ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Vol. 41 - No 20
Front Page Mirror

The real deal?

Dear Readers,
Thank you for a very encouraging response towards TPH. However, we apologize for our inability to reply each question on a personal level due to the countless number of emails we get every week. We are doing our best to address each of the major issues that are being raised every week. Computers are complex machines and therefore it is sometimes difficult for us to provide solutions to specific software or hardware issues in a specific computer system. We will do our best to provide valid advice to your queries to the best of our ability.

Dear TPH,
I recently bought a new computer. Since I am only familiar with Microsoft Windows I bought a genuine copy of Windows XP Service Pack 2. I get all the latest security updates from Microsoft. My friends say that what I did was foolish because I could have installed a pirated copy of Windows XP Service Pack 2 for a much cheaper price. My friends who use pirated copies of windows don't get some security updates, but they say it doesn't really make a difference. Do you think what I did was the right thing?

Dear RAD,

I don't know whether you realise this, but you just resurrected a debate that I have dedicated the better part of my youthful years to conclude. I first thought it was a battle of virtues; is it ok to steal from the rich to feed the poor, or does the act of pirating software itself signify the dark abyss of virtual morality, irrespective of its cause? I read stories of Robin Hood and watched the X-Files in search of answers (for some reason, I thought the X-Files had something to do with a connection between Linux and Windows!!!) After a few years of soul searching and brainwashing myself, I decided that software piracy was wrong. I would not be a part of this heinous crime against the American Software giants. I would not endorse cheap CDs that are shipped in bulk containers from dodgy ports in East Asia. I would pay back my dues to Bill and Melinda Gates and Steve Ballmer. Then I stepped into the streets of Colombo to pocket my first ever genuine copy of Windows 2000. I was as excited as a little boy waiting for his father to bring him his first remote-control hovercraft!

Surely, I should be able to find a genuine Windows CD at Unity Plaza? I combed the shops and streets of Bambalapitiya, Kollupitiya, Town Hall, Union place and Slave Island until I could recite the names of those suburbs in their correct order, much better than any private bus conductor at the time. But I still could not find that elusive Genuine Windows CD. It took many months for me to get over the dejection and disappointment. Bill and Steve had let me down badly, and I would not touch a genuine version of Windows for many years. This is why I have the highest respect for you. More than anything else, you were smart enough to get your hands on a genuine Windows CD.

The rest is irrelevant. If anyone calls you foolish, or laughs at what you have done, challenge them to find a genuine windows CD anywhere along the 100 bus route! That will determine who is foolish and who is not.


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