Date: Wed, 1 Feb 95 04:32:55 PST
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Subject: Friendly RISKS
Forwarded-by: firstname.lastname@example.org (Larry Yaeger)
[Originator info not available. Sorry. - larryy]
MICROSOFT TESTER DIES TRAGICALLY AT HANDS OF "PAL"
REDMOND, Wa - The Microsoft Redmond Campus was rocked by tragedy today
as Paul Fitzgerald, Test Engineer on the Windows NT Team, was brutally
murdered in an apparently psychotic tirade by one of the
"personalities" of Microsoft's latest operating system shell program,
Bob. In the small hours of this morning, Java, the "friendly"
coffee-drinking dinosaur, burst from the screen of Fitzgerald's
computer, cutting a swath of destruction throughout the hapless
worker's office and into the accompanying hallway.
The beast was quickly subdued by Microsoft Campus Security upon failing
to produce a valid Microsoft keycard, avoiding what could otherwise
have been a tragedy of much greater proportions. He is currently
undergoing psychiatric evaluation at the Washington Institute for
Perfectly Valid Lifeforms Who in the Heat of the Moment Do Some
Absolutely Naughty Things. Says Lars Opstad, chief spiritual healer
and concert pianist, "It's touch and go right now. I don't think Java
yet realizes the immensity of what he's done."
Eyewitnesses say that they could hear the stegosaur-like computer guide
screaming "All I wanted was a GOOD espresso" in those terrible moments
before dawn. Said Rover Retriever, another Bob personality, "This is
just terrible. Java was always such a great guy. Sure, he was a
little high strung, but I can't believe he would do something like
this. I think we need to seriously re-examine the stress that the Bob
Personality group is under so that another such incident doesn't
A possible precipitant to the incident could be Java's recent attempt
to quit smoking as a result of a clause in his contract. Lawyers are
examining whether this constitutes a violation of discriminatory hiring
statutes on Microsoft's part. Microsoft Legal could not be reached for
comment, but an undisclosed source asserted "We couldn't have him
puffing away like that. He's a dinosaur, not a dragon. It would
confuse the market."
Coroner's reports say Fitzgerald died instantly of cardiac arrest, but
are unclear on whether this was a result of the vicious attack or the
fact that Bob installed successfully on NT.
© 1995 Peter Langston