The Operating System Holy War Erupts Again

Fake News written by James Baughn on Tuesday, June 27, 2000

from the charge-of-the-linux-brigade dept.

YAKIMA, WA -- A new front has opened up in the ongoing Software War between two computer stores in downtown Yakima. Mom & Pop's Olde Time Computer Shoppe fired the opening salvo by moving all of their Linux merchandise to the "Entertainment" section in a hidden corner at the back of the store. Soon after, Colonel Panic's Software Bazaar instituted a new policy requiring customers to undergo a five-day waiting period before purchasing any Microsoft products. The town's Freedom To Innovate Association and the Yakima Linux Yakkers User Group have declared war on each other, with no end in sight.

The whole thing started last Wednesday, when Mom & Pop decided to reorganize their store. They shuffled Linux stuff to the back, while Microsoft boxes remained in the "Productivity" section at the front of the store. Soon thereafter, Advo Casey, the Benevolent Dictator of the Linux Yakkers Group, discovered the switch. He went on record as saying, "This is an outrage! To relegate Red Hat Linux to the back of the store next to the dusty bin of third-rate shareware games is beyond ludicrous! This means war!"

Store co-owners Momar "Mom" Jones and Popeye "Pop" Moyer defended their store's move. Said Momar, "As far as I'm concerned, Linux is nothing but a game. The process of repartitioning your hard drive, installing it, configuring it, and editing lots of incomprehensible text files is a challenge that even the best computer game couldn't match. That's why we moved it to the 'Entertainment' section."

Popeye chipped in, "There's nothing productive about Linux. Millions of geeks and geek wannabees are wasting countless man-hours toiling away in their basements tinkering and klutzing with Linux to get it to work the way they want. Heck, we'd discontinue all Linux distros from our inventory if wasn't for those annoying Linux zealots who swagger in here every day demanding to know why we're the only store in Washington that doesn't carry Black Hat... or Burned Hat or Communist Helmet or whatever it's called."

Needless to say, the Linux users in town weren't about to let this go unchallenged. Kurn L. Hacker, the proprietor of the competing Colonel Panic's Software Bazaar, immediately took action. He explained, "The Court has ruled that Microsoft violated Federal anti-trust laws. Ergo, Microsoft is a convicted felon. My store therefore requires all customers to enter into a five-day 'cooling off period' before purchasing Windows, so they can consider the ramifications of giving money to a felonious organization. Plus, Microsoft products have been shown to increase stress -- and therefore heart attacks -- so this policy is for the health and safety of my customers."

Once the opening shots were fired, the Freedom To Innovate Association sent a formal Declaration of War to the Linux Yakkers -- in Word .doc format, of course. The Linux zealots responded with a ping storm aimed at the Mom & Pop website. Although the situation remained non-violent, a tense confrontation did occur on Saturday at Franklin City Park, when representatives of both sides got into a shouting match.

The next day, Mom & Pop dumped all of their remaining Linux inventory into the river, saying, "What's ten boxes of Red Hat at the bottom of the Yakima River? A darned good start!" Colonel Panic responded by slapping a "Handling Fee" of 1000% on all Microsoft purchases to cover his "mental anguish and fatigue at dealing with Microsoft products."

Other than those two incidents, however, the Yakima Linux War has so far been quiet. Nevertheless, observers expect that intense fighting could erupt at any time. "This same thing happened last year in Raleigh-Durham," explained one geek culture expert. "A group of Microsoft lovers started to make a fuss, and the Linux users all got mad. That was quite a mess."

Stay tuned to Humorix for biased updates to this story as we make them up.

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