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Re: [humorix] Evolution Of A Linux User
O.K. I give up. What does PHB mean?
Altavista told me `Porcelain Hinged Boxes', but something
tells me I got the wrong acronymn.
Structural Engineering firstname.lastname@example.org
Texas A&M University
Everything that can be invented has been invented.
-- Charles Duell, Director of U.S. Patent Office, 1899
On Nov 28, 1999 at 01:13:34PM, James Baughn wrote:
> Evolution Of A Linux User
> November 28, 1999
> During the past year, the scientists in Humorix's Vast
> Research Lab Of Doom have studied the behavior and attitude
> of the typical Windows and Linux user. They have found that
> the average Linux user goes through ten stages of
> development from a "Microserf" to an "Enlightened Linux
> User". An eleventh stage, "Getting A Life", has also been
> observed, but only on extremely rare occasions.
> The 11 stages of evolution are summarized below. Note,
> however, that this life cycle is not universal. Many
> pundits, Microsoft stock holders, and PHBs never advance
> beyond Stage 0 ("Microserf"). Moreover, many extreme
> Slashdot addicts are stuck between Stages 6 and 7 ("Linux
> Zealot") and never evolve to Stage 9 ("Enlightened Linux
> User"). And, unfortunately, far too many people are unable
> to leave Stage 8 ("Back to Reality") and achieve Geek
> Self-Actualization due to problems outside of their
> STAGE 0. MICROSERF
> You are the number one member of the Bill Gates fan club.
> Your life revolves around x86 computers running the latest
> version of Microsoft solutions: Windows, Office, Internet
> Explorer, Visual Basic, and even Bob. You have nothing but
> hate for those eccentric Mac weenies with their
> click-n-drool interfaces and those stone-age Unix oldtimers
> with their archaic command lines.
> You frequently send angry letters to your elected
> representative about Microsoft's "freedom to innovative".
> You think lawyers are evil (unless they are defending
> innovative companies like Microsoft). You own an
> autographed copy of a book that was ghostwritten by Bill
> Gates. Your blood boils when somebody forwards you a
> so-called Microsoft "joke" by email.
> In short, you are a Microserf.
> STAGE 1. FEAR, UNCERTAINTY, DOUBT... ABOUT MICROSOFT
> Your world-view begins to sour as you encounter a growing
> number of annoyances with Microsoft products. The number
> of Blue Screens increases, however you ascribe the problem
> (at first) to conflicts with poorly written drivers that
> came with your peripherals. Icons keep jumping around the
> desktop unpredicatably. You spend 30 minutes one day idly
> searching for an obscure configuration option in the
> Control Panel.
> Slowly but surely, you begin to have doubts about the
> quality of Microsoft software. Then, the Microsoft
> Network, to which you have dutifully subscribed since 1995,
> begins to double bill your credit card. You attempt to
> rectify the problem, but are stymied by the burgeoning
> bureaucracy of Microsoft's Customer Support Department.
> Fear sets in... will you get your money back?
> Meanwhile, something called "Linux" appears on the fringe
> of your radar. You immediately dismiss the idea of a
> viable and quality Microsoft alternative (Linux is
> Unix-based and therefore must suck, you conclude).
> Nevertheless, you wish something could be done for some of
> the annoyances in Windows. But you do nothing about it.
> STAGE 2. FEAR, UNCERTAINTY, DOUBT... ABOUT LINUX
> You keep hearing about this Linux thing, and Open Source,
> and Apache, and FreeBSD as well. One of your friends
> installs Linux and says, "It's cool, dude!" You discover
> that the selection of Windows books at your local bookstore
> has remained constant while the Linux and Unix books are
> multiplying like rabbits. You argue, "Well, this just means
> Linux sucks... if there was such a large demand for it,
> there wouldn't be many books on shelves."
> Nevertheless, as time wears on and Windows becomes more
> fragile, the temptation to give Linux a try becomes more
> and more irresistable. While at your local
> SuperMegaOfficeSupplyStore, you pick up a boxed version of
> Red Hat on impulse.
> With much hubris, you completely ignore the documentation
> and attempt to install the OS by the seat of your pants.
> The installation is a failure; Linux simply cannot work
> with the WinModem, WinSoundCard, WinIDEController,
> WinPrinter, WinMonitor, and WinDRAM that came with your
> "Windows 98 Ready" machine from CompUSSR. You don't
> realize this however, since you didn't read the FAQs and
> HOWTOs. You immediately blame the problems on Linux and
> give up. You ditch your Red Hat copy by selling it on
> After the installation fiasco, you leave fearful,
> uncertain, and doubtful about this "alternative" operating
> system. Windows may have its problems, but Microsoft will
> fix them in the next upgrade, you reckon.
> STAGE 3. BORN-AGAIN MICROSERF
> "Linux sucks" is your new attitude towards life. Windows,
> all things considered, ain't so bad. You resolve to become
> a better Microsoft customer by participating in the
> Microsoft Developer Network and the Site Builder Network.
> You buy a bunch of "study guides" to pass the MCSE
> You launch a Windows advocacy site on some dinky free
> webpage provider, utilizing the latest innovations in
> VBScript, ActiveX, and other IE-specific features. Instead
> of lurking, you now actively participate in Linux and
> Macintosh bashing on various Usenet groups. Upon
> discovering Slashdot for the first time, you assume the
> role of the Bastard Anonymous Coward From Hell by posting
> countless flamebait posts about how cool Microsoft is and
> how much "Linsux" (as you call it) is a crappy OS.
> You proudly wear an "All Hail Chairman Bill" T-shirt and
> display numerous pro-Microsoft bumper stickers ("Honk if
> you hate anti-trust laws") on your car. You never leave
> home without your Windows CE-based palmtop computer. You
> make a pilgrimage to Redmond to marvel at the glory that is
> the Microsoft Campus.
> STAGE 4. DISGRUNTLED USER
> Your Microserf ways come to an abrupt end when everything
> goes wrong. You lose a vital work-related document to a
> Windows crash. You lose your job as an indirect result.
> You find that applying for jobs is difficult... everyone
> wants your resume in the latest version of Word, but you
> have an older version that has an incompatible file format.
> You waste more and more time tinkering with Windows and
> other Microsoft programs to keep them in working order.
> You encounter serious problems with Windows, but your calls
> to technical support only yield the dreaded response,
> "re-install the OS".
> After much grief you finally land another job at a software
> company, only to find out a month later that Microsoft has
> announced a competing product to be "integrated" with the
> next version of Windows. You soon lose your job.
> You can't take it much longer. You are now an official
> Disgruntled User, and are ready for a way to escape from
> the depths of Microsoft Hell. You are ready for anything
> at all... even a primitive, archaic, hard-to-install,
> grief-laden alternative like Linux.
> STAGE 5. A RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE
> You resolve to install Linux now, for real. Your friends
> say "It's about time", and tell you to RTFM this time.
> After losing yourself in the documentation for several
> days, you figure out why your previous encounter with Linux
> was a disaster: you need real hardware, not WinCrap.
> With a new computer at your desk, and a Red Hat CD-ROM in
> hand, you embark on a voyage of discovery to the land of
> Linux. Your life is changed forever; words cannot describe
> the rush you feel when you first log in as "root" after the
> successful installation. You stare blankly at the screen
> in awe; you are unable to utter a word, unable to think of
> anything else except "HOLY SHIT THIS IS SO DAMN COOL!!!!"
> You spend hours, and then days, exploring the depths of the
> Linux system: a filesystem layout that actually makes sense
> (no "My Documents" crap), a command line so powerful it
> makes MS-DOS look like the Stone Age technology that it
> is... and best of all, no Blue Screen!
> "Why have I wasted my life with Microsoft? I'm never going
> back!" you exclaim wildly. You have thrown off the yoke of
> Redmond Oppression.
> STAGE 6. LINUX CONVERT
> You still keep a copy of Windows around, but you find
> yourself booting into Linux more and more. The meager
> amount of diskspace you set aside for your first Linux
> install dwindles; you decide to buy a second hard drive
> exclusively for Linux.
> You re-install everything, including the kitchen sink
> (Emacs). Once you finally get PPP working (it was a nasty
> challenge, but you're so enamored with Linux that you
> hardly notice), you go on a Freshmeat Binge: downloading
> and installing every piece of Free Software you come
> STAGE 7. LINUX ZEALOT
> Your enthusiasm for Linux is unbounded. You do anything
> and everything to advocate Linux and spite your old master,
> Microsoft. Usenet, Slashdot, and LinuxToday are your
> hangouts. You have a strong opinion about the GNU GPL and
> you're not afraid to share it.
> Linux World Domination is your new life's ambition; you put
> career, wealth, and dating on the back burner. You
> participate in flamefests against those braindead Windows
> lusers (stuck in Stage 3) that inhabit Usenet and ZDNet.
> You purchase all kinds of tacky made-in-Taiwan Linux
> merchandise (T-shirt, mouse pads, stuffed penguins, etc.)
> to show your support.
> You rearrange books in a bookstore so that the Linux tomes
> are displayed more prominently. You get in trouble with
> your boss because you spend all your time surfing Slashdot
> at work. You petition your local government to migrate
> their computer systems to free software. You move to
> another residence just so you can say you live on Apache
> Instead of a novel, you read the Linux kernel source for
> pleasure. You establish your own regional Linux User
> Group in the hope that you can invite a guest speaker in
> the future and get their autograph. You learn Perl with
> the goal of automating common tasks, but you spend more
> time tinkering with "just one more perl script" than
> actually getting stuff done.
> STAGE 8. BACK TO REALITY
> Your zealotry subsides as you are forced to re-enter the
> Real World. Your boss demands that you submit documents in
> the latest Word format, nothing else will do. Some of your
> favorite websites become harder to use because they keep
> incorporating features enhanced for Windows and IE. The
> new peripherals you bought from BigEvilProprietaryCo don't
> work with Linux and probably never will.
> Your ISP is acquired by another company, a very
> Microsoft-friendly company, to be exact. They "upgrade"
> the system; however, the only change you can notice is that
> Linux and PPP no longer work without extensive hacking.
> Then, citing "customer-driven demand", your ISP makes more
> "enhancements", and Linux no longer works at all. Calling
> their tech support is an exercise in futility, they simply
> say, "Linux? What is that? Whatever it is we don't
> support it, and never will. Go use Windows like everybody
> Reality sets in: you are forced to use Windows more and
> more. Your blood pressure rises, you have more headaches,
> you waste hours and hours due to Windows "issues", but you
> have no choice.
> STAGE 9. ENLIGHTENED LINUX USER
> Then you have an inspiration: you do have a choice, you can
> hack your own drivers for your hardware, you can find
> another ISP, you can get another job. Everything comes
> into focus, you have become a Linux Guru.
> You kludge together drivers for your "Windows-compatible"
> hardware. You finally (after much searching) locate a
> local ISP that's actually run by competent geeks, not MCSEs
> and PHBs. You find a new, better job at a Linux-friendly
> In your spare time, you work on various Open Source
> projects. You build up a reputation and receive "The
> Letter" to participate in the IPO of a Linux business. You
> join the bandwagon and create your own Linux portal
> You're at the pinnacle of evolution for a Linux user. With
> much joy, you become 100% Microsoft free. You ditch your
> Windows partition and burn all of the Windows disks and
> manuals that you own.
> STAGE 10. GET A LIFE
> You become bored with Linux, and computers in general.
> You're still a hardcore geek, of course, but you wonder if
> there isn't something better you could be doing. You've
> been told to "get a life" countless times during your
> existence on Earth, but now you wonder if maybe you should
> have heeded that advice.
> Unexpectedly, a media conglomerate (i.e. Andover,
> Ziff-Davis, Internet.com, etc.) offers to buy your Linux
> portal website and domain name for an obscene price that
> contains a significant number of digits. Without
> hesistation you accept; this windfall, combined with your
> earnings from Linux stocks, is enough to retire on.
> And that's exactly what you do. You move off to a small
> tropical island, and get a life.
> James S. Baughn
> Humorix: Linux and Open Source(nontm) on a lighter note
> Archive: http://humbolt.nl.linux.org/lists/
> Web site: http://www.i-want-a-website.com/about-linux/
Humorix: Linux and Open Source(nontm) on a lighter note
Web site: http://www.i-want-a-website.com/about-linux/