The Anti-Linux-IPO Howto

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
, 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
  • 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

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
  • 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

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

[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

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

Try not to question any of the following aspects of the

  • 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

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