Blue Screen of Death
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“Get a Mac next time, dumbass!”
“Hmm, nice color...”
“Well of course it was supposed to do that!”
“ERROR, keyboard missing. Please press F8 to continue.”
“We are proud to introduce another a random error. Just like all other random errors it happens every few minutes and is a new feature of Winmine.”
- To be confused with BSD, which is the same thing under a different name.
The Blue Screen of Death ("BSoD," as it's affectionately called) is an event where your PC decides to be a little bitch, and suddenly seizes up and fails to work. It is said that every time there is a BSOD, another angel gets its wings.
Contrary to popular lore, a Blue Screen of Death (which may or may not be capitalized) is not fatal to the victim. Nothing died inside your computer. In fact, it is not even blue. It's really red, you colour-blind wanker!
The history of the Blue Screen is vast and rather confusing, but we're doing our best to present it here for you.
Before it was blue
Originally, the Windows OS crashed and presented the user with a black screen of death. This very quickly became referred to as BSoD in shorthand. Microsoft, wanting to get away from this issue, decided to alter the colour of the screen so people would not refer to it in this way any more. Unfortunately, they picked a colour with the same first letter as black (blue, in case you're slow). Hence, it continued to be referred to as BSoD. And what's even more comical is that this is true; no, really.
The association of the colour blue with death, watery or otherwise, is readily visible throughout modern civilisation. Household cleaners such as bleach are packaged in blue bottles, in memory of those who, when the product was new to the market, mistook it for cheap ouzo and passed away through dissolution of the digestive tract. When one sings "The Blues" one is reflecting on the brevity of life, and the oblivion that awaits in death. Cheese and onion crisps, known to be the foulest of all snack foods, often come packaged in blue to ward off the purchaser. So, giving the blue screen its telltale blue (Hex #0000FF) was obvious.
The phrase Blue Screen of Death has its origins in the maritime trade, particularly buccaneer lore of the sixteenth century. When a ship is sunk, all that is left is the morbidly still ocean, glistening bright blue in the Caribbean sun. Thus, when one heads out to sea, with the intention of meeting another boat, and all one sees is the rolling blue ocean, one can sadly assume that that boat has sunk.
The phrase later became assimilated into common language as a term referring to the feeling of empty hopelessness one experiences when faced with a vast expanse of watery oblivion. Staring out into Lake Windermere, the great poet William Bleak was sufficiently moved by the still blueness that he wrote his masterpiece "Songs of Death", eventually going on to kick-start the goth movement.
The modern incarnation of the Blue Screen of Death was slipped into the very core of the Windows operating system at its inception, by a malicious developer with a sick interest in Pagan rites. The original Windows operating system kernel started with the Blue Screen of Death code, that was then later extended to include the scheduler, file I/O sub-system, memory management and so on, as this code was much more stable than the original Windows kernel.
It is rumoured that when one sees the Blue Screen of Death on a computer screen it wrenches a tiny part of your soul and binds it to the afflicted machine. Repeated exposure, legend has it, will eventually drain one's spirit, leaving a living corpse, pale and restless, existing without purpose and an unquenchable thirst for caffeine.
With the advent of air travel in the twentieth century, it became applicable to the sky, as well as the sea: many an early airman was deemed lost to the Blue Screen of Death (although quite a few of them simply turned out to have gotten slightly lost and landed in the wrong place). Over time the Blue Screen has become synonymous with loss, emptiness and to some, the Devil.
In fact, as illustrated above, even the computers at the airports that show you when a plane leaves, can be affected.
With this in mind, the fact that the "Blue Screen of Death" is the most chilling and deadly entity in computer science is no surprise. They have been plaguing computer operators since someone had the bright idea of connecting a screen to a computer. This is one of the most puzzling phenomina in computing since during the 60's, 70's and 80's the Blue Screen of Death was able to manifest itself in full blueness on green and amber monochrome cathode, black and white, and two tone LCD screens In most cases escapeing from the "Blue Screen of Death" will give you a message that reads, "Your computer has downloaded 1 million viruses in the time you were on the 'Blue Screen of Death' due to the lack of constant attention."
The blue screen of death has had many social consequences. The Catholic Church has condemmed the blue screen of death for promoting a "culture of death". Instead, the church favors the "Ooops" kernel messages generated by linux. The phrase "Ooops" is a sacred part of Roman Catholic tradition, as it is the sound an Irish women makes when she realizes that the rythem method of birth control doesn't work.
A recent study conducted by an up-and-coming university, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, located (oddly) in Chicago, has managed to determine the Blue Screen of Death as cause of other incidents. It was an extensive study, conducted for over 30 years by a group of under-fed under-grad students.
Results of Blue Screen of Death:
- Broken computer equipment
- Violent crimes more common
- Suicide rate increase
- loss of data and piss-poor homemade movies
- Wet floor and terrified expression on the face of a person that used the computer last
- Mysterious fatalities of occupants in high-tech residences; this has recently been disproved, as they were all suffering from Ebola.
- Increase in drug abuse rate
- Other potentially harmful side effects. Hurricane Katrina was blamed on a BSoD.
- The condition known as Blue Balls, where the BSOD keeps willing nerds at their computers for such a time that their balls give up on ever getting a woman and turn blue with rage.
Weapon of mass destruction
The Blue Screen of Death is the most harmful and lethal weapon used by Bill Gates. As we all know, it is not fatal, so that really says a lot. This weapon has driven millions of poor IT-Service Technicians into death or insanity, or both. Far, far too many victims on this planet have survived the mighty BSOD.
The newest Weapon of Mass destruction that Bill Gates is about to create is called Windows Vista. Spies already reported, that it has an improved version of the Blue Screen of Death with still no effect - even on kittens!
The only chance to survive a BSOD attack is being on the light side. Which means that you have to be a kernel-developer for Linux and worshipping Tux. Obviously, this means you don't use windows anyways, so you're fucked regardless.
The only known antidote to the Blue Screen of Death is to make a screen shot of it (by typing Alt-PrtScrn) and e-mailing the result to ten of your friends. They'll kill you, but you will be rid of the motherfucker.
Open Source Implementations
Richard Stallman is currently working on a GNU-license based implementation of the Blue Screen of Death. As a result Linux developers are including this code into their kernel -- however it is highly detested by Linus Torvalds who thinks that the kernel should not have any error code at all. Red Hat has released a special Linux distribution that includes this implementation, with a red hat shown in the top-left corner as their contribution to the code.
Microsoft's Link with the Blue screen of death
Microsoft have been deemed the worst company to have such critical errors as the Blue screen of death. The vice president of marketing for microsoft gave a statement on how they will redeem themselves, by saying "Our new piece of technology will never have such problems as the blue screen of death, broken disc trays and a problem of overheating. Yes the Xbox 360 will be microsofts step forward into an unbreakable future"
- The White Cliffs of Dover
- The Red Screen of Anger
- The Purple Screen of Serenity
- The Pink Screen of Love
- The Green Screen of Life
- The Orange Screen of Humour
- The Gold Screen of Health
- The Yellow Screen of Hope
- The Brown Screen of Shit
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