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 Visual Basic

Confessions of a Bloataholic

Hello, I don't suppose anyone will read this, I've been told to post it anyway, it's part of my therapy. I'm a bloataholic. I use to feed on bloat, to write very bloated programs for a very bloated company that made too many millions of dollars off too many poor users. I'm here at the Bloatbusters™ website to apologize to those of you who have been hurt by my crimes.

When I went to college I learned about Object Orientation like everyone else, they showed us these diagrams of an airport and they asked us to identify the objects in the diagram, there were cars there and the cars were objects, and there were ambulances there too but the ambulances weren't new objects, they were a special kind of car object, and then they showed us this drawing of a medieval ship that sank and killed a lot of people and that really scared us and they told us that the ship would never have sunk if Bjarne had been at the helm or in the shipyard where it was built and that everyone would be alive even today, even though it all happened over three hundred years ago, if the guys who built it had used Object Orientation.

When I graduated it wasn't hard to get a well paying job in the commercial software industry but really I didn't know much at all, I realize that now. I'd written one Windows program using the Microsoft Foundation Classes and one program using the Borland OWL and one program using Delphi and that was it. The MFC application was a Notepad replacement at 1800KB but it couldn't save files too good, the OWL application showed the current time according to the computer clock it was 1.4MB, and the Delphi application was a program launcher you entered the name of the program you wanted to run in the dialog box and it ran the program it was 2.5MB.

I didn't know who I really was for a long time, I never used to mind bloat, I had no idea how to conserve space and write good programs, my only reference points were an airport, cars and ambulances, and some ship that sank over three hundred years ago and killed a lot of people. My first job was on this spreadsheet project, it used over two thousand C++ classes and there was so much multiple inheritance that our project coach said don't even think about making a browsing file, but the program sold very well and maybe you've bought it, but I am not allowed to mention the product name here, it doesn't really matter what its name is, it was a really shitty program, that's all you have to know. I know today we could have done the whole thing under half a meg but when we'd finished and burned the master all we had room for when it was all copied on there was the first 84 seconds of some clip of Bruce Springsteen singing Thunder Road and this "Easter egg" Real Player file with the software credits with our names in it, that's how full that sucker was, and my company put out big ads in all the computer magazines and got write-ups at ZD and all the other e-zines, and the value of our stocks really went through the roof, we really cleaned up. We received a lot of abuse letters too, people complaining about the bloat and the crashes, but we didn't listen to them, we just sat around all day and figured out how much money we'd made since last time we checked five minutes ago.

Somehow one of the users of our spreadsheet program got my name, maybe it was from the credits after the Springsteen clip, he started calling me and abusing me, calling me names like fatso and stuff like that, hello fatso, is that you fatso, I know you made this piece of shit program you goddamned fatso, how fat are you anyway fatso, his calls really pissed me off, they scared me too, then somehow he got my home phone number and started calling me there too and at all hours of the night too, shouting his abuse at me, always calling me fatso, when I changed my number he came out to my house and shouted at me from my front yard, things like, come out fatso, I know you're a fatso, you gutless piece of blubber fat, come out and talk to me like a man you fatso, but I didn't dare go out, not because I'm a fatso either, ok I was a bit bloated back then, we all were at that company, but I wasn't a real fatso, I didn't know what to do to get rid of this guy or kill him, Beelzebub told me this might be when I started subconsciously to see the light and today I believe that might be true.

Every time I called the police they came out and talked to the guy all right but it looked like they knew this guy real well or something because they never arrested him, they just talked a bit and then they'd all leave, one time I asked them why don't you arrest him he's harassing me, the police told me, don't ask that's why you fatso, you really don't want to know, I said, please don't call me fatso, and I do too want to know, but they said, you're a bloataholic aren't you, that makes you a fatso, and you don't want to know you fatso so just drop it, we ought to take you in instead, and then they would all leave, and about a week after that this guy started calling my mother and asking her how it had been for her to raise such a fatso, what kind of diet the doctor had put her fatso on, my mother was the one who came up with the idea of hitting 69 to find out who the guy was, we got his name and address and I went down to Dave's Guns & Nightcrawlers and I got this great Remington shotgun, a real good deal too, and one night I finally got up the guts and I put on my yellow raincoat like I always do for personal crises like when it's a bad storm or like when I'm going out on a date and I took the shotgun to get this guy and finish him off.

My damned left rear blinker light was burned out, the cops stopped me, while they were issuing the ticket they saw the shotgun in the car and they asked me where are you going with that shotgun and in that stupid raincoat and then the one of them went off to use the police radio and then when he came back he called me a fatso and they put handcuffs on me and put me in the lockup for the night, that's where I spent the night, that was a long night in there, I didn't get much sleep, it smelled real bad, my mind started played tricks on me in there but Beelzebub says this can happen it's ok it's natural, there were these policemen and firemen and national guard and townspeople and their dogs some really mean looking ones too they were all coming straight at me up the middle of this street, behind was this truck loaded with dry ice, all of a sudden they're heaving the dry ice at me, I'm getting smothered in this dry ice and it's freezing me to death and this guy in the other bunk in the cell tells me he's dropped his pen on the floor would I please pick it up, in the morning they told me the DA is coming by, guess what but the DA is the guy from my front lawn, he wants to throw the book at me and have me shot but he will let me go if I enter the Bloatbusters™ clinic, that's how I met Beelzebub and Fidel and all the others, that's what changed my life.

Beelzebub and the other guys at the clinic were really cool, they have really been around too, Beelzebub's been writing programs in microcode on freon cooled ferrite core super mainframes since before the turn of the century, like wow. All the guys at the clinic were really cool. The first thing they did to me was lock me in this wet dank dark rat infested basement dungeon cell for about ten days and force feed me some really rotten fatty food, like French fries soaked in mayonnaise and some kind of fatty duck in a butter sauce that smelled bad and when they stuffed the junk down my throat they would ask me, you so-and-so, do you like this food you so-and-so, does this food taste good to you you so-and-so, it really tastes bloated doesn't it, makes you feel bloated too, doesn't it, how do you think your customers feel having to use your bloatware, when they left me alone I got sick just thinking about how my bloataholic programs hurt people, hurt them really bad, and I really understood these guys, they really liked me and were helping me, not once did they call me fatso, not once.

I was in there for about ten days, it was hard to keep track, they took me out, I was blinded by the light, Beelzebub said I was blinded by the light of truth, they made me look at myself in a mirror, I'd broken out in fatty pimples all over my face and my scalp and down my spine and had put on at least fifty pounds total blubber too, I never felt so terrible in all my life, then they took me up some stairs to this room there was a poster on the wall it said SKRU U BJARNE, they gave me a statement to read, it started with hi my name is so-and-so I'm a bloataholic, I read that part and they all said back hi there so-and-so, then I had to tell them all about my life of bloat up to then, I just made it up at first but then it all came out like a flood gate had burst, the way they stared at me I was sure they were going to take me back to the cell again but they just tsked and tsked and oohed and aahed, one of them a girl said listening to my tale of bloat made them all want to barf, so much bloat, when I finished they gave me coffee no cream no sugar and some red jello, it was the first real meal I'd had in all this time and I cried and thanked them for saving my life.

Beelzebub - the other guys there sometimes call him 'Prince of Darkness' his real name is 'Beelzebub' or 'Beelze' for short - he gave me this list of programming books to read on my release and some real good tips on how to rip off book stores and the night after he and Fidel drove me somewhere real far away, I'm not allowed to say where this is, they fixed me up with a new identity and a new apartment, they gave me some stuff to decorate the new place with, like a copy of the SKRU U BJARNE poster from the tribunal room, so here I am, I'm just reading all the books on the list Beelzebub gave me, I didn't get caught Beelze sure knows his stuff, and so now I'm learning all about programming all over again the real way this time, it's a completely different world, I feel a lot more sane now, who cares about stock options anyway, everything I write from now on is going to be GNU license open source for sure, I've sketched this really cool program, a screen saver that connects with NASA satellites in real time and uses the traffic stats off them as a random number generator, I know it won't end up much more than 10KB tops even if I use a high level language like assembler.

I just want to take this opportunity to apologize to all my former customers, I apologize for all the misery my bloatware has caused you, and I want to take this opportunity to thank everybody at the clinic, "Beelze" in particular, thank you all for your kindness, your help, your patience and your wisdom. I'm reformed now, and a better human being for it. Thank you all.

A Bloataholic

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