It's the start
of 1996 -- Time to hand out the first annual Dolo Gooey Awards For 1995!
1995 marked the entrance, and the apparent merciful departure, of MS Bob. Naturally, as the computer industry has a tremendous flair for originality, we can expect the imminent arrival of platoons of animated, Java-enabled, GUIs. Rumble has it that Novell and Walt Disney have already joined forces. They will supposedly be marketing co-branded applications that combine animation with mainstay applications, such as Netware.
Having animated critters be your company spokesperson is a great idea. One good Ritalin-candidate creature is worth a thousand bytes. So here is my Gooey-winning corporate cast for 1995:
Borland: Crash, the Curiousauraus. This is an extinct TV cartoon dinosaur whose ghost inhabits the halls of New York's Museum of Natural History. Riding Crash on occasional guest appearances is Conan the Barbarian, whose voice-over is done by ex-Borland CEO, Philippe Khan,
Computer Associates: An animated version of wrestling. Featured are software tag team has beens. There are lots of threatening looks, and nasty, nasty body slams . But in his special WCW guest appearances, wimpy Duckman thoroughly trounces them all. Duckman, with his an uncanny resemblance to MS Bob, is obviously Bob's separated-at-birth, long-lost twin brother. This resemblance, incidentally, is used to pave the way to an animated GUI special, entitled "Reunion".
Digital: Ninja Turtles. They are a bunch of characters who pull inside their shells when the going gets tough. They love to belly roll though toxic waste of dead products and blown opportunities; and yet they somehow manage to triumph in the end by using various types of techno-gadgetry that bamboozle and confound their enemies and friends alike.
Hewlett Packard: An animated version of Rush Limbaugh. At bootup, his cartoon persona insists on self-righteously telling you what's wrong with all of your other vendors' systems, and how only he can fix all the problems.
IBM: Shades of a Saturday morning TV cartoon: "Eek!/The Terrible Thunderlizards". The name says it all. A big after market in large, tasteless, Thunderlizard decals to put on aging mainframes is a distinct money-making possibility.
Intel: An animation of P.T. Barnum. This one is a sure Gooey winner for 1995, as users stood in the middle of a three ring PR circus. In one ring were dancing, overheated, SPECint92 over-rated, Pentium chips that occasionally caught on fire. Their spewing flames were smothered by frantic, highly animated, public relations executives, using wet blankets made out of recycled spreadsheets.
Microsoft Bob's Understudy: Here, you actually needed a dynamic duo to keep up with Bill's ever growing stable of vaporware products and 1995 Justice Department fiascoes. The nod obviously goes to Beavis and Butthead.
Novell: Its supposed connection with Disney offers a lot of characters from which to choose. But Pinocchio ought to take star billing. Users can watch his nose grow longer as he tells them about the latest and greatest version of Netware 4.x, and how it will fix everything. Users who believe him get the opportunity to go to the island where bad boys are turned into jackasses.
Oracle: An easy call: Ren & Stimpy. You've got a GUI front man easily dazzled by his own seeming intelligence and suave good looks (and day old beard). He's attached at the umbilical to stone ugly software that nobody could figure out, but was bought in huge numbers anyway.
21st, The VXM Network, http://www.vxm.com