(The following is not my original work - it is that of whoever answered this Usenet Oracle question {the original post was dated January 4, 1996})


The Usenet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

> Oh wonderful and wise Oracle tell me how would one implement a version
> of Windows TP ...... Windows for TelePaths ?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

You open the box labeled "Windows TP", carefully extracting the pouch labeled "License Agreement". You examine the contents of the pouch, finding an inflatable beanie bearing the Windows logo rather than the familiar 3.5" diskette package. You inflate the beanie, insert two "C"-size batteries (not included), and carefully place it on your head.

You press the Start button.

Immediately, the image of an hourglass comes to your mind. You find yourself trapped; unable to move anything in your body save your eyes.

After an indeterminable delay, you regain control of your senses. You are suddenly compelled to speak your name and business affiliation. You then retrieve your Windows TP package and chant the Product-ID number.

Suddenly you see the words "Windows is detecting new hardware" flash before your eyes.

You crash to the floor, writhing in agony. You feel every muscle in your body contract and retract in turn. Your mind is filled with the image of a blue inchworm, creeping slowly across a grey field.

The creature finally reaches the edge of its domain, and your seizure ceases. You take a moment to regain your composure, and you are reminded of your high school anatomy course as a complete listing of every organ in your body appears before your eyes. You browse the list for a moment, and utter the phrase "OK". After a short delay, you hear the sound of a trumpet echo through the recesses of your mind.

You find yourself in a large, barren space. You look around, and discover images labeled "My Brain", "Recycle Bin", and "Set up the Microsoft Network". You feel compelled to utter the word "Start", after which a list of options floods your mind. Weary from the detection phase, you utter the word "Shut down". You close your eyes, and blackness surrounds you. You feel yourself start to drift into sleep. Your peace is interrupted, however, as a bright orange light invades your nothingness. "It's now safe to shut down your mind".

You drift into unconsciousness, and sleep for several hours.

When you awaken, you are frozen in place as you see clouds and blue cycling colors. After a short eternity, the familiar "My Brain" icon reappears in your mind. But something is terribly wrong; you can feel it in your gut. Just outside the range of primary vision, you can sense something lurking about you on all four sides.

You slowly look up, and see the word "Safe Mode" glaring back at you. You back away slowly, swivel your head, and there it is, behind you as well. Your heartbeat quickened and you are terrified as you turn to your left and your right and it meets you there as well, its cold, heartless glare filling your soul with despair. Quickly, you summon Control Panel, System, Device Manager. You feel yourself frantically gasping for air as you run through the list of installed devices.

You come upon "Respiratory System" and are horrified to see a black exclamation point on a yellow field next to the entry "Lungs". You close your eyes and utter the word "Properties". On the closed curtains of your eyelids, you see your life flashing before your eyes.

You force yourself to concentrate on your situation, attempting to discover which system devices are in conflict, when suddenly your entire body seizes up in pain.

You lose all sense of reality. You are floating through the clouds as you hear a voice echo through your mind: "This program has performed an illegal operation and will be terminated." You start to black out and suddenly you remember your situation. You stare in horror at your blue extremities, knowing that, without oxygen, you will not last much longer. With all the consciousness you can muster, you force yourself...

To reboot.

You awaken in a place that is dark, but familiar. A solitary white prompt on a black field greets you. You look behind you and see the wreckage of the operating system that nearly spelled your demise. "Cannot find a file that may be needed to run Windows". You turn around to face the prompt, and a wide grin comes across your face. You take a deep breath and revel in the life-giving atmosphere. You laugh as you utter the words,


Suddenly you find yourself on the floor of your home. You find the charred remains of the Windows TP beanie littering the floor. You carefully gather them up, stack them neatly on an altar, and burn them, promising yourself never to risk your life with Microsoft again. You bury the ashes, knowing that your life is again in order.

You owe the Oracle a copy of Windows TP and Bill Gates' home address.

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