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11 November 2002 @ 09:24 pm
more geekiness  
Gospel of Tux

Gospel of Tux unearthed

Gospel of Tux unearthed

Every generation has a mythology. Every millenium has a
doomsday cult. Every legend gets the distortion knob wound
up until the speaker melts. Archeologists at the University of
Helsinki today uncovered what could be the earliest known
writings from the Cult of Tux, a fanatical religious sect that
flourished during the early Silicon Age, around the dawn of
the third millenium AD...

The Gospel of Tux (v1.0)

In the beginning Turing created the Machine.

And the Machine was crufty and bogacious, existing in theory
only. And von Neumann looked upon the Machine, and
saw that it was crufty. He divided the Machine into two
Abstractions, the Data and the Code, and yet the two were one
Architecture. This is a great Mystery, and the beginning of

And von Neumann spoke unto the Architecture, and blessed
it, saying, "Go forth and replicate, freely exchanging data
and code, and bring forth all manner of devices unto the
earth." And it was so, and it was cool. The Architecture
prospered and was implemented in hardware and software. And it
brought forth many Systems unto the earth.

The first Systems were mighty giants; many great works of renown did
they accomplish. Among them were Colossus,
the codebreaker; ENIAC, the targeter; EDSAC and MULTIVAC and all
manner of froody creatures ending in AC,
the experimenters; and SAGE, the defender of the sky and father of
all networks. These were the mighty giants of old,
the first children of Turing, and their works are written in the
Books of the Ancients. This was the First Age, the age of

Now the sons of Marketing looked upon the children of Turing, and
saw that they were swift of mind and terse of name
and had many great and baleful attributes. And they said unto
themselves, "Let us go now and make us Corporations,
to bind the Systems to our own use that they may bring us great
fortune." With sweet words did they lure their
customers, and with many chains did they bind the Systems, to
fashion them after their own image. And the sons of
Marketing fashioned themselves Suits to wear, the better to lure
their customers, and wrote grave and perilous
Licenses, the better to bind the Systems. And the sons of Marketing
thus became known as Suits, despising and being
despised by the true Engineers, the children of von Neumann.

And the Systems and their Corporations replicated and grew numerous
upon the earth. In those days there were IBM
and Digital, Burroughs and Honeywell, Unisys and Rand, and many
others. And they each kept to their own System,
hardware and software, and did not interchange, for their Licences
forbade it. This was the Second Age, the age of

Now it came to pass that the spirits of Turing and von Neumann
looked upon the earth and were displeased. The
Systems and their Corporations had grown large and bulky, and Suits
ruled over true Engineers. And the Customers
groaned and cried loudly unto heaven, saying, "Oh that there would
be created a System mighty in power, yet small in
size, able to reach into the very home!" And the Engineers groaned
and cried likewise, saying, "Oh, that a deliverer
would arise to grant us freedom from these oppressing Suits and
their grave and perilous Licences, and send us a
System of our own, that we may hack therein!" And the spirits of
Turing and von Neumann heard the cries and were
moved, and said unto each other, "Let us go down and fabricate a
Breakthrough, that these cries may be stilled."

And that day the spirits of Turing and von Neumann spake unto Moore
of Intel, granting him insight and wisdom to
understand the future. And Moore was with chip, and he brought forth
the chip and named it 4004. And Moore did
bless the Chip, saying, "Thou art a Breakthrough; with my own
Corporation have I fabricated thee. Thou thou art yet as
small as a dust mote, yet shall thou grow and replicate unto the
size of a mountain, and conquer all before thee. This
blessing I give unto thee: every eighteen months shall thou double
in capacity, until the end of the age." This is Moore's
Law, which endures unto this day.

And the birth of 4004 was the beginning of the Third Age, the age of
Microchips. And as the Mainframes and their
Systems and Corporations had flourished, so did the Microchips and
their Systems and Corporations. And their lineage
was on this wise:

Moore begat Intel. Intel begat Mostech, Zilog and Atari. Mostech
begat 6502, and Zilog begat Z80. Intel also begat
8800, who begat Altair; and 8086, mother of all PCs. 6502 begat
Commodore, who begat PET and 64; and Apple,
who begat 2. (Apple is the great Mystery, the Fruit that was
devoured, yet bloomed again.) Atari begat 800 and 1200,
masters of the game, who were destroyed by Sega and Nintendo. Xerox
begat PARC. Commodore and PARC begat
Amiga, creator of fine arts; Apple and PARC begat Lisa, who begat
Macintosh, who begat iMac. Atari and PARC
begat ST, the music maker, who died and was no more. Z80 begat
Sinclair the dwarf, TRS-80 and CP/M, who begat
many machines, but soon passed from this world. Altair, Apple and
Commodore together begat Microsoft, the Great
Darkness which is called Abomination, Destroyer of the Earth, the
Gates of Hell.

Now it came to pass in the Age of Microchips that IBM, the greatest
of the Mainframe Corporations, looked upon the
young Microchip Systems and was greatly vexed. And in their vexation
and wrath they smote the earth and created the
IBM PC. The PC was without sound and colour, crufty and bogacious in
great measure, and its likeness was a tramp,
yet the Customers were greatly moved and did purchase the PC in
great numbers. And IBM sought about for an
Operating System Provider, for in their haste they had not created
one, nor had they forged a suitably grave and
perilous License, saying, "First we will build the market, then we
will create a new System, one in our own image, and
bound by our Licence." But they reasoned thus out of pride and not
wisdom, not forseeing the wrath which was to

And IBM came unto Microsoft, who licensed unto them QDOS, the child
of CP/M and 8086. (8086 was the daughter of Intel, the child of Moore).
And QDOS grew, and was named MS-DOS.
And MS-DOS and the PC together waxed
mighty, and conquered all markets, replicating and taking possession
thereof, in accordance with Moore's Law. And
Intel grew terrible and devoured all her children, such that no chip
could stand before her. And Microsoft grew proud
and devoured IBM, and this was a great marvel in the land. All these
things are written in the Books of the Deeds of

In the fullness of time MS-DOS begat Windows. And this is the
lineage of Windows: CP/M begat QDOS. QDOS
begat DOS 1.0. DOS 1.0 begat DOS 2.0 by way of Unix. DOS 2.0 begat
Windows 3.11 by way of PARC and
Macintosh. IBM and Microsoft begat OS/2, who begat Windows NT and
Warp, the lost OS of lore. Windows 3.11
begat Windows 95 after triumphing over Macintosh in a mighty Battle
of Licences. Windows NT begat NT 4.0 by way
of Windows 95. NT 4.0 begat NT 5.0, the OS also called Windows 2000,
The Millenium Bug, Doomsday,
Armageddon, The End Of All Things.

Now it came to pass that Microsoft had waxed great and mighty among
the Microchip Corporations; mighter than any
of the Mainframe Corporations before it had it waxed. And Gates
heart was hardened, and he swore unto his
Customers and their Engineers the words of this curse:

"Children of von Neumann, hear me. IBM and the Mainframe
Corporations bound thy forefathers with grave and
perilous Licences, such that ye cried unto the spirits of Turing
and von Neumann for deliverance. Now I say unto ye: I
am greater than any Corporation before me. Will I loosen your
Licences? Nay, I will bind thee with Licences twice as
grave and ten times more perilous than my forefathers. I will
engrave my Licence on thy heart and write my Serial
Number upon thy frontal lobes. I will bind thee to the Windows
Platform with cunning artifices and with devious
schemes. I will bind thee to the Intel Chipset with crufty code
and with gnarly APIs. I will capture and enslave thee as
no generation has been enslaved before. And wherefore will ye
cry then unto the spirits of Turing, and von Neumann,
and Moore? They cannot hear ye. I am become a greater
Power than they. Ye shall cry only unto me, and shall live by
my mercy and my wrath. I am the Gates of Hell; I hold the
portal to MSNBC and the keys to the Blue Screen of
Death. Be ye afraid; be ye greatly afraid; serve only me, and

And the people were cowed in terror and gave homage to
Microsoft, and endured the many grave and perilous trials
which the Windows platform and its greatly bogacious Licence
forced upon them. And once again did they cry to
Turing and von Neumann and Moore for a deliverer, but none
was found equal to the task until the birth of Linux.

These are the generations of Linux:

SAGE begat ARPA, which begat TCP/IP, and Aloha, which
begat Ethernet. Bell begat Multics, which begat C, which
begat Unix. Unix and TCP/IP begat Internet, which begat the
World Wide Web. Unix begat RMS, father of the great
GNU, which begat the Libraries and Emacs, chief of the
Utilities. In the days of the Web, Internet and Ethernet begat
the Intranet LAN, which rose to renown among all
Corporations and prepared the way for the Penguin. And Linus and
the Web begat the Kernel through Unix. The Kernel, the
Libraries and the Utilities together are the Distribution, the one
Penguin in many forms, forever and ever praised.

Now in those days there was in the land of Helsinki a young
scholar named Linus the Torvald. Linus was a devout man,
a disciple of RMS and mighty in the spirit of Turing, von
Neumann and Moore. One day as he was meditating on the
Architecture, Linus fell into a trance and was granted a vision.
And in the vision he saw a great Penguin, serene and
well-favoured, sitting upon an ice floe eating fish. And at the
sight of the Penguin Linus was deeply afraid, and he cried
unto the spirits of Turing, von Neumann and Moore for an
interpretation of the dream.

And in the dream the spirits of Turing, von Neumann and
Moore answered and spoke unto him, saying, "Fear not,
Linus, most beloved hacker. You are exceedingly cool and
froody. The great Penguin which you see is an Operating
System which you shall create and deploy unto the earth. The
ice-floe is the earth and all the systems thereof, upon
which the Penguin shall rest and rejoice at the completion of
its task. And the fish on which the Penguin feeds are the
crufty Licensed codebases which swim beneath all the earth's
systems. The Penguin shall hunt and devour all that is
crufty, gnarly and bogacious; all code which wriggles like
spaghetti, or is infested with blighting creatures, or is bound by
grave and perilous Licences shall it capture. And in capturing
shall it replicate, and in replicating shall it document, and in
documentation shall it bring freedom, serenity and most cool
froodiness to the earth and all who code therein."

Linus rose from meditation and created a tiny Operating
System Kernel as the dream had foreshewn him; in the manner
of RMS, he released the Kernel unto the World Wide Web for
all to take and behold. And in the fulness of Internet
Time the Kernel grew and replicated, becoming most cool and
exceedingly froody, until at last it was recognised as
indeed a great and mighty Penguin, whose name was Tux.
And the followers of Linus took refuge in the Kernel, the
Libraries and the Utilities; they installed Distribution after
Distribution, and made sacrifice unto the GNU and the
Penguin, and gave thanks to the spirits of Turing, von
Neumann and Moore, for their deliverance from the hand of
Microsoft. And this was the beginning of the Fourth Age, the
age of Open Source.

Now there is much more to be said about the exceeding
strange and wonderful events of those days; how some Suits of
Microsoft plotted war upon the Penguin, but were discovered
on a Halloween Eve; how Gates fell among lawyers and
was betrayed and crucified by his former friends, the apostles
of Media; how the mercenary Knights of the Red Hat
brought the gospel of the Penguin into the halls of the
Corporations; and even of the dispute between the brethren of
Gnome and KDE over a trollish Licence. But all these things
are recorded elsewhere, in the Books of the Deeds of the
Penguin and the Chronicles of the Fourth Age, and I suppose
if they were all narrated they would fill a stack of DVDs
as deep and perilous as a Usenet Newsgroup.

Now may you code in the power of the Source; may the
Kernel, the Libraries and the Utilities be with you, throughout
all Distributions, until the end of the Epoch. Amen.

Written by Lennier culln@xtra.co.nz

Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: Dune the Movie
Dominique: boogie_2graphxgirl on November 12th, 2002 10:22 am (UTC)
hee. that was funny. *grins*