Big Blue's Love Letter to Linux

Word has quickly spread that IBM is launching some kind of big ad campaign to explain its love of Linux. Nothing wrong with that, of course, as long as the company doesn't get all broadcasty in the highly personal medium the hackers created for purposes other than advertising. No such luck, so far.

Go to the Linux at IBM page (the top item when you search for Linux from the company's index page), and you'll see the .GIF on the left (which we converted to a .JPG before we burned the original--we run a GIF-clean site here), which links to a promo page with an even bigger .GIF--animated, no less, plus a bunch of marketing copy. Click on the graphic and you get this annoying .swf (Flash) animated slide show. Somebody on staff here found a real web page with the same show, only bigger and just slightly easier to navigate. So we thought, for those of you aren't able to view (or stand) the whole show, that we'd copy and share it with you. All in the spirit of Open Source, of course--and in spite of the fact that the source of the copy in question is anything but open.

It wasn't easy.

First, it was an ordeal just to get the presentation to run. I couldn't look at it with my Linux box at all. Netscape just sat there. When I looked at it in Netscape on a Mac, Page Source brought up this mess (which I've cut down to just the HTML-standard characters):

FWS!fÀŒÊÌÔboîomZ3]ÖÚM F‰8àP'KÚe£ãÖ £ŒZ©#inw`7l{j|ÿ£gÿ] S[,¤ª3[`i´EVèúÛ(ʧh¿Œ†/'à-F,뮿.zrh`9j~XnrkrmF%ü7†è@

So I froze the animated frames and transcribed their "content". I won't tell you how I did it, because it doesn't matter. What does matter is that you appreciate the effort--and then gang-urge IBM to get with the program, and give the world an HTML site that conveys the same copy in actually useful form. Tell them to feel free to build on our work right here. We offer it freely, of course.

Here's the opening copy:

What is "Peace, Love and Linux?"

A rallying cry. A clear, enthusiastic synopsis of IBM's excitement about Linux and support for the Linux community.

Here's "peace"


Because we admire it, we believe in it, we need it and it's good for customers.

IBM's vision is to help build the business infrastructure of the future, drive towards dynamic e-business and integrated, intelligent infrastructure. The complexity and demands of this vision are staggering, mind boggling. We've looked hard at what it will take to get there, and two facts have become clear.

First, we'll never get there without wide adoption of open standards like Linux.

Second, the complexity of the task is so great that IBM simply can't do it alone. No company can do it alone (although some still suggest otherwise). Only the concerted effort of the larger technology community can make it happen. And only the Linux movement can marshal that effort.


No, not at all. No one owns it and no one will. That's why it's an open movement and a global community. Our role, like any member of the community, is to assist it, contribute to it and champion it. IBM has put a stake in the ground: we are now and will remain a strong contributor to and evangelist of the Linux movement.

If it succeeds, we all succeed.


Absolutely not. Linux is complementary to our existing platforms. Linux makes each of these platforms more useful and more valuable. The strengths and roles of each now benefit from the flexibilities of Linux.

The real beneficiaries are customers and the Linux community. IBM server customers gain all the upside benefits of Linux. With no compromise to get there. And the Linux community gains the best hardware technology in the world.

In Q4 2000 IBM shipped 100% more OS/390 MIPS than the previous year. And AIX sales were up 49%. Both platforms can run Linux applications. Again, the Linux movement is all upside.

Here's "Love":


Real. Very real. If you think it's just fluff, you've missed the point.

IBM spends $5 billion a year on R&D. And we're putting a billion dollars behind Linux. But all that is nothing compared to what the Linux community will generate spontaneously.

This is a new way of looking at the world: companies, alliances, partnerships and individuals working together, each contributing their particular expertise to create a "massively parallel thinking" force that is immeasurably more powerful than any single entity, including IBM.


Yes. And no.

Yes, in that the Linux movement embodies a spirit of creativity and the "whatever it takes" drive that always accompanies profound change.

No, in that the Linux movement has a track record of real accomplishment and discipline that any formal company (large or small) would love to call its own. A few examples:

*Linux is the fastest-growing server OS.

*One out of four new OS installations in 1999 was a Linux installation.

*Linux is projected to comprise 38% of all new OS installations in 2004.

*Linux is global-and-hardware agnostic.


We put Linux on the mainframe.

We're Linux-enabling our entire server line.

Linux is becoming the reference platform for all IBM development.

It's not there yet but it will be.

We're spending $300 million over the next three years to create mission-critical-level service and support for Linux.

IBM created and supports the Linux Technology Center to jointly develop projects with the Linux community.

We even built a Linux watch.

The list goes on and on.

Here's "Linux":


At the technology level, the answer is integration and standards.

Integrating platforms and software is the real road to the next generation of truly seamless infrastructure. The open standards of the Internet made it possible to integrate networks. Linux will do for applications what the Internet did for networks.

Like the Internet, Linux is the next open, freely accessible standard around which the IT and developer world is rallying. Once the standard is agreed upon, innovation and progress accelerate. Linux is the agreement.


Ask them yourself.

Interoperability: When was the last time your IT staff told you that application A cannot exchange data with application B because they run on platforms C and D?

Integration/Development: Ask your IT people where they spend more time: retrofitting the way your company does business to fit an inflexible proprietary OS or tuning and customizing a flexible OS to deliver exactly what your business wants to achieve.

Skills: Kids all over the world are learning Linux every day. The overwhelming preference for Linux by young technical people is turning future generations of skilled programmers into future generations of skilled Linux programmers.

Resources: Which OS vendor offers a development team with the best brains in the world, thousands of global beta testers, millions of customers, and support for every hardware platform?


Linux is the future.

IBM is betting on Linux because it's good for the IT industry, good for the Linux community, good for IBM and good for IBM customers.

The same is not true for some of our competitors who, despite repeated overtures to the "open" philosophy and the Linux community, remain tied to proprietary legacy systems.


Explore the future of IBM and Linux with IBM President and Chief Operating Officer Sam Palmisano. Read his keynote address from LinuxWorld Expo 2001.

Mercifully, Sam's keynote is in HTML.

Credit where due: IBM is trying to do the Right Thing. Their sentiments seem sincere, even though they are obviously expressed by a copywriter (like I used to be, back when I sold my soul cheaper than it goes for today).

But hey, guys: save the money. Run your ads on TV and in magazines, but please respect the Web for what it isn't--a natural advertising medium. If your Web Marketing money is burning a hole in your pocket, let some of it leak into, say, the Open Source Initiative. They need it, and it'll help them accomplish a bunch of the objectives you just bragged about.

Meanwhile, burn your GIFs and put your mouth where your money is: move your Linux promo site onto a Linux server. This one's running on an AIX.



Doc Searls is the Editor in Chief of Linux Journal


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"the object of my affection" sunny rasheed lucman pacasum

Anonymous's picture

By Sunny Rasheed Lucman Pacasum | Posted Feb. 10, 2000........

I know you will find this a bit unusual. I honestly can’t remember the last time I wrote to you. I have this unexplainable urge to tell you something that I have been keeping inside for the longest time. You know I’m not really good when it comes to pouring out my feelings. It’s just that I’m wondering at this very moment if you’re thinking of me. If like me, you are wondering what is taking us so long to find each other. I am not the typical person who weaves in and out of relationships. I see few people and take my walks alone and at every beautiful spot I wish you were there. Many times I thought I finally found you, only to be disillusioned by the fact that my wait has not yet ended. I knew I was foolish for even entertaining the thought of considering someone else. I wake up each morning hoping to meet you. I am thinking of how we will meet, would it be as romantic as fictional movies that perpetuate the idea of hopeless romanticism? Or is it possible that I have known you all my life but we have yet to realize that we are meant for each other for our souls have been predestined for cupid’s sanctuary?

Honey, how I wish you were here beside me right now because you are the only one who could answer my questions. Sometimes I ask myself if I have really known love. I do not have the answer to that question, but I believe in my heart that I will never know what love is until I find the right person, the person I could believe to be my better half. I know that the day will come when my unwritten destiny will lead me to you. And since I have not found you yet then maybe I do not really know what love is! Do you know, when I think of you, I have been feeling ashamed for thinking of you so much, of thinking of only you? Which is too much, perhaps I should tell you. It seems to me that no woman was ever before to any man what you are to me. You just don’t know how often I dream of finally knowing what it feels like for you to be in my arms. Even at this very moment I am imagining how you will simply sweep me off my feet!

Perhaps your infectious smile, your long black hair or maybe your laughter that I have never heard before’ll draw me to you. I don’t really know for sure but inshallah, God will help me recognize you when the right time comes. When I think of all the pain that I have been through in the past and for the tears I have shed since the day I began my search, I just want you to know that I find strength in holding onto my vision of the beautiful life ahead of me, the life I shall spend with you. In my mind and in my heart, I know that you are worth all the pain and sacrifices. After all, the tears have been a part of my life, slowly washing away my flaws so that I would be perfect not in it’s truest sense. But just perfect for you! I wonder if you’ve gone through so much pain as well and if you’ve been hurt so many times. I worry more about you, then I worry about me because I fear the pain you might have gone through along the journey. There are no words to express my sorrow for this, and I am at a loss for words. But, honey, please don’t ever give up because I am right here, patiently waiting for you! I assure you that when we finally find eachother. My love will slowly heal those wounds. My heart will answer to your voice and the blood in my veins to your footsteps. And protect you from harm’s way with everything that I have and everything that I am. Honey, I don’t know when I will see you or what the world will be when I do. We may both have seen horrible things. But I will think of you everytime I need to be reminded that there is beauty and goodness in this world. Tonight I will look out my window and stare at the beautiful stars, hoping that somehow you are also looking up and wondering about me. I will pray to Allah to send all his angels from heaven to watch over you while you sleep and send all my cries to the heavens thinking that in time they would reach you. And if there will be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my sweet kisses. Or the cool air wrapped around you shall be my spirit passing by. And when I am lost and lonely, I will just close my eyes and believe that you are on my way and that you are longing to see me as well. In my many unspoken words, my silence spoke a thousand times louder but I guess it never reached you. When I finally fall asleep, you are always in my dreams. It seems that for now that is the only place where I can hold on to you long enough to tell you how much I love you. That I love you more today than I ever in my life before, that I have never seen beauty without thinking of you, or felt happiness without thinking of you. That you have fulfilled all my ambition, realized all my hopes, made all my dreams come true. And that I have felt for you all kinds of love at once.

I’m so sorry if I’m not able to tell you this personally. So wherever you are and whenever this is, I love you. I love you now as I write this, and I love you now as you read this. In my dreams you would kiss away my fears and wrap me with your arms of love. And this all the more make me want to wake up and face a new day ahead with the hope that soon enough, inshallah, you will no longer be a dream but a reality. Having you gives me good reason to wake up each morning with happy thoughts that can be the most wonderful experience there could be. Once again, I am assured that you are worth the wait. By then, I would simply look back and smile at all that I have gone through, in spite of the pain and amidst the simple joys of life. And I would be very thankful to Allah because they all led me to you! In the meantime take care of yourself for me. Hold on to your dreams and don’t think of letting go. Go for the things that are within reach, but never get tired of aiming higher after each success. Believe in your heart that we will find each other no matter what happens. Allah has planned the course. Don’t worry, don’t be afraid of getting lost. Allah, the Lord of the worlds, saw to it that all the roads, no matter which one you choose lead to me.

WASSALAM! .......

Sunny RASHEED, 24, is an economics graduate from Mindanao State University and works as a marketing executive for 11ensembles in Makati City. For comments, you can e-mail the writer at