[jericho@dimensional.com: [ISN] Reboot and Fire! (NT/Humor?)]

Paul Boehm (pb@insecurity.net)
Thu, 10 Sep 1998 15:30:22 +0200


----- Forwarded message from mea culpa <jericho@dimensional.com> -----

Date: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 03:13:55 -0600 (MDT)
From: mea culpa <jericho@dimensional.com>
To: InfoSec News <isn@sekurity.org>
Subject: [ISN] Reboot and Fire! (NT/Humor?)
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Reply-To: mea culpa <jericho@dimensional.com>

Forwarded From: Paul Hart <Paul.Hart@Swift.Com>

[ 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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----- End forwarded message -----


[ Paul S. Boehm | paul@boehm.priv.at | http://paul.boehm.org/ | infected@irc ]

Money is what gives a programmer his resources. It's an exchange system created by human beings. It surrounds us. Works for us, binds the economy together.

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