If We Sold Toasters...

author unknown

The ITS Connection Online Newsletter

If IBM made toasters...They would want one big toaster where people bring bread to be submitted for overnight toasting. IBM would claim a worldwide market for five, maybe six toasters.

Microsoft: Every time you bought a loaf of bread, you would have to buy a toaster. You wouldn't have to take the toaster, but you'd still have to pay for it anyway. Toaster'95 would weigh 15000 pounds (hence requiring a reinforced steel countertop), draw enough electricity to power a small city, take up 95% of the space in your kitchen, would claim to be the first toaster that lets you control how light or dark you want your toast to be, and would secretly interrogate your other appliances to find out who made them. Everyone would hate Microsoft toasters, but nonetheless would buy them since most of the good bread only works with their toasters.

Apple: It would do everything the Microsoft toaster does, but 5 years earlier. Only Apple Toaster fans would buy these toasters but that's a small number of people so Apple would have to look to another company to buy its toaster factory or go bankrupt.

Xerox: You could toast one-sided or double-sided. Successive slices would get lighter and lighter. The toaster would jam your bread for you.

Radio Shack: The staff would sell you a toaster, but not know anything about it. Or you could buy all the parts to build your own toaster.

Oracle: They would claim their toaster was compatible with all brands and styles of bread, but when you got it home you'd discover the Bagel Engine was still in development, the Croissant Extension was three years away, and that indeed the whole appliance was just blowing smoke.

Sun: The toast would burn often, but you could get a really good cuppa Java.

DEC: They made good toasters in the '80s, didn't they?

Hewlett-Packard: They would market the Reverse Polish Toaster, which takes in toast and gives you regular bread.

Tandem: You could make toast 24 hours a day, and if a piece got burned the toaster would automatically toast you a new one.

Thinking Machines: You would be able to toast 64,000 thousand pieces of bread at the same time.

Cray: They would cost $16 million but would be faster than any other single-slice toaster in the world.

Rand Corporation: It would be a large, perfectly smooth and seamless black cube. Every morning there would be a piece of toast on top of it. Their service department would have an unlisted phone number, and the blueprints for the box would be highly classified government documents. The X-Files would have an episode about it.

The NSA: Your toaster would have a secret trap door that only the NSA could access in case they needed to get at your toast for reasons of national security.

Sony: The ToastMan, which would be barely larger than the single piece of bread it is meant to toast, can be conveniently attached to your belt.

April 2003

Send this article to a friend!
Subscribe to The ITS Connection

Related articles