December 2013 Archives

2013-12-08 20:57:33

A tale from the world of Bad Licensing™

A while ago, we had to buy a laptop for running Windows so we could operate the vinyl cutter at our makerspace. So we went for a refurbished T61 with Windows 7 and installed the cutter software on it.

To activate the license of the cutter software, you have to connect to the Internet (which is already something we didn't really want to do, but in the world of Closed Source software you already know you don't usually get what you want). So we tried to fire up the online activation feature, but it failed right away stating that the support has been notified of the failure.

Since we're a volunteer driven organization, we are mostly present outside of working hours, so we tried to use the half-offline activation workflow. We generated a license request file and uploaded it to the website of the vendor. We received a license file back. The web site also stated that we'll receive an e-mail with details on how to install the license.

In the meantime, our Windows had noticed that it has been connected to the Internet. Windows Defender fired up, installed some update and then notified us that it had found and deleted an “activation hack”. Then, Windows claimed that we had an illegal version installed and offered us to buy a new license for a mere 169.- CHF.

Luckily, the shop which sold us the refurbished laptop was around at the time and told us to just go through the activation process again. We typed all the numbers in once more and our Windows was happy again.

However, in all this time we had not yet received an activation e-mail from the vinyl cutter vendor. The vendor was not available for comment. So we looked through the documentation, trying to figure out what we should do with the license file. The documentation said: “Just execute the license file”, however, it was merely a text file.

We assumed that what they meant was to open the text file using the cutter software, but starting the cutter software only asked to enter a license key (which would create another license request file). So we thought that running the cutter software with the license file as a parameter might do the trick.

Unfortunately, it didn't. It opened the cutter software in some weird mode where it showed all options but no cutter could be selected. We assumed the license would be accepted now, but when we re-opened the cutter software, it asked us to enter the license key again.

So to summarize, we cannot use the software for the cutter we bought and we randomly had to re-activate our operating system. For now I'm back to the land where the license says “Keep the copyright license, use and distribute it as you like but don't blame me!”

Posted by Tonnerre Lombard | Permanent link | File under: broken

2013-12-03 15:16:35

The female Hurricane

Not sure if you ever realized, but the song works for a different group of our population as well.

Pistol shots ring out in the barroom night
Enter Ruben Valentine from the upper hall
He sees the bartender in a pool of blood
Cries out, “My God, they killed them all!”
Here comes the story of Miss Hurricane
The girl the authorities came to blame
For somethin’ that she never done
Put in a prison cell, but one time she could-a been
The champion of the world

Three bodies lyin’ there does Ruben see
And another man named Bello, movin’ around mysteriously
“I didn’t do it,” he says, and he throws up his hands
“I was only robbin’ the register, I hope you understand
I saw them leavin’,” he says, and he stops
“One of us had better call up the cops”
And so Ruben calls the cops
And they arrive on the scene with their red lights flashin’
In the hot New Jersey night

Meanwhile, far away in another part of town
Patty Carter and a couple of friends are drivin’ around
Number one contender, female middleweight crown
Had no idea what kinda shit was about to go down
When a guy pulled her over to the side of the road
Just like the time before and the time before that
In Paterson that’s just the way things go
If you’re a girl you might as well not show up on the street
’Less you wanna draw the heat

Alfred Bello had a partner and he had a rap for the cops
Him and Arthur Dexter Bradley were just out prowlin’ around
He said, “I saw two girls runnin’ out, one looked like middleweights
They jumped into a white car with out-of-state plates”
And Sir Ruben Valentine just nodded his head
Cop said, “Wait a minute, boys, this one’s not dead”
So they took him to the infirmary
And though this man could hardly see
They told him that he could identify the guilty ones

Four in the mornin’ and they haul Patty in
Take her to the hospital and they bring her upstairs
The wounded man looks up through his one dyin’ eye
Says, “Wha’d you bring her in here for? She ain’t the fry!”
Yes, here’s the story of Miss Hurricane
The girl the authorities came to blame
For somethin’ that she never done
Put in a prison cell, but one time she could-a been
The champion of the world

Four months later, the ghettos are in flame
Patty’s in South America, fightin’ for her name
While Arthur Dexter Bradley’s still in the robbery game
And the cops are puttin’ the screws to him, lookin’ for somebody to blame
“Remember that murder that happened in a bar?”
“Remember you said you saw the getaway car?”
“You think you’d like to play ball with the law?”
“Think it might-a been that fighter that you saw runnin’ away?”
“Don’t forget that you're a man”

Arthur Dexter Bradley said, “I’m really not sure”
Cops said, “A poor boy like you could use a break
We got you for the motel job and we’re talkin’ to your friend Bello
Now you don’t wanta have to go back to jail, be a nice fellow
You’ll be doin’ society a favor
That feminazi bitch is brave and gettin’ braver
We want to put her ass in stir
We want to pin this triple murder on her
She ain’t no social girl”

Patty could take someone out with just one punch
But she never did like to talk about it all that much
It’s my work, she’d say, and I do it for pay
And when it’s over I’d just as soon go on my way
Up to some paradise
Where the trout streams flow and the air is nice
And ride a horse along a trail
But then they took her to the jailhouse
Where they try to turn a girl into a mouse

All of Patty’s cards were marked in advance
The trial was a pig-circus, she never had a chance
The judge made Patty’s witnesses helpless and bewitched
To the male folks who watched she was a hateful feminist bitch
And to the girlfolks she was just a crazy whore
No one doubted that she killed them all
And though they could not produce the gun
The D.A. said she was the one who did the deed
And the all-male jury agreed

Patty Carter was falsely tried
The crime was murder “one,” guess who testified?
Bello and Bradley and they both baldly lied
And the newspapers, they all went along for the ride
How can the life of such a girl
Be destroyed without causing a stir?
To see her obviously framed
Couldn’t help but make me feel ashamed to live in a land
Where women are a game

Now all the criminals in their coats and their ties
Are free to drink martinis and watch the sun rise
While Patty's like Marissa in a ten-foot cell
An innocent girl in a living hell
That’s the story of Miss Hurricane
But it won’t be over till they clear her name
And give her back the time she’s done
Put in a prison cell, but one time she could-a been
The champion of the world

Posted by Tonnerre Lombard | Permanent link | File under: gender_equality