Microsoft Office Phone Activation Fail. Proxy server WIN!

So as I recently got a new family desktop I was setting things up and had to install Microsoft Office. I bought a copy of Microsoft office earlier this year and thus proceeded to do the activation. I proceeded with the phone activation and spoke my Installation code for verification. It could not recognize the third group of numbers. Very well. Fine. I will just type it in. Same problem! In my frustration I tweeted that this is why people pirate software. Make a legitimate user feel like a prisoner enough times and they will want to run away and pirate.

Installation Code not recognized:

Product in question: Microsoft Office 2007. Note the activation restrictions: “Distribution and required product activation must occur in Malaysia”

Luckily the sorry does not end there with me cursing Microsoft and product activation. On the box it does say that activation must occur in Malaysia. So I Googled for a Malaysian proxy, configured Internet Explorers to user a proxy (Tools > Internet Options > Connections > LAN Settings > Proxy server) and tried online activation and viola! Activated without any other problems.


Bypassing the Guest@UBD Proxy Authentication

So I happen to be in UBD the other day and the typically open Guest@UBD wireless access point seemed to be proxied and requires authentication as shown below.

guestubd proxy authentication popup

Normally it won’t ask for any authentication. Assuming that the access point is a legitimate one, a guest at UBD would not have any login credentials now would they? However I did notice that Twhirl did load some tweets (but gave the pop-up authentication dialog above) and that my Instant Messenger, Adium, was connected. So I tried a https connection to Gmail and it worked! Searched for an https proxy on my phone and found some here. Added a proxy to Firefox’s proxy setting (Preferences > Advanced > Network > Settings) and I’m back on the web.

firefox proxy settings

In order to cover all network connections (e.g. via instant messenger, Adobe air applications) proxy settings will need to be changed in network settings.

Note: Online https proxies would be a temporary fix but that will only work in web browsers. They are best used to find the proper proxy settings and once the network settings are changed to use the proxy their job is done. Proxify ( and Remainhidden ( are just 2 of many that you can find through (