Wikipedia is one of the few organizations to which I donate actual money rather than time, materials and theft and my donation formula is usually very simple:

($ value of software I’ve stolen in the past year)/20 = Donation amount

In 2006 it was about $25.00 while in 2007 it was closer to $50.00 (CS2 was expensive, so was Server 2003).

Lately though, I’ve gotten most of my software through legitimate purchase and purged illegal software so my current tab is $10, $0 if you don’t count cheating your way into a closed beta.  What am I to do?  Sure, I could replace Microsoft’s free Movie Maker with Vegas or something and bump it to $35.00 but I’d never use it.

After considering my options, I’ve chosen instead to donate $1.00 for every DVD I rent from Netflix and rip putting things comfortably in the $40.00 region (I’ve been busy).

I reinstalled Vista a day or two ago as an attempt to fix  problem with Team Fortress 2 that was actually being caused by RAM.  As I slowly installed each program suite and appropriately entered the registration code I realized I now have enough legit Microsoft and Adobe licenses that I can participate in the Customer Experience Feedback without fearing the Business Software Alliance busting down my door.

And it only cost about $1100 is software to do.

I felt a bit cocky after yesterday’s form triumph so I figure I’d try to enter the big leagues by using Adobe InDesign from CS3.  I’m not normally intimidated by software but after the first prompt asked “would you like to manually adjust the font kerning defaults for finer display control” I clicked yes and I think somewhere a house exploded.  I tried importing a document I had previously done in publisher and this cartoon expresses what happened.