General discussion

  • Creator
  • #2280706

    pirate software: ethics vs resources


    by tiza ·

    i have followed the discussions on the ethics and consequences of using pirated software appreciate that i have been highly educated. however there is another side to this issue to which other members may want to advise or offer insight.
    i come from a background where owning a computer is a luxury and i am lucky that with limited resourcesand determination, i have trained myself to the point that i am now an above average tech.
    i have vowed to make computers available to as many people like me as possible by building and selling old machines, and also provide tech support to the few lucky ones to own a machine but can’t afford expensive help. most of the software on these machines is pirated and most have asked me to install these in their machines. i know this is wrong but i do it anyway. should the issue of piracy come into the way of knowledge? i think licences can be affored in rich countries, but definately not in a poor african country. they only become a limitation to development. so you would see here that being ethical is not always the best way of doing things as it would only work with those who have resources. i would personnaly continue helping my poor neighbours with pirated software unless if the software people came up with an altenative or if anyone shows me another way of doing thing.

All Comments

  • Author
    • #3376088


      by jellimonsta ·

      In reply to pirate software: ethics vs resources

      If you are configuring systems for people that under normal circumstances would be unable to afford such equipment, I imagine there is going to be a learning curve for such users.
      In that case I would simply install one of the many flavors on Linux (that are freely downloadable) on their systems and offer a short ‘basics’ instructional session.
      That way, they are getting a heads up on a developing technology and you are staying on the right side of the law.

    • #3376074

      Pirated Software in Third World Countries

      by dcarr ·

      In reply to pirate software: ethics vs resources

      I undersatnd your dilemma, and in your situation, see it as a no win situation. It would be nice to see Software companies donate applications and operating systems to developing countries. How do you determine who is worthy, and keep someone from selling (pirating) this software to buy food, clothing, etc.

      In the USA, corporations who are willfully using
      pirated software, so should pay the price for their deeds. Thanks to the BSA, maybe we can stop some of the corporate piracy, and it may actually bring the cost of software down.

    • #3363867

      OpenSource software

      by mlayton ·

      In reply to pirate software: ethics vs resources

      I would back up the person who saidFreeBSD or the like. Having worked in some of those poor African countries, the learning curve will exist regardless of the OS/software implementation. So putting in an implementation of Linux that allows them to progress toward opensource will help help help

      • #3363702

        Source Forge

        by thechas ·

        In reply to OpenSource software is a very good source for open source software.

        Look at it this way, why steal and make the software companies mad at you?

        Use freeware programs and totally infuriate the big software companies.

        The only software that you “need” to purchase for a PC is the operating system, “IF” you want Windows as your OS.


    • #3363860

      M$ tried but failed to adjust pricing to market

      by jimhm ·

      In reply to pirate software: ethics vs resources

      Microsoft or MicroDollars – reportly at the Gartner ITExpo said they have attempted to adjust pricing of their software based on the countries economy. But according to the MS CEO – this has failed to slow the illegal copying of their software products. Thus they are going to remove the price adjustments.

      Currently – the “Rich” American citizens are paying the bulk of Prescription research – and technology research for many organizations. But to answer you question – I comes down to a Moral issue than anything.

      You have to question? How can a Company such as Microsoft charge so much for a product such as Office. When in 2002 the Office unit had over 9 billion in revenue with a NET profit of over 7 Billion, just for that unit alone.That is one hell of a great Profit Margin isn’t it.

      So how do you tell someone – you shouldn’t steal that product – you shouldn’t copy it to hundreds of machines – you should do this. But you shouldn’t.

      Personally I would say don’t do it – you are skating (as they say in the US) on thin ice. And could be held crimially liable for installation and distribution of illegal software, with Jail time and a big fines part of it.

      I would look at installation of Linux – and open source products which are just as good as Microtrash – but free of charge.

    • #3363806

      Open Office

      by deeda ·

      In reply to pirate software: ethics vs resources

      Open Office is a free download that is pretty similar to Microsoft Office. go to

    • #3363769

      A very interesting Question

      by hal 9000 ·

      In reply to pirate software: ethics vs resources

      Now while M$ has gone after people/companies who pirate their software and in some cases even the companies who make the blank CD’s this has been conifiened to the Asian Region as I’ve never heard of a case of bulk piracy coming out of any other country. Sure M$ goes after business and will go in there with their jack boots on just to check the product keys of all M$ software installed against any volume Licence agreements and that is how it should be.

      But what happens in countries that aren’t a signatory to the international copyrite rules.

      Well I just don’t know even if M$ would have a leg to stand on. However I do know that M$ seems to turn a blind eye to blantant infrigments on their EULA when hardware is sold with OEM software installed as according to the EULA that software is only licenced to the original user on one computer {original hardware} but they seem willing to allow companies to sell off ex-Government/Lease hardware with M$ software installed without any problems. This does make it hard for the “Legal” company who only deals in the proper procedures. Not 500 yards from my front door there is a shop selling off secondhand hardware like P111’s with Windows up to y2k and up to Office y2k installed for $600.00 AU which is less than the cost of OEM Software without the hardware. So M$ seems to be happy to have a bit both ways so to speak.

      No in a country that doesn’t have any international agreements they would not have a leg to stand on and this is probably why M$ list several countries where its products can not legaly be sold under any circumstances.

      Personally I would go with Linux or Free BSB just because they work better than anything M$ and you cann’t have any possible problems and even better you are increasing the user base of this product greatly so that it will become a real challange to M$ dominance sooner particuarly if there are several countries who only use this type of software. But again it is not in M$ best interests to have this happen either after all M$ don’t want to see an open source version of Windows being made available to the world and if/when Linux reaches that stage I’m sure that M$ will be forced to follow and it’s not as if they are quitely standing on the sidelines hoping Linux will just go away. After all M$ wone the Best New Product at the last Open Source Fair this year so even they accept there is at the very least a place in the market for open source if they aren’t already dipping their big toe into the water to see how it feels.

      The first thing that I would do is to look up and see if the country that you are living in has any international copyrite agreements and if they do then go with Linux/Free BSB if they don’t you are free to do what you want to do and even if they do have agreements M$ isn’t to likely to go after you unless you are making large amounts of money off their products.

      If you are just doing a favour and already have no money to speak of then it will not be in M$ best interests to bring any action against you as even if they do win they will not recoup their expences and they just might set a precident that doesn’t work in their favour which would be far worse for M$ than even loosing 6 million dollars US in sales.

      This is a really tricky question if it was based in any of the “Developed” countries I would know the answer I would give but under the confines that have been described here I just don’t know what would be in M$ best interests. Particuarly since we aren’t talking about the lattest versions of M$ software as obviously if you are using old retired hardware it will not be capable of running things like Y2K, XP or 2003 and the programs that run on these platforms.

      So the question here is what is best from M$ prespective to have everyone use their software and when things get better have a ready market or to lose a potential market in the long term for a possible short term gain that just may put them out of Business latter on. If Bill Gates was still running the company I think I know which way he would go but with the new CEO and Board I’m not sure just what they would see as being in their best interests although Bill still has some considerable control over what happens it at the very least is an interesting question.

    • #3363749

      Why stop at software?

      by maxwell edison ·

      In reply to pirate software: ethics vs resources

      Why not steal cars and appliances and anything else you (or they) may want? Heck, just steal money for them as well.

      Anything worth having is worth getting honestly. If it can’t be acquired honestly, then it’s not worth having.

      Instead of stealing software for them, why don’t you redirect your efforts and target charitable organizations – organizations that will buy it for you, so you can give it away – honestly.

      I know where I’d start:

      Dear Mr. Gates,

      (State your case here)

      If you look for an honest way to get the software, you’ll get the software.

      And don’t anyone laugh at asking Bill Gates to donate software. Heck, he’d donate the computers to go with it. He’s given away over 6 billion dollars – either cash or software or hardware or all three.


      Go ahead, write a good letter to Mr. Gates. you have a good start in your message posted above.

      If the Gates foundation can’t help you, keep looking and keep trying.

      Good luck.

      • #3365680

        Actually Maxwell that’s a good idea!

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to Why stop at software?

        Talk about thinking outside the square brilliant.

        That is one of the best ideas that I’ve heard for a long time and comes up with a solution without any potential problems and continues M$ dominance over the IT World {I was going to say PC but that could be misunderstood as Politically Correct.}

        What I was trying to get at above its that it is in M$ best interests not to have a growing Linux/Free BSB comunity out there. Eventually it will be places like Aferica who ends up stealing the jobs from India and with a large Open Source Market there it wouldn’t be in M$ best interests for this to happen because they migh just be the source of the next IT revolution cutting out the developed world. I know frighting though but it is possible.

        As I don’t know if this is a geninue question or a hypothetical one I sought of stood both sides of the fence but your possible solution is better.

        Maxwell I tip my hat to you.


    • #3363629

      Sorry, this is a strawman argument

      by jackofalltech ·

      In reply to pirate software: ethics vs resources

      There is NEVER a valid reason for pirating software. There are literally hundreds of thousands of FREEWARE programs available on the ‘net. You couldn’t name ONE commercial title that I couldn’t find an equivalent freeware title.

      Granted, sometimes you have to make some concessions in terms of features or ease of use but, hey, they’re free.

      If I can’t find it for free, I write my own.


      • #3365678

        But if

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to Sorry, this is a strawman argument

        The country involved isn’t party to the international copyrite conventions it isn’t stealing is it?

        Without more information there can be no definitive answer, remember that it was China who bought a couple of DC10’s and then reduced them to component parts and copied everything to get their aircraft industry going.

        Now it was a pitty that they couldn’t get the centre of gravity correct on the original copies that they made but eventually they got there and it was all totally legal. Well from their presecptive anyway.

        • #3365641


          by john_wills ·

          In reply to But if

          If the state I’m in doesn’t forbid some kind of stealing, the activity is still stealing. The purpose of the state is to secure human rights, including property rights, but those rights exist prior to the state. The absence – or ineffectiveness – of a state may well modify responsibiity, but it cannot make wrong right. To use a multi-level analogy: it is not enough to leave Egypt, we must also travel to the promised land; but we must first leave Egypt, any attempt to get to the promised land without doing so being doomed to failure. Of course, what copy rights would be in a state of nature is difficult to envisage.

        • #3363442

          While I do agree with the sedinment

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to stealing

          Often the reality is totally different. You have to remember what is considered as a crime in one society might not be considered that way by another one.

          This is a common problem we in the West have always trying to Judge and Impose by our standards when they just don’t/can’t apply in different countries/areas of the world.

          Even the US Government cut a deal with the Opium growers in Afaganstan to get control quickly as it is said he who controls the poppie fields in Afaganstan controls the country. This is something that the Russian Army never understood and they lost because of it which gave rise to what we are now trying to elimate.

          It is very easy to judge when we are sitting in our airconditioned offices with millions of dollars of equipment around us and it is accepted to turn on a tap and get water or flick a switch and get power.

          But in many parts of the world these are not even considered as luxeries as they just can not conceive things like this. Very sad actually but until we all can understand this there will never be any progress to make things better for all mankind.

          A short time ago when I was in the Philipiens is was common to see people just squat down in the gutters and go to the toliet as there was no other place to do it and this was in the cities when you get away from the built up areas that have been made for the tourist consumption things are far worse, but as these places are seldom seen they are not widly know so nothig can be done to improve the living standards. Even if we all wanted to go there right now and attempt to do somethng we would be treated with deep suspission as to what exactly our motives actually where. You have to remember that these are oppressed people who have been that way for a very long time and have even longer memories of just how badly they have been treated by various other countries who have always claimed to be wanting to help them when they arrive and always have had the oppisite effect.

    • #3363557

      Robin Hood?

      by jkaras ·

      In reply to pirate software: ethics vs resources

      Everyone has valid points concerning morality in this issue. Looking at the absolute poverty in Africa where it’s people dont have a fighting chance at a better life, I think there could be a pass. You’re not profiting from your generosity monitarily only from the realization that you are choosing to make a difference, the people you are helping couldnt afford or wouldnt part with the little money that they have so Microsoft really isnt loosing money that it would not have gotten in the first place. The fact that you acknowledge a moral delimma demonstrates your sense of fair play. Yes it’s morally wrong to do you what you’re doing in a legal sense, but you’re answering to a higher moral responsibilty in a selfless act to make a difference. I see this issue like Robin Hood in a way he did something wrong for a greater good for others and not for himself. It would be ideal to either hope Bill Gates will answer your request but doubt it will happen but it’s worth a try. Linux would be a good solution that will still offer employment opprotunities but not as much as Microsoft products. The bottom line in life is being able to look at yourself in the mirror everyday and respect the reflection in the mirror. There is black, white, and gray in this world. Life will always consist of compromise and I dont care what people claim that they live a completly virtuous life. You are responsible for yourself and have to answer for all that you do good or bad. It’s easy to sit in a cushy office in a nice neighborhood with a full belly and options in life and say you’re wrong or a bad person, but none of us in this forum can relate to your predicament. We dont live in poverty, we have options that you and your people dream of. I can emphasize with your predicament but I will never experience the situation so I’m not qualified to judge you, only your peers in your village. Good luck in your life and I hope for the best.

      • #3365701

        You don’t think Gates would reply?

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to Robin Hood?

        I was 100% serious about this person contacting the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. No, I don’t think Bill Gates would reply himself, but the foundation has hundreds of people working for it – just to give away money!

        The foundation has donated literally BILLIONS of dollars in CASH, hardware and software to causes all over the world. There’s no reason to think the foundation wouldn’t consider a cause as noble such as the one described above.

        If this person is really legitimate, and there’s no apparent reason to think otherwise, I would think that the Gates foundation would indeed consider such a request. There may be some “administrative” considerations at the receiver’s end; for example, he/she might have to set up some sort of legitimate charity organization instead of working out of his/her home or place of business, but I must say, it’s a noble effort indeed. My hat’s off to him/her. But do it the right way, not the “Robin Hood” way.

        • #3365677

          I’m with you on this one as well

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to You don’t think Gates would reply?

          I think what you have saud here is totally correct Maxwell and I do think that the Gates Fondation would have a very serrious look into this sisutation and if legit they would bend over backwards to help.

          My only trouble is I don’t live on that side of the pond and am not as finilar as you with all that is done by this Fondation.

        • #3365670

          Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to I’m with you on this one as well


          Unfortunately, not enough is said about the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. People are too busy “hating” Gates and Microsoft for whatever reasons they may have. And, as we’ve discussed in previous threads, it’s always the “bad news” that makes the headlines.

          Say what you will about Microsoft and/or Bill Gates, but I think history will judge him as one of the most generous philanthropists of all time.


          I hope the person who started this thread does look into setting up a legitimate charity for the stated cause. What a great thing to do.

        • #3365657

          So do I Max

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

          It would be a good out come for all concerned if sdomething possitive could come out of this sisutation.

          Actually I said to a M$ representitive a while ago that it is only because M$ is so big that everyone hates them and if the position was reversed and someone like Red Hat had M$ market penetration everyone would be bagging Red Hat and saying just how good M$ actually is.

          I know the “Tall Poppie Syndrome” is alive and well over here but I just didn’t realise how strong it was in you’re neck of the woods.

          Actually the whole thing is relatitive as it is always easier to hate the sucessfull people and hold up the little guy as the savour to everything when the truth of the matter is that most often it ends up being a combination of everything that makes it work.

          Actually what I do find interesting is that never at a single M$ Partners Meeting has there been any talk of the Gates Fondation I know its there but I don’t get to hear much of what it is doing over here well actually I don’t think I’ve ever heard/read anything about its activities actually isn’t that a sad state of affairs?

          But thanks for the links they prove interesting reading and unfortantly you’re right it is only the “Bad News” that ever gets reported like M$ closing computer classes in schools down because there is no properly licenced software in place. We never hear the good that is done but from my brief reading so far I get the impression that’s how Bill wants it as he dosen’t need to tell the world every time he does something nice he’s only doing it because he sees a need and lets get on with the job and nort worry about this as it will only get turned into something bad. I think hes got the right idea there don’t let too many people knpow what’s going on and certianly don’t draw any attention to what you are doing to better the world. Sad isn’t it?

        • #3365644


          by jkaras ·

          In reply to You don’t think Gates would reply?

          I wasnt putting down your idea, I’m a bit of a pessimist and the thought that it would be answered was like winning the lottery, false hope. Yes someone has to win but the odds are far from reality. I do know about the foundation and yes it does great work never getting the good press it deserves which is a schame. I trust that this is a legitimate discussion and not a hypothetical piracy debate. I dont know how to start a charity organization in the states and am not sure how they would go about it in Africa? Does the organization only donate and recognize offical charities or not? Either way I’m rooting for them. I love the underdog triumph. Also not to deviate from the orginal subject but since Robin Hood is considered a classic literary story/character, was he good, bad, or somewhere in between? His intentions were honorable but his executions were flawed in a situation where there was no way out to make a difference.

      • #3365639

        poverty and property

        by john_wills ·

        In reply to Robin Hood?

        Africans are poor precisely because they suffer so much stealing. Prosperity depends on respect for property rights. Robin Hood caused more poverty than he cured, because he did not merely transfer material goods, he destroyed some in the transfer process; ask anyone who’s been bethieved. This destruction is not immediately the case in illicit copying, but do you think an African not independently wealthy is going to become a competent programmer if he knows that anyone will be able to use his program without compensating him for the effort he put into it?

        • #3365566


          by jkaras ·

          In reply to poverty and property

          “Africans are poor precisely because they suffer so much stealing.” SO the pictures of starving children with bloated stomachs that are about 1 week from death is because their parent’s stealing from others? So it’s not their leaders that ignore the needs of their people while they live in the lap of luxury and all outside help from other countries doesnt get pocketed in their pockets vs. giving that aid to it’s people? Ever hear of Nigeria? Everyone here uses money as their stand point. The issue is the masses that have no other means to create a better life. These people can benefit from learning a trade to get employment, not learn to program so they could be come the next Bill Gates. As a white male in America I was born into every advantage that this country could offer, what I did was determined by me whether I became more or less. If I failed or chose not to be more there have been safeguards in place to assist me in a livable condition. This is not the case with them, there is no safety net, no fairness, and their death toll is far more extreme than of the U.S. barring murder. How many people have you known that died of starvation, any? I’ll answer for you, none. And if you’re curious I would steal to put a morsel in my child’s mouth if need be, but I dont need to now do I? Corporations steal everyone’s ideas, not people stealing theirs, why? He who has the most money wins in court. Granted it?s not the completely right thing to do but at least someones trying to do good there. As for Robin Hood, he only caused more poverty due to the retaliation from the sheriff to compensate lost income and to force the people to turn him in, who were already dirt poor beyond means of survival. How ironic a story about greed is still a mystery to us in this lifetime.

        • #3365515

          I see

          by jellimonsta ·

          In reply to Huh?!!!!!!

          I see where you are coming from, but how can someone who cannot afford to put food on the table have money to spare for an inexpensive PC system and the power it uses to operate such system?

        • #3365353

          I think that his point was

          by road-dog ·

          In reply to Huh?!!!!!!

          that cultures that do not respect personal property rights will not create wealth. The creation of wealth requires investiture of time and seed money. If the country has a record of taking from those who create wealth, those who WOULD create wealth will not bother, as it will be taken from them.

          Society descends into a morass of inactivity, with no-one to create opportunities for others. The cycle of poverty continues because those who would pave the way to prosperity are crushed before being allowed to “spread the wealth”.

          Take a look at the business environment in California. For the last several years, taxation and regulation have made it easier to operate in neighboring states rather than staying and paying the outrageous taxes and compliance costs associated with government regulations.

          The business unfriendly environment is killing the goose who lays the golden eggs. Businesses fail or leave. As businesses leave, fewer jobs are available, increasing the load on society.

          Then pressure rises to get more money out of the remaining businesses, so taxes increase. The doom spiral accelerates.

        • #3363428

          I hear ya but..

          by jkaras ·

          In reply to I think that his point was

          whether or not a person learns respect or not is not the case here. We can get philosophical over what might happen due to a not truly pure action. We all live in a world of compromise and compromise every decision whether it involves money, work, love, where to live, yadda yadda yadda. If 1 person benefitted from this action and actually recipricated that generosity I say it was worth the slight indescretion. It’s intention isnt to cheat, or cause disrespect but to help others out which can be a by product. It’s funny that the public sure didnt rebel against the hollywood actors that got paid and compensated for an expense account (some of our most revered stars only gave it back cause it came to light) to raise money for the sept 11th telethon. Everyone forgave them quite quickly and they were rich and even in a charity event it was still what’s in it for me? I believe everyones out for themselves and dont turn and help anyone cause there is nothing in it for them, example money. IF it doesnt effect you why worry about it? So I feel that there is little to no respect regardless of the “investment” given or received, mostly its all PR. to make more money. It atleast does some good but the motives really doesnt fool anybody, therfore compromise. The only ones are the people that dedicate their lives to helping others as inspiration that there still is some good in this world and I applaud their sacrifice and wish I had the conviction that they have in life. When was the last time you experienced respect in the workplace when you see a peer let go or fired? Instead of dealing with the issue they lock the person out of the building to not disturb the currently employed and send them their things? To save your own butt you keep quiet to remain employed, compromise. This person (Tisa)is morally aware of the consequences but sees the greater good and dont feel it marrs the intent. Back to hollywood, I remember watching MASH for years and never did I or anyone else ever see the character Hawkeye as a traitor or a thief when he took supplies intended for the troops and gave it to the poor needy Korean’s, or treated the enemy soldiers. Everyone saw him as a hero that answered to a higher morality than what was technically legal. He stole from the military and did the right thing regardlees of the consequences, hero or traitor? Our fore fathers were thieves that stole America from the Indians who then stole from the English claiming that this was our land and our rules. Where was our respect? Was it a greater good that we broke from our oppressors? Yes and I have benefitted from that compromise of fair game and the right way as well as the schame accompanied. So what is the difference that someone does the wrong thing but has a correct result? (not approving of the treatment of the Indians or the African slaves mind you). The U.N. knows of the atrocities of other countries to bring about a better safer world, but do they ever stick out their neck for change? No they sit and bicker knowing full well the money they get to be apart of it to do next to nothing to make change. I dont care where you were born or what social structure youre from but everyone was taught right from wrong and the treatment of others when you were a kid just like what you instill in your children. So my question is when is the acceptable abandonment of age to look out for yourself and screw the other? Is it an actual age or is it when we enter the money into the equation, workplace or as long as moneies concerned? To also point out no I wouldnt think that a mafia or drug dealer that gives to charity does good. He is only buying acceptance with ill gotten money.

        • #3363421

          Can I make a suggestion?

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to I hear ya but..

          I don’t want to come across as though I’m nit-picky about grammar and such, as I usually refrain from commenting on such things. But your messages would be much easier to read if you broke them into paragraphs.

          Just an observation. (I wouldn’t have said anything if I didn’t like to read your messages. You have some valuable things to say.)

        • #3363406

          I know!!

          by jkaras ·

          In reply to Can I make a suggestion?

          If my english teacher saw my monstocities I would be in some serious trouble. It because I’m supposed to be working not discussing so I gotta be quick and get in my point. I will try though, maybe a new years resolution.

        • #3363377

          road-dog gets it…

          by john_wills ·

          In reply to I think that his point was

          …almost. I might not agree with him about California. In Africa it is very dificult for a farmer to obtain legal title to land, although if he has cultivated it unchallenged for years he has a moral – and usually a theoretical legal -right to consider it his property, not the tribe’s. As a consequence the shift from subsistence to commercial farming is very difficult, so food shortge is common. Also, there is more dishonesty among rulers and civil servants in African countries than in Europe and North America, and this stealing too keeps people poor. In Kenya railway workers used to steal produce from the small cultivated plots along the track; those small fields were common property, but people living nearby often sowed and cultivated a crop; with the risk of the railway workers stealing the mealies and the sweet potatoes none of those small-scale farmers was going to plant two patches, or use expensive seed or manure, so the chance of making a personal economic leap forward was much reduced. There are a lot of undisciplined soldiers in Africa and they tend to steal. All these things happen elsewhere too; where they happen most is where people are poorest.

    • #3365666

      I know this isn’t related but

      by hal 9000 ·

      In reply to pirate software: ethics vs resources

      Actually I?ll relate this here because it has some relevance. Recently I was over in the Philippines in one of the less well travelled areas where a church runs a school to teach the children all about computers.

      The parents pay a premium price to get their children educated here so they will have a better life than their parents. All sound good so far doesn?t it? Well I went in there for some reason which I can?t remember now and all I saw was these kids reading some obsolete text books that had absolutely no relevance to anything to do with computers and they where learning parrot fashion.

      As there was no power in the area naturally there where no computers in the school only these text books which showed them how to get in and open Windows 3 X and run programs and the like they had some interesting pictures or I should say drawings but as I couldn?t read the language I can?t say just how good these books actually where.

      But what I could say is that after these kids passed this course they would have absolutely no idea of how to use a computer or what one even looked like. When I dragged out my LT that I was caring with me I left the class to play with it but with no power the battery life was limited and it had XP Pro on so they where totally in the deep end.

      They couldn?t even turn it on which is not totally unexpected as it looked nothing like any pictures that they had ever seen and with XP well I needn?t say much more than it was different to anything that they had ever run across and they had very little actually next to nothing actually.

      I went back there for the next few days with as many batteries as I could find and a nifty little solar recharger for these batteries and let them use the LT until they had totally exhausted the batteries. When I left at night I recharged the batteries for the next day but what I found appalling was the general level of hatred against this school by the people I was working with, the company who they where working for offered some small sponsorship to the school but it was held in total contempt by the workers at the plant.

      All I can say is thank God that I was only over there for a few days or I would have ended up killing someone as they held themselves so far above the locals because they had some form of education which wasn?t much better than these kids where getting except they got to use computers instead of only looking at books but they had no idea and where incapable of writing any solutions for problems that they ran across. I think I spent one week there writing a bit of code to fix a problem that they had started and they thought I was mad working at the school for a few days and doing my real work at night. They had absolutely no idea of any responsibility that they had to pass on any education that they might have had to help others over there its every man/woman for themselves and to hell with the rest.

      Unfortunately those kids will never get jobs working with computers in any form and the money is wasted but at least they where trying which is a hell of a lot more than what I can say the last time I went into one of our Uni?s and watched the so called students who where attending that lecture.

      • #3365637

        linguistic side-issue

        by john_wills ·

        In reply to I know this isn’t related but

        What reflex makes Col Luck write “where” for “were” so often? I have had comparable faults myself – perhaps I still have – and I am curious to isolate them so they can be dealt with. I have also done some teaching, and I suspect that appropriateness of thought reflexes may be central to education.

        • #3363450

          English is a difficult language to write

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to linguistic side-issue

          At least write well and always gramatically correct.

          How many times have you seen there, their and they’re misused? What about whose versus who’s? Two, too and to are misused all too often. And how about its and it’s – even though I know the difference and the correct usage, this is a mistake I sometimes make.

          English is just like that – hard two right, and in forums like these ones people just let there fingers fly two fast and then hit the submit button to fast. Its just the way it are. Wright?

        • #3363416

          Actually Maxwell

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to English is a difficult language to write

          That was from something that I wrote a few weeks ago in M$ Word XP and was checked with both the spell checker and gramma checker and I didn’t bother to reread it after the “Fix”

          But it does just go to show how hard the English language actually is doesn’t it? If you like I can send you the full text of the report minus anything refering to the company involved and the like but then again I’m only a lowely tech so I’m not susposed to be too bright but I am susposed to be loyal to the company and above all things confidential but I should go over and read the3 whole thing again just to see how bad it actually is.

        • #3363402

          Spell checkers – don’t rely on them

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to Actually Maxwell

          One can’t rely totally on spell checkers, and the “grammar” checkers have flaws as well. Like I said, an incorrect usage of “there”, instead of “their”, or “it’s” instead of “its” will get by every time. And the possibilities seem endless.


          I am righting this paragraph with the intention of misusing words. Their are times when mistakes will elude spell checkers, to many times in my onion. Its not always corrected, even though it should bee. Too people went to the ball game. There going to the ball game. Their were two many fowl balls. (Fowl balls? Have fun with that one) As a batter hit a home run, the fan shouted, “Its out of the ball park”. One people has a glass of beer. Or did two person have a glass of beer? Okay, spell check time. (I counted sixteen errors.)

          My Microsoft Office 97 found and corrected four (or is it fore) errors. It corrected as follows:


          I am righting this paragraph with the intention of misusing words. There are times when mistakes will elude spell checkers, to many times in my onion. Its not always corrected, even though it should bee. Too people went to the ball game. They?re going to the ball game. Their were two many fowl balls. (Fowl balls? Have fun with that one) As a batter hit a home run, the fan shouted, “Its out of the ball park”. One people have a glass of beer. Or did two people have a glass of beer? Okay, spell check time. (I counted sixteen errors.)


          My Microsoft Outlook Express spell checker, however, found NONE of them. Interesting, don’t ewe think? (It didn’t catch that one either.)

          (No thanks, Colin, I don’t want you to send it to me.)

        • #3363383

          word differences

          by john_wills ·

          In reply to English is a difficult language to write

          I agree that English is difficult to write; I took a long time with it because I am/was dyslexic. But “wright”, “right”, “write”, “rite” and perhaps “reit” are pronounced similarly, whereas “where” and “were” are distinguished by a definite aspirate, represented by the H.

        • #3363422

          Actually John that was

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to linguistic side-issue

          A cut and paste from a Wodr Doc so you can blame M$ for any gramatical errors not me as that little piece was suspsoed to be both spell checked and gramma checked by M$ Word.

          Sorry I’ll know better next time and use Word Perfect to write something and leave the M$ products where they belong in the rubbish.

        • #3363419

          All the spelling mistakes in the

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Actually John that was

          Above are mine this time as well as any gramma mistakes so I willing take the blame for both of these where there are spelling/gramma mistakes.

        • #3363978

          spelling mistakes

          by john_wills ·

          In reply to Actually John that was

          Spelling checkers often help me find my mistakes, but they are MY mistakes, resulting from carelessness either of mind or of fingers. I may wish for a better spelling checker or other proof reader, but the fault remains MINE, and it is in principle up to me to find out why I make certain mistakes and to try to avoid them in future.

        • #3376650

          Correct spelling …

          by jardinier ·

          In reply to Actually John that was

          I am a clumsy typist largely because I never learnt to touch-type. I use the correct fingers for the appropriate keys, but have to visually align them from time to time.

          A 78 year old computer student of mine, who had never used a typewriter in his life, could type far more accurately than myself using only one finger. Some of the most seasoned journos in the old days were whiz-bang two-finger typists.

          Having set the spell-check in Word to the Australian version, I actually enjoy seeing those squiggly red lines that help me to correct errors as I go. However as spell-checkers cannot distinguish the context of a particular word, personal proof-reading is necessary.

          I always disable the grammar checker because it obviously has a different idea of correct grammar and syntax to my own.

    • #3363453

      pirate software???

      by trippleottt ·

      In reply to pirate software: ethics vs resources

      I also do about the same thing as you accept for one `lil thing that brings us to my question.I use coppied software and never charge people for it.I do not believe it`s pirated untill the free copy gets sold, then it becomes “PIRATED SOFTWARE”…nuff said. > “IF AOL WAS THE ONLY LINK TO THE WEB I WOULD NOT OWN A PC”

    • #3363282

      Pirating sofware is fun!!

      by marbib ·

      In reply to pirate software: ethics vs resources

      I love it.

    • #3377749


      by fluxit ·

      In reply to pirate software: ethics vs resources

      You predictament is interesting.

      From a legal perspective you may have several avenues to pursue. First, know what the original license agreements were. Second, know what the company’s policies are. Third, learn what the international copyright laws are and your national or local laws.

      Many companies permit thier license agreements to be redistributed or the software may even become public domain after newer versions or time passes. Also contact the company for a memorandum of understanding if possible. Some companies may just give out software in cases like yours. If the company is out of business chances are you can do what ever you want unless the copyrights were purchased by another company.

      From a socio-economic stand point information technologies coupled with logistics could elevate depressed areas out of the duldrums. Many companies would jump on a situation where thier software pulled economically depressed people into the modern world. Develop a plan and seek to use your skills in bringing business to your area.

      For example, villagers make an interesting variety of art and harvest a rare congo coco bean that Starbuck’s wants in their coffee shops. Sales orders are recieved via the internet email and using a local Elephant service the beans and art are transported to a port for shipment. Banking is done via the internet as well. Along the elephant walk cellular towers could provide contact with the elephant drivers pda.

      Some may think this is far fetched. I see it in our efforts regularly through projects like the Peace Corps, New Horizons, and other humanitarian aide. Coordinate with some of the ngo’s that may be operating in your area.

      Be a leader. I already see it in you. You came to this site seeking support. Help your neighbors by bringing business, jobs, and income.

      President Bush has expressed interest in helping African nations and has dedicated money. You’ll need to do some research. His focus was AIDES but I am confident that there is other money.

      • #3377726

        Interesting take

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to SOCIO-ECONOMICS

        Especially on the international copyright laws. A law that applies in the U.S. (or whatever country in which the software manufacturer resides) may or may mot apply in other countries. In China, for instance, I’ve read that a huge percentage of software, perhaps as high as 90%, is pirated. And the Chinese government, at this point at least, gives their “silent” blessings. (A big deal in trade negotiations with them.)

        And contacting the software companies directly sounds like a great idea.

      • #3377702


        by fluxit ·

        In reply to SOCIO-ECONOMICS

        What country are you in? I’ll look up the NGO’s acting there and see if I can pull up information from the State Department Country desk.

        There may be hope to get better software and open many new opportunities. I’ll let you know.

        • #3377678

          GOT IT

          by fluxit ·

          In reply to NGO’S

          Bronkhorstspruit is a town about 40 miles NorthEast of Johannesburg, South Africa. You have alot of NGO’s operating there. I’ll look them up but you also have a triving economic center not far from you. Isn’t aparteid over?

        • #3376528

          apartheid consequnces

          by john_wills ·

          In reply to GOT IT

          Apartheid is no longer the ideal in South Africa, but it was for 40+ years. Prior to that the ideal was White Supremacy, for the first 38 years of independence. The Nationalists never quite overcame the legacy of White Supremacy, so present society has relics of that and also of the long period of apartheid. Societies evolve, sometimes suddenly, but it takes generations to eradicate an old ideal.

    • #3364064

      OK Guys and Galls here is an real example

      by hal 9000 ·

      In reply to pirate software: ethics vs resources

      Of what I was talking about previously. try looking at this link,4149,1361900,00.asp

      It is where an exemploy has actually stolen the source code movewd to a different country and started giving it away on the internet but may at some time in the future start charging for it. The only modification that has been performed was to change the language and then not very well either but there is a quandry for the company involved as it can threaten all it likes but has no way of enforcing these laws which it thinks protects its interests.

      What a lot of you have to remember is that we live in a “World” economy and are not just isolated to the US where everything more or less goes as it should but that there are different countries out there who either actively encourage this type of activity or just don’t give a damm one way or the other so how do you get your laws enforced in a different country where they just don’t apply in the first place?

      • #3364001


        by fluxit ·

        In reply to OK Guys and Galls here is an real example

        Yes, it is very difficult to conduct criminal or civil legal action in these cases internationally. This is one of the reason that people aspire to a One World Government since everything would be a legal action and not a military action – sort of a mega police force. If you hate lawyers now just wait.

        Anyhow, since many of these nations are sovereign states and cyberspace has no sovereign boudaries, the packet traffic may pass through dozens of countries although, I would suggest that an disgruntled individual not the company fight fire with fire.

    • #2677699

      Infernal Competition

      by rudder73 ·

      In reply to pirate software: ethics vs resources

      As a former world traveler courtesy of Uncle Sam, I always saw pirated items in Non-US countries – Tapes, Games, CD’s, Equipment, and so on.

      In many countries, US copyrights are not enforced.

      In this case, contact the local US Embassy for help; there may be a program with the UN or USAID/Peace Corps concerning software.

      M$ is selling XP for $40.00 in Thailand.

      On a lighter note – Many pirated software programs also include virii and worm/backdoor programs already installed; this ensures that tech’s will always have a job…..

Viewing 14 reply threads