Thoughts for the Year
Rumor has it that Microsoft has bought
out the Electrolux corporation, and after making major design revisions is finally
going to market a product that doesn't suck.
If Ford built cars the way Microsoft build software, we would all be driving aircraft carriers
There was once a young man who, in his youth, professed his desire to become a great writer. When asked to define great, he said, "I want to write stuff that the whole world will read, stuff that people will react to on a truly emotional level, stuff that will make them scream, cry, howl in pain and anger!" He now works for Microsoft writing error messages.
The classically minded among us may have noted a new TV ad for Microsoft's Internet Explorer e-mail program which uses the musical theme of the "Confutatis Maledictis" from Mozart's Requiem. "Where do you want to go today?" is the cheery line on the screen while the chorus sings "Confutatis maledictis, flammis acribus addictis."
An approximate translation from the Latin is: "The damned and accursed are convicted to the flames of hell."Tokyo, Japan March 16 - A Japanese Electronics company has announced its own computer operating system, now available on its hot new portable PC called the Vaio. Instead of producing the cryptic error messages characteristic of Microsoft's Windows and DOS systems, the new system will draw from the Japanese culture.
A spokesperson said: "We intend to capture the high ground by putting
a human Japanese face on what has been until now-an operating system that reflects
Western cultural hegemony. For example we have replaced the impersonal and unhelpful
Microsoft error messages with our own Japanese haiku
"The idea came to me the other day, when a homeless man asked me for money," recalls Gates. "I suddenly realized that we were missing a golden opportunity. Here was a chance to make a profit without any initial monetary investment. Naturally, this man then became the competition, so I had my limo driver run over him a few times."
Microsoft engineers have been working around the clock to complete Gates' vision of panhandling for the 21st century. "We feel that our program designers really understand how the poor and needy situation works," says Microsoft Homeless product leader Bernard Liu. "Except for the fact that they're stinking rich."
Microsoft Beggar will be automatically installed with Windows 98. At random intervals, a dialog box pops up, asking the user if they could spare any change so that Microsoft has enough money to get a hot meal.
"This is a little lie," admits software engineer Adam Miller," since our diet consists of Coke and Twinkies, but what beggar doesn't embellish the truth a little?"
The user can click [Yes], in which case a random amount of change (between $.05 and $142.50) is transferred from the user's bank account to Microsoft's. The user can also respond [No], in which case the program politely tells the user to have a nice day.
The [No] button has yet to be implemented. "We're experiencing a little trouble programming the [No] button," Bernard Liu says, "but we should definitely have it up and running within the next couple of years. Or at least by the time Windows 2014 comes out. Maybe."
Gates says this is just the start of an entire line of products. "Be on the lookout for the beta versions of new products like Microsoft Mugging, which either takes $50 or erases your hard drive, and Microsoft Squigee Guy, which will clean up your Windows for a dollar."
Apparently, when Microsoft Squigee Guy 1.0 ships, probably next June, Windows 98 will no longer automatically refresh your screen display. Not that it does now! But there are competitors on the horizon. Sun Microsystems and Oracle Corporation are introducing panhandling products of their own.
"When you talk about Gates, the wheel is spinning but the hamster's gone, if you get my drift," says Oracle Head Honcho and 3rd degree black belt Larry Ellison. "I mean, in the future, we won't need laptop computers asking you for change. You'll have an entire network of machines asking you for money."
Microsoft Sues Bandai
Microsoft (MSFT) has announced a 54 million dollar lawsuit against Tomagotchi maker, Bandai. Microsoft is claiming that the Tomagotchi (the Japanese electronic pet that's all the rage with the kids) is an infringment of its intellectual property.
Microsoft spokesperson, Erik Loregard stated "Software that needs constant, even hourly attention, or else it dies? Sounds like Windows 95 to me. This is clearly an infringment on our technology".
The Bandai company spokesman refused to comment on the suit.
Bill Gates once commented that if Auto companies had embraced progress like computer companies, everyone would be able to buy a vehicle for $25, and get 1000 miles per gallon.
The MD of GM, when confronted with this, retorted "That may be so, but who wants to crash twice a day?"
Stung by this, Bill Gates has announced a new Microsoft development - hopefully, as he put it, "Moving in a new direction"
Originally intended to be called the 'Auto 1.0', the new vehicle will now be called 'Auto 2001' and will hit the streets in 2002. Or soon after.
Auto 2001 boasts some unique new features; Every time they repaint the lines on the road, you'll have to buy a new model.
If you choose to drive the Auto 2001, rather than simply admire the workmanship, you may find that the engine just dies, for no apparent reason. Maybe several times a day, usually when in heavy traffic, or medium or light traffic. Whatever. "This is perfectly normal," say Microsoft "all you need to do is restart it. We're confident that millions of people will just accept this."
The oil, engine, gas, and alternator warning lights would be replaced by a single "General Car Fault" warning light, a sophisticated new development. "New features like this have really excited the media," smiled Jim Watson, Microsoft's man in the showroom, "despite the fact that similar features have been available in other companies' products for years"
Our reporter suggested that rivals were far ahead, such as Sun Motor Systems' 'Solar Auto', powered by the sun, twice as reliable, and five times as fast, but Mr. Watson was not impressed: "That will only run on 5% of the roads" he claimed.
One definite weakness in the beta version was that there was only room for one person at a time: Microsoft will be launching an 'NT' version to get around this. Someday.
Bill Gates believes that his will be the first auto maker for years to pay money to the government, instead of accepting subsidies "So it's not unreasonable to insist that we all switch to Microsoft gas."
Somewhere, in a galaxy far, far away, the Starship Enterprise encountered the Borg. After announcing a Red Alert, Picard prepared to unleash Plan 9:
"Mr. LaForge, have you had any success with your attempts at finding a weakness in the Borg? And Mr. Data, have you been able to access their command pathways?"
"Yes, Captain." replied Geordi, "In fact, we found the answer by searching through our archives on late Twentieth-century computing technology." Geordi presses a key, and a logo appears on the computer screen.
Riker looks puzzled. "What the hell is 'Microsoft'?"
Data turns to answer. "Allow me to explain, Commander. We will send this program, for some reason called 'Windows', through the Borg command pathways. Once inside their root command unit, it will begin consuming system resources, gradually at first, but increasing at an exponential rate."
Picard cuts in "But the Borg have the ability to adapt. Won't they alter their processing systems to increase their storage capacity?"
"Yes, Captain." said Data, "But when Microsoft detects spare capacity, it creates a new version of 'Windows' known as an upgrade. The use of resources increases each time. Nothing can adapt quickly enough to keep ahead, not even the Borg. Eventually all of their processing ability will be taken over and none will be available for their normal operational functions, like taking over the Universe."
[... 157 Minutes Later ...]
"Captain," reports Data "We have successfully installed the 'Windows' in the command unit and, as expected, it has consumed 85% of all resources. However, we have not received any confirmation of the expected upgrade."
"Our scanners have picked up an increase in Borg storage and CPU capacity to compensate" added Mr Worf, "but we still have no indication of an 'upgrade' to absorb this increase."
[... 15 Minutes Later ...]
"Sir, I have scanned the history banks again and believe I have found the a reason for the failure in the upgrade" said Data "Apparently, the Borg have circumvented that part of the plan by not sending in something called a 'registration card'."
"Captain, we have no choice. Said Riker, preparing to run away. "Request permission to begin emergency escape sequence 3F ..."
"Wait, Captain" Geordi interrupts "Their CPU capacity has dropped to 1.2%! And it's still falling"
"Appearently the Borg have found the internal 'Windows' module named 'Solitaire'," added Data, "and it has used up all the CPU capacity."
"As expected, the Borg are attempting to re-engineer to compensate for increased CPU and storage demands, but each time they successfully increase resources, our closest deep space monitor beacon transmits more 'Windows' modules from something called the 'Microsoft fun-pack'." Explained Worf.
"Current Borg solution rates allow me to predicate an interest time span of six more hours." confirmed Data. "Captain, another vessel has entered our sector."
"It appears to have markings very similar to the 'Microsoft' logo..." Said Worf
"This is Admiral Bill Gates of the Microsoft Flagship 'Monopoly'. We have identified the Borg vessel as a user of unregistered software. You can leave the Borg to us, Enterprise; we'll have them tied up in law suits for two hundred years."
The pilot banks the plane around, rolls down the window and shouts to the guy "EXCUSE ME, WHERE AM I?"
To this, the solitary office worker replies "YOU'RE IN AN AEROPLANE." The pilot rolls up the window, executes a 275 degree turn and proceeds to execute a perfect blind landing on the runway of the airport five miles away.
Afterwards, a passenger approaches the pilot, and asks how he knew where to find the runway. The pilot replies: "The answer the man gave me was 100% correct, but absolutely useless, so I knew it had to be the Microsoft Customer Support Building."
Bill: "There are a few issues we need to discuss."
Contractor: "Ah, you have our basic support option. Calls are free for the first 90 days and $75 a call thereafter. Okay?"
Bill: "Uh, yeah... the first issue is the living room. We think its a little smaller than we anticipated."
Contractor: "Yeah. Some compromises were made to have it out by the release date."
Bill: "We won't be able to fit all our furniture in there."
Contractor: "Well, you have two options. You can purchase a new, larger living room; or you can use a Stacker."
Contractor: "Yeah, it allows you to fit twice as much furniture into the room. By stacking it, of course, you put the entertainment center on the couch... the chairs on the table... etc. You leave an empty spot, so when you want to use some furniture you can unstack what you need and then put it back when you're done."
Bill: "Uh... I dunno... issue two is the light fixtures. The bulbs we brought with us from our old home won't fit. The threads run the wrong way."
Contractor: "Oh! Thats easy. Those bulbs aren't plug and play. You'll have to upgrade to the new bulbs."
Bill: "And the electrical outlets? The holes are round, not rectangular. How do I fix that?"
Contractor: "Just uninstall and reinstall the electrical system."
Bill: "You're kidding!?"
Contractor: "Nope. Its the only way."
Bill: "[sigh] Well... I have one last problem. Sometimes, when have guests over, someone will flush the toilet and it won't stop. Then the water pressure drops so low that the showers don't work."
Contractor: "That's a resource leakage problem. One fixture is failing to terminate and is hogging the resources preventing access from other fixtures."
Bill: "And how do I fix that?"
Contractor: "Well, after each flush, you all need to exit the house, turn off the water at the street, turn it back on, reenter the house and then you can get back to work. Oh yeah - it might help to have the dishwasher replaced just in case."
Bill: "That's the last straw. What kind of product are you selling me?"
Contractor: "Hey, nobody made you buy it."
Bill: "And when will this be fixed?"
Contractor: "Oh, in your next house-which will be ready to release sometime near the end of next year. Actually it was due out this year, but we've had some delays..."
Actually, I admire the way you run Christmas. You really have a handle on it. You find out what people want (with letters like this and having kids tell you in person), and then you make the presents and control how they are delivered. It's an impressive operation. I also like how you've got it to where when somebody says "Christmas presents," people automatically think Santa Claus. What a marketing advantage.
Best of all, even though you're a huge success, people still don't know much about your private life. It's just rumors. That's so neat. I think being at the North Pole helps. That was a good move. For example, when you're designing toys, only your elves know what you're doing, and you're way up there where nobody can spy on you and steal your ideas. And even if they do, you can always just let it out that you're making the same stuff to bring to people for free, so why would they buy the other guy's stuff? Also, other people who make Christmas presents can't deliver them like you can.
Yours is the only sleigh on the distribution highway. You must get some great discounts from them, because if they don't play ball you can just refuse to give out their presents. Very Sharp. What I don't get is why you give away stuff. That's the dumbest idea I've ever heard. I admit, its why you're number one- who could compete with a deal like that? But it must make it hard to stay in business, especially when you have to visit every kid in the world. You have to keep growing or fail.
Here's an idea on how you can help finance your operation: Give everybody at least one battery-operated present at Christmas, then you could make batteries and sell them the rest of the year. It would create a demand: You give people something and then sell them what they need to make it work.
Another thing, about you coming down the chimney. That's so slow and inefficient. And what about all the people who don't have chimneys, Santa? I have one word for you: windows. Everybody has windows. That's about all I have to say. You're probably wondering if I was good or bad this year, but I don't really like to talk about my personal life, if that's O.K. (Just out of curiosity: When you were a boy, did any of the other kids call you a nerd?) Anyway, I don't really have anything to ask for. Mostly I think up something to play with and then build it myself. I guess I'm sort of like you-- I make my own toys.
Best of luck,
Billy Gates (8)
"We estimate that throughout the world at any given moment several million people are getting a "general protection fault" or "illegal operation" warning. We will be able to generate significant revenue by including a short advertising message along with it," said Microsoft marketing director Nathan Mirror.
The U.S. Justice Department immediately indicated that they intend to investigate whether Microsoft is gaining an unfair advantage in reaching the public with this advertising by virtue of its monopolistic control over error messages.
"Well, Bill, I'm really confused on this call; I'm not sure whether to send you to Heaven or to Hell. After all, you enormously helped society by putting a computer in almost every home, yet you also created that ghastly Windows 95. I'm going to do something I've never done before. In your case, I'm going to let you decide where you want to go."
"Well, what's the difference between the two?" asked Bill
"I'm willing to let you visit both places briefly, if it will help you make your decision."Saint Peter said
"Fine." said Bill, "let's try Hell first."
So Bill went to Hell. It was a beautiful, clean, sandy beach with clear waters and lots of bikini-clad women running around, playing in the water, laughing and frolicking about. The sun was shining; the temperature was perfect. He was very pleased. "This is great!" he told Saint Peter. "If this is Hell, I REALLY want to see Heaven!"
Heaven was a place high in the clouds, with Angels drifting about, playing harps and singing. It was nice, but not as enticing as Hell. Bill thought for a quick minute, and made his decision.
"I think I'd prefer Hell," he told St. Peter.
"Fine," retorted St. Peter, "as you desire." So Bill Gates went to Hell.
Two weeks later, St. Peter decided to check on the late billionaire to see how he was doing in Hell. When he got there, he found Bill, shackled to a wall, screaming amongst hot flames in dark caves, being tortured by demons.
"How's everything going?" he asked Bill.
"This is awful! This is nothing like the Hell I visited two weeks ago!" Bill responded, his voice filled with anguish and disappointment, "I can't believe this is happening! What happened to that other place, with the beautiful beaches, the scantily clad women playing in the water?????"
"That was the demo," replied Saint Peter.
Shot after shot rang out, and the reports from downrange kept coming back a miss. Finally, the Microsoft software engineer stood up, stuck his finger in the end of the barrel and pulled the trigger. This of course had the effect of blowing his digit clean off.
Grimacing through his pain, the Microsoft software engineer yelled down to the target pit 'Well, it is leaving this end just fine, the problem must be on your end!'
Clinton immediately called his cabinet. "I have good news and bad news," he announced grimly. "The good news is that there is a god. The bad news is, God's really mad and plans to end the world in a week."
In Russia, Yeltsin announced to parliament, "Comrades, I have bad news and worse news. The bad news is that we were wrong: there is a god after all. The worse news is God's mad and is going to end the world in a week."
Meanwhile, Bill Gates called a meeting of his top engineers. "I have good news and better news. The good news is that God considers me one of the three most influential men on Earth," he beamed. "The better news is we don't have to fix the bugs in Windows 95."
The three programers from Microsoft went up and purchased three tickets for the train ride. Right behind them the three Apple programers went up to the same ticket window and bought one ticket.
The Microsoft programers asked the Apple programers how they were going to get away with just one ticket. An Apple programer said, "Just watch us."
All six programers got on the train and the three Apple programers went in the bathroom. When the conductor came by, knocked on the bathroom door, and said, "Ticket please," one of the Apple programers handed the conductor one ticket.
On the return trip home the Microsoft programers said that was a neat idea and went up to the ticket agent and bought one ticket. The Apple programers did not purchase any ticket at all. The Microsoft programers asked the Apple programers how they were going to get away with no ticket. They responded, "Just watch."
The Microsoft programers went in the rest room just as the Apple programers had before. One Apple programer then went to the door of the rest room, knocked, and said, "Ticket please."
Not only that, part of the plan involves digging up the whole place, putting it on huge flatbed trucks, and carting it around the world so people can see it working for themselves. You'd think they could just install Web cams or something and let people watch over the Net, but apparently that kind of thing is becoming too easy to forge, so they have to do it live.
Anyway, the slogan for the project is, "Where do you want Togo today?"
This is a jokes page. Including this bit. No hurt is intended to that nice Mr. Gates, or any of his staff, living or dead. On the other hand, if they choose to sell software that is untidy, unreliable, premature, memory-hungry and designed not to work with other software ...
Copyright matters: I do not expect payment for use of any of this material (c'mon!), and I am happy to admit that I have shamelessly borrowed from all over the web. But I created this page and worked into the night to edit the material and put it all together, and I assert whatever rights I have. In other words ...
If you do
copy any or all of it, please give me due credit, and quote the page address too:
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