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1003 comments

Problem with that... (5, Insightful)

MattCohn.com (555899) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826209)

Problem with that is, if I got an OEM laptop or computer the first thing I'd do is format the thing. How can they prove I read the licence if I needed to boot the thing to read it?

Re:Problem with that... (4, Insightful)

FileNotFound (85933) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826252)

Simple. Put it in bios. No way to bypass that at boot unless yout open the PC and flash that. Even then...

Or.. (5, Funny)

EvilBit (702787) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826419)

.. shrink-wrap the laptop and stick a piece of paper on it.

"By openning this package you agree to the following license."

Re:Problem with that... (4, Interesting)

jridley (9305) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826273)

Me, too. The first time I turn on a new machine, there's a bootable install CD in the drive.

Actually, the FIRST thing I do is boot to a bootable CD with Drive Image in it. I make a virgin image onto CD-R, lock it away, then reformat the drive and reinstall from scratch. I started doing this back in the "shovelware" era (which still hasn't stopped for some mfgs) where the machine would come preloaded with tons of useless crap.

Also I've received machines from major manufacturers that had really bad installs; wrong drivers, missing drivers, etc. I found I had much more stable machines if I just threw out their installs and did my own.

Re:Problem with that... (5, Insightful)

Flabby Boohoo (606425) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826354)

Yeah, but that's someone with technical skills. The average person will not do that. The EULA BIOS idea is frightening though (a couple comments above).

You did not read the article (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6826390)

He had to agree to the license in order to reach the point where the hard drive could be formatted. The EULA screen appeared when he attempted to boot from CD.

I have a problem with this article (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6826397)

why should I trust something from self-procalimed "cyber-punks"? These guys sound like hackers and anarchists.

Frist Ps0t (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6826213)

Yeah dog. Go LUNIX!

What's the big deal? (-1, Flamebait)

Wirenut (35274) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826214)

Either you agree or you don't - if you don't, shutdown and boot from something else.

Re:What's the big deal? (3, Informative)

ccoder (468480) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826271)

If you actually read the article, you'd notice that is was a BIOS screen, not software.

With that said, changing some crap in the bios passed the screen (??@#$?) but it wasn't purely software.

Re:What's the big deal? (1)

Wirenut (35274) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826334)

I did read it, which is why I said "what's the big deal"?

Dell has included that press-through for at least a year - this is not new. This must be the first time he's bought a Dell in a while.

Most of these Eula's are unenforceable anyway.

He doesn't agree and is returning the computer, which means for him the issue is OVER.

If he DID accept the agreement, it is aplicable only for software he will obviously not use anyway, so again - WTBD?

Re:What's the big deal? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826404)

"Dell has included that press-through for at least a year - this is not new. This must be the first time he's bought a Dell in a while."

and....?

"Most of these Eula's are unenforceable anyway."

is that legal advice?

"He doesn't agree and is returning the computer, which means for him the issue is OVER."

so? I'm glad he brought it up, because I had been recommending Dells, now I wont. Obviously that doesn't apply to you, but I got bad news for you: You're not the only person on the planet.

"If he DID accept the agreement, it is aplicable only for software he will obviously not use anyway, so again - WTBD?"

more legal advice?

You didn't read the article. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6826285)

The idea is that Dell put a clickthrough license IN THE BIOS that will not go away until you say you have agreed to its terms, even if you try to boot by some alternate method such as a Linux CD.

If he COULD shutdown and boot from something else this would not be an issue.

I get razzed all the time at work... (5, Interesting)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826217)

I'm a coder in a company that is fully compliant with all licensing agreements -- word is that someone let things slip before I was hired on, and the company paid a buttload of cash after getting audited.

So you'd think that before we install a Visual Studio upgrade, we'd all get together in a meeting room and go over the EULA we will all be required to agree to.

(Ok, have you finished laughing yet? Good, I'll go on.)

As you already guessed, nobody reads the damned EULA... except me. I no longer read it from top to bottom, but I skim it for the latest additions. This earns me some good-natured razzing from my co-workers, but I've discovered some doozies.

Remember those "required patches"? When I installed them, there was a EULA. This one said, "You are not allowed to publish the results of benchmark testing of the .NET Framework." What the f*** does that have to do with installing a required security patch? It's like the sign at Wal-Mart [breathingplanet.net] saying employees of competitors are not allowed to compare prices. Maybe they can get away with it, but that doesn't make it right.

Another memorable EULA quote: I'm forbidden to use Visual Studio tools to make any word processing or spreadsheet application, unless it's a small part of a larger application. Unlike Open Source, if a Microsoft-enchained programmer (like me) invents a better mousetrap, they're verboten to release it.

If end-users actually read the EULAs (like our heroes in the article), there'd be riots in the virtual streets. As it is, nobody reads the EULA, and ignorance is bliss [chuckjerry.com].

Re:I get razzed all the time at work... (1, Redundant)

MoxFulder (159829) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826279)

Are you SERIOUS??? The Visual Studio EULA actually forbids you from coding a word processor or spreadsheet app? Holy crap. Can I see that?

Visual Studio EULA and MSDN EULA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6826428)

He's right. Here it is:

http://studentlicence.one.microsoft.com/DevLegal.a sp

Also for fun, check out the anti-JAVA propaganda in clause 7 which says that using JAVA can lead to death.;-)

The MSDN EULA is even worse:
http://msdnaa.oit.umass.edu/EULA.asp

You can't implement a "general-purpose word-processing, spreadsheet, database management, or presentation graphics software products or an integrated work or product suite whose components include one or more general-purpose word-processing, spreadsheet, or database management software products"

Since you can't program on Windows without using the MSDN documentation, you're screwed.

It's good that nobody reads them. (5, Interesting)

raehl (609729) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826364)

When it comes time that someone actually tries to enforce one in court, the fact that no one ever reads them will make a good case for them being invalid - it shows that sticking a bunch of text between a user and using a product they just bought is not an effective means of establishing a binding, legal agreement.

Re:It's good that nobody reads them. (5, Insightful)

militantbob (666209) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826443)

Well the courts MAY take that argument... although legally, they shouldn't.

Rights are rights, and rights and limitations granted by accepting agreements should stick. If the user can't be bothered to read the agreement before accepting it, the company shouldn't be bothered trying to enforce what contract law states that the cops and courts should enforce automatically.

If ignorance of law is no defense of violation of law.. how can ignorance of contract be any defense at all?

Re:I get razzed all the time at work... (1)

MAXOMENOS (9802) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826385)

Another memorable EULA quote: I'm forbidden to use Visual Studio tools to make any word processing or spreadsheet application, unless it's a small part of a larger application. Unlike Open Source, if a Microsoft-enchained programmer (like me) invents a better mousetrap, they're verboten to release it.

If I recall correctly, that provision also exists in their license for .NET v1.1 -- not Visual Studio .NET, just the vanilla .NET SDK.

Re:I get razzed all the time at work... (2, Interesting)

Vicegrip (82853) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826411)

I'd be really interested to see the portions of the EULAs you mention. If you have the time, please post them to Slashdot here.

Thanks.

FIRST POST!!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6826221)

sorry, had to

-j2g

yeah sure. (5, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826222)

Now, they figure no one reads the EULAs anyway, so why bother even providing a copy?

Duh!

First off, I have worked in customer service/tech support and have heard exactly "who reads those things anyway?" "you just click ok." Right.

Second, you are surprised that CSRs don't have ALL the information they need to do their jobs? Policy changes daily and even though the CSRs are the "front line" they are never told until it's too late.

Third, I just dealt with someone today (not computer related). They clicked through a document they should have read. It explained the policy they were trying to excuse themselves from. The exact quote was, "I saw the thing I clicked through, I never read those, no one does. You can't expect me to now agree to that." Sadly, this is commonplace. It's not advantageous to read them or ignore them. If you do read them, you have to go through a lengthy process to return what you disagree with (no company expects that more than a handfull of people will ever decline), if you do agree what good does it do you? You either a) didn't read and comprehend the rights you were signing away or b) you did know, you knew it probably wouldn't matter, and when it did matter, you already sold your soul.

That's why these things should be illegal.

That's my worthless .02

Duress (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6826316)

If you do read them, you have to go through a lengthy process to return what you disagree with (no company expects that more than a handfull of people will ever decline), if you do agree what good does it do you? You either a) didn't read and comprehend the rights you were signing away or b) you did know, you knew it probably wouldn't matter, and when it did matter, you already sold your soul.

How much worse do things have to get before EULAs reach the legal standard of "agreed to under duress" for unenforcable contracts?

Re:yeah sure. (2, Interesting)

FuzzyBad-Mofo (184327) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826361)

I think a strong case could be made that no one can be reasonably expected to read, understand, and abide by these overlong, overcomplicated, and overrestrestrictive "license agreements". To the average Joe, it's just the button you click to install the software.

Besides, what about the doctrine of first sale? Attempting to make a purchase into a license after the sale has taken place, just doesn't seem legally enforcable.

Shut the machine down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6826225)

You can't do anything without hitting a key and agreeing to the license. Hit the power off button!

Just install Linux (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6826226)


And shut the fuck up. Please.

Who cares if your mouse has a Windows logo on it and the EULA says blablablah

Re:Just install Linux (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6826261)

GPL r00lz lol!

Wow. (3, Funny)

Saint Aardvark (159009) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826228)

Let's start a pool on how long Dell takes to respond to this. I've got fifteen minutes from post-time. Anyone else? Prize: oh, I don't know, karma or something...

Re:Wow. (1)

sphealey (2855) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826325)

Let's start a pool on how long Dell takes to respond to this. I've got fifteen minutes from post-time.
If the article had appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Dell might reply. Why on earth would they reply to a no-name website and a Slashdot article? This won't affect their sales in any way, shape, or form.

sPh

from reading that article.. (4, Interesting)

joeldg (518249) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826236)

all I can say is "press yes" or "I agree"

hey.. I always agree..

whatever, what on earth can a license from them accomplish anyway?

Perhaps I have been using open source software for too long and am out of the loop, but do these things honestly matter in hardware.. You get a warranty, that is all I care about..

Maybe I am missing something here, but to agree with these stupid licenses on websites that all state they can be changed at any time for any reason would be the legal equiv of suicide in the real business world..

Guess I am just agreeable.. too much floride in my water or something..

Re:from reading that article.. (4, Interesting)

Soko (17987) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826415)

You: Hi. My Inspiron laptop is busted - the PC-Card slot is fried.
Dell: OK, service tag?
You: 8xchyyw
Dell: OK. What do Windows diagnostics say?
You: Windows? This is running Linux.
Dell: Sorry sir, your laptop is supposed to be running Windows, and is now out of warranty.
You: What? How could running Linux possibly void my warranty?
Dell: Please read your EULA again, sir. Have a nice day. *click*

I'd read all of the agreements if I were you, friend. Lawyers can be nasty creatures.

Soko

Customer Support (5, Funny)

mopslik (688435) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826242)

I'm finally connected to a Customer Care representative... She insists she doesn't have copies of the agreements, and that I'm supposed to go online and look them up myself. (?!) She says to use a public computer if I have to.

I think we've reached a new low for customer support!

Re:Customer Support (1)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826418)

Atleast yours spoke english unlike the one I spoke with who transfered me to a fax machine, then put me on hold for hours on end to schedual a warrenty repair. I spent the better part of 3 hours memorizing Dell's tech support scripts while waiting for help.

This only (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6826244)

This only loaded for me halfway but I think that the courts have said in the past that anytime something says you have to agree to its terms in order to read it, it's been declared invalid. Is this accurate?

Um... (3, Informative)

Chicane-UK (455253) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826246)

Dell have something similar to this already.. its an agreement that you have to accept which is part of their BIOS - first time you switch the machine on it comes up with a whole bunch of T&C's which you have to 'hit any key' to accept.. the machine then resets itself (removing that screen) and the system will boot through the BIOS as normal.

They have had this for at least the two years we have been buying their workstations & servers.

Re:Um... (1)

mixmasta (36673) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826378)


It's not in the bios, it is a small partition that automatically runs their app. Then changes the boot partition to the windows one.

Don't know what os it is cuz I remove the partition first chance I get, and haven't looked. Prolly a dos variant.

Re:Um... (1)

bobsalt (575905) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826413)

no its not, its part of the extra partition they put on the harddrive(for recovery)

I set the bios to boot to cd and do a clean install of winxp on all the new dells we get here with out seeing that screen, you have to be pretty quick with the f2 that first time though, cuz it goes through quicker somehow, BUT you can do a load with out agreeing(not that I give a shit anyhow, how they gonna prove you did in the first place? - lol )

Enforcement (5, Interesting)

Godeke (32895) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826247)

If this guy documented the steps he took, I suspect if he was to go to a judge, the judge would consider any agreements past that point unenforable. An "agreement" is just that. If one party is not given even a portion of the agreement's content, the entire agreement can be found to be invalid. If they can't provide agreements after that much work, any legal enforcement of those agreements would be in serious question.

Of course, lots of software has the agreement in the box, and you can only view it after breaking the seals (making the software unreturnable). Most companies try to get around that by saying you can get a refund if you don't agree to the terms, and then fail to provide a channel for such refunds. Again, as they have broken the agreement, I doubt any further terms would be enforcable.

Re:Enforcement (1)

Blaine Hilton (626259) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826362)

This is very true, but they have more resources to battle this out then any "normal" person. Does it seem like the big guys always win?

Slashdotted (1, Funny)

jpetts (208163) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826249)

Dude, your website's getting screwed.

Article text, no trolling, honest (3, Informative)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826310)

Here's the article text, because cypherpunks.ca does indeed seem to have found out the hard way that a Slashdot front-page feature is Considered Harmful. Not posting AC 'cause of problems with troll text mods.

- - - - -
Dell's Software License Policy
Dude, you're getting screwed.
28 Aug 2003

Kat and I just received the Dell Inspiron 5100 notebook we ordered from Dell Canada. We quickly ran across problems.

I pushed the power button to turn on computer. I got the Dell POST screen, then a screen from Dell (Photo):

SOFTWARE LICENSES
- Before using your computer, read all of the software license
agreements that came with each program that you ordered.
There may be several agreements to examine. To comply with
the terms and conditions of the software license agreements,
you must consider any CD or diskette set of Dell-installed software
as BACKUP copies of the software installed on your computer's
hard-disk drive.
- If you did not order Dell-installed software for this computer,
or if you do not accept all the terms of the licenses, please call
the customer assistance telephone number listed in your system
documentation.
Press any key on the keyboard to indicate that you have
read all of the software licenses and agree to their terms.
Be Direct TM
Dell TM
www.dell.com

But there are no license agreements in the box that the computer came in. [There are some shrinkwrapped CD containers, but the "Terms and Conditions of Sale (CANADA)" that came with the invoice says:

"7. Software. All software is provided subject to the license
agreement that is part of the package. Customer agrees that
it will be bound by the license agreement once the package is
opened or its seal is broken. Dell does not warrant any software
under this Agreement. Warranties, if any, for the software are
contained in the license agreement that governs its purchase
and use."

I've never agreed to those Terms and Conditions, to my knowledge, but I assume they think they're enforceable, so I can't open up the shrinkwrap to see if the license agreements are in there, without automatically agreeing to them.]

So I called the only Dell number I could find on my documentation (1-800-847-4096) and spoke to a customer support representative. I told her what was on the screen, and told her I couldn't find the license agreements I'm required to read and agree to before pressing any key.

She put me on hold while she looked into where the license agreements might be, and eventually transferred me to technical support. The tech support agent told me her database was down, so she couldn't look up anything at all (I hadn't even told her what the problem was yet), and I'd have to call back in an hour.

I call back, and speak to a tech support woman. She says: "press Tab." I explain that I can't without saying I've read and agreed to documents I don't have. She says "press page down". Same problem. She says "scroll down". I explain it's not a Windows screen. She says "insert any Dell-shipped CD". I exlpain the problem of opening the CD packaging.

She insists I have to press a key. I ask her if she really means that I have to agree to the licenses before it's at all possible that i've read them. She says "yes". I explain that that's not acceptable, and ask for her supervisor.

Her supervisor insists it's a Customer Care issue, and not tech support, and that there's nothing he can do. He can't explain why they sent me to him. He enters my info into the call log databse, and I go to call back Customer Care.

So back into the hold queue I go.

I'm finally connected to a Customer Care representative. [Pretty much each sentence in the following was interspersed with long, long times on hold.]

She looked up the call log to get the background info. She insists she doesn't have copies of the agreements, and that I'm supposed to go online and look them up myself. (?!) She says to use a public computer if I have to. I ask how to know what companies have software on my disk. She goes away for a bit, and says she doesn't have that information, and there's nothing they can do. [And there's no supervisor available.] She asks why I don't want to agree to the license. I explain I haven't *seen* it. She says "it just says you won't copyright any of the files". I ignore the mistake, and explain that licensing agreements are long, long documents that say much more than that, and that anyway, the screen says that I have to have *read* it.

Eventually she does manage to connect me to Alan Burley (Manager, Customer Service).

He said he installs things all the time without reading the license agreements. He says I should just do that. I ask if he's really telling me to lie and to agree to legal documents I haven't seen. He says I don't have to, but the only thing he can do is take the computer back. He says that it's the first time this issue has escalated. He does manage to tell me what software is on the system, and says I need to go to those companies' websites to get their agreements. [Never mind that I need the OEM version and that's unlikely to be there.] I ask _him_ what if this was my first computer. He said I would have to go to a library or a friend's house. He really couldn't send me the agreements that Dell insists I read and agree to before using the computer.

He said he couldn't give me his phone number or mailing address, and that he didn't have a boss who could talk to me.

So we've got nothing left to do but send it back. He says he'll send waybills, and will refund the cost of the computer, including the original shipping charge, and won't charge a restocking fee. We will have to pay for the shipping back to the Oakville depot. I figured we could just run it by there ourselves (it's not too far), but he said that that's not possible. (I don't understand why. We'll probably try, anyway.)

It's crazy that it came to this. If they had said *anything* reasonable, we would have been happy to just install Linux on the thing and be done with it. But they were saying that anyone who uses a Dell laptop (with this startup screen) *has* to just lie about having read the licenses, and just blindly agree to them. That's unacceptable enough that it's going back.

It's also interesting to note that everyone except Mr. Burley assumed that I was talking about a Microsoft screen which included the Windows EULA, until I told them otherwise. This was a Dell screen, with no EULA, and I'm surprised that none of these people were aware of its existence.

After all this, we *did* try to boot off a Linux install CD. That just took us to the same screen as before. So we had to go into the BIOS so that it would try to boot off the CD before the hard disk, but after we did that, Windows started to boot, without having displayed the "press a key to agree" screen. We quickly powered the machine down before Windows started. [Though now you no longer get the "press a key to agree" screen when you turn it on, even with the BIOS settings back the way they were.]

This took from around 3pm to around 8:30pm today. I'm just bewildered that Dell corporate policy is that users need to lie to use their new laptops, and to agree to legal agreements that it's completely impossible to have read. This is the next level above "click-through" licenses. Now, they figure no one reads the EULAs anyway, so why bother even providing a copy?
Ian Goldberg and Kat Hanna

My Dell is faster than my G5?! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6826258)

I have recently upgraded from a Mac 8600/300 w/64 Megs of RAM to a new G5 dual 2GHz with AGP 8X and PCI-X to help me at my freelance gig where I copy a 17 Meg file from one folder on the hard drive to another folder. On the G5 I spent about 20 minutes trying to install Adobe Arcobat 6. 20 minutes. At home, on my Dell Inspiron 5100 notebook , which by all standards should be a lot slower than this Mac, the same operation would take about 2 minutes. If that.

In addition, during this file transfer, my iPod will not work. And everything else has ground to a halt. Even Safari is straining to keep up as I type this.

I won't bore you with the laundry list of other problems that I've encountered while working on various Macs, but suffice it to say there have been many, not the least of which is I've never seen a Mac that has run faster than its Wintel counterpart, despite the Macs' faster chip architecture. My 486/66 with 8MB of ram running MS Windows for Workgroups 3.11 is faster than this G5 dual 2GHz machine at times. From a productivity standpoint, I don't get how people can claim that the Macintosh is a superior machine.

Mac addicts, flame me if you'd like, but I'd rather hear some intelligent reasons why anyone would choose to use a Mac over other faster, cheaper, more stable systems.

Re:My Dell is faster than my G5?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6826299)

Troll alert.

Why bother with this toss.

getting absurd (4, Insightful)

prichardson (603676) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826259)

Ok, an EULA for hardware? We're venturing into the land of the absurd here. What's next, installing new components in your computer is reverse engineering? I can understand software EULAs, but hardware? Hardware isn't just a license, it's tangible. I really should be able to do with it what I want (excluding using it to beat someone or something like that).

Re:getting absurd (1)

louzerr (97449) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826389)

Does this mean that they can make it illegal to use old computers for door stops?

Can I set my coffee on it in the morning, or is that against the EULA, too?

If I buy a new computer, can I take the hard drive or NIC, or sound card out of my old Dell, or is that also in violation of the EULA?

VALinux - we need you back!!!

Already slow (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6826260)

Dell's Software License Policy

Dude, you're getting screwed

28 Aug 2003

Kat and I just received the Dell Inspiron 5100 notebook we ordered from Dell Canada. We quickly ran across problems.

I pushed the power button to turn on computer. I got the Dell POST screen, then a screen from Dell (Photo [slashdot.org]):

SOFTWARE LICENSES

- Before using your computer, read all of the software license
agreements that came with each program that you ordered.
There may be several agreements to examine. To comply with
the terms and conditions of the software license agreements,
you must consider any CD or diskette set of Dell-installed software
as BACKUP copies of the software installed on your computer's
hard-disk drive.

- If you did not order Dell-installed software for this computer,
or if you do not accept all the terms of the licenses, please call
the customer assistance telephone number listed in your system
documentation.

Press any key on the keyboard to indicate that you have
read all of the software licenses and agree to their terms.

Be Direct TM
Dell TM
www.dell.com

But there are no license agreements in the box that the computer came in. [There are some shrinkwrapped CD containers, but the "Terms and Conditions of Sale (CANADA)" that came with the invoice says:

"7. Software. All software is provided subject to the license
agreement that is part of the package. Customer agrees that
it will be bound by the license agreement once the package is
opened or its seal is broken. Dell does not warrant any software
under this Agreement. Warranties, if any, for the software are
contained in the license agreement that governs its purchase
and use."

I've never agreed to those Terms and Conditions, to my knowledge, but I assume they think they're enforceable, so I can't open up the shrinkwrap to see if the license agreements are in there, without automatically agreeing to them.]

So I called the only Dell number I could find on my documentation (1-800-847-4096) and spoke to a customer support representative. I told her what was on the screen, and told her I couldn't find the license agreements I'm required to read and agree to before pressing any key.

She put me on hold while she looked into where the license agreements might be, and eventually transferred me to technical support. The tech support agent told me her database was down, so she couldn't look up anything at all (I hadn't even told her what the problem was yet), and I'd have to call back in an hour.

I call back, and speak to a tech support woman. She says: "press Tab." I explain that I can't without saying I've read and agreed to documents I don't have. She says "press page down". Same problem. She says "scroll down". I explain it's not a Windows screen. She says "insert any Dell-shipped CD". I exlpain the problem of opening the CD packaging.

She insists I have to press a key. I ask her if she really means that I have to agree to the licenses before it's at all possible that i've read them. She says "yes". I explain that that's not acceptable, and ask for her supervisor.

Her supervisor insists it's a Customer Care issue, and not tech support, and that there's nothing he can do. He can't explain why they sent me to him. He enters my info into the call log databse, and I go to call back Customer Care.

So back into the hold queue I go.

I'm finally connected to a Customer Care representative. [Pretty much each sentence in the following was interspersed with long, long times on hold.]

She looked up the call log to get the background info. She insists she doesn't have copies of the agreements, and that I'm supposed to go online and look them up myself. (?!) She says to use a public computer if I have to. I ask how to know what companies have software on my disk. She goes away for a bit, and says she doesn't have that information, and there's nothing they can do. [And there's no supervisor available.] She asks why I don't want to agree to the license. I explain I haven't *seen* it. She says "it just says you won't copyright any of the files". I ignore the mistake, and explain that licensing agreements are long, long documents that say much more than that, and that anyway, the screen says that I have to have *read* it.

Eventually she does manage to connect me to Alan Burley (Manager, Customer Service).

He said he installs things all the time without reading the license agreements. He says I should just do that. I ask if he's really telling me to lie and to agree to legal documents I haven't seen. He says I don't have to, but the only thing he can do is take the computer back. He says that it's the first time this issue has escalated. He does manage to tell me what software is on the system, and says I need to go to those companies' websites to get their agreements. [Never mind that I need the OEM version and that's unlikely to be there.] I ask _him_ what if this was my first computer. He said I would have to go to a library or a friend's house. He really couldn't send me the agreements that Dell insists I read and agree to before using the computer.

He said he couldn't give me his phone number or mailing address, and that he didn't have a boss who could talk to me.

So we've got nothing left to do but send it back. He says he'll send waybills, and will refund the cost of the computer, including the original shipping charge, and won't charge a restocking fee. We will have to pay for the shipping back to the Oakville depot. I figured we could just run it by there ourselves (it's not too far), but he said that that's not possible. (I don't understand why. We'll probably try, anyway.)

It's crazy that it came to this. If they had said *anything* reasonable, we would have been happy to just install Linux on the thing and be done with it. But they were saying that anyone who uses a Dell laptop (with this startup screen) *has* to just lie about having read the licenses, and just blindly agree to them. That's unacceptable enough that it's going back.

It's also interesting to note that everyone except Mr. Burley assumed that I was talking about a Microsoft screen which included the Windows EULA, until I told them otherwise. This was a Dell screen, with no EULA, and I'm surprised that none of these people were aware of its existence.

After all this, we *did* try to boot off a Linux install CD. That just took us to the same screen as before. So we had to go into the BIOS so that it would try to boot off the CD before the hard disk, but after we did that, Windows started to boot, without having displayed the "press a key to agree" screen. We quickly powered the machine down before Windows started. [Though now you no longer get the "press a key to agree" screen when you turn it on, even with the BIOS settings back the way they were.]

This took from around 3pm to around 8:30pm today. I'm just bewildered that Dell corporate policy is that users need to lie to use their new laptops, and to agree to legal agreements that it's completely impossible to have read. This is the next level above "click-through" licenses. Now, they figure no one reads the EULAs anyway, so why bother even providing a copy?

Dude, you are over-reacting. (0, Insightful)

The Old Burke (679901) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826263)

Did you have to buy their laptop? NO

Do they force you to sign the license or click accept? NO

Can you return the laptop, get money back and buy another product? YES

And really, how problematic is this license really, to me it looks like a ordinary Windows EULA.

Re:Dude, you are over-reacting. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6826365)

He is complaining becuase
  • He bought their laptop in good faith and was given no indication shit like this was going to be pulled
  • He lost an entire day to dealing with their bullshit, plus the time lost to the fact that he is now going to have to wait for delivery of a DIFFERENT laptop.


how problematic is this license really

The problem is he had to agree to the license terms in order to be allowed to read the license terms! And the customer support line wouldn't give him the license terms when he called. How is that NOT problematic?

Re:Dude, you are over-reacting. (1)

orasio (188021) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826391)

RTFA, The guy didnt get the EULA, and had a hard time getting his money back.

Re:Dude, you are over-reacting. (1)

Mr_Matt (225037) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826410)

Did you even RTFA? NO :)

Do they force you to sign the license or click accept? NO

Well, yes, actually, they tried. If you want to get out of BIOS you had to click through, and tech support instructed them to just click accept even though it was impossible to read the documents they were agreeing to. Do you enter into legal agreements without reading them first?

to me it looks like a ordinary Windows EULA.

But see...Windows EULAs approach War and Peace in terms of sheer bulk - this Dell BIOS screen was maybe a paragraph, with a big goofy 'click here' image at the bottom. Not even remotely similar to a Windows EULA.

Sheesh.

Re:Dude, you are over-reacting. (1)

GrubInCan (624096) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826433)

His complaint is primarily that the EULA says he needs to "read all of the software license agreements that came with each program that you ordered".

He didn't receive any, or if he did, it was inside a shrink wrap that he couldn't open (without agreeing first).
Similarly, DELL would not provide them via other means.

Re:Dude, you are over-reacting. (1)

wirelessbuzzers (552513) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826437)

Did you have to buy their laptop? NO

Do they force you to sign the license or click accept? NO

Can you return the laptop, get money back and buy another product? YES

And really, how problematic is this license really, to me it looks like a ordinary Windows EULA.


The problem here is that Dell requires him to certify that he has read, and agrees to, a license that he cannot possibly have read.

In other words, they are requiring him to
1) lie, and
2) agree to a license that he has not read.

The EULA is entirely unenforceable for this reason, but it is still technically illegal to click through the license.

Do they force him to click through? No. But they force anyone who wants a Dell laptop to illegally click through.

Spectacular. (1)

error502 (694533) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826266)

And I just ordered a Dell Inspiron 5150 yesterday. :-/

Re:Spectacular. (1)

override11 (516715) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826346)

bitch bitch bitch, dont ever call them for support and they will never bother you. They are just protecting themselves from this lawsuite-happy consuer nation. Take some responsibility! You either have their warranty and tech support and agree to their conditions, or you suck it up and buy the laptop and never call them. Whoops it broke, you are SOL.

slashdotted (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6826268)

Dell's Software License Policy
Dude, you're getting screwed.
28 Aug 2003

Kat and I just received the Dell Inspiron 5100 notebook we ordered from Dell Canada. We quickly ran across problems.

I pushed the power button to turn on computer. I got the Dell POST screen, then a screen from Dell (Photo [cypherpunks.ca]):

SOFTWARE LICENSES

- Before using your computer, read all of the software license
agreements that came with each program that you ordered.
There may be several agreements to examine. To comply with
the terms and conditions of the software license agreements,
you must consider any CD or diskette set of Dell-installed software
as BACKUP copies of the software installed on your computer's
hard-disk drive.

- If you did not order Dell-installed software for this computer,
or if you do not accept all the terms of the licenses, please call
the customer assistance telephone number listed in your system
documentation.

Press any key on the keyboard to indicate that you have
read all of the software licenses and agree to their terms.

Be Direct TM
Dell TM
www.dell.com

But there are no license agreements in the box that the computer came in. [There are some shrinkwrapped CD containers, but the "Terms and Conditions of Sale (CANADA)" that came with the invoice says:

"7. Software. All software is provided subject to the license
agreement that is part of the package. Customer agrees that
it will be bound by the license agreement once the package is
opened or its seal is broken. Dell does not warrant any software
under this Agreement. Warranties, if any, for the software are
contained in the license agreement that governs its purchase
and use."

I've never agreed to those Terms and Conditions, to my knowledge, but I assume they think they're enforceable, so I can't open up the shrinkwrap to see if the license agreements are in there, without automatically agreeing to them.]

So I called the only Dell number I could find on my documentation (1-800-847-4096) and spoke to a customer support representative. I told her what was on the screen, and told her I couldn't find the license agreements I'm required to read and agree to before pressing any key.

She put me on hold while she looked into where the license agreements might be, and eventually transferred me to technical support. The tech support agent told me her database was down, so she couldn't look up anything at all (I hadn't even told her what the problem was yet), and I'd have to call back in an hour.

I call back, and speak to a tech support woman. She says: "press Tab." I explain that I can't without saying I've read and agreed to documents I don't have. She says "press page down". Same problem. She says "scroll down". I explain it's not a Windows screen. She says "insert any Dell-shipped CD". I exlpain the problem of opening the CD packaging.

She insists I have to press a key. I ask her if she really means that I have to agree to the licenses before it's at all possible that i've read them. She says "yes". I explain that that's not acceptable, and ask for her supervisor.

Her supervisor insists it's a Customer Care issue, and not tech support, and that there's nothing he can do. He can't explain why they sent me to him. He enters my info into the call log databse, and I go to call back Customer Care.

So back into the hold queue I go.

I'm finally connected to a Customer Care representative. [Pretty much each sentence in the following was interspersed with long, long times on hold.]

She looked up the call log to get the background info. She insists she doesn't have copies of the agreements, and that I'm supposed to go online and look them up myself. (?!) She says to use a public computer if I have to. I ask how to know what companies have software on my disk. She goes away for a bit, and says she doesn't have that information, and there's nothing they can do. [And there's no supervisor available.] She asks why I don't want to agree to the license. I explain I haven't *seen* it. She says "it just says you won't copyright any of the files". I ignore the mistake, and explain that licensing agreements are long, long documents that say much more than that, and that anyway, the screen says that I have to have *read* it.

Eventually she does manage to connect me to Alan Burley (Manager, Customer Service).

He said he installs things all the time without reading the license agreements. He says I should just do that. I ask if he's really telling me to lie and to agree to legal documents I haven't seen. He says I don't have to, but the only thing he can do is take the computer back. He says that it's the first time this issue has escalated. He does manage to tell me what software is on the system, and says I need to go to those companies' websites to get their agreements. [Never mind that I need the OEM version and that's unlikely to be there.] I ask _him_ what if this was my first computer. He said I would have to go to a library or a friend's house. He really couldn't send me the agreements that Dell insists I read and agree to before using the computer.

He said he couldn't give me his phone number or mailing address, and that he didn't have a boss who could talk to me.

So we've got nothing left to do but send it back. He says he'll send waybills, and will refund the cost of the computer, including the original shipping charge, and won't charge a restocking fee. We will have to pay for the shipping back to the Oakville depot. I figured we could just run it by there ourselves (it's not too far), but he said that that's not possible. (I don't understand why. We'll probably try, anyway.)

It's crazy that it came to this. If they had said *anything* reasonable, we would have been happy to just install Linux on the thing and be done with it. But they were saying that anyone who uses a Dell laptop (with this startup screen) *has* to just lie about having read the licenses, and just blindly agree to them. That's unacceptable enough that it's going back.

It's also interesting to note that everyone except Mr. Burley assumed that I was talking about a Microsoft screen which included the Windows EULA, until I told them otherwise. This was a Dell screen, with no EULA, and I'm surprised that none of these people were aware of its existence.

After all this, we *did* try to boot off a Linux install CD. That just took us to the same screen as before. So we had to go into the BIOS so that it would try to boot off the CD before the hard disk, but after we did that, Windows started to boot, without having displayed the "press a key to agree" screen. We quickly powered the machine down before Windows started. [Though now you no longer get the "press a key to agree" screen when you turn it on, even with the BIOS settings back the way they were.]

This took from around 3pm to around 8:30pm today. I'm just bewildered that Dell corporate policy is that users need to lie to use their new laptops, and to agree to legal agreements that it's completely impossible to have read. This is the next level above "click-through" licenses. Now, they figure no one reads the EULAs anyway, so why bother even providing a copy?

Ian Goldberg and Kat Hanna [mailto]

Dude -- (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6826269)

You're getting slashdotted!

What an Ass (-1, Flamebait)

kvaughn (660320) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826276)

People like this just make life difficult for everyone else. So some Dell tech forgot to put the damn license agreement in the box - BFD.

This person doesn't want to read the license. He wants to cause trouble.

Why did this make Slashdot anyway? This is "news"?!?

Re:What an Ass (2, Insightful)

Ophidian P. Jones (466787) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826371)

This person doesn't want to read the license. He wants to cause trouble.

"You must be new here."

People on Slashdot regularly fight incessantly for pedantic, yet idealistic goals, because they have nothing else to do with their time. I'd get used to it.

Re:What an Ass (1)

Shack95 (115571) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826386)


Hmmm every factory worker must have been asleep the whole day then. The same thing happened to the Precision I just purchased. No paper in the box except the shrikwrapped XP recovery and colorfull 'howto plugin mouse picture'

Re:What an Ass (1)

GiMP (10923) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826395)

Even if they "forgot" to include it in the box, DELL offered no way for him to review the licenses other than telling him what software was included and told him to look on their websites.. ASSUMING that he had a computer with internet access AND that the EULA were the same for the OEM and non-OEM versions of the software.

Basically, if you really care about what you're signing, you shouldn't buy a Dell.

Contacting publicly traded corporations (5, Interesting)

sphealey (2855) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826280)

Well, the article is now Slashdotted so I can't get the exact quote. But in there somewhere he says the manager of customer service would not accept his complaint and would not give him a mailing address.

In this situation, one needs to write a letter stating one's problem or complaint in clear, calm, non-abusive language. Look up the corporation's VP of Customer Service, Chairman of the Board of Directors, and Chief Legal Counsel (all names should be available through finance.yahoo.com). Send the letter to each of them at the address where the company accepts legal correspondence (also available from public sources). That course of action is far more likely to get results in difficult or complex circumstances than endlessly e-mailing or calling worker bees.

Remember, the worker bees aren't fibbing: they really can't do anything outside corporate policy if they want to keep their jobs

sPh

Bummer... (1)

Talia Starhawke (650311) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826291)

It's really unfortunate that because of what SCO, Microsoft and other such companies have done to the technology industry, companies like Dell have to resort to things like this. I mean, what is the world coming to when you are basically FORCED to accept something that initially we were given the choice to accept or not accept. What ever happened to shareware, where you could pay for it if you honestly wanted to support the company, or not? Or better still, freeware, where you had to make good software to get any sort of support from the computer industry at large? This is a sad day, indeed...

uhhh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6826294)

why would anybody who cares about license agreements, linux, etc., buy a Dell product???

Look mates, the computer you need is the one with a picture of fruit on it, 'nuff said.

Anyone home at dell? (1, Interesting)

Blaine Hilton (626259) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826300)

No surprise here!

I had a problem with my recent Dell Laptop, I should have a $450 rebate and my packing slip only said $100. The only reason I brought the laptop was because of this rebate. I tried calling Dell and they said I needed to talk to my sales rep, his name is Eric Coley at eric_coley@dell.com [mailto]. He apologized and said they would send a new packing slip and that I should not send in my rebate for the $100 yet. A few weeks later nothing, I keep calling and leaving messages and emailing and no answer. Perhaps one of you could get through and tell him Blaine Hilton is waiting his response. You can call him at 1-800-WWW-DELL, choosing option 1 and then entering his extension of 58682.

I've heard other people have the same problem. I guess the next step is to file complaints with the FTC, and the BBB. I also have wasted over 20 hours in this whole mess.

What's the Point of this? (-1, Troll)

OS24Ever (245667) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826307)

To me this is a smart ass calling up Dell to cause some grief to some minimum wage/minimum trained employees.

Dell doesn't want customers like this, and they'll be happy to give em their money back if it will make them not buy from them. No large business would want to deal with someone like this.

Maybe 10 years ago when licenses first started popping up and requiring clicks we could have done something about it, but by now they're so commonplace and so ignored that no one is going to take someone seriously when they call in about it and they're gonna get brushed off.

if you don't like click through licenses agreements, build your own computer or find someone that is going to give you the hardware without any software. Otherwise, you're going to have to agree to something to turn it on.

Re:What's the Point of this? (1)

rainwater (530678) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826426)

Dell doesn't want customers like this, and they'll be happy to give em their money back if it will make them not buy from them. No large business would want to deal with someone like this.

So you are saying Dell is choosing who is the *right* customer? This is the type of customer Dell should want. They have a problem with the way they handle their EULA. Hopefully this will help them to fix the problem. The user never said they wouldn't agree to it. They just wanted to see the whole license which they couldn't. Dell is the one to blame here, not someone following the rules.

Rediculous (1)

Sanity (1431) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826308)

Most commercial license agreements are a joke, software developers use them because everyone else does - I mean, why not include obscure clauses about getting your user's first born child - they will almost never read them.

There should be a law against frivolous license agreement clauses, deliberate use of obscure language, and misleading statements about people's legal obligations. Why isn't it fraud to trick people into agreeing to things by deliberately hiding them in mountains of legal text? This is an abuse of the entire concept of a legal contract.

Re:Rediculous (1, Funny)

Troed (102527) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826406)

There are such laws ...

... outside of the US.

You know, in the sane world.

Honey, we have problems. (-1, Flamebait)

raehl (609729) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826321)

What, is the new computer not working?

No, worse - we're in Canada.

Dude, you're getting . . . (0, Troll)

randyest (589159) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826332)

. . . slashdotted. :)

Can we get an AC post of a mirror or the article text please?

Invalid license! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6826336)

Uhm, licenses you are forced to agree to before reading them are null and void! Under contract laws, these arrangements are illegal. A contract entered into under misleading or coerced circumstances is broken. Even severability clauses may not apply ( IE, if some part of this contract is found to break a law, then only that part of the contract is broken, and the rest of the terms are still binding ). Since you can't even read that clause if it existed, it doesn't exist.

Essentially, the defaults of copyright, customer service, and warranty laws would then apply.

Bad move for Dell, as whatever rights they want you to throw away, you can't! Since the 'License' is non-binding, well. MUHAHAHA!

When will the madness end... (1)

npalmer (215452) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826337)

I mean come on! It is a piece of hardware, a tool to do a job. What's next? Will I have to sign a EULA to get a router from the hardware store? I mean, I could use it to carve a sign that says how much the router manufacturer sucks, so I could see them putting a clause forbiding that in there EULA. The whole thing is just stupid.

I recommend not buying from DELL. It's as simple as that. I don't buy software that comes with a EULA, and I am certainly not about to start buying hardware that does.

see sand, now insert head (1)

vitalitychernobyl (670357) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826342)

"He said he installs things all the time without reading the license agreements. He says I should just do that."

Just go with the flow, everyone is doing it. Oh and btw, Solient Green is people, but if no one tells, then it isn't really so...

By Coincidence... (2, Interesting)

Orne (144925) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826347)

My dad's Dell PC arrived on August 11th... by late afternoon I assembled it and had him hooked up to a new ISP [earthlink.com]. And one day later (if you recall [slashdot.org]) the PC was hit by the Blaster worm.

My dad was not happy... The thing was fresh out of the box, and here I was explaining to him that the patches had been available at microsoft.com since mid-July, and Dell was shipping unpatched software.

In Soviet Russia... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6826352)

Dumb comments post MICHAEL!!!!

Christ people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6826355)

Do you think you are so damn important that they will come after little old you? Just agree or if your are some worried about signing your rights away then don't and use something else. When the hell do software companies bite you? When you don't pay for their software, that's when. Not violating the EULA. Every response about getting bit is because of software audits where you didn't have enough licenses. I have never seen someone busted for violating some minutia in the EULA.

Licensing is overated (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826360)

IF there is one thing I learned in the hi-tech world today... licensing don't mean much.

Ask SCO
Ask Napster
Ask M$

Today's licensing schemes everywhere are so complex... my grandma can break the laws.

"You cannot return opened software" (1)

jasonsfa98 (648370) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826366)

So if I go to the store and buy a software package, then get home and read the EULA and disagree, can I take it back?

Has anyone ever tried this? I might go buy some cheap game at BestBuy and try to take it back and tell them I don't agree with the EULA.

Let the war begin!

current state of software licenses (2, Interesting)

kaan (88626) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826373)

From the article:

they figure no one reads the EULAs anyway, so why bother even providing a copy?

This whole incident is a great example of an interesting progression of trends these days - zillions of home users have no idea that software licenses really mean anything, and now a huge vendor (Dell) doesn't even bother providing a copy of a license. But they're still forcing the user to agree to it before they can boot their new computer. What's the point then? What's the legality of forcing the user to agree to something that is actually impossible to agree to (given that it doesn't exist and can't be provided by the company)? When are we going to see an overhaul of the licensing patterns in this country, so that they're not so silly and empty? Next thing you know, SCO is going to try to get in on this Dell licensing issue somehow... Why not just say, "By clicking here, you agree that we can do whatever we want, whatever that may be, whether or not we inform you beforehand"? I can see the follow-up posts now... "they already do that"

He found a way around, so what's the complaint? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6826384)

Messing with the bios allowed him to bypass the screen and NOT have to agree to anything, so why send it back now? He can read all the EULA's he wants without agreeing to anything.

Re:He found a way around, so what's the complaint? (1)

ninthwave (150430) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826438)

No I think by trying to get into the BIOS they hit any key and by that way "accepted the license".

I think though legally since it stated they had to agree to the licensing that came with the computer that with no license coming with the computer they get to use the software however they want.

Alan Burley... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6826399)

is not in the corp. directory.

Court Tested, Mother Approved? (1)

vonFinkelstien (687265) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826402)

Has anyone ever been taken to court over an EULA?

What if somebody published .NET benchmarks?

What if somebody wrote a standalone Word Processor/Spreedsheet with VB Stuido?

What legal grounds does MS or Dell or * have via EULAs?

I have no answers, only questions.

Something New? (5, Informative)

LamerX (164968) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826432)

My inspiron 2650 came with this feature almost a year ago. I called Dell and asked them "What if I don't agree with the license?" He said, "Boot off of your new OS CD and format the hard drive."

I was like OK. That was what I did. If you do format the hard drive, then you're not bound to the terms. If you never use that OS, then you are fine.

Okay maybe it wasn't a click-through process. But it said "Press the space bar to agree to the terms of the license agreement."

So, I don't see what the big deal is. You're not forced to agree. You're not agreeing by using the laptop, so what?

Dude, you're duding dude! Dude? (5, Funny)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826436)

What next? How far in advance can they (conceivably) go? Will I have to agree to the software terms before I open the box?

Before I may enter the website? Before I walk in the store?

How about before I get in the car to go to the store? Before I get internet access?

Before I leave the house in the morning? Before I get a credit card to pay for my ISP?

Before I wake up? Before the internet is invented?

Before I was born? Before the great landmass of Pangea split into the continents we know now?

Before the land that time forgot was forgotten? Before the cosmic dust coalesced into the planets of our solar system?

BEFORE THE FABRIC OF TIME, SPACE AND DIMENSION WERE TORN ASUNDER BY THE GREAT GOD ALGOROTH AND FASHIONED INTO THE UNIVERSE??

Fuck it, I'm getting an Apple.

Such a joke (2, Insightful)

endus (698588) | more than 10 years ago | (#6826444)

This is unbelievable. These companies expect us to abide by these agreements but don't even take them seriously themselves. If anyone had paid even the slightest bit of attention to this situation at the factory they would have realized the circular logic of this. The god damned lawyers want us to abide by these things, but even they realize that no one reads them. They make such a big deal about the fact that you are entering into an agreement when you click okay, and yet are not even capable of providing you a copy of that agreement to read. Fuck these companies. I have recommended Dell systems to people looking for the cheap, easy, pre-set-up computer for a long time. I have done this because I ahve some *excellent* Dell systems...one that is nearly 8 years old, runs 24/7/365 and is still on it's original IBM HDD. Now Dell has started in with the integrated soundcards, the garbage hardware, and now totally unfeasable click through agreements. I'm sure I have sold more than a few Dells in my time with my recommendations (and no one has ever complained) but they will not be selling any more as a result of my recommendations. This is the last straw.
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  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
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