uncanny but true story: by an amazing coincidence, years before Microsoft and
Windows, the very first Shelby Cobra racing car debuted in 1962 with the legend
"98 XP" emblazoned on its side. It's a combination of letters and
numbers that will set off chimes of recognition - or perhaps alarm bells - in
the minds of all IT users. Similarities with a certain piece of software run much deeper than the paint on
the side, though. The Cobra is still highly praised in motoring circles for its
beautiful proportions, but the sleek bodywork hid an ugly secret - it was built
on a 20-year-old chassis and powered by a crude (albeit light and powerful)
Ford engine borrowed from a pick-up truck.
Amazingly, car 98 XP clawed its way into the lead on its very first race nonetheless, run on 13 October 1962, building up a 30 second lead over the first 30 laps.
Then the really uncanny thing happened. Obviously, in those days, it was never going to suffer a blue-screen software failure, but it did the next best thing. There it was, powering along in the lead - and then a wheel fell off.
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