An Editorial You Shouldn't Take Too Seriously

Okay, listen up, people. There's a very serious matter we have to discuss now, but I don't want any of you to panic. Just stay calm. On the other hand, it's important that we react now to this problem, that we strike it in the very center of its hideously pulsating heart so that the evil tentacles it stretches out will not overwhelm and destroy us. I speak, of course, of Windows CE.

Until yesterday, my views on Windows CE were fairly conservative. Sure, it was annoying to see people glorifying Windows CE, touting it as "the greatest thing to happen in handheld computing since the invention of the solar cell." But I figured that, as always, people who just wanted a palmtop computer to impress their friends and business associates would buy the WinCE machines, while people who wanted a serious palmtop computer would go for the 200LX. I didn't think there was anything more sinister than that.

Then, yesterday, I was gently caressing my 200LX-- er, that is, I was cleaning it, when I turned it over and started to clean off the bottom. Suddenly, a horrible sight caught my eye: stamped onto the back, near the FCC ID and the serial number, were the letters CE.

Naturally, I screamed and dropped the palmtop. After calming down for a few minutes, I warily picked it up off the floor and took another look. Sure enough, there were the letters again: CE.

"It can't be," I thought. This was similar to waking up to find the number "666" tatooed all over your body. Surely this was just somebody's idea of a practical joke. Yeah, that's all it was. Just a sick prank by some lowlife so desperate for attention that he went so far as to deface my poor palmtop. "There, there," I said soothingly to the 200LX. "It's going to be okay. I'll sand it off and everything will be just fine."

Then, as an afterthought, I glanced over at the living room table behind the couch. There sat my wife's 200LX. A dreadful thought crept into my mind. "Surely not!" I laughed. But something drew me towards the other palmtop...

I picked it up off the table and held it, staring at the top, for a minute or two. The friendly gold-and-black lettering, "Hewlett Packard 200LX," stared back at me. I smiled, thinking how ridiculous it was to suppose that the traumatic events of a few minutes past were anything more than an isolated incident. Thus reassured, I chuckled to myself and flipped the palmtop over.

NO! The CE letters were there, too! As I looked on in horror, they seemed to come alive, pointing and laughing at me in humiliating mockery. "You can't stop us!" they seemed to say. "Windows CE will be everywhere!" I hurled the palmtop against the wall and it fell to the floor with a sickening "crunch." I became disoriented. The room seemed to fill with those two letters! CE all over the walls, the ceiling, the floor... there were thousands of CE's buzzing around in the very air which I breathed! I tried to swat them away, tried to run, but there were too many! They swarmed around my head, the sharp barbs from the E stinging me as I flailed helplessly on the floor. Then, everything went black.

When I awoke, the CE's were gone. But the letters still remain on my palmtop. I've come to an uneasy truce with them: they don't bother me, and I don't bother them. But I'm keeping an eye out. I now know that Windows CE is contagious, and it's infected my poor innocent 200LX (must've been that Cassiopeia I tried in the store the other day.) And unfortunately, the infection is more serious than I'd hoped. I've been having a difficult time getting my flash card in lately; I'm pretty sure the PCMCIA slot is gradually changing into a CompactFlash slot. When I see a START menu and a taskbar, I plan to take action.

So let this be a warning: keep your 200LX away from any Windows CE unit! It's too late for me, but you can save yourselves! Beware! Beware!

Copyright 1999, David Sargeant.
Last Updated 1-2-1999

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