Apple Releases Jewish System Software v1.0


by Ben K and Daniel Lewkovitz

	Cupertino: Apple Computer has announced today the release of the first
	localizable religion module for their system software. Previous versions
	of Macintosh (MacOS) software have been able to support localizable
	geographical regions and languages, according to an Apple spokesman, but
	no operating system has yet been able to add customisable support for
	religion and culture. The module is to modify the system software to
	interact with the user's ethnicity as closely as possible, so as to
	maximise enjoyment of the religion, to minimise potential embarrassing
	conflicts and to increase its overall intuitiveness and functionality.  The
	first Religion/Organisation Tolerance and Functionality Layer (ROTFL) to
	be released will support the liberal Jewish religion. Others are
	expected to follow in the near future.
	
	While Apple has declined to allow demonstrations until an embargo date
	some weeks from today, several developers have given inside information on	
	the beta versions of the software, developed under the codename "Tsures".
	Some of the more obvious and useful features are said to include:
	
	    * The Dates and Times control panel and the Calender desk accessory
	    have been extended to include all major religious holidays.
	    Notifications can be arranged for these and for the commencement
	    times of the Sabbath to allow the user to finish in time for
	    prayer;
	
	    * The Numbers control panel now has different currency options as
	    well as interest and exchange rates depending on whether the
	    figure is for buying or selling;
	
	    * The clock menu in the menubar will be set to Jewish mean-time,
	    which is approximately 0.5 hours later than the default system
	    time;
	
	    * Extensions to the Speech Manager include addition of the voices
	    "Brooklyn" and "Queens" to the dialects in which the computer can
	    talk, while support for extra nasality and running-together of
	    words has been added to the speech recognition software. A new
	    output voice termed "Drescher" was to have been added but problems
	    with the physical damage it caused some sound output hardware
	    could not be overcome in time and it will be released in a later
	    update to the system.

	    Other changes designed to allow better cosmetic integration with
	    the Jewish faith include:
	
	    * The addition of a 'Nag' feature to the On-Line Help Menu;
	
	    * The "OK" button in system dialog boxes is changed to "Nu?";
	
	    * The "Welcome to Mac" icon and the dialog alert icons get a
	    yarmulke and the "Welcome to Mac" message on startup becomes: "So?
	    Why has it taken so long to see me again?";
	
	    * Instead of saying "Are you sure you want to do this?" the system
	    asks: "Why do you want to do this? You don't want to do this. You
	    shouldn't do it this way, there's a better way...";

	    * Instead of offering the restart button when the System crashes,
	    the Sytem displays a modal dialog saying "That's okay... I will
	    just sit here frozen...";
	
	    * Hypercard is now to be on Prozac and thus will be only "card";
	
	    * The GeoPort modem achitecture is extended to offer the
	    VolvoModem(tm) which has a maximum speed of 300bps with extra
	    error-correction;
	
	    * Extra support is added for the EGED bus, in addition to the SCSI
	    and PCI buses.
			
	Some other software vendors are reportedly modifying applications to take
	advantage of the new features and needs of the ROTFLs. Symantec and other
	anti-virus vendors are reportedly updating their hard disk scan utilities
	to include the ability to scan your system and peripherals in El-Al mode,
	which picks up guns, bombs and knives, while un-erase utilities now
	display useful information such as "See? I TOLD you a million times... 
	if you don't back up..."
	
	However, prospective users should be advised that some developers have
	reported problems. One said that the Finder(tm) had been changed so that
	it cleans up your desktop whether you like it or not and you will never be
	able to find anything again. He also reported unusual messages in
	"Tip-for-the-day" startup dialogs, which often seemed stuck on the same
	thing every day. Another noted that his network probes showed that
	AppleTalk(tm) was much more active than usual, with short messages being
	exchanged between a few selected nearby machines for long periods of time.
	Also, machines, and especially older machines, often appeared to send
	messages repeatedly just to themselves.
	
	Another reported problems with the 'guide' program designed to aid new
	users. Called "Ben" or "Bibi", it is based on the well-known and
	widely-used Microsoft(r) "Bob" program. "It's supposed to take me by the
	hand and guide me through the intricacies of using the computer",
	complained one user. "Instead, its security guards wouldn't let it near
	me. When I finally got to talk to it, it spent the whole time assuring me
	that everything was fine and asking if I had any babies to kiss." This
	does not appear confined to the Jewish ROTFL, however, as some users
	reported the same problem with the now-defunct "Bill" program developed in	
	parallel for US users.

	Other complaints concerned the packaged internet explorer, called "Moses".
	Some users claimed that it seemed to take forever to access any address
	inside Israel, usually crashing just after displaying images on the
	screen. More worryingly, computer security experts claim to have caught it
	in the act of gathering information about the user's occupation and
	forwarding details of doctors, lawyers, stockbrokers and bankers to a
	shadowy company called "Shadchan Inc.".
	
	Lastly, some users reported that their computer seized control from them,
	started making strange incantations and caused their memory chips to burst
	into smoky flames, displaying cryptic error messages about giving burnt
	RAM offerings to the Lord.
	
	While Apple will not comment on the release of other ROTFLs, it is
	believed that the ROTFL for fundamental Judaism has been held up until
	Kashrut certificates can be obtained for the 603e and 604 PowerPC
	processors. ROTFLs are also expected to be relased soon to support the
	Islamic and Buddhist religions, but the module to support Catholicism is
	reportedly being delayed due to negotiations associated with the
	acquisition of the Church by Mr Bill Gates.







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