What if Operating Systems were Airlines?
Everyone brings one piece of the plane with them when they come to the airport. They all go out on the runway and put the plane together piece by piece, arguing constantly about what kind of plane they're building. When another plane lands nearby, the passengers begin breaking up into meetings and trading pieces of the two planes.
Everyone marches out on the runway, says the password in unison, and forms the outline of an airplane. Then they all sit down and make a whooshing sound like they're flying. The flight attendant then announcees that soon all flying will be just like this.
Everybody pushes the airplane until it glides, then they jump on and let the plane coast until it hits the ground again, then push again, jump on again, and so on. For relaxation Bill's autobiographies are tucked in the back of every seat.
All the flight attendants, captains, baggage handlers, and ticket agents look the same, act the same. Every time you ask a question, you are told you don't need to know, don't want to know, and everything will be done for you without having to know, so just shut up. Cute little signs are everywhere and outside every window there are flying toasters.
The airport terminal is nice and colorful with friendly flight attendants, easy access to the plane, an uneventful takeoff...then the plane blows up without any warning whatsoever. In mid-air you are informed that the rest of the of your flight will be continued on DOS Airline. (See DOS Airline)
You apply for a ticket 24-36 months in advance and must pay a large application fee. Then you are alerted that "exclusive" ticket slots are available on a first come first serve basis. There is no scheduled departure time for any of the flights but the "exclusive" ticket purchase will ensure that you get a seat on the first flight - whenever. After purchasing the "exclusive" ticket at extremely exorbitant prices, you never hear from Taligent Airline again. Feeling perturbed after 8 months, you call the airline and ask about the status of your flight. You are informed of a "slight slip" in the take-off schedule and you are informed to call back in 6 months. At this point you are irate and the Taligent Airline offers a consolation. You are awarded a privileged "simulation" of what the flight would be like once they build the plane - just stop by anytime.
After buying your ticket 18 months in advance, you finally get to board the plane. Upon boarding the plane, you are asked your name. After 46 times, the flight attendant recognizes your name and then you are allowed to take your seat. As you are getting ready to take your seat, the flight attendant announces that you have to repeat the boarding process because they are out of room and need to recount to make sure they can take more passengers.
Everyone gets a paint-brush and paints the airport terminal. Right before take-off they are told that the plane will have only one engine and that the air-phones can only be used to call other NeXT Airline planes. On take-off you are told that its peanuts all the way. Every time you ask for food/beverages you are told that other food/beverage items are not necessary and that these peanuts have no fat and come in a wonderful black bag, with Steve's picture and personal greetings!
Everyone has difficulties getting into the plane and once they are in, it starts to make a lot of noise and takes off very slowly. The plane only blows up if you think it is safe. Occasionally the captain mumbles, "off to the left of the aircraft, you can see the Unix desert, and don't worry, we won't be going over there."