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Windows 7


Big news today that the European versions of Windows 7 won't include Internet Explorer, due to European legislation.
But... But... How can I download then my copy of Firefox ? ;)

TVXB is a virus


There are days that my old friend Murphy pays me a visit. Yesterday was such a day : a collegue accidentally reinstalled a test server where I almost completed a rewrite of a complex configuration script. Three days of work down the drain. Yay.

That'll teach me of not taking backups of my work.

At home, I use a Home Theater PC (HTPC) to control my TV. At the time of installation, the choice of media center software forced me to use Windows as the underlying platform, of which I knew this would lead down the road to hate, suffering and self-abuse. Anyhow, the thing worked without many problems for a year, which is quite a success.

Uptill now.

I use a program to fetch the Electronic Program Guide (EPG) from the internet. EPG is a real treat when using a HTPC, or a TV altogether. Once you're used to it, you'll never want to go back. Some weeks ago, the program used to get the EPG from the internet, WebEPG, stopped working. Apparently, the website blocked all WebEPG user-agents, and as this is hardcoded into WebEPG, I had to look out for another solution. I thought to find this in TVXB, which I installed and configured, and ran without problems. For a few days. After that, it also stopped working. It seemed that there was a problem with write permissions (the thing wanted to write in "C:\Documents and Settings\Application Data\All Users"). So I decided to uninstall & reinstall as the program offered this location as a choice during installation. However, the reinstallation program started a repair session, which decided to remove some important Windows files. Like NTLDR and such, which I only discovered after a reboot, off course... Programs which exhibit such behaviour are called a virus.

That'll teach me of not taking OS backups of my only Windows PC.

So the difficult process of copying the missing files from another PC, and with the help of a slow-starting Ubuntu live CD, was running, up to the point where Windows could load its kernel again, and offered me to repair the Windows install using the Windows setup CD. Cool, I thought. So Windows rebooted from its hard disk, but when it presented me a 640x480 window with a setup program, I knew Windows had blown it, and I had to go through the process of reinstalling every program on it, just to let Windows register these programs.

Hate, suffering and self-abuse indeed.

The MS Windows EULA in plain English


Nobody ever reads the EULA (End User License Agreement) that comes with most software. It's long, written in incomprehensible law jargon, and you're too eager to try the software out, so begone with this boring stuff !
But what does a regular EULA actually contains ? The folks at have translated the MS Windows XP EULA into plain English.

25 reasons to avoid Microsoft


The Linux users group of Davis collected articles about Free Software and compiled a list of reasons to avoid certain non-free systems.

The history of Windows and its API


Raymond Chen has been running a series of interesting articles about the history of Windows and its API. Some interesting tidbits like this one : early beta versions of the taskbar clock did display seconds, and it even blinked the colon like some clocks do. But they had to remove it. Why? Because that blinking colon and the constantly-updating time were killing the benchmark numbers :)


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