Dennis Laumen We who cut mere stones must always be envisioning cathedrals

Activating Windows XP

I had a little problem with Windows XP this week (yeah I know ugh). I reinstalled it last week or the week before and immediately activated it.

Last weekend I was fiddling around with the BIOS and turned some pieces on my motherboard on (like my second Gb NIC :D) and turned some stuff off (Like my second SATA controller :D). According to my Windows installation I changed my hardware configuration too much and had to re-activate my install.

Lucky me, this didn't work. I got surprised with a pretty aggressive dialog which told me to purchase a new copy because the number of activations of my licence ran out. I had three whole days to do this (yeah they really allow you some breathing space). I was totally flabbergasted... I knew Microsoft was evil but didn't expect them to be this evil (yeah call me a wide-eyed).

Being pretty pissed off I dialed the number (which was free) on the activation dialog. I was preparing myself to insult some people in a diplomatic way but failed completely because of the lack of cafeine running through my vessels, the soothing sounds of R.E.M. while waiting and the cute voice of the female helpdesk employee who answered my call.

Changing my aggressive stance to a n00b stance the helpdesk employee asked me on how many computers this copy of Windows was installed. N00b as I am I told her... "is it possible to install it on multiple PC's?". Immediately she backed out and told me this wasn't possible.

After asking this she explained me that sometimes evil people tried to do this but in my case I just activated twice in a 90-day span. Their system couldn't handle this (Windows system I presume). After a pretty brief explanation she told me she was going to patch me through to another system which would give me a 30-digit number (guessing here) which I had to enter into the dialog box I opened with her help.

Now something funny happened. The system started shouting out numbers in a crazed frenzy... 567389 # 473786 ...It was unbelievable... I could just barely cope with it. If my father, or anybody else who doesn't have NumPad skills like I do, had to do that, they would have took at least 30 minutes after which they would have gave up. Not so user friendly as they claim to be.This was my first encounter with a Microsoft helpdesk and I must say... the helpdesk employee didn't sound like Satan (or a close relative) at all ;). The maniacal spitting number system did though...