The Right Stuff

An IS manager decided to hire a consultant to write a new Customer Informationapplication. He interviewed three candidates, and asked them how they would implement thenew system.

Candidate #1: "This is an obvious mainframe application. I would write theapplication in COBOL with a CICS front-end. The data would be stored in DB2 databasesresiding on an OS/390 platform, utilizing VTAM for communications. The whole system wouldbe up and running in six months and have an end-to-end response time of no more than twoseconds."

Candidate #2: "This is an obvious client/server application. I would use VisualBasic as the front-end and store the data in Microsoft SQL Server databases. I woulddistribute the databases over the regional corporate LANs, which are interconnected via T1lines. The system would be up and running in six months and have an end-to-end responsetime of no more than two seconds."

Candidate #3: "This is an obvious Web application. I would use HTML frames withJAVA Script as the front end and store the data on the corporate Web server in a SAS datawarehouse. Users would access the application over the World Wide Web through their Webbrowsers. The system would be up and running in six months and have an end-to-end responsetime of no more than two seconds."

So, which consultant did the manager hire? Why, the one with the highest hourly rate,of course!

Contributed by Michael A. Raithel,

Garrett Park, Md.

Technology Terms for Post Year 2000

1. LOG ON: Making a wood stove hotter.

2. LOG OFF: Don't add any more wood.

3. MONITOR: Keeping an eye on the wood stove.

4. DOWNLOAD: Getting the firewood off the truck.

5. MEGA HERTZ: When you're not careful getting the firewood.

6. FLOPPY DISC: What you'll get from trying to carry too much firewood.

7. RAM: That thing that splits the firewood.

8. HARD DRIVE: Getting home in January 2000.

9. PROMPT: What the mail won't be in January 2000.

10. WINDOWS: What to shut when it's cold outside.

11. CHIP: Those 3,000 bags of munchies stored in the basement.

12. MICRO CHIP: What's left in the bottom of the munchie bags.

13. MODEM: What you did to the front and back lawns.

14. LAP TOP: What's disappearing from eating all those munchies in the basement.

15. KEYBOARD: Where you hang the keys.

16. SOFTWARE: Paper plates, plastic forks and knifes.

17.MOUSE: What chews through the bags of munchies in the basement.

18.MOUSE PAD: Where the munchie munchers live.

19.RANDOM ACCESS MEMORY: When your spouse asks what you paid for the rifle and 20,000rounds of ammo.

Inspired by Roel Ingles

If Dr. Seuss Were a Technical Writer

Here's an easy game to play.

Here's an easy thing to say.

If a packet hits a pocket on a socket on a port,

And the bus is interrupted as a very last resort.

And the address of the memory makes your floppy disk abort,

Then the socket packet pocket has an error to report!

If your cursor finds a menu item followed by a dash,

And the double-clicking icon puts your window in the trash,

And your data is corrupted 'cause the index doesn't hash.

Then your situation's hopeless, and your system's gonna crash!

You can't say this? What a shame, sir!

We'll find you another game, sir!

If the label on the cable on the table at your house

Says the network is connected to the button on the mouse,

But your packets want to tunnel on another protocol,

That's repeatedly rejected by the printer down the hall,

And your screen is all distorted by the side effects of Gauss,

So your icons in the windows are so wavy as a souse,

Then you may as well reboot and go out with a bang,

'Cause as sure as I'm a poet, the sucker's gonna hang!

When the copy of your floppy's getting sloppy on the disk,

And the microcode instructions cause unnecessary RISC.

Then you have to flash your memory and you'll want to RAM your ROM.

Quickly turn off the computer and be sure to tell your mom!

Contributed by C. M.,

Springfield, Ill.