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[humorix] Microsoft Unveils New Measurement System

Microsoft Unveils New Measurement System
October 3, 1999

REDMOND, WA -- In response to the brouhah surrounding the
Mars probe that crashed due to a Metric conversion
error[1], Microsoft announced today that it plans to unify
the world's measurement systems into one: RedmondX. "We've
been very successful in monopolizing the operating system
market worldwide," a Microserf spokesman proclaimed.  "We
can leverage that ability to monopolize the measurement
system market worldwide, thus putting an end to the Metric

At this stage, only an alpha specification has been drafted
and circulated to a closed team of alpha-testers.  However,
thanks to the diligence of our Vast Spy Network(tm),
Humorix has been able to obtain a copy of the
specification, which we have reproduced below in condensed

Microsoft RedmondX(tm) Measurement System 
Alpha 0.1, October 1999 A.D.

* Introduction

The RedmondX Measurement System ("RedX") employs
state-of-the-art measurement technology, creating a
measuring system far superior to Metric or Imperial...
[rest of promo garbage snipped]

* The Billpoint

The RedX establishes the center of the Universe at the
northwest corner of Bill Gates' office, an exact location
hereafter known as the "Billpoint".  In RedX, all motion is
assumed to be relative to the Billpoint, so that the Sun,
solar system, Galaxy, and Universe all revolve around Bill
Gates' office.

* Calendar

RedX incorporates a simplified calendar in which one year
is equal to exactly 360 days.  The year is divided up into
12 months, each of 30 days.  

(Note: As of this writing, Bill Gates is in communication
with the Saucer People about the possibility of using their
advanced technology to alter the Sun's orbit around the
Earth, thus shortening one year to exactly 360 days.  This
should be completed by 46 A.B. [see below].  For obvious
reasons, this paragraph will be omitted from the final
public release of this document.   Do not, I repeat DO NOT,
allow this document to fall into the hands of anyone
outside of the alpha-testing group, particularly any rabid
Linux longhairs.)

Instead of 52 weeks, the RedX calendar has 51 weeks, each
of 7 days. This leaves three days at the end of the year
not attached to any week; these days are hereby a part of
the Feast of Microsoft. Day 1 is "Microsoft Appreciation
Day".  Day 2 is "Innovation Day", a holiday similar to
Christmas in which people are expected to give Microsoft
products as gifts.  Day 3 is New Year's Eve.  New Year's
Day (corresponding to October 28 in the legacy Gregorian
Calendar) is Bill Gates' birthday.

(Note: Since Sun Microsystems is a competitor to Microsoft,
the weekday "Sunday" is known as "Solday" in the RedX

Dates are divided into three eras: Before Bill (B.B.),
During Bill (D.B.) and After Bill (A.B.).  The date January
1st, 1 D.B. is fixed as Bill Gates' birthday (October 28,
1955 in Gregorian).  January 1st, 1 A.B. will be defined as
the first New Year's Day following Bill Gates' untimely
demise (unless a body transplant or cryogenic suspension is
possible, in which case A.B. dates will be unnecessary).

* Time

In the interests of backwards compatibility with legacy
measurement systems, the unit of time in the RedX system --
"billoids" -- is exactly equal to one second.  Officially,
one billoid is equal to the amount of time it takes a
certain computer to fully boot Windows 98, divided by 256. 
This computer will be kept in a climate controlled
environment at the Microsoft Campus as the benchmark for
the unit of time.  

One day is composed of 24 "billhours", which are composed
of 60 "billutes" and 3,600 billoids... Time zones are
defined relative to the Billpoint (Redmond Mean Time). 
Daylight Saving Time is hereby abolished (Bill Gates
doesn't like spending 6 billhours per day trying to change
all of the clocks in his mansion).

* Distance

One "biller" is equal to the exact height of Bill Gates as
measured at a certain date.  A statue of Bill will be kept
in a climate controlled environment as the official
benchmark for the length of one biller.  

One "kegabill" is equal to 1024 billers (therefore, one kegabill
is approximately 1.164 legacy statute miles).  One biller
is divided up into 64 "smallbills" and 1024 "tinybills".

* Weight/Force

The "ballmer", a unit of weight, is equal to the
gravitational attraction between the Earth and a stack of
95 Windows 95 CD-ROMs, as measured at the Billpoint.  The
CDs will be kept in a climate controlled glass box as the
official benchmark.

* Storage Capacity

Computer memory is still based on bytes and bits; however,
larger units are now defined as:

 - Kilobyte: 2^12 (4,096) bytes
 - Megabyte: 2^24 (16,777,216) bytes
 - Gigabyte: 2^36 (6.87E10) bytes
 - Terabyte: 2^48 (2.81E14) bytes

Altering these "standards" will trick consumers into
thinking that the size of Windows and other Microsoft
products has decreased.  For instance, a RedX megabyte is
16 times larger than a legacy megabyte. Therefore, we can
advertise that Windows only takes up 32 MB of space even
though it's 512 MB in size under the old system!

* Money

In addition to dollars and cents, a new unit, the
"billdozen", is hereby defined as equal to $12,000,000,000
(12 billion).  This new unit makes it possible to express
the value of Bill Gates' MSFT stock in one byte, rounded up
(as of this writing, Bill is worth about 6 billdozens).

[Other less important unit definitions snipped for brevity]

* Implementation

The strategic plan to establish RedX as the dominant
measuring system includes:

1. Release RedX-compliance patches for every Microsoft
product ever produced.  These will be hyped as "Y2K
compliance" patches, since, of course, RedX doesn't suffer
from the Y2K problem.  All new Microsoft software products
will come bundled with Measurement Explorer(tm), an
application that will convert legacy measurements into RedX
(but not vice versa).  Legacy measurements will be phased
out of upgraded versions, until about 2004 (49 D.B.) in
which users will be forced to use RedX measurements in
Microsoft software.

2. Publish a line of school and college textbooks that will
be given away at no charge.  As can be expected, these
books will make absolutely no mention of Metric or Imperial
units, but will focus on RedX measurements.

For instance, a math textbook might ask, "Train A leaves
Boston at an average speed of 59 kegabills per billhour
(K.P.B.) while Train B leaves a station 1,532 kegabills
away at a speed of 62 K.P.B.  How many billers away from
Boston will they meet and at what time (in billoids)?  If
the value of Bill Gates' stock increases by .00016
billdozens per billhour, how much money will he make during
the time it takes the two trains to meet?"

3. Launch an Astroturf Campaign showing "grass-roots"
support for the RedX system.  Microserfs will go
door-to-door handing out pamphlets saying, "Metric is an
evil French conspiracy.  Imperial is an evil British
conspiracy.  It's time Americans used an American system
developed by Americans for Americans -- It's time for

4. Rig upcoming elections so that pro-RedX candidates are
elected. By 2008 (53 D.B.) or so, Congress should come
close to a RedX majority. Laws to phase in RedX will be
quietly enacted as riders to other bills, so that the
American public won't be the wiser.

5. Two words: Subliminal messages

6. Acquire a major TV network and run advertisements for
RedX during every commercial break.  Air special shows
describing how to use RedX and why it's superior to legacy
systems (i.e. "When Archaic Measurement Systems Go Bad" and
"World's Stupidest Conversion Errors").

Legal Notices

This document is Copyright 1999 (43-44 D.B.), Microsoft
Corp. All rights reserved.  Patents pending.  RedX and
RedmondX are trademarks of Microsoft.

[1] http://slashdot.org/articles/99/09/30/1437217.shtml


James S. Baughn

Humorix:      Linux and Open Source(nontm) on a lighter note
Archive:      http://humbolt.nl.linux.org/lists/
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