Some of you will remember that in the very early versions of SAS Enterprise Guide, we introduced a unique approach to helping you to learn SAS: an animated "agent" who could suggest your next steps within your project.
We furloughed the agent (who appeared usually as a wizard, genie, or Peedy the Parrot) when we shipped version 2.0. Some customers cheered at the change; others lamented the loss. All of this happened nearly a decade ago.
Last week I received this letter from an old friend:
Dear Mr. Hemedinger,
Let me introduce myself. I am "Merlin", the coolest of the Microsoft Agents. I have been trying to find you on Facebook unsuccessfully, so I decided to just write a letter instead.
I guess you have heard by now that the whole Office thing hasn't worked out quite the way I would have liked. Some folks even believe that the "XP" in Office XP stands for "eXecute the annoying Paperclip." To be quite frank, that blasted "Clippy" has really wrecked the whole thing for us. I knew from the start that he was just a warped, bent-out-of-shape, twisted piece of metal. If it wasn't for him, I bet we would still be in Office today.
Anyway, I heard that in SAS Enterprise Guide you guys recently implemented code completion, and I thought to myself, "hey, I am in the suggestion business too!" So what do you think about giving us a new lease on life in your next release? I understand that you have already done the work once, so you probably just need to dust off a little bit of code, right? But just in case, please accept this book to help jog your memory a bit.
Hope to see you soon on the other side of the monitor!
Your pal, Merlin
Accompanying the letter was a pristine copy of Developing for Microsoft Agent.
Please don't tell Merlin I said so, but I don't think that his prospects look good.