Friday, July 24, 2009

The Bootlegger

… is still with us.
I have formatted and encrypted Margaret’s new external drive; I have backed up her existing drive C: installation to a folder in the external drive; I have formatted drive C: and used the non-Microsoft Windows CD which she obtained by pestering the computer salesman.
But where is Microsoft Office?
Not on her laptop; because there is no CD in her kit; because the salesman didn’t supply one.
He dropped a mirror of an installation on her new laptop a year ago; she obtained the Windows XP CD by pestering him a fortnight ago, at my suggestion.
Now she faces a trip back to the store to pester him for the office CD.
Assuming he believes her when she says she paid for it.
Assuming she still has the invoice and it specifies that she purchased Office XP.
Otherwise Margaret is yet another victim of a scam whereby a store sells a laptop computer “With Windows and Microsoft Office installed”, but is not prepared to package the original or certified copies of the CDs.
I believe that the store bets that only 1 in 100 customers will ask for the masters; most customers will trash the laptop after three years and purchase a new one because “this laptop is too slow for today’s work” (rough translation: “I don’t believe in regular maintenance”).
Of those customers that return to the store to pay to have the computer fixed, most will be happy to get their computer back with the mirror reinstalled, their data gone, and their wallet $250 lighter.
Here comes the bottom line:
At 4 p.m. on Friday afternoon, there is no way Margaret can reach the store before it closes. The store is closed weekends. Monday morning is the earliest she can confront the guy, and even then he may weasel out of the deal.
Margaret has lost her weekend, that’s for sure!

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