Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Hardware Anti-Nagware Switch

***BLOODILY KILL*** deliberate delays.
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Some programs, for reasons related to the author's malicious profiteering, produce deliberate delays (usually during starting) which are very annoying to users. There is, however, a very good method by which this evil practice could be fought. As is widely known, delay routines in software usually refer to the system clock, such that a speedier CPU does not make a given delay shorter. The universal "time constant" for all PC-compatibles is a "system timer chip" (an archaic name, for it is usually a part of the chipset on modern machines). This system device produces a "timer interrupt" at a constant rate, that does not usually vary between machines. The default tick rate is (if I recall correctly) ~18.2 ticks/second. There is, as I remember, also a multiplier register to control this rate. But, this is irrelevant. The only important fact is that delay routines specified for, say, 10 seconds, are actually counting ticks of the system clock and not usually CPU cycles. The proposed feature is then a button on the machine's case which would, when pushed, set the tick rate to a reasonable system maximum (allowing any delay routine to finish its work in an imperceptibly short period of time.) When this warp-jump takes place, a second clock counter (inaccessible to software) continues to keep the "real time" (time of day) in place of the system clock; the data from the backup clock is transfered to the real system clock's registers when the button is released. Thus, no program is able to annoy the user through producing deliberate delays. BUT... The evil-doers are sly and do not give up. They would begin to write crippleware which, upon boot-up, briefly times the system speed (by counting increments in a loop between ticks of the system clock), and then producing the correct delay through looping alone (without reference to the clock.) Then, a second button would be needed, which *slows down* the system clock to a glacial pace, also keeping the real time actively behind the scenes. This second button would need to be held down before the program is started, and as it boots. (If you believe that God has sent crippleware upon the Earth as a punishment for our sins, and that it is immoral to interfere with His Providence, this is not for you.)
dsm, Mar 10 2002


       No, as was said by Ghengis Khan, I am the punishment for your sins, and because of them I have been sent to bring pain to you. Croissant -- and I'll keep my eyes open.
reensure, Mar 10 2002

       I don't object to the publication of immoral ideas, but the language is all wrong. You're making a tool to better steal from certain programmers, not something to thwart "evil-doers". If you think these people are evil, don't use their software.   

       Also, if you insert the occasional paragraph break, your text will be more inviting to readers.
jutta, Mar 10 2002

       Here's a novel idea--why not just pay the author his fee, if you use his software so much? Presumably then he'll send you a non- crippled version without the delay. (OTOH, if the software is MS-Word or Netscape Navigator, the delay is unintentional and won't go away no matter how much money you send them :^P )
Jeremi, Mar 10 2002

       I do actually believe that creating or exploiting artificial scarcity (look it up) is *morally wrong.*
dsm, Mar 10 2002

       Baked. It's called a Turbo switch (c. 1985).
phoenix, Mar 10 2002

       How is it 'artificial scarcity'? You have the shareware version. If you send him money, the programmer will send you the full version. He's not going to tell you that there aren't any available.   

       It's an annoying form of demoware. Pay the man if it bothers you that often.
StarChaser, Mar 10 2002

       So you would prefer perhaps the 'natural scarcity' that would occur when the author decides never to write the program in the first place, because his users are a bunch of ungrateful freeloaders?
Jeremi, Mar 10 2002

       True freeware is a gracious blessing bestowed upon unworthy mankind by selfless, enlightened Boddhisatvas who just happen to be programmers. Praise them! However, some people wish to use their skills to make a living, and this is honorable though not necessarily saintly. If they have a good product, buy it.   

       But as jeremi notes, those who promulgate feature-bloated crash-prone abominations unto the OS will find their reward waiting in the afterlife, for they are neither saintly nor honorable! (Word for Windows programmers, you know who you are. REPENT!)
Dog Ed, Mar 11 2002


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