Feeds

More fables for our time

Moral tales with added anthropomorphic anarchy

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes

Stob Fewer people than I would expect seem to be aware of the American humorist James Thurber's fine self-illustrated reworking of Aesop's fables entitled Fables for Our Time.

Thurber's stories, being written in 1939, lack coverage of the digital age. I therefore humbly offer three new fables as tribute to the master, and as a species of technical supplement. Dave did my pictures.

The mouse who had broadband

Once there was a mouse who lived with his conventional nuclear family in one of those metal cabinets that the broadband ISPs set up near suburban pavements.

Inside, the box contained several fibre optic cables. These were covered in a delicious-to-mice material that acted as a dietary supplement when times were hard, and also when the mice didn't feel like going out of an evening. When a baby mouse accidentally nibbled through to the glass fibres, it didn't matter. It provided a handy surface on which to sharpen their teeth.

Thurber-esque cartoon of fat mouse looking inquisitively at a fibre optic cable

A delicious-to-mice material

Then one day, while foraging in a litterbin, the father mouse's eye fell upon a newspaper article he was eating. It was all about how the internet was the last ruin of the nuclear family.

The offspring of parents that had broadband, said the article, were invariably corrupted by photographic filth, coarsened by violent online games, and ensnared by sinister grooming. When they grew up, they went on to form teenage gangs that attacked and humiliated their elders and betters, posting the results onto YouTube.

The article was illustrated with a reproduction of a company logo that the mouse recognised: it was on the label inside the lid of "his" cabinet.

The horrified mouse rushed home at once, where he found two of his daughters grooming each other (this is actually quite normal behaviour in baby mice – it forms the bedrock of what the species over-confidently calls its hygiene routine – but in his moral panic the father mouse forgot this).

He screamed to his wife to come quick, and explained his discovery to her, and in less time than it takes you to sing Em Eye See Kay Ee Why, Em Oh Yew Ess Ee the whole family had evacuated their fibre optic cupboard and were out on the bare tarmac, searching for a better place to live.

The move did not go well. Their new home was a rather similar cabinet, except that instead of fibre optics it contained many old-fashioned telephone wires. However, within the week, five of the young ones had discovered by the empirical method that, unlike the naïve ISP, the wily old telephone company doped the insulation of its wires with cyanide, and the mother mouse herself unluckily bit into a 240V copper core and got zapped. The remaining 23 babies were all killed soon afterwards in a lightening strike that burnt out the whole thing. Although the father mouse escaped and subsequently remarried, he was never quite the same.

Moral: Though it's hairy and scary and surely won't last, rush into the future not into the past.

Recommendations for simplifying OS migration

More from The Register

next story
PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users
Sinofsky's hybrid strategy looks dafter than ever
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
POW! Apple smites Macbook Air EFI firmware update borkage
Fruity firm provides digital balm for furious fanbois
Call off the firing squad: HP grants stay of execution to OpenVMS
Startup to take over support for today's Itaniums and beyond
Fiendishly complex password app extension ships for iOS 8
Just slip it in, won't hurt a bit, 1Password makers urge devs
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?