IJMC The Rare Glitch Project

                   IJMC - The Rare Glitch Project

If you have not seen "The Blair Witch Project"...you probably will want 
to skip this post as well. I am simply not sure whether you will get 
anything out of this if you have not seen the movie. However, please, do 
not take that as a reason to go see the movie. I cannot think of another 
film that was so hit and miss with viewers. Personally, I found the movie 
quite boring and was glad to leave when it ended. I think the entire 
movie would be better made if it was a 15-30 minute short film...but that 
is just my two bits. Fortunately, I think this makes up for it.     -dave

The Rare Glitch Project: The legendary search for a stable version of

by Nicholas Petreley

(IDG) -- In October 1999, three student filmmakers disappeared in a
building in Redmond, Wash., while shooting a documentary. A week later,
their footage was found. What follows is an edited transcript of that
footage. Fortunately, I was able to cut the transcript, which was 385
pages, down to a half page by removing the profanity. 

The would-be filmmakers are Heather, Josh, and Mike. They are attempting
to document the Rare Glitch Project, a legendary version of Microsoft
Windows designed to be compact and stable. As the film begins, Heather
describes the first landmark, Coffee Rock, to the camera. 

Heather says, "The way the legend goes, seven men were found sleeping in
this break room, all the caffeine having been sucked out of their brains.
They had markings on them that were made by a tiny piercing instrument
that penetrated their skin while they were still alive. One symbol looked
like a heart. Another was a hula girl that danced when he flexed his

The next day, employees could see managers hovering nearby where the
bodies once lay, but the men were nowhere to be found. But don't be
frightened, Mike -- this story has nothing whatsoever to do with the rest
of the film." 

The team makes a futile search for a graveyard called the Quality
Assurance Labs. Instead, they find themselves surrounded by several piles
of shredded paper. Mike looks suspiciously at the mounds, careful not to
touch anything. "It looks like an e-mail evidence burial ground," he says. 

The trio is convinced that they are lost. They stumble across an abandoned
programming laboratory filled with voodoo artifacts, one of which looks
like a bespectacled Basic programmer, another like a bald guy holding a
soup can. Josh logs in to one of the Windows NT workstations. He installs
an application designed to hack into the network and find a map of the
building. But the application won't run. 

Heather checks her FAQ. "It says to try installing Service Pack 5," she
says. Josh inserts a CD, installs the service pack, and reboots. 

No luck. Heather adds, "It also says that if Service Pack 5 doesn't fix
the problem, then remove it, install these seven hot fixes, and then
reinstall the app." Josh clicks on the option to remove the service pack
when he suddenly turns pale, overcome with fear. He looks around and sees
the same thing everywhere. "What is this all over the monitors? It looks
like blue .. " 

"Blue slime?" Heather asks. 

"Blue screens," Josh answers. 

Heather grabs the keyboard and reboots. But Windows NT simply boots to
another blue screen of death. Heather reaches to her back pocket and
grasps thin air. "Where's the FAQ? Who took the FAQ?" 

Mike squeals with evil laughter, "I shredded it! It was useless! NT is
useless! The only thing more useless is this plot! This whole wing isn't
more than 10,000 square feet, and the audience is supposed to believe we
can't find our way out?" 

Heather insists, "If we keep going south, we'll get out. That has to be
it. After all, the quality of Windows NT keeps going south, and that never
stops it from getting out of the building." 

But after what seems like several years of slogging through the curved
halls, Josh shouts, "I don't believe it. Even though we've gone in a
complete circle, we're mysteriously back where we started." 

Mike adds, "Admit it. It's Windows NT all over again." 

Heather insists, "No. No, it can't be. This is Windows 2000. Honest. It's
.. it's ... I don't believe it. It is. It's the same damned product." Mike
films a few hours of Heather sobbing uncontrollably. 

The next day, Josh vanishes into a black hole -- presumably the same one
that consumed MS-DOS 7, Cairo, Zero Administration Windows, Windows
security, your IT budget, Jimmy Hoffa, and the real killers of Nicole
Brown-Simpson. Mike chases a specter of Josh into a broken-down corridor.
Heather chases Mike until she finds him facing a corner of the room. She
whimpers, "What are you looking for, Mike?" 

"A way to end this film," he replies. 

Heather places a dunce hat on Mike, then stares into the lens and sobs, "I
am so, so sorry," and then drops the camera. 

You don't know the half of it, Heather. 

Copyright c 1999 InfoWorld Media Group Inc. 

IJMC November 1999 Archives