I wrote this back in 2008 & came across it again today. Thought it might be good for a laugh :)
If computer companies sold rockets:
The UNIX Rocket – You’d receive a box of body tubes, sheets and blocks of balsa, string and a garbage bag – no instructions included. However, you can get instructions on the Internet if you're willing to dig your way through 700+ pages...
You’ll need to whittle your own nosecone, design & cut your own fins and make a parachute (or streamer) out of the garbage bag. You will need to compile your own motors. Everyone’s UNIX rocket will be different and everyone will tell you that their UNIX rocket is better than yours.
UNIX rocket owners feel superior to Microsoft's MS Rocket and Apple's iRocket owners because they build and fly "Real" rockets.
The Microsoft Rocket – Will come in a fancy box and initially be called 'Rocket' and have a stylish 'R' as it's logo, but after a patent challenge, it will be renamed 'MS Rocket'.
The instructions will be preceded by an image of a talking paperclip saying “It looks like you’re trying to build a rocket…”. The MS Rocket will look fancy, fly slowly, and crash often. One fin will fall off when you least expect it.
The launch controller will comprise of a series of buttons. Launching your rocket will require the simultaneous pressing of several buttons on the face of the launch controller, needing the dexterity of a 6 year old. If the rocket fails to launch when you press the launch buttons, you will need to remove it from the launch rod, remove the engine, remove the parachute and wadding, repack the parachute, put the wadding back in, put the engine back and reposition on the launch rod.
Everyone will have one. Everyone will bitch about the performance. Everyone will get a new one when it’s released expecting it to work better – it won’t. When you do buy a new MS Rocket, you will be forced to upgrade your old launch rod & controller. Your old motors will not fit. If you decide that you prefer your old MS Rocket more, too bad. You’ll be stuck with the new one.
MS Rocket owners will feel superior to UNIX Rocket and Apple's iRocket owners since they have 'the Industry standard' rocket and will go on about the upgradability of it, however they will find that when they do go to upgrade, their version of MS Rocket will no longer support the latest upgrades, requiring them to buy a new one anyhow. There will be a thriving industry of counterfeit MS Rockets available at your local Sunday market.
The Apple Rocket – After months of speculation, a 'RocketWorld' conference will be announced. A lone figure wearing clothing last sold in the late 70's will introduce the ‘iRocket’ to a packed auditorium resulting in a full 10 minutes of cheering. He will explain that this is the future of rocketry. It will come in a basic box with an image of the iRocket on the front. It comes pre-built. Apple will offer several models that look identical.
They will release new iRockets every few months, everyone will want one despite the fact that they look almost the same as the old iRocket. The release date will be timed such that the new iRocket will be released just a week after you purchase the now old model. It will be over-priced, you won’t care. The motor cannot be changed. Apple will expect that you simply throw out your old iRocket after you fly it and buy a new one.
3rd party manufacturers will release an iRocket motor kit. The launch controller will only have one button, but by pressing it in different ways you will be able to check the continuity of the igniter, arm the firing system and launch the iRocket – however you will never be fully sure that you’ve pressed the button in just the right way. iRocket owners will be secretly envious of the multi-button firing system that comes with the Microsoft Rocket.
Apple's iRocket advertising budget will be seemingly limitless. iRocket fan-boys will download an archive the entire series of "I'm an iRocket" television ads. MS Rocket fan-boys will parody these ads. UNIX Rocket fan-boys won't get the joke. Apple will build monolith stores were people will queue for days eagerly awaiting the latest iRocket release.
The first people in line will find that they can't fly the iRocket for some weeks due to niggling faults - Apple will call this a feature.