Moving to Freedom, .Org(on)

A Beautiful Troll: Windows Required for GNU/Linux

Starting from slashdot, I was clued in on some good work being done by “Jerry Lee Cooper” over at ZDNet.

In a discussion about how the Linux will not displace Windows:

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that wont work without THEFT of intellectual property

Linux looks very interesting, even if some of the screen colours and menu options appear to be a little out of the ordinary.

But you are missing a vital point, a point which takes some experience and depth of knowledge in the field of computers. You see, when a computer boots up, it needs to load various drivers and then load various services. This happens long before the operating system and other applications are available.

Linux is a marvellous operating system in its own right, and even comes in several different flavours. However, as good as these flavours are, they first need Microsoft Windows to load the services prior to use.

In Linux, the open office might be the default for editing your wordfiles, and you might prefer ubuntu brown over the grassy knoll of the windows desktop, but mark my words young man - without the windows drivers sitting below the visible surface, allowing the linus to talk to the hardware, it is without worth.

And so, by choosing your linux as an alternative to windows on the desktop, you still need a windows licence to run this operating system through the windows drivers to talk to the hardware. Linux is only a code, it cannot perform the low level function.

My point being, young man, that unless you intend to pirate and steal the Windows drivers and services, how is using the linux going to save money ? Well ? It seems that no linux fan can ever provide a straight answer to that question !

May as well just stay legal, run the Windows drivers, and run Office on the desktop instead of the linus.

—jerryleecooper, zdnet.com 03/13/07

And then there is this opening gambit earlier in the thread:

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It wont happen

I dont see how this will happen at all.

Vista is far more powerful than windows XP, and runs twice as fast. It is also much harder to pirate, and this point more than anything else has the Linux crowd in a panic.

It wont be long until Windows XP is no longer supported, and when that happens, what is Linux going to do ?

Linux will have to find a way to work under Vista from here on, since it wont be able to rely on XP being readily available anymore.

Linux may seem like a good alternative to Office, but all that is happening in linux is that the windows interface is cleverly hidden away. It still needs the drivers and software services in order to run, and in most cases - that happens WITHOUT a valid windows licence.

This is just plain piracy.

Vista will finally put an end to this blatant abuse of intellectual property, and linux should decline, taking the pirates with it.

Anyone that supports the continuation of Windows XP in place of Vista surely has a hidden agenda .. and you will surely be caught out.

—jerryleecooper, 03/13/07

I love it. The first comment listed above (second chronologically) was copied in the slashdot discussion and I was uncertain at first if it could possibly be meant seriously. The answer is: no, of course not. But it is well done and hooks ’em in. These are the kinds of trolls that give trolling a good name.

(There is an earlier example of his work at Linux Today which demonstrates some of the potential seen in this new stuff.)

Despite Jerry’s sage advice, I think I’ll stick with my plan and move to the Linux, although I’ll try to say the GNU/Linux.