Monday, November 24, 2008

Installing Software - Why Ask?

I've been migrating to a new PC lately. My old XP machine was slowly shedding function. First the sound card, then some USB ports, then some software stopped working. This time I decided not to wait until I had to run to the store and make an emergency buy to replace a dead box. I bought a refurbished machine and started moving the applications I use on a daily basis to the new box. I don't have the energy to write about the joys of moving to Vista but maybe someday.

That brings me to my point. I've been installing a lot of software lately and it's occurred to me that I've wasted quite a bit of my time dealing with lawyers. Every time a piece of software asks me "do you accept this license" it's because some lawyer somewhere put the fear of God and lawsuits into the purveyor of that particular package.

How stupid is that question? I bought the software. I paid good money for the functionality I want. If I say no to the question it won't install. Why on earth would anyone say no? But the install script asks anyway because some lawyer, or a whole flock of them (note vultures form flocks), decided it was a good CYA move to ask the question. Did you ever consider how much better our world would be without lawyers?

Lawyers are like condoms. Nobody really likes or wants them. They make things more complicated and less fun. Unfortunately, these days you better have one or you could leave yourself open to all kinds of problems. Ironically it's other lawyers who usually cause those problems. You like a conspiracy? Think about that for a while.

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