When a computer of some sort becomes an audience for text -- anywhere down the line -- some interesting products result.


So, um, what does Toyota have to do with a VW Pickup? Not much, but it sure makes the truck pop up in the alerts of people looking for Toyotas on ebaymotors. Another popular move is to say something a car is not, I've noticed, like that your Oldsmobile Cutlass is "NOT 442" (442 is a popular performance package that could be ordered on a Cutlass).

Perhaps the most clever use of text designed for software, in these cases search engines of some sort, is VB.NET. It's freaking impossible to find things for Visual Basic 6.0 through Google now. Rather, it's nearly impossible to limit your search to VB6 and not get back solutions/matches that only work in VB.NET. Why? Because nobody pre-.NET knew that adding the 6.0 (or 3.0, etc) would be so useful. Microsoft managed an embrace and extend of articles written for past products, turning the searches the articles enabled pre-.NET into advertisements for Microsoft's new (and, let me be clear, not necessarily better) way of programming things. Because of the lack of version numbers in past articles, they could be easily appropriated and co-opted by the new .NET release. Microsoft could have named their new release basic.NET or the like, which would have made some sense, as they broke the incredibly high level of backwards compatibility in VB6- with .NET. Heck, you could still use line numbers in VB6 if you wanted, and most of the time pasting VB3 into 6 didn't give you any headaches. Now there's obsolescence, and the old articles, thanks to their name and Google, unwittingly are used to push you "forward".

Perhaps at some point I'll come back and write this with words that are easier to understand.

Ever wish you had iSight (*sigh*; I /just/ got the pun) built into your computer?