A Word in Your Ear

The Lighter Side of Microsoft

By Robert Wynne

These were found in my e-mail. Actually, my mailbox tends to overflow with this sort of thing. I don't know who wrote them or where they have appeared before. Probably one of the Newsgroups. I can't imagine where else they would be likely to appear.

There seem to be a lot of these little articles floating around on the World Wide Web. They tend to deflate the swollen egos of the inordinately pompous as well as bring to mind scenarios we might all like to see... If only for the belly-laugh they'd provide.

Make of them what you will, but I thought they were kind of cute.

If Microsoft Made Cars

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 he 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. Apple computers would make a car that was solar-powered, twice as reliable and five times as fast, but would run on only 5% of the roads.

5. You would be constantly pressured to upgrade your car.

4. 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.

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!

And now we poke fun at Star Trek also:

Microsoft Trek...The Original Series

"Sulu, set path to the floppy drive. Scotty, fit the hard drive with the MicroSoft Windows 95 engine. Chekov, prepare the install disks, we're about to begin a sequel."

"Captain, Windows 95 doesn't do SQL."

"Right. Then let's see how she performs at task speed. Scotty?"

"Captain, are you surrrrre you want to rrrreplace the system? If ye put Windows code into a true 32-bit multitasking environment, we'll risk a matter-antimatter explosion!"

"Scotty, that's an order."

"Aye Captain, but she's just not ready. She needs a proper beta shakedown."

"That's what we're doing, Scotty. Chekov, how are those install disks coming?"

"We're on disk 5, sir."

"Good. Spock?"

"Fascinating, Captain. It appears as if Windows 95 is scanning our hardware and mutating to adapt."

"Then Spock, can you tell me why it is saying it can't use the Microsoft sound card, which works fine as configured under Windows 3.1?"

"Unknown, Captain."

"Will it use a ProAudio Spectrum?"

"Unknown, Captain."

"How about a Sound Blaster?"

"Unknown, Captain."

"What good are you, anyway?"

"Box-office attraction, Captain."


"I'm a doctor - not a hardware technician."

"Spock, cancel the Microsoft sound card and install the ProAudio Spectrum. Chekov, finish the software installation. Sulu, reboot the system when it's ready and prepare to go to task speed on my signal."

"Aye, aye, Captain."


"We've just entered the desktop zone, Captain."

"Captain, she canna take it much more. Another 15 sectors and the engines'll burn up fer surrrrre."

"Scotty, we haven't even started yet."

"Sorry, Captain, I just haven't had a line in so long..."

"Sulu, go to task 1. Bring up the README.TXT in the notepad."

"Aye, Captain."

"Wait a minute. Cancel that order. Plot a shortcut to the README.TXT in the desktop zone. We'll be navigating back there frequently."

"Yes, Sir."


"It seems as if we have a hardware conflict, sir. The ProAudio Spectrum 16 isn't responding, either in sound or SCSI."

"Disable the card, Spock."

"I'm sorry, sir. It won't disable the SCSI without stopping sound card first. And it won't disable the sound card without disabling the SCSI first."

"Captain, an enemy ship is approaching at 12 o'clock."

"[Looks at watch.] Good, that gives us a little more time to debug these systems."

"No, sir. The ship is already upon us."


"Scanning all frequencies, sir. I'm trying to get an image, sir, but the system is awfully slow."

"Scotty, what's happening down there?"

"The engine is running smoothly, Captain, but the 16-bit GDI can only process one console request at a time."

"See what you can do, Scotty. Spock?"

"It appears to be an IBM ship, Captain. Equipped with a Warp drive."

[Impressive sound of Warp engine coming up to speed. OOhs and Ahhs as crew gazes in the direction of enemy ship.]

"Put it on visual, Chekov."

"Aye, Captain."

[Louder OOhs and Ahhs.]

"Spock, the enemy ship is approaching fast. We need audio!"

"I'm sorry, Captain. The registry is not responding."


"I'm a doctor, not a beta tester!"

"Quick, Sulu, bring up the README.TXT file."

"Captain - it's gone. Some other task in the system must have moved or changed it."

"Long-range scan, Chekov."

"I found it, Captain. Wait a minute. This README.TXT file is for the game Land of Lore, with Patrick Stewart doing the voice of King Richard."

"Patrick Stewart?"

"You've never heard of Patrick Stewart?"


"Must be a generation gap."

"Captain, she canna take it much more. Another 15 sectors and the engines'll burn up fer surrrrre."

"[Sigh.] Maintain power, Mr. Scott. Quick, Sulu, put us on red alert."

"Captain, I can't figure out how to change the color of the desktop background!"


"I'm a doctor, not the FORCE docs!!"

"Never mind. Find the screen saver. Spock, prepare to fire HP LaserJet."

"Captain, I've chosen the screen saver that says `Chicago is COOL' but now I'm getting no response at the helm."

[BOOM as the enemy hits ship with photon torpedo, then large zapping sound, then either the ship moves back and forth, or people sway left and right, depending on perspective. Sparks fly from console, fires glare, indicating what would normally be irreparable damage, yet will be fixed in just minutes.]

"Sulu, take evasive action; otherwise, it's certain doom!"

"Aye, Aye, Captain. It certainly is Doom and I don't mind saying I'm getting awfully sick of this demo. Doom is one of the most stable games on the market and it runs under OS/2 with no problems whatsoever."

"We've got... to get... to the kernel. Uhura... notify... the... kernel at Star Fleet."

"Captain, I think either communications are breaking up, or you're dropping into melodramatic Shakespearean stammer mode again."


"Fascinating, Captain. It would seem that the needs of the few have out-weighed the needs of the many."

"Scotty, get us out of here!"

"Sorry, Captain, the engine is no longer responding! We'll have to do a hard boot to rrrrecover."


I think that we should draw the curtain to a close on this sorry spectacle before someone at Paramount decides that this would make a good script for the next Trek movie.

All Copyrights are owned by Microsoft Corp, Paramount Pictures, and anyone else who might sue otherwise!

"Suppose I were a fool. And suppose I were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." --Mark Twain

Robert Wynne ("Doc") is a gentleman rogue and a scholar of truth. He has been, at alternate times, a writer, an editor, a salesman, a teacher, a freelance computer consultant and a charming vagrant. You can reach him via e-mail at doc@america.net.

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