Update: Linux vs. Redmond University
Fake News written by on Wednesday, November 11, 1998
Redmond University Founded; Linux University Grants Ph.D to Robert X. Cringley
REDMOND, WA -- Recently Humorix reported that a nerd college was under construction in the small town of Linux, Missouri. In response to this news, the city of Redmond, WA, in conjunction with a consortium of Seattle area high tech companies, has announced plans for the construction of Redmond University. This college, whose motto will be "What do you want to learn today?", will be open Q3 of 1999.
While the focus of Linux University is Slashdot-reading nerds, Redmond University will appeal to students who want to learn about business and marketing in addition to programming. In other words, Redmond U. is for people who want to get rick quick off the computer revolution without contributing anything.
Our vast network of spies have obtained the tentative roster of classes that will be offered at Redmond U.:
- Tech Writing I: Dummies Books - How to write books similar to those in the "For Dummies" or "Idiot's Guides" series. The textbook for this class will be "Writing Dummies Guides... For Dummies."
- Tech Writing II: Software Documentation - How to write software manuals and other documentation. Students will learn to write technically accurate statements that don't contain any useful content or substance, forcing
lemmingsusers to call the 1-900 tech support hotline for answers to their questions.
- Fundamentals of Communication - "Microspeak", the language of obscurity and hype used by a certain Redmond-based company, will be introduced. Students will learn to use such euphemisms as "issue", "known issue" and "innovation" in place of "bug", "bug we don't know how to fix", and "copying from the competition", respectively.
- Journalism & Critical Thinking for Pundits - Jesse Berst and other Ziff-Davis employers will teach this class on how to write columns and editorials for computer industry trade rags.
- Tech Support - How to deal with customers. Students will learn how to instruct callers on "fixing the problem by re-installing Windows" and how to blame the problem on other software programs. The use of euphemisms such as "known issue" and "design side effect" will be introduced.
- Reverse Engineering - How to reverse engineer software to extract trade secrets that can be
integratedinnovated in your own programs.
- Marketing I, II, III, IV, and V - A series of five classes that teach students effective marketing, spin, hype, and vaporware techniques. As Bill Gates said in 1995, "If you can't make it good, make it look good."
- Obfuscated Operating System Design - How to create operating system APIs that only you can understand.
- The Politics of Software Development - Or, "Why Richard M. Stallman is an idiot."
Students who attend Redmond U. will be given discounts on computer systems running Windows NT, Internet Explorer, Office, and Visual Studio. A Redmond city councilman said, "Microsoft will donate millions of dollars worth of software and hardware for the advancement of innovative and proactive educational opportunities at Redmond U. This university will set the de facto standard in computer industry education and training."
Reactions have been mostly negative. One high school student in the process of searching for a college said, "I've heard that Redmond U. will require all students to pass those MSCE tests before graduating. Is this college Redmond U. or Microsoft U.?" A college junior in Indiana said, "What's the big deal? A Microsoft-centric college? Aren't all colleges like that?"
LINUX, MO -- Earlier today Linux University announced that it will grant an honorary Ph.D to Robert X. Cringley/Marc Stephens and will offer him a part-time professor position. This announcement comes after Cringley's claims of earning a Stanford Ph.D and being a professor were exposed as untrue.
The university wants Cringley to teach the "History of Nerds" and "How to Become a FUD-free Pundit" classes. A university spokesman said, "Cringley/Stephens/Whatever will be a valuable part of our institution. He deserves a Ph.D more than some other people."
Cringley has not responded to the offer yet. Stanford was not available for comment at press time.