Column: Router reckons freebie Microsoft shirts bugged

The Router has long believed that to be successful in IT, one has to be prepared to lose one's shirt.

The Router has long believed that to be successful in IT, one has to be prepared to lose one's shirt. Then, of course, the vendor will give you a new one.

Thus it was up at Microsoft towers lately when the Microserfs excitedly summoned a huge crowd of info-hacks to gaze in wonder at marketing gyro Bridget Reeves' startling hand gestures as she demoed Office 97. The Router swears that the motions which accompanied phrases such as "slice and dice" and "rolling out files" would have disabled entire gangs of armed attackers should they have been foolhardy enough to come within a five metre radius.

Anyway, the shirts--those lovely, rebellious blue cotton shirts--seemed to be a greater cause for excitement for the Microserfs than even the mighty new Office suite. They not only wore them, they gave them out.

"I hope they fit!" chirped one staffer after another; with such enthusiasm that the Router was set to wondering about the REAL agenda behind the promotional wardrobe. And, sure enough, on close inspection the gay, embroidered "Where do you want to go, toady?" patch below the collar proved to conceal a fiendishly complex microprocessor whose 40 pins were designed to penetrate clear into the spinal column of the wearer.

It is unclear exactly which brain functions are being controlled by the collar-chip, but should you be given one of these shirts, DO NOT WEAR IT until you have ironed the orange patch on the hottest possible setting. The Router has been informed that this renders the chip inoperable.

Hurt and dismayed

The Router is a little hurt. No, nothing to do with the assault thing with that rude policeman, just a mysterious silence from an old chum. It seems like ages since we’ve heard the dulcet tones of Voyager's John O'Hara, once the man whose every utterance was a rallying call against the evil spectre of Xtra. In fact, we haven't heard a cross word from John since he signed a cosy little 0800 deal with Telecom. A deal, of course that no one else knew about, let alone shared in. Perhaps, just for old times' sake, Phill Dagger could knock out a press release headlined "I'm alright, Jack!".

Extreme nervousness

One of the Router's drinking buddies has discovered a new "extreme sport"--to wit, cadging a lift from Peter "Mad Dog" Macaulay of the Number One Software Company. After a particularly convivial press thingy somewhere east of Symonds Street, she decided not to wait for a taxi--but was soon gripping the leather seats of the Mad One's Maserati as they negotiated that nasty little stretch of motorway at approximately the speed of sound. Macaulay kept up a pleasant line of banter the whole time but my chum admits to hearing little over the beep-beep noise of the police radar detector and the chattering of her own teeth.

Cab!

Still, at least Macaulay would recognise a police vehicle when he saw it. Not so the IT hotshots who recently tumbled giggling out of a Christchurch nightspot (informal coalition negotiations, of course) and into a handy taxi--or so they thought. They were greeted not by the usual polite immigrant chappie--but by a singularly unimpressed officer of the law. In such situations, the Router's advice is: always proffer a healthy tip and you won't go wrong.

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