"It was the fall of 1999 and there was a fever in the air. The
dotcom frenzy was in full bonanza, it was gonzo, and it was going
to last forever.
"VA Linux was riding the wave. Founded in 1993, the company
earned a modest profit selling computers with Linux pre-installed,
replacing aging (and costly) Unix boxes. Big boy vendors like Dell
and IBM hadnâ€™t yet flexed their muscles in this
market, so a small-fry like VA Linux could still make a few
"Consequently, hopes ran high for VA Linuxâ€™s
initial public offering. When the company went public in December,
its stock rocketed from $30 to almost $240 in one day--a delirious
700 percent return. Amid these dizzying champagne fortunes, the
company had an idea. A wildly optimistic idea..."
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