The New, Improved Error Message

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The ITS Connection Online Newsletter

Sony has announced its own computer operating system now available on its hot new portable PC called the Vaio. Instead of producing the cryptic error messages characteristic of Microsoft's Windows operating systems, Sony's chairman Asai Tawara said, "We intend to capture the high ground by putting a human, Japanese face on what has been-until now-an operating system that reflects Western cultural hegemony. For example, we have replaced the usual impersonal and unhelpful Microsoft error messages with our own Japanese haiku poetry."

The chairman went on to give examples of Sony's new error messages:

A file that big?
It might be very useful.
But now it is gone.
Stay the patient course
Of little worth is your ire
The network is down
The Web site you seek
cannot be located but
endless others exist
A crash reduces
your expensive computer
to a simple stone.
Chaos reigns within.
Reflect, repent, and reboot.
Order shall return.
Yesterday it worked
Today it is not working
Windows is like that
ABORTED effort:
Close all that you have.
You ask way too much.
Three things are certain:
Death, taxes, and lost data.
Guess which has occurred.
First snow, then silence.
This thousand dollar screen dies
so beautifully.
You step in the stream,
but the water has moved on.
This page is not here.
With searching comes loss
and the presence of absence:
"My Novel" not found.
Out of memory.
We wish to hold the whole sky,
But we never will.
The Tao that is seen
Is not the true Tao, until
You bring fresh toner.
Having been erased,
The document you're seeking
Must now be retyped.
Windows NT crashed.
I am the Blue Screen of Death.
No one hears your screams.
Rather than a beep
Or a rude error message,
These words: "File not found."
Serious error.
All shortcuts have disappeared.
Screen. Mind. Both are blank.


August 1999

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