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    Linux Revolution
    A Tale of Two Men and a Machine

    We had waited until midnight before starting to install Linux.

    With all of the lights off, we dimmed the monitor so that it's hue would not reflect out of the windows. The phone lay off the hook, and Peter kept peaking through the blinds out onto the dark parkinglot.

    Were we being paranoid? When everyone is after you, you've got to be.

    I slipped the CD into the drive and let the installation begin. It didn't take long before the graphical icons appeared and walked me through each step of getting Linux started on the machine.

    We heard foot steps, then some muffled shouts from above us. It was the renter upstairs. He and his wife bought a new PC for the holidays and then started quarreling -- making a general nuisance of themselves.

    The footsteps subsided and I figured it was another of their typical "what did you do to the machine" followed by "I didn't touch it, it just screwed up and gave that blue screen with the fatal error thing!" Peter and I exchanged nods; another marriage tearing apart under the strain of an operating system.

    Five minutes and we were finished. The old operating system had been wiped clean and replaced with Linux. I rebooted and watched as Xwindows began. Double clicking on the StarOffice icon, I laughed in joy as the word processor and spreadsheet programs appeared.

    "Free! Bloody free!" Peter declared gleefully. It had cost nothing but a few hours downloading Linux and associated software to clean the machine and restart it with Linux and a host of other goods. "Shut your traps you yanks!" screamed a voice through the ceiling as the renter upstairs reacted to our mini-celebration.

    In our bliss we stopped paying attention to the front entrance or the parking lot. A loud knock followed by another at the door. Peter jumped out of his seat. I sat back calmly in my chair waiting. Suddenly, the front door was rammed and folks from the yard paid us a visit. Searching, they approached the computer and pulled me back by my shoulders.

    One of the men from Scotland Yard started playing with the mouse and clicking icons. "There's not a bloody piece of unlicensed software or illegal ware here!" he blurted with passion. The other men opening up my cd cases and searching for software knew the truth. In disgust they threw the CDs to the floor and left our pad grumbling. Peter wiped his brow and smiled. Two gents at midnight had played a role in the operating system revolution.

    You don't need to buy, barter or steal Linux – it's free!

    "Tale of" series written for are purely fictional accounts of Linux use and do not in any way convey true stories. Any names and characters are purely hypothetical and fictional, written for the benefit and entertainment of those with a sense of humor. This story is fiction and is best read with a reasonable smile.

    For personal help or answers to questions, please visit our message boards.

    Copyright 2004, 2009 Mark Rais   All Rights Reserved.

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