If Operating Systems Were Airlines
(-- Circulating Net Meme, Wired, March 1995, p46)
- DOS Air:
- Passengers walk out onto the runway, grab hold of the plane, push
it until it gets into the air, hop on, then jump off when it hits the
They grab the plan again, push it back into the air, hop on, jump off
- Mac Airways:
- The cashiers, flight attendants, and pilots all look the same,
talk the same, and act the same. When you ask them questions about
the flight, they reply that you don't want to know, don't need to
know, and would you please return to your seat and watch the movie.
- Windows Airlines:
- The terminal is neat and clean, the attendants courteous, the
pilots capable. The fleet of Lear jets the carrier operates is
immense. Your jet takes off without a hitch pushes above the clouds
and at 20,000 feet, explodes without warning.
- OS/2 Skyways:
- The terminals almost empty -- only a few prospective passengers
mill about. The announcer says that a flight has just departed,
although no planes appear to be on the runway. Airline personnel
apologize profusely to customers in hushed voices, pointing from time
to time to the sleek, powerful jets outside. They tell each passenger
how great the flight will be on these new jets and how much safer it
will be than Windows Airlines, but they will have to wait a little
longer for the technicians to finish the flight systems. Maybe until
mid-1995. Maybe longer.
- Fly Windows NT:
- Passengers carry their seats out onto the tarmac and place them in
the outline of a plane. They sit down, flap their arms, and make jet
swooshing sounds as if they are flying.
- Unix Express:
- Passengers bring a piece of the airplane and a box of tools with
them to the airport. They gather on the tarmac, arguing about what
kind of plane they want to build. The passengers split into groups
and build several different aircraft but give them all the same name.
Only some passengers reach their destinations, but all of them believe
(Terry L Anderson)