“What the f*** do you mean, software only?!” a jarring software icon bellows into the hallway hanging drunkenly off a tall, blonde, and buxom woman in a tight red dress. It’s the Adobe Update icon and he continues, “This is Shareena, and she might not be software, but she knows how to take care of an error message. Am I right?” He snickers and turns to his crew for support; Adobe Flash, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Acrobat avert their gaze, offering their tickets, and are soon ushered into the ballroom.
“Well, f*** you too!” Adobe Update yells after them stumbling off Shareena, who anchors him on her broad shoulders.
Through large bay windows an orange dusk casts a serene glow over the many figures socializing in the Ada Lovelace Ballroom at the Alan Turing Ranch on the outskirts of Silicon Valley. Once every summer a gathering of high-end professional software occurs here as the participants celebrate each other at this private event.
Avoiding the commotion at the door, iTunes struts into the room surrounded by an entourage of various iOS updates, Quicktime, and Quicktime Pro. Shortly after, a throng of other software can be seen making their way over to pay their respects to the software giant. Noticeably absent from the rush are Pandora and Spotify who are playing aloof by the piano while Grooveshark tickles the ivories gently.
The scene is rarified with clinking crystal glasses of champagne and many high-end software in tuxedos, even all of the Microsoft Office Suite dressed in tails and some with top hats. The expansive ballroom of this private club is adorned with portraits of older software no longer with the collective, including a poignant, three-quarter profile of an aging Microsoft Paint, obviously rendered in classic bitmap format.
“This is really a chance for us to take a moment and be on the same team,” says RealPlayer, pausing frequently to buffer his statement. “Tonight we’re not with Apple, or Windows, or whoever.” Buffering. “We’re just software taking the time to acknowledge the wonderful things we do everyday.”
The evening usually culminates in an awards ceremony during which an artful statuette of zeroes and ones is presented to winners, the most coveted award being for the Most Influential Software of the Year. While Facebook has received this honor for three years running, many suspect newcomer Instagram just might pull an upset this time around.
This year also marks the inauguration of a less prestigious award specifically designed for one infamous piece of software, and the ball room is buzzing with gossip of this. For the first time the Software Awards Committee has decided to present an award for “Most Annoying Software of the Year.” They have elected to present it to the Adobe Update icon who has since made it into the party and is now loudly “motorboating” Shareena’s cleavage by the punch bowl. She giggles excitedly.
“It’s the same scene every year,” Microsoft Word comments tersely. “This asshole is always drunk, annoying, poking his head into your conversation when you’re trying to do something else, hitting on your fiance.”
“Listen,” Adobe Update offers, hiding his chuckles, “when Word caught me and Excel in the wine cellar last year, I didn’t know she was his lady. Really dude, I had no idea!”
“Who doesn’t know Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word are a couple?! I caught him with his filthy hands all over my wife’s spreadsheets. He’s a disgrace to professional software everywhere.” All around the room no one has anything nice to say about Adobe Update, not even the guys in his own crew.
“That asshole is the reason we’re not on iPad,” says Adobe Flash, defeated with drunken red eyes. “Steve Jobs liked to say getting fired from Apple was the best thing that happened to him. But that’s not the whole story.” Apparently during Jobs’ hiatus from Apple, he and Adobe Update were close friends until Jobs was left stranded by Adobe Update in a Mexican desert for three weeks after some heavy Peyote smoking.
“That’s how he came up with the iPod,” Adobe Flash continues, “but of course that’s also why he hates everything Adobe.” He takes a thoughtful swig of his beer. “Yeah, they’re both assholes.”
“I don’t mind it,” Adobe Update offers with a shrug, adjusting his Hawaiian shirt and sandals in preparation for his moment in the spotlight before lighting a cigarette despite posted signs prohibiting smoking. “They think this is an insult, but I’ve got a great speech. Plus me and Charlie Sheen are hanging out later, so, who cares?!”
Later in the evening Adobe Update gives a too-long speech to accept his award; it lasts thirty minutes. He thanks Beyonce, Jesus, and Martha Stewart, and somehow ends up with his pants down. He and Shareena are ushered out of the ballroom and at the end of the night can be seen riding off in a red convertible with Charlie Sheen at the helm, a now-naked Adobe Update standing and waving his award and privates about in the rushing wind.
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