694: Retro Virus
Title text: He says this is the year of Linux on the desktop! The world of Windows will fade any moment now!
This comic uses the word "retro" as a reference to retro style and "virus" as a reference to computer viruses. This portmanteau is also a double entendre for a retrovirus, which is a type of biological virus.
Cueball finds himself needing to clean a virus off his Windows machine. Unfortunately, the registry editor (regedit), a key tool in manipulating Windows, is affected. A coworker comes over and mentions that it has been a while since he has worried about cleaning viruses in the Win32 API.
Cueball responds that Windows XP operating system is still the most popular (which it was in 2010, and remained until mid-2012), but is drowned out by another coworker (Ponytail) who exclaims that it is as if they are back in 2003. Back then, Windows XP machines were the standard in many places, and were far more often targeted by viruses than other systems, e.g. Linux, Mac OS X, etc.
In the final panel, Cueball's coworkers continue to make fun of him by referencing things that were important back in 2003 like Howard Dean, Friendster or Kazaa. Such things have since fallen largely out of prominence. Additionally, Ponytail appears to have a laptop with a floating screen. It is unclear whether or not this is intentional, suggesting hover-tablets or such have been invented, and indeed the new technology is immune to these viruses.
The title text is a reference to the year of Linux on the desktop, which is an expectation that in an upcoming year, Linux will make a large breakthrough and be widely adopted by businesses and personal users. The expectation has been around since about 2000, however, and has not exactly happened (although non-desktop devices running Android, a Linux-based OS, are now very common). If it were to happen, the large market share enjoyed by Windows OSes would fade away.
- [Cueball is using a computer.]
- Cueball: Argh, this is frustrating.
- Friend (off-panel): What?
- Cueball: This Windows box has a virus and I can't get RegEdit to-
- Friend (off-panel): Haha, cleaning viruses? Man, what a blast from the past!
- Friend: Check it out! Dude's cleaning Win32 viruses! Remember that?
- Ponytail (off-panel): It's like we're back in 2003!
- Cueball (small): Hey, XP's still the most-
- Friend: Did you get the virus from Kazaa?
- Ponytail (with laptop): Guess what I just read on Howard Dean's Friendster!?
- Cueball (head in hands): Guys...
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