Quite a number of months ago, I wrote a journal entry deriding Linux (no, Corsair, really? You? Deride Linux? Go on!); and several months before that, I’d written another one comparing Linux and Windows to hamburgers. I thought it was a really clever analogy, but for the life of me I cannot find that entry in The Corsair Journal–so, especially in light of the fact that I’m being forced to learn Linux in order to do my job, I guess I’ll have to re-tell the tale:
So what’s the difference, really, between Windows and Linux?
Imagine, if you will, having a craving for a burger, but not just any ol’ burger: you’re craving a good burger, your favorite burger. So you go to your favorite diner–a place where you’ve been many times before, so the staff probably knows you by now–and order your burger. Even if Flo the waitress doesn’t remember how you like your particular burger, it’s nothing to worry about; you rattle off your order, customizing your burger the way you want it. Lo and behold, several minutes later, out from the kitchen comes a steaming-hot burger, with fries on the side, cooked and prepared just the way you asked for it. You lean forward in your booth, grab that juicy pile of Nirvana and take a big bite, and find to your blissful delight that it is exactly what you expected, and boy oh boy does it ever hit the spot. Mmmmmmmm. And y’know what? Even if Flo (or someone in the ktichen) has had an off day and maybe forgotten, say, your cheese, you can always flag down Flo and she’ll be happy to bring you a slice, with a smile.
Now, imagine, if you will, having a craving for a burger, but not just any ol’ burger: you’re craving a good burger, your favorite burger. But you promised your buddy Mike (your good friend from Northern California) that you’d stop by his pad for lunch; he said “C’mon over, man; I’ll make you the best burger you’ve ever eaten. Guaranteed. And it’ll be natural and good for you besides, not all full of crap and fat and preservatives that you’d get at a burger from a burger joint.” Well, not wanting to hurt Mike’s feelings, you go over to his place. The first thing that hits you when he answers the door is the smell–it smells unlike anything you’ve ever smelled before; not bad, per sé, but very, very different. Here at Mike’s pad, you don’t get to custom-order your burger–you get whatever Mike puts in front of you. And what he puts in front of you is something… different; it looks like a hamburger, it more or less smells like a hamburger; there aren’t any fries, and there are sprouts on it. You gingerly pick it up off the plate, take a bite, and are greeted with many, many flavors and textures that are decidedly un-hamburger like in origin; you suppose that if you imagined really, really hard, you could pretend you’re eating a real hamburger–but you’re really not that good at hoodwinking yourself; you know that this ain’t no hamburger.
So you ask Mike “What is this?”
Mike replies “That, my friend, is a SoyBurger patty on a whole-wheat nine-grain bun with soy cheddar cheese, organic tomato, lettuce, broccoli sprouts, and garlic garbanzo-bean spread with organic ketchup and mustard. Like it? I grew it and made it all from scratch, myself, from techniques and recipes I got off the Internet that have been perfected by a huge community of organic gardeners and cooking experts! And it was all free!”
At this point you’re probably thinking that maybe Mike doesn’t actually know the meaning of the word “perfected,” because this what you are currently eating is not even close to your vision of the perfect hamburger. However, you’re a polite guest, so you manage to choke the thing down–and end up being sick to your stomach the rest of the day with a nausea that not even Pepto Bismol can put a dent in.
If you had Hippie parents and grew up eating that kind of food to the point your system became acclimated to it, that’s fine–you’d probably love LinuxBurgers; but for the rest of us, who ate real burgers at real diners growing up, only one word can sum up what a LinuxBurger tastes like:
And because the company that bought my business unit is heavily into Linux, I have to learn how to like (or, at the very least, tolerate) the smell, the taste, and texture of something that is masquerading as a hamburger, but is clearly not a hamburger. I’ve relagated my WIndows machine to a backup/security-blanket role only, and have switched to using CentOS for my day-to-day operations just so I can get used to using it. It’s like being on a diet, and I hate it. I’m having serious cravings for my hot, juicy, delicious, familiar diner cheeseburger, and I can’t have one–and it’s making me mental.