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Toasters
What if computer companies made toasters?

If IBM made toasters ...
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They would want one big toaster where people bring bread to be submitted for overnight toasting. IBM would claim world wide markets for five, maybe six toasters.  

If Xerox made toasters ...
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You could toast one-sided or double-sided. Successive slices would get lighter and lighter. The toaster would jam your bread for you.  

If Radio Shack made toasters ...
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The staff would sell you a toaster, but not know anything about it. Or you could buy all the parts to build your own toaster.  

If Oracle made toasters ...
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They'd claim their toaster was compatible with all brands and styles of bread, but when you got it home you'd discover the Bagel Engine was still in development, the Croissant Extension was three years away, and that indeed the whole appliance was just blowing smoke.  

If SUN made toasters ...
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The toast would burn often, but you could get a really good cuppa Java.  

If DEC made toasters ...
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They made good toasters in the '80s, didn't they.  

If Hewlett-Packard made toasters ...
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They would market the Reverse Toaster, which takes in toast and gives you regular bread.  

If Tandem made toasters ...
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You could make toast 24 hours a day and if a piece got burned, the toaster would automatically toast you a new one.  

If Thinking Machines made toasters ...
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You would be able to toast 64,000 pieces of bread at the same time.  

If Cray made toasters ...
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They would cost $16 million but would be faster than any other single-slice toaster in the world.  

If NSA made toasters ...
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Your toaster would have a secret trap door that only the NSA could access in case they needed to get at your toast for reasons of national security.  

If Sony made toasters ...
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The ToastMan, which would be barely larger than the single piece of bread it is meant to toast, can be conveniently attached to your belt.  

If Timex made toasters ...
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They would be cheap and small quartz-crystal wrist toasters that take a licking and keep on toasting.  

If Fisher Price made toasters ...
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"Baby's First Toaster" would have a hand-crank that you turn to toast the bread that pops up like a Jack-in-the-box.  

If Microsoft made toasters ...
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Every time you bought a loaf of bread, you would have to buy a toaster. You wouldn't have to take the toaster, but you'd still have to pay for it. Toaster '95 would weigh 15,000 pounds, requiring you to install a reinforced steel countertop, draw enough electricity to power a small city, take up 95% of the space in your kitchen, would claim to be the first toaster that lets you control how light or dark you want your toast to be, and would secretly interrogate your other appliances to find out who made them. Everyone would hate Microsoft toaster, but would buy them since most of the good bread only works with their toasters.  

If Apple made toasters ...
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It would do everything the Microsoft toaster does, but 5 years earlier.  

If SAP made toasters ...
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The manual to run the toaster would be approximately 10,000 pages long. The toaster would come with 2,500 switches which would all have to be set in an exact pattern and in a precise sequence in order to toast specific kinds of bread. It would take a team of basis and functional contractors about 1 year to configure the toaster in the best manner, and then another 6 months to test it. In the mean time, your entire family would need to attend extensive training classes on how to use the new toaster. In order to support end users and consultants, MIT would establish a list-serv for people to post questions and answers regarding toaster set-up and operation. Of course, the online help would randomly pop up in German. But once running, you'd get the best toast in the world.