A Farce In Desktop Support

I shall bluntly state my point: the notion that computers are an aid to mankind is an absolute lie. These demonic contraptions have enslaved millions through their complexities and counter-intuitiveness. Such a collection of wires and circuit boards have continually frustrated elite thinkers like myself and have caused so much unnecessary grief throughout the world. Understanding that only a computer literate person would be deemed credible to prove such a point, I took it upon myself to document my experiences. By doing so, I shall present absolute proof that computers, software, the Internet, computer technical support, and all their advocates are nothing short of unacceptable and intolerable menaces to human existence.

It was a cloudy morning and a foreboding gloom lurked directly over my desk as I pulled my chair back to have a seat. My office wore its usual morning decorations, piles of paperwork, a few books, some pictures, and a great power-horse of a computer, all alluding to the fact that I am brilliant, charming, and very important. The day promised to be long with arduous tasks and critical phone conversations awaiting my participation. It was critical that I got started as soon as possible. Among the things to do were to draft a letter, check and respond to email, and to research the Internet on various important topics.

I decided that my first task would be to draft a letter. After cracking my knuckles and gently resting my fingers on the keyboard in the suggested ergonomic position, I began to type. After a few keystrokes, I realized that none of my typing was appearing on the screen. At that point, I knew my monitor was dead. Worse yet, my computer had been murdered. Someone must have masterminded this. Computers cannot die on their own.

Five minutes after contacting technical support, my computer was up and running properly with its low hum and soft glow. I began to suspect that the people at technical support sabotaged my computer. Nobody would have known to turn the computer on. I could have sworn my computer powered up automatically before. It could not change settings on its own like that. I didn’t do anything to it! Whoever altered my computer settings must have been an evil genius.

Frustration slowly building, I went back to the task at hand. At that point, the computer was asking for a password and I was more than happy to type it in. Now, I KNOW my password but for some reason, my login could not be authenticated. I tried a few more times without success. It was clear that the network was not functioning properly because it was by no means my fault, I did nothing to my computer. Only after reminding the network custodians how lousy they were doing their jobs did they supply me with an answer. A different user name was on my computer. I needed to type my user name in with my password. I never had to do that before. Such cunning deception could not have been the work of one man. It started to look like a conspiracy.

The plot seemed to grow thicker around me. People walking past my office kept looking through the glass pane that separated me from them. Their false smiles may have fooled everyone else but they failed to fool me. I knew there were conspirators and it was only a matter of time before I found out who they were. In the meantime, I had finally finished typing my letter and it was time to print. After clicking the print icon, nothing came out of the printer. Obviously, the idiot computer had not detected the fact that I wanted to print and with pure intuition and ingenuity, I clicked on the icon repeatedly hoping that the crude contraption would register my command. Nothing but dead silence filled the room. Slowly I stood up and crept up to my printer, wary of anything that may ambush me along my path. Remembering the previous attempts of trickery, I checked for power only to find a green light that negated my theory. The conspiracy was going too far and becoming much too unpredictable. These people were going to pay dearly for their treachery.

Again I called the network custodian, this time with greater suspicion than before. As if to mock me, the custodian checked if the machine was turned on. Obviously, he was trying to mislead me, not knowing I was clever enough to check for that. He must have sensed that I knew he was one of them for he tried to confuse me with complex computer jargon. Something about queues and buffers and the loader being out of paper. “Impossible,” I said with great objection. I had printed something the day before and everything was just fine.

I came to the realization that I had three suspected conspirators all in my room, the computer, the printer, and the computer custodian. They must have all been sharing what they thought was my moment of defeat. I was given paper to feed my printer and immediately after craftily installing the new 8 1/2 x 11 in the intricate machine, it started to hum. It kept humming and humming and humming, printing eleven copies of my letter when I only wanted one. Not only are computers stupid, they are environmentally unfriendly as well. I screamed at the custodian about the unnecessary waste of a rainforest and he tried to pin the blame on me by saying I must have pressed the print button eleven times. If the computer had done what I wanted the first time I pressed the button, I wouldn’t have needed to press it another ten times! What was worse was that I began to imagine my conspirators grinning mischievously as my frustration heightened to the point of rage. I knew I was either being victimized by conspiracy or merely by the incompetence of the people around me. There are no excuses for idiocy.

A cloud of anger positioned itself atop my head and I began to throw objects around the room. Nobody makes a fool out of me. Shredded paper rained down the room for a few minutes until I decided to relieve my rage by destroying my ultimate nemesis. With a tight grasp, I held the monitor and CPU in my arms and hurled it out the door, watching the box dent and the monitor shatter, breaking my back in the process. Thus it is in my current bedridden state that I present my case against computers.

The world must realize the dangers this vicious technology enshrouds mankind with. Only then can we put into action the movement towards eliminating any and all things computer-related. The abuse and ridicule will never cease until we are free from their clutches. Spread the word through typewriters and pens, the evil demon exists and must be destroyed.

Essay on Y2K

As I watched a few people emerge from their refurbished bunker into the light of the new millenium, I found a smile of amusement form on my lips. A couple of children shielded their eyes from the brilliance of the Sun, slowly regaining their clear vision of the world as they had seen it the day before. The parents stepped out, wary at first, eyes skyward in anticipation of nuclear fallout. One of the children, a four year old girl, tugged at her father’s pant leg and said “Daddy, did we miss the Second Coming of Christ?” I couldn’t help but chuckle. I did not break my silence, however. Though it is very tempting to poke fun at such over-reacting people, one must remember some very crucial reasons against condescending behavior. Such people are irrational, irritable, and more than likely, heavily armed.

Perhaps one day the discovery of a gullibility gene will shed light into why certain people seem to react overzealously to doomsday rumors. Until then, irrationality is the word to use. Many will argue against the notion, citing cautiousness as an excuse to stockpile food, water, and ammunition. Grin, but refuse to argue because no intellectual conversation will ensue. Whatever happens, do not make fun of their irrationality for it is that same trait that may lead to violence and great physical harm.

Irrationality alone may not incite violence. However, coupled with the obvious state of extreme irritability, hostility is almost certain. There are many reasons why Y2K over-reactors may become irritable. The mere fact that they had been proven wrong would cause a heavy drop in pride and thus embed a seed of anger. Financial situations arising from the purchase of stockpiled items may also contribute greatly to irritability. As if the previous two reasons were not enough, the mere thought of having SPAM on the dinner table for the next three months would irritate even the most mild-mannered bunker-owner. Thus it is best to keep clear of such people for they are upset enough on their own.

Lastly, and perhaps the most vital of all the reasons not to poke fun at the apocalyptic-minded would be the fact that they are heavily armed. Sure, they bought those shotgun shells for Armageddon but it is a great possibility that such irrational people would not hesitate to use some excess ammunition to wipe that grin off of a condescending face. Though a violent individual with a sub-machine gun or an Uzi is quite a sight to see up close, it is best to point and laugh from a safe distance. Of course discerning what a safe distance is would mean knowledge of the bunker-owner’s artillery. Because the person’s weaponry may range from a shotgun to missile launchers, range is more guesswork than logic. Thus it is best not to laugh lest one be greeted with a lifetime supply of the element once called plumbum.

As our friends emerge from their paranoia-induced seclusion, let us welcome them back to the rational world with open arms and share with them the hope that comes with the new millenium. Let us experience the joy of their company and partake in their three-month supply of Spam. Do not laugh at the apocalyptic-minded, do not mock them nor berate them. Instead, keep silent about their idiocy for they have already been through great trauma. If one cannot remain stoic, such a revelation of emotion may prove to be harmful if not lethal, for the Y2K paranoid are irrational, irritable, and more than likely, heavily armed.

An Introduction to Filipino Culture

This guide is designed to be a somewhat humorous, mostly factual list of observations of the culture in action enhanced by some knowledge of how the culture operates internally. By no means is this the be-all end-all of Flipbooks but instead offers insights into Filipino cultural aspects broken into Poker and Politics, Language, Food, and Entertainment.

Socially, the Filipino culture could be summarized as a game of Poker and Politics. Poker faces, alterior motives, and uncommunicated thoughts are all too common. One is never to tip their hand lest they be deemed blunt or harsh. The Politics side mandates that public image is extremely important, thus a member of the culture normally avoids actions that may result in negative publicity.

In terms of language, most Filipinos speak a hybrid of Tagalog and English they call “Taglish.” However, most can communicate fluently in English if not for an accent that often substitutes the letter f for p and v for b and vice bersa. It is also common to mess up on fronouns and frefositions. You may wish to learn a few tagalog fhrases if you freper.

A culture is not complete without its own foods. The Filipino cuisine has influences from many of the countries that shared, occupied, or invaded its land. Outsiders who comment on how some Filipino food is “gross” should understand that every culture has its share of exotic foods. If one finds a particular dish sickening, then the best advice would be to not eat it, not to smell it, not to look at it, and be open minded enough to know that there may very well be dishes in YOUR culture that some Filipinos would not eat. That said, the author’s personal recommendations are lumpia, adobo, menudo (no, it’s not the same thing), and for those who live la vida loca, Kare-Kare. Oh yeah, there’s some rice involved in the Filipino diet, too.

The world of Filipino Entertainment is not a very exciting one. In terms of music, the genres are predominantly pop and oldies. As for movies, don’t ask. Filipino movies are mostly plotless hacks about orphans or adopted children. Broad generalization, yes, but so are the movies. Then there is gambling in its many forms. Mah-jong, cards, and horses, to name a few. As one strolls down a casino, if “gaddamit ah chit!” is heard, a Filipino is nearby. Lastly, Filipinos also seem to be drawn to karaoke like moths to a flame with varying results.

How to Become an Honorary Flip:

Filipinos are generally known for their hospitality. They will gladly take you in provided you follow a few simple rules. The first rule would be to respect the culture (unlike what I have done here). Play the “poker and politics” game to perfection. The second rule is to associate with the culture. Eat some Filipino food and learn a few phrases in Tagalog. The final rule is closely tied to the other rules — make them laugh. If you keep these observations and rules in mind, you just might be a Filipino at heart.