What if Operating Systems were cereals?

Linux Puffs

The box has a picture of a weird looking bird on the front. On the back is an impressive list of all the vitamins and minerals and a promise that you could live solely off this cereal. It’s price is extremely low and it’s a large box. You can download and print a coupon to get it for free. It’s good cereal, but when you get it home the box is 1/2 empty and you still need to keep a box of Windows Flakes or Mac O’s around as the ingredients list isn’t yet complete. If you talk to other Linux Puffs fans they insist the box is half full.

Windows Flakes

The box has a picture of someone’s office chair on it. On the back is a nice looking if not somewhat vague list of ingredients. The price is a bit steep but you buy it because everyone else is. When you get it home there’s nothing in the box but a link to a website where you can download a picture of cereal. The pictures delete themselves in a day and then you have to buy more. Periodically, a bespectacled man breaks into your house, confiscates all your spoons and demands you show him the receipt for the cereal before you can get your spoons back. Oddly enough this tends to occur when you’re in a hurry and late for for work. The cereal is highly prone to getting mold.

Mac O’s

The packaging appeals to minimalists as it’s all white with no markings except for a part number on the bottom that you need a magnifying glass to read. There’s no list of ingredients and if you call the company they say you don’t really need to know anything but where your mouth is. It’s good cereal and comes with a matching spoon and napkin, unfortunately it’s only available in one flavor and costs $25 for a small box.

FreeBSD Fruity Loops

The box has a devil on it which should have been your first clue something isn’t right. On the back is yet another long list of promises. You’ve heard about some hipsters in the bay area that say it’s great although you’ve never personally met one. In the box are generous amounts of unprocessed grains and what appears to be a small partially assembled hand grinder. There’s a handwritten note suggesting how to make best cereal you’ve ever had but much of the writing is too cryptic to understand.

Solaris Crispix

Just looking at the box leaves you confused as to what it is, much less what’s in it. It’s rumoured to need a few special bowls and you need to pour several and eat only out of the last bowl. If you eat from the first bowl, the contents open onto the floor then disappear. At first this cereal was very expensive, then it was free, then it was expensive again. When you read the ingredients it’s written in a language that might be latin but you’re not sure. It appears to contain Unix Clusters or Linux Puffs.

Unix Clusters

There’s a picture of a rotary phone on the box. On the back are some pictures of typewriters. You’re not sure who buys this but someone still does because it’s on the shelf in the pharmacy between the walkers and the laxatives. If you ask the pharmacist what it is he silently hands you a phone book written in another language. You go back to looking at Linux Puffs.

DOS Bits

Now discontinued, this used to be the only cereal most supermarkets carried for years. Unless you wanted to go to a special store far away and buy Mac O’s, but those required a special bowl made of unobtainium. DOS Bits came in a package the size of a matchbox. You could only buy one box at a time and had to make another trip to the store each time you wanted to buy another box. Nowadays you can download and print a coupon for a free box of DOS bits.

OS/2 Bloo Dingleberry Franken Crunch

You saw the advertisements as to how this cereal would change everything you thought you knew about breakfast. You bought a box and when opened, you were magically whisked away into an alternate universe where there is no milk, no bowls and no spoons. Everyone there spoke only in numbers and codes. You still have a box of OS/2 Bloo Dingleberry Franken Crunch in your pantry to this day.

  • Kenn Ranous
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