3 selections from the evergreen list:
If SAP made toasters The manual to run the toaster would be approximately 10,000 pages long. The toaster would come with 2,500 switches which would all have to be set in an exact pattern and in a precise sequence in order to toast specific kinds of bread. Each pattern would be established by SAP’s experts as the “Best Practices” method of toasting that kind of bread. It would take a team of basis and functional contractors about 1 year to configure the toaster in the best manner and then another 6 months to test it. In the meantime, your entire family would need to attend extensive training classes on how to use the new toaster. In order to support end users and consultants, MIT would establish a list-serv for people to post questions and answers regarding toaster set-up and operation. Of course, the online help would randomly pop up in German. But once it was running, you’d get the best toast in the world!
If Microsoft made toasters Every time you bought a loaf of bread, you would have to buy a toaster. You wouldn’t have to take the toaster, but you’d still have to pay for it anyway. Toaster ‘95 would weigh 15000 pounds (hence requiring a reinforced steel countertop), draw enough electricity to power a small city, take up 95% of the space in your kitchen, would claim to be the first toaster that lets you control how light or dark you want your toast to be, and would secretly interrogate your other appliances to find out who made them. Everyone would hate Microsoft toasters, but nonetheless would buy them since most of the good bread only works with their toasters.
If Linux guys made toasters Anyone could build his/her own toaster from the spare parts in the garage, but people would still pay money for pre-built toasters. All the parts would be user serviceable, and the design plans would be freely downloadable. Instead of the complexity of having to push a button, you would simply type something like “toast-lightness?rk-bread-type=brown”. The toaster would burn your toast by default, but once you enable the “don’t-burn-my-toast” feature in “toaster.conf” (as described in the TOASTER-RTFM-HOWTO) it would toast reliably for years. People who eat Linux toast say that it is better than Windows toast…. And Microsoft would tell everyone that Linux Toast causes cancer.