This too is puerile but pretty funny

On my tombstone it will say, "He dealt with Clippy." Ten years ago, during an (enjoyable!) six-month stint at Microsoft, I was supposed to be providing a "writer's perspective" on editing features being added to what became Word XP. These mainly involved the track-changes functions, plus embryonic hopes for what is now OneNote. In my spare time, I was inveighing against the maddening feature generally called Clippy -- or TFC* to insiders -- that would pop up and say "You seem to be writing a letter!" whenever you typed out "Dear Mr. ..."

Soon Clippy was turned Off by default (rather than On), and then it was completely deep-sixed.  We all leave a mark on the world.

I am therefore particular delighted to see the homage to the original Clippy provided by this mildly subversive new program. You install it on a "friend's" computer -- and until he or she figures out how to turn it off, it pops up every 60 seconds with Clippy-worthy tips like these:

Clippy3.jpg


Clipp2.jpg

Download site here; info, including how to turn it off, here. I loaded this onto a backup computer and was able (I think!) to stop and completely remove it when the hilarity was done. But why take a chance? Put it on someone else's computer, not your own.  Thanks to R. Manzetti.
___
* TFC = The F... Clown

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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.

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