Computers as we know them today spew a Niagara Falls torrent of caffeine sweat, bile, and garbage water cascading constantly upon society’s collective head, so it’s often difficult to envision a time when they were (by 2021's standards) boring as all hell. Still, it’s difficult to watch the following wondrous, three decades’ old archival footage below and not think that, even standing upon the precipice of a new, connected age of technological progress, people managed to stay awake through this whole thing.
Although first uploaded to YouTube was over 7 years ago, this nearly 2-hour tutorial on Microsoft Word 4.0 brought to you by Florida Marketing International, Inc.’s “MacAcademy” series has recently resurfaced over at BoingBoing, and it certainly makes a solid case for its bestowed title of “The Most Boring Video Ever Made.”
Hosted by a seemingly very nice, very knowledgable person named Randall Smith (“Randy” to his friends and viewers), a man whose most interesting quality appears to be the way he pronounces the word “measure,” the Word tutorial is genuinely stunning in its absolute mundanity.
First off, it takes nearly 19 whole minutes before Randy even lets us look at the vintage software. “What could possibly take that long to intro such a seemingly basic program?” you may be asking aloud. A good question that we honestly can’t answer, and we watched the damn thing ourselves. There are some definitions given, and descriptions of the exciting new world of word processing software options.
Also, for some reason that’s both beyond us and makes complete sense, the opening tune is “Mammajamma” from The Alan Parsons Project—who are also responsible for “Sirius,” the iconic Chicago Bulls intro music.
We do recall a wild bit of trivia about The Monkees buried somewhere in those 18-and-a-half lost minutes, but we’ll let you find that for yourselves.
In any case, from there it’s a feature-length runtime of step-by-steps regarding typeface, font size, spacing, margin settings, “how to take a graph and put it into a document,” and everything else you need to know before making the imposing leap from a Brother Accord 12 to a powerhouse, 8mb hard drive Apple Macintosh desktop computer.
And yet, there is certainly something beautiful in Randy’s eager, informative tone, as well as the vintage physical and digital aesthetics on display during the tutorial, something one YouTube commenter describes to a tee: “He is 100% unaware of how boring this is. Also, he’s really talented and gets everything right. There are no cuts or edits. It’s just one perfect take. Boring but perfect.”
Boring, but perfect. Would that we were all such enlightened beings as MacAcademy Randy...
Send Great Job, Internet tips to firstname.lastname@example.org