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Monday,  February 10 12:01 AM EDT

OS Debate Causes Domestic Standoff

By Brian Briggs

DALLAS, TX - As the country watches the United States government engage in diplomatic and military posturing with Iraq and North Korea, a different sort of standoff has begun in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Kyle Harrington. The dispute revolves around Lisa Harrington's refusal to use the recently installed Linux operating system on the family computer. Despite informing her of the benefits of the open source movement and the improved graphical interface, Mrs. Harrington has shown no interest in using a new operating system and has flatly refused to learn.

Mrs. Harrington was quoted as saying, "I don't want to explore anything new. When I want to check [my e-mail] I just want it to be there." She expressed similar sentiments last year when Mr. Harrington offered to show her how to program the VCR.
Mr. Harrington is similarly resolute. "Hey, if she doesn't want learn to use Linux, she doesn't need to use the computer that bad."

The Linux operating system is based on the UNIX operating system, developed primarily by volunteer programmers, and is available for free download. Despite major improvements in recent releases, Linux is run by only a small percentage of computer users, and only a fraction of their spouses. In a recent survey of Linux users, less than three percent of respondents said that their spouse also used the Linux operating system. By comparison, sixty-three percent of AOL users said that their spouse was also mentally deficient.

The standoff began two months ago when Mr. Harrington spent an evening installing Linux as a second operating system on the family computer. Since that time, he has been using Linux almost exclusively.

"Kyle gets home every night and starts the computer in Linux. I keep telling him I want the computer to be in Windows, but he won't listen," complained Mrs. Harrington in a recent interview. However, two weeks ago the conflict escalated when Mrs. Harrington discovered that if the computer was restarted by pressing the reset button, it would boot directly into Windows.

Mr. Harrington's reply came through diplomatic channels, "I set it up so that it would be convenient for her to reboot into Windows, but she won't learn shut it down properly, and I lost a three page e-mail and half a presentation I was working on because she just pushed the reset button when I went to the bathroom."

As of news time, Mr. Harrington has physically removed the reset and power buttons from the computer and hardwired the computer's power supply behind the wall socket. A source close to Mr. Harrington who declined to be named reported him as saying, "Let's see her get past this. She'll either learn to reboot properly or she won't be able to use it at all." Mrs. Harrington was unavailable for comment, but was last seen in the basement in the vicinity of the breaker panel.

Diplomatic relations have broken down completely, and there seems to be no end in sight to the standoff. Last Tuesday marked the end of diplomatic talks between the two parties when the Rev. Jesse Jackson offered to act as a mediator and broker a resolution, however both sides issued official statements that recommended that Rev. Jackson "go piss up a tree."

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