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If Operating Systems Were Airlines

If Operating Systems were Airlines

All the passengers go out onto the runway, grab hold of the plane,
push it until it gets in the air, hop on, jump off when it hits the ground
again. Then they grab the plane again, push it back into the air, hop
on, etcetera.

The terminal is very neat and clean, the attendants are all very
attractive and the pilots very capable. The fleet is immense. After your
plane arrives 6 months late, you begin to wonder why it has not
arrived yet. Your jet takes off without a hitch, pushing above the
clouds, and at 20,000 feet it crashes without warning.

MAC AIRWAYS The cashiers, flight attendants, and pilots all look the
same, feel the same and act the same. When asked questions about
the flight they reply that you don't want to know, don't need to know,
and would you please return to your seat and watch the movie.

The terminal is almost empty, with only a few prospective passengers
milling about. Airline personnel walk around, apologising profusely to
customers in hushed voices, pointing from time to time to the sleek,
powerful jets outside the terminal on the field. They tell each
passenger how good the real flight will be on these new jets and how
much safer it will be than Windows Airlines, but that they will have to
wait a little longer for the technicians to finish the flight systems.

All the passengers carry their seats out onto the tarmac, placing the
chairs in the outline of a plane. They all sit down, flap their arms and
make jet swooshing sounds as if they are flying.

WINGS of OS/400
The airline has bought ancient DC-3s, arguably the best and safest
planes that ever flew and painted "747" on their tails to make them
look as if they are fast. The flight attendants, of course, attend to your
every need, though the drinks cost $15 a pop. Stupid questions cost
$230 per hour, unless you have SupportLine, which requires a first
class ticket and membership in the frequent flyer club.

MVS AIRLINES The passengers all gather in the hanger, watching
hundreds of technicians check the flight systems on this immense,
luxury aircraft. This plane has at least 10 engines and seats over
1,000 passengers. All the passengers scramble aboard, as do the
necessary complement of 200 technicians. The pilot takes his place up
in the glass cockpit. He guns the engines, only to realise that the plane
is too big to get through the hangar doors!

Each passenger brings a piece of the airplane and a box of tools to
the airport. They gather on the tarmac, arguing constantly about what
kind of plane they want to build and how to put it together. Eventually,
they build several different aircraft, but give them all the same name.
Some passengers actually reach their destinations. All passengers
believe they got there.