(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
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 muscles.
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 artefacts, 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 spectre 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.