I posted this to the scsiboy newslist a few days ago. It's a basic summary of all of the discussion surrounding Netpliance over the past few weeks.
I ordered 123,456,789 i-openers from Netpliance on 2/30/1900. I didn't want to get charged for the service, so I paid using wampum. Though they took my wampum, they told me that unless I promised them my first born child, they would sign me up for a lifetime of service and a barium enema in the next 2.54 picoseconds.
I, of course, told them that they could have my brother's cousin's uncle's sister's nephew's former roommates dog. The customer service rep agreed, but then began speaking in tongues in what sounded like some sort of devil-worship ceremony.
I hung up, but my phone began to melt. I didn't think anything of it at the time, but...
My package arrived 6.02 x 10^23 days later. FedEx re-routed it through Alaska, but it got delayed in Oz, and inspected by Lollipop Guild customs. By the time it got to me, I had to run out to the office, so I'll tell you about it in 20 minutes..
I opened the box, and other than being frozen in liquid carbonite, it was totally unmodified. That, and the entire case was sealed in melted epoxy with a big sticker that said "Do Not Open Until Christmas". Fortunately, I had my Acme de-epoxifier and my Ronco fishing pole/nose picker/sticker remover. I was able to open the case in a simple procedure requiring only a Philips head screwdriver and two beers.
At that point, I decided to modify the system. After desoldering all the parts from the motherboard and filing all distinguishing marks from them, I was able to reassemble the motherboard in the dark, blindfolded, with my hands tied behind my back and a live gerbil in my pants. Of course, I had squeezed out another .0234 MHz from the chip and increased my SLYANDTHEFAMILYstone mark to 1973. My thumbs were bleeding, but I got the parts back in the case, and started it up.
Soon, I had installed a modified, patched, recompiled, disassembled, and obfuscated Linux .0.56-pre7 kernel with the FooBarBaz modules and the cuisinart option. This meant that I had to program the system in Mandarin Chinese, but I soon was able to use the command line interface to start my pre-alpha Berlin windowing system and connect using SSSSHHHH to the Alphastation running NetBSD in a VMWare window on Windows NT 3.51 on my desktop, which was why I bought the system to begin with. Now I can eat ice cream, pick my toe nails, watch the ice capades, and check my e-mail from my solarium.
I was pretty excited at this point, but the true adventure was just about to begin. 5 Netpliance agents, 3 FBI agents, 2 Secret Service Agents, and the Pope carrying a partridge in a pear tree bust down the door. At first, I though that they were looking for Kevin Mitnick, but I called John Markoff, and he told me that they were actually looking for me. I was told that John Vranesevich had flipped over on me, now that he was a black/white/top hat hacker.
It seems that by looking at my machine with the top off, I had offended the spirits of the Ark. They told me that I was lucky to have avoided having my face melted off, and that only by squeezing my eyes shut after dropping the hammer on my toe had I avoided total obliteration. I could see now why they called it the i-opener.
They tried to seize my machine, but I chained myself to the back of their cars before they could drive off. They drove off anyway, dragging me down the street. My faithful border collie, Linus, called 911, Ralph Nader, and the ACLU. Ralph and his crime-fighting super buddies swooped down in their ship, the ICANNsucksmyballs.com.sucks, and cut me free. Meanwhile, the ACLU teamed up with Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson to land on top of the Netpliance van where they were holding my i-opener. After liberating the computer, they put a cap in the back of each Netpliance agent's head. As they car swerved wildly, it struck and killed Linus.
I am now suing them for $123 kajillion dollars. Of course, they deserve it, because anyone who knows how to run a company should have anticipated all of this. Also, this is mere chump change, because selling 123,456,789 computers @ 99$ computer, with costs of $50-5000 bucks per computer equates to a profit of $2 gazillion per machine. Plus, they had an IPO, and they are now valued higher than Iceland, so they can afford it.
--Can we end the stupid discussions about this shit and get back to doing something useful. Just my $.02
We Be To Rap What Key Be To Lock.
-- Digable Planets