Humor from Cyberspace


Computers





 
Abbott & Costello Buy A Computer

COSTELLO CALLS TO BUY A COMPUTER FROM ABBOTT . . . .

ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?

COSTELLO: Thanks.I'm setting up an office in my den and I'm thinking about buying a computer.

ABBOTT: Mac?

COSTELLO: No, the name's Lou.

ABBOTT: Your computer?

COSTELLO: I don't own a computer. I want to buy one.

ABBOTT: Mac?

COSTELLO: I told you, my name's Lou.

ABBOTT: What about Windows?

COSTELLO: Why? Will it get stuffy in here?

ABBOTT: Do you want a computer with Windows?

COSTELLO: I don't know. What will I see when I look in the windows?

ABBOTT: Wallpaper.

COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software.

ABBOTT: Software for Windows?

COSTELLO: No. On the computer! I need something I can use to write proposals, track expenses and run my business. What have you got?

ABBOTT: Office.

COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?

ABBOTT: I just did.

COSTELLO: You just did what?

ABBOTT: Recommend something.

COSTELLO: You recommended something?

ABBOTT: Yes.

COSTELLO: For my office?

ABBOTT: Yes.

COSTELLO: OK, what did you recommend for my office?

ABBOTT: Office.

COSTELLO: Yes, for my office!

ABBOTT: I recommend Office with Windows.

COSTELLO: I already have an office with windows! OK, lets just say I'm sitting at my computer and I want to type a proposal. What do I need?

ABBOTT: Word.

COSTELLO: What word?

ABBOTT: Word in Office.

COSTELLO: The only word in office is office.

ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.

COSTELLO: Which word in office for windows?

ABBOTT: The Word you get when you click the blue "W".

COSTELLO: I'm going to click your blue "w" if you don't start with some straight answers. OK, forget that. Can I watch movies on the Internet?

ABBOTT: Yes, you want Real One.

COSTELLO: Maybe a real one, maybe a cartoon. What I watch is none of your business. Just tell me what I need!

ABBOTT: Real One.

COSTELLO: If it's a long movie I also want to see reel 2, 3 & 4. Can I watch them?

ABBOTT: Of course.

COSTELLO: Great! With what?

ABBOTT: Real One.

COSTELLO: OK, I'm at my computer and I want to watch a movie. What do I do?

ABBOTT: You click the blue "1".

COSTELLO: I click the blue one what?

ABBOTT: The "1".

COSTELLO: Is that different from the blue W?

ABBOTT: The blue "1" is Real One and the blue "W" is Word.

COSTELLO: What word?

ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.

COSTELLO: But there's three words in "office for windows"!

ABBOTT: No, just one. But it's the most popular Word in the world.

COSTELLO: It is?

ABBOTT: Yes, but to be fair, there aren't many other Words left. It pretty much wiped out all the other Words out there.

COSTELLO: And that word is real one?

ABBOTT: Real One has nothing to do with Word. Real One isn't even part of Office.

COSTELLO: STOP! Don't start that again. What about financial bookkeeping? You have anything I can track my money with?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: That's right. What do you have?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: I need money to track my money?

ABBOTT: It comes bundled with your computer

COSTELLO: What's bundled with my computer?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: Money comes with my computer?

ABBOTT: Yes. No extra charge.

COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer? How much?

ABBOTT: One copy.

COSTELLO: Isn't it illegal to copy money?

ABBOTT: Microsoft gave us a license to copy money.

COSTELLO: They can give you a license to copy money?

ABBOTT: Why not? THEY OWN IT!

A FEW DAYS LATER . .

ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?

COSTELLO: How do I turn my computer off?

ABBOTT: Click on "START"..........

[ The Abbott and Costello home page is gone as of 2015, but for anyone who has enjoyed Abbott & Costello's famous routines, similar to the above: Here's a taste of Abbott & Costello'w most famous word-play skit, 'Who's on First?' ]




Here's both a humorous and lyrical alternative to our daily experience with computer error messages.
(^_^)

Forward from a list,
so far no attribution.
Could this be from you?



Error Messages as Haiku

In Japan, they have replaced the impersonal and unhelpful Microsoft error messages with Haiku poetry messages. Haiku poetry has strict construction rules - each poem has only 17 syllables; 5 syllables in the first, 7 in the second, 5 in the third. They are used to communicate a timeless message, often achieving a wistful, yearning and powerful insight through extreme brevity. Here are some actual error messages from Japan. Aren't these better than "your computer has performed an illegal operation?"

The Web site you seek
Cannot be located, but
Countless more exist.

---------------------------------------------

Chaos reigns within.
Reflect, repent, and reboot.
Order shall return.

---------------------------------------------

Program aborting.
Close all that you have worked on.
You ask far too much.

---------------------------------------------

Windows NT crashed.
I am the Blue Screen of Death.
No one hears your screams.

---------------------------------------------

Yesterday it worked.
Today it is not working.
Windows is like that.

---------------------------------------------

Your file was so big.
It might be very useful.
But now it is gone.

---------------------------------------------

Stay the patient course.
Of little worth is your ire.
The network is down.

---------------------------------------------

A crash reduces
Your expensive computer
To a simple stone.

---------------------------------------------

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.

---------------------------------------------

Out of memory.
We wish to hold the whole sky,
But we never will.

---------------------------------------------

Having been erased,
The document you're seeking
Must now be retyped.

---------------------------------------------

Serious error.
All shortcuts have disappeared.
Screen. Mind. Both are blank.

---------------------------------------------

Aborted effort.
Close all that you have worked on.
You ask far too much.

---------------------------------------------

I ate your Web page.
Forgive me; it was tasty
And tart on my tongue


[Color Line]

Forwarded message:
From: Louis Rothschild
Date: 97-04-11 05:07:12 EDT

Subject: this should raise a smile!

**************************************

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 icons put your window in the trash,
and your data is corrupted `cause the index dosen't hash,
then your situation's hopeless and your system's gonna crash!

If the label on your cable on the gable at your house,
says the network is connected to the button on your mouse,
but your packets want to tunnel to 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 your computer and be sure to tell your mom!

[Color Line]

My New Spell Checker

Eye halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea
It plainly marques four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.
Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait a weigh.
As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
Its rare lea ever wrong.
Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
Its letter perfect awl the weigh
My chequer tolled me sew.
-Sauce unknown

[Color Line]

Subject: Star Dreck
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 1997 18:28:47 -0500 (CDT)
From: Bill Hindin

Beam me down!!!!

Picard: "Mr. LaForge, have you had any success with your attempts at finding a weakness in the Borg? And Mr. Data, have you been able to access their command pathways?"

Geordi: "Yes, Captain. In fact, we found the answer by searching through our archives on late Twentieth-century computing technology."

[Geordi presses a key, and a logo appears on the computer screen.]

[Riker looks puzzled]: "What the hell is 'Microsoft'?"

[Data turns to answer]: "Allow me to explain. We will send this program, for some reason called 'Windows', through the Borg command pathways. Once inside their root command unit, it will begin consuming system resources at an unstoppable rate."

Picard: "But the Borg have the ability to adapt. Won't they alter their processing systems to increase their storage capacity?"

Data: "Yes, Captain. But when 'Windows' detects this, it creates a new version of itself known as an 'upgrade'. The use of resources increases exponentially with each iteration. The Borg will not be able to adapt quickly enough. Eventually all of their processing ability will be taken over and none will be available for their normal operational functions."

Picard:"Excellent work. This is even better than that 'unsolvable geometric shape' idea."

. . . . 15 Minutes Later . . .

Data: "Captain, We have successfully installed the 'Windows' in the command unit and as expected it immediately consumed 85% of all resources. We however have not received any confirmation of the expected 'upgrade'."

Geordi: "Our scanners have picked up an increase in Borg storage and CPU capacity to compensate, but we still have no indication of an 'upgrade' to compensate for their increase."

Picard: "Data, scan the history banks again and determine if their is something we have missed."

Data: "Sir, I believe their is a reason for the failure in the 'upgrade'. Appearently the Borg have circumvented that part of the plan by not sending in their registration cards."

Riker: "Captain we have no choice. Requesting permission to begin emergency escape sequence 3F . . ."

Geordi [excited]: "Wait, Captain I just detected their CPU capacity has suddenly dropped to 0%!"

Picard: "Data, what does your scanners show?"

Data: "Appearently the Borg have found the internal 'Windows' module named 'Solitaire' and it has used up all the CPU capacity."

Picard: "Lets wait and see how long this 'solitaire' can reduce their functionality."

. . . . Two Hours Pass . . .

Riker: "Geordi whats the status on the Borg?"

Geordi: "As expected the Borg are attempting to re-engineer to compensate for increased CPU and storage demands, but each time they successfully increase resources I have setup our closest deep space monitor beacon to transmit more 'windows' modules from something called the 'Microsoft fun-pack'."

Picard: "How much time will that buy us?"

Data: "Current Borg solution rates allow me to predicate an interest time span of 6 more hours."

Geordi: "Captain, another vessel has entered our sector."

Picard: "Identify."

Data: "It appears to have markings very similar to the 'Microsoft' logo"

[Over the speakers] "THIS IS ADMIRAL BILL GATES OF THE MICROSOFT FLAGSHIP MONOPOLY. WE HAVE POSITIVE CONFIRMATION OF UNREGISTERED SOFTWARE IN THIS SECTOR. SURREDER ALL ASSETS AND WE CAN AVOID ANY TROUBLE. YOU HAVE 10 SECONDS"

Data: "The alien ship has just opened its forward hatches and released thousands of humanoid shaped objects."

Picard: "Magnify forward viewer on the alien craft"

Riker: "Good God captain! Those are humans floating straight toward the Borg ship with no life support suits ! How can they survive the tortures of deep space ?!"

Data: "I don't believe that those are humans sir, if you will look closer I believe you will see that they are carrying something recognized by twenty-first century man as doe skin leather briefcases, and wearing Armani suits"

(Riker and Picard together, horrified): "Lawyers !!"

Geordi: "It can't be. All the Lawyers were rounded up and sent hurtling into the sun in 2017 during the Great Awakening."

Data: "True, but appearently some must have survived."

Riker: "They have surrounded the Borg ship and are covering it with all types of papers."

Data: "I believe that is known in ancient venacular as 'red tape'. It often proves fatal."

Riker: "They're tearing the Borg to pieces!"

Picard: "Turn off the monitors. I can't stand to watch; not even the Borg deserve that."

------End forward message--------

[Color Line]



Forwarded message:
From: Bilden@
Date: Sat, 9 Mar 1996 10:53:55 -0800

Subject: Funny?

*************************************

COMPUTER JARGON



ANALOG: Hors d'oeuvre, usually made from cheese and covered with crushed nuts

BACKUP: Opposite of go forward

BATCH PROCESSING: Making a lot of cookies at once

BINARY: Possessing the ability to have friends of both sexes

BIT: 12-1/2 cents

BRANCH: If watered, it will grow into a computer club (see computer club)

BUFFER: Programmer who works in the nude BUG: 1. Programmer's term for a feature. 2. An elusive creature living in a program which makes it incorrect. Note: The activity of "debugging" or removing bugs from a program ends when a programmer gets tired of doing it, not when all the bugs are removed

CHARACTER DENSITY: The number of very weird people in the office, divided by the floor space

COMPUTER: A device designed to speed and automate errors

COMPUTER CLUB: Used to strike computer forcefully upon receiving error messages

CODING: An addictive drug

COMPILE: A heap of decomposing vegetable matter

COMPILER: Noah Webster (1758-1843)

CONSOLE: What one does to a "down" computer

CURSOR: An expert in 4-letter words

DUMP: A system programmer's work area

FEATURE: Hardware limitation as described by a marketing representative

HARDWARE: The parts of a computer which can be kicked

KEYBOARD: An instrument used for entering errors into a system

LANGUAGE: A system of organizing and defining error messages

LOOP: See loop

MACHINE-INDEPENDENT PROGRAM: A program which will not run on any machine

MICROCOMPUTER: One millionth of a computer

NULL STRING: The result of a 4-hour database search

ONLINE: The idea that a human should always be accessible

PASSWORD: The nonsense word taped to your terminal

PERFORMANCE: A statement of the speed at which a computer system works. Or rather, might work under certain circumstances. Or was rumored to be working about a month ago

PRINTER: Johann Gutenberg (1400-1468)

QUALITY CONTROL: Ensuring that the quality of a product does not get out of hand and add to the cost of its manufacture or design

STRATEGY: A long-range plan whose merit cannot be evaluated until sometime after those creating it have left the organization

USER: Someone requiring drug rehabilitation

8-BIT MACHINE: A computer selling for $1.00 (see bit)

16-BIT MACHINE: A computer selling for $2.00 (see bit)

[Color Line]

Forwarded message:
From: Eldora and Scott
Date: 96-12-06 11:19:24 EST

Subject: LET'S STUMP THE TECH SUPPORT!!!

*************************************

So you think you're computer-illiterate?

Check out the following excerpts from a Wall Street Journal article by Jim Carlton --


[Color Line]

2000 Years Ago: The First Milennium Bug

Message from: Rome
January 18, 1 B.C.


Dear Cassius,

Are you still working on the Y zero K problem? This change from BC to AD is giving us a lot of headaches and we haven't much time left. I don't know how people will cope with working the wrong way around. Having been working happily downwards forever, now we have to start thinking upwards. You would think that someone would have thought of it earlier and not left it to us to sort out at the last minute.

I spoke to Caesar the other evening. He was livid that Julius hadn't done something about it when he was sorting out the calendar. He said he could see why Brutus turned nasty. We called in the consulting astrologers, but they simply said that continuing downwards using minus BC won't work. As usual, the consultants charged a fortune for doing nothing useful. As for myself, I just can't see the sand in an hourglass flowing upwards.

We have heard that there are 3 wise guys in the east working on the problem, but unfortunately they won't arrive till it's all over. Some say the world will cease to exist at the moment of transition. Anyway we are continuing to work on this blasted Y zero K problem and I will send you a parchment if anything further develops.

Plutonius.

[Thanks to Ron Wilder and Scott Mesh, for this and for "My New Spell Checker", above.]


[Color Line]


How to Determine if Technology has Taken Over Your Life


  1. Your stationery is more cluttered than Warren Beatty's address book. The letterhead lists a fax number, e-mail addresses for two on-line services, and your Internet address, which spreads across the breadth of the letterhead and continues to the back. In essence, you have conceded that the first page of any letter you write *is* letterhead.

  2. You can no longer sit through an entire movie without having at least one device on your body beep or buzz.

  3. You need to fill out a form that must be typewritten, but you can't because there isn't one typewriter in your house -- only computers with laser printers.

  4. You think of the gadgets in your office as "friends,L" but you forget to send your father a birthday card.

  5. You disdain people who use low Baud rates.

  6. When you go into a computer store, you eavesdrop on a salesperson talking with customers -- and you butt in to correct him and spend the next twenty minutes answering the customers' questions, while the salesperson stands by silently, nodding his head.

  7. You use the phrase "digital compression" in a conversation without thinking how strange your mouth feels when you say it.

  8. You constantly find yourself in groups of people to whom you say the phrase "digital compression." Everyone understands what you mean, and you are not surprised or disappointed that you don't have to explain it.

  9. You know Bill Gates' e-mail address, but you have to look up your own social security number.

  10. You stop saying "phone number" and replace it with "voice number," since we all know the majority of phone lines in any house are plugged into contraptions that talk to other contraptions.

  11. You sign Christmas cards by putting :-) next to your signature.

  12. Off the top of your head, you can think of nineteen keystroke symbols that are far more clever than :-).

  13. You back up your data every day.


  14. You think jokes about being unable to program a VCR are stupid.

  15. On vacation, you are reading a computer manual and turning the pages faster than everyone else who is reading John Grisham novels.

  16. The thought that a CD could refer to finance or music rarely enters your mind.

  17. You are able to argue persuasively that Ross Perot's phrase "electronic town hall" makes more sense than the term "information superhighway," but you don't because, after all, he still uses hand-drawn pie charts.

  18. You go to computer trade shows and map out your path of the exhibit hall in advance. But you cannot give someone directions to your house without looking up the street names.

  19. You would rather get more dots per inch than miles per gallon.

  20. You become upset when a person calls you on the phone to sell you something, but you think it's okay for a computer to call and demand that you start pushing buttons on your telephone to receive more information about the product it is selling.

  21. You know without a doubt that disks come in five-and-a-quarter and three-and-a-half-inch sizes.

  22. Al Gore strikes you as an "intriguing" fellow.

  23. You own a set of itty-bitty screw-drivers and you actually know where they are.

  24. While contemporaries swap stories about their recent hernia surgeries, you compare mouse-induced index-finger strain with a nine-year-old.

  25. You are so knowledgeable about technology that you feel secure Enough to say "I don't know" when someone asks you a technology question instead of feeling compelled to make something up.

  26. You rotate your screen savers more frequently than your tires.

  27. You have a functioning home copier machine, but every toaster you own turns bread into charcoal.

  28. You have ended friendships because of irreconcilably different opinions about which is better -- the track ball or the track *pad*.

  29. You understand all the jokes in this message. If so, my friend, technology has taken over your life. We suggest, for your own good, that you go lie under a tree and write a haiku. And don't use a laptop.

  30. You email this message to your friends over the net. You'd never get around to showing it to them in person or reading it to them on the phone. In fact, you have probably never met most of these people face-to-face.


[Color Line]

I've seen this one a year or so ago, but it still rings true. (And is still funny!)


MICROSOFT SHOULD MAKE CARS, GM SHOULD MAKE SOFTWARE



At a recent computer expo, 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 twenty-five dollar cars that got 1000 miles to the gallon."

In response to Bill's comments, General Motors issued a press release stating the following:

"If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would be driving cars with the following characteristics:

  1. For no reason whatsoever, 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, your car would die on the freeway for no reason, and you would accept this, restart, and drive on.
  4. 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.
  5. Only one person at a time could use the car, unless you bought 'Car95' or 'CarNT.' Then you would have to buy more seats.
  6. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was more reliable, five times as fast, and twice as easy to drive, but would only run on five percent of the roads.
  7. The oil, water, temperature and alternator warning lights would be replaced by a single 'general car fault' warning light.
  8. New seats would force everyone to have the same butt size.
  9. The airbag system would say 'Are you sure?' before going off.
  10. 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.
  11. GM would require all car buyers to also purchase a deluxe set of Rand McNally road maps (now a GM subsidiary), even though they neither need them nor want them. Attempting to delete this option would immediately cause the car's performance to diminish by 50 per cent or more.
  12. 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.
  13. You'd press the 'Start' button to shut off the engine."


[Color Line]

From: Michele Z
Subject: Microsoft Dinner 98
Date: Friday, October 08, 1999 3:49 PM


Microsoft Dinner 98


INSTRUCTIONS FOR MICROSOFT'S NEW TV DINNER PRODUCT:


You must first remove the plastic cover. By doing so you agree to accept and honor Microsoft rights to all TV dinners. You may not give anyone else a bite of your dinner (which would constitute an infringement of Microsoft's rights). You may, however, let others smell and look at your dinner and are encouraged to tell them how good it is.

If you have a PC microwave oven, insert the dinner into the oven. Set the oven using these keystrokes:
       mstv.dinn.//08.5min@50%heat

Then enter:
       ms//start.cook_dindin/yummy\|/yum~yum:-)gohot#cookme.

If you have a Macintosh microwave oven, insert the dinner and press start. The oven will set itself and cook the dinner.

If you have a Unix microwave oven, insert the dinner, enter the ingredients of the dinner found on the package label, the weight of the dinner, and the desired level of cooking and press start. The oven will calculate the time and heat and cook the dinner exactly to your specification.

Be forewarned that Microsoft dinners may crash, in which case your oven must be restarted. This is a simple procedure. Remove the dinner from the oven and enter:

       ms.nodarn.good/tryagain\again/again.darnit

This process may have to be repeated. Try unplugging the microwave and then doing a cold reboot. If this doesn't work, contact your oven vendor. The oven itself is obviously on the blink.

Many users have reported that the dinner tray is far too big, larger than the dinner itself, having many useless compartments, most of which are empty. These are for future menu items. If the tray is too large to fit in your oven, you will need to upgrade your equipment.

Dinners are only available from registered outlets, and only the chicken variety is currently produced. If you want another variety, call Microsoft Help and they will explain that you really don't want another variety. Microsoft Chicken is all you really need.

Microsoft has disclosed plans to discontinue all smaller versions of their chicken dinners. Future releases will only be in the larger family size. Excess chicken may be stored for future use, but must be saved only in Microsoft approved packaging.

Microsoft promises a dessert with every dinner after '98. However, that version has yet to be released. Users have permission to get thrilled in advance.

Microsoft dinners may be incompatible with other dinners in the freezer, causing your freezer to self-defrost. This is a feature, not a bug. Your freezer probably should have been defrosted anyway.


[Color Line]

 
Subject: Tech Support Memo on Y2k Prevention
Date: December, 1999 3:49 PM
[Mahalo MO'K]


Y2K Memo, Tech support:

Because of heightened concern over Y2K problems and increased demand on our department, we have determined that there is no longer any need for network or software applications support. The goal is to remove all computers from the desktop by December 31,1999, thus avoiding the anticipated Y2K problem. Instead, all employees will be provided with an Etch-A-Sketch. This provides 4 distinct advantages:

  1. No Y2K problems
  2. No technical glitches to prevent goals from being accomplished
  3. No more wasted time reading and writing e-mails
  4. Everybody gets the same advanced model.


In anticipation of the changeover, the following is a list of frequently (FAQ) asked questions regarding Etch-A-Sketch Technical Support. Note the simple answers!

Q: My Etch-A-Sketch has all of these funny little lines all over the screen.
A: Pick it up and shake it.
Q: How do I turn off my Etch-A-Sketch?
A: Pick it up and shake it.
Q: What's the shortcut for Undo?
A : Pick it up and shake it.
Q: How do I create a New Document Window?
A: Pick it up and shake it.
Q: How do I set the background and foreground to the same color?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: What is the proper procedure for rebooting my Etch-A-Sketch?
A: Pick it up and shake it.
Q: How do I delete a document on my Etch-A-Sketch?
A: Pick it up and shake it.
Q: How do I save my Etch-A-Sketch document?
A: Don't shake it.
[21st Century Update: Be careful it's not an iPad!]

Thank you for your support. Change is inevitable-except from a vending machine.

[Color Line]






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