Column: Local LUSER group on handling Linux smears

Meanwhile, at the most recent meeting of the Hong Kong chapter of Linux Users for Societal Emancipation and Reform (LUSER)...

"So it's agreed. Oil Slick will approach Tung Chee-hwa about making the Penguin the official mascot of the Celebration to Commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Glorious Founding of the People's Republic of China. Oil Slick will also approach McDonald's about marketing Hello Penguin! Happy Meals. Doesn't the thought of all those people queuing up for the Penguin just make you tingle? Thank you, Oil Slick. Tell your mum we all said you can stay up late tonight. What's next on the agenda, Grease Clog?"

"Um, like, Trekker is on holiday so we need somebody to volunteer to polish the larger-than-life bronze statue of Linus Torvalds."

"I will! I will! Pick me! Pick me!"

"I think not, Codette. The last time we let you do it, Linus' larger-than-life you-know-where was WAY too shiny, babe. Backhacker, you get the nod. Make us proud, big guy. OK, what's next?"

"Huh-huh. Saving the best till last. We need to, like, decide what we're going to do about Daniel Lai."

"Ah. Right. OK, for those of you who haven't heard, we have a 'Re-education Situation' on our hands. This Daniel Lai character is the head of information technology at Mass Transit Railway Corp (MTRC). Friends, I must report to you that rather than toe the line, Mr Lai has brazenly crossed it. Computerworld Hong Kong reported last week that MTRC hasn't even begun to evaluate Linux. Please, hold your gasps till the end. And somebody get Albatross Sling a cold compress - he seems to have fainted.

"It appears that this unacceptable situation at MTRC is directly attributable to Mr Lai's personal vendetta against Linux. He was actually quoted as saying that he doesn't believe Linux is suitable for an office environment like the MTRC that requires office automation tools, Chinese support and an integrated development environment.

"Stay calm, friends. This dire situation calls for an alert response. Because it gets worse.

"I am compelled to inform you that this Mr Lai is president of the Hong Kong Computer Society. That's right. The head of Hong Kong's most prestigious and highly-respected IT professional organisation has proclaimed to the community that 'Linux is more suitable for the labs and universities'. OK. The floor is open so suggestions for a re-education strategy may be heard."

"Let's spread a rumour that he's Bill Gates' secret male lover!"

"That's standard procedure whenever anyone says something about Linux that we don't like, Raven Beak. We need something more drastic."

"You want I should firebomb Quarry Bay Station, boss?"

"Um . . . maybe not quite that drastic, Ooze. Here, chew on your bone."

"Let's post his drivel on every Linux Lover Web site on the planet so that he gets a hateful flaming from all over the world!"

"Duh. Again, that goes without saying, Scar Tissue. Can't we come up with anything original? Yes, you in the back, raising your hand."

"I suggest we redouble our efforts to address the issues that are of concern to IS managers -- like applications and support and interoperability -- and that we devote our full attention and resources to delivering a truly viable alternative for those managers, so that people in positions held by the likes of Mr Lai will have good reason to evaluate the suitability of Linux in their organisations and to promote it among their peers."

"Hmm. Well. You might just have something there. Nah. Any other suggestions?"

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