The truth about Win95

A post by Neil Gaiman on an email sent to him by a fan about a spoof synopsis of LOTR led me to a nine-year old Win95 joke on the Tolkien sarcasm page, which I’d never heard before. Hilarious. So as not to spoil the punchline, it’s in white, and needs to be highlighted to be read:

What you did not know about Windows 95

Recently one of my friends, a computer wizard, paid me a visit.

As we were talking I mentioned that I had recently installed Windows 95 on my PC. I told him how happy I was with this operating system, and showed him the Windows 95 CD. To my surprise he threw it into my microwave oven and turned the oven on. Instantly I got very upset, because the CD had become precious to me, but he said: ‘Do not worry, it is unharmed.’ After a few minutes he took the CD out, gave it to me and said: ‘Take a close look at it.’ To my surprise the CD was quite cold to hold and it seemed to be heavier than before. At first I could not see anything, but on the inner edge of the central hole I saw a inscription, an inscription finer than anything I have ever seen before. The inscription shone piercingly bright, and yet remote, as if out of a great depth:

12413AEB2ED4FA5E6F7D78E78BEDE8209450920F923A40EE10E510CC98D444AA08E1324

‘I cannot understand the fiery letters,’ I said.

‘No, but I can,’ he said. ‘The letters are Hex, of an ancient mode, but the language is that of Microsoft, which I shall not utter here. But in common English this is what it says:’

One OS to rule them all, One OS to find them,
One OS to bring them all and in the darkness bind them…

Clarifying note: I used to be a Windows user, and still have it installed as the main OS on my older computers (Win 95 on a PI, 98 on a PII). But the XP SP2 download killed my Toshiba HDD (so dead I almost lost everything on it), and I moved over to Linux. (Well, I’d been meaning to for months, and it just gave me a wee push in the right direction.)

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