Ever heard any conspiracy stories about Microsoft? Maybe you heard they put chips in your computer that identified themselves over the internet when you connect, or maybe secretly authorising access codes used by Microsoft applications to track pirated software? Well, they maybe true – but what is definetly true is that Microsoft uses its position as an Operating System manufacturer and designer to give its programs a leg up.
Whats so wrong with that? Nothing, provided it is beneficial to the customer – for example, compatibility between Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Internet Explorer, you know – stuff that is good for you. What if its not beneficial for the customer?
For example, Microsft Access is limited by the Microsoft Windows registry to only using 9500 page – locks per file. Whats a page lock? I don’t know – but it has soemthing to do with memory involved in processing a given action. Basically, if your database is big enough, you will eventually start to use more then 9500 pagelocks per file, and whenever you try to do something you will get a “error – not enough memory available for requested operation” or something similar. Why is the maxpagelocksperfile in the regustry set to 9500? Nobody knows, but when I had this error this morning, we jumped straight on and changed it to 100,000 (approx equivalent of 10Mb of memory). Access was able to perform its duty and we were able to get on with our work.
Why does Microsoft do this? Probably to force you upgrade to a more expensive database program once you hit that size database. People criticise Microsoft Access as being a kiddies database, but really – I like the interface, its the Jet SQL engine and Microsoft that screw it up. Sure, if your serious about databases – MySQL or soemthing similar is probably more for you – if your not going to be using it everyday, MSAccess is the perfect learning tool. It’ll even teach you how to hack the registry and beat Microsoft at its own game, eventually!
Please post a comment with any conspiracy stories about any computer manufacturer – I like conspiracy stories!