Our little friend, the computer
No. See the hall of shame and
OSes that suck.
The PDP-10 was pretty nice. Pity they stopped making them in '83.
The ASR standard unit of suckiness is the Lovelace (Ll).
This is defined as: One Lovelace is the amount of force (measured in
dynes) it takes to draw a round ball weighing e Troy Ounces down a tube it
fits exactly (in air) at a speed of pi attoparsecs/microfortnight.
Like Farads, this is a rather large measurement.
Thus, Plan 9 sucks a few mLl, for instance, while your
average Microsoft product achieves many Ll.
Basically, I think there is some device the telco puts on the phone that
ensures that whoever is on the other end of a service call is always
a drooling moron with the IQ of a potted plant. Note that this applies
both ways (see 4.2)
Some go for the carrot approach, others the stick, others both. If you
favour the carrot, try offering memory upgrades or faster processors.
For sticks, try bullwhips. Many computers are easily fooled, so placing
a picture of yourself in front of a computer will often cause it to think
you are watching and it will be too scared to misbehave.
Remember that if computers are networked, they can talk to each other.
That is useful in that you can make an example of one and the others will
watch (and hopefully learn).
There is a large amount of speculation on this subject. Some have
suggested that AOL is a secret alien plot to use up all the resources
and overwhelm the earth with disks, to make mankind easier to conquer.
Whatever the reason, they are useful as coasters and as scratch floppies,
if nothing else.
Shove them in a microwave for a minute or so, and watch the fun!
[The stories are currently offline, as a result of the sysadmin
who had them on his web site recovering]