ATG 1962: The Bottle Cap Balloon Brigade

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What are your thoughts about today’s show? We’d love to hear from you!

I’m a bit surprised Leo said he needed to purchase a new license for Windows to install it on Parallels. I simply entered my existing Windows 10 Pro product key under System > Activation, and it accepted it. Did the same for the previous ARM version I had installed. Should I be expecting it to fail?

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If you haven’t used a serial number elsewhere you can use it. But, depending on your license, you can only use a serial number on one computer. Right?

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If it is an OEM serial number, it can only ever be used on the exact PC it came with.

If you purchased a Windows license key, it can frequently be reused, but you may have to interact with a MS process (I’ve only ever done it on the phone, it may be online these days) which basically has you “swear” the license is only being used on the licensed number of PCs (usually one.)

Edit to add: When Windows 7 was new, they were somewhat desperate to get people off of Windows XP, so they came up with some creative licensing approaches. One was the “Great Steal” or something, where you could buy a Windows 7 Pro Upgrade license for $50 or so, and could also buy MS Office for a similarly good price. I got a pair of those licenses myself. But shortly after, they came out with a boxed product which was intended for “families”. It was “3 upgrade licenses” in a box, for $50 each. (It was actually one license key, that could be installed as an upgrade on 3 different PCs at once.)

I bought several of these 3 license kits, because I was the tech support for my entire family and some friends, and that involved at least 6+ PCs. I must have used the first set on too many PCs, because I got denied automatic activation, and had to call the phone number. The interative voice response system asked me how many PCs the license was installed on, and I pressed 3. (Which was the truth as I saw it.) This forced me to talk to an actual human. I explained to the human the license was for 3 PCs and I was using it on 3 PCs. It seemed to me like the agent didn’t understand what MS had done with these special boxes of one license for 3 PCs. I learned my lesson… from that point onward, whenever asked, the answer is one! :wink:

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I’m going to shoot myself in the foot here, but …

I’ve got at least 5 windows keys saved in my password vault. They go all the way back to XP version I got with a Sony laptop purchased in 2006. I also have a Windows 7 key I got with a multi-license version I used for a volunteer organisation I maintained computers for.
When MS offered free versions on Windows 10, I simply activated with different keys until one worked.

When I switched to Mac, started using Vbox, then VMWare, and now Parallels. Also used BootCamp. All just to have access to MS Visio. Wasn’t worth paying for Windows license, so kept using keys MS accepted.

Sometimes it rejected one, most times it activated. I always try to use the Pro key, and it works.

As I only run the one Mac at a time, I assume MS doesn’t detect I’m running the same key on multiple setups. But, since I still use the older Macbook Air BootCamp sometimes, cannot say I don’t have virtual Windows running at same time. I assume MS actually only checks when system checks for updates?

So, morally, am I cheating MS. I use keys I got legally, whether it came as OEM on computer I purchased, had access to on multi-license version I had reason to use and have upgraded over the years, or got through MS when they pushed W10. I enter a key, and MS decides if it is valid. I know that at least twice in the last 20 years I paid for Windows. I did not ever ask MS (or Apple) to constantly upgrade their product and make my hardware obsolete at their whim. So if their system lets me continue to use newer versions of their OS, I will continue to do so until they stop me. And then I will make the decision if I want to give them more money.

So, bottom line, it costs nothing to try to activate using keys until one works.

Greetings to Kim and Laura.
:vulcan_salute: Live Long and Prosper :vulcan_salute:

In response to Mark’s query about mobile usage while visiting US from Australia, just completed 8 week tour of US with what I think was best mobile access in last 10 years of travel.

Use Telstra pre-paid at home. Overseas coverage would be very expensive. Normally purchased US SIM and list Telstra coverage. This time, after hearing Rich Demuro’s experience, installed Mint app while at home, and downloaded and installed Mint eSIM. Then enabled Wifi calling on Mint under Settings/Mobile/Mint. This then allowed me to subscribe to Mint 3 month plan (got 6 month special deal), and activate the plan while still in Australia. As long as I am on wifi I can use that number, make and receive calls, and most important, get SMS messages. When in US, Telstra number worked the same. This meant I could access all those 6 digit sign in codes sent to Telstra number needed for existing accounts. Literally costs no extra to access Telstra number while overseas.

Downside is if you leave the far country eSIM enabled all the time, battery usage goes sky high, because phone is always searching for a network it cannot find. So I limit enabling that eSIM to times I’m on wifi and need to use that number.

Turns out you can install at least 8 different eSIMs on iPhone SE. You can only enable 2 at a time.

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One more thought on ATTGs.
It would be nice if TWIT Club membership also included a way that caller’s received notification when another listener provides a suggested solution after the fact. Probably asking too much for Leo or Micah to forward such info, but maybe there could be another solution. Maybe something like the Flicka moderation by Renee Silverman.


Putting it here is a good start! I’ll mention it today!

We really need a follow-up segment!

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