Programmer Implements Linux As ActiveX Applet

Fake News written by James Baughn on Monday, September 12, 2005

from the madness-madness-madness dept.

RED DEER, ALBERTA -- In what could be the greatest programming achievement since the invention of curly braces, James Hacker has successfully shoehorned a bare-bones Linux distribution into an ActiveX applet running under Internet Explorer and Windows XP.

The system, code-named NAPWOT (Not A Pointless Waste Of Time), includes the Linux kernel, critical system programs, assorted userspace applications, and even a hacked version of the X Window System to provide a GUI-within-a-GUI.

Hacker was quick to point out that his creation is much more than just a toy curiosity. It can be used to smuggle Linux into the workplace without drawing the attention of Pointy Haired Bosses or Bastard MCSEs From Hell. "The only way to stop NAPWOT would be to ban ActiveX from the entire corporate network. And that, of course, would be a good thing in its own right."

The best part, however, is that NAPWOT makes it possible to run Mozilla -- from within Internet Explorer. "You can now gain all of the advantages of Mozilla, but without violating your company's you-must-use-IE-or-else policy. After all, you are using Internet Explorer! What your boss doesn't know won't hurt him."

Like any good alpha geek, Hacker couldn't resist demonstrating his "piece d' resistance is futile": a PC running Linux running WINE running Internet Explorer running NAPWOT running Mozilla running a Java version of Emacs running a Solitaire program written in Lisp. "I can't wait to build a Beowulf cluster of these!" he exclaimed. "So many layers of abstraction, so little CPU time!"

Hacker hopes that his bastard creation will encourage more people to try Linux from the comfort of their favorite insecure web browser. "All you have to do is type in my website address in IE, and Windows will do the rest automatically -- and without so much as a security alert. It couldn't be any easier to install Linux! Unless, of course, we could forcibly upgrade everybody to Linux using some kind of Outlook virus."

Nevertheless, one naysayer emerged from the woodwork to say nay. "This is a bad idea for demonstrating Linux to end users. ActiveX is unstable and unreliable -- if NAPWOT crashes because of a flaw in Windows, Linux will get all of the blame. In short, Microsoft would be rewarded for its own shoddy programming. No, we need people to try real Linux distributions -- I'd recommend a worldwide saturation bombing of Knoppix CDs, but that's just my personal preference."

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