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Letter to America: No Bad Computers™ On:2023-04-08 02:31:48

My Dear Americans,
    [Over fading computer noises] Down Boy!… Sit!… Sit!… Stay!! Ah, Good Boy!
Welcome to the first class of my No Bad Computers™ course: I'm glad to see so many of you, indeed I see SO many of you that I suspect some of you may have mistaken my door for that of the cat herding class down the corridor... [Over chair noises] farewell and may God have mercy on your souls.

You know there really are No Bad Computers™. Oh people will persist in telling horror stories, like the friend of mine who keeps telling anyone who will listen how he nearly lost a finger to a tape drive on a big, and he claims, vicious IBM 34 80 mainframe back in 1984, but I’m sure that was his own fault. I mean, would you like someone to try to stop you feeding when you were hungry. No I’m sure there are No Bad Computers™.

I base my assurance on years of training them. And, you know, in all that time, I have never had a failure. On the contrary I have found, that with the right treatment they will positively fawn on you and you’ll end up having, from time to time, to kick the little buggers away. You see the trouble that most people who have trouble have, arises because those people forget that in their natural state, in the wild, computers are gregarious creatures, they live in packs, or as the naturalist or we professionals call them, networks. All you really need to know about the network is that it is a simple society of dominant or submissive individuals, and this results in computers seeing everyone in that hierarchy, and woe betide the computer owner who gets cast into a submissive rôle, because once you’re there you’re there for good and your computer will dominate you, climb on the furniture, beg, sleep or do a core dump whenever it feels like it and chew up your flash drives and shoes and you will spend hours trying in vain to get it to do the simplest of tasks.

Oh! And, whatever else you do, whatever else you take away from this class, never ever let your computer see you following that bad advice so often given by slightly more experienced (and not always kindly) owners: R. T. F. M., you know Read The Fu-...fu...f [long pause then, with relief] Fundamental!! Manual! So to demonstrate just how easily you can train your new pet, for the next few minutes I’m going to show you how to take a young, frisky Macintosh [Over computer noises] called Buddy… Yes that’s you, now stay boy, don’t get excited… how to take Buddy here through his paces in his first training session. …Stay Buddy.…

We will do it with a mixture of kindness, firmness and maybe a little bit of, well frankly, quite a big bit of utter brutality. First the kindness. I find that a quick tickle under the keyboard… yes that’s right boy,… a tickle under the keyboard is the best reward. Now some people worry about getting fleas or slobber or drool or a virus when getting that close to their computer. Don’t!! They are all perfectly natural and normal accompaniments of ownership and none of them can live on humans... for long. In fact the only thing you have to worry about is worry itself, because your computer can sense your worry and interprets it as submission and, as I said, “woe betide the computer owner who gets cast into a submissive rôle.” Then there’s the firmness. This is done, for computers with voice recognition software, by the tone of voice, and for the others by the vigour and speed with which you type. So I would always advise you to take a good power typing course and to spend some time each day with a finger nautilus. For brutality I suggest a large rubber mallet in the CPU works wonders.

Now, using these simple techniques, I’ll get Buddy to do some tricks for you. Buddy , Buddy roll over and shut down for your country. [over rebooting noises] Good boy Buddy. Come here, now you see how I tickle him and give him a little byte of data to reward him. Ah, Buddy good... Now Buddy! Stop that!! Sit!!! Sit!!… Down!!!!! Stop doing that! Leave my leg alone! Stop it. Oh dear! Leave my leg alone! You haven’t even been introduced. Someone get a bucket of water. I-I’m going to have to sign off now. Remember folks … Get! Off! My! Leg!!There are No Bad Comput... Where’s that water? Right Buddy,

  I'getting the rubber mallet.

    AND a rolled up newspaper!

Kindest regards,
Richard Howland-Bolton
and, of course,
Cheerio for now
from me!

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