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I’ve been a technical writer in the computer software industry longer than I care to admit. As in any industry, there are closely guarded secrets no one wants the unsuspecting public to know. /dev/null tells no tales, but I sure can! It’s time you learned what you never wanted to know about software, because you were afraid to ask.

CAUTION: Disturbing subject matter, could result in gut-wrenching laughter.

cat and computer

What they really mean when they say…

  • NEW — Different colors from the previous version.
  • ALL NEW — Software is not compatible with the previous version.
  • EXCLUSIVE — We’re the only one who has documentation.
  • UNMATCHED — Almost as good as the competition.
  • DESIGN SIMPLICITY — Developed on a shoe-string budget.
  • FOOLPROOF OPERATION — All parameters are hard-coded.
  • ADVANCED DESIGN — Upper management doesn’t understand it.
  • IT’S HERE AT LAST — Released a 26 week project in 48 weeks.
  • FIELD TESTED — Manufacturing doesn’t have a test system.
  • HIGH ACCURACY — It hasn’t crashed…yet.
  • YEARS OF DEVELOPMENT — Finally got one to work.
  • UNPRECEDENTED PERFORMANCE — Nothing ever ran this slow before.
  • REVOLUTIONARY — Disk drives go round and round.
  • BREAKTHROUGH — It finally booted on the first try.
  • FUTURISTIC — It only runs on the next generation supercomputer.
  • NO MAINTENANCE — Impossible to fix.
  • PERFORMANCE PROVEN — Worked through Beta test.
  • MEETS QUALITY STANDARDS — It compiles without errors.
  • SATISFACTION GUARANTEED — We’ll send you another pack if it fails.
  • STOCK ITEM — We shipped it once and we can do it again.

DISCLAIMER: I cannot take credit for this enlightening expose. This top-secret information was clandestinely distributed in the 1990s. Now that the statute of imitation has expired, the gritty truth can finally be told.