This fishy story is part of a series titled "Who Wrote Linux?" Reacting to the spurious claims about the authorship of Linux, IT pros submitted hundreds of fractured fairy tales like this one from David R. Meyer to our site.
Several years ago, my wife worked at SeaWorld in San Diego at the penguin house. One day, I arrived early to pick her up and was given the opportunity to hold a penguin in my lap for a few minutes. What happened next remained a blur to me for a few days, but according to witnesses, the penguin bit the end of my nose, and I blacked out immediately.
When I came to, I was in a hospital hooked up to all of the obligatory medical machines and, strange as it may seem, a mainframe terminal. On the terminal monitor, I saw some sort of scrolling code.
I was told that I'd been unconscious for two days. When I tried to speak, nobody could understand what I was saying. I seemed to be speaking a strange language, maybe some lost, forgotten language. During this time, the medical staff was recording what I was saying. I noticed that, as each tape ran out, they fed the recording into the mainframe, which started scrolling my language -- in code -- across the monitor.
The doctor came into my room, shut the door and began to tell me what had happened the past two days. He said that while I was blacked out, I was talking continuously in some sort of code that was just a bunch of zeroes and ones. Sensing that something special was taking place, he got the hospital to loan him a mainframe for my hospital room, and he fed the data into that large machine.
Within a day of hearing the story, my normal language skills had returned. I was no longer speaking in code, so the doctor checked me out of the hospital.
Later that day, when the doctor imported the data from my rantings onto his own computer, it rebooted. On his screen, a strange -- yet friendly -- desktop interface greeted him. Immediately, he called and told me what he had just experienced. He asked me to come and look at his computer to see if I knew what was happening on it.
When I arrived, I saw the screen and froze in my tracks. Suddenly, the events following the attack of the penguin came into focus. I sat down, logged him in and the rest is history.
I gave the code, now known as Linux, to the world as a gift. However, I am considering a lawsuit against The SCO Group for filing a $5 billion suit against IBM. They don't own Linux. I do! They can't sue IBM. Only I can. Maybe, I'll file a $6 billion suit against SCO for infringing on my lawsuit against IBM.
By the way, I seem to have developed a fondness for very cold temperatures. Nowadays, I prefer to sleep in the fridge. Also, I have been consuming mass amounts of herring lately.