Warning Stickers

I was using a ladder recently and I noticed all the warning stickers pasted on the side. You know, the things like "WARNING: Do not use near or on live power lines."

I got to thinking that the software industry needs some warning stickers as well, so I devised a few:

Bloat-ware warning

This software will eat up half your hard drive. This software is comes loaded with all sorts of fancy screens which require tons of bitmapped graphics. Of course we could have used simpler screens, but the the product wouldn't look as good in the advertising brochure.

Ad-ware warning

This product contains advertisements for all of our other products. The software you paid for is 20% software and 80% multi-media presentations designed to get you to buy our upgrade. Some of our best programmers worked on these demos so you'd better take a look at them.

Warning: Turtle upgrade

Installing this upgrade will give you a bunch of new features, most of which are probably so advanced that you probably won't use them anyway. However, in adding the new code we did slow the program down by a factor of five. Hope that doesn't interfere with your work.

Warning: Version numbers ends in ".0".

The version number of this software ends with a ".0" That means that we've added a lot of new features and tested none of them. If you really want software that works, wait for the maintenance release due out in about three months.

Warning: Fritter-ware inside

This software has thousands of options allowing you to customize it extensively. In fact, without much trying, you can spend all your time customizing the software and none doing real work.

Warning: Nag-ware

If you don't register this program, it will nag you every five minutes until you do.

Warning: Fancy License server

We've implemented a brand new floating license scheme to replace the new license scheme that we used in the last version of our software. It slices, it dices, it really cooks. Now if it only works.

Please reserve two hours to get your new license installed and three weeks to get the bugs worked out.

Warning: One tune Charlie

We have a great theme song for this game which we play every chance we get. The first time you hear it you'll think it's cute. The second time it's boring. By the time you hear it for the hundredth time you'll be ready to smash your sound board.

Warning: Manual Written by an Engineer

The manual has been written by our engineering staff. Our engineers understand lots of languages such as C, Java, C++ and FORTRAN. Unfortunately one of the ones the don't understand is English. But we let them write manuals anyway.

They've created a master work containing a lengthy description of the theory of operation, the algorithms design, the data structures, and the new technology used. Oh, and at the last minute they've even added a few pages at back on how to use the thing.

Warning: Released without beta testing

As a cost cutting measure we've skipped the beta test. If you find any problems report them to us so we can fix them in our in-house version of the software.

Warning: Spy-ware

This program will scan your hard drive to find which software packages you've bought from our competition and sends the information to us.

Warning: Air-ware

This box contains a single floppy, a two page manual and 352 cubic inches of air. The reason the box is so big is that we wanted you to feel good about shelling out $250 for this product.

Warning: Manual comes separate

One of the reasons that we can sell this software for only $50.00 is that we don't print the manual. Of course if you want to actually use the software, you'll need to buy our $80.00 manual.

Warning: Nothing-ware

We don't guarantee that this software will do anything. When you pay us money you don't even get a copy of the software to own. Instead you get a single license to use it.

If it fails to work, crashes, or wipes out data, we absolve ourselves of any responsibility.

Basically, we have all the rights, you have no rights, and you pay us money.

Unfortunately, the last sticker is not fiction. Take a look at the license agreement that came with the last software you bought. Stripped of it's legal obfuscation, you'll see that you've bought nothing-ware.