This Space for Rent

Windows XP product activation can bite me.

Last year I did a big reoutfit of Love Makes A Family's network (and web site, but that's a different kettle), including upgrading all the different versions of Microsoft Office to Office XP. I even put a copy of office XP on the computer in the library at home, so I could rip things out of Microsoft Word documents and convert them into text for use on the website. During the year, I did a few upgrades to the computer in the library, including replacing the PCMCIA wireless card with a usb dongle, and then replacing that with a 54mbit Microsoft MN-730 card. Today, we fired up Office XP and discovered, to our intense dismay, that the fucking product activation code had decided that the Microsoft card was Too Many Changes and we'd have to load up the Office XP CD and tell it our license key all over again.

Guess where the Office XP CD is? Right. Down in Portland Union Station, in the media folder in the Love Makes a Family office. At 10:45pm, hopping on a bus and going down to the LMAF office to get the CD is not an option. If the stupid program had just asked for the license key, it would not be a problem because, well, I was the system administrator and I had it. But I'm not about to willy-nilly make copies of the installation CDs (even though I have the legal right to) just so I can deal with Office going completely stupid.

In the words of the unelected junta that controls the United States, fuck it; I uninstalled Office XP on the spot and replaced it with OpenOffice, 90 second loading time, p*th*n, and all. If I'm going to have a slow stupid office suite (and, boy, OpenOffice fills that category well; having to manually set up file associations for .rtf files is one of those special things that I hope, but not seriously, that I'll never have to do again. Irfanview sets up the associations automatically, and didn't have an army of paid programmers working on it, so why can't OpenOffice? I guess that would make it easy to use, and we can't have that!) I'm going to pick one that doesn't have some offensive copy-protect scheme embedded in it, even if I don't have to pay for the one that doesn't have the copy protect.