Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I'm Not Worthy

For those Stardock and WinCustomize visitors who stumble upon this, I'll say this up front:

I'm guilty.

For a while I've been secretively using Stardock's software without a proper license to use them. All those enhanced versions you know of, I probably have them somewhere. Yes, I'm a bad person. And I'm being honest to you right now.

"Why now? Why not earlier?" Well, let's say Stardock finally gave me an incentive on signing up. It's partly due to the activation system implemented into WindowBlinds. But I also find that now is a good time to jump the gun while taking advantage of the 1 year timeframe with the possibility that...
  • IconPackager 3.0 will be out
  • ObjectBar 2.0 will be released
  • A new version of WindowFX made public
  • Virtual Desktops for desktop windowing management
But I'm not worthy. Yet by all means I am entitled to it. I'm undeserving of all those softwares soon to be released. It's just not right.

I was one of those people who wouldn't pay for softwares if it means one can get it for free. I know where to go. I know how to get it. Lowlifes like myself don't have the kind of spending money to really indulge ourselves in quality softwares that make our lives more productive or entertaining. I won't mention what others I have laying about. But you already know just how much of a scum I am for doing this to Stardock.

I don't ask for your forgiveness, nor do I ask for another chance. You take me for who I am. However, there's just one thing different now. There's just one thing that is finally done right for Stardock: I paid my dues.

When all is said and done, Stardock has another customer. Satisfied? Definitely. Whether or not I am deemed worthy is really up to them. If you say that I am being hard on myself, you're being too nice. Given the opportunity, if Stardock had not implemented that activation system, I still would not have paid that $20/$50 up front. Granted, certain activation methods on softwares are fine. However, a certain software developer would be getting into a lot of trouble if such activation means restricting certain other users from getting critical security updates.

In the end, what matters is how you face piracy. Do you take it as compliment? Or do you take it as a financial threat to your company's well-being?

Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Forbidden Realm

Back when Steve Jobs announce to the world that they're switching to Intel processors, the people were in shock when they find that the OS X that was shown during the keynote was running on Intel hardware. Well, a lot weren't all that surprised by this news all things considered. But the notion that developers are going to get their hands on Intel-based hardware to code on, that raises the age old question as to when it'll be leaked.

As expected, the developer disc was leaked as well as some modifications to the base install hard drive image. And people started trying the OS out... like me.

After some minor hackery and modifications as documented by many people, I was able to finally get a usable dekstop going. Unfortunately, there's little I can do considering the platform I was using (my Pentium-M has no SSE3 support). Safar (their web browser) crashes at various websites. And Firefox has yet to be built into Universal Binary. Updating Safari didn't help, as I incidentally crippled it. Not wanting to continued fixing what was broken, I wiped the partition clean and put my Windows image back into the system. But during the time I was using OS X on my x86 laptop, the OS performed unlike anything I have ever seen. Effects and transitions were all perfect, with minor bugs due to hardware differences. It's amazing how accelerated graphics can make a difference in usability.

Having used OS X for a bit, I feel that Microsoft is in deep trouble. While Windows Vista is developing along, the hardware requirement for OS X is very modest and minimal. It ran with all the effects on integrated chipset hardware, something that Vista is likely not to be able to support or handle for full effects. If the Mac hardware is cheap enough, then perhaps I'll be looking towards to owning one... Maybe...