If Operating Systems Ran The Airlines...

This is an old chestnut, I couldn't resist bringing it up to date.

UNIX Airways: Everyone brings one piece of the plane along when they come to the airport. They all go out on the runway and put the plane together piece by piece, arguing non-stop about what kind of plane they are supposed to be building.

Air DOS: Everybody pushes the airplane until it glides, then they jump on and let the plane coast until it hits the ground again. Then they push again, jump on again, and so on ...

Mac Airlines: All the stewards, captains, baggage handlers and ticket agents look and act exactly the same. Every time you ask questions about details, you are gently but firmly told that you don't need to know, don't want to know, and everything will be done for you without your ever having to know, so just shut up.

Windows Air: The terminal is pretty and colorful, with friendly stewards, easy baggage check and boarding, and a smooth take-off. After about 10 minutes in the air, the plane explodes with no warning whatsoever. This has spawned a huge magazine industry dedicated to customer survival, which eclipses all other aero magazines on the newsagent's shelf and ensures saturation advertising for the airline.

Windows NT Air: Just like Windows Air, but costs more, uses much bigger planes, and takes out all the other aircraft within a 40-mile radius when it explodes.

Windows XP Air: Having booked your flight, if you change your luggage you have to book a new seat. There is no refund. After flying for an hour the plane lands. The aeroplane is upgraded and the flight resumes. This happens again every hour. After a few hours, you are told that the plane cannot be upgraded further and you have to book a seat on a brand new, more expensive plane. There is no refund.

Linux Line: Disgruntled employees of all the other airlines decide to start their own. They build the planes, ticket counters, and pave the runways themselves. They charge a small fee to cover the cost of printing the tickets, but you can also download and print the ticket yourself. When you board the plane, you are given a seat, four bolts, a wrench and a copy of SEAT-HOWTO.HTML. Once settled, the fully adjustable seat is very comfortable, the plane leaves and arrives on time without a single problem; the in-flight meal is wonderful. You try to tell customers of the other airlines about the great trip, but all they can say is, "You had to do *what* with the seat?"

RISCOS Airways: You thought this British airline long dead and are amazed to discover they are still in business - flying many types of airplane from several manufacturers. The seats are classic and the staff are a likeable but sometimes limited bunch (they are obviously not paid enough). The plane flies fast and easy. You try to tell your friends about the great trip, but they all pretend to be deaf.

BeOS Air: Well-organized, comfortable, reliable, safe, fast. Great! If only they flew your route.

Then there are the Feeder Lines...

Palm Am: Cool and stylish image, but the decor is a bit cheap when you look closely. Don't think of flying far or carrying more than your lunch box.

WinCE Air: Hyped as Windows Air in a smaller plane, but flew v-e-r-y s-l-o-w and soon ran out of gas, landing you in a ploughed field. And there wasn't even room for your lunchbox. Now re-branded as Air Pocket.

Symbian Air Services: The Flying EPOC Line was started by a British aircraft manufacturer, rebranded, bought into by a multinational syndicate and is now the biggest in Europe. It gets you there in style, providing its own airport bus to sync with Windows Air's schedule better than Air Pocket does. Some planes even show in-flight movies. But your friends have all gone deaf again.

- Humour Index -