The Lite Side

OS Wars: The Winpire Strikes Back

- 2001.09.10

SCENE: Briefing Room in the Rebel Headquarters. Present are General HOGARTH, leader of the Rebel Alliance military, MOM'MOTHRA, Political leader of the Rebels, PRINCESS LAPTOP of the late NetScA'PE planet, destroyed by the EMPIRE, AYE DOIT, a converted warez slicer, COMMANDER CARDASSIAN, former owner of a dot-com bought out and shut down by the EMPIRE, and assorted HACKERS and USERS. Also present is I.M. CTHRU, a humaniform DROID belonging to STEVE FASTALKER, who is not present.

(A WOMAN, Mom'Mothra, dressed in a white toga, stands up and addresses the REBELS.)

MOM'MOTHRA: Thank you all for being here. Thanks to our Hacker operatives, we have obtained plans to the Empire's latest development, Windows XP. Many Hackers had their ISP accounts canceled obtaining this information. General Hogarth?

(Hogarth Stands and addresses the REBELS.)

HOGARTH: These are the plans for Windows XP. As you can see, the Empire has spared no expense in preparing this product for release. We believe they have based it on our latest Rebel designs for OS X. The Empire thinks we are not privy to this information, but we believe we have found a weakness in the Empire's design.

(A computer graphic displays a rotating Windows XP screen.)

HOGARTH: This (indicates the START BUTTON), the main entry into Windows XP, is heavily guarded. However, a lone user may be able to get into the outer defenses. Windows XP is just not designed with individual users in mind; it's more concerned with the ease of administration at the corporate level.

MOM'MOTHRA: The Software Architect has designed Windows XP so that it can only be installed twice without a registration key.

(Gasps from the REBELS.)

HOGARTH: We have therefore assigned two teams, one led by Commander Landed Cardassian, who will access the same copy of Windows XP's registration key by installing it twice on separate partitions on thousands of different machines simultaneously. (Mutters from the REBELS.) The other group will infiltrate Redmond and attempt to gain access to Windows XP's source code - more specifically, the master disk used to manufacture Windows XP installation CDs.

(More gasps, louder, from the REBELS.)

PRINCESS LAPTOP (sotto vocce): Aren't Cardassians supposed to be in that other sci-fi epic?

CARDASSIAN: (Shakes his head toward the PRINCESS, then, rolling his eyes) Who's the idiot they got to lead that suicide mission?

HOGARTH: General Doit will lead the Redmond infiltration team on the surface near Seattle.

(General Doit grins at Commander Cardassian.)

DOIT: Well, you did say which idiot....

STEVE FASTALKER: (ENTERS from off stage, wearing turtleneck and jeans) I'm with you, too.

(Happy mutters from the REBELS, smiles from PRINCESS LAPTOP. He is followed by iBORG, a small server droid on a self-propelled cart. )

HOGARTH: We believe by installing this virus on the master copy of Windows XP, at a preset time each user's machine can simulate a reinstallation macroevent - simultaneously installing the same copy of Windows XP on more than 100,000 machines.

(Graphic shows Windows XP installation screen.)

This should cause the registration servers at Redmond to melt down from the intense heat generated by their mostly Pentium processors, causing a chain reaction that will cause every copy of Windows - all versions of Windows back to '95 - to crash when the Privacy Monitors connecting them to Redmond become disconnected. We believe this could bring down the entire Imperial Network.

(Graphic shows blue screen of death )

This may be the opportunity we have been looking for. The Software Architect may have written himself into an infinite loop.

To your keyboards, and good luck.

(The REBELS begin leaving the room. FASTALKER, CARDASSIAN, DOIT, and PRINCESS LAPTOP share a group hug. PRINCESS LAPTOP looks curiously at FASTALKER, but he shakes his head.)

FASTALKER: I've just been to the Mac world, and I wasn't welcomed with open arms, let me tell you that. I can tell you I saw the ghost of Mac Th'Kni Feh, but I'll have to finish the rest of that story later. The Software Architect still thinks I'm his junior research partner. I have to face him alone. Let's go. We don't have much time.

FADE to BLACK, cue DRAMATIC MUSIC. A Titanium PowerBook running Windows XP in emulation flies slowly overhead, approaching a titanic, and quite beige, Windows NT server in the distance.

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