Merry Christmas, ya pirate (from MSFT)

So on Christmas Eve, Buckshot calls me and says his Windows is calling him out for being a pirate.

It seems that a few days after arriving home from Florida, his computer decided he was running a pirated copy of Windows XP, thanks to Windows Genuine “Advantage.”  The “Advantage” utility had decided that because he left the regional settings set to the eastern time zone, but had modified his clock by hand to the correct time, that he was a pirate.

Yep, it’s a known issue… if your computer’s time settings are off, Microsoft thinks you’re a pirate.

Now Buckshot is using words like, “Fuck Microsoft” and “They can screw off and die” to describe how he feels about Microsoft’s mistake.  I feel the same way.  The mistake even gave Taitai the willies – so much so that I’ve proudly stood up in front of all of them and declared, “That’s why this family is going Mac!”

Microsoft, you’ve made some fatal mistakes in 2006.  Purely fatal.  If you can give my Microsoft-loving family the feeling of malcontent, you’re in for a big problem.

Linux badass

You know you’re a Linux badass when you’ve got everything working… and I mean everything:

  • Printing works with cups over USB, shared to another Windows desktop with IPP
  • VPN server works with PPTPD
  • LDAP
  • Webalizer
  • Postfix/SpamAssassin/Courier/ClamAV/AmavisD-New
  • Squid
  • DHCP
  • DNS
  • Dynamic DNS registration for said DHCP/DNS
  • Shares with Windows and Linux machines alike
  • Backup jobs
  • Mailman lists
  • Apache
  • MySQL
  • DVD playback
  • DVD record
  • CD record
  • DVD ripping (har!)
  • Music playback of entire 9.4gb library
  • Rich-media plugins for web browsers

It’s all working.  The only thing that doesn’t work… and it’s because I’ve purposefully not put any effort into it… is my TV card.  That TV card is going to end up in a MythTV box somewhere.  Just because.

Deprecating webdav

Aquatix was asking on a post or two ago about, “How is deprecating webdav a good thing?”

The problem with webdav is that while webdav is meant to be a standard, I’ve rarely met a client that handled it properly.  I would also point out that some of these problems were not implementations with the client, but implementations with the server side and the relation to the client.

The new model in Exchange 2007 is to deprecate webdav support in favor of web services (via SOAL/XML, etc.).  This is a boon for clients because it uses a standardized model to feed data and the response is just XML.  How badly can a client screw that up?  That means the server-side is no longer an equation in poor Exchange support.

Exchange 2007 web services – Evolution, anyone?

I hope the Evolution developers are sitting up and paying attention to Exchange 2007.  Exchange 2007 is intended to be a bridge toward a web services model for communicating with the server for all functions external to the system.  WebDAV is deprecated.  I’ve seen it, it’s true, it’s exciting, and it’s a boon for Evolution and other webDAV clients that currently suck.

One blogger talks about it here.

Microsoft falling

(info: this post was started several days ago)

There’s so much more that can be said about Microsoft and the mistakes they are continuing to make. In my experience, product quality is going down… regression bugs are coming back into some products (Exchange 2003 and clustering!)… many enterprise products are a mishmash of spaghetti code… argh, it’s a tough time to be an enterprise admin with Microsoft products.

There’s been a renaissance of Linux here in my house, led by the Mac issue and Not Having Money.  I intend to replace all of the workstations with Macs, but in the meantime, I’ve dual-booted my system with Ubuntu Edgy and Windows.  Now here’s the kicker: I’ve not booted into Windows in about three weeks, maybe longer.  Taitai’s system is still on Windows because Linux is pretty rough around the edges, but she will be the first recipient of a new Mac when the first one is actually purchased.

On the server side, I’ve gotten rid of my lab Windows servers and converted everything to Linux.  It was a hairy migration project – I moved all websites (including this one) to Linux, all databases converted to MySQL, all pictures backed up, etc… then wiped out the box and put it on Dapper LTS Server.  Hoo, boy… does a dual-proc Athlon MP and 2gb of RAM run fast on the server.

So then I migrated everything back over to the new Linux box.  I learned a lot in the migration project and now have one seriously nice setup on the Dapper install.  The only thing I’ve not gotten around to is pptpd, but I intend to fix that one day soon.

Anyway, back to Microsoft.  I actually have zero interest in Vista – which means something has definitely bitten me in the rear in regards to them.  Vista finally feels to me what I hear a lot of complaining about: bloated, overbaked, complex, wasteful (new UI with too much rearranging again), sad use of hardware resources, insecure, incompatible and finally… distrustful.

Distrustful, did you say?

Why, yes I did.

The whole Windows Genuine Advantage thing was a real nail in the coffin for me.  Same goes for Office Genuine Advantage.  I understand that a company like Microsoft who makes a living on software as a base business is concerned about piracy and needs to consider ways to stop it, but this was just going too far.  I do not think that trying to do this in the “interest of security” was a good way to market it.  The end result of Microsoft’s play for WGA/OGA was that I felt like that just distrust me and my users.  Completely.  Regardless of how much is shelled out, the operating system must phone home every week, even if you’re a volume licensing enterprise customer.  Granted, you’re setting up the home that they are writing to, but still folks… bad call.

It leaves a terrible taste in my mouth.  It makes me feel like there’s someone waiting nearby to shackle me when… WHEN they feel there’s been some kind of violation… not if.

Take the Zune for instance.  Incompatible with that WMA library I had built up unless the whole damn thing gets DRM’d.  Come on – I wanted to avoid DRM.  Forget it.  Not interested.

Microsoft clearly distrusts their customer and is producing even buggier software than before.  No longer interested, am I… run away screaming to Apple, I shall.

Apparently, type like Yoda I will.