Long-Awaited Operating System Upgrade Not Up There with JFK Assassination

SANTA CLARA, CAL. ( – In a study hardcore computer enthusiasts find “repulsive and unconscionable,” at least 99.9 percent of the general population will have no special recollection of Jan. 4, 2001, the day the Linux 2.4 operating system was finally released.

Major Dates in History

“It’s truly pathetic,” said Linux evangelist Eric Raymond. “Not knowing where you were on Jan. 4, 2001, is like saying you can’t recall exactly what you were doing on January 22, 1998, right? … Am I right?”

For most adherents of Linux – the open source alternative operating system to Windows and Unix – life came to a standstill Jan. 4, and thousands scrambled to download the update. However, Stanford University researchers couldn’t help but notice the feeling was not universal. “I was driving in my car when I heard on the radio that 2.4 was officially out, and I thought to myself, ‘Wow, do I need to pull off the road to regain my composure?'” recalled sociologist and lead researcher Kirsten L. Anders. “And I realized, ‘No.'”

That type of reaction galls programmers like Jens Boersk, an IBM system administrator who instantly emailed 75,000 IBM employees worldwide to alert them to the release. “I suggested everybody take the day off, and you know what I got for my trouble? A damn reprimand.”

Boersk said he suspects Microsoft bribed people to feign apathy.

Added Raymond: “Oh c’mon … January 22nd …? 1998? … the day Netscape decided to release the source code for its browser? Where the hell have you been?”

Raymond added that people shouldn’t be allowed to use computers if they don’t care about what has happened in the world since Dec. 28, 1969. “…What? … Dec. 28? oh please … think …. Dec. 28, 1969 … Linus Torvald’s birthday, for God’s sake! … Jesus, is everybody sleepwalking through life?”

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