22, 12:14 PM PST
Windows Bug Converts Mars Rover into Jukebox
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Citing "irreconcilable differences,"
NASA cut off all ties with Microsoft at noon today when it became
apparent that the company's faulty programming was behind the
glitch that has shut down Mars rover Spirit for the last 24 hours
-- and perhaps for good.
"When we unwrapped Windows
XP, Mars Edition, we thought we had a finished, tested product,"
stated JPL Director Dr. Charles Elachi. "Is that so much
to ask for?"
Microsoft spokesperson Carey
O'Donaugh, however, replied that "no operating system is
ever 'finished,' and any expectation that an OS is ever 'finished'
was blown out the door in the Eighties."
The problem appears to lie in
the basic underlying code of the software, which depends on a
basic principle of binary "on-off" switches. But when
NASA engineers attempted to activate certain subroutines, the
rover's processors tossed out the entire binary principle, replacing
it with "867-5309 (Jenny)," Tommy Tutone's hit 1981
"I got it, I got it,
I got your number on the wall / I got it, I got it, for a good
time, for a good time call,"
Spirit was singing repeatedly as of this morning.
"God, I hate that song,"
Elachi said, bursting into tears.
Microsoft officials, however,
are standing behind the song and the OS.
"We think that there's a
reasonable expectation now -- which we at Microsoft have fostered
for all these years -- that when one purchases a Windows OS,
one should expect constant revisions in the form of downloaded
patches." O'Donaugh explained.
"And Tommy Tutone freakin'
rules," he added. "But just wait until we have Mars
rover Opportunity on the ground -- I don't want to give anything
away, but I can say that it will talk dirty to me... nahnahNah
Because it's not hooked up to
a cable or DSL modem, Spirit won't be able to completely download
the patches -- which are released nearly every day -- until the
"Ain't our fault NASA doesn't
use broadband," O'Donaugh said.
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