There's No Need To Get Nasty (4/9/01)
SceneLink
 

As longtime viewers are well aware, the AtAT staff is as diplomatic and tactful as can be (and anyone who says otherwise is obviously an imbecile with nothing above the brainstem). For that reason, we originally chose to stay far, far away from the ugly verbal tussle brewing between Steve Jobs and Linus Torvalds, the father of the Linux operating system. Gasps of disbelief echoed throughout the Mac community last Friday when word got out that in his upcoming autobiography, Linus calmly, coolly, and in a fully premeditated manner called Mac OS X "a piece of crap." (For a graphical rendition of the sitch, check out The Joy of Tech.)

Whoa, there, hotheads; before you go storming the cathedral or the bazaar or wherever the heck ol' Linus is living these days, we should clarify a little. As The Register points out, Linus wasn't badmouthing Aqua or the Dock or even Mac OS X overall; it's the operating system's Mach 3.0 kernel that draws his criticism. Mach, sayeth the Linux poster boy, "contains all the design mistakes you can make, and manages to even make up a few of its own." So as far as we know, Linus may in fact be cool with Mac OS X's lickable exterior-- in which case he still considers Mac OS X to be a piece of crap, but a pretty and candy-coated piece of crap. (Could the man be jealous that Mac OS X beat Linux as "the 'NIX for the rest of us"? After all, he did turn down Steve's invitation to help work on a "mainstream UNIX" back in '97.)

Meanwhile, Apple's Senior Veep of Software Engineering Avi Tevanian (who was already tetchy after not having slept since late 1996) is currently being restrained by six harried members of Apple's security team. Avi, we hear, is taking Linus's comments a mite personally, seeing as he was "a principal designer and engineer of the Mach operating system upon which NEXTSTEP [and Mac OS X] is based." So Avi is foaming at the mouth and writhing around in a deep state of geek bloodlust, shouting unintelligible things about Linus's various internal organs and their eventual destination somewhere rather distant from the rest of his rapidly cooling body. The infirmary nurse is coming with the Haldol.

Despite seeing one of his faithful NeXTians reduced to a babbling psychotic homicidal state, Uncle Steve is handling this whole thing with a commendable level of aplomb. One might fear that His Mercurialness would lose it and unleash a torrent of abuse upon Mr. Torvalds, but in fact his only public acknowledgment of Linus's snippy comments was to call Torvalds a "dent-headed, blanket-clutching, thumb-sucking software commie"-- hardly a worst-case scenario, from a PR standpoint.

Oh, and there's also that little thing with Steve calling upon the Mac faithful to find Linus, rend him limb from limb, and plant his head on a pike outside of One Infinite Loop... but that was pretty much to be expected. The last thing we heard is that Linus has packed his blanket and gone into hiding with Salman Rushdie-- but hey, you mess with the bull and you get the horns...


 
SceneLink (2976)
And Now For A Word From Our Sponsors
 

Mash-ups and original music by AtAT's former Intern and Goddess-in-Training

Prim M at YouTube

 

The above scene was taken from the 4/9/01 episode:

April 9, 2001: Linus "Mr. Linux" Torvalds doesn't dig Mac OS X, and he's got the potty mouth to prove it. Meanwhile, the GeForce3 is late, but Apple's got a nifty scheme to get backordered Macs into customers' hands ASAP, and Apple's latest 50%-off RAM promotion comes at an interesting time...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 2977: 2 Cards For The Price Of 1 (4/9/01)   Are you one of those lucky dinks waiting for a brand-spankin'-new Power Mac G4 complete with a groundbreaking nVIDIA GeForce3 graphics card? Please believe us when we tell you that delivering the following bad news brings us no pleasure: according to MacGamer, you're going to be waiting a while longer before you can witness the glory of reducing virtual opponents to bloody chunks at 800 billion operations per second...

  • 2978: Take This DIMM And RAM It (4/9/01)   Fun Fact #137 about Mac OS X: it eats RAM for breakfast. And no, we're not talking about those firmware updates that rendered many Macs too picky to acknowledge the presence of "non-compliant" DIMMs, unfortunate though that situation may be...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

Vote Early, Vote Often!
Why did you tune in to this '90s relic of a soap opera?
Nostalgia is the next best thing to feeling alive
My name is Rip Van Winkle and I just woke up; what did I miss?
I'm trying to pretend the last 20 years never happened
I mean, if it worked for Friends, why not?
I came here looking for a receptacle in which to place the cremated remains of my deceased Java applets (think about it)

(408 votes)

As an Amazon Associate, AtAT earns from qualifying purchases

DISCLAIMER: AtAT was not a news site any more than Inside Edition was a "real" news show. We made Dawson's Creek look like 60 Minutes. We engaged in rampant guesswork, wild speculation, and pure fabrication for the entertainment of our viewers. Sure, everything here was "inspired by actual events," but so was Amityville II: The Possession. So lighten up.

Site best viewed with a sense of humor. AtAT is not responsible for lost or stolen articles. Keep hands inside car at all times. The drinking of beverages while watching AtAT is strongly discouraged; AtAT is not responsible for damage, discomfort, or staining caused by spit-takes or "nosers."

Everything you see here that isn't attributed to other parties is copyright ©,1997-2021 J. Miller and may not be reproduced or rebroadcast without his explicit consent (or possibly the express written consent of Major League Baseball, but we doubt it).