"How To Install Software -- A 12-Step Program"

by Dave Barry (from his new book "Dave Barry In Cyberspace")
  1. Examine the software packaging until you find a 
little printed box that explains what kind of computer 
system you need to run the software.   It should look 
something like this:
         628.8 MEGAHERTZ MODEM
         719.7 MB FREE DISK SPACE
         3546 MB RAM
         432323 MB ROM
         05948737 MB RPM
         2 TURTLE DOVES
         NOTE: This software will not work on your 
  2. Open the software packaging and remove the manual. 
This will contain detailed instructions on installing, 
operating, and troubleshooting the software. Throw it 
  3. Find the actual software, which should be in the form 
of either a 3.5-inch floppy diskette or a CD-ROM, located 
inside a sealed envelope that says:

LICENSING AGREEMENT: By breaking this seal, the user 
hereinafter agrees to abide by all the terms and 
conditions of the following agreement that nobody ever 
reads, as well as the Geneva Convention and the
U.N. Charter and the Secret Membership Oath of the 
Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks and such other 
terms and conditions, real and imaginary, as the Software 
Company shall deem necessary and appropriate, including 
the right to come to the user's home and examine the 
user's hard drive, as well as the user's underwear
drawer if we feel like it, take it or leave it, until 
death do us part, one nation indivisible, by the dawn's 
early light, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the 
Holy Ghost, finders keepers, losers weepers, thanks you've 
been a great crowd, and don't forget to tip your servers.
  4. Hand the software to a child aged 3 through 12 and 
say, "(Name of child),  please install this on my 
  5. If you have no child age 3 through 12, insert the 
software in the appropriate drive, type "SETUP" and press 
the Enter key.
  6. Turn the computer on, you idiot.
  7. Once again type "SETUP" and press the Enter key.
  8. You will hear grinding and whirring noises* for a 
while, after which the following message should appear on 
your screen:
The Installation Program will now examine your system to 
see what would be the best way to render it inoperable. Is 
it OK with you?  Choose one, and be honest:
                         +-------+      +--------+
                         |  YES  |      |  SURE  |
                         +-------+      +--------+
  9. After you make your selection, you will hear grinding 
and whirring for   a very long time while the installation 
program does God knows what in there. Some installation 
programs can actually alter molecular structures, so that 
when they're done, your computer has been transformed into 
an entirely new device, such as a food processor.  At the 
very least, the installation program will create many new
directories, sub-directories, sub-sub-directories, on your 
hard drive and fill them with thousands of mysterious 
files with names like "puree,exe," "fester.dat," and 
  10. When the installation program is finished, your 
screen should display the following message:
The installation program cannot think of anything else to 
do to your computer and has grown bored. You may now 
attempt to run your software. If you experience any 
problems, electrical shocks, insomnia, shortness of 
breath, nasal discharge, or intestinal parasites, you 
should immediately *!@!$)$%@&*^)$*!#$_$*^&
  11. At this point your comptuer system should become 
less functional than the federal government, refusing to 
respond even when struck with furniture.
  12. Call the toll-free Technical Support Hotline number 
listed on the package and wait on the line for a 
representative, who will explain to you, in a clear, 
step-by-step manner, how to adopt a child aged 3 through
"Even Life is just a temporary assignment!"