(dedicated to frustrated techies everywhere...)


Last year, I upgraded my GirlFriend 3.1 to GirlFriendPlus 1.0 (marketing name: Fiancée 1.0). Recently I upgraded Fiancée 1.0 to Wife 1.0 and it's a memory hogger and has taken up all my space and other valuable resources. Critical errors occur when my operating system forgets to allocate enough processing time to Wife 1.0, and as a result Wife 1.0 will cause the system to shutdown. Also, Wife 1.0 must be running before I can do anything.

Although not mentioned in the sales brochure, Wife 1.0 came with Plug-Ins such as MotherInLaw and BrotherInLaw, each of which run as background tasks. Occasionally, MotherInLaw will pop up as a foreground process and cause all sorts of incompatibility problems. Baby 1.0 is expected to be released early next year, and I need to upgrade my system for faster processing in order to accommodate all three.

For those of you who haven't upgraded to Wife 1.0, I'd like to offer some suggestions as to some features I'd like to see in the upcoming GirlFriend 4.0 ...

A "Don't remind me again" button
Minimize button
Shutdown feature
An installshield feature so that GirlFriend 4.0 can be completely uninstalled if so desired (so you don't lose cache and other objects)

I ran GirlFriend 2.0 with GirlFriend 1.0 still installed, but they tried using the same I/O port and conflicted. Then I tried to uninstall GirlFriend 1.0, but it didn't have an uninstall program. I tried to uninstall it by hand, but it put files in my system directory. Another thing that stinks - in all versions of GirlFriend that I've used - is that it is totally "object orientated" and only supports hardware with gold plated contacts.

***** BUG WARNING ********

Wife 1.0 has an undocumented bug. If you try to install Mistress 1.1 before uninstalling Wife 1.0, Wife 1.0 will delete MSMoney files before doing the uninstall itself. Then Mistress 1.1 will refuse to install, claiming insufficient resources.

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10.  New seats would require everyone to have the same butt size.
  9.  We would all have to switch to Microsoft Gas.
  8.  The U.S. Government would be forced to rebuild all of the roads for Microsoft cars; they will drive on the old roads, but they run very slowly.
  7.  The oil, alternator, gas, and engine warning lights would be replaced by a single 'General Car Fault' warning light.
  6.  Sun Motor Systems would make a car that was solar-powered, twice as reliable and five times as fast, but would only run on 5% of the roads.
  5.  You would be constantly pressured to upgrade your car.
  4.  You could only have one person in the car at a time, unless you bought a Car95 or CarNT...but then you would have to buy ten more seats and a new engine.
  3,  Occasionally, your car would die for NO apparent reason, and you would have to restart it.  Strangely, you would just accept this as normal.
  2,  Every time the lines of the road were repainted, you would have to buy a new car.
  1.  People would get excited about the new features of the latest Microsoft cars, forgetting that these same features had been available from other car makers for years!

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5.  No one but their creator understands their internal logic.
4.  Even your smallest mistakes are immediately committed to memory for future reference.
3.  The native language used to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else.
2.  The message "Bad command or file name" is about as informative as "If you don't know why I'm mad at you, then I'm certainly not going to tell you."
1.  As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.

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1.  A number of different approaches are being tried
     -  We're still pissing in the wind.

2.  Extensive report is being prepared on a fresh approach to the problem
     -  We just hired three kids fresh out of college.

3.  Close project coordination
     -  We know who to blame.

4.  Major technological breakthrough
     -  It works okay, but looks very hi-tech.

5.  Customer satisfaction is delivered assured
     -  We're so far behind schedule that the customer is happy to get it delivered.

6.  Preliminary operational tests were inconclusive
     -  The darned thing blew up when we threw the switch.

7.  Test results were extremely gratifying
     -  We're so surprised that the stupid thing works.

8.  The entire concept will have to be abandoned
     -  The only person who understood the thing quit.

9.  It's in the process
     -  It's so wrapped up in red tape that the situation is about hopeless.

10. We'll look into it
     -  Forget it!  We have enough problems for now.

11. Please note and initial
     -  Let's spread the responsibility for the screw-up.

12. Give us the benefit of your thinking
     -  We'll listen to what you have to say as long as it doesn't interfere
         with what we've already done.

13. Give us your interpretation
     -  I can't wait to hear this bull!

14.  See me or Let's discuss
     -  Come into my office, I'm lonely.

15.  All new
     -  Parts not interchangeable with the previous design

16.  Rugged
     -  Too damned heavy to lift!

17.  Lightweight
     -  Lighter than RUGGED.

18.  Years of development
     -  One finally worked.

19.  Energy saving
     -  Achieved when the power switch is off.

20.  Low maintenance
     -  Impossible to fix if broken.

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WHAT IF DATA (Star Trek Next Generation) RAN WINDOWS '95

WORF:  Captain, there are three Romulan warships uncloaking dead ahead.

PICARD:  On screen.

[The main viewing screen changes to a pattern of horizontal lines, each only a single pixel wide.]

PICARD:  Data, what's wrong here?

DATA:  Captain, the main viewscreen does not have sufficient video memory to display an image of this size.  May I suggest that you select a lower resolution?

PICARD:  Make it so.

[The screen blanks, and then an image appears, with big, blocky square pixels.  Three objects appear in the center, which could be Romulan warbirds, but which actually look more like the aliens in Space Invaders.]

PICARD:  Data, open a hailing channel to the Romulans.

DATA:  Aye, sir.

[Data picks up an hourglass from the floor beside him, turns it over, and places it on the console in front of him.  He punches some buttons on the console and sits motionless for several seconds.  A flash of light blossoms from one of the Romulan ships on the viewscreen.]

WORF:  Incoming plasma torpedo, Captain!

PICARD  Shields up!

DATA:  I'm sorry, Captain, but I am still attempting to complete your last instruction.  I must ask you to wait until I have finished before you issue your next command.

PICARD:  What on earth do you mean?  Data, this is important!  I want those shields up right now!

DATA:  I'm sorry, Captain, but I am still attempting to complete your last instruction.  I must ask you to wait until I have finished before you issue your next command.

LaFORGE:  Allow me, Captain.  [to Data]  Control-alt-delete, Data.

[Data removes the hourglass from the console, and returns it to the floor.]

DATA:  The Romulans are not responding to my hails.  Press my nose to cancel and return to Windows.  Pull my left ear to close this communications channel which is not responding.  You will lose any information sent by the Romulans.

[LaForge pulls Data's left ear.]

PICARD:  Shields...

[There is a tremendous explosion.  The bridge shakes violently, and all the crew members are thrown to the floor.  A shower of sparks erupts from Wesley Crusher's station at the helm, throwing Wesley back away from the console.]

PICARD:  ...up, Data!

DATA:  Aye, sir.

RIKER:  All decks, damage report!

WORF:  Captain, Ensign Crusher is injured.  He appears to be unconscious.

[Data picks up the hourglass again, places it on his console, and punches some more buttons.  He waits a few seconds, then puts the hourglass back on the floor.]

DATA:  Shields are now up, captain.

PICARD:  And not a moment too soon.  Worf, lock all phasers on the lead Romulan ship.

WORF:  Aye, sir.

[He punches buttons on the weapons console.]

PICARD:  Mr. Data, take the helm, and prepare for evasive action.

DATA:  I am sorry, sir, but I do not have the proper device driver installed for that console.

PICARD:  Well, damn it, install the right one.

DATA:  Please insert Setup Implant #1 into my right nostril.

PICARD:  Number One, where do we keep Data's setup implants?

RIKER:  I left them with Geordi.

LaFORGE:  [in a surprised voice]  What!!?  I thought you still had them!

PICARD:  Data, don't you have device drivers stored in your internal memory?

DATA:  Not found, sir.  Please insert Setup Implant #1 in my right nostril.

PICARD:  Data, I don't have Setup Implant #1.

DATA:  Not ready reading right nostril.  Abort, Retry, Fail?

PICARD:  Abort!

DATA:  Not ready reading right nostril.  Abort, Retry, Fail?

PICARD:  Well, fail, then!

DATA:  Current nose is no longer valid.

[Data walks over to the helm, and presses several buttons.  The ship lurches, and images of the Romulan warships suddenly shift to one side of the viewscreen, and a high-pitched whining noise is heard coming from somewhere else in the ship.]

LaFORGE:  [alarmed]  Data, what the hell are you doing?

PICARD:  Number One, do we have a customer service number for Data?

RIKER:  Yes sir, but last time I tried to call them, I got put on hold for two hours before I was able to talk to anyone.  And that person wasn't knowledgeable about androids of Data's model.  She specialized in industrial control robots.

[Suddenly all the lights go out, the viewscreen goes blank, and all the usual noise of fans, motors, and so on whines to a halt.  After a few seconds, the red emergency lights come on.  Data is standing by the console, absolutely motionless.]

PICARD:  What's going on?

LaFORGE:  [checking the helm console]  Lieutenant Data has caused a General Protection Violation in the warp engine core.

PICARD:  These androids look sharp, but you can't really do anything with them.

[The shimmer of the transporter effect appears, and six Romulans in full battle dress materialize on the bridge.  A seventh figure, a Ferengi, appears moment later.]

FERENGI:  [with a mercenary grin]  Can I interest you in a Macintosh, Captain?

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When a user is calling in need of help, don't forget that he is a weakling.  Only a loser would need to come groveling, begging for crumbs of help that may fall from your godlike lips.  And he KNOWS that he is a loser in the race of the weak and the strong, that his kind is doomed to extinction.  Therefore, show him no mercy,   Treat him with the utter contempt that he deserves.  It is the law of nature that you should do so.

Key phrases:
      -  "You aren't very smart, are you?"
      -  "I can't believe you call yourself a programmer!
      -  "Our product is obviously too complex and advanced for you.  Please
          desist from using it--you are soiling it."

More Guidelines:
Nevertheless, there may come a time when you actually must help the user, even though he is sucking away your magnificent intellectual vitality with his grotesque, shambling confusion.  He is a lower form of life and you must make him feel it, lest he take on ambitions of evolving to your level.

Key phrases:
      -  "Now I will read aloud the section of the manual that you failed to
     -  "What you've done in your function tool is the coding equivalent of
         failing to empty your colostomy bag."

Even More Guidelines:
Alas, upon occasion, there comes a time when it is obvious that the compiler is at fault.   This is no reason to let the user feel superior to anyone, however.  The design of a compiler is still far beyond his limited mental capabilities.  His duty is to worship, not criticize.

Key Phrases:
     -  "The inner workings of the compiler are far beyond your ant-like
     -  "That behavior is described in ANSI specification
         You are familiar with that section, I assume..."
     -  "Our software can behave in that manner only if it has been corrupted
         by long exposure to users of your caliber."

And Even More Guidelines:
And finally, a user may eventually want you to code something for him, or send him an example.  The user has asked something that is against the laws of nature.  Such creatures as himself exist to serve you, and not you him.  Therefore such a request is impossible and against nature, and does not exist, and therefore never happened.   Response is not possible.

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If you receive an e-mail with a subject line of "Bad Times," delete it immediately WITHOUT reading it.  This is the most dangerous e-mail virus yet.

It will re-write your hard drive.  Not only that, but it will scramble any disks that are even close to your computer.  It will recalibrate your refrigerator's coolness setting so all your ice cream melts and your milk curdles.  It will demagnetize the strips on all your credit cards, reprogram your ATM access code, screw up the tracking on your VCR, and use subspace field harmonics to scratch any CD's you try to play.

It will give your ex-boy/girlfriend (ex-husband/wife) your new phone number.  It will mix antifreeze into your fish tank.  It will drink all your beer and leave its dirty socks on the coffee table when there's company coming over.  It will hide your car keys when you are late for work, and interfere with your car radio so that you hear only static while stuck in traffic.  Or worse yet, it will lock in on Rush Limbaugh's most bombastic oratory and refuse to turn itself off, even when you turn the car off and remove the key.

Bad Times will make you fall in love with a hardened pedophile.  It will give you nightmares about circus midgets.  It will replace your shampoo with Nair and your Nair with Rogaine, all while dating your current boy/girlfriend (husband/wife) behind your back and billing their hotel rendezvous to your Visa card.

It will seduce your grandmother.  It does not matter if she is dead, such is the power of Bad Times.  It reaches out beyond the grave to sully those things we hold most dear.

Bad Times will give you Dutch Elm disease.  It will leave the toilet set up, and leave the hairdryer plugged in dangerously close to a full bathtub.

It will not only remove the forbidden tags from your mattresses and pillows, it will refill your skim milk with whole.  It is insidious and subtle.  It is dangerous and terrifying to behold.  It is also a rather interesting shade of mauve.   These are just a few signs.

Be afraid.  Be very, very afraid.

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What if cars really were like computers?  You'd have a helpline to assist in solving problems as they came up.  Now just imagine if the same people that answer the phones at Microsoft had to answer the General Motors HelpLine...........

HelpLine:  "General Motors HelpLine, how can I help you?"
Customer:  "I can get in through the driver's side door just fine, but I can't
     open the passenger's side."
HelpLine:  "How did you try top open the passenger's side?
Customer:  "I pulled on the handle, just like on the other side."
HelpLine:  "People are always making that mistake.  You have to push on the
     passenger's side.  Remember, you're always moving the handle toward the
     left of the car.  It's more consistent that way."

HelpLine:  "General Motors HelpLine, how can I help you?"
Customer:  "How do I turn my windshield wipers on?"
HelpLine:  "There's a little button on the radio console..."
Customer:  "Radio console??"
HelpLine:  "Yes, it's more efficient to have all the controls in one central
     position.  Look for the one with a shape like a piece of pie on it."
Customer:  "And that's the windshield wiper button?  I was always
     wondering what that did."
HelpLine:  "People are always asking that.  You'd think they'd be more
     familiar with the principles of graphic design."

HelpLine:  "General Motors HelpLine, how can I help you?"
Customer:  "My car will go forward, but when I put it in reverse,
     nothing happens."
HelpLine:  "What model do you have?"
Customer:  "It's a brand new 1998 Mongoose."
HelpLine:  "Yes, but is it a 1998R with a big R or a 1998r with a small r?"
Customer:  "I don't know.  Let me find out and I'll call you back."
HelpLine:  "All right, but let me tell you, you've probably got the small r
     model.  You'll need to upgrade to the big R version to go in reverse."

HelpLine:  "General Motors HelpLine, how can I help you?"
Customer:  "I just called about the car that wouldn't go in reverse."
HelpLine:  "Well, yes, we get a lot of calls about that."
Customer:  "It turns out I have the small r option.  But I bought the one
     with the 'Reverse gear option.' "
HelpLine:  "Yes, that's the option to upgrade to a reverse gear."
Customer:  "Why don't they all just come with a reverse gear in the
     first place?"
HelpLine:  "Well, that's very difficult to do, even for our world class
     engineers, and not everyone may want it.  Also, it makes the car
     more complicated to drive.  So we offer it as an option to our 'power
     drivers.' "
Customer:  "How come all the Jupiters have had it standard since 1974?"
HelpLine:  "Ahem.  Well, yes, they're not a market leader, they're just
     for people who really like working on cars.  If you really want to get
     involved in those kind of complicated details, go right ahead...

But really, we're leaving out an important part:

HelpLine:  "General Motors HelpLine, how can I help you?"
Customer:  "My car just caught fire."
HelpLine:  "I see.  And what model was it?"
Customer:  "1998r Mongoose."
HelpLine:  "Big or small..."
Customer:  "...small r."
HelpLine:  "And your registration number?"
Customer:  "426917-woof-271828-arf-314159-spam."
HelpLine:  "And where did you buy your car?"
Customer:  "Fast Eddie's Sports-o-rama in Glendale."
HelpLine:  "And what was the name of the salesman?"
Customer:  "I don't remember."
HelpLine:  "I see.  Are you sure you didn't steal this car?"
Customer:  "Of course I didn't steal it!"
HelpLine:  "And would you be interested in purchasing our extended
     service contract?"

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PICARD:  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?

GEORDI:  Yes, captain.  In fact, we found the answer by searching through our archives on late 20th 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.]

DATA:  Allow me to explain.  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 at an unstoppable rate.

PICARD:  But the Borg have the ability to adapt.  Won't they alter their processing systems to increase their storage capacity?

DATA:  Yes, Captain.  But when 'Windows' detects this, it creates a new version of itself known as an 'upgrade.'  The use of resources increases exponentially with each iteration.  The Borg will not be able adapt quickly enough.  Eventually all of their processing ability will be taken over, and none will be available for their normal operational functions.

PICARD:  Excellent work.  This is even better than that 'unsolvable geometric shape' idea.

DATA:  Captain, we have successfully installed the 'Windows' in the command unit, and as expected, it immediately consumed 85% of all resources.  We have not received any confirmation of the expected 'upgrade,' however.

GEORDI:  Our scanners have picked up an increase in Borg storage and CPU capacity to compensate, but we still have no indication of an 'upgrade' to compensate for their increase.

PICARD:  Data, scan the history banks again, and determine if there is something we have missed.

DATA:  Sir, I believe there is a reason for the failure in the 'upgrade.'   Apparently the Borg have circumvented that part of the plan by not sending in their registration cards.

RIKER:  Captain, we have no choice.  Requesting permission to begin emergency escape sequence 3F..."

GEORDI:  [excited]  Wait, Captain!  I just detected that their CPU capacity has suddenly dropped to 0%!

PICARD:  Data, what do your scanners show?

DATA:  Apparently the Borg have found the internal 'Windows' module named 'Solitaire' and it has used up all the CPU capacity.

PICARD:  Let's wait and see how long this 'solitaire' can reduce their functionality.

RIKER:  Geordi, what's the status on the Borg?

GEORDI:  As expected, the Borg are attempting to re-engineer to compensate for increased CPU and storage demands, but each time they successfully increase resources, I have set up our closest deep space monitor beacon to transmit more 'Windows' modules from something called the 'Microsoft Fun-Pack.'

PICARD:  How much time will that buy us?

DATA:  Current Borg solution rates allow me to predict an interest time span of 6 more hours.

GEORDI:  Captain, another vessel has entered our sector.

PICARD:  Identify.

DATA:  It appears to have markings very similar to the 'Microsoft' logo.


DATA:  The alien ship has just opened its forward hatches and released thousands of humanoid shaped objects.

PICARD:  Magnify forward viewer on the alien craft.

RIKER:  Good God, Captain!  Those are humans floating straight toward the Borg ship with no life support suits!  How can they survive the tortures of deep space?!

DATA:  I do not believe that those are humans, sir.  If you will look more closely, I believe you will see that they are carrying something recognized by 21st century man as doeskin leather briefcases, and wearing Armani suits.

RIKER and PICARD [together, looking horrified]  LAWYERS!!

GEORDI:  It can't be.  All the Lawyers were rounded up and sent hurtling into the sun in 2017 during the Great Awakening.

DATA:  True, but apparently some must have survived.

RIKER:  They have surrounded the Borg ship and are covering it with all types of paper.

DATA:  I believe that is known, in ancient vernacular, as 'red tape'--it often proves fatal.

RIKER:  They're tearing the Borg to pieces!

PICARD:  Turn off the monitors.  I can't stand to watch.  Not even the Borg deserve that.

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The Top 15 Surprises in Bill Gates' New Mansion

15.  Sign over king-sized bed declares, "Use of the words 'Micro' and 'Soft' strictly prohibited while in bedroom."

14.  No paintings, but live artists actually hanging on the wall.

13.  Drawbridge is raised and lowered by hand.

12.  Entire state of Rhode Island relocated to east wing.

11.  Raises guinea pigs in his bedroom for extra cash.

10.  No toilet paper, but handy stack of $100 bills.

9.  Secret passage in library leads to Nerdcave where Bill keeps the Nerdmobile.

8.  Zima on tap.

7.  Kato Kailin sleeping in a corner of the trampoline room.

6.  Tasteful and elegant 30,000 sq. ft. "Hall of People Whose Business I Have Personally and Single-Handedly Crushed"

5.  Basement shrine to Kelly Bundy.

4.  Hidden away in the attic:  his beloved childhood calculator, Rosebud.

3.  Everywhere you look - Women!

2.  With 27 bathrooms, there's never a need to ask, "Where do you want to go today?"

      and the Number 1 Surprise in Bill Gates' New Mansion.....

1.  Replica of the Eiffel Tower in the garden...

     Wait a minute...

           That's no replica !!!

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Before you read this message, you must first read this:

V-CHIP CONTENT WARNING:  THIS POST IS RATED:  R, V, NPC, RI, S, I13.  [For processing by the required-by-1998 V-chips, those reading this post from an archive must set their V-chip to "42-0666."  I will not be held responsible for posts incorrectly filtered-out by a V-chip that has been bypassed, hot-chipped, or incorrectly programmed.]

***WARNING!***  It has become necessary to warn potential readers of my messages before they proceed further.  This warning may not fully protect me against criminal or civil proceedings, but it may be treated as a positive attempt to obey the various and increasing numbers of laws.

* Under the ***U.S.A. TELECOM ACT OF 1996***, minor CHILDREN (under the age of 18) may not read or handle this message under any circumstances.  If you are under 18, delete this message NOW.  Also, if you are developmentally disabled, irony-impaired, emotionally traumatized, schizophrenic, affected by Humor Deprivation Syndrome (HDS), or under the care of a doctor, then the U.S.A. TELECOM ACT OF 1996 may apply to you as well, even if you are 18 or older.  If you fall into one of these categories and are not considered competent to judge for yourself what you are reading, DELETE this message NOW.

* Under the UTAH PROTECTION OF CHILDREN ACT OF 1996, those under the age of 21 may not read this post.  All residents of Utah must install the M-Chip.

* Under the PROTECTION OF DEUTSCHLAND laws, residents of Germany may not read this post.

* Under the MERCIFUL SHIELD OF ALLAH (Praise be to Him!) Holy Interpretations of the Koran of the following countries (but not limited to this list) you may not read this post if you are a FEMALE OF ANY AGE:  Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, Sudan, Libya, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Algeria, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Yemen, Oman, Syria, Bahrain, and the Palestinian Authority.  Non-female persons may also be barred from reading this post, depending on the settings of your I-Chip.

* Under the proposed CHINESE INTERNET laws, covering The People's Republic of China, Formosa, Hong Kong, Macao, Malaysia, and parts of several surrounding territories, the rules are so nebulous and unspecified that I cannot say whether you are allowed to read this.  Thus, you must SUBMIT any post you wish to read to your local authorities for further filtering.

* Under laws enforced by the SINGAPORE BROADCASTING AUTHORITY, you must first register your intent to read this message, or you risk "undermining public morals or religious harmony."  If you neglect to register, you risk punishment that may consist of anything the SBA desires, and the law isn't precise on that point.

* Finally, if you are barred from contact with the Internet, or protected by court order from being disturbed by thoughts which may disturb you, or covered by protective orders, it is up to you to adjust the settings of your V-Chip to ensure that my post does not reach you.


Now the message:


How ya doing?


This was forwarded to me by Austin Gregg, who got it from Robert Brew, who got it from Ralph Saunders.  All three are currently under surveillance by a Special Task Force of the FBI working closely with Senators Exon and Helms.  If you wish to comment on this post, do not send me e-mail.  Instead, call me from a pay telephone across town from where you live or work.  Do not spend more than thirty seconds on the line.  However, do be polite and say "Hello" to the agents listening in.

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by Dave Barry

  A cute little humorous term used to explain why the computer had your Shipping Department send 150 highly sophisticated jet-fighter servo motors, worth over $26,000 apiece, to fishermen in the Ryukyu Islands, who are using them as anchors.

  The ability to make pie charts and bar graphs, which are the universal business methods for making abstract concepts, such as "three," comprehensible to morons like your boss.

Hardware:  Where the people in your company's software support section will tell you the problem is.

Software:  Where the people in your company's hardware support section will tell you the problem is.

Spreadsheet:  A kind of program that lets you sit at your desk and ask all kinds of neat "what if" questions and generate thousands of numbers instead of actually working.

User:  The word that computer professionals use when they mean "idiot."

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Here's an easy game to play,
Here's an easy thing to say:

If a packet hits a pocket on a socket on a port,
And the bus is interrupted as a very last resort,
And the address of the memory makes your floppy disk abort,
Then the socket packet pocket has an error to report!

If your cursor finds a menu followed by a dash,
And the double-clicking icon puts your window in the trash,
And your data is corrupted 'cause the index doesn't hash,
Then your situation's hopeless, and your system's gonna crash!

You can't say this?  What a shame, sir!
We'll find you another game, sir!

If the label on the cable on the table at your house
Says the network is connected to the button on your mouse,
But your packets want to tunnel on another protocol,
That's repeatedly rejected by the printer down the hall,

And your screen is all distorted by the side effects of gauss
So your icons in the window are as wavy as a souse,
Then you may as well reboot and go out with a bank,
'Cause sure as I'm a poet, the sucker's gonna hang!

When the copy of your floppy's getting sloppy on the disk,
And the microcode instructions cause unnecessary RISC,
Then you have to flash your memory and you'll want to RAM your ROM,
Quickly turn off the computer and be sure to tell your mom!

Author Unknown 

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Dear Jenny,
Ann Landers wouldn't print this. I have nowhere else to turn. I have to get the word out. Warn other parents. I must be rambling on. Let me try and explain.

It's about my son, Billy. He's always been a good, normal ten-year-old boy. Well, last spring we sat down after dinner to select a summer camp for Billy. We sorted through the camp brochures. There were the usual camps with swimming, canoeing, games, singing by the campfire, you know. There were sports camps and specialty camps for weight reduction, music, military camps and camps that specialized in Tibetan knot tying.

We tried to talk him into Camp Winnepoopoo. It's where he went last year. (He made an adorable picture out of painted pinto beans and macaroni). Billy would have none of it. Billy pulled a brochure out of his pocket. It was for a COMPUTER CAMP! We should have put our foot down right there, if only we had known. He left three weeks ago. I don't know what's happened. He's changed. I can't explain it. See for yourself.

These are some of my little Billy's letters.

Dear Mom,
The kids are dorky nerds. The food stinks. The computers are the only good part. We're learning how to program. Late at night is the best time to program, so they let us stay up.
     Love, Billy.


Dear Mom,
Camp is O.K. Last night we had pizza in the middle of the night. We all get to choose what we want to drink. I drink Classic Coke. By the way, can you make Szechwan food? I'm getting used to it now.  Gotta go, it's time for the flowchart class.
     Love, Billy.
     P.S. This is written on a word processor. Pretty swell, huh? It's spell checked, too.


Dear Mom,
Don't worry. We do regular camp stuff. We told ghost stories by the glow of the green computer screens. It was real neat. I don't have much of a tan 'cause we don't go outside very often. You can't see the computer screen in the sunlight anyway. That wimp camp I went to last year fed us weird food too. Lay off, Mom. I'm okay, really.
     Love, Billy.


Dear Mom,
I'm fine. I'm sleeping enough. I'm eating enough. This is the best camp ever. We scared the counselor with some phony worm code.  It was real funny.  He got mad and yelled. Frederick says it's okay. Can you send more money? I spent mine on a pocket protector and a box of blank diskettes.  I've got to chip in on the phone bill. Did you know that you can talk to  people on a computer? Give my regards to Dad.
     Love, Billy.


Dear Mother,
Forget the money for the telephone. We've got a way to not pay. Sorry I haven't written. I've been learning a lot. I'm real good at getting onto any computer in the country. It's really easy! I got into the university's in less than fifteen minutes. Frederick did it in five, he's going to show me how.  Frederick is my bunk partner. He's really smart. He says that I shouldn't call myself Billy anymore. So, I'm not.
     Signed, Bill.


Dear Mother,
How nice of you to come up on Parents Day. Why'd you get so upset? I haven't gained that much weight. The glasses aren't real. Everybody wears them. I was trying to fit in. Believe me, the tape on them is cool. I thought that you'd be proud of my program. After all, I've made some money on it. A publisher is sending a check for $30,000. Anyway, I've paid for the next six weeks of camp. I won't be home until late August.
     Regards, Bill.


Stop treating me like a child. True...physically I am only ten years old.  It was silly of you to try to kidnap me. Do not try again.  Remember, I can make your life miserable (i.e. the bank, credit bureau, and government computers). I am not kidding. O.K.? I won't write again, and this is your only warning. The emotions of this interpersonal communication drain me.
     Sincerely, Bill.


See what I mean? It's been two weeks since I've heard from my little boy.  What can I do, Jenny? I know that it's probably too late to save my little Billy. But, if by printing these letters you can save JUST ONE CHILD from a life of programming, please, I beg of you to do so.

Thank you very much,
Sally Gates, Concerned Parent

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-  When asked about a bus schedule, you wonder if it's 16 or 32 bits.

-  When you are counting objects, you go "0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,A,B,C,D..."

-  When you dream in 256 palettes of 256 colors.

-  When your wife says, "If you don't turn off that damned machine and come to bed, then I am going to divorce you!" and you chastise her for omitting the "else" clause.

-  You try to sleep, and think:    sleep(8* 3600); /*sleep for 8 hours/

-  When you are reading a book and look for the scroll bar to get to the next page.

-  When after fooling around all day with routers, etc., you pick up the phone and start dialing an IP number...

-  When you get in the elevator and double-click the button for the floor you want.

-  When not only do you check your e-mail more often than your paper mail, but you remember your network address faster than your postal one.

-  When you look for an icon to double-click to open your bedroom window.

-  When you go to balance your checkbook, and discover that you're doing the math in octal.

-  When you look for a trash can icon when throwing away the garbage.

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     A computer programmer happens across a frog in the road.
     The frog pipes up, "I'm really a beautiful princess!   If you kiss me, I'll stay with you for a week."
     The programmer shrugs his shoulders, and puts the frog in his pocket.
     A few minutes later, the frog says, "Okay, okay, if you kiss me, I'll give you great sex for a week!"
     The programmer nods and puts the frog back into his pocket.
     A few minutes later, the frog pleads, "Turn me back into a princess, and I'll give you great sex for a whole year!"
     The programmer smiles, and walks on.
     Finally the frog says, "What's wrong with you?  I've promised you great sex for a year from a beautiful princess, and you won't even kiss a frog?"
     "I'm a computer programmer," he replies.  "I don't have time for sex.  But a talking frog is pretty neat!"




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