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Scattered to the Winds

Week of February 6, 2002
They'll remember who they were at that moment in time...

A few years from now, in a chat room or an IRC channel, a bunch of old hard-core Windows users and programmers will meet up; it'll be a twist of a phrase which identifies them for one another, and they'll be off to the races, chatting away nostalgically about the 'good old days'.

There will be talk of the good times and of the scandals. 'I used Windows way back in the days of version 286,' one will say. 'Hey, I used it from the beginning and I still have the original seven floppies,' will say another.

And they'll yuck together over the first MS-DOS Executive and the garish colours and the frozen windows, and they'll remember their 'wow's when they first saw File Manager 3.0, and some of them will have been in on the NT beta campaign, while others will offer anecdotes from the Zachary book.

They'll talk of Tim Paterson and they'll talk of the AARD code and some of them will still have a copy of 2.11 and even CP/M.

They'll all be running Unix now - Mandrake or MacOS X or SuSE or Debian or Slackware or Red Hat or FreeBSD or OpenBSD or NetBSD or...

But a lot of them will still have old Wintel boxes stored away somewhere, gathering dust since the onslaught of the new technology, good only for a wistful look in the rear view mirror once in a month of Sundays.

And once in a month of Sundays they will drag them out and boot them up and look at the garish 16-colour icons and remember not so much what Bill Gates did to them but who they were at that moment in time.

And they know already today that they are destined to be scattered to the winds.

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