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HaPpY aPriL FoOl's DaY!
An Historic Parable
Notes on the Fierce and Bloody Format Wars of the Post-Sony Era

Author's Name Witheld on Request!

The great General Morita campaigned for nearly a decade and finally crushed all pretenders to the throne of Formatis Defactus. This victory ushered in the golden years of "BetaCalm". The gleeful Sonykinder grew in wealth and girth. However the Calm was not to last.

In a bold frontal attack, a previously unknown tribe of Avidians rushed onto the scene and claimed to be the direct and only descendants of Digi'god who was way more cool than Ana'god. They claimed a new knowledge which eclipsed all known discoveries of the universe. This broke the peace and eventually, the hearts of the Sonykinder because Formatus Defactus was now Formatus Defunctus.

Wearing attack Guccies and cheap aftershave, the Avidians marched round and round, day and night, night and day, beating on pots and pans and generally disturbing everyone's rest. One by one, small confused bands of sleep-deprived and pocket-protected programmers rose up with much falling down. Fearing that they had dozed through another turning point in history, they called out to their brethren and sistthren. What they said to each other was incomprehensible, but none would admit it, so they double-taped their glasses and declared a willingness to seek a binary communion with Digi'god on a direct basis.

This uprising of wretches infuriated the Avidians who claimed to have exclusive rights to the only full-bandwidth uplink with Digi'god. One press release (which first appeared in the financial press and then appeared in the trade magazines) had Avidians intimating that it was they who had actually invented the Apple and had put it in the Garden of Eden for others to rediscover. We don't know the truth, but who could argue with an Avidian anyway?

The fearful and costly Code War - Version 1.0 had begun!

Each faction risked life and limb to uncover a better nonlinear route to deification. Cruel and slanderous insults were exchanged as poorly fitting suits and counter suits were bazooka'd at each other. A vortex of fear and temptation sucked more and more unsuspecting people into the fray. As the battle losses mounted some programmers fled, others changed sides and still others tried to cover themselves in leaves. The local bystanders applauded and howled for discount virgins and shiny red key fobs. The hit, "I Got a Date with the Tooth Fairy" was number one on the charts, and "I'm Makin' a Miracle" followed close behind. Everyone gaily rumba'd their way through millions and toasted their good fortunes.

The Sonykinder only drank tea and scratched their heads.

The Avidians claimed victory on a daily basis and gave thanks to Digi'god with burnt offerings of thousand dollar bills. As an historical sidebar the Avidians were the first to introduce a strange daily ritual of drinking their own bath water. Claiming that it was delicious and that it was nutritious, this gourmet delight spread like fleas at a dog show. Soon everyone on all sides of the war were sipping this fragrant beverage. As the battle raged, there were ups and downs, there were victories and defeats. In fact, there was something for everyone. However, as fate would have it, the Avidians held on to the market advantage, simply by being left standing at the end of each day. This proved, without a doubt, to their destitute investors that the Avidians did indeed talk to Digi'god, and that his financial advice was suspect.

Just when it looked like a complete Avidian victory was at hand, and that they could dictate all the terms of surrender, a Window opened, and through it shone an oily yellow light and a voice said to all who could hear "I think you know who I am. I have a proposition for you. Abide with me or you shall be ground into hamburger, mixed with chick peas and be eaten."

The Avidians and other fierce warriors looked up and tried not to blink. Then they looked at each and frowned. Truly they were caught between a bun and a hard place. None wished to be served with biggie fries, so they rose up as one, shook their bony fists in the air and claimed a great Technicolor epiphany. "We have seen the light and the light is bright", they cried (for they were warriors - not poets).

Local skirmishing continued in the year 1997 for the sole benefit of the onlookers, but none wished to merge with the mouth of he who had spoken. So in that year a quiet peace was signed with promises of improved behavior and obedience. In return for this, He who spoke, made a NO TRICKS covenant with them. After signing the NO TRICKS covenant, later to be known simply as NT, the combatants kissed one another, held hands and (while gazing into each others eyes) asked, "Where would you like to go today?" Their answers to this question remain a mystery. To this day, however, an intense group of rogue scholars from the Midwest argue about the precise translation of the covenant. Was it truly, "NO TRICKS", or was it, in fact, "NO TICKS" referring to some long-forgotten plague of insects.

As they approached the end of the millennium, the bystanders, exhausted from their revelries, begged for a break in the fun so they could wash up and and play with their new toys. The Sonykinder's skulls had become very sore and disfigured from prolonged scratching. They invested millions researching a new ointment for scalp lacerations, but the pain continued. They continued to make fearful threats of new nonlinear methods as they dreamed of the old days and planned a strategy whereby they reinvented the universe where everyone must where hats, but none feared them or even listened. Generally speaking, all was well. The bankers no longer feared frost bite. The Avidians kept their pots and pans, the miscellaneous warriors claimed that money isn’t everything and what is more important, they have a deeper understanding of the universe.

And most important of all, he who speaks through a Window in the sky is free to eat hamburgers and belch without ever saying excuse me.

This article has been prepared and is intended soley by a special and limited audience, namely consenting adults who request and desire factual matter masquarading as humor for their information, education and entertainment. All participants in its creation are over 18 and are now unemployed.

This educational parable is brought to you by your local SMPTE/New England Newsletter, which accepts all works of fiction as fact, regardless of bias, religion or political orientation. Those who find this fine piece of literature offensive are invited to take their complaints to Avid Technical Support at 1-900-$$$-$$$$.

For you dorks out there with no sense of humor: APRIL FOOLS!

Posted: 1 April 1997
Bob Lamm, SMPTE/New England Newsletter/Web Page Editor