“I have recently received email from Microsoft. They’ve given me an MSDN subscription number, which works to log me on to their site. A bunch of MS developer resources are apparently in the post.”
“In the post” was evidently optimistic, and earlier this week I pinged wrowe (our MS contact at Apache) about whether to expect anything. He and others on IRC told me all you get is a membership card, from which I concluded that I’m not missing out on anything.
Now almost as if someone was listening, I’ve finally received the envelope. In addition to a silly card, it contains a little glossy booklet, whose potentially-useful contents are basically a bunch of URLs and contact details, a list of MS products covered by MSDN subscription. A section entitled “Licensing” claims to be “for information purposes only”, from which I infer it clarifies nothing about whether there are areas of MSDN into which it would be seriously unwise to wander.
Another section refers to “Your First Shipment”, which will include “a complete set of discs in a binder”, which is also kind-of what the initial email hinted at. Going by what I’ve heard to date, I have no expectation of any such shipment. That leaves me with a bootstrap problem: I have hitherto:
- A licensed copy of Windows XP, that was bundled with my now-dead Dell laptop, and older windows versions.
- A windows partition on my current desktop, installed from the Dell CD after the laptop died.
- No Internet connectivity from Windows, because it doesn’t seem able to find my current networking hardware.
In general that’s fine by me: I find the idea of exposing windows to the perils of the ‘net pretty terrifying. But there are a few times when one needs it, and bootstrapping MSDN seems like a critical instance thereof. Guess I’ll just have to google for where I can download the relevant driver to get online.
 Yes, it uses the English spelling of discs!