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May 17, 2008

Daniel Koster Just Kicked My Ass, And With Good Reason

Yer a pirate, laddie! Through and through. It runs in yer blood!

And man…do I deserve it.

In response to the post on pirate ROMs, and how I handled declining to answer a question on how to do it at the NOLA conference, I used the analogy of being a drug user (possession), rather than a drug dealer (distributing), Daniel took me out behind the woodshed and proceeded to lay into me with an ax handle. For good reason.

Here’s Daniel’s response, in its entirety…

I absolutely agree with your position and the decision you made. It is better just to be the drug user and never cross the line into drug pusher/dealer.

On the other hand, how respectable is it to be *just* a drug user?

Let’s continue the analogy of software piracy = drug use and look at the whole picture.

You are a speaker presenting on the topic of marijuana and it’s benefits (it’s legal but only in rare instances). After discussing the topic at length, one of the participants asks, “You’ve convinced me, I’d like to get high as soon as possible, where can I get some drugs.” Immediately you find yourself between a rock and a hard place. You know that drugs (including marijuana) can really mess a person up and that there is no legal option that you can answer with. So you pull a stash of crack-cocaine out of your pocket and explain, “I am a user who likes to get high, but I’m not about to become a dealer or tell others how to commit such a crime.” Then you light your crack pipe and take a hit.

I think the better answer would have been to explain that the only legal option is to wait until its official release and keep your illegal warez to yourself.

Not that it would help your integrity more…a person of integrity does what is right even when nobody else is looking. So to install a pirate rom kills your integrity whether you advertise that fact or not.

So yes, I respect your decision and attitude to have “more” integrity by not pointing the way towards illegal software use. But I hope you can understand why you have lost some level of respect from some people.

Not only is he absolutely right, he’s DAMN right.

Worse yet, railing against how bad pirate ROMs are like I am, and then doing it myself makes me not only a damn dirty pirate, and still part of the problem…

But also makes me a damn dirty hypocrite too.

I wish Danial had been in the NOLA audience and said that. Because I would have not only made the audience applaud him for saying that, but I would have also taken this long overdue step right then and there.


I am taking a solemn vow RIGHT NOW.

I, Chris Rue, pledge to never EVER use or download pirate ROMs. Ever.

Folks, that’s how important I feel this issue is to the long-term health of the Windows Mobile platform.

And I hope you will join me in this pledge, by also filling out the following…

Pirate ROM Survey & Pledge

This is OPEN to anyone who is interested in commenting on Windows Mobile and the ROM situation.

|| posted by chris under clueless, hardware, mobility, opinion, rx, shoutout, thumbs down || comments (4) || ||


  1. [...] new entry on my resume? Giving Chris Rue’s popularity, I’m sure in no time his latest posting will rank high in future Google searches for my [...]

    pingback by A new entry on my resume? « Daniel Koster’s Personal Blog — May 17, 2008 @ 11:47 am

  2. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to say “Thanks”, or “You’re Welcome” or “Can I get you some ice?”.

    I’m glad you saw my point and took it well, sorry I had to use the ax handle, I was only reaching for a soft leather switch.

    comment by Daniel Koster — May 17, 2008 @ 11:56 am

  3. Why is it that whenever people can’t understand technology they try to hang on to semantics, argue the dictionary words and implementation?

    This is dead simpe – most cooked ROMs, even most ROM tweaks are not illegal. They however are experimental, they are not supported by either Microsoft or the device carrier, so loading one up could brick (destroy) your device and you’d be SOL.

    There is no analogy there, “If you have to ask it means you are incapable of doing research ergo likely a danger when exposed to more technical merits of Windows Mobile ROM, boot loader, flashing, debugging and troubleshooting are way beyond your pay scale.”

    Now I’m sure that is not something to be delivered from the conference podium if you want a high review, but you shouldn’t have to apologize for what is a very common and legal practice. Not everyone is just trying to upgrade their 3 year old PocketPC to WM6.1, there is a lot more to this development scene that meets the eye and you shouldn’t have to apologize just because some people single themselves out as unqualified because of the questions they ask.


    comment by Vlad Mazek — May 17, 2008 @ 7:07 pm

  4. @vlad the cooked ROMS are illegal – they violate the redistribution clauses. Besides, if they were legal MS wouldn’t be issuing take-down notices to those sites hosting them. At best its a legally grey area, but who’s going to argue with a take-down notice from MS?

    @chris I hear you on the pirate ROMS. I basically did something similar a few months ago. I removed my cooked ROM and ditched my rebranded HTC (imate JasJam) in favour of a Nokia N95. All the teeth-grinding moments I had with the official ROMs disappeared. The cats were happy to come near me again.
    I honestly think the only reason the cooked ROMs have traction is the poor job MS have done and the even worse job the carriers have done, with MS letting the carriers treat their customers with complete disdain. Although I do see Nokia heading down the road MS have already taken…

    comment by Chris Knight — May 23, 2008 @ 7:33 am

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