[INTERIOR:DAY Television studio of a local access cable station. Two weathered but fashionable chairs sit on opposite sides of an glass-top coffee table that has seen better days. Camera and lighting equipment feed into a bank of computers running the BeOS.]
[F/X: Icon World intro theme music]
[Fade up houselights to reveal weathered but fashionable host Trent Bafflegaff sitting with this week's guest]
TRENT: Welcome to Icon World! I'm your host, Trent Bafflegaff. This week, we're honored to have with us in the studio the lovely and talented SerialConnect. Welcome, Serial.
SerialConnect: Thanks, Trent.
TRENT: So Serial, as I understand it, one of your main duties is serial debugging?
SerialConnect: Yes, that's right.
TRENT: Fascinating. So, can you tell us exactly which serial tends to give users the most trouble? Fruit Loops? Trix? I know I only understand about half of what my Rice Krispies tell me to do every morning.
SerialConnect: Ummm, what I do has nothing to do with breakfast cereal.
TRENT: It doesn't?
[TRENT hurriedly consults The Regis Guide to Talk Show Host Suaveness]
TRENT: [laughing] Well then, it looks like our producer has another of his nephews working in the research department.
[F/X: Strained Laughter]
SerialConnect: Serial debugging actually refers to serial line debugging.
TRENT: Ah, now I understand.
SerialConnect: Do you?
TRENT: Err, no.
SerialConnect: When working on an operating system or application, it's useful to know exactly what's going on a step-by-step level. This way, if something goes wrong the engineer has a pretty good idea of what causes the error and how to fix it. This information is passed out the serial port, through a cable to me. Then I display it for the engineer.
TRENT: Why not just display it on the screen of the computer with the problem?
SerialConnect: What if the problem is with the video display and you can't see anything?
TRENT: Oh, right.
SerialConnect: Besides, most users don't want to be bothered with that information.
TRENT: So most users will never see you? That's just great. Well, that's about all the time we have for...
SerialConnect: [interrupting] Actually, Trent there's more.
TRENT: More? My brain is already full.
SerialConnect: I can also be used with a modem to connect to other computers remotely.
TRENT: A-ha! People use you to connect to the Internet, right?
SerialConnect: My good friend DialUpNetworking handles connections to the Internet - that requires a TCP/IP stack. I'm used more for connecting directly to another computer, perhaps one that is running a BBS.
TRENT: Well, I didn't understand most of what you said, but I'm sure it was fascinating.
SerialConnect: As are you Trent.
TRENT: Of course! Thanks for coming on the show, and I hope you had a great experience.
SerialConnect: Not really.
TRENT: Whatever. [turns to cameras] Thanks for tuning in to Icon World. Be sure to tune in next week for more inside stories of BeOS icons. I'm your host, Trent Bafflegaff. Click safely.
[F/X: Icon World exit theme music]