[Historical note: This joke has been floating around the Internet
since at least 1986, which is roughly when I first came across it and
archived it. (It refers to VMS version 3, which came out in 1982, so
that's probably about the right timing.) It refers to Software Product
Reports (SPRs) for VMS, an operating system that only barely exists
any more, written by DEC, a computer company that was later bought by
Compaq, which was later bought by HP who are doubtless due to be bought
by somebody else, because that's how things go.

However, I lately came across someone who had seen the figure without
reading the text, and thought I was just flipping people off for fun.
As it happens, I DO just flip people off for fun, but this isn't a case
of that. This is a historical archive.]

Suggested New SPR Wording, or We're VMS and You're Not.

VMS Version 3:

Please stop submitting SPR's.  This is our system.  We designed
it, we built it, and we use it more than you do.  If there are some
features you think might be missing, if the system isn't as effective
as you think it could be, TOUGH!  Give it back, we don't need you.
See figure 1.

			!            -            !
			!           { }           !
			!           | |           !
			!           | |           !
			!        .-.! !.-.        !
			!      .-!  ! !  !.-.     !
			!      ! !       !  ;     !
			!      \           ;      !
			!       \         ;       !
			!        !       :        !
			!        !       |        !
			!        |       |        !
			!                         !
				  Figure 1.

Forget about your silly problem, let's take a look at some of the
features of the VMS operating system.

1. Options.  We've got lots of them.  So many in fact, that you
need two strong people to carry the documentation around.  So many
that it will be a cold day in hell before half of them are used.
So many that you are probably not going to do your work right
anyway.  However, the number of options isn't all that important,
because we picked some interesting values for the options and called

2. Defaults.  We put a lot of thought into our defaults.  We like
them.  If we didn't, we would have made something else be the
default.  So keep your cotton-picking hands off our defaults.
Don't touch.  Consider them mandatory.  "Mandatory defaults" has
a nice ring to it.  Change them and your system crashes, tough.
See figure 1.

3. Language processors.  They work just fine.  They take in source,
and often produce object files as a reward for your efforts.  You
don't like the code?  Too bad!  You can even try to call operating
system services from them.  For any that you can't, use the assembler
like we do.  We spoke to the language processor developers about
this, they think a lot like we do, they said "See figure 1".

4. Debuggers.  We've got debuggers, one we support and one we use.
You shouldn't make mistakes anyway, it is a waste of time.  We
don't want to hear anything about debuggers, we're not interested.
See figure 1.

5. Error logging.  Ignore it.  Why give yourself an ulcer?  You
don't want to give us the machine to get the problem fixed and we
probably can't do it anyway.  Oh, and if something breaks between
17:00 and 18:00 or 9:30 and 10:30 or 11:30 and 13:30 or 14:30 and
15:30 don't waste your time calling us, we're out.  See figure 1.

6. Command language.  We designed it ourselves, it's perfect.  We
like it so much we put our name on it, DCL-- Digital's Command
Language.  In fact we're so happy with it, we designed it once for
each of our operating systems.  We even try to keep it the same
from release to release, sometimes we blow it though.  See figure

7. Real time performance.  We got it.  Who else could have done
such a good job?  So the system seems sluggish with all those
priority 18 processes, no problem, just make them priority 1.
Anyway, real time isn't important anymore like it used to be.  We
changed our group's name to get rid of the name realtime, we told
all our realtime users to see figure 1 a long time ago.

In conclusion, stuff your SPR.  Love VMS or leave it, but don't