I Want to Hurt My Computer


Evil Thoughts About My Computer

I really hate this damned machine
I wish that they would sell it.
It never does quite what I want
But only what I tell it.

- A Programmer's Lament

by W Bruce Cameron

I want to hurt my computer.  I want to buy a software program that, when run, causes my computer to suffer grievously, though not permanently.  When my screen freezes or turns blue, I want a special button I can push to make the CPU start squealing like a motherboard.

This should not affect my ability to hear what's going on at the other end of the phone line, of course.  A special function would allow the volts to double every time a tape-recorded message urges me to continue holding.  "Your call is important to us," the featureless voice always claims.  I want my phone to be outfitted with a translation program which will reconstitute this irritating reminder into the truth: "Actually, we already have your money, so we couldn't care less about you.  Our technical support department consists of two college kids, both of whom are busy playing Doom.  Eventually, one of them will come on the line, but it will be the one who doesn't speak English."

bulletI want my modem to sense when my PC has committed an "illegal function" and issue a warrant to arrest Bill Gates.  When my system crashes and I lose a file that has taken me more than an hour to create, I want someone from the computer company to come out and retype it for me.
bulletI don't understand why new, "upgraded" software creates files that cannot be read by old, reliable software with the same name.  Is there no one in the computer industry who has noticed that word processor files all look alike once they are open?  Why can't 6.0 recognise a 7.0 file?  It's all just words, isn't it?
bulletHow come when my computer catches a virus, I'm the one who misses work?
bulletI want to know why my printer always jams on the last piece of paper or the last sheet of cheques.  When this happens, it makes me want to put sandpaper into the manual feed and print the Emancipation Proclamation.
bulletI want to know what good is a Web search engine that returns 324,909,188 "matches" to my keyword.  That's like saying, "Good news, we've located the product you're looking for.  It's on Earth."
bulletI want to know why, when I had a tiny hard drive, my operating system was virtually crash-proof and took up so little space.  My new operating system is 5 times the size of my original hard drive.  With every "upgrade," it seems to grow 75%.  That's as if every time your mother-in-law came to visit she weighed another 500 pounds.
bulletNow I've found out that my PC no longer "recognises" my floppy drive.  How could they not recognise each other?  They live together!

Please understand: I don't hate my computer.  I just want to hurt it every once in a while.

W Bruce Cameron writes columns for the Denver Rocky Mountain News.  His web site is www.wbrucecameron.com.

Source: © Nando Media and Scripps Howard News Service 29 December 1999

Made to Be Cool

Los Angeles - In an attempt to reduce "computer rage," in which users attack monitors and keyboards when things go wrong, programmers have devised a system that flashes up restful poems instead of error messages.

A need to restart the computer is stated as:

Chaos reigns within.
Stop, reflect, and reboot.
Order shall return.
Aborted effort:
Close all that you have worked on.
You ask far too much.
Out of memory.
We wish to hold the whole sky,
But we never will.

Lost data may be signalled by:

A file that big?
It might be very useful.
But now it is gone.
With searching comes loss
And the presence of absence:
"My Novel" not found.
Having been erased,
The document you're seeking
Must now be retyped.
Three things are certain:
Death, taxes, and lost data.
Guess which has occurred.
You step in the stream,
But the water has moved on.
This page is not here.
Serious error.
All shortcuts have disappeared.
Screen.  Mind.  Both are blank.

Crashes have several error poems, such as:

A crash reduces
Your expensive computer
To a simple stone.
Yesterday it worked.
Today it is not working.
Windows is like that.
Windows NT crashed.
I am the Blue Screen of Death.
No one hears your screams.

Web problems are covered by:

The website you seek
Cannot be located
But countless more exist.
Stay the patient course.
Of little worth is your ire.
The network is down.

The traditional Japanese poems are aimed at calming people enraged when their computer crashes or they lose an important file.  Standard Microsoft Windows and DOS systems often have error messages that are cryptic to most users and only enrage them further. - Daily Telegraph

Source: one of the two Wellington papers sometime in March 2000 (the date I had taped to the back fell off)

If The Beatles Were Computer Geeks...

(Sing along)

Yesterday, All those backups seemed a waste of pay.
Now my database has gone away.
Oh, I believe in yesterday.

Suddenly, There's not half the files there used to be,
There's a milestone hanging over me
But the system crashed so suddenly.

I pushed something wrong
What it was I could not say.
Now all my data's gone and I long for yesterday-ay-ay-ay.

Yesterday, The need for backups seemed so far away.
I knew my data was all here to stay,
Now I believe in yesterday.

Source: www.joe-ks.com

Telly Ads Get Top Marks

by Barry Hawkins

The two best things on telly at the moment are advertisements.  This isn't damning with faint praise.  One is manic, the other laid-back to the point of languor.  I haven't any idea whether the products sell any better but they deserve to.

There aren't any cute kids saying stuff like "Thank you Mr Hooker."  The first, for an Internet fIrm, is of a scene apparently captured by a company security camera and subsequently circulated widely on the Net.  The burly, harassed figure featured is an icon, a warrior in the lopsided war between humans and computers.  We see him banging away at his keyboard in his tiny cubicle in an office, the designer of which thinks feng shui is a noodle dish.

A digital clock counts off the seconds at the top of the frame to a thumping punk rock sound track.  The violence of his assault on the keys is so great the slave in the next cubicle peers over the top to see what's up.  Our hero raises one arm, fist clenched, in frustration.  He briefly resumes pounding before grabbing the keyboard and, winding up like Chris Cairns, smashes the monitor with a mighty blow and storms off.

You can hear a cheer go up in lounges round the country.  "Why are we waiting?" screams the sound track.  "Internet too slow for you?  Walker Wireless.  Instant Internet."

I'm not on the Internet but if I were, Walker Wireless would get my vote.  Anyone savvy enough to hire people who make advertisements this good deserves success.

The other is a variation on a theme, but a clever variation.  It's the Mainland cheese outfit using oldies again in spectacularly colour-enhanced rural scenes.  There's the ongoing theme that making good cheese takes time. But instead of doing nothing much to make the point, this time the pair bounce awful puns off one another on their way to the fishing hole.  Appropriately some have a fish flavour.  "Have you heard about Squid Vicious?" one asks.  "No but I have heard of Tarakihi Kanawa.  And so it goes -"Teena Tuna," and "Pike and Teena Tuna."  Then it's on to cheese.  "Betcha haven't heard of the Briegees."  "Maybe not, but I rather like Camembert Humperdinck and Mozzarella Fitzgerald."  "Yer want to know something?"  "Could do."  "I've got the Beatles Grated Hits."  It's a makeover of an old parlour game but it works just fme.

I'm not into cheese either but that could be about to change.  I'll have that block of cheddar thanks.  Don't wrap it, I'll eat it here.

Source: one of the two Wellington newspapers.  Judging from the degree of yellowness of the newsprint, I would guess about October 2000 plus or minus three months.  Probably a Wednesday or a Thursday because an ad on the reverse mentions a sale "This Friday, Saturday & Sunday Only!"  My apologies to Barry Hawkins and the two newspapers in question.

I don't think I'd have appreciated this commercial (if I watched tv) nearly as much as Mr Hawkins seems to have done.


Click to Play

What a small desk he seems to have!  No wonder he gets angry so quickly.  He knows he isn't appreciated...

The Secret's Out

Source: somewhere on the web

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