[ISN] Reboot and Fire! (NT/Humor?)

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Thu Sep 10 1998 - 02:13:55 PDT

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    Forwarded From: Paul Hart <Paul.Hartat_private>
    [ I say it's humor in the title, but then, when it comes to Microsoft fouling 
    up in really spectacular ways (such as billg's NT-driven house), when isn't 
    it humor? - Paul Hart]
    Reboot And Fire! -- NT-Based Naval, Ground, And Air Forces Dominating The 
    Military Could Be Just What's Needed To Give Peace A Chance
    INFORMATIONWEEK via NewsEdge Corporation : I was thinking that Bill Gates,
    in addition to being the richest man on the planet, may wind up in the
    running for the Nobel Peace Prize-that is, if Janet Reno and the rest of
    the Justice Department get off his back. This epiphany came to me one
    recent morning when, while scanning the newspaper, I saw a story that got
    me contemplating the risk to world peace if we interfere with Microsoft's
    business plans.
    It seems that the U.S. Navy has something called a Smart Ship program. The
    idea is that crew size, and thus budgets, can be significantly reduced
    through automation. This concept is quite familiar to those of us who ply
    the computer trade-and who could fault the Navy's decision to go with
    Windows NT 4.0? The only problem with the Navy's bold leap forward is that
    an application bug from which NT could not recover caused their test ship,
    the cruiser USS Yorktown, to lose propulsion during a trial excursion and
    sit dead in the water for nearly three hours. Three hours of down time is
    not a big deal, unless of course, it comes at a critical moment-such as in
    the middle of a battle. But those of us who deal with computers know that
    system crashes never happen during heavy use, so what's to worry?
    However, on the off-chance that getting a really stable system is
    difficult, maybe we could change the plan's entire strategy. Instead of
    adopting it for the Navy, we could encourage Microsoft to sell it to other
    nations as well as the United States. Given Microsoft's marketing might,
    NT-based naval, ground, and air forces would soon dominate the world's
    military, just as Office dominates the civilian business world. At that
    point, no one would want to start a war until they were sure they had the
    most fault-tolerant system possible-and that, of course, would be
    available only in the next operating system release. Since we all know how
    long the delay is for any Microsoft release-plus the company's record for
    delivering the features promised-we have a great chance for world peace
    while everyone is waiting. That should make Gates a shoo-in for the Nobel
    After the prize is awarded, we could rewrite history in honor of the great
    man and modify the famous slogans of battle that we all learned in school.
    For those of you who would cringe at such an adjustment of the facts, I
    would point out that extremism in defense of capitalism is no vice;
    moderation in pursuit of innovation is no virtue. In case that phrase
    sounds vaguely familia r, it's because I ripped it off (with minor
    modifications) from the late Sen. Barry Goldwater. If that adjustment of
    his words bothers you, loosen up and get modern. Microsoft has done very
    well with DOS, which it bought rather than develop; the Windows graphical
    user interface, which it found sitting under-exploited on the Macintosh;
    and a host of other products first conceived by others. Not that there's
    anything wrong with that, to quote Jerry Seinfeld. Got the idea? Good.
    The schoolbooks could have Admiral Dewey saying at Manila Bay in 1898,
    "You may reboot when you are ready, Gridley." Or, how about Admiral
    Farragut, during the Civil War when deciding to run the gauntlet in Mobile
    Bay, exclaiming, "Damn the Stop System Errors-full steam ahead!" What an
    opportunity for new publishing ventures! All of them, of course, as
    natural extensions of Windows. 
    After all, what greater glory than for the man who put the microprocessor
    on the map to be acknowledged as the individual who brought us peace in
    our time- even if he can't keep Windows NT from crashing? Maybe
    Waggener-Edstrom, Microsoft's public relations firm, can use this idea.
    Perhaps it's already part of a secret strategy Steve Ballmer and the
    Billster have developed. If it is, you may have read it here first, but
    they gave it innovation. 
    Herbert W. Lovelace is the CIO at a multibillion-dollar international
    company. Herb practices his day job under an alias and has changed the
    names of colleagues to protect the guilty. 
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