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[humorix] Transmeta's Secret Revealed!
Transmeta's Secret Revealed!
November 14, 1999
The world anxiously awaits Linus Torvalds' keynote address
at Comdex on Monday, when he is rumored to finally reveal
what Transmeta is doing. The world can wait all it wants,
but we here at Humorix know exactly what Transmeta is
doing, thanks to an extensive six-month investigation of
the company conducted by our Vast Spy Network(tm).
Transmeta, we discovered, is a hoax. It's an elaborate
joke being played on the computer industry, and,
ultimately, Wall Street. At Transmeta, every day is April
The company has no product. They leak rumors about some
kind of next-generation processor, but that's all
smoke-and-mirrors. They have nothing except a website
that's not here yet, a pile of venture capital, and, of
course, Linus Torvalds.
Paul Allen founded the company years ago as an emergency
financial cushion to fall back on just in case Microsoft
crashes. Not only that, but he founded Transmeta as an
elaborate joke to be played out on fellow investors, and to
a certain extent, his old pal Bill Gates.
The name Transmeta means absolutely nothing. "Oh, we just
tossed together some cool-sounding Latin roots," Paul Allen
once said at a closed-door conference with VCs. "It's
funny to watch all of the rumor mongers over at Slashdot
and Usenet try to derive meaning from it."
Linus Torvalds was hired a few years ago to lend
credibility (and free buzz and publicity) to the company.
"Basically, we told Linus that we would pay him megabucks
to sit around all day and hack on the Linux kernel. He had
no job responsibilities at all, except to drop hints about
the company but otherwise say nothing," the former
Transmeta janitor told us. "In essence, Linux kernel
development was funded by hoodwinked VCs."
Other employees are treated similarly. Most pass the time
playing Quake or hacking on various Open Source project.
Once in awhile they might brainstorm a ridiculous patent
application, or release a 'rumor' to the media. The
Transmeta webmaster (recently hired by Microsoft) had the
most demanding job at the company, which isn't saying a
On Monday, Linus will finally spill the beans about the
company. "It's all been a wild hoax," he'll say before
laughing for five minutes straight. Nevertheless, the
company does plan to hold an IPO within the next year. "If
a 'company' like LinuxOne can have an IPO, then Transmeta
-- which actually has enormous brand recognition -- should
be quite successful," Linus is expected to say.
Transmeta plans to make an actual product announcement in
January. "We don't have anything right now," an anonymous
employee told us. "But we'll think of something. We might
team up with O'Reilly to produce a book like, 'The Official
Transmeta Guide To Fooling Wall Street'."
There you have it. Transmeta has been engaged in an
elaborate conspiracy to fool everybody. We here at Humorix
would like to thank all of our sources who contributed to
this exclusive report, including Bob, the former Transmeta
janitor; Spy #423, who decoded a secret message hidden in
the source code to the Transmeta website; Erik, who planted
a bug inside the Transmeta conference room; and Rob, a
friend of a friend of the boss of the wife of the UPS guy
who once delivered a package to Transmeta.
James S. Baughn
Humorix: Linux and Open Source(nontm) on a lighter note
Web site: http://www.i-want-a-website.com/about-linux/