Microsoft's opening act since Windows 95: Weezer

The radio ad caught my attention: Microsoft is opening one of its new retail stores in the nearby Natick Mall on June 8 and the ceremonies will be followed by a free concert that evening by … Weezer?

Really?

I shouldn’t have been surprised, because it turns out that Weezer has been Microsoft’s house band of sorts for going on two decades. Mall store openings appear to be a somewhat steady gig; for example, there was one last Sept. 29 in Newark, Del., and shows are also planned at store debuts in Portland, Ore., June 21 and Schaumburg, Ill. June 22.

But a look at the band’s Wikipedia page showed me something about the Microsoft/Weezer relationship that was genuinely surprising: It dates back to Windows 95, the installation CD for which includes Weezer’s most famous music video, “Buddy Holly.” You’ll remember that video as the one where the band plays at Arnold’s Drive-in Diner from the TV show Happy Days, which ended its decade-long run in 1984. Happy Days cast member Al Molinaro made a cameo.

The “Buddy Holly” video is all over YouTube, naturally, but there’s also a clip of that installation CD just in case someone needs convincing that the video was actually on it.

Of course, that song was by no means the most famous one associated with Windows 95: That distinction would belong to the Rolling Stones’ “Start Me Up,” which headlined the new operating system’s advertising campaign.

Now if Microsoft could only get the Rolling Stones to play a store opening …

Here’s a great definition of a startup

It's an age-old question; two actually: What's the definition of a startup? And when does a startup cease being a startup? We’ve kicked it around here from time to time and last week they were giving it some thought at Quora, where the best answer offered was this one from Dave McClure:

“A 'startup' is a company that is confused about -

“What its product is.

“Who its customers are.

“How to make money.

“As soon as it figures out all 3 things, it ceases to be a startup and then becomes a real business.

“Except most times, that doesn't happen.”

That about says it all.

An iPad hits the floor

The other night, while I was doing some work at the kitchen table, the living room produced a crashing sound followed by a child's panicked shriek. My first thought was that the TV remote had once again hit our fake hardwood floor ... but instead it was my iPad.

The next shriek was my own.

At first glance it was obvious that the iPad was in pieces; however, it quickly became clear that those pieces were actually the iPad cover and the iPad itself, no longer joined.

Bottom line: no damage, not a scratch.

And there may even have been an upside. This incident occurred not an hour after I had lectured the child in question about the need to carry and handle the iPad with two hands as often as possible so as to avoid dropping it.

The lecture obviously went unheeded.

Not so the shrieks.

Weezer concert tales, alternative startup definitions and parenting advice can be directed to buzz@nww.com.

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