too many of the games that I want to play are, unfortunately, only available on Windows; and it's an apposite time to upgrade the whole thing at once. It's also a good way for me to acknowledge the cost of my choices - I may not be Richard Stallman but I still think that if I choose to use Windows for something I should at least pay the cost. And considering I get a better operating system with more features and less lock-down for free with Linux, GNU and everything that hangs on top of it, I don't think this is suddenly going to cause me to abandon all my principles - and buy a Mac...

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