Sunday, December 25, 2016

The hidden secrets of Microsoft Bob

The last time I investigated and tried to unlock the secrets of obscure software from the mid-1990s, I mentioned at the end that I wanted to get Microsoft Bob. Anyway, for Christmas, my dad, who's a computer programmer, managed to find Microsoft Bob. Don't worry, he scanned it for viruses. Once we managed to install it and get Bob to locate UTOPIA.DLL, I could begin. I gladly told the adorable dog my name, address, and anything else he needed.

Because who can say no to that face?
I immediately got to playing around, deciding to create a sun room for myself. I spent happy time angling perspective, size, and everything to make the perfect room. At the end of it all, I felt much more satisfied than I perhaps should have.
Admit it. You want to live here.
I noticed something very interesting. Bob, from 1995, has an eerie grasp of the future. First, here's Bob's "Postmodern" computer. Look familiar?

It probably runs Windows CE.
And also, the big, boxy, tan-colored plastic, big enough to wear out your back, good old 1990-something CRT monitor is listed as Retro. Think about that.
Computers looked like this back then. Unless you were a hipster with an LCD.
This was my first whiff of a breath of an inkling that something was horribly, horribly wrong. But before that, I designed two more rooms, namely a bedroom and a garage.
My dad wants that convertible.

Don't ask how the clock is on the easel.
Then, I went to design another room and explored the decorating options. I found something that quite disturbed me and did not belong in the happy, friendly, virtual dollhouse I thought Bob was. Namely, this. Those dark red pixels you see? That's blood.
Is that Bill Gates's blood?
I investigated further with the rooms in the same decorating style as the guillotine and found some quite eye-opening descriptions implying something has happened in the Bob house that Bob and Rover are trying to cover up.
Click to enlarge.
I decided to interrogate Rover.




Most of these are just comical non sequiturs, but the last two interest me. Ruby, eh? A mysterious woman? Using bribes of alcohol to get in? She's probably got Hopper under her complete control. In fact, she's probably the mistress of the whole thing. And Orby's mountain moving powers? Wouldn't they be good for say, burying the body of somebody Ruby guillotined? But then I realized, "No. It's not Ruby. It's the whole thing." That's why I've developed this theory. Microsoft Bob contains secret subliminal mental messages in its primitive graphics that slowly kill the user. Eventually, Microsoft discovered these and pulled the product. But in the meantime, Bob was very unpopular because anyone who used it died. And the blood on the guillotine? That belongs to Bob. And who did it, you may ask? I'm going with Ruby. She just doesn't seem trustworthy. Merry Christmas, people. And if this is my last post, I love you all.

Update:Apparently my Ruby theory is backed up by canon.