The Haus

Monday, February 7, 2005

HL2 EULA Illegal?

There's some interesting information coming out from The Inquirer discussing a German consumer association review on the legality of the Half Life 2 EULA, as it pertains to Steam. Interesting discussion, even if it is from TI, especially if it forces Valve to break the tight integration of HL2 and Steam.

The German Consumer Association has recently found that the packaging on Half-Life 2 is misleading. In a report made following complaints from the public, they said that the mere listing of an internet connection under the 'other' category in system requirements did not accurately describe the true extent of the internet tie-in with the game, and ordered Vivendi to amend the packaging and untie Steam from HL2 or face a hefty fine.

A.T. Hun comments: I've a feeling that most software EULAs would not stand up to court scrutiny.


I've spent considerable thought-time today pondering the question of which is the greater evil: Microsoft, just because it's Microsoft, or HP, whose software destroyed my weekend.

On Saturday I went down to Beast Buy and coughed up some heavy dough for a decent printer/copier/scanner/fax, the HP Photosmart 2610. It got good reviews, it has good features, it's had some good word-of-mouth. I need something decent for my new business venture and decided that the 2610 was the one for me. After bringing it home and setting it up, I had the USB cable in hand... and then decided to go with the cool and nifty Ethernet installation.

Big mistake. The printer was operational for a full 30 minutes before taking down my LAN, my VOIP adapter and DSL connection for the rest of the day. I attempted repeatedly to uninstall the HP drivers and software, but the uninstall always crashed on me. At midnight I gave up. Yesterday I attempted to uninstall yet again. The uninstall crashed... and left Windows unbootable. Yay. My Windows 98 installation (yes, 98) has been bulletproof for the last 3 years, but HP took it down.

After cursing out HP thoroughly and trying to figure out how to recover my OS, I decided to throw in the towel. I've been longing for a bigger HD for months, so I bought a nice 120GB drive to replace the previous 20-gigger and spent the rest of the day doing the Windows two-step. I've been able to pull a fair amount of data from the old drive and must admit that Windows is a lot snappier now than it was after accumulating 3 years of stuff.

And the HP 2610? I hooked it up via USB and it's working just fine. I didn't appreciate losing my OS for it, but I did end up with a bigger drive and a nice big spare partition for Linux (or FreeBSD). It could have been worse, I guess.

Slackware 10.1 Released

I've given A.T. all day to post this; since he has apparently fallen down on the job, Qbe is here to keep you informed. Pat Volkerdings has beaten his mystery illness (so far, at least) and has given us a new revision of Slackware. Just in time, too: I've just lopped off 30GB of my shiny new hard drive and was about to install 10.0 on it. Now I'll wait until I can get 10.1. Unfortunately the ISOs are available by Bittorrent, so it's a bear getting them. Thanks OSNews for the good news.

A.T. Hun comments: Oops. I downloaded the ISOs but forgot to post about it! Downloading them via BitTorrent worked nicely for me. The second one came much more slowly than the first. Now I just need to find a time to upgrade . . .

Saturday, February 5, 2005

Pondering the Imponderable

After four and a half days in the shop, my car is finally back from its head gasket job. Along the way, a power steering line and a cam shaft sensor (the wires to it were beginning to fray) were replaced as well. The heads were tested and found to be good. The valve seals were replaced. It seems to run great, but it'll be a week or so before I really "trust" it again. Hopefully, I can squeeze another three years out of the car. The total job set me back $1,221.45. Thankfully, I overpaid my taxes by almost the same amount.

No Old News

Recent Headlines

January 5, 2015: It Returns!
August 10, 2007: SCO SUCKS IT DOWN!
July 5, 2007: Slackware 12.0 Released
May 20, 2007: PhpBB 3.0 RC 1 Released
February 2, 2007: DOOM3 1.31 Patch

January 27, 2007: Join the World Community Grid
January 17, 2007: Flash Player 9 for Linux
December 30, 2006: Darkness over Daggerford 1.2
December 19, 2006: Pocket Tunes 4.0 Released
December 9, 2006: WRT54G 1.01.1 Firmware OK with Linux/Mac

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