Friday, September 29, 2006

-1st Week: Only for America

This could be quite interesting to watch: Facebook | Election Pulse (you might well have to have a Facebook account to see this). It's the runup to the USA's mid-term elections, and Facebook is keeping tabs on how many people are supporting each candidate. I wonder how accurate it'll be...

-1st Week: Back in Oxford!

Wow, it feels like years since I've been here last... and I have a nice new room.

Brilliant start to the Oxonian year - a few hours after arriving (and downloading ~500MB of updated packages) I was starting to think about dinner; then I got an E-mail from Flo at St. Aldates, saying that there was pizza on offer! The Lord provides. ;-)

Remember that installation of XP I talked about... well, technically two weeks ago, but the post only went live today...? Only 59 security or critical updates for it. Downloading those now.

Plenty more to talk about... plenty to organise, and still plenty to unpack... but that can wait, as it's gone 1am. Hooray for Oxford! (Happy birthday Bruce!)

-3rd Week: Why EULAs are bad news

This is a first for this blog: a post written at home - though only actually posted when I go back to Oxford in a few weeks. Here's the reason for this exclusive.

It cannot be denied that there are certain applications (OK, mostly games) that require Windows to run - they either don't yet run through Wine, or don't run sufficiently well. This is not a problem, since I have a licensed copy of Ecks Pee that came with the very computer I am currently using. With me so far?

I don't like rebooting my computer unnecessarily. (Don't install Windows then, the purists cry!) Hence, I have set my computer up so that I can either boot Windows normally; or, boot into Linux then boot the same Windows through VMWare.

The fact that it is the same Windows installation, and not a separate one, is important because of this clause in the EULA:
Installation and Use. Except as otherwise expressly provided in this EULA, you may install, use, access, display and run only one (1) copy of the SOFTWARE on the COMPUTER. The SOFTWARE may not be used by more than one (1) processor at any one time on the COMPUTER, unless a higher number is indicated on the Certificate of Authenticity.
Let's check this. Windows is only installed to /dev/hda6, with its boot files in /dev/hda1 because it can't handle not being first. There is only one (1) copy of the SOFTWARE on the COMPUTER, which is defined in this instance as being "the HARDWARE". That's key, since a virtual machine isn't hardware. Not that it's installed inside the VM anyway; it has direct access to the real, physical hard disk.

Right, so no problems so far... except of course Windows Product Activation. After activating Windows while booted as host, I rebooted into Linux and booted as guest. Windows thinks it's had a radical hardware change and gives me three days to reactivate. This I do (by phone). The question is - the next time I boot it normally, will I have to go through the same process again?