If Cars Were Like Computers
At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated "If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving twenty-five dollar cars that got 1000 mi/gal."
In response to Bill's comments, General Motors issued a press release stating: If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:
- For no reason whatsoever your car would crash twice a day.
- Every time they repainted the lines on the road you would have to buy a new car.
- Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason, and you would just accept this, restart and drive on.
- Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine. For some strange reason, you would accept this too.
- You could only have one person in the car at a time, unless you bought "Car95" or "CarNT". But, then you would have to buy more seats.
- Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, was five times as fast, and was twice as easy to drive, but would only run on five percent of the roads.
- The Macintosh car owners would get expensive Microsoft upgrades to their cars, which would make their cars run much slower.
- The oil pressure, water temperature, gas, and alternator warning lights would be replaced by a single "general car fault" warning light.
- New seats would force everyone to have the same size butt.
- The airbag system would say "Are you sure?" before going off.
- If you were involved in a crash, you would have no idea what happened.
- Occasionally for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lift the door handle, turn the key, and grab hold of the radio antenna.
- GM would require all car buyers to also purchase a deluxe set of Rand McNally road maps (now a GM subsidiary), even though they neither need them nor want them. Attempting to delete this option would immediately cause the car's performance to diminish by 50% or more. Moreover, GM would become a target for investigation by the Justice Department.
- Every time GM introduced a new model car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.
- You'd press the "start" button to shut off the engine.
© 1998, Leroy D. Sturges
(revised 20 December 1998)