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The Anti-Linux-IPO Howto

Jul 23, 1999, 01:43 (86 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Paul Ferris)

A Paul Ferris original. He describes the condition of the mainstream press.

[ The opinions expressed by authors on Linux Today are their own. They speak only for themselves and not for Linux Today. ]

By Paul Ferris, Staff Writer

Although you see anti-Linux articles in the press all the time, I've noticed that lately the frequency has been dropping off somewhat. No doubt that some of the folks who are tempted to write one have peered over at the burning embers of their colleagues mailboxes, and have been somewhat discouraged.

Even so, I'm betting on a few brave souls. Especially now that change is in the wind, and they have their stock portfolio to watch after. It's a safe bet that some of that stock comes out of the more Northwesterly region of the United States. It's pure speculation here, but I'm guessing that a lot of members of the press wouldn't want anything to happen to that stock price. That being the case, now couldn't be a better time to write an anti-Linux-IPO editorial.

These articles will surely dot the online landscape more and more as August, and the appearance of RedHat stock, approaches. Since things get so inconsistent without a good template, I've decided to throw together this little Howto, for those members of the press that can't figure out just where to start.

The Anti-Linux-IPO Howto

With a little help here, and some beer (I recommend Fosters), you, yes you dear non-Linux journalist, can score big in the Anti-Linux-IPO article arena. No need to read up on the facts or do heavy research to sound authoritative. A lot of your colleagues aren't doing it, so why should you? Why should you burn your valuable time on something pointless like accuracy, when you could be playing Doom instead?

Let's get started.

You need a catchy title, one that will clearly define the topic and grab the readers' attention. I recommend that you make it similar to one of the titles listed below. Don't make it exactly like any of these phrases, as someone will likely accuse you of plagiarism, or worse yet, Innovation (TM), as defined by that same company in the North-West.

Linux: [insert one of the following]

  • A Weak Value Proposition. [not recommended, it's been tried]
  • Is it Worth the Risk?
  • It's Not Windows, So It's a Bad Risk.
  • Where Do You Not Want To Go Tomorrow? (also not recommended - Billy has lawyers at the ready for stuff like this)
  • The Choice Of Anti-Capitalist, Blood-Sucking Morons.
  • Are You Out of Your Cotton-Picking Mind?
by [your name here]

There has been a lot of talk lately in the press about :

  • Red Hat
  • VA Research
  • Caldera
  • Pacific HI-Tech
  • Suse
  • Barney
  • China
going public. This company centers around a new technology developed on the Internet called Linux. Linux is an operating system developed by :
  • Linux Torvalx.
  • Linus Tovaldz.
  • Linux Stallman.
  • a Transylvanian college student.
  • a band of system crackers that go by the name of LowPhiz.
  • Al Gore.
I know there has been a lot of positive press, but just forget about it because Linux :
  • is Unix, a non-standard, fragmented operating system that no one uses
  • is a rehash of the old Share-ware concept
  • has no clearly defined road-map
  • doesn't have Bill Gates guiding it
  • doesn't have enough hardware support
  • wasn't invented by Al Gore
and nobody wants that.

Selling Linux will do no good anyway because the product :

  • is free.
  • is too unstable.
  • is not fragmented enough.
  • is too fragmented.
  • changes too much.
  • doesn't change enough.
  • is too hard to use.
  • will get ruined when corporations get involved.
  • has too many GUI choices.
  • doesn't have a GUI.
  • causes blindness in laboratory tests with Mac users.
Businesses will not buy Linux because there is no one to sue. Ignore the fact that anybody who has tried to sue Microsoft has typically ended up bankrupt, and wishing they had attempted something less risky such as using the money to purchase lotto tickets. End users don't want Linux because it is :
  • too hard to use,
  • isn't standardized enough,
  • has no well defined road map, like Windows NT,
  • lacks a well defined screen saver API,
  • hard to pronounce,
so it's generally a bad investment.

Besides, everyone who competes with Microsoft fails. Linux is just like

  • the OS/2 thing
  • the Java thing
  • the Mac thing
  • the Betamax thing
  • the New Coke thing
  • the Rotary Phone thing
and we all know where that ended up. Billy crushed it like a bug! He's going to do the same thing to these companies, just you wait. Never mind that under-cutting a free product is impossible. Billy will find a way to pay people to take Windows, and still make money.

Linux has failed to make serious inroads into the corporate marketplace. Just forget those fortune 500 companies that IDC surveyed. Forget that Linux had over 200% growth in 1998. Those International Data Corp. guys :

  • can't be trusted because they aren't independent like Mindcraft.
  • don't have a good reputation when it comes to statistics.
  • were paid off by Eric Raymond.
  • probably can't juggle figures like Microsoft.
  • are anti-capitalist, blood-sucking scum like Torvalds and Stallman.
Moreover, the system lacks the applications - graphics, word processing capabilities, databases - to compete with Microsoft's personal computer business.

People won't develop these applications anyway, because :

  • the Linux API is too different from everything else.
  • Linux uses forward slashes for directory separation and Windows uses backward ones.
  • they won't want to piss off Billy.
  • of the lack of a good screen-saver API.
  • they will pay too much for the development tools.
Don't believe the stuff you read over at freshmeat.net. There's a lot of false Linux propaganda on that site that you can't trust. Also forget you saw Wordperfect, Star Office, The Gimp, Oracle, Informix, DB2, and a million other productivity and mission critical applications, free or proprietary.

You're obviously :

  • on crack
  • an anti-Microsoft bigot
  • a Religious Open Source Cult member
  • some kind of new-age hippie
  • not playing Solitaire with a full deck
if you buy any of that stock. Never mind that I'm probably selling most of my Microsoft stock as we speak, and putting it in mutual funds because keeping it is getting too risky.

If you have comments or suggestions about this article, please feel free to flame^H^H^H^H^Hemail me at [your email address here].

[end of article]

It's highly recommended that you end your article with a similar sentence to the one above. If you try and hide your email address you will raise the suspicion of a class of conspiracy theorists that believe that every journalist has had secret brain augmentation in Redmond Washington.

These people will not sleep or take a bathroom break from their computer until they have hunted down your email address from a previous publication. If they can't find it there they will use some other method, not detailed here due to legal and space limitations.

Once they find it, they will post your email address, along with a note similar to the following:

Folks, [your name here] was OBVIOUSLY a paid pond-scum sucking journalist-droid for the Evil Empire in the North-West. He's tried to hide his email address, that proves it! Here it is, fire up those flame-throwers, you KNOW what to do!
They will likely post it to every Linux publication and newsgroup that has any kind of public feedback. By the time their co-horts find it tempers will probably be at a peak.

In preparation, you should call your ISP and have him add a couple of disk drives to his email server. If he's using Windows NT for a web server have him swap it for FreeBSD or Linux for good measure. If not, once your article hits the net his server will likely be going on and off line at a rate similar to the pulse frequency of a Disco light. Don't inhale your own smoke here and think that somehow another non-Unix based Web server is going to take the strain.

As a precaution go out and buy some asbestos underwear. Better still, ignore all the incoming email you are about to receive and compose a form letter as an automated reply. This is a nice place to start:

Dear [your publication here] reader,

I am always positively delighted to get feedback, even if it starts by identifying me as mud-sucking pond scum in the opening sentence. I don't have time at the moment to read my incoming email, as my ISP is intermittently down, and my Internet connection is unstable. Not that I can tell the difference with Windows, it's just that it's more intermittent than usual. I hope to get back to you sometime before the new millennium.


[your name here]

Now, before I get flamed I must state that I think there are quite a few Linux users out there that are out of control. These people keep flame-throwers on hand, and their trigger finger is itchy as all hell to boot. For every 100 of us that are pretty good natured, there exists a couple of guys that type faster than they can think. It doesn't help that these people don't know how to use a spell checker as well.

If you are one of those people mentioned above, please try and stop it. You are making the rest of us look like a bunch of cave men. Computer literate cave men, but that doesn't excuse things. Try and write authors of incorrect stories, even anti-Linux ones, with some class. Here is a good link to read with more to say on this problem, from someone I personally trust on the subject. In case you still don't get it, here is more on the subject.

Since some of you may still not get the picture, I've created this mini-Howto for those of you on the receiving side of the Anti-Linux-IPO equation. Follow these simple guidelines and you can save the Linux community some serious embarrassment.

Anti-Anti-Linux-IPO mini-Howto

Responding to Anti-Linux-IPO articles can be quick and painless. Here are some simple guidelines to help make your experience pleasurable and less embarrassing in general for the Linux community.

Try not to question any of the following aspects of the author:

  • species
  • intelligence
  • integrity (pay-off by Microsoft) factor
  • religion
  • sanity
In short, be polite, as your email message can be printed out at a time when things are different. Even years later when you might deeply care for the writings of that author, he or she will be able to read back over your comments. At this future date, things may have changed for the better. Even so, they will re-read the message and think that you, yes you and not them, are still in that class of mud-sucking, moronic, paid-off-by-Linus-Torvalds-personally, satanic pond scum. All that, instead of themselves, because you were rude when you could have been polite.

A much better way to get your point across is to simply write back saying that you disagree and clearly explain why.

I recommend that you re-read your message for flame and ranting before you send it. Run a spell checker on it as well. If you don't think that you have a spell checker, try saving the message to a file and use the beautiful Linux command "ispell" on it. The command is executed as follows: ispell <filename>. There, that wasn't so bad, was it?

That covers the experience from both ends, in total. I hope this little Howto helps to clearly define the road-map. The road map which we all know we don't have because we lack a monopolistic loud-mouth as a leader. A little more predictability will help cut down on all of the unnecessary reading over the next couple of months.

Then I can do something more productive with the time, such as play Doom.