Join the club

I got this pretty yellow invitation to join the big club the very first time back in 1994 with my copy of Windows 3.1. At that time, I was a fairly average user (or maybe even more inexperienced) and so I missed the chance to become a part of something this big and famous.

The next time I got the very same card was two years later with my copy of Windows 95. This time, I was already on my way to become an advanced user, but not yet advanced enough to be sceptical – so I signed up for the great advantages of being a club member (the results of which will be mentioned later on).

The third time I got the card (with zero changes) was in 1999 with a copy of Windows 98 SE. This time I was already beyond the level of knowledge companies living from hype find healthy – thus I not only never used the card to register but even decided to make fun of it publicly.

mscard1
Translation from German:
Microsoft Registration Card
IMPORTANT! Fill in this card and send it back to us today.
mscard2
Translation from German:
1. What kind of computer do you own? (Please tick only one box) A. 286 / B. 368 / C. 486 / D. Pentium CPU / E. Alpha AXP / F. MIPS / G. Other / H. I don’t know
4. How much RAM does your PC have? (Please tick only one box) A. 2-4 MB / B. 5-6 MB / C. 7-8 MB / D. 9-12 MB / E. 13-16 MB / F. More than 16 MB / G. I don’t know

1. What kind of computer do you own? (Please tick only one box)

G. Other

H. I don’t know

There are four possible CPU choices here on which Windows 98 simply won’t start at all (286, 386, Alpha AXP, MIPS) and there are half a dozen or more CPU types in the meantime on which it would run (or at least creep) – that means around 90% of all users are bound to tick either G or H, thus giving away virtually zero information.

 

4. How much RAM does your PC have? (Please tick only one box)

F. More than 16 MB

G. I don’t know

Too bad Windows 98 needs a minimum of 24 MB of RAM. As for the “tick only one box”, it’d be fun to tick several, like C + E, the sum resulting in a total RAM size of 20-24 MB, which would pose the interesting question of whether your system is now capable of running Windows 98 or not.

As an aside, on the next page the card goes on about promising me all kinds of cool information, offers and support when I register… well, I registered my Windows 95 and all I ever got in half a decade was an appeal to upgrade to Office 97. Yes, I know what you’re going to say: “you can’t use the Office 97 upgrade without a previous version”. Why did I get the upgrade offer then? Because, among many “important” questions, MS forgot to ask me something rather relevant – namely what product I was registering…