Chris' Rant- by Chris Wenham

1997 Egg-In-The-Face Awards

This column only gets easier to write, for every year there seem to be more and more people who leap up at the wrong moment and bang their head on the low bridge. In case you missed last year's column, the annual Egg-in-the-face Awards is my little way of saying "Thank You" to all the Einsteins that contributed absolutely Sweet Fanny Adams last year, and did it in the most public way possible. To all these nominees; thanks for making my job easier. <g>

Fiction's Facts

According to Arthur C. Clarke, Will Robinson and Sarah Connor: 1997 was the year HAL was born, the year Jupiter 2 launched (only to get Lost In Space), and the year Skynet became self-aware and cooked everyone who wasn't wearing 2000 SPF sunblock.

Not so, folks. HAL is still struggling to sing "Daisy, Daisy" on a pair of $39.99 Lansing speakers and understand Dr. Chandra's voice through a copy of Leonard and Haupsie's recognition software, the Jupiter 2 was downsized to a Martian rover with a dodgy modem, and Skynet's Pentium crashed under the F00F bug. Ah shucks.

It was also the year Microsoft was supposed to ship the next greatest upgrade to its Windows line of washing machines operating systems, the year USB was finally supposed to break into the mainstream, and the year Bill Gates was supposed to finally move into his new house. Well, Microsoft met one deadline, and I hear the guest bedrooms are gorgeous.

Miffed at Davis

Oops, didn't I read this same article last year already? No, last year was when IBM rearranged the seating in the staff cafeteria. This time they rearrange a software division and OS/2 dies. I think that after so many wasted hours at the keyboard predicting OS/2's death, the steamed vegetables at Ziff Davis have finally automated the process and written a Visual Basic script that alters the headline of any OS/2 related article to claim "OS/2 Is Dead®" in one form or another.

For 1998, I predict an editor at Ziff Davis will break a 10 year streak and actually make a phone call to IBM themselves, not "developers close to", before running a story on Warp.

Suffer, mortal fool!

Oh how the mighty have fallen. Our favorite Demigod and once e-Zine! columnist, John Ominor, seems to have disappeared! And from behind the curtain at the City of OZ steps out a humble man instead. Well for someone who says Microsoft should be "reined in" he's not helping much by switching to The Blue Screen of Death and giving them another statistic to club developers over the head with. Ta-ta, John, and have fun with the new "Bonk!" denial of service attack <g>

Brad! Janet! Doctor Scott!

Reaping them in with a total of 3 awards this year is the company we hate to love, Stardock Systems.

For Process Commander, the utility whose web page has so many buggy (and useless) Java applets it actually causes you to have a crash rather than prevents one.

And for Stardock and Process Commander again, for harking back to the good 'ol days of Leisure Suit Larry and asking for "word x on page y" of the user manual whenever you wanted to apply a FixPak. For me, the upgrade was just a case of pulling the box off the shelf again to check the manual, but think of all those poor pirate dudes who now have to whip out their Hex editors. Sigh.

And Stardock once more, for running their web server (Stardock.Net) and news server on Windows machines. Not even a token OS/2 box in that lot? Do you need the URL for Apache?

Sociopolitical Goof-up.

Let's see... Dadaware have managed to make Windows 95 and OS/2 versions of their Embellish graphics software on par with each other. TrueSpectra has succeeded in doing the same with Photo>Graphics. Compo has feature-par Win95 and OS/2 versions of their NeoN line. I just recommended to a Windows 95 using friend that he should try the long-popular-on-OS/2 multimedia software MainActor. And even the upstart Modular Dreams Incorporated is producing not just Win95 and OS/2 versions of products like SX Paint and WebAK, but BeOS versions too! Gee, it seems like the OS/2 graphics market is exploding, and all these wonderful companies have succeeded with cross-platform initiatives to boot!

Wow, now let's run this copy of ColorWorks 3...

Warp City

Yes, that's right! Everyone at OS/2 e-Zine! is blisteringly jealous and out to get you! We're going to pillage your women, rape your bridges, and burn your Java dart-boards! And while your subscribers try to make head-or-tail of a membership scheme that's more complicated than a long-distance calling plan, I'll be stealing all of your Hot Web Sites and putting them in my daily WarpCast mailing! Muahahahahahahaa!

Editor's Note: The above is meant as satire only and is not to be taken seriously. Chris Wenham has had a troubled life and is currently undergoing psychological treatment and heavy medication.

OS/2 e-Zine!

Unfortunately, my Editor-In-Chief prohibited me from publishing the full and unedited version of this column, which contained a few nasty remarks about a competitor of ours whose name I am not even allowed to subliminally refer to (Shave and a haircut, 32 bits?). So instead I must pay homage to our own mistakes made in the calendar year of 1997. The ones we're really ashamed of but must dutifully report to you, our readers, who provide us with a steady income of lunch money via the advertisers you see above. Be nice and buy something from them, will you? <g>

To myself, for making a total botch up of the OpenChat/2 review and turning it into a sales pitch rather than an objective analysis. (The thing is, you should have read the one we had to reject at the last minute.)

To myself again (I'm more familiar with my own work) for reviewing a copy of ExCal, that wonderful freeware PIM from Dan Kehn of IBM, that was a whole major version lower than the current one. Consider this a correction of last month's piece: ExCal does have the ability to save events and address-book entries in its own, "high-resolution" backup file format that you can restore from should you have a wipe out. Mucho apologies to Dan, and thanks for a great PIM that still shines even today.

And finally to the e-Zine! as a whole for failing to send one single representative to the first ever, grass roots, user sponsored, Nuttin'-But-OS/2 trade show in Diamond Bar, California; WarpStock. No excuses here, we just dropped the ball.

Um... Sorry <g>

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Chris Wenham is the Senior Editor of OS/2 e-Zine! -- a promotion from Assistant Editor which means his parking spot will now be wide enough to keep his bicycle and a trailer.

Copyright © 1998 - Falcon Networking ISSN 1203-5696