Millennium Year Application Software System

This email is to announce the development of a new software system which will be year 2000 compliant. The program is known as “Millennium Year Application Software System” (MYASS). Next Monday we will have a meeting in which I will show MYASS to everyone.

We will hold demonstrations throughout the month so that all employees will have an opportunity to get a good look at MYASS. We have not addressed networking aspects yet, so currently only one person at a time can use MYASS.

Some employees have begun using the program already. This morning I walked into a subordinate’s office and was not surprised to find that he had his nose buried in MYASS.

Some of the less technical people may be somewhat afraid of MYASS.

Last week my secretary said to me, “I’m a little nervous, I have never put anything in MYASS before.” I helped her through the first time and afterwards she admitted that it was relatively easy and she actually was looking forward to doing it again.

There have been concerns over the virus that was found in MYASS upon initial installation, but the virus has been eliminated and we were able to save MYASS. In the future, however, protection will be required prior to entering MYASS. This database will encompass all information associated with the business.

As MYASS grows larger, we envision a time when it will be commonplace for a supervisor to hand work to an employee and say “Here, stick this in MYASS.”

It will be a great day when we need data quickly and our employees can respond “Here it is, I just pulled it out of MYASS.”

In fact, I’m sure everyone will be so thrilled with the program that they will just want to kiss MYASS.

Introducing Solitare XP!

Here is the README.TXT file from Microsoft’s latest software product.

Microsoft Solitaire XP
README file, v4.3



Welcome to the wonderful world of Microsoft Solitaire XP! This classic game has been a Windows fixture for many years, and after a long period of development, we are pleased to announce that it has been updated to take advantage of many exciting, Microsoft-pioneered technologies, such as “long filenames!”

For years, our users have made demands, and Microsoft has listened. You told us that you wanted an operating system in which Solitaire was a seamless, integrated component. You wanted to blend in Solitaire with how you worked, how you played, and in general, you wanted Solitaire to *define your computing experience.*

Solitaire XP brings this dream to a blissful reality.

System Requirements

  • 266 MHz Pentium II or better
  • 800 megabytes of free hard drive space (2.1 gigabytes recommended)
  • 128 megabytes of RAM (256 megabytes for Vegas scoring)

Installation Procedure

  1. Insert the CD-ROM entitled “Microsoft Solitaire” into your CD-ROM drive. You will need to make sure that the drive door is open before you place the disc in the tray.
  2. An installation dialog box should appear on your screen. If it does not, you may need to purchase more memory or a larger hard disk drive. See your local Microsoft-certified dealer.
  3. Follow the onscreen instructions. If you cannot read, have somebody else sit through the installation procedure.
  4. Insert the CD-ROM entitled “Microsoft Solitaire, Disc 2” into your CD-ROM drive. As before, ensure that the drive is open before inserting the disc in the tray.
  5. An installation dialog box should appear on your screen. If it does not, you may need to upgrade to a Microsoft “Natural” keyboard, which you can obtain from your nearest dealer. As before, follow the onscreen instructions.
  6. After the installation program has completed, check your “Programs” menu for a new Solitaire XP entry. If the program entry was not successfully created, you may need to uninstall all local copies of Netscape Navigator and/or Communicator and restart the Solitaire installation process from scratch.

Playing The Game

Assuming that Solitaire XP has been properly installed, you should be able to find it in your “Programs” menu (you should have verified this as part of the installation process.) Microsoft recommends that you shut down all other programs that may be running on the system before starting Solitaire XP.

To start the game, simply select it from the “Programs” menu. If the game does not start within five to seven minutes of selection, you may need to upgrade to the latest version of Microsoft Office to ensure that your system has the proper DLLs that Solitaire needs.

For game rules, refer to the .HLP files for the Windows 3.1 version of Solitaire. If you don’t have these files, you can purchase them online from Microsoft at very competitive rates.

Coming Soon

Minesweeper XP !!

Watch this space.

[ snip millions of blank lines inserted to balloon README file up to Microsoft mandatory one-megabyte minimum file size. ]

Seven Software Companies Added to “Watch List”

New York — People for Ethical Treatment of Software (PETS) announced today that seven more software companies have been added to the group’s “watch list” of companies that regularly practice software testing.

“There is no need for software to be mistreated in this way so that companies like these can market new products,” said Ken Grandola, spokesperson for PETS. “Alternative methods of testing these products are available.”

According to PETS, these companies force software to undergo lengthy and arduous tests, often without rest, for hours or days at a time. Employees are assigned to “break” the software by any means necessary, and inside sources report that they often joke
about “torturing” the software.

“It’s no joke,” said Grandola. “Innocent programs, from the day they are compiled, are cooped up in tiny rooms and “crashed” for hours on end. They spend their whole lives on dirty, ill-maintained computers, and are unceremoniously deleted when they’re not needed anymore.”

Grandola said the software is kept in unsanitary conditions and is infested with bugs.

“We know that alternatives to this horror exist,” he said, citing industry giant Microsoft Corporation as a company that has become successful without resorting to software testing.

Interpreting Software Revisions

Once you start playing with software you quickly become aware that each software package has a revision code attached to it. It is obvious that this revision code gives the sequence of changes to the product, but in reality there’s substantially more information available through the rev-code than that. This article provides a guide for interpreting the meaning of the revision codes and what they actually signify.

Also known as "one point uh-oh", or "barely out of beta". We had to release because the lab guys had reached a point of exhaustion and the marketing guys were in a cold sweat of terror. We’re praying that you’ll find it more functional than, say, a computer virus and that its operation has some resemblance to that specified in the marketing copy.

We fixed all the killer bugs …

Uh, we introduced a few new bugs fixing the killer bugs and so we had to fix them, too.

We did the product we really wanted to do to begin with. Mind you, it’s really not what the customer needs yet, but we’re working on it.

Well, not surprisingly, we broke some things in making major changes so we had to fix them. But we did a really good job of testing this time, so we don’t think we introduced any new bugs while we were fixing these bugs.

Uh, sorry, one slipped through. One lousy typo error and you won’t believe how much trouble it caused!

Some jerk found a deep-seated bug that’s been there since 1.0 and wouldn’t stop nagging until we fixed it!!

Hey, we finally think we’ve got it right! Most of the customers are really happy with this.

Of course, we did break a few little things.

More features. It’s doubled in size now, by the way, and you’ll need to get more memory and a faster processor …

Just one or two bugs this time… Honest!

We really need to go on to a new product, but we have an installed base out there to protect. We’re cutting the staffing after this.

We had to fix a few things we broke in 5.0. Not very many, but it’s been so long since we looked at this thing we might as well call it a major upgrade. Oh, yeah, we added a few flashy cosmetic features so we could justify the major upgrade number.

Since I’m leaving the company and I’m the last guy left in the lab who works on the product, I wanted to make sure that all the changes I’ve made are incorporated before I go. I added some cute demos, too, since I was getting pretty bored back here in my dark little corner (I kept complaining about the lighting but they wouldn’t do anything). They’re talking about obsolescence planning but they’ll try to keep selling it for as long as there’s a buck or two to be made. I’m leaving the bits in as good a shape as I can in case somebody has to tweak them, but it’ll be sheer luck if no one loses them.

Check Disclaimer for Software Purchases

Disclaimer to be used when purchasing software:

This check is fully warranted against physical defects and poor workmanship in its stationery. If the check is physically damaged, return it to me and I will replace or repair it at my discretion. No other warranty of any kind is made, neither express nor implied including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of Merchantability, Suitability for Purpose, and Validity of Currency. Any and all risk concerning the actual value of this check is assumed by you, the recipient. Even though I or my agents may have assured you of its worth, either verbally or in written communication, we may have had our fingers crossed, so don’t come whimpering back to me if it bounces.

The money, if any, represented by this instrument remains my property. You are licensed to use it, however you are not allowed to copy the original check except for your personal records, nor are you permitted to give the money itself to anyone else. Neither may you allow any other person to use the money. Remember, you may have it in your possession, but it still belongs to me, and I’m going to call on you from time to time just to keep tabs on it.

This agreement supersedes all others between us, including the equally ridiculous one you have undoubtedly pasted on the back of your packaging, or concealed somewhere in the middle of it. The location of your version of this or any other covenant between us is irrelevant to its inapplicability here. Only this one pertains, and I really mean it. In fact, this one supersedes yours even though yours may say that it supersedes mine. Why, even if yours said it would supersede mine even if mine said it would supersede yours even if yours said… Oh well. You get the idea.

You may decline this agreement by returning the uncashed check to me within twenty-four hours. If you attempt to cash it, however, you have implicitly accepted these terms. You may also implicitly accept these terms by:

  1. Calling my bank to inquire about the status of my account;
  2. Thanking me at the conclusion of our business transaction;
  3. Going to bed at the end of this or any other day; or
  4. Using any toilet or rest room.

Please be advised that I have adopted a strict rubber-glue policy. Any nasty thing that your lawyers say bounces off of me and sticks back to you. Be further advised that you agree to pay my legal expenses if I decide to sue you for violating this agreement or for any other reason that might strike my fancy. Violations will be punishable by fine, imprisonment, death, any two of the above, or all three.

Thank you and have a nice day!