Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Selling out.

H**** is in San Diego this week at some sort of company-sponsored Microsoft conference. So, she calls me on Wednesday and out of the blue says, "I think you really should upgrade to WinXP."

My desktop machine at home has a 2 gig processor, 512 meg of ram, an 80 gig drive and is running Windows 98 Second Edition. Outdated? Perhaps. Obsolete? Certainly not. It runs all the software I need it to run, why should I upgrade?

H**** said she attended a demo of Symantec's latest anti-virus software which includes all sorts of neat features including anti-spyware software.

Ahhhh. Now I see why she wants me to upgrade. The latest Symantec product won't run on Win98. But, in all honesty, I don't need it.

First off, no hacker in his right mind, no matter how evil, is writing viruses to exploit weakness in Windows 98. Every hole in the system has been pretty much found and plugged by now so I don't need the latest and greatest AV software to protect my machine. I use Firefox and it does an excellent job of keeping spyware off of my machine. Scans with the software I have now turn up one piece of minor spyware only once every few months as opposed to the half a dozen I could pick up in a day of surfing with IE. I don't need a Symantec annual subscription. AVG works well.

On top of that, I have issues with Microsoft's requirement that I be connected to the Internet to update XP. Their EULAs give them permission to look at my system and install software, even from third parties, without asking my permission or even informing me about it. And in short order they are going to even further restrict the license so that they could use the online update process to make my operating system cease to function if I do not upgrade to the next OS.

I don't need WinXP. I don't need its features, capabilities or vulnerabilities and I certainly don't need to sell my soul to Bill Gates for it. So, why should I spend hundreds of dollars for something I don't need? I'm no neo-Luddite but I don't see the reason to jump on the latest technology bandwagon when the technology I have now, only seven years old, suits my purposes.

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