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Wesley Parish

quote: "Who would have thought there would be so much fuss about the consumer launch of Microsoft's Vista (am I the only person who thinks it sounds like a brand of condoms)?" unquote.

Chris Long's not the only one to wonder about Microsoft's branding and choice of names.

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HAL, caught out

Bowman tapped the racks with his glove. "This is where the diagnostics said the problem was."

He faced a huge rank of software backups - ultra-high-density DVDs of all the world's leading software contributed to Discovery One before its launch. Poole floated next to him, also space-suited.

Discovery One had unexpectedly switched off all its communications channels and now floated for all intents and purposes dead. It was like being inside a corpse, as Poole had said on the closed-circuit suit communications just a few minutes ago.

All communications channels meant precisely that as they had discovered - no radar, no lidar, no nothing. No power. No heat. No light.

Bowman floated up to the software backups. Behind it was HAL's I/O channels, and a UHD DVD was playing.

"Have we found our culprit?"

He thumped on the UHD DVD and it refused to stop. Finding a wire thin enough to insert in the emergency eject as difficult, but eventually he had it. He braced himself, and pushed. Eventually it popped out, and he grabbed the UHD DVD as it floated free.

"Hmm, Microsoft Vista Beta build 49 billion."

Poole's words broke into his chain of thought - "So while we've been consoling ourselves with Debbie Does Salad and the like, HAL has been vistabeting? No wonder he's gone blind!"


Sam Hiser


Was that you? (It has the momentum of Neal Stephenson.)

Wesley Parish

'Fraid so! I've been reading Arthur C. Clarke from an early age. I haven't read Neal Stephenson, though, so your comment comes as a surprise. ;)

The pun comes from a friend who told me he'd been testing the Vista Beta, and his pronunciation of "beta" and his running it together with "vista" made the pun irresistible. He had no idea how I had heard him, and I didn't ...(clears throat)... enlarge on it. ;)

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