Re-activating Windows

After fiddling around with running Windows XP on Parallels for several months, I came to the conclusion that the best method of installation is to use Apple’s Boot Camp first and run Parallels off of the Boot Camp partition (which is a really cool option to have, just so you know).

However, due to the nature of virtualization versus natively running and OS, my copy of windows appeared to have been activated on three different machines. First, was my initial installation of XP under Parallels. Then, after installing and activating it under Boot Camp, I attempted to open up the partition from within OS X via Parallels. The issue is that running Windows on Boot Camp and via Parallels appears to have very different hardware configurations to the OS, and thus to Microsoft. My OEM copy of XP would not allow for a third activation, quickly leaving it useless under XP (although I did have my first virtual machine copy to use, when needed).

Now, despite all the griping I had found online about getting a copy of Windows re-activated, it really only took me about eight minutes to get my copy blessed again this past Friday evening. As far as outsourced technical support goes, this was rather painless. Actually, if I knew more what the automated phone system wanted me to say regarding “how many machines has this been previously installed on?” I probably would have been done in less time (my guess: say “none” next time). All I had to do was recite a 9 x 6 digit number (no letters, just numbers) over the phone (twice, once to a machine and once to a live technician). After the second time, and answer a couple of questions, the technician just read back to me another 9 x 6 digit (yes, that’s 54 digits) number to enter in. He even waited to make sure it worked for me before getting off the line.

I think sometimes people just like to complain about Microsoft. Of all the anti-piracy measures I’ve encountered yet, this was one of the least cumbersome to deal with as an honest user.

Harry Potter and the Getting of Your Act Together

Angela and I are both really excited about Harry Potter this month because within the span of about a week, both the fifth film will come to theaters (we’ve already got our tickets) and the seventh book, and final, book will be arriving at bookstores (yes, we’ve already got one copy on reserve at our local fantasy and scifi book seller).

I’m seeing a lot of storied regarding pleas for J.K. Rowling to “save Harry!” There is a great deal of concern that the character of Harry Potter will be killed off in the last book. Frankly, I wouldn’t be shocked at all, as it makes for both good story and character arcs (the fates of the antagonist and protagonist are intrinsically linked; death of the hero/savior for the good of all, etc.). All the same, the time for making such pleas for Harry’s life has long since past. I’m quite sure that the final edit has already gone to the printers at this point given this might just be the largest single book printing for a first edition in all of history. Where were you people months ago when people first started getting concerned about this?

At any rate, Rowling has been pretty clear that whether Harry lives or dies in a couple of weeks, she won’t be writing about him any more.