Unix is a Myth in Kansas

Fake News written by James Baughn on Wednesday, August 18, 1999

from the microsoft-assimilates-kansas dept.

TOPEKA, KS -- Evolution has been replaced with the Dancing Paper Clip courtesy of the Kansas Board of Education. Kansas schools are no longer required to teach Evilution, but they are required to teach students how to use Microsoft products.

Starting in 2001, all high school seniors must pass a so-called "computer literacy" test. Unfortunately, to the Board of Education, "computer literacy" is synonymous with "knowing how to use Windows and Office". Linux, Unix, BeOS, OS/2, even Macintoshes are a myth in Kansas.

Humorix's Vast Spy Network(tm) was able to obtain a working draft of the test that will be administered. From what we can tell, some of the questions seem to be lifted verbatim from the exam Microsoft gives to prospective MSCEs.

COMPUTER LITERACY EXAM, version 0.56 Kansas Board of Education

  • PowerPoint's AutoContent Wizard(tm) ________.
    1. Makes creating slide presentations easy.
    2. Makes creating slide presentations fun.
    3. Is an example of innovative software design.
    4. Is a good reason to upgrade from earlier versions.

  • Installing an OEM version of Windows 95® on a different computer from which it was originally installed __________.
    1. Is a criminal act.
    2. Is immoral.
    3. Is even more wrong and despicable than believing in Evolution.
    4. Deprives Bill Gates of valuable income he needs to feed his family.

  • Which of the following is an example of an operating system?
    1. Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition.
    2. Microsoft Outlook.
    3. Microsoft Internet Explorer.
    4. Microsoft Excel.
    5. None of the above.

    [Editor's Note: According to the Board, the correct answer is 'Windows 98 Second Edition', even though 'None of the above' seems to make much more sense.]

  • Imagine that you are the superintendent of a small school. You want to add Creationism to the cirriculum, but thanks to the US Supreme Court of Liberals, you can't. Which of the following software applications would you use to write a letter to your Congressman demanding that a law abolishing "Separation of Church and State" be enacted?
    1. Microsoft Windows 98 Solitaire.
    2. Microsoft Word.
    3. Microsoft Windows 98 Notepad.
    4. Microsoft Flight Simulator.
    5. Microsoft Internet Information Serfer. [sic]

  • (Calculators permitted) If Bill Gates holds 1 billion shares of MSFT stock valued at $100 per share, how many times can he drive the entire length of the Kansas Turnpike?
    1. He could buy the Kansas Turnpike Authority and still have enough money leftover to pay for a billion gallons of gasoline.
    2. None, he'd just hire a construction firm to build a personal "Bill Gates Freeway" across Kansas (or the whole continent, for that matter).
    3. None, why would Bill ever come to Kansas?

  • The Internet _________.
    1. Was invented by Bill Gates.
    2. Allows computer users to easily download the latest upgrades and patches from Microsoft from anywhere in the world.
    3. Is entirely run on Windows NT computers.
    4. Is the source of all of society's problems.

  • (True/False) Changing a setting in the Control Panel voids the Windows 98® warranty.

  • (True/False) All Microsoft software produced after 1999 is Y2K-compliant.

  • Crashes are the direct result of _________.
    1. User incompetence.
    2. Shoddily written software from vendors other than Microsoft.
    3. Cosmic rays.

  • (Fill In the Blank) ___________ and ____________ are two differences between Windows 2000 DataCenter Server and Windows 2000 Advanced Server.

  • (Essay) Imagine if Bill Gates were never born. Without innovation spurred by Microsoft, the computer industry today would be a wasteland of 8 bit machines and hippie college freaks sharing software source code. In one paragraph, provide four examples of how a world without Microsoft would be different than today's world.

  • (Essay) Describe the steps necessary to fully upgrade Windows 3.1 to Windows 98 using an upgrade CD-ROM. Attached are twenty blank pages to write your response.

Alas, the Vast Spy Network(tm) was unable to procure a copy of the recommended textbook, "Computer Literacy for Dummies", produced by Microsoft Press. According to one anonymous source this book contains such chapters as "Getting to know the Start Menu", "Windows Explorer: It's not that bad once you get used to it", "101 uses for the My Computer icon", and "Surfing the Microsoft Network with Internet Explorer".

So far, the new "computer literacy" requirements have received little attention due to the uproar over the anti-Evilution debacle. Some high school students are worried, but most parents are not. One high school junior told Humorix, "I've had two patches included in the Linux kernel. I maintain three mini-HOWTOs. I visit Slashdot every hour. And yet, because I haven't touched a Windows box in over four years, I may not be able to graduate from high school. I just hope I can get a GED and maybe Wal-Mart or Burger King will hire me."

Most parents we spoke to applaud the new requirements. "Anything we can do to put our kids on the 21st Century Information Superhighway is a good thing," one parent said. When confronted about the fact that the computer literacy program has a Microsoft-centric bias, she responded, "So what? Microsoft is the computer industry. Besides, everybody uses Windows anyways. The only other operating system out there is Macintosh, and only fruit-loving freaks on the Left Coast use that..."

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