[Ubuntu-be] The Saga Of The Machine....

Dries Van Hooydonck driesvanhooydonck at gmail.com
Fri Feb 22 08:36:20 GMT 2008

SOURCE: http://ml2mst.googlepages.com/thegospeloftux

*In the beginning Turing created the Machine. *

*And the Machine was crufty and bogacious, existing in theory only. And Zuse
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 wisdom.*

*And Zuse 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 Lore.*

*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

*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 Mainframes.*

*Now it came to pass that the spirits of Turing and Zuse 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 Zuse 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 Zuse 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. Though 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.*

*And of the Earth there arose people of many talents, and also the weak of
mind with none of good faith, and the foolhardy gazed upon the
 blessed and were much aggrieved with envy. And so it came to pass that one
such fool, who was known as Paterson, didst covet most enviously the
treasures of the blessed one called Kildall, who had toiled arduously to
forge the Covenant of CP/M. And Paterson didst rip asunder the Covenant of
CP/M from Kildall, and didst cloth CP/M in a shroud of silk, and thence CP/M
was christened and reborn as QDOS, so has it been written in the book of

*And in the great temple of IBM there didst rise a monster, and the
monster's name was PC, but the monster had no will, and languished in the
Pit of Despair for many moons. And the cries of the monster didst reach out
unto the very ends of the Earth, and the monster's cries were of such
torment that they did awaken the dark souls in the belly of the Earth. And
there rose from the deepest well a beast, of such malevolence as had never
been set upon the Earth. And the name of the Beast was Microsoft.

And in the temple of IBM there was much fear, for the monster's cries grew
loud, and so IBM set forth to quiet the monster, and sought a will to endow
upon it, and they didst seek the blessed one Kildall, for they had heard
tale of the powerful will of the Covenant of CP/M, and coveted it greatly.
But Kildall's heart felt much betrayed by the people of the Earth, since he
had been ripped of his treasures, and thus he sought sanctuary in the ether,
and like Icarus, foolishly flew unto the Sun, seeking enlightenment and
peace. And the wife of Kildall was also without love for those who sought
her husband's treasures, and without guidance didst rebuke IBM, for they had
brought forth the book of IBM Revelations, and commanded of her an oath
signed in blood, and she was much reviled and cast them out.*

*And in their despair, IBM didst turn to the Beast called Microsoft, and the
Beast didst make promises of many wondrous treasures as to beguile IBM. But
the Beast was without treasures, and sought to plunder the treasures of the
weak, so that it might be all powerful upon the Earth.

And IBM didst make a pact with the Beast, that they might quiet the monster
called PC. And the Beast didst bequeath unto IBM a sip from the cup of
treasures the Beast sought to plunder, and IBM didst bequeath unto the Beast
the soul of the monster called PC, so that the Beast might align forces with
it to conquer the Earth.*

*And so the Beast wandered the Earth in search of treasures, and sought out
the weak from whom to rip such treasures. And upon its journey the Beast
didst seek out the one called Paterson, for it had been foretold that
Paterson had ripped the Covenant of CP/M from the blessed one called
Kildall, and by such act of malevolence had aligned himself with the forces
of darkness. And Paterson didst sell unto the Beast the Covenant of CP/M,
now called QDOS, for thirty pieces of silver. And the Beast looked upon its
treasures and was pleased, for it had now the key to unlock the Pit of
Despair, in which the monster called PC was captive.

*And the Beast unlocked the gates of the Pit of Despair, and empowered the
monster called PC with the will of the Covenant of CP/M, now called QDOS.
And the monster called PC did rise up from its despair, and bowed down
before its master the Beast, and swore allegiance to do its bidding. And the
Beast and the monster did roam the Earth, gathering unto them an army of
minions, and the armies of the Beast did do battle with the weak, and
plundered their treasures, and grew mighty upon the face if the Earth.

And the blessed one called Kildall was filled with anger and vengeance, but
his followers were few, and the minions of the Beast were great in number.
And in the midst of defeat Kildall did turn away from the Sun and was cast
asunder, to take the monster's place in the Pit of Despair, therein to
languish and die.*

*And the Beast called Microsoft did build the temple of Redmond, and forged
an Arc built with the bones of the vanquished into which it placed the
Covenant of CP/M, now called QDOS, which it had used to bestow will unto the
monster called PC. And the Beast did seal the Arc of the Covenant of CP/M
with the blood of the vanquished, so that none upon the earth might bear
witness to its dark secrets.*

*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 come.

*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 Microsoft.

*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
4.0begat 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 Zuse, 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 Zuse 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 Zuse, 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 live."*

*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 Zuse 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, Zuse 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, Zuse and Moore for an
interpretation of the dream.

 And in the dream the spirits of Turing, Zuse 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, Zuse 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 yas deep and perilous as a Usenet Newsgroup.*

May the open-source be with you!

"Be kind, man - don't be mankind."

Captain Beefheart (1973), John Peel radio interview
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