Navigation & Music Control
 [ BACK]  [NEXT]                       Issue #093 - 05/24/1998


Open the Windows (TM) ...

Greetings fellow users (and you MAC folks, too),
     Is Bill Gates the devil?  The Macintosh folks certainly
think so.  Seems like the U. S. Justice Department thinks so,
too.  It must have been the worst shock possible last winter when
Steve Jobs (CEO of Apple) came on stage to announce Apple's
salvation with $150 million in new financing, and on a huge
television monitor behind him came the image of -- Bill Gates! 
Somewhere between George Orwell and the "Wizard of Oz."
     One recent book compares Gates and turn-of-the-century
Standard Oil monopolist John D. Rockefeller; they both show that
self-promotional drive and ruthlessness to eliminate all
competition.  And both Gates and John D. come across as small,
nervous-looking men who collect money like a vacuum cleaners
collect lint.  And they share monopoly problems with the U. S.
Government, too.
     "Gates is simply a very clever and resourceful monopolist
who is intent on maintaining market share," said Ron Chernow,
author of "Titan: The Biography of John D. Rockefeller Sr."
     Now, let's bow toward Redmond, Washington, open the WINDOWS
(TM) and thank our SUNFUN development team:  Timothy McChain,
Helen Yee, John Adler, Jerry Taff, Peter Adler, John Peterson,
Kerry Miller, Carol Becwar, Paul Roser, Kiyomi Kanazawa, Yasmin
Leischer, Caterina Sukup, Ellen Peterson, Laura Hong Li, Bob
Martens and Sylvia Libin He.  Even collectively, we may not make
as much money as Windows, but we are more reliable.
     I suppose the most serious problem that people have with
Bill Gates is the power his control of the world's major
operating system gives him over all of our computers.  Now that
computers are inside everything from wristwatches to stoplight
controllers, it does give a kind of "Big Brother is watching"
feeling.  Part of this is probably just the modern paranoia of
not understanding just what a machine is doing or why.  But who
knows, maybe the next version of Windows will have a built-in
Gates filter.  Then if you try to type anything unflattering
about Chairman Gates, the machine will huyia oopasdu jhhjjAT
GJHiui oiu hgfajkdl klioiiiue.  Thank you Big Brother.
     Have a Great Week,


     He may be ultra-rich, and he may have control of all of the
worlds neatest techno-toys, but he can't escape the same software
bugs in Windows that affect the rest of us.
     At the COMDEX/Spring 98 conference in Chicago in April,
Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates was demonstrating the new longer,
lower, wider version of Windows, Windows 98.  Then, mid-way
through his "Windows Principals" presentation, the machine
suddenly stopped working, leaving Gates facing the infamous "blue
screen of death" so familiar to all Windows 95 users.  Previous
versions of Windows have shared the same characteristic of
locking up when confused by multiple inputs, the Windows 95
version often showing only a flat blue image on the monitor when
the computer goes brain dead.
     Gates was the featured speaker at Comdex, which was attended
by some 85,000 computer professionals.  It was probably the
billionaire's most embarrassing moment in public since he was hit
by a custard pie at a computer conference in Belgium last winter. 
Windows 98 is supposedly designed to be simpler to use than
previous versions.  Most of us had hoped it would be more
reliable, too.
     "While we're all very dependent on technology, it doesn't
always work," Gates joked.
     Sure.  Maybe that same joke will work when your boss wants
those reports -- right now -- and your machine locks up with the
screen showing only blue.
     "I guess we still have some bugs to work out," Gates said,
smiling.  "That must be why we're not shipping Windows 98 yet."
          [ A few Bugs?  Funny...  That's never stopped
          them before! ]


     When Chairman Bill wasn't fighting bugs in Win 98 at COMDEX,
he was trying out some comparisons between the computer industry
and the auto industry, just to remind us how far technology has
come.  According to Gates, if the GM had kept pace with
technology like the computer industry, we'd all be driving V-32's
instead of V8's, cars would get 1,000 miles to the gallon and
would only cost $25.00.
     General Motors addressed this comment by releasing the
statement, "Yes, but would you want your car to crash twice a
day?"  Suppose Microsoft really did make cars:

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

   - A particular model year of car wouldn't be available until
     AFTER that year, and would be announced several times before
     finally arriving late.

   - Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no
     reason, and you would just accept this, restart and drive

   - Occasionally, executing a maneuver would cause your car to
     stop and fail and you would have to re-install the engine. 
     For some strange reason, you would accept this too.

   - You could only have one person in the car at a time, unless
     you bought "Car95" or "CarNT."  But, then you would have to
     buy more seats.

   - You would be constantly pressured to upgrade your car to one
     that was larger, faster and more powerful.

   - Macintosh Motor Company would make a car that was powered 
     by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to
     drive, but would only run on five percent of the roads.

   - The oil, gas and alternator warning lights would be replaced
     by a single "General Car Fault" warning light.

   - People would get excited about the "new" features in
     Microsoft cars, forgetting completely that they had been
     available in other brands for years.

   - We'd all have to switch to Microsoft Gas (tm).

   - New seats would force everyone to have the same size
     backside in order to fit the seats.

   - The airbag system would say "are you sure?" at least twice
     before going off.

   - Ford, General Motors and Chrysler would all sue because
     Microsoft was putting a radio in all its models.

   - If you were involved in a crash, you would have no idea what 



               Bill Gates falls out of a Window...


     Rich in features, or rich in whatever: listen to  Bill Gates
for a few sentences and you will hear the word at least once.  I
would think that someone who is already such a symbol for
conspicuous wealth would try to use a word other than 'rich' to
describe his products.
     So how rich is Bill Gates?  Like most very wealthy people,
part of his wealth depends on stock values and such, so it varies
by the minute, but one current fix put it at about
$48,770,800,000  [ $48 billion dollars].
     That's a tough number to put in perspective.  Shakespeare
talks about a pound of flesh -- well, let's suppose Bill Gates
weighs 180 pounds.  That's over $270 million per pound, about
60,000 times the value of gold.  So, even though the property
taxes on his new $53 million mansion exceed $600,000 a year, he
shouldn't have any trouble making the payments.
     If Bill Gates was a country, he'd be right between the
yearly Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Pakistan and Egypt, not
the big leagues, but not bad either.  He'd be worth more than
half of the countries in the U.N.  There are quite a number of
countries on the lower end of the GDP scale that Bill Gates could
buy outright; his net worth not only exceeds the GDP of these
countries, it exceeds their liquidation value.
     One thing is certain, Bill could never carry the whole load
away in cash.  For one thing, if he took his net worth out in $1
bills, it would require 20% more singles than the U. S. has
printed since Microsoft was founded as a company.  For another,
the stack of $1 bills would be over 3,100 MILES high (almost 4991
km, for you metric folks).
          [ So, how much do you figure he spends on
          pocket protectors? ]




     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:

     Then enter:

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

     This process may have to be repeated.  Try unplugging the
microwave and starting again.  If this doesn't work, contact your
oven vendor.  The oven itself may be at fault.  Microsoft assumes
no responsibility for any user oven hardware.
     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
     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.


     Bill Gates dies in a car accident.  A short time later, he
finds himself being sized up by St. Peter at the gates of heaven.
     "Well, Bill, I'm really confused on this one," St. Peter
said.  "I'm not sure whether to send you to Heaven or Hell. 
After all, you helped society enormously by putting a computer in
almost every home, yet you also created that awful Windows '95. 
Now I don't usually do this, but I'm going to let you decide
where you want to go."
     Bill replied, "Well, are my choices?"
     St. Peter said, "I'm willing to let you visit both places
briefly, if it will help your decision."
     "Fine, but where should I go first?" 
     "I'll leave that up to you." 
     "Okay then," said Bill, "Let's try Hell first." 
     So Bill went to Hell. It was a beautiful, clean, sandy beach
with clear cool waters and lots of beautiful women in bikinis
running around, playing in the water, laughing and frolicking. 
The sun was shining; the temperature perfect.  There was nice
music and a fully stocked bar.  Gates was very pleased.
     "This is great!" he told St. Peter. "If this is hell, I
REALLY want to see heaven!"
     "Fine," said St. Peter, and off they went.
     Heaven was a place high in the clouds, with angels drifting
about, playing harps and singing.  It was nice, but it looked a
little -- boring -- compared with Hell.
     Bill thought for a moment and came to a decision.
     "I think I'd prefer Hell, if you don't mind," he told St.
     "As you desire," said St. Peter.  So Bill Gates went to
     Two weeks later, St. Peter decided to check on the late
billionaire to see how he was doing in Hell.  When he got there,
he found Bill Gates, shackled to a wall, screaming amongst hot
flames in dark caves, being burned and tortured by demons.
     "How's everything going?" he asked Bill.
     Bill responded, his voice filled with anguish and
disappointment, "This is awful!  This is nothing like what you
showed me!  I can't believe this is happening!  What happened to
that other place, with the sunshine and the beautiful women
playing on the beach?!???
     "Oh, that," Saint Peter replied. "That was just the demo."

          [ Watch for Hell 98, available soon... ]

© 1998 by Bill Becwar. All Rights Reserved.