I have long been anti-Microsoft. From their monopolistic predatory practices, to their insecure shoddy software, I've had many reasons to dislike them. Despite that, considering myself an ethical person, I have been one of the approximately three people in the world that actually pays for fully licensed versions of Microsoft software. Tonight I was rewarded for this by coming home to find that Windows will no longer allow me to log in because it can't verify that I have a licensed copy. It worked fine yesterday, today, not so much. All attempts to recover have failed. It will not let me on to my computer to run the activation wizard to prove that I have a legal copy.
This has brought me to a height of seething anti-Microsoft rage I have never before experienced. I was looking forward to a relaxing weekend of World of Warcraft, but tis not to be.
Fortunately for me, I have all my important data backed up, so my only real loss is the amount of time it would take me to restore my system. But why bother. By the time I get it installed, get service pack 2 installed, get all the other security updates, install antivirus, update it, install the 3 different anti-spyware tools I need, update the, install all my applications I need, install patches for the applications, get things configured the way I like them, deal with all the freaking annoying Microsoft junk that pops up (tour of windows, security center, add my Microsoft passport login, etc, etc) my weekend will be shot and I will be ready to drive to Redmond with a U-Haul full of fertilizer and gasoline.
So, back to Linux for me. Luckily, I have a fully configured and usable Linux install on a removable hard drive. I use it frequently. In fact, there are only three things I really need Windows for; My VPN to work, Dreamweaver, and World of Warcraft. I may be able to get a vpn to work from Linux, if not I can get a computer from work to use as a terminal. Dreamweaver is nice, but the reality is I use only a handful of its features and can't afford upgrades to it anyway, so its time to find an alternative, there are several under Linux that I could make do with. World of Warcraft is a little trickier. It might work under Wine or Transgaming WineX, I'm in the process of finding out. If it doesn't, well I could possibly become a productive member of society again without.
Of course I can't be Windows free in my life. My wife will most likely not be willing to switch to Linux, and I must still use Windows at work. But I will no longer pay for Microsoft Products. When I must use them, they will be pirated since cracked pirated copies do not seem to lock you out for not having a valid license, only legitimate purchased copies do.