"How To Install Software -- A 12-Step
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
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS 2386 PROCESSOR OR HIGHER 628.8 MEGAHERTZ MODEM
719.7 MB FREE DISK SPACE 3546 MB RAM 432323 MB ROM 05948737 MB RPM
ANTILOCK BRAKING SYSTEM 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 away.
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,... finders
keepers, losers weepers, ...
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
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 who 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, and sub-sub-directories on your hard drive and
fill them with thousands of mysterious files with names like
"puree.exe," "fester.dat," and "doo.wha.."
10. When the installation program is
finished, your screen should display the following message:
CONGRATULATIONS - 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 computer system
should become less functional than the federal government, refusing
to respond even when struck with furniture.
12. Call the toll-free Tech Support
Hotline # 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 12.