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[humorix] Microsoft Spawns "Hacker-Friendly" Company

Microsoft Spawns "Hacker-Friendly" Company
October 10, 1999
Thomas Tempé, tom@thibs.resj.insa-lyon.fr 

REDMOND, WA -- Yesterday Microsoft officially announced the
creation of "Hajkerdomsoft Copyright Co.", an independent
start-up firm based in Redmond.  The new company will sell
ActiveHajks(tm), a Windows-based suite of tools for hackers
and nerds, preventing them from migrating to evil,
non-commercial offerings like Linux and FreeBSD.

A Hajkerdomsoft spokesman said at a press conference held
yesterday, "Hacker tools with indecipherable config files
-- Sendmail, Bind, or even Linux, for example -- are
quickly becoming de facto standards.  Obviously this
indicates a strong potential market for a commercial hacker
environment, one that should be quite viable and, of
course, profitable."

The company has already inked deals with several PC vendors
to pre-install free copies of ActiveHajks on their
computers.  In exchange, the vendors must add a clause to
their hardware warranties stating, "The installation of any
non-commercial software on your computer immediately voids
this warranty."

As can be expected, the news has already ignited a flame
war on Slashdot.  "Now that MS is spawning a seemingly
independent child process, it will be possible for them to
achieve world domination fast without the burden of
anti-trust legal paperwork!", BOredAtSchool posted.

According to a press release, some of the features of
ActiveHajks 1.0 include:

* A vi front-end to MS Word (code-named VILE, Visual
Interface command-Line Environment).  VILE will include a
Dancing Paper Clip depicted by animated ASCII art.  Files
will be stored by default in a proprietary binary format,
but users can choose plain ASCII by entering a sequence of
21 key-combinations.

* A Unix-like hierarchal file layout including C:\dev\,
C:\dev\null, C:\home\username\My_Documents\,
C:\Windows\etc\Start_Menu\, and C:\var\log\crash.log

* A bash-like command shell built upon the BASIC
programming language. Shell scripts will be written in a
dialect of GW-BASIC, complete with line numbers and GOTOs.

* Stripped down versions of Visual C++ and Visual BASIC
marketed as "Consule C++" and "Console BASIC" compilers
that are executed from the command line.

* A text-based web browser similar to Lynx but using the
Internet Explorer engine, which supports ActiveX, VBScript,
and Microsoft HTML extensions.

An early Hajkerdomsoft developer told Humorix, "We tried to
port GNU Bash directly, but source stolen from the FSF was
not paradigm-compliant with Microsoft Windows, so we had to
re-implement a whole Unix sub-layer for hacker-friendly
features like pipe-and-drop."

He continued, "The problem is that several implementations
already exist, including LEF, Jomm, and a few minor ones. 
LEF was there first, but it uses some free code, so a team
of purists set up the Jomm project with 100%-commercial
code. Version 1.1 of both systems are available but not
hajker-level compatible. We expect compatibility for
version 2.0, plus the resolution of legal issues with a
new, closed-source version of the RU lib, which LEF was
based on. LEF 2.0 will also include the new
commercial-standard DORBA Domination Object Request Broken
shell-pipe Arjitecture, which Jomm 1.0 already supports."

The company is spending incredible amounts of money on
marketing. A new website is under construction at
www.slajgrok.dom/default.asp called SlajGrok, "News for
Hajkers".  Corporate image building includes
Saturday-morning-cartoon-show advertisements for "hajk da
planet" and cheap merchandise like "/j.dom" caps, T-shirts,
mugs and mousetraps. "We also bought some subliminal
advertisement using the 'joodom' keyword, a bit like 'foo'
used by the Linux kernel guys," one trainee reported.

As of today, a full-fledged staff of lawyers is working on
a commercial version of the GPL public license. "Its name
has got such a strong influence on the hacker community,"
one employee said. "Maybe we can re-use it. Some software
packages under 'GPL version 2.0 or later' could be easily
stolen by officially writing a 'GPL 2.666 end user license'
forbidding their distribution."

Steve Jobs, permanent interrim CEO for Apple, boasted that
Bill Gates is copying him yet again.  "I already did this! 
Does anybody remember NeXT, a company devoted to
hacker-friendly computers?  Now Bill wants to spawn a
company devoted to hacker-friendly software.  It always
works like this.  Bill needs someone to show him the way. 
In that regard, I feel a bit like a big brother, showing
Bill the right NeXTStep."

To that, Bill Gates is said to have replied, "Steve is so
cute, but I could buy his wife if I wanted to. And I call
him every day to remind him how cheap he is compared to

The fact that Steve's NeXT company was a commercial failure
doesn't seem to worry Bill Gates.  He commented,
"Commercial Software is really better, because people trust
they can have technical support if they need it, even
though this may not be true, and above all because it is
the only way to make big bucks selling nothing. I think
Richard Stallman tried with free software, but the only
solution he found was to become some sort of a guru, and
yet, I earn more money in an hour than he will during his
entire life."  

We at Humorix believe that the word of a man who could buy
himself a whole government (or two) cannot be ignored.

Humorix:      Linux and Open Source(nontm) on a lighter note
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