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(slightly skeptical) Educational society promoting "Back to basics" movement against IT overcomplexity and  bastardization of classic Unix

Open Source Humor Chronicle
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Best Stories in 2001

[Dec 28, 2001] Perl and Python to begin joint development

04/01/2001 SEBASTOPOL, CA Larry Wall, the creator of Perl, and Guido van Rossum, creator of Python, today announced that their respective projects are about to begin a period of joint development.

According to the language designers, the idea surfaced at last year's Open Source Convention - "We at the Perl Conference were aware of a need for a new direction for Perl and for its community, and that's why we announced the work on Perl 6," said an excited Wall. "At the same time, Guido was thinking very hard about Python 2.0 and where it was going, and we got together and started talking about helping each other out."

Initially, the pair planned to have their development communities working together for mutual benefit. Van Rossum cited some of the technical reasons for the collaboration: "Perl's highly powerful regular expression engine would be integrated into Python, and would benefit us greatly; in return, we've got a number of things right that Perl could gain from, such as signal handling and robust software engineering."

However, as both designers talked about the changes their languages were going through, they came to the conclusion that they had much to share at the language level as well as the interpreter level. According to Larry Wall, "Perl's always been about taking the best features of all the other languages available; it's perfectly natural for us to integrate the best features of Python too."

The specifications for the combined language, called Parrot, will be documented in the forthcoming book "Programming Parrot In A Nutshell", to be published by O'Reilly and Associates. In the meantime, the Python Software Foundation is said to be making arrangements to merge with Yet Another Society. YAS president Kevin Lenzo was delighted at the move: "It's a natural extension of what YAS was set up to facilitate - collaboration and communication between programming communities."

Parrot development will begin with the merger of the Py3K development team with the Perl 6 internals working group; Jeremy Hylton and Dan Sugalski will be the joint development leads.

Larry Wall and Guido van Rossum both accepted positions at the Vancouver, Canada development company ActiveState. A spokesman for ActiveState said that the company was obviously very pleased with the decision, but denied that ActiveState had influenced it in any way.

[Nov 3, 2001] Game Tester Fired for Spreadsheet Usage

An Electronic Arts game tester, Donald McGinty, was fired Monday morning for excessive spreadsheet usage.

"I had suspected it for quite awhile" said the employees supervisor, Jason Donwietz. "When I came into the room, he'd always flip back [to the game] real fast. I knew something was up."

Sure enough, an after-hours scan of McGinty's hard drive produced several spreadsheets and even a few databases.

"We always wondered why Donald was a few levels behind the other game testers. I never thought that he was actually typing up spreadsheets when we weren't looking" explained Sarah Rucksfield, McGinty's coworker.

Electronic Arts allows employees to do office work during lunch or after-hours, but strictly perhibits the behavior on company time.

Donwietz hopes this will send a message to other game testers. "I hope we don't have to remove Excel from all the workstations, but if this kind of behavior continues, we will have no choice."

[Sept 1, 2001] Ultimate entertainment ?

LINUX has more fanatical devotees than a teen pop idol...

-- from an IBM ad featuring  photo of gscreamin girls from one of Beatles concerts

[Sept 1, 2001]  Interesting variation of Peter principle ;-)

Five cannibals get appointed as programmers in an IT company. During the welcoming ceremony the boss says: "You're all part of our team now. You can earn good money here, and you can go to the company canteen for something to eat. So don't trouble the other employees". The cannibals promise not to trouble the other employees.

Four weeks later the boss returns and says: "You're all working very hard, and I'm very satisfied with all of you. One of our cleaners has disappeared however. Do any of you know what happened to her?" The cannibals disavow all knowledge of the missing cleaner.

After the boss has left, the leader of the cannibals says to the others: "Which of you idiots ate the cleaner?" A hand raises hesitantly, to which the leader of the cannibals says: "You fool! For four weeks we've been eating Team Leaders, Managers, and Project Managers so no one would notice anything, and you have to go and eat the cleaner!"

 **** Internet Attacked by Open Source Virus [Aug 26, 2001]

Computer users the world over have mixed reactions to the world's first Open Source virus. "OpenVirus" complies with the GPL in that it includes source and documentation when it spreads.

The virus is believed to have been written by college students who were disillusioned by the drop in viruses they experienced when switching from Microsoft to Open Source operating systems.

OpenVirus is friendlier than most other viruses in that it is not destructive by default. Upon loading into memory, it reads its configuration file (~/.openvirus.conf) and acts as configured. Possible actions include self-propagation, acting as a screen saver, erasing the hard disk, self-destruction, and evaluation of possible improvements in the system. The default action is to
propagate only, though users who desire a more realistic virus experience are free to change the configuration.

Most viruses are small, work on a limited number of platforms and configurations, and "rev" only occasionally. OpenVirus, in true Open Source fashion, has "revved" 394 times and has 98 contributors after just two weeks of existence. It now supports Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, BeOS, Windows, Macintosh, DOS, Palm Pilots, Nintendo (all versions), Sega (all versions), most programmable calculators, and certain programmable VCRs.

Open Source activist Eric S. Raymond publicly commended the anonymous original authors. "We Open Source advocates like to gloat about Linux's up-times compared to Windows'. But we're blind to areas where Microsoft is just beating the pants off us. Windows' support for viruses and worms is astronomically superior to that of any Open Source product, or any product for that matter. Outlook ushered in the modern era of e-mail viruses. And as SirCam and Red Worm show, the gap is only

A spokesman for Norton Antivirus told Segfault that, due to the nature of the GPL, he wasn't sure whether Norton could include OpenVirus in its virus database without being required to release its entire antivirus software product under the GPL.

Posted on Fri 24 Aug 15:41:00 2001 PDT
Written by Dan Richter <>

Jokes Magazine Grade School Teacher Sept 4, 2001

A grade school teacher was asking his pupils what their parents did for a living. "Tim, you be first. What does your mother do all day?"

Tim stood up and proudly said, "She's a doctor."

"That's wonderful. How about you, Amy?"

Amy shyly stood up, scuffed her feet and said, "My father is a mailman."

"Thank you, Amy" said the teacher. "What does your parent do, Billy?"

Billy proudly stood up and announced, "My daddy plays piano in a whorehouse."

The teacher was aghast and went to Billy's house and rang the bell. Billy's father answered the door. The teacher explained what his son had said and demanded an explanation. Billy's dad said, "I'm actually a system programmer specializing in TCP/IP communication protocol on UNIX systems. How can I explain a thing like that to a seven-year-old?"

 ****  Slashdot Posts Non-Political Story [Aug 24, 2001]

The well-known computer-news site Slashdot actually posted a story today that had nothing to do with politics, the legal system, or activism. Geeks everywhere gazed at their monitors in dazed surprise.

"I couldn't believe it for a second," said Jerry Barr, a self-taught Perl programmer. "I mean, I was so used to seeing the latest news about how the Man(tm) is crushing My Rights Online! Or how crypto-hackers were using BSD to break the DMCA RIAA/Microsoft Monopoly. I never thought I'd see a story that was written about something...geeky! It seems so pointless!"

Rob Malda, known on Slashdot under the name "CmdrTaco", was penitent. "I know we only post articles about what evil corporations and governments are doing to us, but I just wanted one geek article that has something fun and technical in it. I guess I just couldn't control myself."

Slashdot is not only a highly-rated computer site. It has also recently received the "site of the year" award from the American Amateur Bar Association. This award is given to the site that contains the most occurances of the phrase "I Am Not A Lawyer, But..." (sometimes shortened to "IANAL").

In a later interview, Malda stated that he had "learned his lesson", and would make up for the article by posting nothing but Jon Katz articles over the next week.

Posted on Fri 24 Aug 15:07:06 2001 PDT
Written by Andy Schmitt <[email protected]>

The Linux Forecaster, February 16, 2000

Another day, another portal opens.  Today's latest get-rich-quick portal is called "". Operated by a former meterologist, this site uses complex models to predict trends in the Linux world.  "We can predict short-term weather events pretty well," he said, "So why can't we forecast the next Linux vs. FreeBSD flame war on Usenet or predict the duration and intensity of the dreaded Slashdot Effect?"

As the founder of, Eric "Stormy" Jones is living out the American Geek dream: he just built his very own Beowulf cluster.  "After getting 'The Letter' from Red Hat and VA Linux, I made enough money to buy my own Beowulf cluster," he boasted.  "My old co-workers at the National Weather Service are so jealous; my cluster rivals those new supercomputers they just installed. They'll have trouble keeping up with this Jones."

Eric's cluster certainly is impressive.  It accurately forecasted a coupe of Slashdot Effect cases 24 hours in advance, allowing Eric to send this warning email to the victim before the storm hit:

NOTICE: has issued a Slashdot Effect Watch for your domain effective for the next 48 hours. Forecast models indicate that Taco Boy is planning on posting an article about your "Penguin Porn" site. The models disagree on the timing or duration of the storm, although we can say that a moderate risk of server crashes, excess bandwidth usage, and increased website hosting bills are possible.

Please take appropriate action by mirroring your site. It might be too late now, but you might also want to consider purchasing Denial Of Service insurance.

Eric Jones hopes to expand his portal website so that Slashdot Effect advisories are automatically issued.  "It's a public service," he explained.

... ... ...

Jones also made some dire predictions for Linux portals. "There's just too many of them.  The daily amount of new open source code written will drop by 22% next month as people stop hacking and start working on Linux websites, hoping to get-rich-quick by selling out to Andover and VA Linux.  In years past start-up companies dreamed of being acquired by Microsoft; now everybody wants to be acquired by VA Linux or Red Hat."

"The bubble will burst," he continued, before I could get a word in edgewise reminding him that his own site is a get-rich-quick sellout-bound portal site.  "Take, for example, the new portal. The site runs Microsoft IIS 5.0 and Windows 2000! 

[Aug 24, 2001] Son of the programmer to this father in the Zoo:   Look ! Live Linuxes !!!

[Aug 13, 2001] Slashdot Virus Scares and False Authority Syndrome

ultracrepidarian: (n., adj.) a person who gives opinions beyond his scope of knowledge.

Re:ultracrepidarian (Score:5, Funny)
by scoove ([email protected]) on Monday August 13, @11:22AM EST (#84)
(User #71173 Info)
Ditto! I'm so used to reporters getting it wrong (from interviews I've had) that I seriously doubt anything these critters put out.

In case you're ever the recepient of a reporter's questions, here are a few recommendations for your survival:

- if it is "off the record," then don't say it. Off the record is reporter code for "this will be really juicy stuff to print, but I'll have to slightly reword it."

- if it involves a competitor or other antagonist, don't say it (reporters have a field day on creating any emotional tension, e.g. making you out to be a fool)

- if it is not for release now, keep your trap shut and only mention it when it is for release. Reporters survive by getting new stories out and their loyalty to their editor (and interest in keeping their job) is greater than their loyalty to you.

- if it is at all technical, give them a written release and limit the story to that. If you absolutely must be interviewed beyond the release, give them 10 minutes, give them a couple of soundbytes that you've pre-prepared, and refer everything else to the release.

- and if you're the boss, tell your employees that speaking to the press is voluntary resignation (e.g. nobody does it except you).

This will help you survive these critters.


Journalism ...has been defined as the art of thrusting oneself into one unintelligible situation after another and subsequently passing oneself off as an expert.

"The media is always accurate, except when they're talking about things I know."

[ Jul 10, 2001] James Raftery (JBR54) "It's somewhere in the Red Hat district" -- A network engineer's freudian slip when talking about Amsterdam's nightlife at RIPE 38.

[Jun 13, 2001] QUOTE OF THE DAY-

"Great men are very apt to have great faults; and the faults appear the greater by their contrast with their excellencies."

- Gerald J. Simmons

**** Knaming

Leo - Subject: KDE knaming kscheme ksucks ( Jul 2, 2001, 20:02:34 )
KI klike KDE kand kuse kit, kbut KI kmust kadmit, kstarting kall knames kwith K kis ksilly. KI khope kthey kwill kgive kup kthis kwhole kscheme ksoon kand kcome kup kwith kreal knames.

Our goal is to reduce stress in society  and to make people feel better with the help of beer.
-- The Slogan of Russian Beer Lovers' Party

[May 25, 2001] IE has a good memory ;-) 

*** Log # 2 *** PHONE LOG 05/22/2000 04:51:04 PM Action Type: Incoming call
SETUP:/ PROBLEM: Boyfriend went to porn sites last night. She deleted the web sites from history. Autocomplete brings up some of the sites as options. If she clicks it to delete it, it pulls it up.

ENVIRONMENT: IE 5.00.2919.6307. TROUBLESHOOTING: Customer deleted temporary internet files and cleared history. Cleared the autocomplete history. Reboot. Same problem with the autocomplete. From C:\winnt\profiles\gretchen, rd /s history, rd /s cookies. Reboot. 

Some are gone, some are still there. Deleted temporary internet files, cleared history, cleared forms and passwords, reboot. The websites are gone from history, autocomplete. Customer agreed the issue is resolved.

[May 22, 2001] What we we get after Linus Torvalds autotobiography

Coming Soon... (Score:5, Funny)
by jonfromspace ([email protected]) on Tuesday November 28, @11:32AM EST (#98)
(User #179394 Info)
Linus - The Action Figure
Linus - The Breakfast Cereal
Linus - The Fragrance

Lotteries are a tax on people that suck at math


Here's the Authorised Version of the Free Software story. In the Sixties, software was created free, out in the high temples of Western technological academia: MIT, Stanford, enlightened corners of Bell Labs. The Internet was created here, they say, as were the purer artifacts of the programming art: LISP, and C, and UNIX. The future was dedicated to the dissemination of uncorruptable knowledge, passed on and improved through the frictionless channels of the fledgling Net.

But then (thunderclap on soundtrack, please) the software hoarding begins. Graduates sell out to companies, who retail their code without sharing the knowledge behind it. Software that, when bought, could not be changed, or fixed, or improved. Frozen forever - imprisoned by the greed of its owner, who did not want his secrets revealed, or his product redistributed to the needy.

Horrified, but isolated, Richard M. Stallman, at MIT's AI Lab, makes a stand. In 1984, he dedicates his life to preserving the ideals of Free Software: he forms the Free Software Foundation, and begins building the tools that will allow, one day, a computer to be used without having to purchase any hoarded, proprietary software at all. Free Software - but not just free as in for nothing, but free as in free to be distributed, modified, improved; fixed by anyone who has a different plan from the blinkered view of the binary-pushing corporations.

Stallman is viewed as a saint by many in the Free Software movement. And, if you ask him, he'll dress like one. He has a costume. He is called St. Ignucius.

This fact has not passed unnoticed by profile writers.

[May 22, 2001]  THE MESSIAH

In 1991, Linus Torvalds, a Swedish-speaking Finn at Helsinki University, mentions a project he's working on to comp.os.minix. As an aside, at the bottom of the message is a request to test another program of his, a hack of the Unix "finger" program that most half-decent Unix programmers could rustle up in their sleep. The first project is a plan to write his own, UNIX-like operating system. The disparity between this minor achievement and his aims couldn't be more stark.

Years later, industry pundits will hail this as a seminal moment in the history of computing. Thomas Scoville, writing in Salon Magazine, will describe in terms of Luther hammering his demands onto the doors of Castle Church, and smashing the Papacy of Bill Gates (Scoville also designed the Silicon Valley Tarot pack, which includes cards like The Hacker, the Salesman of Networks, and the Four of Cubicles). 

But if the religion has a leader, where are the followers to come from?

On USENET, in comp.os.linux.advocacy, Stephen Edwards writes (

> Oh, how fugging pathetic. Next thing you know, people will be wearing

 > "L"s on gold chains around their necks, and praising Linus Torvald's 

> sacrifices and teachings.

Linus replies:

What the h*ll? They don't already?



[May 28, 2001] From the letter from female Linux enthusiast: "I love Linus and he's doing a good enough job IMO. Sure he rejects a few too many patches -- but he's just one (sexy) guy. It's not his fault."

[May 23, 2001] Notes on improving Linux kernel usability (adapted from slashdot post (#437) ;-) 

[May 1, 2001] Home Page - Jokes on OO and OOP  -- very nice

****[Apr 25, 2001]  has refused to pull reviews of Red Hat Linux 7.0 Deluxe edition by Bill Gates and Linus Torvalds off its site because they are not offensive.The Register

Reviewer: Linus Torvalds from Finland
Despite fifteen years using Linux (most of those with Red Hat) I would recommend people to actually go out and use Windows. You see the actual Linux OS is not too good, the kernel (core functions) is really bad and the GUI elements feel like they've been stuck on with glue. Red Hat is really the worst of the distros and after ten minutes of using it, you'll be reaching for the Windows CD!

SatireWire FDA Regulates Internet as Drug

'Click Houses' Crop Up in Suburbs; Tipper to Launch 'Just Say Internyet' Campaign

WASHINGTON, D.C. ( — Concerned by numerous studies claiming the Internet is addictive, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration yesterday officially classified the Internet as a "controlled substance," a move that will force the nation's 80 million known users to seek a physician's prescription in order to access the Web.

The ruling was quickly condemned by Internet companies, who claim the decision will put them out of business and would likely create a vast black market in illegal Internet usage. African-American groups, meanwhile, said they would lobby Congress for a more statistically accurate name for the illegal Internet trade, such as "white market."

A Philadelphia Click House

No matter the color, the fears seem to be warranted. Already, police across the nation report the sudden appearance of "click houses" in once gentile suburban neighborhoods, illegal dens recognizable by boarded-up windows — to prevent screen glare — and 24/7 traffic.

"These clickheads are coming and going at all hours, using shared passwords and, in some cases, sharing mice," said Howard Roper, the police chief in Blue Bell, Pa. Neighbors, he added, are afraid to speak out because some clickheads, especially those high on auction sites, threaten to sell residents' belongings on eBay if they complain.

While acknowledging the ruling was socially disruptive, the FDA said it had little choice. "Studies have proven that the Internet is addictive, and our mandate is to control the dispensation of addictive substances," said FDA Commissioner Jane E. Henney. The FDA ruling calls for Internet traffic measurement firms to change their terminology from "unique visitors" to "unique addicts," and will require that a safety label be included with each Internet prescription reading: "Warning: This product may cause day trading."

Anti-drug forces generally applauded the decision, although they said it didn't go far enough. "While we agree that the Internet should not be available over the counter, we believe the Internet should first be tested on animals to discern its physiological and psychological impact," said Hallie Minor, director of Citizens Against Drugs. Minor spoke at a press conference organized by Tipper Gore, who plans to launch a nationwide "Just Say Internyet" campaign, which she hopes will convince young people to stay away from the Web.

Not surprisingly, Gore's plan was condemned by San Francisco-based URL-UP, which has started "mice exchange" programs, allowing users to turn in their used, dirty mice and trackballs for clean, new ones. "We are in no way advocating Internet usage," said URL-UP director Mike Barnovic. "But no matter what Mrs. Gore says, the fact is that people are going to do the Internet, so let's make it as safe as possible."

Internet companies, meanwhile, have strenuously objected to the classification of the Internet as a drug, and say they will fight the ruling. "To label the Internet a drug is absurd," said David Wetherell, head of holding company CMGI. "It is, if anything, a cult."

Added RealNetworks CEO Rob Glaser: "No, it's not a drug or a cult. It's a process."

"Oh, like smelting?" Wetherell replied.

"Yes, that's right," said Glaser. "Just like smelting."


Copyright © 2000, SatireWire.


BBspot - Test Shows 99.99% of High School Seniors Can't Read Perl

San Francisco, CA - Recent results from standardized Perl Fluency Test showed that 99.99% of US high school seniors can't read Perl.  This disturbing statistic shows that American students are painfully unprepared for life after graduation.

"This shows that there is a real need for a Perl Monk in every classroom," said Perl Monk Kelly Adrity.  "We've got computers in every classroom, now we need our kids to be able to use them, and what better way to learn about computers than to learn how to read and write in Perl.  I'm glad the budget proposed by President Bush sets aside millions for Perl Monks.  America will lead the way in Perl literacy."

The four hour test had 2 sections, a simple translation section and a project section.  The first part asked students to translate easy Perl phrases into their standard English equivalent, and the second section required students to produce a simple MP3 player in Perl.  "I didn't know what the hell any of it  meant," said one Senior, "it had lots of slashes and periods and brackets. It was so confusing.  I'm feeling rather nauseous."
... ... ... 

[Apr 22, 2001] BBspot - Real or Fake  Linux Distributions

     ... ... ... ... ...

****  BBspot - Linux Bashing Now Considered a Hate Crime  Linuxoids as " openly using Linux people"  a new kind of  harmless perverts that need to be protected by the statute ? [Apr 22, 2001]

It is commonly believed that 10% of the population are Linux users.  Linux users often hide their use from friends and family members.  Meeting other users in Linux only bars or IRC channels.  Openly Linux using people often face extreme prejudice and discrimination from co-workers and IT departments but say that this bigotry must be confronted.  "I’ve never been beaten because of my open sourceness, but I get a lot of ‘Linux sucks’ comments," said Jared Yttrium, "I’m glad the statute is there to protect me."

[Apr 21, 2001] From FSF collection 

[Apr 20, 2001] Former dotcommer tax form 1040

[Apr 1, 2001] Linux Today - Linus laid off!

"With so much news of layoffs in recent weeks, it probably shouldn't come as any surprise that chipmaker Transmeta is also feeling the bite. But the real shocker for HumorLinux fans is that kernel master Linus Torvalds is among those who will be let go on Monday...."

"Like Eazel and Zero Knowledge -- other open source companies who recently laid off staff after having just announced apparently good news -- Transmeta was in the headlines recently for having been chosen to supply chips for Microsoft Tablet PCs. This has led some in the Linux community to question if there is any connection between the Microsoft contract and the layoffs. Was laying off Open Source's favorite son a condition of the Microsoft contract?"

"Most emphatically not, according to Transmeta Communications Manager Phillip Bergman. 'It was actually the logo for Midori Linux which we found really inexcusable,' he said. 'We thought that since he is from Europe, he'd have better taste than to choose something like that.'"

"Bergman added, 'Plus, he's just not as funny as he used to be.'"

***** Microsoft adopts Linux as a new BIOS. Linus Torvalds joins Microsoft [Apr 1, 2001]

April 1, 2001. LINUS TORVALDS, the creator of upstart operating system Linux, will head a new division within Microsoft to develop a version of Linux to replace old PC BIOS. Information contained in a Microsoft memo leaked to the British publication Yellow Register  indicated that Windows XP is the last old-fashioned version of Microsoft OS and that the next version of Microsoft Windows will be able to fully utilize the  new BIOS. 

Microsoft also plans to reorganize the hardware group into several divisions with one being headed by Linux and the other concentrating on the providing help all major PC manufacturer to switch to new technology,  possibly by the end of the year.

Torvalds, who has been working for Transmeta -- the company that has close ties with Microsoft with Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen as a major stockholder , will join newly created Linux BIOS group. He also has reportedly also been paid $US100 million in stock and cash for the rights to use the Linux trademark. Microsoft  officials would not comment on Torvalds' salary and duties.

A Microsoft source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the company decided that Linux kernel will be perfect replacement for the old PC BIOS. He said Microsoft President Steve Ballmer had stresses  that such an approach represent the philosophy  ``if you can't beat `em, join `em approach'', similar to the one ``we used when we embraced the Internet''. There are many overlapping functions that are performed by both NT and Linux and moving some of them to the BIOS level makes perfect sense. PCs just outgrow old IBM BIOS and really need a new one. He stresses that Linux kernel already supports FAT32 filesystem perfectly well and that Microsoft is working on improving support for its flagship NTFS filesystem. 

Torvalds was tight-lipped when contacted, but said Microsoft had ``he always respected Microsoft technical achievements in applications area and that they made him an offer he can't refuse''.

``Anyway, it's time to make some dough from this open source thing. With Linux companies stocks in the trash bin I cannot buy a Ferrari for myself and new BMW for my wife. And I have three growing daughters that soon will need decent cars too. Currently I cannot even think about personal yacht.  Where's the justice in that?'' Torvalds said. ``Microsoft isn't all that bad and it really cares about its employees. And  the  new BIOS will be definitely better than they have before. And it remains open sourced''

Open source advocates contacted by Yellow Register expressed shock at Torvalds sudden change of heart. ``I can't believe it. I'm really shocked,'' a Melbourne Linux developer said. ``Don't do it, Linus,'' another urged. ``First it was (Open Source evangelist) Eric Raymond and now Linus. Who next, (Free Software Foundation founder) Richard Stallman?'' ``I knew it as soon as I heard he (Torvalds) had gone to work for (Paul Allen's company) Transmeta,'' a poster to said. ``They couldn't develop it, so they're going to buy it, just like they did with DOS.''

International Data Corporation Advanced Technology Markets program director, Travesty  Lowlife, said it was a  classic example of a smart business decision that turns the tables for IBM and Sun.  ``Both IBM and Sun wanted to play Linux card against Microsoft, but Microsoft again proved that they are just smarter than the competition '' he said. Other observers stressed that  the timing is perfect that kernel 2.4 is mature enough to replace old BIOS. That also might help to bury  the US Government case against the company.  ``By embracing Linux as a new BIOS, Gates effectively short circuits the (Department of Justice) case against Microsoft, rendering it obsolete. ``This strategic move will serve Microsoft well in the new Millennium. Now I am pretty confident that Microsoft will remain the dominant player in PC operating systems area for many years to come."