Perspective - Love bug brought on an irony attack

By Gordon MacMillan,, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 12 May 2000 12:00AM

I love you. I love you. I love you. No, just kidding. I’m not even going to call. Talk about your Batmobiling and your general lack of commitment.

Seriously, though, the I LOVE YOU virus (famous last words number 27:'can you open this attachment for me?'). Yes, that virus. You were either one of those very smug people boasting about the general athleticism and technical prowess of your IT department and never got infected, or you were like the other unfortunates in London who were suddenly electronically bombed back into the dark ages. A nice place to visit, perhaps, but I wouldn't want to live there.

It would be easy to take all of it very personally, but trust me,breaking your keyboard and stamping your foot doesn't do much in the way of virus prevention.

But, hey, it's a learning process for all of us.

The worst bit was the irony of it all. That was the difficult part to cope with. To be more precise, it was the ironic timing (and see, you can take this personally) as it happened while we were trying to produce Campaign's new weekly digital section - Campaign-i - in an electronic blackout.

Hope you like it. It was brought to you almost entirely without the use of the internet or e-mail. It is possible, but I wouldn't recommend that you try it. Fortunately there was someone in the office who remembered we had some legacy technology available.

They called it the facsimile machine. It still works and we used it all day long. By the end of the day someone had shortened it to the 'fax' and people started telling us on the telephone that they 'faxed' it to us ages ago. And, just like with e-mail, that wasn't true either. So the same rules apply which was very reassuring.

It's a little insulting in a way. The prophets of doom have long warned us to be wary of Michaelangelo (virus as high art) and Y2K (the end of the world). But then nothing until a student in Manila typed those TLWs (three little words) and now has different TLWs to deal with as in the FBI.

It doesn't add up to much other than as a demonstration of how quickly our world has changed and how useless we are without our electronic drip feed.

What I missed most were all those e-mails you get that start: 'You know you're having a bad day when ...'

gordon.macmillan@haynet.com.

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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