Clippy, I hardly knew thee
Ryerson Review of Journalism blog February 23, 2007
Dear friend (It looks like you’re writing an letter. Would you like help?)
You were conceived a decade ago to replace 1995’s cutesy, overly-involved Microsoft Bob–which offered a diverse selection of helpers, from Bob the yellow dog to Digger the Irish earthworm to a cartoon Billy Shakespeare. It was so ambitiously unhelpful that it made PC World’s 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time list.
And then there was you, the all-knowing paper clip, ready to interfere with deadlines and stall my writing mid-sentence. Every time I typed a date or added a bullet (or any other turn of phrase those Microsoft wizards figured I’d need help with) you’d pop up–3D and glassy-eyed, eyebrows raised–ready with some irrelevant advice. People didn’t like you very much.
But that hardly seems important now that Office 2007 left you to rust in the digital dustbin. Even though you’ve been uninstalled, may you take comfort knowing your skills (It looks like you’re writing a resume. Would you like help?) as mass-annoyer and deadline-bungler will not soon be forgiven. Er, forgotten.
RIP Clippy 1997-2007