Breck Carter
Last modified: November 1, 1996
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The fRiDaY File, for November 1

( Go back, forward )


How It Came To Pass


Long ago, in the days when all disks

flopped in the breeze and the writing of

words was on a star, the Blue Giant dug

for the people the Pea Sea. But he needed

a creature who could sail the waters, and

would need for support but few rams.


So the Gatekeeper, who was said to be both

micro and soft, fashioned a Dosfish, who

was small and spry, and could swim the

narrow sixteen-bit channel. But the

Dosfish was not bright, and could be

taught few new tricks. His alphabet had no

A's, B's, or Q's, but a mere 640 K's, and

the size of his file cabinet was limited

by his own fat.


At first the people loved the Dosfish, for

he was the only one who could swim the Pea

Sea. But the people soon grew tired of

commanding his line, and complained that

he could be neither dragged nor dropped.

"Forsooth," they cried. "the Dosfish can

only do one job at a time, and of names,

he knows only eight and three." And many

of them left the Pea Sea for good, and

went off in search of the Magic Apple.


Although many went, far more stayed,

because admittance to the Pea Sea was

cheap. So the Gateskeeper studied the

Magic Apple, and rested awhile in the Parc

of Xer-Ox, and he made a Window that could

ride on the Dosfish and do its thinking

for it. But the Window was slow, and it

would break when the Dosfish got confused.

So most people contented themselves with

the Dosfish.


Now it came to pass that the Blue Giant

came upon the Gateskeeper, and spoke thus:

"Come, let us make of ourselves something

greater than the Dosfish." The Blue Giant

seemed like a humbug, so they called the

new creature OZ II.


Now Oz II was smarter than the Dosfish, as

most things are. It could drag and drop,

and could keep files without becoming fat.

But the people cared for it not. So the

Blue Giant and the Gateskeeper promised

another OZ II, to be called Oz II Too,

that could swim the fast new 32-bit wide

Pea Sea.


Then lo, a strange miracle occurred.

Although the Window that rode on the

Dosfish was slow, it was pretty, and the

third Window was the prettiest of all.

And the people began to like the third

Window, and to use it. So the Gateskeeper

turned to the Blue Giant and said, "Fie on

thee, for I need thee not. Keep thy OZ II

Too, and I shall make of my Window an

Entity that will not need the Dosfish, and

will swim in the 32-bit Pea Sea."


Years passed, and the workshops of the

Gateskeeper and the Blue Giant were

overrun by insects. And the people went on

using their Dosfish with a Window; even

though the Dosfish would from time to time

become confused and die, it could always

be revived with three fingers.


Then there came a day when the Blue Giant

let forth his OZ II Too onto the world.

The Oz II Too was indeed mighty, and

awesome, and required a great ram, and the

world was changed not a whit. For the

people said, "It is indeed great, but we

see little application for it." And they

were doubtful, because the Blue Giant had

met with the Magic Apple, and together

they were fashioning a Taligent, and the

Taligent was made of objects, and was most



Now the Gateskeeper had grown ambitious,

and as he had been ambitious before he

grew, he was now more ambitious still. So

he protected his Window Entity with great

security, and made its net work both in

serving and with peers. And the Entity

would swim, not only in the Pea Sea, but

in the Oceans of Great Risk. "Yea," the

Gateskeeper declared, "though my entity

will require a greater ram than Oz II Too,

it will be more powerful than a world of



And so the Gateskeeper prepared to unleash

his Entity to the world, in all but two

cities. For he promised that a greater

Window, a greater Entity, and even a

greater Dosfish would appear one day in

Chicago and Cairo, and it too would be

built of objects.


Now the Eunuchs who lived in the Oceans of

Great Risk, and who scorned the Pea Sea,

began to look upon their world with fear.

For the Pea Sea had grown, and great ships

were sailing in it, the Entity was about

to invade their oceans, and it was rumored

that files would be named in letters

greater than eight. And the Eunuchs looked

upon the Pea Sea, and many of them thought

to immigrate.


Within the Oceans of Great Risk were many

Sun Worshippers, and they wanted to excel,

and make their words perfect, and do their

jobs as easy as one-two-three. And what's

more, many of them no longer wanted to pay

for the Risk. So the Sun Lord went to the

Pea Sea, and got himself eighty-sixed.


And taking the next step was He of the

NextStep, who had given up building his

boxes of black. And he proclaimed loudly

that he could help anyone make wondrous

soft wares, then admitted meekly that only

those who know him could use those wares,

and he was made of objects, and required

the biggest ram of all.


And the people looked out upon the Pea

Sea, and they were sore amazed. And sore

confused. And sore sore. And that is

why, to this day, Ozes, Entities, and

Eunuchs battle on the shores of the Pea

Sea, but the people still travel on the

simple Dosfish.


Breck Carter can be reached by phone at (416) 763-5200 or via email at