LFDI: On Reformats and CD Keys


To the Software Developers of the World,

One would think that wiping out my hard drive, spending an evening and indeed late into the night reinstalling software, having to backup all my data and scrapping whatever plans I had for the evening, not to mention stress and worry about the fate of the machine that determines my ability to do work.

Oh no. The thing I look forward to the least comes after my data has been obliterated, software CDs dug up, and hours of updates and installs performed. It is: The CD Key.

Seriously, in a world where there are a good many people (myself included) who are at least a bit dyslexic, what kind of sick joke is requiring the repeated entry of strings of 25 numbers, in tiny, machine-generated rows on a sticker on the back of a jewel case? And if you *insist* on such things, make them clear and well marked. Microsoft in particular seems to be fond of ‘hide the CD key’ games.

Hates them I do. While we’re on the subject, Microsoft, having to read my verification code off to a phone that insists on stopping every five numbers to ask me if I want to continue, go back or try again, and making sure that sequence cannot be interrupted until its finished is perhaps the stupidest thing ever. Beyond the whole concept of dial-home verification, but that’s another post.



Squinty Eyed Epidemiologist

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