And Linux is your psychotic ex-

May 26, 2004 7:49 AM

A few people asked in comments and trackback where Linux would fit into my tortured metaphor.

Linux (on the desktop, at least) is the psychotic girlfriend.

She seems exciting at first and you pour an enormous amount of energy into the relationship, but she keeps demanding more and more, and she never gets any more predictable. You'll find yourself awake at 4am arguing with her about where you left the toilet seat. And while the fact that her idea of a good night out is a trip to McDonalds means your wallet is thanking you, you end up wishing for someone a bit more refined.

If you're lucky, you'll come to your senses and do your best to keep her at arms length. If you're unlucky, Stockholm syndrome will start to kick in...

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Hmm, that makes sense. To continue under that metaphor, I would say that Linux really does behave sensibly - you just have to have four or five years of experience in behavioral psychology to understand her.

I'm very fond of my Linux, but yes, it would be nice to have it stable on medication.

You're making a serious omission. What about various distributions like SuSE Linux that really do work with most PC hardware and human beings?

The point is that you're looking at Linux when it was still rough around the edges. It's been steadily improving and will soon be a better and cheaper solution than both MacOS and Windows.

I think that Linux is like that psychotic girlfriend that just seemed psychotic because you didn't really understand her and becomes a lifelong companion later on ;)

"""I think that Linux is like that psychotic girlfriend that just seemed psychotic because you didn't really understand her and becomes a lifelong companion later on ;)"""

Heh. This kind of rationalisation is what keeps couples together when the psychosis is bad.

Oh, come now...
Mac is the rich, snotty girl who would never give me a second look because I wore old bluejeans and t-shirts and drove an old Ford that I had rebuilt from parts. She wore designer outfits, drove a Lexus, scoffed at my rustic, poverty-stricken life.
Linux was the hippy girl in swirling skirts and tie-dye that looked within, welcomed me with open arms, because she loves all beings, didn't ask for the moon...

BeOS - that girl you had a crush on years ago, never had the courage to ask out, and when you looked her up years later it turns out she died young. (but in an SF twist, there's foreshadowing of a resurrection?)

Much of this horribly sexist of course, although i suppose there's no reason the gender bit couldn't be flipped.

I would have gone with "Linux is masturbation. You stay up alone, staring at the screen into the late hours of the night. It becomes a compulsion and a secret obsession. You don't depend on anyone else for support, but you have to take care of everything yourself, and sometimes get your hands dirty."

(And yes, I am a Linux developer, as well as a longtime Mac user.)

I install secondary hard drives on all my computers and ALWAYS install to that HD, regardless of OS. I see my OSs as my mistresses -- not even on the level of fuckbuddy. I keep my programs and OSs seperate to the maximum degree that I can. I don't want a girlfriend OR a whore.

I miss true DOS.

Odd that you mention Stockholm Syndrome. A friend of mine and I came up with the phrase "Helsinki Syndrome" for those poor people who are convinced that Linux on the desktop is actually a fun and usable experience.

Of course, I'm a long-term Mac user, so who am I to judge?

I love wondering the web in the middle of the night you find such interesting sites,i.e, the fish bowl:Mac/Microsoft/linux-Harsh Mistress/Cheap Whore/Psycho Girlfriend... You boys need to get a wife!
Thank you for the insight on how men view women perspective of course. Even the commentaries were insightful! But to the fella who thought the gender could be switched ...NOT! Though man is a confusing beast, he could never match the fickle complexities of woman. As to the operating systems in question... While a mistress is a nice steady for the home body, she's not often available for travel. While the cheap whore is readily available in most corners of the world. The psycho girlfriend is usually what leads to divorce!

If Linux is a psycho-ex, Lindows is a sugar pill and Gentoo is lithium.

Wow, um interesting analogies here.. Having never used a mac for anything other than a paperweight, I cant really comment. As for the others, Linux is kind of like the chick that you never could really get inside of her head because she speaks some cryptic language that only makes sense if you are as crazy as she is. Windows? International whore, after all, everyone on the internet can get inside of her, without really even knowing her name. Someone mentioned DOS... ahhhh... So I am not alone? The faithful, mature woman that makes perfect sense if you just do a little reading between the lines!

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