What follows is the text of a message from the customer support department at Global Internet. The person who sent it suggested that perhaps someone should send the company a dictionary. This is a very charitable notion, but will it be enough? Judge for yourselves. (Some words have been highlighted for the benefit of the under sevens.)
Due to resouce and unforceen circumstances, Global Internet have been unable to respond to your e-mail within the stated 48 hour period.
If you still have existing problems the please reply to this e-mail and Global Internet will endevor to respond within the 48 hour period.
Global Internet apologies again for any inconvience that may have been caused."
Readers are advised to steer clear of anti-virus products from Symantec as the company clearly doesn't have the faintest idea what it's talking about. The evidence is to be seen in its advertising in such highly respected technical organs as the Radio Times, where you can see a picture of an insect being dispatched with a small yellow bullet. As every schoolchild knows, a virus is a micro-organism capable of doing unpleasant things to other animals. Insects are rarely unpleasant, often tasty and usually big enough to be clearly seen with the naked eye. This basic inability to identify the enemy might be counted a disadvantage in a company which makes software to combat computer infection.
If you're the sort of person who still hankers after the good old days when a 20Mb hard disk was all the storage you would ever need and Wordstar was as good as word processing got, you're probably in the market for a new range of cosmetics. It is to be called Duran Duran and it is a commercial venture by the podgy musical wallies of the same name. As the shameless publicity blurb makes clear, the range harks back to an era when "real men were proud to be seen in ruffles and blusher".The only person who Mole can recall fitting this description is Mrs Thatcher in one of her softer outfits - one reason why the prospect of turning back the clock by a decade and a half fills him with mortal dread.
Looking forward is not much better. When he attended - for mainly masochistic reasons - Microsoft's Vision for the Future at the London Arena, Mole was one of many who slept through the dull presentation and only woke up to pick up a free CD containing Internet Explorer 4.0 and various other bits and pieces. He was also lucky enough to pick up the WM.Wazzu.C virus, which is to be found in two Word documents promoting the benefits of BackOffice.
So among the delights in store for us in future is a pointless reversal of roles in which the companies that hitherto brought us nothing but bugs specialise in viruses and the anti-virus brigade sets out in search of bugs. It's all very confusing.
Help with this and other embarrassing personal problems, by the sound of it, is on offer from Sophos. The company has written to Mole boasting of its "24 hour virus counselling service" on the web. Let's hope the pages are clearly labelled or Sophos can expect to be inundated with enquiries from the great unwashed asking what to do about their nasty skin complaints.
Mole's favourite Intel correspondent has come up with some amusing anagrams, which like the best of these things have more than a grain of truth: "The new Pentium II processor" ("Instruction pipe somewhere"), "Dual Independent Bus" ("Insulted and need pub") and "Intel: The Computer Inside" ("Nude lies emit rotten chip").
How unfortunate it is when you choose to promote your products with the slogan "The right tool for the right job," as Microsoft did recently, then go on to direct potential customers to a web page on a server displaying the message: "We're sorry; the server was unable to process your request or is temporarily busy. You can use the Retry button to attempt the operation again, or if the issue persists please check back at a later time." Wrong tool, perhaps?
Why is it that the computer industry, supposedly so exciting and dynamic, always produces such dull, turgid language. Here's another lifeless example, this time from a company called Dynasty, a name that evokes the eighties almost as frighteningly as Duran Duran.
"IT systems are the life-blood of your company - even more so if your project is going to be mission critical. Your company deserves to choose the ideal means in achieving optimum success without drama."
Success without drama - a beautiful idea, poetically expressed. Sickbag recommended.
Elsewhere in a disease stricken world news of the alarming spread of the Gullibility virus, the victims of which fall for every hoax, spoof and prank to appear in their web browsers, and articles like this one.
These saps can be further humiliated by telling them that the word "gullible" will not appear in the next edition of the Oxford English Dictionary.
They fall for it every time.
Bill Gates, one of the world's greatest exploiters of the gullible is preparing a campaign codenamed "Big Iron" to persuade hardware manufacturers to make NT servers look like the muscular mainframes of the past, the idea presumably being that NT would be magically transformed from the Johnny-come-lately of servers to a serious, well-established operating system. Mole polled friends in the business for their reactions. "Are they pulling my chain?" was a typical response.
Don't be a loser all your life. Hit back by writing to Mole at the address above or by phoning 0171 316 9068.
Ceres, located in the asteroid belt, has a carbonaceous-rich upper crust, SwRI study claims
The spacecraft found traces of hydrogen and oxygen molecules, known as hydroxyls, embedded in the rocky surface of the asteroid
The skeleton was unearthed more than 20 years ago in South Africa
Moon's dark side is mountainous, rugged and never visible from the Earth