The BIOS beeps through its routines,
faster than you can say “boo!”
Then the initial splash screen flashes.
Another session of the latest flavor of
Windows ™ is under way - Ten!
All of the processes, services, schedulers,
threads and multithreads are flowing fast.
Soon, you see your login screen with a
lavish nature scene as a backdrop.
It will not be long now,
only a few more moments and then
you will be on the worldwide Internet.
Wondrous at one time, perhaps now a bit archaic.
A smartphone will get you there even faster.
But the possible foibles have just begun.
A protocol stack in memory is funneling
your packets to far-flung servers all over.
The responses flung back your way may
contain good data, or they might be viruses,
trojans, malware, any one of a thousand baddies.
Thus, everything coming back into your machine
gets channeled through a firewall, and antivirus software.
The mass data dance is underway, full speed ahead.
Those thousands of interacting code and data pieces all
must do their part just so. Most of the time, they do.
To someone working in a time of punch cards,
paper tape, magnetic tape reels, it would be
magical to do it all from the palm of your hand.
Even that single-line monochrome message box
that an IBM ™ technician held back in 1986 seems
pitifully quaint nowadays.
An antique, an anachronism.
Now that we are all interconnected,
bad actors from around the world can
savage our advanced civilization –
for they have little to lose compared to us.
Enjoy the magic, but beware.
I hope we all get lucky tonight.