This article is more than 1 year old

Linux zealots proud to be as miserable as planes

Ineptitude is a five-man job

Stern response What's the difference between an open source zealot and a 747?

That's how one of the more famous jokes in the technology industry begins, and we explored the underpinnings of the laugher in my astonishing column penned last month. Slow planes stink. Crap pieces of open source code stink just as much. All it took was me pointing this out for the rest of you to really GET IT.

I'm proud of the work that I've done here, and I know that many of you are proud of my work as well. So, I don't want you to let this week's batch of letters get you down. There are a lot of slop monkeys out there, and they rarely miss an opportunity to purge, even if they're not invited. If I had a razor big enough and the patience to match, I'd shave these sloths of shallowness.

Instead, we're forced to hear what they had to say. (Translation: I have to fill space if I'm to get paid this month, and papa needs a new zester.)

Btw, asshole the OpenSource movement was not founded by Linux Torvalds, but another American, Richard Stallmann. Get your fact right before you publish crap. Its because OpenSource's pressure that good services are being offered to consumers or else you would be stuck with Crapped version of IE for the rest of your life without any fixes and with thousands of flaws. its because of opensource OS like Linux and FreeBSD that we have companies like Yahoo and Google providing services that are far better MSFT's MSN.

Look at shares of Google and Yahoo and compare it MSFTor SUN

Enjoy sucking up to MS


Okay, that might be a cheap shot, but you see what we're dealing with here. This pleb tells us to "get your fact right", while misspelling "facts" and "Linus" in the space of about ten words.

Show me "a normal 25-year-old" who owns a "bluetooth camera", and I'll show you a "journalist" who gets paid way too much to "talk shit".

Andrew Tonner

Okay, it's a deal but only if you show me a twenty-six year old ex-memember of the Bolshoi Ballet with slightly hairy arms and a penchant for packing jars of peanut butter.

I am struggling to type after a serious mirth attack :) That was FUNNY mostly because it was damned accurate. I am a Linux fan who believes that the open source community needs more careful lampooning, so fire away.

David Weber

Lampoon? Poonlamp? It's all the same to me.

I run Open Source (and Windows, and OSX), and I've built a LongEZ (designed by Burt Rutan). And I understand how airplanes work and therefore the technological limitations - obviously you don't. Why do you think you have to be so negative to be interesting?

Society improves through positive contributions. There is never any shortage of naysayers...

Philip Carter

You're writing "society improves through positive contributions" and accusing ME of being the problem? Why don't I just find you a dairy farm where you can end your days gazing at cows?

Dear Otto

I believe your wonderfully astute and perceptive analysis of the relative performance of OSS ranks as one of the more insightful pieces of anaytical journalism I have read in almost a week. Sadly I cannot relate to the parlous state of air travel in the US since I (fortunately) live in Australia. However I do understand some of the angst you deliver in the general direction of OSS.

It is clearly unacceptable that users should suffer poorly written software, especially given the amount that consumers pay for linux software. Oh? What's that? Linux is free software? Well I suppose the analogy with flying would only work if you could fly for free....

Do us all a favour, hop on the next free plane to finland and get a lesson in common sense.

David Howe

Clearly one of the leading members of an Australian think tank. Oh wait . . . . That's right. Let's not rub it in.

Hi there Otto, Had a dog called "Otto" once... dum mutt... Anyway, nice article, love your writing... But, you need to come up to speed sometime or at least catchup a touch!

Cheers, Justin

Without comment.

What is your problem? Are you getting paid by Micro$oft?

Do you have a MAC or a PC to work? You work for a newspaper. So it should be a MAC. Did you know that the MAC OS is build aprox 30% or more out of opensource? So if you say opensource is bad, it means you don't like your mac or what?


A Mac? A MAC? You sick bastard.

Again Otto, my good man, you have hit the nail on the head. Reading your articles always do two things for me: put a smile on my face (the balls it must take to post a letter from your mother) and open my eyes to other points that I might have failed to see. The airline industry won't change, you can think of it much like the industry I work for.

We won't get digital movies in cinemas because they spent $1.5 millions per crappy projector so they run them till they die and we are forced with subpar viewing condition. The airlines will run their planes till they fall out of the sky (has the happened yet?) and then perhaps (fat chance) we will get these amazing flying machines you are demanding! Open source? I laugh! Anyhow, again thanks for being you!

John Luko

Unlike the rest of you nancy boys, Brother Luko has some dreams and some vision.

As you're likely, sorry, certain to get flamed over the open source software is worse than flying article, here's a few words in support.

You have a point.

Particularly with respect to the infighting. I think the geeks have it wrong. Emacs vs. vi and KDE vs. Gnome (etc, etc.) shouldn't be called religious wars. Instead schisms in reglious organisations should be called geek wars.

Keep up the good work,

Andrew Richards

I can't quite tell which side Andrew is really on, but good for him for complimenting me.

Hallo Otto, Thoug i'm not unsympathetic to a number of your fulminated comments. I cannot comprehend what you've written by any means. If you're looking to start a 'holy' war i think you're really doing your very best.

As far as your comments on what you refer to as open sores i neglect them, though i do have similar 'complaints'. The testosteron level with these people seems to be digitaly induced for the best part of the day indeed.

Why someone who's, apparently, part of A Moral Action Group is writing such awfull mouthed language is beyond me. While reading across your 'writings' i simply _had_ to think about Johnny Rotten who loaths Bono and others for becoming the establishment instead of remaining true to themselves. Not i hold your comments to the same level of J.R.'s musings but still there's some inspiration there.

Should you need an extra Moral Voice on your team i'd be interested to see what you're up to.

Best Regards,

Joris Lambrecht

I doubt you're Institute of Technological Values material, but should you have some copies of your work, I'd be willing to spend three to four minutes glancing over the information.

I am not even a big open source advocate, but damn can anyone really be that arrogant or ignorant....first of all do you have any idea how hard it is to run a airline? You arrogant prick? Second, you think your so smart, saying other people cant spell 'fly'. You have a lot ot learn aoout life and treating other human being with respect. Seriosuly do the world of favor and next tiem you wann acomplain about your the door and jump out....moron

Jason J. Melo

Okay, Jason. Next tiem I wann acomplain, I'll take your advice. Until then, it's back to running my rather successful jet engine firm here in the Great American Southwest.

You obvioulsy have no idea what you are talking/writing about. Open Source means freedom. Freedom of choice. If you don't like it, don't use it. Complains are not fair because it's free, a fact which is not true for the OS running a "128-processor Unix SMP" machine you're talking about (unless it's OpenSolaris).

If you don't know about Linux and Open Source, then shut up! Oh, by the way: My Linux talks to my BT devices, loves to read from my V3 Razr, can print on my GDI laser printer, does real-time DVR and my server has an uptime of 93 days 11h. I suppose, except for the uptime, the "128-processor Unix SMP" does not even provide only one of the options. You must be a really frustrated guy. Go and get a life already.

Kenji Sugikawa

Actually, it's a 128-way SGI box running FreeBSD, so I do know what I'm talking about, and I know that when I try to link this box with my bluetooth can opener, it never ever works.

You know you're pretty much the same as all the other tech editorilists in main stream media: a huge ego and no idea what you're talking about. While I have no interest in your flying arguments, I always laugh when every single time someone is paid to bash open source, they focus on Linux. It's like the whole open source world is composed of a single product: Linux. Open your eyes and learn that without open source you would not be using a computer. Open source is what made email possible.

Open source is what made chat, web site building, the whole Internet possible. Open source is why all your Unix boxes can compile something that works equally well on every system, using guess what, GCC, instead of the original proprietary C compilers by each vendors which were completely incompatible. Open source is what created great products like Firefox, Open Office and the Apache web server, the server behind the vast majority of web sites. So next time you feel like bashing Linux distributions, think before you open your mouth.

Elf Guy

Oh, I'd say I'm hardly like every other tech editorialist. I'm much better.

Sir, All I can say is "Well Said" on the subject of open source development speed. The Jefferson quote sent shivers down my spine. I've sat there in a basement for years hacking code that will in no way make the world a better place. Now I'm off to Microsoft-land to see if I can develop something that people actually want.

While I'm extremely proud of our (open-source based) product as an end-user experience and simply because, goddamn, it's finally finished and out there - the amount of extra cruft we have to supply to make the thing usuable makes just packaging it up and then supporting it a huge task.

No, as a developer there's something to be said for paying for tools that make your goals actually attainable - and then to make it happen inside months rather than years. Rgds, Richard Bown

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Before shouting off I would suggest doing some research.. I happend to be a Finn and even though Finland is next to Russia, we still manage to be more democratic than USA, thank you very much.


The last time I was in Finland two hookers tried to trade themselves for a pack of smokes and a crate of oranges. How do you explain that?

More about


Send us news

Other stories you might like