The Linux House 1.01

Fake News written by James Baughn on Sunday, August 27, 2000

from the now-everybody-will-want-one dept.

RATTLESNAKE RIDGE, LOUSIANA -- Mr. Billy O'Nair knows how to build a house. The 24 year old retired dotcom billionaire has constructed the "Linux House 1.01", a bachelor pad built in the shape of Tux Penguin. This geek haven features a 256 foot long computer room, along with other smaller, lesser important rooms (kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, etc.).

Explained O'Nair, "Why do architects waste a bunch of space on formal living rooms, family rooms, dining rooms, closets, foyers, and hallways that are rarely used? In my 'Linux House', the majority of square footage is devoted to the two rooms that I myself use the most: a computer room and a procrastination room."

The floorplan:

Linux House Floorplan

The design for this house is enough to send any geek into a frenzy of rabid drooling. Just look at what each room contains:

  • The Procrastination Room: When it comes to wasting time, Billy knows how to do it in style. With a wall-sized flat-screen TV, movie projector, pool table, LEGO workshop, and deluxe Laz-E-Geek(tm) recliner, there's absolutely no reason to perform meaningful work ever again.

  • The Computer Room: Many traditional houses try to hide the computer in a small "office" or "server closet". Not the Linux House. Not only is the computer room the largest space in the house, but it's also the first thing you see when you enter the front door. This room contains 64 computers running Linux, along with a few well-hidden boxes in the far corner that run other operating systems "just in case".

  • Bathroom & Library: In version 1.00 of the Linux House, O'Nair planned a seperate room for the library. "But then I realized that I did most of my reading and meditating while on the toilet," he reflected. "So why bother with a stand-alone library? Now I've got all my O'Reilly and science-fiction books right at my fingertips while I'm on the throne."

  • Bedroom: An unfortunate waste of space since Billy doesn't sleep very often (he once performed a 48 hour straight hacking run while doped up on caffeine).

  • Kitchen: Another waste of space. This small room only contains a microwave (with its own IP address) and a telephone with the nearest Dominator's Pizza location on speed-dial. "I don't cook," O'Nair said flatly. "Once in awhile I'll nuke a TV dinner, but most of the time I just hit the 'GIMME FOOD' button on the phone and order a Dominator's pizza."

  • Linus Torvalds Shrine: No geek house is complete without one.

  • Living Room: "This is really just a facade for a secret trapdoor that drops down into the laboratory and nuclear power plant in the basement," he explained. "Yes, I have my own power plant -- how else am I going to get all the power necessary to keep all those computers running 24/7?"

And that's not all. The Linux House features a LAN (Liquor Acquisition Network) that delivers alcohol or caffeinated beverages to any room in the house by way of pipes that run through the ceiling. In addition, 'PANIC' buttons scattered throughout the house activate the RAM System (Random Access Munchies), in which candy bars and other snacks are immediately delivered by FPM (Fast Pretzel Mode) and EDO (Extended Delicacy Output) pneumatic tubes.

Billy O'Nair was quick to point out another feature of the Linux House: No Windows and no Gates. Except for the one Windows computer running as a DSM (Dedicated Solitaire Machine), the entire house is 100% Microsoft free. (Unless you count the picture of Bill Gates on the DARTboard [Direct Action Retribution Target] in the procrastination room.)

Several volunteer engineers are working on a 2.00 release of the house. "The blueprints are currently available online under the BSD (Blueprint Source Distribution) License and anybody can submit patches," Billy said. Planned improvements include a second floor that will house a 128-node Beowulf cluster of Cray supercomputers connected to an OC-48 pipe. "I can afford this," said the dotcom billionaire. "After all, I'm using holograms for plants and trees, which saves a bundle on landscaping and gardening costs. It's not like I'm going to be outside much anyways."

The upcoming version will also fix a few bugs in the current design. "I should've put the kitchen near Tux's beak," he said. "And the Linus Torvalds Shrine needs to be in a more prominent location in the center of the computer room."

Built in 1998, Mr. O'Nair's Linux House 1.01 has gained national attention. A recent issue of "Better Homes & Gardens That You Can't Afford" featured a ten-page article on the house. Next year the magazine is scheduled to feature the daemon-shaped "FreeBSD Garage" that he wants to build for his Geekmobile. He also has other outbuildings on the drawing board, leaving the Linux House as the kernel of his property.

Billy O'Nair's creation has also done wonders for the cause of Linux advocacy in his local community. A series of articles in the Rattlesnake Ridge Browbeater-Crusader Newspaper about the Linux House raised awareness of bluescreen-free software alternatives. (Of course, the newspaper reporters mispelled Linux as "Lenix" and referred to the "Open Sores" movement numerous times [But we won't pick at that -- The Editor].)

"I've really put this town on the map," Billy bragged. "My Linux House surpassed the World's Largest Kudzu Patch as the region's most popular tourist attraction."

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