Linux-Mobile vs. Microsoft WinCar

Fake News written by Peter Neal on Thursday, July 30, 1998

from the open-source-highway dept.

This is a reply I typed up to a friend who had sent me that old tired joke about "If Microsoft made cars..."

There'd be a weird car called a Linux-mobile, that was easy to get, but wouldn't be sold by big dealers. You could find it for $50 at Fry's supermarket, get one free from a friend, or have it delivered very slowly through the bathtub faucet, extruded out long and skinny. Hell, you could go out and buy a book on how to drive the Linux-mobile and find the car tucked into the back cover!

If it broke down or needed some work, the best mechanics would be other Linux drivers who just happened to be driving by. Each Linux-mobile would come with a metric ton of tools in the trunk, from the simplest greple-wrench to a big box of network sockets. If you didn't have the tools you needed, you could always get different ones, since they were all free.

If there was something that didn't work quite right in your car, instead of waiting for a car company to offer the next model year three years from now, you could just bum some new and improved parts from your friends.

Linux-mobiles would be a little ugly, a little rough around the edges, and not too popular. The people driving them would look like mechanics. Pretty soon, you'd look like one too. But you wouldn't care so much as you drove past those stranded in the center median. Maybe you'd stop to offer help, but would scratch your head when you notice that their WinCar didn't seem to have a hood to open and look under. Then you'd notice that this car didn't seem to have doors either, and the driver was trapped inside.

Linux-mobiles would require a different key for each person that drove them. Even weirder, they would grow a new steering wheel each time someone new got into the car! What's more, the Linux mobile would happily run for weeks, *continuously*, even making trips on its own with *no* driver. You could relax with your paper while your car went to get groceries.

You wouldn't even have to sit in them to drive them; you could steer them from another car's steering wheel if you wanted to!

While you couldn't drive the Linux-mobile on a few popular tollroads, such as the MSOffice Turnpike, you could drive it a lot more other places: on roads, on dirt trails, over grassy fields, along train tracks, through the sky, and across the sea floor.

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