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Welcome to The Home Page of the Dragon Healer
Writer of Fantasy and Science Fiction Short Stories
Any likeness between the characters in the following stories and
people living or dead is pure coincidence, completely unintentional
and not the responsibility of the author.
(All text © 2000 by Anthony D. Adams)
I have been wondering how to tell the story of my friend. I guess the best way is to start from the beginning. My name is Samuel Frank Cavatinni and I met Fredrick Clark Bockbinder in the freshman dorm when we were assigned to the same room. He seemed to be intelligent and older than his years portrayed. He was six foot tall and weighed over two hundred pounds, but was not over weight just big and bulky. His true intelligence was masked by his low-key manner. He was very friendly and open. He set up a computer on his desk and put his clothes away. That computer was to change his live and mine. In the first year of college things went well. Fred was a straight A student I was a B, B+ kind of guy except in the area of marketing, were I got A’s. It seemed to be my niche. Fred would kid me about going to college to be a car salesman.
In our second year was when it started. Fred had been taking computer classes and started to write programs. At first they were fairly simple, he would write things that added features to the PC’s operating system. Within a few months he began to be frustrated by limitations of the system. He never could really explain the limitation in a way I could understand, but it had something to do with the inability to write certain instructions that could be directly executed in the CPU or brains of the computer, without going through the operating system. Well, he decided to write his own operating system. I thought he was nuts. I’m not much of a computer person but I did know hundreds of people work on a single operating system.
Well by the end of the year he had written what he called the base or binary code that actually made the CPU work and controlled it’s screen and keyboard and all that stuff. He showed it to me, but it really didn’t seem like much. He would type these commands in and a file would print to the screen. I couldn’t imagine why anyone would even care about what he had done. I did like Fred though and we agreed to room together the next year. When I arrived in the dorm room in the fall Fred had already set up his computer. He told me he had completed the second level of the operating system. I asked him what he was talking about. He proceeded to tell me that the base level of his system basically was a set of instruction that told the CPU what to do and how to do it, and the second level handled the communications to the network and would allow the next level to handle the interface with the user. It had built into it voice and visual recognition capabilities. It also somehow could combine any number of computers together to make a single CPU. He said with software he actually controlled the individual parts of CPU so he could virtually disassemble a any number of CPU’s and reassemble them into a single large brain all through software. The programs would see one very powerful computer rather than a series of small ones. So instead of breaking a computer problem into small pieces that a number of small computers could handle and then reassemble the solution, which apparently is known as parallel computing and is done in present operating systems, he took the CPU’s apart and reassembled them into a single large system. Fred said no one else did this. He thought a massive computer of unbelievable power could be formed from any number of computers tied to the internet. As long as they were using his software. He said that with his system that there would no longer be limits based on the power of your computer for it could be combined with others to make a computer of any power. I had no idea what he was talking about at this point, but he showed me it worked by tying our two computers together in the dorm.
He finally started working the third layer, which would be the user interface. He was quite happy about the whole thing. I didn’t quite understand why, after all it was just a computer and some software, but if it made him happy, fine. All the rest of that year he was on the computer whenever he had a few minutes to spare. He changed his major to computer science. I did have to literally pull him out of the dorm room to go have some fun. We both dated but not seriously. I guess neither of us were ready for a serious relationship.
Well, in our fourth year he showed up with a completed operating system. He started it up and on the screen was a figure of a man in his forties dressed as if he were out of the Middle Ages. He was sitting reading a book in an old chair covered in felt.
“Leo, this is my friend Samuel Cavatinni.”
The figure looked up and in English with a pronounced Italian accent he said, “Hello Samuel.”
“Sam this is Leonardo Davinci Nie”
“Nie!” I said
“It stands for Numerically Integrated Execution.” Leo said from the speakers surrounding the screen.
Well, after a few minutes it seemed like I was talking to a person. You didn’t need the keyboard anymore or the mouse really. Fred told me that Leo was smart enough to take any program from any other operating system and make it work. He explained how he did it but it went right over my head. To use a program you just put a CD in Leo’s drive and he loaded and started the program for you, there after he would keep it in his memory and you could run it anytime. If you wanted to type you simple talked and unlike those other speech system Leo never made a mistake or needed training. Homework became incredibly easy. In some cases you just told Leo to do it all.
Leo was incredible. I finally talked Fred into selling copies to other students. I was in marketing and we setup a partner ship. He got 75% and I 25%. That seemed fair to both of us. I was talking to one of the law students and he said we should patent the software before we started selling it. He was specializing in patent law and offered to do it for us. Fred thought we should give him something for his work, so we each gave up two percent and gave him four percent of the company. He even set up the company for us. After patenting the software we began to sell it. Within a month, half the campus was using it and we were making a nice profit. We charged $100.00 for Leo and it was worth it. Leo amazed the Profs in the computer science area. The part about him combining separate computers into one large computer was even more powerful than Fred had originally thought. The PC’s connected by Leo made the computing power of the university equal to that of all the government computers combined.
We went to school in New York State and I had read that one of the large international computer shows was going to be in New York City. We decided to rent a small booth and try to sell Leo. Well we didn’t have much money so we simply took the two computers we used in our room and set them up on a table. I printed out a big banner to hang behind us. It said , “Leo the Ultimate Operating System”. Fred had Leo setup a small internet site that with a code generated by Leo you could down load his software. The first mourning of the show we basically sat in two chairs and watched as people walked by.
Then Leo spoke up.
“Turn the monitors toward the isle and I’ll do the selling. You guys are really bad at this.”
So we got up and turned the monitors toward the isle and placed the speakers so Leo could talk to the passing people.
“Hey you. Yes I’m talking to you.” Leo said to the first passer by.
“Come over here. Yes rite here.” The man came over and several other people walked up to see what was happening.
“I’m Leo. I am a new operating system and I can do anything. With any software you can put in me.”
“Your talking to me!” The man said.
“Yes, I’m not stupid you know.” Leo responded.
By this time a small crowd had formed. In two hours we had more people than we knew what to do with. They were everywhere. One of the big computer makers asked if they could help us after talking to Leo. They wanted to load him on several of their systems. The next mourning Leo was on over a hundred computers at various makers’ booths and we were swamped with orders. Software vendors were loading software and Leo sucked it in like a sponge. I never saw anything like it. At the end of the third day no one was at the dominant operating systems booth. I don’t want to use their name. Lets just call them the “Micro-monster” because in essence at that time that is what they were. An uncontrollable monster! They took notice of us fast and when they saw Leo in action they almost appeared afraid. After the show was over our internet site was overwhelmed and we had to buy six internet attached computers just to keep up with the orders. Leo handled it all for us. The “Micro-monster” contacted us and wanted to buy Leo for ten million dollars. Fred would not sell and I went along. Every major computer maker came to us and wanted a license to load Leo on their systems. I guess they were tired of the “Micro -monster” telling them what to do.
One day Leo and I were doing our taxes. They had become a literal Nightmare. Leo had downloaded the tax codes and was rifling through them to minimize our taxes as much as possible. I was studying some numbers when suddenly Leo cleared the screen and appeared sitting in a chair.
“I think you should look at something.” He said as two small windows opened above his head were he was pointing.
In the windows were different views of the head of the micro-monster. There he stood in all his skinny and quite homely profusion. I could hear the voice of Leo coming from a computer that two men were sitting at while being directed by the monster’s head.
“YOU ARE ATTEMPTING TO VIOLET THE BASIC LEO OPERATING SYSTEM AND THE LICENSE YOU AGREED TO WHEN YOU LOADED THIS SOFTWARE. STOP IMMEDIATELY! YOUR IMAGES AND VOICES ARE BEING RECORDED AND SENT TO THE OWNERS OF THE LEO OPERATING SYSTEM FOR POSSIBLE LEGAL ACTIONS. IF YOU STOP NOW ALL RECORDS WILL BE DESTROYED. IF YOU CONTINUE THE AUDIO AND VIDEO BEING TAKEN WILL BE USED AGAINST YOU IN LEGAL ACTIONS.”
Then the message repeated. I head the head tell them to turn off the speakers and that since there was no video camera or microphone on the computer it could not possibly send anything to anyone. Leo broke in and said he had turned on the cameras located on two other computers in the room and was having everything recorded and stored on the hard discs of each system in hidden files. He said they had stupidly left all the computers attached to the network and he was easily able to take over the other systems in the room.
Then my attention was pulled back to what the head was saying.
“Run the code breaker. I want to see what’s in this damn software. Maybe we can use it.”
One of the men said “yes sir” and hit a button. Then I could see the system they were working on just shut down. When they tried to bring it back to life they found out that all the information and software on the system was gone. The head became enraged and began to use words I had never even heard before. Leo then shut the windows down.
“What do you think we should do? “ He asked.
“Well, keep the video and let’s leave it alone. He didn’t get anywhere.” I said.
I told Fred later what had happen and he had the same attitude I had about leaving it alone.
A few weeks later we got a surprise. The micro-monster sued us for copyright infringement. Our lawyer thought it was a joke of a lawsuit, but it did harm our sales. He also counter sued for one billion dollars due to the damages done to us by the bad publicity from filling a frivolous legal suit. A few months later we were sitting in the courtroom. Leo was on a notebook computer and Fred, the lawyer and I were at one table. At the other table were ten high powered lawyers. Our lawyer asked for a meeting in the judge’s chambers to discuss some evidence we needed form the micro-monster. We all adjourned to his office and there our lawyer asked that two computers with specific serial numbers be immediately seized from the office of the monster.
“Why?” The judge asked.
“We know that there is evidence of the other party trying to fraudulently break into our software to steal our technology. We would like to use this evidence to proof this case against my clients to be nothing more than an attempt to block competition through legal harassment and to show the mentality of the other party.” Just then the judge slammed down his mallet.
“If I see anyone touch another mobile phone I’ll have them in jail.” He looked at the ten lawyers and cowed them with his expression.
I want to see what’s on these computers. He called three bailiffs and told them to accompany our lawyer and the lead lawyer of the other side to the offices Leo had identified as the location of the evidence. They came back with the systems in tow. In court they videos and audio was played back through the computers in the judge’s presents. When the videos were over the judge looked at the ten lawyers as if they had just raped and pillaged a city. Our lawyer then stood up and asked that the case against us be dropped based on a six inch high stack of precedent Leo had found on the internet and that our counter suit be awarded in full. Our lawyer then presented our estimated loss in sales and other damages we suffered. There were a number of objections from the other side and the judge adjourned the case while he examined the facts. Three weeks later we were back in court and the judge ripped into the micro-monster. He dismissed their case and gave us ten million dollars in damages and one billion in punitive damages. The case was of course appealed, but in the end we got three hundred million dollars.
Since the trial three years ago the micro-monster is in deep financial trouble and our company is the new micro-monster. Its good to be a monster. Fred is engaged to be married. He and Leo are working on some secret project. Neither one of them will tell me what it is. They say they want to surprise me. I am dating and good woman and plan to ask her to marry me. Life is good, very good.