Winners baa none

Our caption competition attracted some baleful comments, but it is heartening to see that IT Minister Paul Swain, Microsoft or anyone cannot pull the wool over our readers' eyes.

Our caption competition attracted some baleful comments, but it is heartening to see that IT Minister Paul Swain, Microsoft or anyone cannot pull the wool over our readers' eyes.

Hill Laboratories communications manager Geoff Pooch was not clutching at straws with this little ditty. "Let us pray, upon this hay, that rural broadband with no delay, will be made available, I say."

He was chosen as the winner by a panel that included our telecomms reporter, David Watson, who previously worked at NZ Farmer. His prize is a Computerworld T-shirt.

First runner-up was CAD and ICT teacher Cliff Moyle, who apologised for his cynical entry, claiming his school is still waiting for the government to supply it with one computer.

"... so to increase the number of computers available in the knowledge economy, we thought that if they were to frolic in the hay ..."

Also noted was Greg Gurau of NZMP (part of the Fonterra Co-operative): "The launch of the new HayPowered laptops was concluded with a blessing from the minister."

And Paul Conder of Tauranga came up with a mock news story with the headline "New Windows Bail-out unveiled by NZ IT Minister Swain."

Other impressive captions included:

  • "Let us pray,

    upon this hay,

    that rural broadband with no delay,

    will be made available, I say."

  • "... so to increase the number of computers available for the knowledge economy, we thought that if they were to frolic in the hay ..."

  • "Lord, help us with the aid of modern technology to turn this straw into gold"

  • "If you watch closely you will see the virtual wool process take place, bypassing the need for sheep entirely."

  • "… yes Minister, these units are GE-free, house-trained and the bail of straw will last about a month."

  • "Hey, we took a straw poll and decided IT's dead, so we'll have the wake right here and now."

  • "The laptops came out of the hay-baler relatively unscathed. Unfortunately the desktops ran into a few more problems and had to be put down."

  • "Holy father, we give thee thanks for thine great gifts of IT wonder"

  • "The question is … will HP bail Compaq out?"

  • The results of the straw poll indicated that the government should bail out of regulating the market.

  • “... as we gather here to-day to honour the life of Compaq N150 ...”

  • "Are these models fodder too?"

  • "The launch of the new HayPowered laptops was concluded with a blessing from the minister."

  • Last (w)rites for the rural broadband network?

  • "Dearly beloved we are gathered here today for the joining of these two laptops ..."

  • "Having now counted to 10, it was about to become apparent that the HAY-WAN, while novel, was in fact not destined to become New Zealand's next big thing.

  • "Dear Lord, we know we prayed last week for help with our nativity scene. The hay you have sent us is wonderful but we can’t quite figure the logic behind the notebooks."

  • "Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to witness the marriage …"

  • "Our latest scheme for the modern NZ farmer, The Virtual Sheep!"

  • "... and with these two laptops we SHALL conquer the world!"

  • "... not that Windows was such a bad operating system ... sniff".

  • "Well ... the Greens did tell me that notebooks would run on hay!"

  • IT minister Paul Swain announcing a new government initiative to bring IT into all New Zealand homes and stables: "We must impress on all New Zealanders that computers are more important than furniture, and we will lead by example."

  • "New Windows Bail-out unveiled by NZ IT Minister Swain.

  • New Zealand's Minister for Information Torturology today unveiled Microsoft's "Windows XP" replacement to be called "Windows Bailout" on behalf of Microsoft CEO Bill Gates. Designed to assist existing Windows customers to look at alternative software the new version includes all existing bugs, security failures and crashes plus some new issues. It also features a farm orientated "bail" theme.

  • "Windows Bailout" continues the Microsoft approach of forcing customers to signup for useless and dubious services with "Microsoft Passport" now becoming "Microsoft Padlock". Microsoft confirmed that all electronic transactions, including internet purchasing and banking, from "Windows Bailout" machine would require confirmation via the "Microsoft Padlock" system with only a small charge of 0.5% of the value of the transaction being collected for the validation service.

  • For additional security "Microsoft Padlock" customers can now elect to have a Body-Inserted Electronic Assessing Security Tester (BEAST) inserted in either their hand or forehead to enable secure transactions to be validated. Some fundamental church groups expressed outrage at what they saw as the forcing of customers to have the "Mark of the Beast" as outlined in the biblical book of Revelation. A Microsoft spokesperson denied any relation and pointed out that "at this stage Microsoft have no intention of making the BEAST compulsory".

  • The spokesperson continued: "This is just scare mongering from the techno-phobic".

  • Many IT commentators believe it is only a matter of time before validation is compulsory from "Windows Bailout" as they foresee Microsoft moving further into the personalised body-inserted hardware and software market. One commentator pointed to the new Microsoft Black Paper on the use of BEAST in place of credit and debit cards for all transactions. Microsoft also unveiled a "Windows Bailout Professional" edition for business claiming that this will be able to provide all the best features of "Windows Bailout" and those retained for "Windows XP or NT" more quickly. Testing indicates the new software crashes on machine start-up rather than waiting for work to completed, thus ensuring staff can not use the internet for personal use and allowing them to concentrate on more important matters like coffee. With the change to "Windows Bailout Professional" Microsoft have been able to completely unbundle "Internet Explorer" from the software as "no-one has an opportunity to access the internet between start-up and shut-down" the Microsoft spokesperson continued.

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