Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
User Journal

Journal cmacb's Journal: Meeting of Minds


Why did Bill Gates visit the White House the other day. It made the news not because of the content of the meeting (which I never saw even hinted at) but because Bill was insulted by having to produce his access badge (which he had left in the limo) before they would let him in.

Could it have gone like this?:

GWB: Well ha Bill, glad you could stop by come own in ta the office here and hava seat. I have to admit I don't really know what you came to talk about, ma people didn't brief me very well this morning.

WHG: I'd rather stand if you don't mind, what I have to say isn't easy, and as you might have heard I am of a nervous disposition. The problems getting in here this morning didn't help.

GWB: Oh, I heard about that and ah do apologize, but you know these days we can't be too careful. By the way I know you have given rather heavily to Democratic candidates and causes in the past. I hope you have come to tell me you have had a change of heart? I could sure use your support in these troubling times.

WHG: Um, well, not quite that. But I have been thinking... (Bill starts to pace nervously) This has nothing to do with politics or parties.... its about technology. I see our country losing its technical lead, and after conferring with my staff, I have come to the conclusion that we, Microsoft I mean, are to a large extent responsible.

GWB: Really? (with a puzzled look) Do continue Bill.

WHG: Yes. I... well... my company... I mean... SHIT!... I've made all this money, I'm as successful as anyone could hope to be, but this isn't how I planned it at all. (Bill removes his glasses and puts his hands over his eyes, trying to dry tears without being obvious about it).

GWB: Can I get my staff to get you a drink or something? I've got a little secret supply of hooch in the desk here if you'd like...

WHG: No. No. I'll be fine, let me get this out. It just didn't work out like I thought. I wanted the best operating system, the best user software imaginable. I wanted to make the computer the perfect aid to people in leading their lives and getting their work done. Now I've realize... release after release, that perfection eludes us... I now realize, it can't be done. All we have done is gloss over all the details that the users shouldn't need to worry about. BUT WE HAVEN'T RESOLVED THEM!! (Bill bangs his fist on the nearest furniture).

(an aid pokes his head through the door)

AID: Um, is everything OK Mr. President?

GWB: Yeah, we're fine (brusquely motions the aid back out and looks at Bill who seems to have more to say)

WHG: It CAN'T be done. I can't do it. You know the last computer program I wrote was a simple conversion of someone else's program to a new format. Everyone thinks I'm some kind of genius programmer. I'm a very smart person, but I don't have the patience to code, I rely on others to do that now. I had this vision though. I was sure it could be done: To absolve the user of all cares, make the computer and operating system take care of everything, safely, reliably. For years my staff has told me that we are almost there. And yet every year, there are new viruses, new bugs. Disk drives still get scrambled for no good reason, data gets lost, work has to be re-done. I yell at my staff, I fire some of them, they are terrified of me, but I know they have tried, I know if it could be done the people I hired could do it. I finally confronted my top people last week. I asked them... Is it really possible to perfect this thing, make it impervious from viruses, bug free, easy to install and fool-proof. I looked every one of them right in the eye and asked these questions and they all looked away. They've just been humoring me all along, and now I know I've lead our entire country and a good part of the world down a dead end path. (finally Bill sits down in the nearest chair, exhausted, and puts his head in his hands).

GWB: Uh... (looks around nervously) Uh, well yeah, I, uh, kinda... um. Hey you know I've been having a bit of trouble with the Presidential laptop here, isn't it cute how they put the Presidential Seal there on it where it should say "Compaq", hehe... Um, you think you could help me find the font size on this thing?

(Bill Gates falls out of his chair and colapses on the plush carpet)

Yeah, I think it went something like that.

Or it could have had something to do with *THIS*.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Meeting of Minds

Comments Filter:

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.