Matt’s Humor: Computers, Networks, and Such
There are two things that a man must do
Before his time is done;
Write two lines in APL
And make the buggers run.
Microsoft vs. General Motors
At a computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated, “If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25.00 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon.”
In response to Bill’s comments, General Motors issued a press release stating: If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:
- For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash twice a day.
- Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.
- Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.
- Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.
- Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive—but would run on only five percent of the roads.
- The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single “This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation” warning light.
- The airbag system would ask “Are you sure?” before deploying.
- Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.
- Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.
- You’d have to press the “Start” button to turn the engine off.
A Superhighway Like the InternetJim Vanderwalker
“Think of the Internet as a highway.”
There it is again. Some clueless fool talking about the “Information Superhighway.” They don’t know didley about the net. It’s nothing like a superhighway. That’s a rotten metaphor.
Suppose the metaphor ran in the other direction. Suppose the highways were like the net ...
A highway hundreds of lanes wide. Most with pitfalls for potholes. Privately operated bridges and overpasses. No highway patrol. A couple of rent-a-cops on bicycles with broken whistles. 500 member vigilante posses with nuclear weapons. A minimum of 237 on ramps at every intersection. No signs. Wanna get to Ensenada? Holler out the window at a passing truck to ask directions. Ad hoc traffic laws. Some lanes would vote to make use by a single-occupant-vehicle a capital offense on Monday through Friday between 7:00 and 9:00. Other lanes would just shoot you without a trial for talking on a car phone.
AOL would be a giant diesel-smoking bus with hundreds of ebola victims on board throwing dead wombats and rotten cabbage at the other cars, most of which have been assembled at home from kits. Some are built around 2.5 horsepower lawnmower engines with a top speed of nine miles an hour. Others burn nitrogylcerin and idle at 120.
No license plates. World War II bomber nose art instead. Terrifying paintings of huge teeth or vampire eagles. Bumper mounted machine guns. Flip somebody the finger on this highway and get a white phosphorus grenade up your tailpipe. Flatbed trucks cruise around with anti-aircraft missile batteries to shoot down the traffic helicopter. Little kids on tricycles with squirtguns filled with hydrochloric acid switch lanes without warning.
NO OFFRAMPS. None.
Now that’s the way to run an Interstate Highway system.
If Dr. Seuss Were a Technical Writer.....Gene Ziegler
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 item 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 bang,
’Cause as 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!