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[humorix] Re: Microsoft Conspiracy Theories
At 02:30 AM 5/27/99 -0500, you wrote:
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>Subject: [humorix] Re: Microsoft Conspiracy Theories
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>From: James Baughn <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>To: email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Date: Wednesday, May 26, 1999 12:31 PM
>Subject: [humorix] Microsoft Conspiracy Theories
>>Microsoft Conspiracy Theories
>>May 26, 1999
>>Recently Humorix reported on the Microsoft Conspiracy
>>Theory contest sponsored by Linux Fortnight News. During
>>the past two weeks the Humorix staff has composed several
>>conspiracy theories that we will submit to the contest. We
>>found that it's much easier to write Microsoft conspiracy
>>theories than it is to write ordinary fake news.
>>* SETI@home: Searching for Intelligent Life in Windows
>>It seems suspicious that the source code to the SETI@home
>>client is closed. The stated purpose of the SETI@home
>>Project is to utilize distributed computing to search for
>>alien signals. That is what They want you to believe. The
>>client may spit out messages about "Fourier transforms" and
>>"signals from the Arecibo Observatory", but that's all a
>>cover to trick the unsuspecting public.
>>In reality, the CPU cycles burned running SETI@home are
>>actually compiling portions of the Windows 2000 source
>>code. Sections of the Windows Y2K source code are
>>distributed (in encrypted form) as "work units" to
>>SETI@home clients. The client program compiles that
>>section of code and returns the work unit to the SETI
>>website, which is actually a front for tide7.microsoft.com.
>>Such a distributed computing system is necessary to fully
>>compile the Windows 2000 source code in a reasonable amount
>>of time. Using only internal Microsoft hardware, it would
>>take 23 days to make one WinY2K build. With SETI@home (or
>>should we say, MS@home), it only takes 2.3 days.
>>* WinBoxes: The Latest Volley In The War Against Linux
>>Nicholas Petreley wrote an April Fool's article about
>>"Winboards", cheap Windows-only motherboards that function
>>like WinModems. While most of Petreley's readers laughed
>>at the absurd concept and moved on, an engineer from
>>Microsoft's R&D labs didn't. Microsoft will embrace and
>>extend this concept to create entire Windows-only computers
>>called "WinBoxes". What started out as an innocent April
>>Fool's gag has turned into Microsoft's latest anti-Linux
>>Microsoft has inked a secret deal with Compaq to produce a
>>line of WinBoxes. These computers will consist exclusively
>>of specially designed Windows-only "hardware" built into
>>the motherboard. The CPU will handle all of the processing
>>that is usually reserved for external devices in real
>>computers. The motherboard will contain a built-in
>>WinEthernetCard(tm), WinVideoCard(tm), and, of course, a
>>WinModem(tm). (These boxes will not support traditional
>>floppy drives, but they will support proprietary
>>MSFloppies(tm) capable of holding 10MB apiece).
>>During the next few months Compaq will begin to
>>mass-produce WinBoxes. These machines will NOT be
>>advertised as Windows-only brain-dead boxes, instead they
>>will be marketed as inexpensive entry-level machines for
>>unsuspecting novice computer users. Such users probably
>>don't realize that Windows alternatives exist, and even if
>>they knew about alternatives, they would be content to use
>>Windows. Indeed, these users will never have the
>>opportunity to realize that the "Windows-enhanced" logo
>>etched into the case is really a "Windows-only" warning
>>Within a few years, these WinBoxes could quietly spread
>>through the low-end desktop market and, ultimately, go
>>mainstream. Your average computer user won't care that his
>>el cheapo US$199 computer can only run the latest version
>>of Windows Two-Thousand-And-Whatever. Your average Linux
>>hacker will care, but alas, he'll be stuck using an ancient
>>AMD K7 system.
>>* The BASIC Conspiracy
>>Back in the Dark Ages of MS-DOS, most x86 computers came
>>with a BASIC interpreter. While these early interpreters
>>were terrible (BASIC originally stood for BASIC Allows
>>SpaghettI Code, after all), MS-DOS 5.0 introduced QBASIC,
>>an interpreter that made it possible to write non-trivial
>>BASIC programs without using any GOTOs at all.
>>Many preteen nerds and geeks learned how to program using
>>QBASIC. Many of these geeks are now writing Open Source
>>software. Ironically, it is a Microsoft program that
>>inspired many Linux hackers.
>>Not anymore, though. QBASIC and it's older brother,
>>QuickBASIC, are now obsolete, relegated to some obscure
>>directory (if you're lucky) on the Windows or TechNet
>>CD-ROM. Microsoft's current incarnation of BASIC, Visual
>>Basic, costs hundreds of dollars. Microsoft doesn't bundle
>>a stripped down version of VB with Windows like it did
>>QBASIC with DOS (although just about everything else is
>>bundled in Windows, except maybe a kitchen sink (slated for
>>release with Windows 2002)).
>>What's a preteen proto-hacker to do? If they use Windows,
>>not much. They might be able to use the BASIC macro
>>language that comes with Office (why bother?), but, unless
>>they're willing to spend money on a compiler, programming
>>options are limited. Future possible Open Source hackers
>>are being squandered by Redmond's refusal to bundle a free
>>version of BASIC (or any language, for that matter) with
>>their mega-OS. Preteens are content to play Quake and
>>Alpha Centauri instead of hacking code like us oldtimers
>>did. It's a shame, really.
>>The conspiracy doesn't end there. Most high schools no
>>longer teach programming courses; instead they have
>>"computer science" (sic) classes on using Windows or
>>Office. Indeed, it would appear that many schools receive
>>discounts on Microsoft programs if they agree not to teach
>>any programming classes or classes on using non-Microsoft
>>programs. Programming is becoming a lost art. An
>>increasing number of computer users trust Microsoft
>>exclusively to produce their software. The Do-It-Yourself
>>attitude that makes Open Source so strong is dwindling in
>>Linux could be doomed by a lack of future talent. It's a
>>* The Other BASIC Conspiracy
>>[This conspiracy theory was drafted by a different member
>>of the Humorix staff than the previous one. -- The Editor]
>>You've probably seen old "programs" (I use the term
>>loosely) written in GW-BASIC or BASICA. They are crap.
>>Indeed, contrary to popular belief, BASIC actually stands
>>for Beginner's All-purpose System for Innovating Crap
>>(Symbolic Instruction Code my ass!). The GW-BASIC
>>interpreter encouraged crappy poorly-written uncommented
>>spaghetti code compressed into as few lines as possible.
>>The abomination known as BASIC has ruined countless
>>potential Open Source programmers. Teenagers who learned
>>"programming" via BASIC are stunted for life; many are
>>unable to advance beyond being an MSCE. These BASIC-heads
>>have to unlearn everything they know in order to write
>>structured programs (much less anything Object Oriented!),
>>a feat many cannot master.
>>Item: BASIC has screwed over countless future programmers
>>with its unstructured "syntax".
>>Item: Microsoft has shipped brain-dead BASIC interpreters
>>with MS-DOS, and most recently, with Office in the form of
>>a macro language.
>>Obvious Conclusion: Microsoft has been conspiring to rid
>>the computer industry of programming talent, most likely in
>>a fiendish plot to ruin its future competition (read: Open
>>More advanced versions of BASIC that shipped with MS-DOS 5+
>>(QBASIC) and with Office (Visual Basic for Applications)
>>are still brain-dead. These "modern" interpreters are
>>merely a ruse to obfuscate Microsoft's sinister plans for
>>programming domination. The fact that Windows itself comes
>>with no BASIC interpreter is another fiendish plan devised
>>to confuse anybody attempting to unravel this conspiracy.
>>This conspiracy also applies to Microsoft's other modern
>>programming tools. Visual C++, with its Microsoft
>>Foundation Classes, is a prime example of the raw evilness
>>pouring from Redmond. MFC-compiled programs are so bloated
>>that the entire Linux kernel could fit into their binaries
>>several times over! And then there's J++, which is
>>sinister in its own right.
>>In conclusion, by bundling inferior programming tools with
>>its products during the 1980s (and today), Microsoft has
>>stifled programming talent, and thus, its competition. The
>>fact that Open Source software has flourished against this
>>impediment is amazing. But we must ask ourselves, what
>>would the computer industry be like if Microsoft had
>>bundled a decent BASIC interpreter with MS-DOS in the 80s?
>>* Australian Net Censorship: Welcome to MS-Australia!
>>The pending Internet censorship bill in Australia (or,
>>by the time you read this, law) is obviously part of a
>>grand Microsoft conspiracy. While the stated goal of this
>>bill is to "protect the children", in reality the
>>mission is to "protect the Microsoft stockholders."
>>This bill would place a burden on Australia ISPs to block
>>"offensive" material from overseas servers. Such a burden
>>would weigh heavily on smaller ISPs, no doubt causing some
>>to go out of business (or merge with others). This is
>>exactly what Microsoft -- in its fiendish scheme to turn
>>the Internet into the Microsoft Network -- wants. With Net
>>access in Australia limited to a smaller set of ISPs,
>>Microsoft will be able to dominate the industry through a
>>couple of strategic ISP and telecom acquisitions.
>>First Australia, and then the World. The Microsoft
>>conspiracy to dominate Internet access through the guise of
>>"protecting the children" is underway.
>>And that's not all. Humorix recently reported that the
>>Linux operating system could be effectively banned from
>>Australia because it contains potentially offensive
>>material in its source code (the f--- word). This
>>possibility still holds. For all we know, the Humorix
>>website could be banned in the future because some
>>Australian politician found this article "offensive" to
>>If the above items don't reek of an obvious Microsoft
>>conspiracy, I don't know what does.
>>James S. Baughn
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