Are You a Linux Waif?

A self-described Linux widow, the author offers these tell-tale signs of being a Linux orphan.

It probably started innocently enough. You came home from school one day, and your computer screen looked different. Your dad told you, “There are gonna be a few changes around here.” You had to learn how to open e-mail all over again.

Maybe it feels like you've been yanked out of your comfy WYSIWYG world and thrown into the void of uncertainty—abandoned for the sake of powerful computing.

You might be a Linux Waif.

How can you know for sure? Do you recognize any of the following tell-tale signs?

  1. Has your dad removed what he calls “the unnecessary keys” from the keyboard?

  2. Is your monitor bigger than your TV?

  3. Does your dad's license plate read ILUVLNX or LNXROX or LNXRULZ, etc.? Does the other car's plate read IH8MS?

  4. When a big virus hits everyone's computer where your dad works, does he come home really happy?

  5. Is there a dartboard in your garage with a strangely familiar, nerdy-looking guy's face stuck on it?

  6. Has your little brother's teacher ever sent a note home to your parents asking them to please tell him not to refer to the class computer as “sucky”?

  7. When you come home from school and tell your dad about your PowerPoint presentation, does he get a blank look on his face?

  8. Have you ever wondered why your dad gets so excited about open sores?

  9. Have you ever overheard your little brother getting into a fight where the bully says, “My dad can beat up your dad”, and your brother replies, “Yeah, but my dad can build me a computer out of spare parts in our basement”?

  10. You go to a friend's house and his dad shows off his bowling trophies. When your friends come over, does your dad show them his original Linux Journal, still in the plastic?

  11. Have you ever tried to ask your dad something about one of your homework problems and he interrupts you to exclaim, “This book's written in LaTeX!”

  12. Have you ever overheard your mom showing your little brother the new Spiderman underwear she bought him when your dad wanders by and asks, “Hey! Do they have those with penguins?”

Anything sound familiar? Don't worry, Waif. You're really not alone. He's doing it for your own good, and he has another name for you anyway—Second Generation Linux User.

______________________

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Linux vs. Micosoft

beaper's picture

I am totally in the dark about Linux and have been around pc's since Windows 3.1, circa 1994, and have had a wonderful overall experience growing from 3.1 to ,my currently, XP Pro-2 wich I enjoy very much. In my opinion Bill Gates, that nerdy guy, has done more for the world of computers that any person on this globe. I know he is but one of pioneers but he is the biggest and the best. Slam dunk. Now, I don't Linux from squat but I'm very curious about it. Is it a total system with email and all the other benefits? Pete Johansen, Kelso, WA

Re: Are You a Linux Waif?

Anonymous's picture

OK, a belated comment, but a True Story from about 2 and half years ago... Daughter (now 5 then 2 and a half) was heard to wail from the living room computer whilst we were clattering around in the kitchen

"oooooh its gone blue again. I want a Penguin compooter like Daddy "

Win98 had blue screened - again - on her favourite game.

Roll on a good selection of kiddies stuff on penquin power, as I am forced onto the dark side by the demands of kids stuff!

Re: Are You a Linux Waif?

Anonymous's picture

13. You wife and son recognize Tux, but couldn't pick Bill Gates out of a line up.

14. Your son thinks Tux Racer rules (or Tux Cart, or BZFlag, or...)

15. Your wife is seeking help for her Same Gnome addiction and it's her goal in life to beat one of your high scores

16. Your wife is desperately hoping Yahoo gets IMvironments and audio / video going in their Linux version of Yahoo Messenger before she's forced to convert

17. Your family acknowledge's the "Windows XP - Just Say No!" rule you've decreed

18. Your son has an old HP x-teminal in his room for web surfing

19. You feel guilty for having purchased Crossover Plugin because it means some of --THEIR-- software is on your system, even if it is running in Linux.

20. The coasters in your house are old Linux distro's. (Hey - a Red Hat 5.2 coaster!)

I'm sure my wife could contribute many, many more on my behalf. No Tux tattoo's yet either... ;-)

Re: Are You a Linux Waif?

Anonymous's picture

I have an 11 year old son who has no qualms letting everyone know how much he hates Microsoft. I think he's heard me shouting that a few too many times. Whenever we see a commercial on the tube for anything M$ related, he looks at me to see if I'm going to say anything, so I have to mutter it under my breath now.

Oh yeah, and my Utah license plate reads MRLINUX. I haven't seen the lucky person who picked up the LINUX plate yet.

Great plate!

Karen's picture

I really like it, i think that yours is even cooler than "linux" alone. I think, in a way, you show your child a good way of thinking. It's better to have a community working together on a soft ware than having a huge company trying to make money.
Karen
From Dinnerware sets.

Wow...

Anonymous's picture

That'd describe me in many ways...

(My wife keeps referring to me as the Grand High Prophet of Linux- to my chagrin... :-)

Re: Are You a Linux Waif?

Anonymous's picture

I wish he was my dad! :-)

Re: Are You a Linux Waif?

Anonymous's picture

Actually, my son is this Dad...

Dual Boot System

Anonymous's picture

I have one (of three) home boxes set up as a dual boot machine. My daughter was interested in linux, so I set an account up for her, and thought nothing more of it....

A few days later I found her playing xbill... It made me proud!

Re: Are You a Linux Waif?

Friendless's picture

My kid could log in before he could write his name. In fact, he could log in for his Mum and his Grandma too. I'm such a proud dad...

Re: Are You a Linux Waif?

Anonymous's picture

Like so many here, if I had kids, I'ld be the dad. My partisanship is show, though. My actual vehicle registration reads 'REDHAT'.

Your article may be coming WAAY too late.

Anonymous's picture

How about the kids who never saw anything else than Linux?

I started using linux in 94, or so, and dropped the last remains of windows in 96 or 97.

Now, my kid was born in 99, so how is he supposed to know that Linux is supposed to be something "special", "strange", and so on...

Deno (forgot the pass)

Re: Are You a Linux Waif?

Anonymous's picture

Sorry, I've got you all beat on this one. I have 3
year-old and 9 year-old hatchlings. Their computer
was having problems requiring several reboots
everyday (it was running a commercial OS that shall
remain naMeleSs). My son decided it should run Linux and
asked if he could help me upgrade the system. I
later discovered the problem was some bad memory,
and offered to put the old OS back on so that they
could play some of the games they used to enjoy.
Not only did they object greatly, but my wife also
objected as she has started to use the computer as
well.
A friend recently offered to give me a piece of software
that he had written, and my son promply told him
"that's OK, we don't do windows" :-) He also told a
friend that we had the brightest house in the
neighborhood, because we didn't have any windows
in our house. Unfortunately his friend had no idea
what he was talking about.

--
A Penguin Friendly house near Huntsville, AL.

Re: Are You a Linux Waif? : Got two child processes.

Anonymous's picture

Oh, I'm that dad x2.

My 5 year old loves the VI editor and likes to announce in CompUSA/Microcenter; "Where are the penguins!" And the new spawn likes the xscreensavers hooked up to the ogg player. Beat the h**l out of tellyflubbies and that nasty purple misfit Darney.

Hey, were can I get footed penguin PJs for a 1,5, and 35 year old.

Re: Are You a Linux Waif? : Got two child processes.

Anonymous's picture

actually my wife made me a full-body linux armor... its not very hard.... if your wife is a little bit handy with the sewing machine maybe i can arrange it so you can get the instructions...

drop me a line

frommel at kolumbus.fi

Very nice!

Anonymous's picture

I Guess im like that dad only to my girlfriend, my dad is a fisherman so...but his computer is also running linux now and he found that linux was very well suited for the computer on his ship it ran some old console os now it runs suse 6.4 with kde 1.1.1

and he can like in the commercial sell his fish at auction before he gets to the harbour.

In my opinion Linux is the better OS. way to go folks around the world!

Re: Are You a Linux Waif?

Anonymous's picture

Let's see. My daughters first mobile was a 19inch monitor, and it was running Suse 6.0, I think. My wife buys computers from here company, begs me to leave them alone, but I feel this pull to free the system from it's bondage, and give it freedom. I have lead 8 computers to the promise land. My neighbour caught me trying to liberate her computer, but she did not press charges.

Does any of this count.

Re: Are You a Linux Waif?

Anonymous's picture

Great!

In fact, I was out buying some clothes for my then three year old "Hi! Look at those with the nice penguins on them, aren't they cute?" We also often plays "spot the penguin" with LJs... Hm, I have to start with my (soon to be) two year old, where can I get a plush Tux for her birthday?

Morten

Re: Are You a Linux Waif?

Anonymous's picture

Get a pluche pinguin @ www.suse.de

Re: Are You a Linux Waif?

Anonymous's picture

Re: Are You a Linux Waif?

Anonymous's picture

I can't afford for people to interpolate vowels. I got the vanity plate "LINUX" and I drive with pride.

Re: Are You a Linux Waif?

Anonymous's picture

Do you live in Atlanta, ga. Off memorial drive?

Lepriapus@yahoo.com

Re: Are You a Linux Waif?

Anonymous's picture

Ouch!

This article is too close to the bone! More clues.....

13. Your dad sends an email to Sun Microsystems wishing them luck in getting their $3 billion from Bill.

14. Your kids moan at having to write all their school essays in StarOffice 6 beta.

15. Your daughters boyfriends (all computer junkies) reckon the old man is mad. They reckon if you can't run Counterstrike in Linux, why would you bother to use it?

Re: Are You a Linux Waif?

Anonymous's picture

just prove to them that you CAN run CounterStrike in linux, if you so desired (by way of WineX) and then demonstrate all the other stuff that you can do as well... one day they will learn that games arent everything... (says he as he quietly kills the window running CS :)

Re: Are You a Linux Waif?

Anonymous's picture

Re: Are You a Linux Waif?

Anonymous's picture

Your even starting your baby off on a terminal instead of a gui. Does this mean her first word will be "ls -al"?

Re: Are You a Linux Waif?

Anonymous's picture

Nice Microsoft keyboard.

Re: Are You a Linux Waif?

Anonymous's picture

I'm glad I'm not the only one using a M$ mouse in Linux. :)

Nice poke`mon

Re: Are You a Linux Waif?

Anonymous's picture

Ah! Speaking of plates...

Sorry for a double post

Re: Are You a Linux Waif?

Anonymous's picture

Ah! Speaking of plates...

Sorry for a double post

Re: Are You a Linux Waif?

xtifr's picture

"Unnecessary keys"? I just glued little pictures of tux on them, and assigned them some useful functions. Having separate ALT and META keys under X ROX!

p.s. the pictures are starting to wear off. If anyone knows where I can get real tux-keycaps, please let me know.

Re: Are You a Linux Waif?

Anonymous's picture

Where I work, we have a machine from penguin computing. The keyboard that came with it has the little tux symbols on the keys.

Re: Are You a Linux Waif?

Anonymous's picture

A German source for complete keyboards with Tux

keys:

http://www.linuxland.de/katalog/18_hardware/linuxtastatur/framify

Probably not available in the US 8-(.

Dart Board

Anonymous's picture

Here is a place to go for a great Bill Gates dart board.

Re: Are You a Linux Waif?

Anonymous's picture

mores sign:

1) do your 3-4 year old kid RUSH into the newsstand to look for "Tux"?

2) do your kids think that idiots have "windows in their heads"?

mine do :-))

Re: Are You a Linux Waif?

mdekkers's picture

heh - that's me :) - just without the plates. But then again, at home, they have to use Jabber just to get my attention....

Re: Are You a Linux Waif?

Anonymous's picture

Does a Granddaughter count?

Ok, So she said " it sucks" close enuff.

Of course I have the first issue of Linux Magazine, like DUH.....

The wife wouldn't let me buy a new monitor bigger than the TV. I got her one of those Big Screens 54 incher I think. Next day I bought me a 19 inch monitor and still have room to upgrade under her guidelines!

I do have Penquin pj's!

Well there are quite a few components left around the 'south pole' (nice name for my computer room)!

Actually the dartboard is mounted on the back porch. Hadn't thought about adding a picture. I need to upgrade my dartboard!!!

So Does this mean that my family may be in peril of being waifed???

Slightly Curious

Re: Are You a Linux Waif?

Anonymous's picture

wait, you said "upgrade" your dart board?

wouldn't adding a picture of him downgrade it??

Re: Are You a Linux Waif?

Anonymous's picture

...and is that 'Linux Magazine' or 'Linux Journal' you mean? I should hope Linux Journal, of course!!

Re: Are You a Linux Waif?

Anonymous's picture

ROTFL...

> 2.Is your monitor bigger than your TV?

I've got a dual-monitor setup with two 17" monitors powered by a Matrox G450 card on a Slackware 8.0 system upgraded with XFree86 4.2.0 with Xinerama and KDE 2.2.2 / Gnome 1.4 and a LOT of screen real estate...

In the livingroom, we have a 13" color TV my parents bought us years ago when we were still in school. My daughter stands next to the book case and squints up at the TV when she wants to watch her Veggie Tales vids...

Guess that makes her a certified Linux Waif (tm)

cheers,

JMF

Re: Are You a Linux Waif?

Anonymous's picture

Veggie Tales, eh? Man... I know teenagers who still watch that... I personally can't stand it.

Re: Are You a Linux Waif?

Anonymous's picture

I would almost be willing to give my life for Veggie Tales. :) When I get my arabic Veggie Tales transferred from PAL to NTSC and burnt onto VCD's, or just sitting on HD or DVD, I will keep them for the day I have children. I will also, of course, have the english videos too. Most of my college friends consider Veggie Tales an inspiration, it may be that more college aged people watch and buy them.

Re: Are You a Linux Waif?

Anonymous's picture

My last year of college Veggie Tales were great. I've got Larry Boy with the suction cup pieces on his helmut. I just can't get the to stick to the side of my work monitor. Err... The boss wouldn't like it much if I used crazy glue.

Re: Are You a Linux Waif?

Anonymous's picture

I'd be that Dad, except those license plates are taken already! ;-) Who needs a TV when you can use a computer? Now, where did I put those darts?

Re: Are You a Linux Waif?

Anonymous's picture

My plates: "LINUX WD" :)

Re: Are You a Linux Waif?

Anonymous's picture

D4C4C8

Surrounded by a frame that says Mainframes kick ASCII

Better name

Anonymous's picture

Be part of the "Second Linux User Generation" :)

Re: Are You a Linux Waif?

Anonymous's picture

My 3 year old loves abiword .

I have a complete set of the Linux Journal (although the first issue is a photocopy version).

:^)

waif
n : a homeless child especially one forsaken or orphaned

Re: Are You a Linux Waif?

Anonymous's picture

Oh, ghod - I thought I was the only one who chucked Linux Journal #1 in a polybag and tossed it in with my comics (cover - black with "Microscared" in 3D letters, IIRC).
--
Evan

Re: Are You a Linux Waif?

Anonymous's picture

I remember that cover - it is the cover for the first issue of Linux Magazine (early 1999 I think). Linux Journal has been around a bit longer.

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