April 28, 2007

Debain WrEtch: review of an UnAmerican Linux system

PARODY: Debain is the only group of software developers who still believe that Richard Stallman invented programming. Everyone else now correctly credits Bill Gates for doing so. Debain developers hold themselves separate from the rest of the Linux community because of their pride in not stealing from other operating systems to build their version of Linux. All other versions of Linux are based directly on Windows.This pride has been codified as the Debain Free Software Guidelines, or as it's commonly known, the GPL. Debain pays some of its developers in a successful effort to piss off the rest of its developers. Debain was originally created and maintained by Ian Murdoch and his wife, who are secretly paid by Software in the Public Interest, a conservative think-tank based in Branson, Missouri, which is owned by the British billionaire Richard "I simply rock harder" Branson.

You can generally recognize a Debain user if you see one, as they customarily wear bright colors, have waist-length beards, and tend to sport pastel eyepatches and/or crack pipes. Debain developers look similar, but they usually carry some sort of small monkey, parrot, or miniature fat pony on their shoulders. It's also easy to recognize Debain developers because none of them are Americans. All true Americans run Genuine Windows Vista, and have no need for Debain.

It is rumored that as many as 110% of terrorists are Debain developers, and that the WrEtch release, occurring as it does so closely to the Vista launch, is a sign that the terrorists wish to leave their mark on Microsoft's profits in particular, and on the US economy in general. Given all of this, it's no surprise that Debain's logo is red and that Debain itself is an ancient African word meaning Down with America.

Now about Debain WrEtch Linux

There are many kinds of Linux. The Linux (pronounced 'Teh Li-nux') popularly known as Debain WrEtch is more like a Macintosh OS than a real American operating system. I purchased a 7 CD game set of Debain WrEtch on Ebay for $29. Seemed cheap enough, but I was sorely disappointed when it arrived. There was no joystick or anything, and I couldn't even figure out if it ran on XBox or Playstation. Strike one!

The Debain WrEtch GUI installer would be completely unintuitive to someone who wasn't already familiar with the text based installer, and vice-versa. Look, I know the Debain guys say they have worked on the installer, but really, I don't see it. It's still way too complicated. I mean, it asked me all these questions about drivers and partitions and stuff. When I installed Cygwin on my Windows box, I only had to download one single EXE file, and then there was one single window where I had to check off a few things. Why couldn't WrEtch be that simple?

Debain WrEtch copied Red Hat's packaging manager, known as RPM, which is short for Royal Partition Modifier, but they tried to cover up their cloning by calling it DEB. DEB is a reference to the debits to your credit card that will occur after you use any of its available insecure browsers, such as IceWolverine, or that other one.

Installing RPM software with Debain WrEtch is easy, but potentially painful. You use a tool called APT (A Probing Tool) to install software on your Debain system. It's often an uncomfortable experience, so you may want to try Fedora's competing YUM tool to install your RPMs. To do this, you must install Fedora, which I used as the reference for the rest of this review. Anyway, if you stick with Debain, APT will automatically download RPMs for you, renaming them as DEB files in the process, so that APT knows that they're supposed to be installed. Got that? In short, on Debain WrEtch, DEB is RPM for APT.

Some aspects of Debain are very backward. For instance, sometimes software comes with extra programs that are designed to enhance the user's experience. On the rare occasions when the main programs install at all, these extra programs, like Bonzai Buddy, or Gator Desktop (made by Google) almost never work. And Debain doesn't even come with Windows Update. If you want to use necessary American business software like Outlook, forget it.

I want to berate WrEtch for not including Beagle++, which I simply must have, but really have no idea what it is. I've read a lot of websites talking about it, so it must be pretty good. I tried running Halo 2, Final Fantasy X, Guitar Hero, Gears of War, Zelda: Twilight Princess, and S.T.A.L.K.E.R. on this latest version of Debain, but none of these mission critical apps worked. Absolutely none of them. This only goes to prove that Debain WrEtch is a lousy operating system. How do they expect to compete with Enterprise Ready operating systems like Vista with these sorts of limitations? Strike two!

And don't get me started about drivers. I have this fancy, brand-new, expensive nVidia video card. But in order to use it, I had to go find a suppository, or was it repository, anyway, it's something like that, and then figure out how to use APT (A Probing Tool) on it.

With Vista, all I had to do was get a USB stick (because the network drivers don't "take") and walk it over to my other machine and get a beta account on the nVidia site, and sign the NDA and wait for my email response and then find the right driver to download, and then I downloaded it and put it on the USB stick (well, I had to take it back off the USB stick because it wasn't recognized by Vista, and I had to burn it to a CD, but it's basically the same thing), and then I just had to run the installer and agree to the License Agreement and then make sure I went into the registry and set the keys that let me install an unsigned driver, and then the video card worked fine. Why can't Debain WrEtch be that easy? The obvious answer is "Communism."

Once I did get Debain drivers for my video card installed, I was a little bit impressed with the fact that its GUI let me use transparent windows in some cases. It's a widely known fact that Vista invented transparent windows, so for Debain to have copied this feature already demonstrates some small amount of initiative on the part of the developers.

The biggest disadvantage to using Debain to install all of your drivers is that, unlike Vista, it will let you install 'unsigned' drivers. 'Unsigned' means that generally they have a virus, which can destroy your computer. This is why there are many more Windows machines on the Internet than Debain WrEtch machines. As soon as a Debain WrEtch machine gets put on the Internet, it will generally get a virus and be used to send spam, sell Viagra, and distribute kiddie porn. Because it gets viruses and other bugs as soon as it's connected to the Internet, it's often referred to as 'Open Sores'.

Another problem with Debain is that you can't get commercial support for it. If Windows ever breaks, you can call up Microsoft and they can get you back up in no time. With Debain you have to connect to the Internet and go into a 'chat room' -- that's right, the same place where perverts and NBC Dateline hang out -- before you can find anyone to help you.

Alternatively, you can try to find help on one of like a thousand different websites. Good luck trying to figure out which one to use when there are so many! As a sign that The Linux is starting to mature, Linux Genuine Advantage has been recently made available. However, even with LGA, Debain has a long way to go before it performs as well as Vista.

I found the lack of credit given to Ublewtoo by Debain WrEtch disturbing, since Linux started in Africa. Everyone knows that Debain was founded in Africa, by a wealthy 5 hit die Lich from the Sudan, but everyone probably doesn't know that the scheme Debain uses for naming its different versions comes from ancient Sumerian.

WrEtch, for example, is the name of a particularly nasty variant of tapeworm that plagued the people of Mesopotamia. The word Debain itself comes from the African word that means 'thief,' indicating that Debain is going to steal users from other operating systems.

It's also a sort of play on words as to the origin of Debain, which was created by a team of African software developers who wanted to show that they could write an Operating System without having to steal anything from Microsoft.

That said, because Microsoft is partially funded by its own advertising revenue, not using Windows is tantamount to having stolen your computer. The infamous Debain swirl was inspired by the delectable swirls in a Lil' Debbie Swiss Cake Roll, which isn't African, cake, or an African cake at all. But being Swiss, it's also anti-American.

Obtaining the Ublewtoo Debain WrEtch Ultimate Gaming Edition requires the use of a software piracy and virus dissemination tool called BitTorrent, which was developed by a group of young Swedish hippie socialists and their attorney, named Bram Stoker.

First, one is required to download a 'torrent' file, which is actually a virulent trojan that allows anyone to upload data to your computer. After enough people have uploaded Scheisse videos and barnyard pornography to your disk drive, the BitTorrent program will send each connected user your credit card information and then assemble the uploaded content into the Ubuntu Debain wrEtch Ultimate Edition installation CD image.

Alternatively, you can obtain CroMagnum Debain, the Enterprise version of Debain, otherwise known as Ublewtoo, by paying Novell, which pays Microsoft, which uses the money to graciously install real operating systems which are shipped for free with most systems.

In conclusion...

Overall, I have to say that Debain WrEtch Linux is not a bad first effort from a bunch of uneducated, non-American, hippie/terrorist programmers. In some ways, it's quite impressive how much they have been able to develop in only the last three years, especially considering that most of them don't get paid at all. They don't get out much either. Still, it's clear that they have a long way to go to catch up with a real software company like Microsoft, who spends billions of dollars a year on innovation and security to come up with something like Vista.

And Debain will surely never catch up to Apple, let alone Vista, because they don't have the guts to charge $800 for anything, much less a phone.

Disclaimer: While I haven't actually installed WrEtch, or any version of Debain, or any version of the Linux at all, on any of my machines, I've read a lot of websites about such platforms, in particular the ones at Microsoft.com, so I feel that I am completely qualified to review it. If you don't forward this story to three friends within the next five minutes -- and I'm totally serial here -- your computer will become infected with this Debain virus just because information about it was on your screen.

Where am I? Oh, yeah: Don't buy Debain WrEtch, get a Motorola Crazer-berry instead. A red one!

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*This article was written by a group of devout Debian users who regularly read and enjoy articles by noted IT journalist Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols.