In the dark ages of computers, that is before they talked to us, and we actually had to use a keyboard and type messages on them, there was something called spam...
No, I'm not talking about that edible food that people used to have before it was oulawed and found to be dangerous for all.
This type of spam was sent by unscrupulous computer users in the hope they would answer them, and cause damage to their hard drive.
The trouble is, they seem to have returned here in the 24th Century; what's worse, when I switch my computer on to record my Journal, I have to endure the computer's voice telling me all these absurd things.
The fact that the computer sounds like Lwaxana Troi is even worse!
Here is what the computer said and displayed to me today...
Dear Mr Picard,
I am an inhabitant of the planet Idiota. I am well known there, as I am very rich, with a personal wealth of 24 quintillion Credits. As there has been talk of an uprising recently, I am keen to move my wealth off the planet as soon as possible. If you will give me the account of your bank, we can send it through there and split the difference. Thank you for your support.
Data happens to hear this at the same time.
"Perhaps you should help Mr Frawd, Captain? He sounds like he is in some distress."
I just hope that Data never gets any spam sent to him. Here is another..
Were you lonely on Valentine's Day? Don't be any longer with Date-A-Deltan! If you send us 500,000 Credits, you will get a beautiful woman from the planet Delta. She might be like Ilia or Britney (below)!
Lots of Deltans waiting for you!
I don't think Bev would be too keen me considering that. I hurriedly move on before anyone comes into the room.
Have a planet named after you! There are countless planets in the Delta Quadrant waiting to be named. Send us 50,000 Credits and you will get a signed certificate with a named planet! We will tell you what sort it is. If you're lucky, you might get an M-class planet that you'll be able to visit in the near future! Call us at Star Trick!
This is ridiculous! Just one more....
Are you embarassed at having to order 'certain medications' in the shops? That will happen do longer. Just do it over the computer. Everything will be in utter confidence, and you can look forward to your parcel. You'll know which one it is, as it has our label 'Embarrassing Medications' stamped on it.
I decide to try and call Admiral Jordan about this spam; I hadn't been able to get through at first. He comes on the screen.
"Sorry I couldn't answer the first time, Captain Picard." he tells me, "I thought your message was a spam one, as you put that in the voice title. Incidentally, I'm in a good mood, as I've just had a star named after me in the Delta Quadrant."
"You haven't tried to get half of 24 quintillion credits, or get a date with a Deltan, or ordered any medication lately, have you, sir?"
He looks very red-faced.
"Err...yes, all of them, Captain Picard." he admits.
When I tell him that he is the result of being conned, he vows to close down all spam by putting them on scrambler, making them impossible to come on our computer.
I'm sure those in the 21st Century would have welcomed that happening.