How To Install Software -- A 12-Step Program

by Dave Barry

1. Examine the software packaging until you find a little printed box
that explains what kind of computer system you need to run the

It should look something like this:

3546 MB RAM
432323 MB ROM
05948737 MB RPM

NOTE: This software will not work on your computer.

2. Open the software packaging and remove the manual. This will
contain detailed instructions on installing, operating, and
troubleshooting the software. Throw it away.

3. Find the actual software, which should be in the form of either a
3.5-inch floppy diskette or a CD-ROM, located inside a sealed envelope
that says:


By breaking this seal, the user hereinafter agrees to abide by all the
terms and conditions of the following agreement that nobody ever
reads, as well as the Geneva Convention and the U.N. Charter and the
Secret Membership Oath of the Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks
and such other terms and conditions, real and imaginary, as the
Software Company shall deem necessary and appropriate, including the
right to come to the user's home and examine the user's hard drive, as
well as the user's underwear drawer if we feel like it, take it or
leave it, until death do us part, one nation indivisible by the dawn's
early light,... finders keepers, losers weepers, ...

4. Hand the software to a child aged 3 through 12 and say, "(Name of
child), please install this on my computer."

5. If you have no child age 3 through 12, insert the software in the
appropriate drive, type SETUP" and press the Enter key.

6. Turn the computer on, you idiot.

7. Once again type "SETUP" and press the Enter key.

8. You will hear grinding and whirring noises for a while, after which
the following message should appear on your screen:

The Installation Program will now examine your system to see what
would be the best way to render it inoperable. Is it OK with you? 
Choose one, and be honest:

                         +-----+     +------+
                         | YES |     | SURE |
                         +-----+     +------+

9. After you make your selection, you will hear grinding and whirring
for a very long time while the installation program does who knows
what in there.  Some installation programs can actually alter
molecular structures, so that when they're done, your computer has
been transformed into an entirely new device, such as a food

At the very least, the installation program will create many new
directories, sub-directories, and sub-sub-directories on your hard
drive and fill them with thousands of mysterious files with names like
"puree.exe," "fester.dat," and "doo.wha.."

10. When the installation program is finished, your screen should
display the following message:


The installation program cannot think of anything else to do to your
computer and has grown bored. You may now attempt to run your
software. If you experience any problems, electrical shocks, insomnia,
shortness of breath, nasal discharge, or intestinal parasites, you
should immediately *!@!$)$%@&*^)$*!#$_$*^&

11. At this point your computer system should become less functional
than the federal government, refusing to respond even when struck with

12. Call the toll-free Tech Support Hotline # listed on the package
and wait on the line for a representative, who will explain to you, in
a clear, step-by-step manner, how to adopt a child aged 3 through 12.

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