everybody loves eric raymond episode 67 strip

I received this e-mail and thought it might be interesting to the ELER readership. I paraphrase a little:

I am certain you will be surprised to receive this e-mail from me, indeed, I sincerely apologize for the embarrassment this might cause you. However, I wish to state, that it is sincerely necessitated by my present plight and I pray you will readily be of tremendous assistance. I am Mr. JONO BACON, from WOLVERHAMPTON and having consulted with my colleagues and based on the information gathered from the WOLVERHAMPTON chambers of commerce and industry, I have the privilege to request for your assistance to transfer the sum of £5.00 (FIVE ENGLISH POUNDS STERLING) from your account to purchase a ticket for LUG RADIO LIVE 2007.

LUG RADIO LIVE 2007 will commence precisely on the 7th and 8th July 2007 in WOLVERHAMPTON, UNITED KINGDOM which will be hosting AWESOME FOSSY RELATED speakers, only a small percentage of them employed by LARGE FACELESS CORPORATIONS.

I went to Lug Radio Live 2006 and it was great fun. I’m speaking at LRL 2007 about ELER and tribal leadership – come along and say hi. I’ll be the scruffily dressed geek with the laptop.

Bruce Schneier with guns for some reason

Bruce Schneier Facts

A few things you probably didn't know about Bruce Schneier. The Bruce Schneier Facts Database.

Knuth is my Homeboy t-shirts

Knuth is my homeboy T-shirts

Available at the ELER Shop. Be the envy of the tiny minority of your friends who know who Donald Knuth is.


  1. I hope this Dell-Ubuntu thing screws M$ real good… GRRRRRRRR

  2. Fucking H1LAR10US!

  3. I hope this Dell-Ubuntu thing screws Ubuntu real good… GRRRRRRRR

  4. For even the slightest possibility of this screwing Microsoft, we’d have to at the very LEAST see a link on the front page of Dell’s home page to computers that have Ubuntu preinstalled. It’s hard enough to find a computer that still has XP on it from Dell’s site.

    I like MS just about as much as the next guy who follows ESR, but don’t expect big things to happen overnight. This is a small step. Chances are, Dell won’t have the balls to go the next step.

  5. This is a step in the right direction, but what self-respecting power uses Dell desktop machines? I just hope this forces some of the larger players (Nvidia and ATI in particular) to open their specs…we’ll see.

    I’m not holding my breath for anything new other than crappy Dell boxes to be supported better by Ubuntu.

  6. I know dpkg, but libcomerr2? I don’t get it.

  7. I think it’s supposed to be a random package, at least that’s how I read it. Any newbie who has ever needed help on a *buntu-box will know that seemingly random commands will work as long as they start ‘dpkg’. =)

  8. $ apt-cache show libcomerr2 | tail -n5

    libcomerr is an attempt to present a common error-handling mechanism to manipulate the most common form of error code in a fashion that does not have the problems identified with mechanisms commonly in use.

  9. When ESR left Fedora, one of the packages he force-removed was libcomerr. Hence the punchline.

  10. Ah, thanks anon.

    Perhaps not Leach’s finest work. I shall mail him some turds.

  11. Jono Bacon , if it’s the same person, did a metal version of the Free Software song, available at the FSF website.

  12. Au Contraire, I got the reference immediately and frankly I think this is one of his best. Made me LOL.

  13. ysth@raven:~$ DPKG –REMOVE –FORCE-ALL LIBCOMERR2
    bash: DPKG: command not found

    Mike seems to have as much trouble speaking in lower case as MR. BACON.

  14. Yeah, definitely one of my favourite ELER strips. Several jokes in one strip!

  15. Very, very funny strip.

    (Hysterical commentary too.)

  16. Yeah, I love the way the ESR/fedora joke is rolled in with the Dell tech support reading-from-a-script joke, and the whole “Michael Dell runs Ubuntu” thing. Plus the HUGE phone!
    Best strip in a while. OTOH, it’s the only strip in a while, but hey.

  17. I’ll be the scuffily dressed geek with the laptop.

    Surely this should be “scruffily”?

  18. I laughed, out loud…

  19. Haven’t Dell signed the same agreement with Microsoft that Novell did?

    If so, why aren’t the also getting a bolocking? In fact if it is the case, then why does Shuttleworth bolock Novell but kiss the hand of Dell?

    I’m confused.

  20. Heh – think I’ll stick with my Gateway.

  21. Chris, one factor is the -direction- a company is moving. Dell is, on the whole, moving forward. Novell was, on the whole, moving backward.

  22. No, Chris, Dell did not sign the same agreement with Microsoft that Novell did. We can therefore disregard your “if so”. Next question.

  23. Hilarious ^^

    but one thing; shouldn’t that be sudo dpkg on an ubuntu machine ;)

  24. Tidy admins use –purge, too, but I don’t think ESR has ever demonstrated any particular concern over doing anything right.

  25. So Joe (or anybody else),

    I take it you are saying the following article (and ones like it) is wrong:


    Also, how are Dell moving forward if they RECOGNISE Microsofts so-called patent claims – which is what signing this deal does?

  26. Excellent even if infrequent.
    More of this dell/ubuntu hopefully ?

  27. LOL!

  28. Great comic!

    It’s been almost exactly a year since I got my Dell laptop and I haven’t had any problems with it. Ubuntu has been running fine for the last several versions and almost all of the functionality works as it should.

    I think it’s great that Linux is starting to get better vendor support – a few people I work with are starting to look at Linux more seriously now that they know they might be able to get it pre-installed on their PC.

    I do have just one problem: bring this to Australia already Dell!! :)

  29. Yeah, ok this is funny (not really hilarious as some claim), but funny nonetheless. Now, this is my first time here and I’ll say I am a lil’ bit offended. Isn’t it a bit racist that the ^regular^ M$ Dell support engineer is ‘Vineet’ and the ubuntu ^specialist^ is Michael. Don’t try and tell me that was unintended or added to the humor in any way. It would have been just as funny without the jab at dell support coming from India.

  30. steve:

    Firstly, I don’t say he comes from India. He might have been born in the USA.

    Secondly, call tech support at 5 random large corporations and tell me how many non-native English speakers are answering first line. The strip just reflects the real world (for once). I could blacken up Richard Stallman’s face if you’d prefer ELER to be more politically correct.

    Thirdly, it says nothing of the guy’s ability or intelligence, just that he doesn’t specialise in Ubuntu. The joke only works if the call is handed over to Michael Dell.

    Fourthly, guy’s name “Vineet Bandhu” translates to “Knowledgeable Helper” – carefully selected to convey the idea that he’s clever and well meaning. Michael Dell on the other hand clearly isn’t (in this strip) either.

    Fifthly, I’ve not done a strip in weeks so I really shouldn’t be spending all this time replying to comments.

  31. “Michael Dell on the other hand clearly isn’t (in this strip) either.”??

    He immediately recognized esr and decided to patronize him; how more on the ball can you be?

  32. For fucks sake, keep the political correctness off this comic.

    Steve is obviously humorally impaired.

  33. John: Great one, very funny :) !

    Now it’s time for another one, and I’d bet I know what it will be about, but won’t comment. I don’t want to spoil it :D

  34. This one was awesome, but please please PLEASE publish something on the latest in the Linus vs. FSF feud. “Damn fed up…” — them’s fightin’ words!!!


    Go Linus…It’s our birthday…

  35. its just a great comic. there wasn’t even a need to justify its political correctness. this is the last thing on the planet i can expect to be branded as an instance of ‘racism’.
    as an aside, vineet = polite/humble, bandhu = friend.

  36. “Haven’t Dell signed the same agreement with Microsoft that Novell did?”

    They agreed to distribute Novell-MS’s coupons for servers..that’s all (although maybe it’s part of the MS strategy to control workgroup server protocols and thus information gates). Whatever it is, it’s fallout on Novell’s side solely.


  37. the dell ubuntu thing is doing well. the only side effect i think is that dell are getting free community support for it. if they’re making money selling the ‘dell’ brand, shouldnt they be putting something back into the community… should they not also at least put some money into the mirror service?

    does dell think that the added users will create a storm of creativity for the ubuntu project? i don’t know how this balances out… but up till now linux has been fulled by programmer types who use it as a tool, not so much as a email/web terminal like a modern desktop. we shall see.

    ubuntu refused a patent immunity agreement with ms recently… that’s quite amusing, and how about this:


  38. “if they’re making money selling the ‘dell’ brand, shouldnt they be putting something back into the community… should they not also at least put some money into the mirror service?”

    Yes, they should, but it’s even essential that they not be required to.

  39. Yoo-hoo? Anyone there? Time to brush the stale crumbs away, methinks.

  40. I miss ELER… A whole month and no update! I’m having withdrawl symptoms here.


  41. normal service will be resumed next week sometime.

  42. Yeah. I guess Hans Reiser got his revenge on John afterall…

  43. >normal service will be resumed next week sometime.

    Praise john!

  44. > normal service will be resumed next week sometime.

    Ok, scrap that revenge then. Glad to hear you’re still going strong! =)

  45. Oh really praise the lord – kde 4 will come, m$ will die and _we_ get a new eler-comic!

  46. Here is some of what Linus has to say about the new GPL v3.


  47. “normal service will be resumed next week sometime.”

    I’m taking the overs as my lock of the week.


  49. No no, Paul is dead.

    John is the walrus, goo goo g’joob…

    (Elementary penguin singing hari krishna….)

    Turn me on, dead man.

  50. i don’t get it?

  51. >normal service will be resumed next week sometime.

    So you’ll start updating every three months next week?

  52. Maybe Eric finally found John and shot him?

  53. When is the next strip coming out?

  54. We are waiting for a new strop…. :)

  55. ohhh i get it!! this months strip is -NOTHING- .. signifying what M$ will eventually become.. John, you’re a genius!


  57. To paraphrase our favourite^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H freak,


  58. I want a new strip and my t-shirt :)

  59. Another Lock of the Week comes through for The Greek. An eeeeasy winner, I hope you all loaded up on it.

  60. John Leach has been bought out by Microsoft!! He’s already adopted a Vista release schedule!

  61. If people want more comics they should goad ESR into saying something stupid.

    WTF is with that guy? He used to do so well on his own.

  62. Mmmm… at work today, wearing socks in sandals and my Che RMS shirt. Thank you ELER! Now where is that bloody comic.

  63. Today’s comic: (draw your own pictures)

    So this duck walks into the ESR General Store and asks for some duck food. ESR says “No. Now get out of my store.”

    The next day the duck comes back. “Got any duck food?” And ESR yells “No you stupid duck. Get out!”

    And the next day the duck returns. “Got any duck food?”
    ESR is fuming now. He points his finger at the duck and shouts “Look you stupid duck. You see that tree outside? If you come back again asking for duck food I’m going to take you outside and nail your feet to that tree! You got that, Duck?”

    So the next day the duck comes in and says “Got any nails?” And ESR says in a confused voice “Wha…No.” And the duck says “Got any duck food?”

  64. Don’t look here, the joke is in ESR’s hand.

  65. Please do a strip about Linus and GPL v3 and/or Con Kolivas.

  66. Please do a strip.

  67. Yes Dr. K, it’s the same Jono Bacon. He’s done a bunch of other music too – worth looking into if you like that genre.

  68. Hey, maybe we can have RMS jump over a shark in the next one?

  69. obWhosThatGuy; who’s the person in the first three panes?

  70. If I’m not mistaken, the guy in the first three panes is ERIC DAMN CAPSLOCK


    Eric S Raymond, or “esr” as he appears in various credits roles, blogs, comics, comments, and so on and so forth.

    Eric is (correct me everybody if I’m wrong) a programmer interested in the Open Source scene, a believer in the right to bear arms, a husband, the source of much for the material for this comic (albeit unintentionally) and always up for a hug if you just happen to be wearing one of John’s tee shirts.

    Eric has in his time contributed a number of interesting concepts and tools for the open source scene; some are as real as I am, and some are even less so:
    - a fetchmail kernel patch thing (?? ?? ??) “pop has never been so fast!”
    - GUN/Linux (hmmm)
    - *something* to do with the programming of Battle of Wesnoth
    - some of the prose doctoring qand campaign design for the same game? I think? Maybe?
    - “GPL3 is stupid” or “GPL3 is Dead” or “We Don’t Need GPL Any More” or something to that effect
    If you can figure out what that last thing is… Read it. You may agree or disagree but it is certainly an interesting read.

    And be sure to check out his blog, including all the comments. I’m not really sure what other things esr is responsible for, but four things are certain-ish off the top of my head:
    - esr is a prominent or important figure in FOSSland
    - esr has grown a moustache
    - esr is somehow involved in the Open Source Institute (ever used Joomla?) – he might be the president or ex president or something grand, perhaps
    - esr is shrouded in myth and mystery

    Sorry I can’t give more information, he’s just another face relevant to some extent in the free software world. Wikipedia might paint a different picture, I dunno. I’m making all this up.

    But in any event this is “Everybody Loves Eric Raymond['s Blog]” (ELER) and that face about which you enquire is what it’s all about (well, not his face specifically, but you know what I mean)

    Now do you want the long answer?

  71. Wait, is it Joomla! that’s OSI approved, or Mambo? Anybody feel free to correct me. Somehow I suddenly have this feeling it’s Mambo….
    The code is very similar but the licensing is very, very different ;) ;) ;)

    google for smf+joomla (not smf’s fault, nor joomla’s, just an interesting predicament caused by viral licensing)

  72. [...] have been too busy lately for me to make any edits. For the moment I point you at a cartoon strip: elesr, it’s not exactly that funny, but it’s taking the piss out of Dull — I mean Dell, [...]

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