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Date: Fri, 22 Mar 1996 11:12:17 -0600 (CST)
From: Pug 
To: weird-humor@eden.com
Cc: al@powertools.com, rliv@quadralay.com
Subject: A bit of levity for a cold, grey Tuesday (fwd)

Another shot in the continuing salvo...

Bill Gates in Heaven
 --------------------
(Anonymous author)

Bill Gates died and, much to everyone's surprise, went to Heaven. When
he got there, he had to wait in the reception area.

Heaven's reception area was the size of Massachusetts. There were
literally millions of people milling about, living in tents with nothing to
do all
day. Food and water were being distributed from the backs of trucks,
while staffers with clipboards slowly worked their way through the
crowd. Booze and drugs were being passed around. Fights were
commonplace. Sanitation conditions were appalling. All in all, the scene
looked like Woodstock gone metastatic.

Bill lived in a tent for three weeks until, finally, one of the staffers
approached him. The staffer was a young man in his late teens, face
scarred with acne. He was wearing a blue T-shirt with the words TEAM
PETER emblazoned on it in large yellow lettering.

"Hello," said the staffer in a bored voice that could have been the voice of
any clerk in any overgrown bureaucracy. "My name is Gabriel and I'll be
your induction coordinator." Bill started to ask a question, but Gabriel
interrupted him. "No, I'm not the Archangel Gabriel. I'm just a guy from
Philadelphia named Gabriel who died in a car wreck at the age of 17.
Now give me your name, last name first, unless you were Chinese in
which case it's first name first."

"Gates, Bill." Gabriel started searching though the sheaf of papers on his
clipboard, looking for Bill's Record of Earthly Works. "What's going on
here?" asked Bill. "Why are all these people here? Where's Saint Peter?
Where are the Pearly Gates?"

Gabriel ignored the questions until he located Bill's records. Then Gabriel
looked up in surprise. "It says here that you were the president of a large
software company. Is that right?"

"Yes."

"Well then, do the math chip-head! When this Saint Peter business started,
it was an easy gig. Only a hundred or so people died every day, and
Peter could handle it all by himself, no problem. But now there are over
five billion people on earth. Jesus, when God said to 'go forth and
multiply,' he didn't say 'like rabbits!' With that large a population, ten
thousand people die every hour. Over a quarter-million people a day. Do
you think Peter can meet them all personally?"

"I guess not."

"You guess right. So Peter had to franchise the operation. Now, Peter is
the
CEO of Team Peter Enterprises, Inc. He just sits in the corporate
headquarters and sets policy. Franchisees like me handle the actual
inductions." Gabriel looked though his paperwork some more, and then
continued. "Your paperwork seems to be in order. And with a
background like yours, you'll be getting a plum job assignment."

"Job assignment?"

"Of course. Did you expect to spend the rest of eternity sitting on your
ass and drinking ambrosia? Heaven is a big operation. You have to pull
your weight around here!" Gabriel took out a triplicate form, had Bill sign 
at
the bottom, and then tore out the middle copy and handed it to Bill. "Take
this down to induction center #23 and meet up with your occupational
orientator. His name is Abraham." Bill started to ask a question, but
Gabriel interrupted him. "No, he's not that Abraham."

Bill walked down a muddy trail for ten miles until he came to induction
center #23. He met with Abraham after a mere six-hour wait.

"Heaven is centuries behind in building its data processing infrastructure,"
explained Abraham. "As you've seen, we're still doing everything on
paper.  It takes us a week just to process new entries."

"I had to wait three weeks," said Bill. Abraham stared at Bill angrily, and
Bill realized that he'd made a mistake. Even in Heaven, it's best not to
contradict a bureaucrat. "Well," Bill offered, "maybe that Bosnia thing has
you guys backed up."

Abraham's look of anger faded to mere annoyance. "Your job will be to
supervise Heaven's new data processing center. We're building the
largest computing facility in creation. Half a million computers connected
by a multi-segment fiber optic network, all running into a back-end server
network with a thousand CPUs on a gigabit channel. Fully fault tolerant.
Fully distributed processing. The works."

Bill could barely contain his excitement. "Wow! What a great job! This is
really Heaven!"

"We're just finishing construction, and we'll be starting operations soon.
Would you like to go see the center now?"

"You bet!"

Abraham and Bill caught the shuttle bus and went to Heaven's new data
processing center. It was a truly huge facility, a hundred times bigger
than the Astrodome. Workmen were crawling all over the place, getting
the miles of fiber optic cables properly installed. But the center was
dominated by the computers. Half a million computers, arranged neatly
row-by-row, half a million ....

.... Macintoshes ....

.... all running Claris software! Not a PC in sight! Not a single byte of
Microsoft code!

The thought of spending the rest of eternity using products that he had
spent his whole life working to destroy was too much for Bill. "What
about PCs???" he exclaimed. "What about Windows??? What about Excel???
What about Word???"

"You're forgetting something," said Abraham.

"What's that?" asked Bill plaintively.

"This is Heaven," explained Abraham. "We need a computer system that's
heavenly to use. If you want to build a data processing center based on
PCs running Windows, then ....

.... GO TO HELL!

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