The Graduate Student Upgrade
Come on people: you are all missing the most obvious upgrade path to the
most powerful and satisfying computer of all. The upgrade path goes:
And then you reach the pinnacle of modern computing facilities:
- * Pocket calculator
- * Commodore Pet / Apple II / TRS 80 / Commodore 64 / Timex Sinclair
(Choose any of the above)
- * IBM PC
- * Apple Macintosh
- * Fastest workstation of the time (HP, DEC, IBM, SGI: your choice)
- * Minicomputer (HP, DEC, IBM, SGI: your choice)
- * Mainframe (IBM, Cray, DEC: your choice)
Yes, you just sit back and do all of your computing through lowly
graduate students. Imagine the advantages:
So forget your Babbage Engines and abacuses (abaci?) and PowerBooks
and DEK 666-3D's and all that other silicon garbage. The wave of the
future is in wetware, so invest in graduate students today! You'll never
- Multi-processing, with as many processes as you have
students. You can easily add more power by promising more
desperate undergrads that they can indeed escape college
through your guidance. Special student units can even
handle several tasks *on*their*own*!
- Full voice recognition interface. Never touch a keyboard or
mouse again. Just mumble commands and they *will* be
understood (or else!).
- No hardware upgrades and no installation required. Every
student comes complete with all hardware necessary. Never
again fry a chip or $10,000 board by improper installation!
Just sit that sniveling student at a desk, give it writing
utensils (making sure to point out which is the dangerous
end) and off it goes.
- Low maintenance. Remember when that hard disk crashed in
your Beta 9900, causing all of your work to go the great bit
bucket in the sky? This won't happen with grad. students.
All that is required is that you give them a good *whack!*
upside the head when they are acting up, and they will run
good as new.
- Abuse module. Imagine yelling expletives at your computer.
Doesn't work too well, because your machine just sits there
and ignores you. Through the grad. student abuse module you
can put the fear of god in them, and get results to boot!
- Built-in lifetime. Remember that awful feeling two years
after you bought your GigaPlutz mainframe when the new
faculty member on the block sneered at you because his
FeelyWup workstation could compute rings around your
dinosaur? This doesn't happen with grad. students. When
they start wearing and losing productivity, simply give them
the PhD and boot them out onto the street to fend for
themselves. Out of sight, out of mind!
- Cheap fuel: students run on Coca Cola (or the high-octane
equivalent -- Jolt Cola) and typically consume hot spicy
chinese dishes, cheap taco substitutes, or completely
synthetic macaroni replacements. It is entirely unnecessary
to plug the student into the wall socket (although this does
get them going a little faster from time to time).
- Expansion options. If your grad. students don't seem to be
performing too well, consider adding a handy system manager
or software engineer upgrade. These guys are guaranteed to
require even less than a student, and typically establish
permanent residence in the computer room. You'll never know
they are around! (Which you certainly can't say for an
AXZ3000-69 150gigahertz space-heater sitting on your desk
with its ten noisy fans....) [Note however that the
engineering department still hasn't worked out some of the
idiosyncratic bugs in these expansion options, such as
incessant muttering at nobody in particular, occasionaly
screaming at your grad. students, and posting ridiculous
messages on world-wide bulletin boards.]