Next week's fun interfacing project is talking to a voicemail system. Like the PBX with the MCP last week, it's talking TCP/IP and I'll probably hit it with Delphi/Indy. Unlike the PBX, I don't have the actual device in my secret programming lair*. For the testing, I might have to hook up remote access to a PC on-site. Anyway, the vendor did manage to provide some DLLs and example code... in VBSCRIPT!
Thinking it'd be fun to have a play with this VBScript code in a debugger, I asked the friendly search at MSDN. All the results mentioned there was a VBScript debugger but said to search MSDN for it. When you search MSDN, all the results mention a VBScript debugger but say to search MSDN for it. After extracting myself from the timeloop with my trusty sonic screwdriver (vodka, orange and loud rock music), I tried a Google and found ScriptOMatic 2.0.
It isn't a VBScript debugger but I still like it because it's evidence that within Microsoft there are a bunch of people messing about without much managerial supervision. Exhibit (A) these great release notes...
Actually, our original plan was to emulate the Coca-Cola company, which a few years back released New Coke, a product that met with almost universal disdain. Needless to say, things looked grim, but then some unsung genius at Coca Cola had a brainstorm: they suggested that the company do nothing more than bring back the old Coke, now christened Classic Coke. And guess what? It was a huge success! We figured, OK, we’ll do the same thing. We’ll write a piece of software that nobody likes and release it as New Scriptomatic. We’ll let people grumble and complain for awhile, and then we’ll bring back the old Scriptomatic (or Classic Scriptomatic) and everyone will love it! We’ll be heroes, and – best of all – we won’t have to do any work.
In the end, though, we decided to create a brand new version of the Scripotmatic, one that actually worked: Scriptomatic 2.0. And to celebrate the release of this new utility, we decided to hold a make-believe press conference. Here’s the transcript from that press conference:
There's more but you'll have to try ScriptOMatic 2.0 yourself. Windows Genuine Advantage(R)(TM) or a stamped, self-addressed envelope with a recent toenail clipping required.
*guarded by a cheeky weka, a bossy elderly white duck** and kamikaze wood pigeons.
**the duck is currently on summer leave but be warned, she lives nearby, and I have photographic evidence that she and her minions are working on a clone army.