Yay for crappy hardware!
So, I have an ancient laptop. 660 mhz celeron processor, 64 MB ram, 20 GB HD. The network port doesn’t really work too well, but there is a pcimcia network card with it. It is currently running vectorlinux 4, but can just barely run Windows XP or 2k. The battery is also a bit dead. On the up side, it’s free to whoever wants it.
In a similar vein, I also have a 15 inch CRT monitor that is going a bit yellow, 2 x 512mb RAM sticks (kvr533d2n4k2, 1.8 Volts, Kingston), and an Alcatel Speed Touch Home (Cheap-arse ADSL modem used by Telstra amongst others). Ideal for computer-illiterate relatives who need basic connections set up, etc.
I’m probably preaching to the choir, but we’ve all had instances where we couldn’t use legitimately bought software, DVDs, etc, due to draconian copyright protection measures. Pirated software, dvds and so on have none of these restrictions, and as a result are much easier to use. Sure, there are crappy handicam jobs out there, and software that doesn’t really run properly after it’s all been gutted, but those tend to hit the bin about five minutes after the first problem is encountered. You can’t really do the same when you just forked out $70 for something.
Like water following the path of least resistance, this drives a lot of people to download pirated stuff. TV shows that are artificially delayed. Movies and series that are unavailable on our shelves. CD cracks for legal software so that we don’t have to fish around for 20 different games CDs even though we own the software.
Fortunately I don’t live in the UK anymore and thusly I don’t have to suffer through the moronic ads put out by the FACT organisation. But, like many people, I occasionally purchase DVDs from that region and am forced to sit watching their unskippable ads while my braincells hurl themselves out of my ears one by one, to escape what’s happening in my head. At least the region 4 ads can be skipped and have music you can get down to. The FACT ones show a greasy blacksmith, imported directly from the world’s least photogenic renaissance faire, using a hammer, anvil, and red hot iron to go about his business pirating. Evidently the person shown is one of the less prolific pirates, since it’s really hard to burn DVDs that way.
Personally, I buy the DVDs and CDs I want, as well as software, games, and the various RPGs that are available in softcopy. I won’t say I don’t use the occasional pirated software to help me select what I want, but I think I typify most people these days, and it tries one’s patience to be told repeatedly such dubious facts™ as ‘piracy supports terrorism’. That’s drawing a pretty long bow indeed.
So remember kids, if you’re a pirate you’re bad; unless of course you’re a Pirate of the Caribbean, in which case it’s just your movies that are bad.