All M$ wants is for you to buy, buy, buy.
I have finally roused myself from my customary reclining position enough to remove the links to blogs that I no longer read or even browse, mostly because they've stopped updating for like half a century. It's not much of a loss for anyone, really, because of course, no one writes as well as I do.
A couple of years ago, I frequented this IRC channel on Galaxynet whose owner ran a bot that gave trivia quizzes. This bot kept track of the scores people who participated in the quiz were racking up. People, being the fucking morons that they are, actually started quarreling over the stupid quiz. Being the huge jerk that I am, I started dissing every participant whom I wasn't acquainted with. Since everyone there knew that the owner of the channel was my friend, no one really retaliated. Yes, I have the soul of a bully. What is it about those people who keep going on about "fair" games/fights, anyway? My interest is, has always been, and will always be, in winning. Seriously, I hate losing. I am an extremely sore loser. I fail to see the fucking point in playing if you're not going to win. The best kind of fight for me is one in which I'm the only one landing the blows. So, yes, if you see me getting into any competition or conflict, you can usually join my side, because that would usually be the winning side. On the other hand, you schmucks usually do nothing but hold me back, so forget what I just said.
Anyway, back to the topic at hand. One of the people in the conflict actually had the brazen gall to diss He Whom The Universe Revolves Around, namely, me. Basically, he thought he could get away with it because he was one of the top players in the channel. The fucktard actually used his trivia "skills" in his arguments. I hate it when people are stupid enough to retaliate against me, because it is my god-given right to walk all over them whenever I fucking feel like it. So out of pure spite, I decided to show him just how useful his trivia "skills" were. I decided to wreck the game by writing an mIRC script that would record the answers of the questions in a text file and, if the answer has previously been recorded, answer the question for me. Piece of cake. There were only about 10000 questions, and pretty soon, my script had almost all the answers. The motherfucker who started it all realised the error of his ways and apologised to the true god of trivia. Well, actually, he stopped frequenting the channel, but I see that as a form of apology. Whatever. The important thing is, I won.
(non-geeks are strongly encouraged to stop reading this post)
I really wrecked the game at the time, since it was pretty fucking obvious that I was cheating. You see, my script picked the answers from the file based on the question number, which appeared before the question itself did. So quite a few times, when the server was lagging, I actually answered before the question came out. Nobody said anything, however, probably because I banned anyone who spoke up. After some time, my friend (whom I had passed the script to) and I were the only ones playing trivia in that channel via the script. In an effort to save the game, the owner of the bot decided to add to the question pool. The script I wrote wasn't flexible enough to cope with that, and I decided that mIRC scripting itself wasn't powerful enough to do the job without a lot of messy kludges. So, what I decided to do was to write an IRC client of my own. Oh, I wasn't doing it to wreck the game anymore, since my antagonist was no longer there, but just for the challenge of it. At around the same time, I became seriously interested in Linux and the whole open source movement, so in order not to have to write the same program twice (yes, I do keep a Winblows partition, mostly for gaming), I chose Java as the language to use. Then, I forgot all about the project because school started.
Last December, though, I was bored and remembered it, so I got started on it again. Yes, I was reinventing the wheel, and yes, I know there's already a Java IRC client out there, but I've always preferred to learn by hacking rather than by reading code. I managed to get the basic GUI and the ability to connect to an IRC server up. Then, my attachment started, so I had to put it aside again. I'd pretty much figured out the difficult parts of it, anyway. I'm not really interested in doing all the string-parsing an IRC client is usually obliged to do, because it's tedious (it involves reading a lot of stuff about the IRC protocol which I had no interest in) and also, I already know how to parse strings. Still, it was enjoyable learning how to use Swing to make GUIs and how to use sockets in Java, which were my primary objectives for starting that project anyway. I'll probably complete it when I have nothing better to do, and I'll post the source code, just in case anyone wants to see it.
Wow, this whole post has been one huge digression. The point I originally wanted to make was that M$ sucks. I mean, seriously. I stopped doing the IRC thingy partly because a few days ago, I found a more interesting project to do. Since the target user is not a geek (a Winblows luser), however, I had to write a program that you could double-click to run, and also include GUI functionality besides. I decided to try using Visual C++, since I already have the student version of the compiler. It came with a textbook I purchased some time ago. On a side note, it's really lame, because when you run any executable compiled with it, the executable first gives you a message telling you that it was compiled with a student's version of the compiler and that you're not allowed to use it for commercial purposes. I mean, come the fuck on. Is that degree of penny-pinching really necessary? Besides, it wouldn't really be terribly difficult to remove that message by reverse engineering the executable itself. We're dealing with programmers here, remember? Like I said, really lame.
So like I was saying, I decided to use Visual C++. No, I can't use C# because what the fuck, how expensive is Visual Studio .Net? I didn't bother to check, but knowing M$, it probably costs an arm and a leg. Besides, C# is an almost complete ripoff of Java. So I got started. Google "java gui tutorial", and you get this
. A series of clearly-written pieces of documentation. They give you explanations of all the various classes, their attributes and methods, how to use them, and code examples. From the developers of the language themselves, no less. From a cold standing start in Swing, I came up with this after two days or so.
Even though I'm pretty smart and Swing is easy, I have to give the developers of Java kudos for providing good tutorials that are easily found. You can google "java gui" or "writing java gui" and you get the same link. Google for "visual c++ gui tutorial", on the other hand, and the first link you get is this
. A page which first tells you how cool Visual C++ is, how cool .Net is and why you should buy, buy, buy it. Nothing on the page remotely resembling a tutorial. If you're new to Visual C++, like I am, you won't know what the fuck Microsoft Foundation Classes, or MFC, is. Assuming that you miraculously know they help build GUIs, however, you may click on the link on that page that seems related to MFC.
What do you get? You get to download a code sample. No explanations. No tutorial. No "next . . . " link. I thought I specifically googled for "tutorials", motherfucker? If you've done any programming, you'd know that trying to learn a language by reading code written by other people is a fucking waste of effort. Let's put it this way. When you code an application, the GUI should be the least of your concerns. What you want is the functionality of the program, after all. If I wanted pretty pictures, I'd go download some porn or something. So the documentation for GUI APIs or libraries, if you want people to use them, should be easily accessible and easy to understand. I don't want to waste time thinking about how to create the GUI when I could be thinking about the algorithm for my program. So maybe you widen the search. Google for "visual c++ gui" and you get another link, by some guy calling himself Dr. GUI, once again telling you how cool visual c++ is. Of course, the page is hosted on msdn. We already have
the product, motherfucker. Now we want to use
This shit is really telling on M$. They seem more interested in getting you to buy their product than in whether you're actually able to use it. I'm tempted to just flip them the bird, code my application in Java and then wrap it in a .exe file. However, that would give any readers of this article the chance to say that I'm giving up just because the shit is too hard for me or some nonsense like that. Oh, I know nobody really cares, but as I've mentioned before, I hate losing, even to a compiler or a programming language. So I've decided to doggedly figure out this shit so that I can publicly revile it and avoid it for the rest of my life. Fucking two bit software vendor that can't stand one bit of competition.