Review: "The Linux Revolution"

Book Review written by Jon Splatz on Tuesday, January 26, 1999

from the I-Cant-Write-Funny-Dept-Names dept.

[Editor's Note: Jon Splatz is Humorix's new pundit and social commentator. Any relation between Jon Splatz and the person that frequently posts long-winded social commentaries and book reviews to Slashdot is purely coincidental. In Splatz's first piece, he presents the first ever Humorix book review. Yes, yes, I realize that the idea of posting book reviews was blatantly stolen from Slashdot. I promise that Humorix won't steal any more Slashdot ideas. For awhile.]

Could Linus Torvalds be a visitor from the future attempting to change the course of future events? Is Linus? goal of "world domination" much more than a joke? Could "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" become the blueprint for a future gift-based economy? In the new sci-fi book "The Linux Revolution" (Faux Press, $19.95) by Linux developer John McFarland, the answer to all these questions is yes.

Unfortunately, the Humorix staff didn?t have enough clout to obtain a review copy of the book. However, since I absolutely loathe writing "book reports", I don?t mind this setback too much. Instead, I am quite happy to write a review of this book using the publisher?s press release and other promotional material as the basis, much in the same way that millions of students write book reports without actually reading the book. In this way, I can save much precious mental effort and time that could be better spent relaxing, reading the ton of flame e-mail messages I receive from testosterone-crazed adolescent dirtballs, and making up excuses for why I don't have Linux installed on my machine.

"The Linux Revolution" presents an alternate reality in which Linus Torvalds wasn't born until 2002, Linux was never created, and a giant mega-corporation holds more power than all world governments combined. The mega-corporation, known as the Allied Companies of Earth (or simply, "The Company"), controls 95% of the world's corporate wealth.

The foundation of The Company is Microsoft, whose growth was so unstoppable in the early 21st century that Bill Gates (and his heirs after he was assasinated) had the power to dominate or outright acquire most of the world?s companies - which, of course, it did. By the end of the 21st century, Microsoft had become The Company, which controlled almost every industry and many governments.

In this alternate universe, Microsoft was unchallenged by Linux. Several keys members of the Department of Justice "disappeared" under mysterious circumstances, right when the anti-trust trial was in full swing. Several other factors, not present in our reality, contributed to the rise of the Microsoft Empire.

Even though The Company controlled the world in a "Big Brother" fashion, there existed a small, but technologically advanced, underground resistance movement. Richard M. Stallman, executed on charges of treason (promoting free software and Microsoft alternatives), was the Underground?s martyr. At the beginning of the book, one young man, Linus Torvalds (and, of course, the main character), discovers a method of one-way time travel into the past. After much planning, he and several friends travel back to the late I980s to begin their Great Adventure: to plant the seeds for "The Linux Revolution".

If you want to know what happens, you?ll have to read the book. And could you please send me a copy? I?d like to know what happens, too!

This book is slated for release in March. You will be able to buy it at any online bookstore that sells fake books.

You can e-mail me at jonsplatz [at] i-want-a-website [dot] com.

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