533: Laptop Hell

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Laptop Hell
The xkcd.com sysadmin has a Q2010, and I can attest that it can handle a fall down several flights of concrete steps. Relatedly, he's upset with me - I hope he doesn't take revenge by messing with my site's contenDISREGARD THAT I SUCK COCKS
Title text: The xkcd.com sysadmin has a Q2010, and I can attest that it can handle a fall down several flights of concrete steps. Relatedly, he's upset with me - I hope he doesn't take revenge by messing with my site's contenDISREGARD THAT I SUCK COCKS


The Devil Mephistopheles (named so in the official transcript) is greeting the new souls sentenced to Hell, and recognizes an executive from Fujitsu Ltd in the form of Hairbun. Mephistopheles accuses her of causing his favorite laptop, the Fujitsu Q2010, to be taken out of production. Mephistopheles is displeased because he thought it was a good laptop, just poorly marketed by Hairbun. Hairbun is confused and asks Mephistopheles why he is upset, as acts of evil are generally encouraged by the demons of Hell. Mephistopheles agrees but explains that Hell also needs good laptops, and in her case their need for laptops was greater than the need for her evil works. Though, Mephistopheles then goes on to confess, that it would not really have mattered as Hell has an exclusive deal with Fujitsu competitor, Sony, and he could not have bought the Fujitsu Q2010 anyway.

This would explain why the sale of the laptop failed, and Hairbun also exclaims I knew it to indicate that she had suspected it was weird that Sony did so well. When one strikes a deal with a devil from Hell, their affairs in life go great, but of course one has then sentenced their soul to eternal damnation in Hell when one eventually dies.[citation needed] Seems like Sony has done so according to this comic.

This comic is likely a wish fulfillment fantasy by Randall for the canceling of his favorite laptop, the Fujitsu Q2010. Exclusivity deals are typically thought ill of as they are bad for competition. Also, since exclusivity deals solely benefit the provider, there are often reciprocal arrangements for the purchaser. This implies that the devil has influence at Sony. Likely, Sony was chosen as the electronic distributor to Hell because of the Sony rootkit scandal. This scandal inspired many to call Sony an evil company.

It is the second time in a short while that a demon was depicted in a similar fashion although without the trident and not in Hell. This devil was also named Mephistopheles in the caption of that comic 501: Faust 2.0.

The title text explains that Randall's system administrator is upset with him because he tested the system administrator's laptop by throwing it down several flights of steps. The systems admin is implied to have taken revenge childishly, by replacing part of the text with "DISREGARD THAT I SUCK COCKS" although it was almost certainly done by Randall as a joke.

The "suck cocks" part is a reference to a post in bash.org which went on to attain moderate fame.


[A devil, Mephistopheles (according to the official transcript), with bald head horns, tail with arrow ending, a trident in one hand and a paper in the other hand is ready to welcome Hairbun to hell. Above Mephistopheles there are three large stalactite hanging down and behind Hairbun there is one very large stalagmite and three small and also two small stalactites.]
Mephistopheles: Welcome to Hell. Here's—
Mephistopheles:Wait. I know you.
[Zoom in on the two, with white background. Mephistopheles trident breaks the panels frame.]
Mephistopheles: You're the Fujitsu exec who killed the Q-series.
Hairbun: ...Yes?
Mephistopheles: The Q2010 was the perfect laptop!
[In this frame-less panel with white background Mephistopheles walks away from Hairbun trident pointing up and left. Hairbun throws her arms out to the side.]
Mephistopheles: Powerful, durable, had every feature, and made the Air look bulky. And that was back in 2006!
Hairbun: But no one bought it!
Mephistopheles: Then you marketed it wrong!
[Mephistopheles turns around towards Hairbun who both standing as in the first panel but still with white background.]
Hairbun: Wait. Don't you encourage evil acts down here?
Mephistopheles: In theory, yes, but we need laptops too!
Mephistopheles: Although it's moot, since we have an exclusive deal with Sony.
Hairbun: I knew it!

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The alt text is a reference to a hilarious post in bash.org, which is at this moment the #12 in the top 100 list:


http://bash.org/?top ‎ (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Only the devil is traditionally shown with a pitchfork. 15:05, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

Do you mean a trident? --Kynde (talk) 22:57, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

What's with the incomplete tag? This article has links to the wikipedia page for both devil and laptop. 05:38, 2 August 2014 (UTC)

"the smarter devil is a sony sales rep" What does this mean? 16:05, 2 August 2014 (UTC)

That Sony execs can ruin you computer and not have to reacall all their CDs so that you can buy the evil ones at car boot sales decades later.

I used Google News BEFORE it was clickbait (talk) 19:06, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Related: https://blog.xkcd.com/2009/02/11/a-math-problem/ -- jonas 14:33, 25 November 2020 (UTC)