06/02/2011 11:25 am ET Updated Aug 02, 2011

"Radical" Russ's Star Trek /Microsoft Rule

We've all heard of Murphy's Law, the saying that "anything that can go wrong will go wrong." I'm a big fan of these adages, whether they are proven by scientific observation, like Moore's Law (computer processors get twice as powerful every eighteen months) or just represent social mores, like Godwin's Law (first debater to make a Nazi comparison loses all credibility).

Comic observations are also favorites, from Groucho's Club Complaint ("I don't care to belong to any club that will have me as a member") to Carlin's Anti-Abortion Observation ("Have you noticed that most of the women who are against abortion are women you wouldn't want to fuck in the first place, man?").

As I've reached middle age I have collected some laws of my own, or rules, as I prefer, since mine are based on selfish prejudices. None of the following may work for you -- that's why they're "Radical" Russ's Rules. But if my experience can save you the ten bucks you'd blow on a movie ticket or the $400 you'd drop on some software, all the better.

Every Other Star Trek Movie and Microsoft Windows O/S Sucks.

It seems like they get everyone excited for the brand new product and when it's released, there is a collective sign of disappointment from devotees and new customers alike. Then they go back to the drawing board, figure out why people liked the product in the first place, and come back with a triumphant success. On the heels of that, they get over-indulgent and over-reach. Then they try a whole new redesign and win back fans. Then there's some internal management issue that dooms the next project. Next they've come back with the product they should have waited on instead of launching the last one haphazardly.

Then the whole thing is revamped completely with new infrastructure and features and isn't so terrible, but kinda turns off the folks who were used to the last six. The next offering delivers on the hasty promises made by the revamped one, but by now the whole thing has gotten so out of control that the next two turn out to be duds and it takes a complete reboot to save the eleventh offering.

That description explains every Star Trek movie and every Microsoft Windows Operating System. Is this just a phenomenon among projects managed by geeks? I don't know, but here is my evidence:

  1. Star Trek: Sexy Bald Chick -- Windows 3.0
  2. Star Trek II: KHAAAAAN! -- Windows 3.1
  3. Star Trek III: Who's this new Saavik? -- Windows NT 3.5
  4. Star Trek IV: Whales on the Wharf -- Windows 95
  5. Star Trek V: Shatner Directs! -- Windows NT 4.0
  6. Star Trek VI: Shakespeare in Klingon -- Windows 98
  7. Star Trek Generations: The Bald Captain -- Windows Me
  8. Star Trek First Contact: Time Travel Back to Earth (it worked in IV!) -- Windows XP
  9. Star Trek Insurrection: Frakes Directs! -- Windows Vista Home
  10. Star Trek Nemesis: There was a Star Trek X? -- Windows Vista Ultimate
  11. Star Trek: Bringing Sexy Back -- Windows 7 Ultimate

True sci-fi and PC geeks, feel free to savage me in the comments.