Bill Gates is Not the Antichrist . . . I Think!
Vol: 49 Issue: 26 Wednesday, October 26, 2005
During Hurricane Ophelia, the only damage we sustained was when the motherboard on my main computer system got fried by a power spike. Of course, all my files and data were on that system, and my backup was anything but complete. (I know, I know. But it’s too late now)
In any case, I ordered a new motherboard, waited patiently for delivery, and set to work putting the parts together to rebuild my computer.
When I finally got it reassembled, I slipped my old hard disk drive into its place, hooked it all up, and fired up the computer. I was immediately notified by Microsoft that my operating system needed to be validated. When I performed the required validation procedure, my operating system was declared illegal by Microsoft.
I paid for the operating system when I bought the computer, but, according to Microsoft, the computer isn’t the sum of its parts — it is the motherboard itself. Consequently, Microsoft insisted that I purchase a new copy of Windows XP, or conversely, if I sent them $149.00, they would supply me with a new serial number that would unlock my current operating system.
Buying a number for $149.00 seemed like an awful lot to pay of something I already thought that I owned, so I surfed the net until I found a discounted copy for $79.00 and ordered that instead. It was supposed to be delivered yesterday.
Meanwhile, my ‘bootleg’ copy (that I paid for) continues to unravel and sputter and cough, thanks to the fact I have been locked out of all the Windows updates until I get a ‘legal’ operating system. So, I’ve been dancing around the various driver and other peripheral problems, trying to fit a square peg into a round hole for the better part of a week.
My frustration level peaks every time I recall that I already paid for my operating system once, but that Microsoft couldn’t care less. After all, there isn’t much else I can do — and Microsoft knows it.
I have neither the time nor the patience to learn a new OS, and I can’t afford to replace my hardware investment with Macs, so Bill Gates has nothing to worry about in terms of customer backlash.
Besides, if I switched to Linux or Red Hat or Macintosh, the majority of my software investments would be useless, as well. Many Microsoft applications won’t run on Linux, and almost all PC software is useless to a Mac.
After a week of waiting for my discounted copy of XP to show up in the mail, I couldn’t wait anymore. Most of my software applications either don’t work properly, need to be updated, or I haven’t installed them, since whatever I install on this particular OS will only have to be reinstalled later.
A variation of Microsoft’s tag line keeps playing in my mind: “Where can we keep you from going today?”
This isn’t so much a rant about Microsoft as it is an object lesson about how things work when there is only one game in town. Let me ask a rhetorical question of those of you who are computer ‘power users.’
How many of you are fans of Microsoft? How many of you are frustrated by having to pay the prices Microsoft demands for software other manufacturers have to give away free in order to get noticed in the marketplace?
Now, for those who are frustrated beyond words, how many of you are reading today’s OL on a PC using one of Microsoft’s operating systems?
Red Hat offers the Linux graphical operating system, but, as noted previously, most software is designed to operate on the Windows operating system, so Linux is not much of an alternative.
Mozilla makes a great internet browser and email client that works with Microsoft’s OS, but Windows already comes with a browser and email client.
Microsoft’s has more vulnerabilities, and it isn’t as good, but, since it is already bundled with the OS, how many browser clients does one need?
Besides, using something not bundled by Microsoft demands a degree of computer expertise most users don’t have. Microsoft has done everything it can do legally to ensure third-party software is harder to use than its own versions.
So, even if one is utterly dissatisfied with Microsoft, there aren’t any genuinely viable alternatives. If Microsoft demands more money in order to use their software, there is little choice but to send it to them.
Consider Microsoft’s $149.00 deal. I pay them $149.00 and they let me use the software I’ve already paid for and installed. Or I can learn Linux. Or buy a Mac.
The Bible says that in the last days, the antichrist will control the global economic system as tightly as Bill Gates controls the software industry.
According to Revelation Chapter 13, the antichrist will control things so tightly that he, “causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” (Revelation 13:16-17)
The antichrist’s system will demand that, in order to participate, one will have to not only swear allegiance to his government, but will have to swear personal allegiance to him.
Over the years, if I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a dozen times. “If a guy takes over the world and imposes a mark, I’ll know its all true and I won’t take it.”
Sure. Just like you dumped Microsoft.
Bill Gates isn’t the antichrist. The Bible says, (at least at first,) that most people will LIKE the antichrist.
But Microsoft provides an object lesson worth noting. When you control the only game in town, choice is irrelevant. I can choose Linux if I want to, but it is a lot easier to just suck it up and play by Microsoft’s rules.
“And they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?” – Revelation 13:4