On Tuesday 12 February 2002 07h44, Damian Counsell wrote:
These courses turned out to be very well run,
carefully tested and
graded Microsoft Office indoctrination classes. My mum has worked hard
at them, enjoyed them immensely and made excellent progress. She has
not been taught how to use a wordprocessor, but is brilliant with Word.
She has no deep understanding of databases, but can do a dozen amazing
things with Access before breakfast etc etc. Now she is the computer
goddess at work.
I walked out of the MCSE crammer when the guy insisted that MS had invented
the GUI and was the first DOS. He told me C/PM wasn't a true OS and that the
mouse and windows-like environments (Apple, Amstrad et al) weren't GUIs. He
did have the grace to admit that Novell was a network OS.
For her 60th birthday we (the rest of the family) want
to buy her a
computer so she can practise at home. A decent PC can be had for
650UKP. MS Office with all the components (I think the market-speak is
"Office Pro") is at least 200UKP, more usually 250UKP, when bought with
a new machine. This is, of course, a rip-off.
What do we do (legally) to avoid paying this obscene sum?
Why stick with MS? She doesn't seem to need it.
I got a refund of MS licence from one small supplier when I argued loudly in
the shop about pressing the "I don't accept" button but many suppliers are
bound by their licence agreements to provide MS preloaded. I think my
experience in this is rare indeed.
My Mum is in a similar situation but didn't notice the difference except
superficially when I bought her a basic system only and loaded Opera
(licenced - I like it), Pegasus and Star Office Beta 6. She came to my house
and used my Linux workstation without any help except to log on. My neighbour
is running dual boot but hasn't loaded Win for several months now and want's
me to reconfigure it a single boot only. In both cases they aren't "computer
wizzes", moving mum from Wordperfect 3 was a major step, yet they are turning
out normal office work with Star Office and using "save as" to take stuff in
to work. The neighbour's machine is actually mission critical and they don't
realise at work that he isn't MS based anymore.