(Most of the humour collected here is in the public domain, unless otherwise specified.)

In the wake of the Federal anti-trust suit against Microsoft, Sony has announced its own computer operating system now available on its hot new portable PC called the Vaio.

Instead of producing the cryptic error messages characteristic of Microsoft’s Windows 95, 3.1, and DOS operating systems, Sony’s chairman Asai Tawara said, “We intend to capture the high ground by putting a human, Japanese face on what has been — until now — an operating system that reflects Western cultural hegemony. For example, we have replaced the usual impersonal and unhelpful Microsoft error messages with our own Japanese haiku poetry.”

The chairman went on to give examples of Sony’s new error messages:

  • A file that big?
    It might be very useful.
    But now it is gone.
  • The Web site you seek
    cannot be located
    but endless others exist.
  • Chaos reigns within.
    Reflect, repent, and reboot.
    Order shall return.
  • ABORTED effort:
    Close all that you have.
    You ask way too much.
  • First snow,
    then silence.
    This thousand dollar screen dies so beautifully.
  • With searching comes loss
    and the presence of absence:
    “My Novel” not found.
  • The Tao that is seen
    Is not the true Tao, until
    You bring fresh toner.
  • Windows NT crashed.
    I am the Blue Screen of Death.
    No one hears your screams.
  • Stay the patient course
    Of little worth is your ire
    The network is down.
  • A crash reduces
    your expensive computer
    to a simple stone.
  • Yesterday it worked
    Today it is not working
    Windows is like that.
  • Three things are certain:
    Death, taxes, and lost data.
    Guess which has occurred.
  • You step in the stream,
    but the water has moved on.
    This page is not here.
  • Out of memory.
    We wish to hold the whole sky,
    But we never will.
  • Having been erased,
    The document you’re seeking
    Must now be retyped.
  • Rather than a beep
    Or a rude error message,
    These words: “File not found.”
  • Serious error.
    All shortcuts have disappeared.
    Screen. Mind. Both are blank.