Saturday, September 23, 2006


Or, odds and ends that have gone 404 forever!

By Professor Ovid Publius Hadweenzic, one who is known to indulge in far too much scandal broth and cat napping while holding on to his Chair in the Department of Ornamental Obfuscation at the University of the Obtuse, in Oldmans Pocket (Ontario, Canada)

The other day, I was awakened from my usual somnambulant state of shopping by an overly friendly checkout clerk inquiring as to whether I was having a “good day”, and did I find what I was looking for in the store.

Not being a mind reader, I wasn’t altogether sure if we were both on the same planet. Clearly my cerebellum was in parking mode, and my mouth was hanging open long enough to catch a few fugitive fruit flies from the produce section. All of which brings me back to the purpose of today’s tale…things gone lost and perhaps never found.

For readers who need to satisfy their deep-thinking urges and quaint sense of curiosity, there are 146,000 web pages devoted to the topic of things that never saw the light of day.

So exactly what pray tell, has been cooked up or created, and subsequently chucked into a brown box marked “obsolete”, or the crestfallen category referred to as “obscurity” or “oblivion”?

Here is a ludicrous list of odds and sods with a long overdue expiry date:

  • “TwitCit”, part of the “Citadel” family of pioneering software, that came to an early devise due to a “history of forked code”. One wonders if perhaps the developers forgot to provide cutting-edge knives with their plate of posh puterware!

  • Technical writer, Gordon R. Meyer, is rather proud of composing the following light-hearted line in a rather dry, lifeless computer manual: “After the tablespace is reordered, the savings are added to the report, as shown in the illustration below. (Magnifying glass not included).” Now we know why those "Dummies" books are so popular.

  • A lad from the Netherlands informs the world that he wrote lots of computer code way back when on a Commodore 64…some of which was “crap but used anyway”, some that was “brilliant” (at least the author thinks so), and “code that was never used in a program”…hmmm what a bummer for a bodacious byter like “Der Hansie”!

  • A game-boy toots his horn by saying that he’s been creating code since the age of 10 but today programs as a hobby and not out of necessity. He is only too happy to share his entertaining experiences on the computer at such places as Novalogic and Neversoft, not to mention harken back to those “experimental things that never saw the light of day”.

  • BBC reported that recently that several secret weapons were being used by military forces including one that never saw the light of day -- not your ordinary “stink bomb” or “dirty bomb”, but something designed to expose the enemy soldiers by their “bad breath”! Perhaps fetid foot-odor was a dead-giveaway?

  • Parts 2 and 3 of a Caliber Comics story. Does this mean that there are lots of dialogue balloons floating around in space looking for a handful of little lost characters?

  • Apparently there are more than a few Atari “silver label” games that didn't make it to the toy shelves like: “Dumbo’s Flying Circus”, “Miss Piggy’s Wedding”, “Donald Duck’s Speedboat” and Dr. Salk’s “Peek-A-Boo”. Frankly, does the world really miss them?

  • The planet “Pluto” may have been recently demoted and sent back to anonymous asteroid belt, but a rebellion may be brewing in the ranks of star-gazers and astrologers. It may well be down for the count … but it’s definitely not out of the cosmos yet!

  • “Lithium Cabbage” only played a handful of gigs, when the artists split up after graduating from high school. Who knows, if they had finished college, they might have moved on to the next element in the periodic table, and maybe tried a new veggie on for size!

  • And last but not least the artwork collection of the National Archives of Canada includes a number of designs not selected by the Stamp Advisory Committee, (including one 19th century postage stamp proposal by Sir Sanford Fleming). If truth be told, this delightful dustbin of history draws only a polite applause from a smattering of ho-humming Newfoundlanders but lots of hooping and hollering from hockey-playing Canucks who think taxpayers’ money should be used to finance the salaries of posh pucksters!


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