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Banana Software

Note: I posted this article to the UliTalks list at a time whereI was angry at bugs in early MacOS X releases and I'd had a very bad day. Most of the stuffin this message is simply a very tongue-in-cheek interpretation of how some of the weirderbugs and events at that time could be perceived. The banana stuff didn't actually happen,and I have no idea whether anyone was actually underpaid. OK?



... well, you see, when Bananas are bought somewhere far off in Argentina or the Caribbean or wherever they come from, they are usually picked long before they are ripe, and dumped in huge ships. A couple of burly seamen stuff them in the storage area, scoffing at their green faces and commenting how awful they are and how much they prefer the scorbut or eating apples. Then they go off to sing shanties and somehow manage to arrive somewhere near you. Or me. Wait, both isn't possible...

Oh, well... Anyway, after a couple of weeks and shanties and water and bread and all those other romantic things that happen on the sea, the seamen arrive where they are supposed to (or at least in the vicinity), quickly dump the bananas in crates and take their shore leave. They probably don't even notice how the bananas have magically turned into the fabulous golden yellow you and I so love when we buy them plastic-bagged at the nearest super-market.

Now, you might have noticed that bananas happen to become ripe magically, and all by themselves. You don't need to pay or do anything. You just dump them in a ship for a couple of weeks, and they'll turn green into gold. An alchemist's dream. Apparently someone at Apple didn't want to do anything wrong in applying the banana algorithm to his operating system. So he did the exact same things.

He got a big ship, in which he had huge seamen in striped shirts drop each bit and byte of his operating system. He even underpaid them, as is to all appearances true of most harbor workers as well. Then he had them scoff at those green bits and bytes, saying they'd prefer apples (and as far as meals go, I agree here), and -- ... um, uh ... well, ... you get the picture...

Anyway, you can probably imagine his shiny eyes when he arrived at the harbor and opened the first of the crates. Sadly, what greeted him after taking a piece of software, dumping it in a box for a couple of weeks and then opening it again, -- no matter how many shanties you have your sailors sing -- is not a finished product. He got "banana software".

And contrary to popular belief among the PTB at Apple (the-ones-who-herd-programmers-like-cattle), it doesn't take a few more weeks at a much warmer and more comfortable place (like the customer's) to make it become ripe. As an example, here's a small selection of the fun things I got to do today because of The Power of The Banana(tm):

-- Reinstall MacOS because the uninstaller of the BTX (aka Datex-J or Minitel) application my father needs killed all the modem scripts and half of TCP/IP as well (which half I found out when I got complaints that I should select "PPP" in the TCP/IP control panel to find it already selected when I went to check) ... and after the reinstall find out that MacOS 9.2 apparently doesn't work with this software anymore anyway... but at least Internet dialup is broken now.

-- Reset my clock, because sometimes my brand new iBook apparently decides it'd be better if it was the 1st of January 1970 today (I partially agree -- at least that'd mean I'd have another 21 years before I'd have to face it again...)

-- Postpone the release of the Talking Moose for _yet_another_ week, because I had to remove the code that handles file name extensions (".txt" and the likes) from the "open file..." dialog because Apple's programming interfaces that let you do this are incredibly buggy... (and that was _after_ I had sent out the previous beta to my testers that fixed the problem of iBook and Powerbook hardware falling asleep and not waking up in time to hear the Moose speak)

-- Find out that MacOS X had installed some weird "login item" that would launch Classic every time I logged in, though I had already turned off the option to do so in "System Preferences" a dozen times...



Created: 2004-03-26 @841 Last change: 2005-03-03 @875 | Home | Admin | Edit
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