"Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I'm Scoops Jackson, and tonight on this edition of 'The Computer Chronicler', we are talking with Dr. Zwiestein. He is the CEO and Head Scientist at CRT Ports Incorporated. Dr. Zwiestein, welcome back to our show."
"Thank you. It's always a pleasure."
"During the past week, CRT made several announcements in the area of computer peripherals. Could we review the major ones?"
"Yes. Perhaps the most important one involves what we feel will become the next important area of computers, and that is automated computer hygiene. Since we first started our company, our customers have expressed the desire to have computer peripherals that would keep themselves clean. This requirement has especially become important with the decline in the number of cleaning professionals. For our clients, a peripheral that can stay clean means that their janitorial engineers can spend more time on vacuuming, garbage removal, and so on."
"Hmmm. How is the time spent on cleaning peripherals a large problem for these companies?"
"Well, screens are an example. Fingerprints on the screen is almost as large an annoyance to some people as glare is. And, in a building where there is a cafeteria serving greasy food, the accumulated layers of gunk can require a good deal of time to strip down and wipe away."
"I see. What has CRT come up with for that?"
"This week, we announced and started to ship the 'CRT Old Dutch 2000', a radical step forward in both technology and hygiene. It is a colour monitor, compatible with RGB, EGA, WYSIWYG, and a few other things there are no initials for yet. It is also what we call a 'clean monitor', which is to say no dirt or grime will remain on the screen for any length of time. Fingerprints, lint, and so on are essentially vapourized within moments."
"I understand there were a few problems early on with it."
"Yes. Our R. & D. Department--"
"Research and Development?"
"React and Destroy--had overestimated the amount of plasma field to generate in the screen area to keep the screen clean. Unfortunately, some of our engineers tested the prototype by touching the screen themselves, instead of using inanimate objects. Somehow, the electromagnetic forces that were generated by the prototype caused those engineers to vanish. However, we know that they are still alive, and although we haven't found them yet, we think they're in the same place that socks go to on laundry day."
"What makes you say that?"
"We can hear their voices during the spin cycle of our washing machine. It sort of gave new meaning to the words 'terminate and stay resident' in the lab area."
"Well, Doctor, how about a quick demonstration?"
"Certainly. As you can see, the screen is on and is showing with fine detail the information from the Aston-Martin 9-8-7 software. First, I'll soak my hand in this tub of melted mixture of butter and lard, and now I'll try to smear the screen. As you can see, none of this glop is staying on the screen."
"Fascinating. Looks like greasy fingerprints are a thing of the past. Could you demonstrate some of the graphics capabilities of the 'Old Dutch 2000'?"
"Yes. Oh, excuse me for a moment. That piece of lint on the screen is bothering me. Let me just brush that--" GA-ZAP!!
"Oh, my! He's disappeared!! I'd like to continue talking to him, but there are no laundromats nearby. Oh, well, we're almost out of time anyway. Please join us next week when my guest will be Dr. Barles Cabbage, the first doll to write a thesis on artificial intelligence. This is Scoops Jackson, for 'The Computer Chronicler'."
Vernon R.J. Schmid
NOTE: The above is a piece of fiction. Names, products, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead or vapourized, is entirely coincidental. Any similarity to actual products, hardware or software or vapourware, is also coincidental, albeit wholly desirable.
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Web Page Created: 1997-09-01. Last Updated: 2005-01-25.
The above is dedicated to "The Computer Chronicles", Lotus 1-2-3, Aston Martin (or, at least, Q's inventions for their cars), and Old Dutch cleaning powder.