UniMess (TM) (C) By Design

This piece of nonsense is edited from a series of messages posted on Compuserve, mostly by Duane Percox. Rumours of his 'expiry' have been greatly exaggerated.

It was late - I must have dozed off at the keyboard, and then startled by a noise far off in the distance, I awoke to find my monitor flashing this message, which at the time meant nothing:

Unimess(tm) (c) By Design

Grabbing pencil and paper, I jotted down the cryptic message, wondering aloud what the %$#& was going on here....

I awoke the next morning to a bad dream. A nightmare in fact.

I had dreamed that I was forced to change every VB3.0 program I had every written that used a string variable to store data that wasn't necessarily displayable (IOW:binary). But thank goodness I was awake now, and it was only a dream! Please, let it be a dream. If not, then please tell me why By Design created Unimess(tm).

Maybe this is too surreal to grasp. But if what I have dreamed is true then I would like to grab the one responsible and shake him until his fillings fall out.

Am I crazy?

Go back to sleep, son. It was only a dream. It'll be better tomorrow, I promise. There are no monsters under the bed. You must have been reading those scary stories on Compuserve before you went to sleep. Those guys are just pulling your leg. Really.

Really? Dad, what do you do during the day when you're gone??

Well, son, I'm into what's called "marketing". It's my job to decide what'll make people feel better and tell them that's what they're getting.

But why don't you just give them what they need? Wouldn't that make them happy?

No, son. You see, that doesn't work. It's really important that you give them some stuff that looks neat, but it's even more important that you tell them how important it is. See, it's just important. Besides, they don't know what they need, they just think they do. They're wrong, and I know that. You'll understand some day. I promise. See, it's my job to know these things, and I do. Now go back to sleep and ignore that man behind the curtain.

Ooops, the phone is ringing. Let me get that - I'll be right back...

Boy, what a strange accent. That was Mr. Weeno Bedder, from By Design! Seems Mr. Bedder wants me over to his office to discuss licensing his company's new technology, Unimess(tm).

Unimess(tm) (c) By Design .... itís not a dream...itís not a dream...

Ah, excuse me. I heard a commotion and came running over. It seems the kind gentleman telling this story has gone mad. I don't know what to do so I am typing this hoping someone will come to my aid. How do I get out of here?

Thank you for jumping in, sir.

Well, it looks like another one "gets it". The lights are already starting to come on... I predicted it'd take a month or so of hands-on. I'll be darned. I may have been wrong. I hate it when that happens.

In any case, please take care of Duane. It might be best to restrict his travel... it's probably not a good idea to let him go near Redmond. Certainly you should try to keep him away from sharp objects (and OLE Unicode objects, Unicode translation, ETC, etc) for the time being. I hope all turns out well, but these things happen. Give him our best.

Later...

Iím afraid Duane has expired... it seems the Unimess(tm) (c) By Design info was too much for him too bear. His last words were difficult to hear, but I believe what he was trying to say was: "They couldn't...they wouldn't...now way would they...(cough)(cough)... I can't do it...I won't do it...never will allow...(cough)(cough)... too many lines....too many lines....too many lines...not By Design!..."

One final note. I don't know the significance of this, but he was clutching a VB3.0 Language Reference Manual tightly to his chest with both hands when he finally went.


Aug 1995


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