The Lite Side

Computer Humor Year In Review

- 2002.02.04

This last year saw some of the funniest computer-related humor ever. Nothing to compare with a pie in Bill Gates' face, of course, but some stuff came pretty close. Tops on my list:

Justice Department realizes it uses Windows

Some junior law clerk points out at a lunch meeting that everyone in the DoJ is using Windows, and the case just falls apart after that. You'd think they were paid off or intimidated or something. If I worked there and had a conscience, I'd resign for "other opportunities" too.

Steve "Monkeyboy" Ballmer's motor-vational speech

Developers, developers, developers. Video clips from Mr. Ballmer's ill-fated dance across the stage at a Microsoft Confluence. Not to be missed.

Windows XP's Duck Debacle

"We don't copy anything from Apple," declared the little yellow rubber duckie login symbol from Windows XP. "Quack, quack, quack," he added. Turns out another computer manufacturer featured the same photo-realistic symbol for the same purpose and highlighted it in the same way in advertising. The whole thing turned out to be a minor flap. The duck, we note, was facing the other way, which pretty much sums up Microsoft's interpretation of the whole "innovation" thing.

Freedom to Innovate

Let's see . . . can anyone tell me how Microsoft has innovated this year? Anyone? Yes, sir, you in the back . . . oh, right, yes, the whole Pass-storm, Hail-dot and Net-port thing. Yes, that is an innovation, for sure. Anything else?

FBI supports Windows

When the FBI starts issuing tech tips for Windows . . . you might want to consider switching platforms.

Dead People Don't Use Windows

But they do write letters to congress complaining about this whole discriminatory, unnecessary, innovation-killing, economy-stifling thing we like to call "the law." (Also see Dead People Don't Use Windows.)

All this just goes to show that the real reason Windows dominates the computing world is that the other operating systems just aren't funny. Mac aficionados (that's an Italian word that means "Star-Trek style fanatic") are just too serious about saving the world by promoting the Mac.

Linux would be funny, but it has to recompile its kernel first. The real reason Linux is not taking over the desktop world is because even though Linux is a great pun (Linus + Unix = Linux), who wants to use an operating system from a lumpy-headed kid who carries a blanket and sucks his thumb?

Anyway, in a shameless plug of self-promotion, here are my favorite Lite Side columns from 2001. And here's a special message to that secret little ego-dude deep inside Bill Gates' heart, the one that makes him do the things he does: We're not laughing with you, we're laughing at you.

Thanks to Dan Knight at LEM for hosting this column. It's been a lot of fun!

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