Monday, February 07, 2011

Stay away from my house, you freak!

The group giving away the free tanks [1] only stays alive because it is staffed by volunteers, who are lined up at the edge of the street with bullhorns, trying to draw customers' attention to this incredible situation. A typical conversation goes something like this:

Hacker with bullhorn: "Save your money! Accept one of our free tanks! It is invulnerable, and can drive across rocks and swamps at ninety miles an hour while getting a hundred miles to the gallon!"

Prospective station wagon buyer: "I know what you say is don't know how to maintain a tank!"

Bullhorn: "You don't know how to maintain a station wagon either!"

Buyer: "But this dealership has mechanics on staff. If something goes wrong with my station wagon, I can take a day off work, bring it here, and pay them to work on it while I sit in the waiting room for hours, listening to elevator music."

Bullhorn: "But if you accept one of our free tanks we will send volunteers to your house to fix it for free while you sleep!"

Buyer: "Stay away from my house, you freak!"

Bullhorn: "But..."

Buyer: "Can't you see that everyone is buying station wagons?"

In the Beginning was the Command Line, Neal Stephenson.

Needed an operating system for a laptop.  Grabbed the latest Ubuntu, installed and ...

I had me a working computer without a lot of fussing around, no screwing around with drivers, or software .. it just works.  Wireless, power management, all functional.  I was expecting a bit of a tussle, a minor headache: the only thing I did 'after market' was to install SSH, Ruby, Rails, SQLite.  Copied some scripts over from my Mac that I use to launch SSH and RDP connections at work.

I continue to be amazed that people put up with having to pay big bucks for an operating system. 

Apart from parting with cash, paying for anti-malware and anti-virus software, BSODs: what are they getting for that?

[1] In this metaphor, the Linux operating system is a tank.
blog comments powered by Disqus