2000 Already a Big Stinker!

Gates says global warming not his fault

Francis Vale


PCs stink. And now I can prove it. Nicoh of Japan has introduced the PC version of the 1950's movie theater experience known as "Smell-O-Rama." In case you missed it, Smell-o-Rama would inject all kinds of smells and odors into the theater when triggered by a particular event in the film. (As to whether or not Godzilla's bad breath was among the Smell-O-Rama repertoire, I'm not sure.)

However, thanks to Nicoh, Smell-O-Rama has now been brought up to cyberdate. At the heart of this whacked out gizmo is a small yellow plastic fan, encased in a blue oval plastic surround. Running down the gadget's middle are two vertically positioned white rods that apparently hold a bunch of capsules packed with a variety of odors. Altogether, it's a cute looking contraption. It so closely resembles a desktop fan that you might innocently pick one up as a way to cool off while you sweated out a presentation deadline.

That naive notion would last until your computer hit a special Nicoh-enabled web site. When you clicked on your mouse to Web-whack a GIF of a horse for your multimedia extravaganza on the wonderful world of animal feed, you might be suddenly greeted with the pleasant smell of a glossy green pasture. Or at least that's Nicoh's master plan.

To make sure all these various, blown-in-your-face, Web-ified whiffs don't pile up into a big noxious cloud hanging over your cubby, Nicoh has added an odor-masking agent to each aromatic blast that supposedly wipes out any smell that wafted before it.

To pull this trick off, Nicoh must have developed some special HTML tags that are embedded in the web pages to trigger the appropriate fragrance. However, I have not yet heard if Nicoh has submitted these new odor-enabling HTML tags to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) for its approval. But if Nicoh is behind the submission curve, then I immediately propose we all gang together and draft a new W3C standard for dispensing web-enabled aromas around the globe in a variety of well-known situations.

For example, next time you hit a Microsoft-munged Java applet that crashes your browser, the smell of sulfurous, rotten eggs will immediately be ejected into the surrounding atmosphere. If this happens to enough people on your department's floor (a good bet within any given thirty-minute period), then it's also a great reason to clear the building. What a terrific excuse for a coffee break! Meanwhile, as you are sipping on your latte, some intrepid, gasmasked support tech will be tasked with rummaging across the Web, frantically looking for a fragrant web site; whereupon all those Nicoh units will emit a collective air-clearing sigh.

But why stop with just Nicoh-enriched web sites? For example, suppose some clever type came up with a JavaScript that sensed anytime the blue screen of death coughed up on your WinTel PC? Just before the system crashed, a really bad smell, like burning toxic waste, would immediately be ejected from a Nicoh odor capsule. Given that this enormously time wasting event happens in a large organization hundreds, if not thousands, of times a day (especially if they are using Win98), it might open the door for the Environmental Protection Agency to join the current antitrust fray against Microsoft. Maybe if the EPA declares Win 9.X a hazardous toxic dump, it would finally get Gates' attention.

Microsoft, fed up with all the delays in releasing NT 5.0 (with maybe more than just a tinge of LINUX-paranoia thrown in) simply renamed its next version of NoTechnology to Windows 2000, which is now on shelves and in Cracker Jack boxes everywhere. To make sure that all 30,000,000 or so lines of Win2000 code stays glued together for more than two minutes at a time, Redmond will no doubt be following up with an endless parade of service packs. Once that happens, clear off all those desktops and make room for an NT-enabled Nicoh! I predict this cute little blue and yellow stinker will be ejecting enough noxious fumes into the atmosphere to make global warming seem irrelevant.

And finally, there is the newly re-christened, re-launched, rehashed, WindowsCE. Hmm. Can there possibly be any product smell that bad? We WinCE at the thought.

The Bottom Line:
 Home Users: Get out the Glade! If you run WinCE in your smart home, your neighbors will wonder where that bad service pack smell is coming from.

Business Users: You've been waiting how many years for this big, expensive stinker called Win2000? Maybe it's time to adopt a toilet-trained penguin.

Power Users: Light another scented candle for Bill! Just when you thought your job security was over with Y2K behind us, along comes a we-can't-live-without-you MS 2000 savior.

Copyright 2000, Francis Vale, All Rights Reserved

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