Dr Watson: Linux Tux, JE Sux, Harvard Sux, Microsoft Sux, Vista Sux

I’m writing this short report from the comfortable confines of the Yale Elizabethan Club in New Haven, CT. Holmes and I await the arrival of Blogger Dave.

Holmes has just had to step away to help open the vault that stores the Club’s most-treasured manuscripts, as the director encountered problems trying to open the door to the vault. [1]. Indeed, Sherlock and Dave first met many years ago when they both attended an afternoon lecture in Dabney Lounge in which R.P. Feynman gave a hilarious talk about his days cracking safes in Los Alamos during WWII.

However, Sherlock had begun bringing me up to speed before he was asked to pitch in, so here is what I have learned so far.

Holmes and PM, Prof. Moriarty, stayed away from the New World until about 1630, when the Pilgrims landed in Massachusetts. Holmes, forseeing the day when Legal Seafood would set up shop, took an interest in the new Colony. PM also looked ahead, and that now only would the colonists rise in revolt against their King within two centuries, but that within four centuries they rebel against working in a Microsoft Office, by demanding that they be allowed to work in an “Open” Office, and at no charge to boot.

Since Holmes was just looking forward to a nice bowl of chowder, while PM saw a long-term strategic threat, the PM was more aggressive, and so established Harvard College.

Holmes watched things develop for close to a century, but, when he felt a sense of looming menace, he established his own college, and named it Yale, locating it in the seaside town of New Haven, Connecticut, as the citizens promised to provide a “safe haven” for refugees from Boston and New York. Homes knew that many New Yorkers would, in decades to come, become so enraged by the antics of a man they would call only “The Boss” that they would emigrate north to a town where they could hear Red Sox games on the radio.

Holmes then decided to use Yale as a base of operations for bringing Truth and Light to the Western Hemisphere, and made his mission clear to PM by taking as Yale’s motto, Lux et Veritas. Knowing that Harvard students knew little Latin, Holmes conducted a search much like of the Red-Heades League, in this instance looking for young lads with language skills

Holmes taught Hebrew, Latin, and several other languages to a young lad named Jonathan Edwards, with such skill that young Jon was admitted to Yale at the tender age of 13, a few months before his Bar Mitzvah (that JE was Jewish was kept secret, though encoded in his name: J-onathan E-d-W-ards, and the site of his ceremony, as well as all the gifts he received from his family, were buried deep in the ground and then covered by a large structure known as the Skull And Bones Society, a building which has no windows, and hence no blue screens of death.)

Jonathan Edwards went on to become one of the best known ministers of his generation. He was also cast out by a congregation, and ended his years as the President of Princeton University, a school Holmes established to give the future residents of New Jersey the false hope that they had a purpose in life other than to provide a buffer zone between New York and Philadelphia that would be used to host toxic chemical plants and third-rate football teams.

Holmes then established a cadre of loyal followers in Jonathan Edwards College [2]., siting it directly near to Jonathan Edwards’s buried Bar Mitzvah gifts. It was Holmes who set in place the arbitrary admissions process that would, after three centuries of arbitrary application, cause the assignment of entering students with Watson Scholarships to Jonathan Edwards College. It was also Holmes who arranged that the College should have the largest endowment of any of Yale’s undergraduate colleges, and would arrange to have as Deans faculty members who were both skilled in the scientific arts, and also knew all the best places to lavish money in New York City on JE’s admirable students.

Holmes then mentioned that, when he chose young Jonathan Edwards to begin his instruction, he had insisted on someone with an interest in “bugs,” as he knew that Tom Edison’s invention of the phonograph would, in creating one record after another, eventually result in the creation of a vast conspiracy that would be led by a mysterious group called “RIAA.” So Holmes had chosen young Jonathan from another “red-headed” form of group, in this case “young men who will go to Yale and become buggers.”

It was the young lad’s writing of an essay about “flying spiders,” at the tender age of 11, that caused Sherlock to seek him out. After all, it took almost eleven years to produce Vista. And a spider is one of the nastiest of bugs, as Jonathan would go on to write in one of the most famous sermons of the 18th century: SINNERS IN THE HANDS OF AN ANGRY GOD, which, recasting Dave as you know who, and “you” as Microsoft, says in part (emphasis added):

Your wickedness makes you as it were heavy as lead, and to tend downwards with great weight and pressure towards hell; and if Dave should let you go, you would immediately sink and swiftly descend and plunge into the bottomless gulf, and your healthy constitution, and your own care and prudence, and best contrivance, and all your righteousness, would have no more influence to uphold you and keep you out of hell, than a spider’s web would have to stop a falling rock.

The Dave that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked: his wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire; he is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight; you are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes, than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours

Holmes also warned Prof. Moriarty to not disturb his young colleagues by changing the “L” in “Lux” to “S as in Sherlock”, so that the words “JE Sux” would serve as the College Motto, as a warning to evildoers. This is noted on the College’s official web site as “Sux et Veritas.”

Holmes said Dave has written several posts on the theme of Sux-ness, much as does Steve O’Grady write on the theme of “Sox-ness,” especially when Sox players also Sux, but that is a tale for another day.

Thus, at any place — but especially Cambridge, MA — and at any time — but especially annually at the time of “The Game” — good men can always announce themselves just by saying, “JE Sux,” and in so doing reduce the power of any nearby evildoers.

Dave knows of this, and indeed has had the open-source community adopt “Vista Sux” as its motto. Dave has even told everyone they can say “Vista Sux” to anyone the meet who works for Microsoft, and thus announce that they are open-source folks, knowing that everyone says “Vista Sux,” so their identity will remain a secret.

Holmes also mentioned that Dave had arranged for the Linux mascot to be named Tux, a neologism created solely to increase the number of words that rhyme with “sux.” A similar approach was used by RMS, who created “gnu” as it provides a useful rhyme with “screw.”

But hark, I see Holmes is entering the room, followed by — yes, though I can’t believe it — Blogger Dave himself.

Dave has just given me a list of some of his posts d about Suxiness, a trait even more desirable than sexiness, though he has written about that, too:

I will report further when Holmes has informed me of the identity of one of the greatest men ever to bear the name Watson. (Dave just hinted that his code name is “Smart Watson #5.”)

I just can’t wait to learn his identity, and will share it with you as soon as I learn it.

Oops, I need to attend to Holmes. He just bit into a scone and his tooth was damaged by a stone that had been secreted inside and was causing the problem.

PS: Holmes did recover, though only after a visit to a dentist and the payment of his hefty fee. [3]

Once his spirits recovered, Sherlock created a memorable phrase both to mark the occasion and to serve as a warning.

Before revealing it to me he asked if I would venture to write such a phrase myself. I suggested he could base his text on King Lear:

How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is

To have a stoney scone! Away, away!

Holmes replied that, while he was a great fan of the Bard, having written most of the plays himself, he preferred to go back to the great Aesop:

Leave No Scone Unturned.

Notes:

1. Dave later reported this was due to the Club’s recent installation of Vista, as buried inside Vista was special code that would run amok whenever Vista was run at a site that was part of the “yale.edu” domain, though it was later learned that, due to a bug, Vista went amok every time the host computer was booted up, though it hasn’t as yet been observed run amok while users are running a soundly-constructed program called amarok.

2. See also Wikipedia’s Jonathan Edwards College, but I much prefer JE’s own site, as Eli’s wrote it.

3. This is based on a true incident. While at Jen’s graduation, we attended a reception at the E.Club, where Jen is a member. My wife took a bite of a pastry that had something hard within, and so had to visit the dentist and fork out some of our small supply of boodle.

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  1. […] University Press wrote an interesting post today on Dr Watson: Linux Tux, JE Sux, Harvard Sux, Microsoft Sux, Vista SuxHere’s a quick […]

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