Micro$murf(r) Announce Drive 95(tm): New Version of Their Popular
Car Operating System(tm)
"Drive 95 will change the way people drive their cars forever,"
says Jill Bates, CEO of Micro$murf.
Micro$murf are proud to announce the release of Drive 95(tm) - the
long-awaited and much-discussed new version of their Car Operating
System(tm). Drive 95, previously code-named Chi-Car-Go, is a major new
release and contains many important improvements over the previous version,
Drive 3.11(tm). Several new features have also been implemented. This
announcement outlines the most prominent improvements and new features of
True Multi-tasking (Well, Almost)
In Drive 3.11, turning on the radio while driving usually meant that the
steering, brake and transmission systems stopped working, and also that
image on the wind-shield 'froze' and thus no longer displayed an up-to-date
view of the road ahead. This could sometimes be a problem, especially
while the car was moving at high speed. The reason for this behavior was
that Drive 3.11 allowed the radio to take full control over the car. If
the radio wasn't carefully designed to return control (called 'yielding';
not to be confused with another driving term) to the Car Operating System,
it would use the entire power of the car just to play music. The same was
true for the cigarette-lighter, the rear window heater, the blinkers, and
many other features of the car. This is called cooperative multi-tasking;
the various functions of the car have to voluntarily cooperate with each
other and the Car Operating System for the car to work as expected.
Micro$murf, in their never-ending strive to offer users the most efficient
solutions based on the latest technology, have therefore introduced
preemptive multi-tasking in Drive 95. Preemptive multi-tasking has proved
effective and reliable in competing Car Operating Systems for several
years. Now you can enjoy music, light a cigarette, work the windshield
wipers, and remove mist from the rear window - all at the same time, and
while driving! Also, the windshield view doesn't freeze when you look out
the side window like it used to; as many windows as you like are
continuously updated. Note: to fully reap the benefits of this new
feature, all functions of the car must be of the new, so-called 32-bit,
type. A wide selection of 32-bit replacement accessories are available
from Micro$murf. (The new 32-bit windshield, Windshield 96, is planned for
release during the second quarter of 1996.) Besides, on those occasions
when the car seems to be working like it used to under Drive 3.11, the new
glossy user interface (see below) is sure to hide this fact from the
Improved User Interface
Much work has gone into improving the user interface. The most striking
change is that Micro$murf's creative and inventive designers have developed
the same metaphor that most other Car Operating Systems use: a car on a
road! Most beta-testers have found this object-oriented approach much more
intuitive than Drive 3.11's application-centered Car Manager(tm), which
emphasized on functions such as ignition, transmission and catalytic
exhaust cleaning rather than on getting from point A to point B.
Several little pedagogical animations have also been included in the
system. As you move things to the glove compartment, for example, you will
see them majestically soar across the void, performing a double twist
before finally coming to rest at their destination. This will help you
understand that the things have indeed been moved.
Another improvement is that with Drive 95, you can give the various objects
as long names as you like. You can refer to the cigarette lighter as 'The
Cigarette Lighter', rather than as 'CIGLGHTR.EXE'; you can call the
steering wheel 'The Steering Wheel', not 'STRNGWHL.EXE'; the windshield
wipers can be named 'The Windshield Wipers' instead of 'WSHDWPRS.EXE'; etc.
You can also create so-called shortcuts to objects you like to have handy.
The car's registration papers, for example, no longer need to be located
using awkward and cryptic constructs such as
'C:\FRNTSEAT\DASHBORD\GLVCPTMT\REGISTRA.TXT' - if you use them a lot,
simply create a shortcut to them called 'My Car's Registration Papers' and
place this shortcut where you want it. Note: if the original document is
moved or removed, the shortcut will not be automatically updated. This
would simply be impossible with today's technology; however, since there
are competing Car Operating Systems that have this feature, Micro$murf
expect to include it in a future version.
Plug & Play
Drive 95 also reduces the amount of manual configuration necessary when
installing new or updated hardware components. For example, in Drive 3.11,
to replace a defective blinker lightbulb with one of a different make
and/or model, you had to manually re-wire the whole electric system of the
car; changing tires required extensive re-adjustment of the suspension;
when installing a horn, you had scores of different so-called 'drivers'
(again, not to be confused with another common car term) to choose from,
only one of which would work; etc. Drive 95 takes care of these tedious
tasks for you, by automatically detecting and enabling available hardware.
This is called Plug & Play. Note: this will only work with hardware
designed to support Plug & Play. Look for the Plug & Play logo on
when purchasing hardware for your car.
Under Drive 3.11, the trunk of the car was divided into two separate
compartments, one small and one larger. The smaller one - known as the
Driver Operative Storage, or DOS, area - had a fixed size and could
therefore not be expanded when necessary; despite this, many important
accessories, like some of the 'drivers' previously mentioned, had to be
placed in this compartment. The larger one could only be reached through
small latch in the wall between the two compartments. In addition, there
were two different methods for packing and accessing luggage in this
compartment: Extended Matter Storage (EMS) and Expanded Matter Storage
(XMS). Or maybe the other way around. Sometimes, EMS had to be used; at
other times, only XMS would work. An important new feature in Drive 95 is
the elimination of this wall and thus the need for EMS and XMS. This makes
packing a much easier task, at least as long as you're only packing the
32-bit luggage available from Micro$murf.
Building on the immense popularity of the Drive 3.11 Car Operating System,
Drive 95 is expected to become the de facto standard of the car industry
shortly. Between the massive marketing campaign and the fact that the
competing Car Operating Systems just aren't made by Micro$murf, this is
more likely to occur sooner than later. So go with the winner - go with
Marketing Director, Micro$murf Corp.