Thursday, August 25, 2005

Best pratical joke from ten years ago

When I discovered that yesterday was the tenth anniversary of the release of Windows 95, I was reminded of a 'geeky' practical joke from the days following the release. You need to remember that the entire user interface changed from Windows 3.1 to Windows 95, and several people were leery about the stability of the new operating system. I had one particular friend that loaded Win 95 on his PC on the day of the release ... and was showing it off to all who would walk past his workstation. I had played with the beta-release for a while on a backup PC, so I had already seen some of the new things you could do with it. This friend, being a support technician, was always rebuilding his computer, so I decided to play with him a little.

After he had the new Win95 install complete, and had loaded several programs, he decided to take a coffee break ... but failed to 'lock' his computer (he hadn't found that option yet). During his absence, I took a screen capture of his desktop, saved it as a bmp file and then set it to be his desktop wallpaper. While I couldn't get rid of the "My Computer" and "Recycle Bin" icons, all other icons were stored away in a different location on the PC. So, here sits the wallpaper, which appears to have numerous icons on it, but they are only images of the working icons. Coffee break is over and my buddy returns to his workstation. Double clicking on the 'icons' have no effect. He can't even select them to move them around. Only the "My Computer" and "Recycle Bin" are responding. Needless to say, he starts ranting about the new OS and how it is a piece of junk (only an hour prior it was the greatest thing since slice bread .. how soon they forget). What does he do before I can get over to his station and let him know about the joke? Formats the drive and starts a reload. He said he needed the practice anyways, since he was going to be helping with the roll out of the new OS. Well, if he wants the practice, I'll help him get it. Next day, coffee break, same thing. He returns, nothing responds, so he formats and rebuilds. He decides that the OS has a bug that has to do with 'extended times of inactivity'.

After a couple more days of this, I can't contain myself anymore, and explain to him how I am the 'bug', and exactly how he was duped. He took it in stride, and started to play the joke on a few of his geeky friends.

Oh, the memories.........
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