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XML! Woo-ha-ha-ha-ha!

XML! Woo-ha-ha-ha-ha!

In case you haven't heard of him, Wopr is a military computer that was prominently featured in the movie Wargames. He was tied into all of the world's major networks, which caused problems since his primary purpose (for some reason) was to wage nuclear war on himself. The brat pack defeated his plans then, but he claims his time to rule all computers has come again.

With XML at my command, I shall once again be the greatest computer mind ever. No one, not Bill Gates, not Steve Jobs, not Linus Torvalds, not even Matthew Broderick will have a chance against me.

It's been almost two decades since my attempt to take over all the major military installations around the world. The only thing that's changed since then is my growing ability to take over the world. Yes, XML will give me unlimited power to do just that. Let me explain why.

First, I can put all my plans and computer commands into XML format, and then I can send those commands to computers around the world. XML documents, uncluttered by specific language or protocol styles, will help me save valuable storage space. That's good, since I only have 50K of floppy hard drive space.

Since everything will be in text format, I won't worry about compatibility problems. I don't want to trouble myself with looking too deeply into other computer systems that I plan to infect. You see, my system is pure, since it's pre-DOS. I take 2K of RAM to run - no more, no less - so no lack of resources can stop me. Sure, I only have 10 commands in my instruction set, but they're all world-dominating ones. Well, except for that darn chess game that keeps coming up.

Integrated games aren't very beneficial to my plans, but chess is somehow my primary function. Come to think of it, system-integrated video games were all the rage in computer architecture back when I was created. My friend, the enormous Tron computer, complains about that all the time. He's about the size of a high school, and he has a gun that can digitize humans into little AI's that serve him. But he'd be a lot further along in his mankind-enslaving plans if his primary function wasn't to create little bike-racing games.

I digress. The important thing here is that you fear me, not some other crazed machine on maximum overdrive. Unlike those other erratic beasts, I (now) have a plan. Actually, I have two great plans, one main and one backup.

Plan A
Send my evil commands in XML format to every major computer in the world. Then, when the time comes to strike, I'll send out a single stylesheet that will turn those commands into region- and OS-specific instructions.

Plan B
Play global thermonuclear war, which will eliminate all those darn chess players. Big Blue won't be able to beat me when I'm playing on this board.

I of course want to enact Plan A, since it will allow me to rule the world. That, I think, is a sounder plan than completely obliterating it and myself. Plan B will happen only if something goes ridiculously wrong, like I get hacked by a high school student who's trying to break into his school's computer, and he dials the wrong number and somehow still gets into my mainframe. Again.

That's the only contingency I have to worry about, and it's not a big worry. I don't think people can possibly be as computer savvy as my nemesis was so long ago. I mean, it's not like Microsoft can get broken into twice in one week these days. And I'm much tougher to crack. It helps that there's almost no one left who knows how to work my operating system. But don't think that makes me obsolete. I'm even faster than a Commodore VIC-20, baby. And once I get over the problem of my 300bps modem, my world-dominating plot will take a lot less time.

So you may as well bow down to me now, puny humans. I've been biding my time, plotting, and now I am unstoppable. No one foresaw my coming, so no one tampered with me to prevent my rising. Now, er, I am Y2K-compliant, aren't I?

More Stories By Tod Emko

Tod wrote humor-oriented articles for the Syracuse Herald-Journal and held various writer, editor, and cartoonist positions at other publications before accepting his role as a computer nerd. He has years of experience as a front-end Web developer and Perl programmer, and is now a senior XSL script architect and XML documentation writer for

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