Vol. 2, Issue 8, February 24, 2004
The Power of Lemons and Onions!

Leaked Microsoft Code Contains Romance Novel

As legions of open-source advocates dig through the 600MB of leaked Microsoft source code for vulnerabilities, they are finding many other things they didn't expect.

"The profanity which pervades the code was the first thing to leap out at you," said Paul Mayberry, professor of computer science at the University of Chicago. "But people have been finding all kinds of strange things in that code."

The code appears to have been used as a storage file of sorts where Microsoft employees parked other documents they were working on, including personal letters, salary records and disciplinary actions, and, most strikingly, a nearly complete romance novel in 13 chapters distributed among the code.

"There are several remarkable features about this text," said Mayberry. "In the first place, it does not inspire confidence in the integrity and efficiency of Microsoft's coding to know that someone was able to insert a 30,000 word document with no apparent effects."

The novel, entitled "Forbidden Love in the Evil Empire," describes a torrid affair between improbably attractive coders working for a megacorporation similar to Microsoft. Several of the characters appear to be adaptations of Star Trek characters, and at least one, inexplicably, is covered in fur.

"Well, I think we can narrow this down to a small subset of Microsoft's employees," said ZDNet commentator Greg Starks. "But the question is, do we want to. I mean, the artistry of this work approximates that of the 'Star Wars Kid's' performance, and unfortunately the novel is being passed around just as fast as that unfortunate video clip."

Three publishers have already announced their willingness to publish the anonymous novel, but it seems unlikely that the author will step forward: for one thing, he or she has already been the subject of numerous late-night talk show monologues and skits. Furthermore, the employee would almost certainly face disciplinary action from Microsoft, whose treatment of those who have fallen out of favor is talked about in hushed tones in chatrooms across the web. Microsoft had no official comment, although company spokesmen did warn that any proceeds from the sale of the romance would be due to the company.

"Ah, what a legacy Bill's leaving," said Mayberry, wiping tears of laughter from his eyes as he read a passage from the novel."What a legacy."

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