Tuesday, 6 July 2010

The last box...

I am something of a renaissance man for software ownership, when I was a kid I remember my friends showing me how to copy Commodore 16 cassette tape games with their Dad's Hifi. And I remember when I was a poor ass student “borrowing” copies of Borland C++ from college. Later I was a huge fan of cover disks with whole applications on them... like Borland C++ Builder and VisualCafe in the late 1990's.

But, once I was out at work, indeed working in software development, and seeing how theft of our software licenses affected the company profit margins, I saw the error of my ways, and I started to buy software.

The first piece of real software I bought was Windows 95. I had, and still have, original CD's and licenses for that, later I bought a real Windows 98, I avoided buying the pain that is 2K and went into Windows XP.

It cost me the Earth, at the time, it was really a PC Build done on a budget, and the most expensive item was the OS Disk and license.

Well, last night I had to find this disk, this shining light, this pinnacle of my sub servitude to Redmond... Well, I couldn't find it...

I looked through my usual location for it, which is a book shelf... then I panicked and I started to tear the books off of the shelves, shaking them wildly thinking it might be stuck between a page, I checked through my large stacks of archive CD's and DVD's (about 2500 disks) and then I went through my lock box of released software (it's just a locked aluminium case of CD's of software I've worked on and released – and so I have to support now and again). NO SIGN.

I'm panicking now. I could just go out and buy a new Windows XP license, but hell, I want that one what cost me so many spondulix so many moons ago.

I go through extraordinary hoops to work out where it is, I'm into DVD's and Video cases down stairs... I've checked under beds, in all the PC CD and DVD drives I have laying around the place... No sign. I even ask my lass if she's seen it. NO SIGN...

I'm sweaty, I'm hot and I have an awful sinking feeling it has been chucked out.

Finally, I come to the dreaded plastic boxes... I have a cupboard, its actually an access chute to the loft space, but I've stacked 7 massive, heavy, plastic boxes in there... they're ALL full of software.... Atari ST stuff and onwards... It is a hell hole. And to make things work, this chutes floor starts 5 feet up off of the floor of the room level... So, I have to climb into this crevice like some contorted overweight spider.

I climb in, and I get the first box down... No sign.

I climb back in, second box... No sign.

I'm getting hit in the face by piles of binders, I'm getting paper cuts from the reams of papers falling out all over the place and I've dropped an old 3.5” floppy disk drive (cased in steel) on my foot.

I'm pissed off, I'm hot, tired and hungry, but I'm on a mission....

Finally, the last box, the very laaaaast box... there's the distinctive glint of Windows XP and the green of the license key sticker... I'm so relieved, I almost let go of the door frame, almost fell to whatever fate could dole out to me as I sailed through the air to the morass of shit now littering the floors of the upper story of my house.

I clamber down with the box through... and I find some software gems which I'd lost...

Civ (the original Civ for PC), Frontier Elite II (for the Atari ST), Civ2 & Expansions, Warcraft II : Tides of Darkness, Civ III and Civ IV...

I'm already midway through my RTS research (enjoying Supreme Commander & Sins of a Solar Empire between stints in Eve)... so now you can expect some more from Warcraft II... and then a review of the Civ series... with Civ V out later this year what perfect serendipity.

No comments:

Post a Comment