7 September 2007

WGA, Product Activation, Kafka

If Kafka wrote the Windows activation/WGA FAQ...

A: You have been found guilty and have been sentenced to die in 3 days.  Would you like to appeal?

Q: What crime am I being charged with?

A: Our code has found you guilty of being guilty in the opinion of our code.  You have already been found guilty and sentenced.  Would you like to appeal?

Q: What laws have I broken?

A:  The laws you have broken are those we assigned ourselves via the EUL"A" you consented to when you accepted our product.

Q: I don't remember discussions about an End User License Agreement?

A: Well, you wouldn't; we find it more effective to just write that up ourselves.

Q: I need details... what exact laws have I broken?

A:  We find it more effective not to disclose the details on how our code investigates such matters, or what criteria are used to determine the breaking of our laws.  All you need to know is that you have been found guilty and sentenced. 

Would you like to appeal?

Q: What do you mean "die in 3 days"?

A: In three day's time, your heart will be removed and further processing will not be possible.  If you do not have recourse to another heart and/or cardiac troubleshooting skills, you will remain inert.  Your body parts will still be available to those with the skills to access them; don't worry, no personal data will be lost, though of course you will need a new heart from us to work with that data again.

Would you like to appeal?

Q:  OK, I'd like to appeal.  Who do I appeal to?

A: Us, of course.  Phone the number, answer a few trick questions like "press 1 if you have two or more, press 2 if you have only one" etc. and then ask to speak to a human.  Convince the human you are innocent and your death sentence will be set aside.  If you are innocent, you have nothing to fear!

Q:  What do you mean "if I'm innocent"?  You've just told me you've found me guilty, and refused to tell me exactly of what I'm guilty?

A:  This is true, but we are not unfair.  You do have the right to appeal, as at September 2007.

Q:  So how do I present my case?

A: Leave that to us.  We will ask you questions, and based on your answers, we will decide if perhaps we arrested, tried and sentenced you in error, or whether our code works as designed.

Q: Works as designed?  What is it designed to do?

A:  It's designed to determine whether you are guilty or not.  We find it is more effective not to disclose details of how it does this.

Q: Can I review the evidence?

A:  We find it is more effective if the guilty party is not permitted to review the evidence, and thus we provide no tools to do so, nor do we provide documentation of what this evidence may be.  Any such documentation you may find will have been subject to change.  We will not tell you if, when or how it has changed, if indeed it has.  We find it is more effective this way.

Q:  OK!  Hey, everything's fine! I spoke to the human and explained what happened (which was easy in my case; nothing happened or changed, you just charged me out of the blue) and they set aside my sentence!  Thanks you running such a wonderful system that allows a lowly wretch like me to live again!!

A:  It's a pleasure, glad to help   ;-)


MikeM said...

Hi Chris,
I know this is only vaguely related but I was really wondering about your winpe 2.0 experiences from your FEB 07 posting.

I am trying to put together a Novell client / WinPE pack. I love BartPE , but since it's not Vista-compatible nor is there anything out about Novell / WinPE 2.0, I am stumped.

So I saw your blog and wanted to see how your win pe work had faired.


Chris Quirke said...

Hi Mike!

I haven't got further with WinPE 2.0 building than dropping in my Bart CDR as "companion disk" (unlike Bart, you can eject the optical disk with MS WinPE 2.0) and running stuff.

I may go that route, i.e. dev my Bart CDRs to work not only as boot, Autorun and DOS-diskette-companion, but also as WinPE 2.0 companion. Makes sense if you have a heavy investment in Bart work as I have, else less so.

For native Win2.0 work, I'd look to three sources:

1) MS themselves, e.g.




2) The CD Forums


3) Boot Land


In particular, (3) has something that looks liek a builder for MS WinPE 2.0; script-based, multiple projects.

The learning curve at BootLand may or may not be high; I haven't had the time to dip in, and have been side-tracked with Linux lately. It may well be easy once you've built your first "Hello World".

The level of discussions etc. there looks pretty good, and if starting from scratch, it looks like the best place to get going with MS WinPE 2.0 - I've been meaning to blog it, once I get started!

Also and FWIW, I see the latest Ubuntu 7.xx claims to have save write support for NTFS.

Daniel said...

Hi Chris,

Why is WinPE 2.0 so incompatible with current apps??

For example, "Password Renew" from Sala Source, does not work under WinPE 2.0. (The directory selection dialog box appears empty)

Another example, Ghost Explorer. If you try to Extract files from a Ghost image, it will show you an empty directory selection dialog box. It's very sad.

All of them work correctly in Bart PE.

Why, oh why is WinPE so incompatible????


Chris Quirke said...

Hi Daniel!

You ask a good question, as even after excluding what WinPE is documented not to do (16-bit and/or DOS apps, 32-bit apps if 64-bit WinPE) there are still things that work in Bart but don't in WinPE (HD Tune, some nu2menu functionality such as file browse dialogs).

Some things may be due to missing files or registry settings that the Bart plugin integrate into the mOS, which aren't there when these things are dropped into WinPE.

But the rest... may be WinPE makes different choices on what to leave out, compared to Bart, orit may be that thoseb developing for mOS capabilities do so for Bart as the majority mOS, rather than WinPE.