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“Honor System Virus”

This virus works on the honor system.
Please delete all the files on your hard disk, then forward this message to everyone you know. Thank you for your cooperation.

In March 1992, a man living in Newton near Boston, Massachusetts received a bill for his as yet unused credit card stating that he owed $0.00. He ignored it and threw it away.

In April he received another and threw that one away too.

The following month the credit card company sent him a very nasty note stating they were going to cancel his card if he didn’t send them $0.00 by return of post.

He called them and talked to them about the problem. They said it was a computer error and told him they’d take care of it.

The following month our hero decided that it was about time that he tried out the troublesome credit card figuring that if there were purchases on his account he could end this ridiculous predicament.

However, in the first store that he produced his credit card in payment for his purchases he found that his card had been cancelled.

He called the credit card company who apologized for the computer error once again and said that they would take care of it.

The next day he got a bill for $0.00 stating that payment was now overdue. Having spoken to the credit card company the previous day, he assumed the latest bill was yet another mistake he ignored it, trusting that the company would be as good as their word and sort the problem out.

The next month he got a bill for $0.00 stating that he had 10 days to pay his account or the company would have to take steps to recover the debt.

Finally giving in, he thought he would play the company at their own game and mailed them a check for $0.00.

The computer duly processed his account and returned a statement. It reported that he now owed the credit card company nothing at all.

A week later, the man’s bank called him asking him what he was doing writing a check for $0.00.

After a lengthy explanation, the bank replied that the $0.00 check had caused their check processing software to fail. The bank could not now process ANY checks from ANY of their customers that day because the check for $0.00 was causing the computer to crash.

The following month the man received a letter from the credit card company claiming that his check had bounced and that he now owed them $0.00. Furthermore, unless he sent a check by return of post they would be taking steps to recover the debt.

The man, who had been considering buying his wife a computer for their anniversary, bought her a typewriter instead.

1. We would all have to switch to Microsoft Gas.
2. 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.
3. You would be constantly pressured to upgrade your car.
4. 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!
5. You could have only 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.

* Multitasking
o You can crash several programs all at once. No waiting!

* Built-in Networking
o You can crash several PC’s all at once. No need to buy Novell Personal Netware or LANtastic to crash.

* Microsoft Network
o Connect with other Windows users and talk about your crash experiences. Support groups in different cities will be organized.

* PnP
o Plug and Pray (that it works)

* Multimedia
o Experience the immense sight and sound of crashing. Compatible with existing software It will also crash your existing software.

* Increased Productivity
o You will need to *increase* your budget to buy more *products* like RAM and HardDrives. Better yet, get a new computer! That’s productivity.

* User-Friendly
o Picture of clouds

* State of the Art
o Pay for Bill’s next bid for a work of art.

* Macintosh-like
o It took Microsoft eleven years and it’s not even original.

* Online Registration
o Dial into Microsoft and let them snoop around your hard drive. This will guarantee you a place in Microsoft’s files for the rest of your life.

* MS Plus
o More money for Bill’s plus side.

* Optimize
o It will increase the utilization of your hard drive and CPU so much so that you’ll end up upgrading your system.

Once you start playing with software you quickly become awarethat each software package has a revision code attached to it. It is obviousthat this revision code gives the sequence of changes to the product, butin reality there’s substantially more information available through the rev-codethan that. This article provides a guide for interpreting the meaning ofthe revision codes and what they actually signify.

Also known as “one point uh-oh”, or “barely out of beta”. We had to releasebecause the lab guys had reached a point of exhaustion and the marketingguys were in a cold sweat of terror. We’re praying that you’ll find it morefunctional than, say, a computer virus and that its operation has someresemblance to that specified in the marketing copy.

We fixed all the killer bugs …

Uh, we introduced a few new bugs fixing the killer bugs and so we had tofix them, too.

We did the product we really wanted to do to begin with. Mind you, it’s reallynot what the customer needs yet, but we’re working on it.

Well, not surprisingly, we broke some things in making major changes so wehad to fix them. But we did a really good job of testing this time, so wedon’t think we introduced any new bugs while we were fixing these bugs.

Uh, sorry, one slipped through. One lousy typo error and you won’t believehow much trouble it caused!

Some jerk found a deep-seated bug that’s been there since 1.0 and wouldn’tstop nagging until we fixed it!!

Hey, we finally think we’ve got it right! Most of the customers are reallyhappy with this.

Of course, we did break a few little things.

More features. It’s doubled in size now, by the way, and you’ll need to getmore memory and a faster processor …

Just one or two bugs this time… Honest!

We really need to go on to a new product, but we have an installed base out there to protect. We’re cutting the staffing after this.

We had to fix a few things we broke in 5.0. Not very many, but it’s been so long since we looked at this thing we might as well call it a major upgrade. Oh, yeah, we added a few flashy cosmetic features so we could justify the major upgrade number.

Since I’m leaving the company and I’m the last guy left in the lab who works on the product, I wanted to make sure that all the changes I’ve made are incorporated before I go. I added some cute demos, too, since I was getting pretty bored back here in my dark little corner (I kept complaining about the lighting but they wouldn’t do anything). They’re talking about obsolescence planning but they’ll try to keep selling it for as long as there’s a buck or two to be made. I’m leaving the bits in as good a shape as I can in case somebody has to tweak them, but it’ll be sheer luck if no one loses them.

© 2015