Fun vs. Money

I recently noticed in a wikipedia article about easter eggs that Microsoft – once one of the largest producers of software with easter eggs in the biz, has stopped permitting easter eggs to be written into their software as part of their ‘Trustworthy Computing’ initiative.

Well, as if I needed more reasons to hate m$, but..

I hate the concept of ‘enterprise computing’. It basically says, let’s sell the same buggy software for ten times as much while making sure that we don’t put any jokes in the manual. We all should take our computing sooo seriously.. it plays into the mental model that computers are not toys, that big business and making money are far more important than enjoying your life or having fun, and that anything cobbled together by a bunch of hackers on the net can’t possibly be as good as something cobbled together by a few hackers in a building somewhere that’s then had a brand name slapped on it.

They’re taking away our easter eggs in the name of fighting cyberterrorism. How far are we going to let the suits go in their pursuit of trading joy for big profits? These people need to be stopped – which is why I’m calling out for all software developers everywhere to sneak a few dozen easter eggs into every product, and all auditors to look the other way..

Oh, yeah, *that*’ll happen.

Seriously, though, am I the only one who thinks this preoccupation with ‘enterprise grade’ solutions – which, let’s all be honest, break just as often as the duct-tape-and-perl-script variety (and if you think otherwise, you either aren’t in the industry or you’re covering your arse) – is somewhere between silly and stupid? I have a client who hates mysql because it’s not ‘enterprise grade’, even though it’s every bit as reliable as Oracle and for the particular task he’s doing, every bit as fast. These people carefully ignore that a number of the biggest sites on the internet.. the wikipedia for ${diety}sake.. are running LAMP! It’s amusing to see how fast the higher-ups turn pale when words like ‘open source’ are spoken. I can only imagine what would happen if I were caught writing easter eggs into things.. (which, now that I’m aware that they’re under fire, I will make sure I wedge into every major app I write from now on)

Of course, I’m basing this all off a wikipedia article that might not even be correct.. (that’s the problem with encylopedias that anyone can edit.. or encyclopedias that *anyone* can edit – yes, even Britannica is wrong in spots..) but, it does sound like it fits the current Climate Of Fear ™. Nothing scarier than a few easter eggs – after all, they mean that clearly the types with no sense of humor and no interests other than money aren’t completely in control of the code…

Actually, thinking about it, who *are* you going to trust? People who stick video games into your word processor, or people who think that sticking video games in your word processor is a untrustworthy action? As usual, I know which side I’m on..

Sometimes I wonder.. as I’ve mentioned many times before.. how many job opportunities I lose because of my blog.. ah well. Until I actually *am* starving, I’d rather not work for those who take themselves so seriously anyway, so the job loss is mutual. I hope.

One Response to “Fun vs. Money”

  1. ClintJCL Says:

    Interesting. I mean, if you put a space invaders game in excel, who knows, maybe there’s a buffer vulnerability in the fire button, y’know? I can see the argument being made by them — But I like your take on the subject much better, actually. Good post.

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