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WHAT IF...


WHAT IF... OPERATING SYSTEMS WERE BEER?

DOS BEER
Requires you to use your own can opener - and read the directions carefully before opening! Originally only came in 8oz. cans but now comes in a 16oz. size. However, each can is divided into eight 2oz. compartments, each of which have to be accessed seperately. Soon to be discontinued, although a lot of people will go on drinking it after it's no longer available.

MAC BEER 
Originally a 16oz. can, now comes in a 32oz. Considered by many to be a "light" beer. All the cans look identical and when you take one from the fridge, it opens itself. There's no ingredients list on the can and if you inquire you are told "you don't need to know." A notice on the side reminds you to drag your empties to the trashcan.

WINDOWS 3.1 BEER 
The world's most popular. Comes in a 16oz. can that looks a lot like a Mac Beer. Requires that you already own a DOS Beer. Claims that it allows you to drink several DOS Beers simultaneously; actually, you can only drink a few of them very slowly, and especially slowly if you are drinking the Windows Beer at the same time. Sometimes, for no apparent reason, a can of Windows Beer will explode when you open it.

OS/2 BEER 
Comes in a 32oz can and allows you to drink several DOS Beers - and even a Windows 3.1 Beer - simultaneously. Boasts its cans won't explode when opened, even if shaken. You never actually see anyone drinking OS/2 Beer, but the brewer (International Beer Manufacturing) claims that nine million six-packs have been sold.

WINDOWS 95 BEER 
The can looks a lot like a Mac Beer but the brew tastes more like Windows 3.1. Comes in 32oz. cans, but beware! The cans only have 16oz. of beer in them. Most people will probably stay faithful to Windows 3.1 Beer until their friends try Windows 95 and say they like it. Scan the can for small print: the ingredients list is similar to DOS beer, even though the manufacturer claims that this is an entirely new brew.

WINDOWS NT BEER 
Comes in 32oz. cans but you can only buy it by the truckload. This means going out and buying a bigger refrigerator. The can looks just like a Windows 3.1 Beer, but the company promises to change it to look just like Windows 95 Beer (after Windows 95 starts shipping). Touted as "industrial strength" and suggested only for use in bars.


WHAT IF... OPERATING SYSTEMS WERE AIRLINES?

DOS AIR 
All the passengers go out onto the runway, grab hold of the plane, push it until it gets in the air, hop on, jump off when it hits the ground again. Then they grab the plane again, push it back into the air, hop on, etc.

WINDOWS 95 AIRLINES 
The terminal is very neat and clean, the attendants are all very attractive and the pilots very capable. The fleet is immense. After your plane arrives 6 months late, you begin to wonder why it has not arrived yet. Your jet takes off without a hitch, pushing above the clouds, and at 20,000 feet it crashes without warning.

MAC AIRWAYS 
The cashiers, flight attendants, and pilots all look the same, feel the same and act the same. When asked questions about the flight they reply that you don't want to know, don't need to know, and would you please return to your seat and watch the movie.

OS/2 SKYWAYS 
The terminal is almost empty, with only a few prospective passengers milling about. Airline personnel walk around, apologising profusely to customers in hushed voices, pointing from time to time to the sleek, powerful jets outside the terminal on the field. They tell each passenger how good the real flight will be on these new jets and how much safer it will be than Windows Airlines, but that they will have to wait a little longer for the technicians to finish the flight systems.

FLY WINDOWS NT 
All the passengers carry their seats out onto the tarmac, placing the chairs in the outline of a plane. They all sit down, flap their arms and make jet swooshing sounds as if they are flying.

WINGS of OS/400 
The airline has bought ancient DC-3s, arguably the best and safest planes that ever flew and painted "747" on their tails to make them look as if they are fast. The flight attendants, of course, attend to your every need, though the drinks cost $15 a pop. Stupid questions cost $230 per hour, unless you have SupportLine, which requires a first class ticket and membership in the frequent flyer club.

MVS AIRLINES 
The passengers all gather in the hanger, watching hundreds of technicians check the flight systems on this immense, luxury aircraft. This plane has at least 10 engines and seats over 1,000 passengers. All the passengers scramble aboard, as do the necessary complement of 200 technicians. The pilot takes his place up in the glass cockpit. He guns the engines, only to realise that the plane is too big to get through the hangar doors!

UNIX EXPRESS 
Each passenger brings a piece of the airplane and a box of tools to the airport. They gather on the tarmac, arguing constantly about what kind of plane they want to build and how to put it together. Eventually, they build several different aircraft, but give them all the same name. Some passengers actually reach their destinations. All passengers believe they got there.


WHAT IF... MICROSOFT BUILT CARS?


WHAT IF... DATA (from Star Trek TNG) WERE Microsoft Windows COMPATIBLE?
by Roger Walker at Reflex-London

WORF: Captain, there are three Romulan warships uncloaking dead ahead.
PICARD: On screen.
The main viewing screen changes to a pattern of horizontal lines, each only a single pixel wide.
PICARD: Data, what's wrong here?
DATA: Captain, the main viewscreen does not have sufficient video memory to display an image of this size. May I suggest that you select a lower resolution?
PICARD: Very well....
The screen blanks, and then an image appears, with big, blocky square pixels. Three objects appear in the center, which could be Romulan warbirds, but which actually look more like the aliens in Space Invaders.
PICARD: Data, open a hailing channel to the Romulans.
DATA: Aye, sir.
Data picks up an hourglass from the floor beside him, turns it over, and places it on the console in front of him. He punches some buttons on the console and sits motionless for several seconds. A flash of light blossoms from one of the Romulan ships on the viewscreen.
WORF: Incoming plasma torpedo, Captain!
PICARD: Shields up!
DATA: I'm sorry, Captain, but I am still attempting to complete your last instruction. I must ask you to wait until I have finished before you issue your next command.
PICARD: What on earth do you mean? Data, this is important! I want those shields up right now.
DATA: I'm sorry, Captain, but I am still attempting to complete your last instruction. I must ask you to wait until I have finished before you issue your next command.
LAFORGE: Allow me, captain. (to Data) Control-alt-delete, Data.
Data removes the hourglass from the console, and returns it to the floor.
DATA: The Romulans are not responding to my hails. Press my nose to cancel and return to Windows. Pull my left ear to close this communications channel which is not responding. You will lose any information sent by the Romulans.
LaForge pulls Data's left ear.
PICARD: Shields...
There is a tremendous explosion. The bridge shakes violently, and all the crew members are thrown to the floor. A shower of sparks erupts from Wesley Crusher's station at the helm, throwing Wesley back away from the console.
PICARD: ...Up, Data!
DATA: Aye, sir.
RIKER: All decks, damage report!
WORF: Captain, Ensign Crusher is injured. He appears to be unconscious.
Data picks up the hourglass again, places it on his console, and punches some more buttons. He waits a few seconds, then puts the hourglass back on the floor.
DATA: Shields are now up, captain.
PICARD: And not a moment too soon. Worf, lock all phasers on the lead Romulan ship.
WORF: Aye, sir.
He punches buttons on the weapons console.
PICARD: Mr. Data, take the helm, and prepare for evasive action.
DATA: I am sorry, sir, but I do not have the proper device driver installed for that console.
PICARD: Well, damn it, install the right one.
DATA: Please insert Setup Implant 1 in my right nostril.
PICARD: Number One, where do we keep Data's setup implants?
RIKER: I left them with Geordi.
LAFORGE: (in a surprised voice) What!!? I thought you still had them!
PICARD: Data, don't you have device drivers stored in your internal memory?
DATA: Not found, sir. Please insert Setup Implant 1 in my right nostril.
PICARD: Data, I don't have Setup Implant 1.
DATA: Not ready reading right nostril. Abort, Retry, Fail?
PICARD: Abort!
DATA: Not ready reading right nostril. Abort, Retry, Fail?
PICARD: Well, fail, then!
DATA: Current nose is no longer valid.
Data walks over to the helm, and presses several buttons. The ship lurches, the images of the Romulan warships suddenly shift to one side of the viewscreen, and a high-pitched whining noise is heard coming from somewhere else in the ship.
LAFORGE: (alarmed) Data, what the hell are you doing?
PICARD: Number One, do we have a customer service number for Data?
RIKER: Yes sir, but last time I tried to call them, I got put on hold for two hours before I was able to talk to anyone. And that person wasn't knowledgeable about androids of Data's model. She specialized in industrial control robots.
Suddenly, the lights all go out, the viewscreen goes blank, and all the usual noise of fans, motors, and so on whines to a halt. After a few seconds, the red emergency lights come on. Data is standing by the console, absolutely motionless.
PICARD: What's going on?
LAFORGE: (checking the helm console) Lieutenant Data has caused a General Protection Violation in the warp engine core.
PICARD: These androids look really sharp, but you can't really do anything with them.
The shimmer of the transporter effect appears, and six Romulans in full battle dress materialize on the bridge. A seventh figure, a Ferengi, appears moments later.
FERENGI: (with a mercenary grin) Can I interest you in a Macintosh, Captain?

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