back to article Oracle sends bloke cardboard laptop

Long-term readers may recall the strange case of Microsoft's "rock-in-a-box" anti-piracy campaign, apparently exhorting honest citizens to stone to death those involved in disseminating illicit copies of Redmond apps. Well, it appears Oracle's marketing department has acquired some of the same nose Ajax which fuelled MS's …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Steve


    Heh. Why not just send a giant footprint full of carbon instead.

  2. Peter Fielden-Weston


    Its probably more useful than their other products.

  3. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Breaking Rank and Files

    It is a much more dangerous place in protected content, for then any Tom, Dick or Harry/Tinker Tailor Soldier Hello, Sailor would presume to have Answers........ whenever they only have Bits and Bytes of the Many Big Pictures.

    Providing the Pictures for you to slot in your Bits and Bytes will Allow for Mutual Intelligence Service ....... A Collection and Distribution Facility for AI Processed Information into a Globally Read Intelligence Feed in Higher Definition BroadBandCasts as Simple Text Transmissions/Project Submissions as in this one...... for the UltiMate in Ultimate Vistas

    amfM Quantum BetaTesting TEMPEST v.2 ....... for the Sweetest of HoneyTrap USes.

  4. Yves Kurisaki


    Maybe they're planning on selling licenses just for reading their documentation?

    ..or maybe cocaine prices have gone down or the marketing department's bonuses went up

  5. Gavin

    its a decoy

    Its their idea to save MI5 some money by giving their agents cheaper useless laptops to lose instead.

  6. Mike Peachey

    Obvious Answer / Not So Obvious Answer..

    The obvious answer would have to be that Oracle are coming out with some brand new special drive encryption or BIOS protection or some other rubbish that no-one will ever bother to turn on and they feel that they need to get this information into the marketplace in true Gabbo! style: "Oracle's a baaad widdle boy!".

    Alternatively, they just like screwing around with dedicated customers and have recruited Derren Brown to come up with strange and wonderful techniques for hypnotising and brainwashing them via confusion and emotional pain into believing that Oracle is truly the one and that, no matter how much they practise sadomasochism with their customers, no-one should ever look anywhere else for their technological needs.

    Or perhaps someone was feeling whimsical on their last day as Supervisor of Marketing at Oracle.

  7. Richard Neill


    I shudder to think what *baited* breath would be like.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hacker proof

    At last a machine where you can install Oracle and it will be safe against Internet borne attacks.

  9. Simon Painter

    Full Disk Encryption?

    Have Oracle just bought a full disk encryption product?

  10. Brian

    Cheap Waste Disposal

    It's a great idea. They don't have to pay to have their shredded documents disposed of - just post (eh, free-post?) them to customers.

    He should try to reassemble the shredded documents too. It's probably shredded customer credit card information.

  11. Declan

    Value add

    I suppose it sums up the future direction of Oracle, your personal hollow box of useless bits of information.

  12. Jonathan Adams

    Encrypted Message ...

    I wonder what was printed on the shredded material ... what would it say if you put it back together?

  13. Trygve Henriksen


    don't tell anyone, but that is really a prototype laptop which wasn't meant to be sent out yet.

    This is in fact the Oracle Disposable Laptop(ODL). The theory is that when one of your workers have to go on a trip, he gets one of those, with a full battery(Lithium, non-rechargeable), stores all his documents on an USB memory-stick, and when the battery runs down, or the trip is over, he just tosses it in the nearest paper-recycling container.

    The reason they haven't announced it(yet) is that they've been having a few small problems printing a functioning LCD, keyboard, battery and... well... just about everything in fact...

    Sources say that it will be formally unveiled as soon as the keyboard functions, and sales is projected to start soon after.

    The LCD is hopefully operational by the time they introduce V2.0 and the processor is slated to show up in the V2.5i version.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Message is Quite Clear..

    It says.. please give us more money so we can spend it on landfill-bound crap like this.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Waste Disposal

    >>He should try to reassemble the shredded documents too. It's probably shredded customer credit card information.<<

    Nawwww its the secret details of the deal Oracle had with SAP before SAP accessed their data ;).

  16. Jonathan Wallington


    Has he tried to install Linux on it yet?

  17. Stu

    Another marketing strange-ity...

    I once got sent a pair of wire-cutters from Intel, I also had to foot the postage bill and the petrol getting to the PO collection office!!

    I had no idea it was a piece of marketing weirdness from Intel and I was expecting something else to arrive bought over Ebay.

    Imagine the disapointment!

    I don't even have any connection with intel other than buying a CPU from them once, I don't even think I registered the product for them to know my address!

    Why a set of wire cutters you might ask? A wholely tangible way of pushing their Wireless network tech! Can't remember the marketing blurb of course but it was packaged in a box printed with some blurb.

    I still have the cutters in my toolbox at home, blue rubber handled with the intel branding, they are cast iron and felt like a real set of cutters- but can't cut shit.

    Perfect really, I thought these attributes were quite accurate of Intel.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Oh come on. Let's not add injury to insult. Compost the thing, or recycle it.

  19. Gav

    I want one!

    Seriously, think of the fun you could have with it.

    - take it to a coffee house and accidentally knock it off the table and right across the room.

    - or set light to it and complain their wi-fi firewall is faulty

    - accidentally and absent-mindedly pour coffee over it. Then add sugar.

    - take it to PC World and ask them to fit more RAM

    Then when you're bored, leave it on the train when you get off and see if anyone nicks it.

  20. Ephraim Gadsby

    "baited" ≠ [bated] - Lamentably Common Homophone Error

    This article includes the following quotation from Mr. Armstrong's blog remarks.

    "Breath well and truly baited here."

    The cliché is indisputably "bated breath". Unless a pun or similar intentionally erroneous usage is intended, writing "baited" in conjunction with "breath" is a vulgar barbarism.




    Ephraim Gadsby

    The Nasturtiums

    Jubilee Road, Streatham Common

    London SW16

  21. Antony

    GovErnmeNts ConSpiRe to preVent Evil mOnkEy cReaTions

    If they had just sent a leaflet would you be thinking about it now! I think not.

    Nerds 0 - Marketing 1

  22. Hein Kruger

    RE: Breaking Rank and Files

    could amanfromMars please send me some of whatever he's been smoking?

  23. jimmyroamer

    New Oracle Strategy

    Based on what they sent, expect announcement that Oracle are releasing new PC based database that shreds all your important data as you enter into the database.

    Now that is what I call secure

  24. Nick Oakley


    It's like those suitcases full of cash that explode with purple dye when you try to open them: Open this baby and all your data is shredded immediately. Try to remove the harddisc - shredded. Drop it too harshly - shredded. Incorrect password 3 times - .... you get the idea.

  25. A J Stiles

    Baited breath?

    Is that when a cat eats cheese and sits by a mousehole?

  26. James Anderson

    Maybe it reulted form a typo.

    Part of thier new "per shread pricing model".

  27. Dave Murray

    PC Wurld

    "take it to PC World and ask them to fit more RAM"

    I bet they spend hours trying to figure out where the memory slots are. You could also try asking them if it's Vista capable. Someone has to do this and report back. :)

  28. Pete Bryan


    Its obviously thier new way of stealing people ideas, after getting caught stealing things in cyberspace they have gone into the traditional surveilance area. The shreded paper is probobly laced with small cameras and microphones.

    DAP will undoubtably be receiving alot of these in the next week

  29. Stuart Rogers

    Re: I want one!

    "- or set light to it and complain their wi-fi firewall is faulty"

    - or set light to it and put in a claim for an exploding battery.

  30. Tony

    Is it just me

    or do the photos look a bit photoshopped?

    And I second Hein Kruger's request: "could amanfromMars please send me some of whatever he's been smoking?" Please email me at

  31. MJ Whitley

    If you lived in the US...

    In the US, we are constantly hearing in the news how some poor sap had their laptop stolen...and on it's hard drive was 10's of thousands of peoples personal information like social security numbers, home addresses etc...

    The suggestion is that if you use Oracle's product and your laptops falls into the wrong hands...all they will get with they open it is useless garbage.


  32. Luke

    Re: Is it just me

    >And I second Hein Kruger's request: "could amanfromMars please send me >some of whatever he's been smoking?" Please email me at

    amanfromMars be notorious round these 'ere parts of posting spam poetry (spoetry or, as I like to call it, crap) that may or may not be vaguely related to the sotry, spurring musings whether he/she is a spambot or a person hoping to gain notoriety by posing as a spambot.. etc. etc.

    Do you smell a conspiracy? Or is that just my feet?

  33. Robert Ramsay

    RE: amanfrommars

    can I put him on /ignore, please?

  34. Derrick


    I have just been enjoying reading the comments left by amanfromMars on the articles... his spoetry(or crap) as Luke called it gives me something to do during the day.

  35. A J Stiles

    @ MJ Whitley

    That sounds sort of sensible, actually; but let's face it, Oracle aren't exactly known for being open with their Source Code. Would you dare to trust any so-called "security" product, if you hadn't been invited to look at the Source Code for yourself -- and maybe show it to an independent expert of your choosing and whom you trust? I certainly wouldn't.

    Imagine someone rushing up to you and saying, in a cheesy Mexican accent, "Hey Gringo! Jou want to send thecret methage, yes? Me and my brother, we have super thecret code, we only two een world who onderthtand eet. So, jou dictate methage to me, I write eet down een code an' sen' eet to my brother. An' then my brother, when he get eet, he onderthtand the code an' he read eet out to your amigo! Eef anything happen to my brother, methage thafe, nobody else een the worl' onderthtand eet." Would you trust them? Because that's essentially the level of confidence you can put in any crypto software whose Source Code you have not subjected to independent scrutiny.

    If you can't *prove* that there is no way for *even the vendor* to access your encrypted material -- and the only way you can be sure is to read the Source Code -- then you have to assume that the bad guys -- who wouldn't let silly things like artificial and unlawful prohibitions against inspecting the code get in their way -- might also be able to access it.

  36. Jan Buys

    best comment

    >> Heh. Why not just send a giant footprint full of carbon instead.

    Hear hear...

  37. Haku

    Operating System

    I'm guessing this lapop runs on TreeOS, but I woodn't want to branch out on that idea. I'll leaf you with this thought, is this what happened to the $10 paper mobile?

  38. Petrea Mitchell

    Money = quality!

    I think the the committee that approved this marketing idea looked at the unusually high cost (due to the box and having to stuff it full of shredded paper by hand) : "If this marketing campaign costs $X more than usual, it must be X better than our usual mailings!"

    (And, for the C and C-like programmers reading this, the number of =s in the title is intentional.)

  39. Nepfold


    "take it to PC World and ask them to fit more RAM"

    Naaa they would just add more shredded paper, say 'jobs done' then charge ya for the paper

  40. Bill Buchan

    Come come.. Surely we can come up with a way of making this cost Oracle more..

    Such as:

    Put it in a wooden box, just big enough to fit into a letter box, preferribly full of heavy bits of metal. No stamps, of course. Marked "urgent". See if you can get some of that "biohazard" tape that the post office sells too. That usually gets attention.

    And then address it to the head of Oracle Marketing UK.

    But of course. Write the letter of complaint on paper, and shred it.

    See how long it takes for them to get back to you ?

    Its a thought.

    Course the old fashioned thing to do would be to collect EVERY old telephone book and yellow pages you can scrounge, and post em all (freepost or no stamps of course) to the same marketing dweeb at Oracle. Ten or so a day for a month and they might start getting the message.

    Call it recycling.

    In fact. Sod it.

    Give us the details, and we can *all* join in!


    ---* Bill

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: "baited" ≠ [bated] - Lamentably Common Homophone Error

    I poured over this article with grate interest!


  42. Andy Armstrong


    "or do the photos look a bit photoshopped?"

    I can assure you they're not. If you're not convinced let me know which close-ups you'd like and I'll take them for you :)

  43. Jeremy

    I can't help but be reminded of...


  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Inbuilt shredder/scanner/fax/copier/printer

    Perhaps, just maybe it's an all in one unit featuring the above services.

    Now all you need to do is carry about the pack of paper to wow your friends with.

    Of course, having paper copies of anything you then need to fax to someone else is a waste of time if they originate from the computer in the first place, but then isn't that what some people already do for lack of software?

    I hope there's a follow up and the "right" answer is revealed.

    The mind boggles and the photo's don't look that photo shopped to me.

  45. Marco


    Isn't -this- exactly the reaction Oracle hoped for?

    But, well, I had a bit of wine and maybe idiotic marketing ideas look totally reasonable in that kind of state.

  46. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Trick or Treat.

    "could amanfromMars please send me some of whatever he's been smoking?"

    Herr Kruger,

    Here's AIDeal.

    Do you think there is anything different in what you can read here.... ..... and what you can read in Breaking Rank and Files.

    Apart from One being way ahead of the Other, that is? Stay Tuned in to the Register 42BTurned On by IT, Remotely by Proxy/Virtually for they have been Invited to Play a Lead Role in a NEUKlearer Program.

    And to be Perfect Honest with you, you will need to Better than just Good to even begin to Imagine what is being Done Stealthily, Steganographically ....... Securely hidden in Full Sight.

    You certainly need to better/further intellectually equipped than any Spooks Squad chasing their tales....... for those that you may think about as could be interested, are busying themselves elsewhere in MIre. Some would even conclude ...burying themselves, for their chiefs and indians do not play for themselves and therefore rely upon others for their pay...... and therefore just do as they are told.

    Crikey..... Spambots in the Raw. :-) ..... rather than upholding that Great British tradition, the Naked AIgent on the Job. IT tells you everything about Prowess.

  47. Dan Fry


    haha, i love the comments here, the prototype laptop.. yes, sounds about right.. at least its as complicated as there database solutions.. maybe the guy just needs special training to put it together and it'll work.

  48. Geoff Mackenzie

    Honesty in advertising

    A disordered pile of garbage crammed into a thoroughly inadequate hardware platform. Sounds like a typical enterprise database to me.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ‘Oracle sends bloke cardboard laptop’

    It's actually very clever technology- a laptop upon which Windows won't crash!

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    is it just me

    or does he later in his post not say that his friend mailed it to him as a joke?

  51. Aubry Thonon


    I think someone at one of the Australian Universities (possibly Victoria?) is trying to fine-tune an Eliza engine. And why not, I ask you... if you can have computers write impromptue children's tales (for *very* young children), why can't you have them automatically respond to a geek forum. ^_^

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cardboard Laptop

    I suppose it runs about as well as any other computer using their product...

  53. gaz

    want one

    I would of camped for a week outside Oracle on the Thames Valley Business park in Reading to get one of these babies!!

    Of course I would of posted it straight on to fleabay in attempt to make millions

This topic is closed for new posts.