The Latest Get-Rich-Quick Scheme: Bashing Linux

Fake News written by James Baughn on Wednesday, December 22, 1999

from the the-linux-gold-rush-continues dept.

At this point everybody knows that the easiest way to increase a company's stock price is to insert the magic word 'Linux' in a press release. However, many people haven't caught on to the latest way to make money from Linux: writing an editorial bashing it. This strategy, once tightly guarded by the likes of Jesse Berst and Fred Moody, is now open to any pundit, and it can be quite lucrative -- as USAToday.com columnist Will Rodger discovered today.

The idea is simple:

  1. Write a scathing article attacking some facet of Linux ("I had trouble installing it..." articles are the most popular).

  2. Publish it on the Net.

  3. Arrange for the article to be mentioned on LinuxToday or Slashdot.

  4. Watch as thousands of angry Linux zealots storm your article and load the advertising banners. Listen to the ca-chink sound of the advertising revenue that's pouring in.

  5. As soon as the maelstrom quiets, publish another scathing article about the immaturity of the Linux "community", excerpting some of the nasty flames from Linux longhairs denouncing your intelligence and claiming that you're on the Microsoft payroll.

  6. Arrange for the article to be mentioned on LinuxToday or Slashdot.

  7. Watch as thousands of angry Linux zealots storm your article...

  8. Wait for a few weeks, and repeat. Cash your inflated paycheck, invest the proceeds in some Linux stocks, and retire early. You've "earned" it!

Fred "I've Been Assimilated By Microsoft" Moody and Jesse "Could You Get Fired For Choosing Linux?" Berst have successfully used this strategy for years. Indeed, advertising revenue from Berst's "AnchorDesk" is probably the only thing keeping Ziff-Davis afloat. Today's anti-Linux op-ed on USAToday.com ("Linux: Windows competitor... Not!") is currently enduring the LinuxToday Effect and the author is undoubtedly receiving at least 2.32 flames per minute.

To help you get started with this latest get-rick-quick scheme, we here at Humorix have composed the perfect anti-Linux diatribe guaranteed to increase your hit count manyfold. Just take this article, make a few modifications, publish it, and sit back and relax (while ignoring the 10,000 irate flame emails and bomb threats you receive).


LINUX WORLD DOMINATION? YEAH, BUT ONLY IF THE "WORLD" IS THE SIZE OF A PENNY

By Mr. Jesse Berst Wannabe, Whiff-Davis AnchorSoapBox

Linus Torvalds, the ultra-geeky hippie get-back-to-earth spirtualist who created his own operating system, is said to be plotting world domination. Hell will freeze over before the you-must-be-a-geek-to-use-it Linux operating system becomes more than a Wall Street fad. The only thing Bill Gates needs to worry about is whether some unaccountable federal court breaks up Microsoft and the whole notion of free-market Capitalism with it.

Linux is based on Unix, a system born of the Drug Culture '60s that has this quaint little thing called a "command line". I for one am glad that Bill Gates innovated the concept of a graphical desktop with cascading menus, colorful icons, and intuitive dialog boxes, because command lines just plain suck. Imagine trying to converse with somebody who doesn't speak English using only two-cans-and-a-string, and you'll understand what a command line feels like.

Of course, it doesn't matter what interface Linux uses if you can't install it. And, if by some miracle of the heavens, you are able to successfully install and boot it before the next Ice Age, the system will probably not recognize 50% of your hardware. Meanwhile, you can purchase a new PC at Wal-Mart, boot it up, and Plug-n-Play Windows will automatically auto-detect your hardware and you'll be all set (plus you'll never deal with a command line).

I speak from experience. Last week I obtained the book "Linux For Dummies" in the bargain bin of the local bookstore; the book comes fresh with the Slackware 1.0 distribution on CD-ROM. It was a nightmare. My first impressions were horrible; Slackware (what kind of a name is that?) had the outright gall to force me to "re-partition" my hard drive, and then, to make matters worse, demanded that I save a backup of my Windows partition because it might be accidentally deleted. Which is exactly what happened.

To make a long story short, I finally got Linux up and running. Sort of. The sound card doesn't work, the USR WinModem isn't detected, and the behavior of the [expletive] DELETE and BACKSPACE keys varies in every program! I haven't been able to use something called the "X Window System" (whatever that is); I keep getting dire warnings that improperly configuring my monitor settings might cause it to blow up or something. I've never had to face that kind of risk with Windows, so I gave up on that.

As you can imagine, I haven't accomplished much. It seems I can't do much in Linux without running into my new enemy, the vi "text editor". I can't begin to describe how appalling this software (created by Satan, no doubt) truly is. Forcing criminals to use it on a regular basis would be declared Cruel and Unusual Punishment by the courts. I say: Give me WordPad or give me death!

The only Linux program I've been able to successfully use is fortune, a virtual children's toy that spits out a random epigram with each execution. It usually spits out obfuscated quotes or obscure in-jokes that only a long-time nerd could possibly find interesting. Indeed, the fortune program seems to be Linux's way of telling me: "You don't belong here. You're not a nerd. You don't eat, sleep, and breathe computers. You're not a snot-nosed 14 year old punk with acne and no life. This operating system is not for you. Go away."

Linux's technical problems account for only half of the picture. The Linux community, and its constituent members, are another force to be reckoned with (or, more precisely, to be avoided). The system's developers, often socially-inept teenagers, are more interested in ego-reinforcement than in producing an innovative, user-friendly, paradigm-shifting, enterprise-capable operating system that can compete with Microsoft offerings (which Linux is NOT by any means).

Ego-boosting for Linux "hackers" often revolves around Code Envy ("my program requires more command-line options than yours does!"), adding bloat to programs without any real planning ("my patch to fortune allows it to read email and surf the Web!"), and producing jokes and parodies that only other nerds could appreciate ("Get rick quick by bashing Linux!"). How these anarchistic Gates-wannabes have been able to produce an operating system that works at all is something scientists will ponder for centuries to come.

To top it off, a new wave of carpetbaggers, Wall Street moguls, and get-rich-quick schemers have joined the Linux ranks now that the system has become (for now) financially fashionable. I, for one, do not want to use an operating system controlled by money-grubbing, grave-robbing, spin-doctor marketers who would sell their own mother for stock options. That's why I use Microsoft Windows and not Linux.

Windows has been, and always will be, the foundation of computing. Linux longhairs might be having fun now, but it won't last long. Mark my words, next year all of today's high-flying millionaire Linux zealots will be flipping burgers at MickeyD's after the Great Linux Stock Bubble implodes.

Linux will suffer the same fate as Beta VCRs, New Coke, and the Edsel. It's doomed. Long live Microsoft and the best operating system ever devised, Windows!

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