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Comment Re:New laptop (Score 1) 167

While I am not 100% sure, most likely the license is embedded in your firmware. They started doing that with Windows 8.
You can find it out using Linux:

sudo hexdump -s 56 -e '"MSDM key: " /29 "%s\n"' /sys/firmware/acpi/tables/MSDM

(Source)

Now, it is true that there are pre-activated keys for OEMs disks like HP, Dell, etc.. At least for Windows 7 it was like that. They have so called SLP Keys (System Locked Pre-Installation Key) and they are not the same as the one printed on your Windows 7 machine. SLP keys only work on a certain range of machines, but also have the advantage as working like generic OEM DVDs. I've had this case where a Windows Vista machine (Vista Key sticker) from Dell and I used the a Windows 7 Dell OEM disk, and ... it activated itself. Technically it didn't have the rights to do so and I was totally surprised it did. Use the same OEM disk on an Acer and it will install but not be activated, at which point you use the sticker on the machine. When I started to mess around with these things, I realized that in the Windows 7 era, all machines shipped with two keys: the SLP license and the (recovery) sticker license.

Given that from Windows 8 on the licenses are embedded in the firmware, this is over.

Personally, I think reinstalling from scratch is always the right option. With decrapifying you might miss something, and if you're routined, you have a reinstallation done rather quickly. If you stick with big brand machines, getting drivers is no Herculean task any more. Back in the day, oh, yes, I remember... Hard to find, need to use shady places, take drivers from different machines and try to see whether they work. Today, it's "go to manufacturer website", download what is *missing* and use what Windows gives you as default drivers for all the rest, with the notable exception of the graphics card.

Comment Re:New laptop (Score 1) 167

It's not that I don't believe you and I'm the first to discourage the use of Windows... BUT, Microsoft has done one thing right since the release of Windows 10, namely allow the OS to be downloaded for free (gratis) from their site. Windows 10 Pro and Home can be downloaed as an ISO or with a tool to create a Bootable USB stick. From what I understand any valid Windows 10 key, will be accepted by these installation media.

As a matter of fact, this can be done with Win 8(.1) too these days, even though I only did once: The laptop I am typing this on. Came with OEM Win 8, but I didn't want to use it, so I installed Ubuntu without making a backup of anything. Now, in order to secure the 10 license, I did a dd of the disk, installed Win 8 from the installation media I got from Microsoft and then upgraded to 10. After that, I did a dd in order to restore it to the original configuration. This way, should I want to give it away or sell it in a few years, I can give the future owner what they might want: Windows 10.

To get back to my point: Windows now provides usable installation media. No need for restore media, or hoping you find a OEM disk that works with your machine and key... There is now an official way, and that is the only positive thing that Windows 10 brought us.

Your Envy can be reinstalled from scratch if you are inclined to do so. Get the ISO here. Now, my personal opinion is that you're better off with staying with Linux, but don't kid yourself. You *can* have a clean Windows installation these days.

Comment Re:Ah, cry me a protectionist river (Score 1) 496

Sounds reasonable.

The myth that gas engines don't last long is alive in Europe. I am often confronted with unbelief when I tell them how old my car is an how much kilometres it has, My mechanic told me they once got the job to do a rebuild of an Audi RS4 engine (obviously, that's gas) and it turned out that the wear of the engine was pretty much negligible at over 400000km.

Comment Re:Ah, cry me a protectionist river (Score 2) 496

Now, obviously, you're right about torque, I won't contest that.... First a disclaimer, I am European and I'm one of the crazy Europeans that bought an gas engine and like it. As a matter of fact, I own an Audi TT 1.8T bought new in 02/2000. That makes it nearly 16 years old and it has 326000km on the counter. The oil needs to be changed every year, or every 15000km. Mechanically, I have never had any problems with the car, and my mechanic of trust says it has plenty of years in it.

Highway only mileage is 7l/100km or 33mpg (used Google to convert: US gallon). Sure, this is much higher than my wifes Mini Diesel (07/2006, new. 1.4liter), which does 5l/100km (47mpg).

I'm really not sure if you can simply say "gas powered engines can't possibly be long lived"... I'm sure that you'll just yell "anecdote", but my car does exists and I'll drive it home tonight as I have done for the last 16 years.

Comment Re:I had that a few days ago (Score 1) 11

I doubt that... Never had an issue by being logged on multiple devices and I only log in from familiar IP addresses, at least I have in the last months. I don't move that much.

The unusual activity stuff are done by Google and Facebook and co and are very annoying....

Comment Re:Sounds great! (Score 1) 4

Well, you should try to find a topological map on the region. In the morning, it would be steeply downhill.... in the eveing, well... uhm, a hill that you really don't want to do with a bicycle...

The thought did cross my mind though ;-)

Nothing was said about being on-call... So, yup, that will be gone. You'll find it hard to believe, but I did like the exitement of being on call. Trying to fix stuff with the clock ticking.

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