Wednesday, August 20, 2008

To err is human

... but to totally muck things up requires a computer.

Among those things that most easily induce an apoplectic rage in Melancholicus’ soul there is at least one that competes with the sacrilegious antics of the conciliar church, and that is the lousy performance of PCs and their even lousier (Microsoft) software.

Hence Melancholicus really appreciated this little gem, which is more redolent of an urban myth than of an authentic exchange between the companies concerned—google some of the phrases listed and the reader will find that although Microsoft is always the computer villain, the same joke crops up with General Motors replaced by Toyota or Fiat or some other auto manufacturer. But it is amusing nonetheless:

At a computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated: “If GM had kept up with the 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 these 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:

  1. For no reason at all, your car would crash twice a day.

  2. Every time they repainted the lines on the road, you would have to buy a new car.

  3. Occasionally, executing a manoeuver such as a left-turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, and you would have to reinstall the engine.

  4. When your car died on the freeway for no reason, you would just accept this, restart and drive on.

  5. Only one person at a time could use the car, unless you bought “Car XP’ or ‘Car Vista’, and then added more seats.

  6. Apple would make a car powered by the sun, reliable, five times as fast, and twice as easy to drive, but would run on only five per cent of the roads.

  7. Oil, water temperature and alternator warning lights would be replaced by a single ‘This car has performed an illegal operation and will shut down’ warning light.

  8. The airbag would say ‘Are you sure?’ before deploying.

  9. Occasionally and for no reason, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key, and grabbed the radio antenna.

  10. GM would require all car buyers to also purchase a deluxe set of road maps from Rand-McNally (a subsidiary of GM), even though they neither need them nor want them. Trying to delete this option would immediately cause the car’s performance to diminish by 50 percent or more. Moreover, GM would become a target for investigation by the Justice Department.

  11. Every time GM introduced a new model, 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.

  12. You would press the ‘start’ button to shut off the engine.

  13. If you were involved in a crash, you would have no idea what happened.

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