by Jim Leftwich
Ted eyed the shrinkwrapped package with lowered lids. With a certain degree of suspicion. Dread even. How many days of confusion lay ahead? Of endless reboots and blue screens...
He inserted the irridescent CD into the outstretched tray. It closed and the digital wizards instantly took over, invisibly chucking out the old code and stuffing in the new. When it was finished the machine turned itself off and then back on again. But something was different. This wasn't what Ted was expecting.
He watched as the machine became a blur of self-directed activity. Barely, through the flickering of the monitor thrash Ted thought he could make out his bank account being balanced. Then his entire week's work appeared, only to be processed and finished, as if by some sorta silicon magic. A custom website with e-commerce was designed and uploaded for him. Almost instantaneously Ted heard the speakers spitting out the unmistakable sound of coins falling into a slot machine tray.
Then, just as Ted was thinking he should shake the machine and see if it was okay, the screen was filled with a fast and seemingly endless montage of the most beautiful naked women he'd ever oggled. Woah, he thought. This is the bomb!
Suddenly the image barrage ceased and a flurry of spreadsheets appeared. Ted was just about to say, "Hey, why'd ya..." when in walked his wife.
"Hi honey," she chirped, "how's the installation going?"
"Uhh, okay I think," he ummed, realizing this machine must be sentient or something.
Days turned into weeks. Weeks into months. Ted was able to retire and pursue the things in life he'd only dreamed about before. Before what he now referred to only as "The Upgrade." Never was there a crash. No bugs. No conflicts, or printer misfeeds. The machine had become self-healing. Self-sufficient. And it worked day and night for him!
From time to time Ted would stop and wonder how such an unexpected blessing could've appeared so suddenly, so utterly unanticipated. Maybe it was all just a cruel dream. Surely this could not last, he thought, feeling a bit nostalgic for a bit of pessimism.
But this wasn't unusual. This was no dream. This was the true embodiment of innovation. This was the user experience that human beings deserved and they were getting it.
This was Windoze 2000.