Tuesday, August 4, 2009


dear readers of this blog: A most profound apology. The man I thought was my friend, "Rob", was scheduled to blog about comic 619 today. But in the last few minutes, he has sent me an e-mail of a MOST RUDE nature, informing me that he is abandoning all material possessions in order to live on an organic rhubarb farm in eastern West Virginia. EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY. I am astounded, I am angered, I am shocked. Could he not have waited a few days? Or informed me of his decision earlier?

He has thrown the SUMMER OF MADNESS of of its kilter, and I am at a loss for what to do. I will keep you informed of the state of this emergency as events unfold. Probably I will cry on my own for a long time.

pray for this blog.

UPDATE - 8/5/09 - 10:25 PM - Oh thank goodness. A kindly e-mailer has written in with a guest-post to save the day. I am so grateful that I have not bothered to read it; I trust it is excellent in each and every way. Ladies and Gentleman, please give a huge amount of grateful applause to a man calling himself "Billiam Monty Hughes"...

why does that name sound so...familiar? well, whatever. Let's just ctrl-v this thing right up and go back to my expensive wine induced nap in my gold-encrusted terrarium.


Title: My name is Billiam, king of kings: Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!


Greetings, one and all.

I recommend you cherish this moment, humble reader, as never before has this brutal blag had the privilege to display an expansive opinion from my own unique vantage point. Unlike all past reviewers before me (Carl Wheeler, Roberto, James etc.), I did not score a 7 on my Intelligence Quotient test (I actually achieved an exceptional 224 (├╝bergenius level), for your information). Secondly, I am not a delusional, envious moron like most of this blag's fan-base. You see, you do NOT truly hate "Xkcd". It is impossible to dislike, or even be apathetic towards. It is a paragon of perfection. You are tricking yourself. You are simply JEALOUS of "Xkcd", so you attempt to find faults even though none exist. This is also why many also "hate" Control Alternate Delete, the second best web-comic of all time ("Xkcd" defeats it, obviously). I pity you, I do. Poor, poor, Carl...

Perhaps you would enjoy some exposition on my past and lineage? I go by many aliases, but most refer to me as Billiam, for I am BILLIAM MONTY HUGHES. My surname (Hughes) is a prestigious mantle, passed down through the generations, father to son, son to son, and finally to me. I will hopefully later pass it down for MY son (possibly also the child of the lovely Sophie Devrient? CONTACT ME PLEASE!!!). My forefathers were all men of intellect, bravery and strength. I have not disappointed them. Their very thoughts altered history and they fought valiantly for YOUR freedom. The freedom you are now ABUSING to be a COMPLETE AND UTTER whale penis to a person who just happens to illustrate images that are superior than your own. It is pathetic and I cannot tolerate your repulsive behaviour.

I appreciate and enjoy "Xkcd" as it is (perhaps you should too):

It is a flawless, constantly-updating classic of entertainment created by an extremely talented and intelligent man (Randall Patrick Munroe) that shall stand the test of time, unfaltered. Randall Munroe obviously invests a large amount of (well-earned) time in the construction of his miniature masterpieces. Centuries into the future, children, tweenagers and teenagers shall learn of "Xkcd" in classrooms, remaining relevant for all eternity. That is, if Wheeler's minions fail in their objectives (to defile the respectable name of "Xkcd", preventing it from gaining the readers it deserves and transforming Munroe into a shell of his former self). I CANNOT, SHALL NOT and MUST NOT let this occur.

This is war. An E-War, but a war nonetheless. As barbaric as any other. It is hoped that this battle can end without casualties, and that both sides can reconcile with each other and live harmoniously in unison. But I am no fool. This "dream" is naivety of the highest order. This is not a joke. I am prepared to fight many battles for my cause (the forces of good), like my fathers before me (WW2, that other one etc.). Amidst the aura of combat, my mercy depletes exponentially, and my code does not forbid me the right to murder VERMIN (what all "Xkcd" "haters" truly are).


The detractors of "Xkcd" are one faction in this war, led by Carl "Ugly" Wheeler (essentially an amalgam of Adolf Hitler (Former leader of the German Nationalist Socialist Party) and Lex Luthor (fictional BALD villain)), Malethoth (MORE LIKE FEMALETHOTH) the Mad, Roberto (SPIC SPIC SPIC) and James (Possibly a homosexual?) and populated by the "common" people. Their aim is to cripple "Xkcd", alienate its few fans and MURDER its esteemed creator, Randall P. Munroe. The reason as to their violent, unfathomable, primitive hatred? Jealousy. Why can't you understand that nigh-perfection is still an admirable goal...

The other faction is the altruistic defenders of "Xkcd". Led by Randall Munroe, William Monty Hughes and I. Belial and Sophie-Devrient play a significant role in the defense of good. We did not initiate the fight, nor do we wish it to continue, but we must uphold peace by enforcing war. I wish this was not the case, but we must defend what is right... By stopping what is wrong.

If you do not cease your petty squabbles, the result of this war shall impact the entirety of the internet. The war-ground shall grow in size and in brutality, eventually all will take a side. If this comes to pass, I hope they shall choose the just one (mine).

-Billiam Monty Hughes, Son of Gary
IQ 224
"Cogito Ergo Sum"

What is war good for? Absolutely. Nothing.

Remember. You have been warned of the hazardous implications of your purely immoral actions. You shall not be spared.

Oh my, a slight tangent. I must now return to my review of "Xkcd".

Here is a list of my top six hundred and eighteen favourite "Xkcd"'s, in numerical order:


If you can read this review, in the exact form I intended, then my plot has succeeded. The chances of this review being posted on "Xkcdsucks" free of modification is... Astronomical. There are literally googolplexes of imperfect alternate realities parallel to our own where Carl "Ugly" Wheeler did NOT post this review. Where fascism rules supreme.

This world, is not one of them. Fortunately. Fate (and my own considerable literary talent) have blinded Wheeler and he has been tricked like the drunkard oaf that he is.

Incidentally, today's "Xkcd" was HILARIOUS, like all those before it and all after. As a Linux user (which grants me not only familiarity with the theme of the comic, but also additional significance to my opinion) and an intellectual, I deem it... "funny". Anyone who cannot appreciate the unadulterated "awesome" that is this specific comic is obviously too idiotic to perceive it. And, as most know, idiots do not have valid opinions. They shall be ignored, as they should be.

Farewell, foes and friends.

Great thanks to Billium again for sending me this in my hour of need. I trust that it is complete; if there is any element to the review left unsaid please fill it in yourself in the comments. Now - to the terrarium!



    Ah well, today's comic sucked more shit than liposuctions in L.A. suck fat. Really. I mean, god damn, I respect linux, but this comic is just pandering with a side of sbaaawwww. Is his forumula to pander and then WHINE TO WHOM HE IS PANDERING?

    "Mmmmbaaawwwww I can't figure out how to do X in Y. I'll whine like a bitch so someone fixes it for me, since I made Youtube do something once"

    He should take a page of Judge Parker and start a storyline about horse sex (that's how it looks to me right now anyways). It would be far more entertaining than a theoretical 4096 CPUs - which unless you have a budget to rival God or this is going to somehow be used to build a man-killing robot, you are not going to use it that often.

  2. Ha ha. I should spellcheck now and then. Durrrrr.

  3. um WHAT. is there any chance he is donating his material possessions to needy students, who can then use it to, um, buy beer?

  4. Fortunately, there is nothing to say about this blog: It is an ill-researched condescending NON-joke about computer programming, and as such there is nothing to differentiate it from approximately eight billion other XKCDs.

  5. I posted a comment over in the 618 post about this comic. Upon further thought, my rage is only beginning to simmer. If you find a pinch hitter, make sure s/he is a _real_ Linux user, not some bullshit "I want everything to work as soon as I stick the CD in the tray" user. Because any real Linux user would have a friggin' ball with this one.

  6. you gave rob the dr horrible irc logs, but not us, your loyal fanboys and forumites?

  7. It's short, but if no one else jumps in:

    First of all, in the nature of full disclosure, I am a Linux user. I have been for some time and I will be until someone drags the bash prompt from my cold dead hands.

    This comic shows a complete disregard for the basic separation between userspace and kernel land. On the one hand we have a kernel patch which enables the system to support an increased number of CPUs. This is useful considering that Linux is an operating system of choice for high performance supercomputers which can have upwards of 1,000 cores. Flash video, on the other hand, resides securely in userspace. While the performance of the kernel has an impact on how well userspace programs perform, in the end a poorly written program will perform poorly. The flash plugin for Linux is just that, poorly written and improperly tuned. Why hasn't the community fixed up this plugin to the standards of most commonly used applications for Linux? It is closed source. Only Adobe can fix the issue completely. To say that it is the kernel developer's fault that fullscreen flash is buggy is woefully ignorant of the issue. It is like complaining to an architect that the television programming shown in the building isn't interesting; there is nothing he can do about it. On a technical/nerd level, this comic is already pure fail.

    Ah, and we arrive at the "joke". The kernel developer is so detached from reality that he says "No, but who uses that?". Har, har, computer nerds are socially inept, what an original joke. Would you like me to draft an email to Linus to tell him to fix your problems Randy or else you'll give him a swirly in the locker room? Oh wait, you write a web"comic" about Math, Science, Language, and Stick figure fellatio.

  8. Just wanted to leave a comment saying that I actually liked today's XKCD comic. And for the record, I don't normally like XKCD, and I know nothing about Linux other than it's that OS you can use instead of Windows/Mac OS, so I don't like this because of "GET OUT OF MY HEAD RANDALL," or "Haha! Finally a joke for really obscure nerds like me," but because I thought it was legitimately giggle-worthy. Not a full laugh, but definitely a little giggle.

    The problem with a bunch of people on this site is that they generally assume every XKCD comic is terrible before reading it, and try to pick it apart to find out why it's terrible before they even give the comic a chance. And before the flames hit, I'm not saying that I think anybody who dislikes this particular comic is wrong or anything, just pointing out the general attitude towards Randall and XKCD from this blog.

    Pre-posting edit: @n3xg3n, I guess this is less funny if you know way too much about Linux? XD And I thought the joke wasn't "har har computer nerds are socially inept" but more of a little bit of irony, as in "I'm a kernel developer so pfft who cares about flash, nobody uses that crap" while the other guy is all "I'm a regular user so pfft who cares about that CPU upgrade thing, nobody uses that crap"

  9. Well said, n3xg3n. I'm just a newbie Linux user, but even I know the difference between the kernel and a freaking application. Hell, it's not hard to make the distinction under any OS: if Adobe Flash doesn't work on your Windows machine, should you start bitching at Microsoft about it?

  10. Did anybody have to read this more than once before figuring out that it was "4,096" and not "4,0%" or some variation thereof?

  11. Rob!

    How's the muesli farm or whatever it was?

  12. I'm glad I wasn't alone in that, Sam Horn. D:

  13. Oh! it's 4096, well that makes more sense! The joke still sucks, though.

    As I said in the other thread, sitcom joke.

    Carl, come on, let me do this one




  15. A week ago or so Adobe released an alpha refresh of the 64-bit flash player for linux which appears to improve full-screen playback from "completely useless and practically hanging the browser" to "almost watchable for low-res low-quality videos, but forget about HD".

    But yes, the comic utterly fails on the technical level. Either randall really _is_ a moron, or he's catering to the linux newbie types who may or may not know what a kernel is but just want their Flash to work. And that is just sad.

    Going back to the Adobe rant, apparently they're doing video scaling entirely in software and pushing the result to Xorg using some very crappy interface (probably not even using XShm). You know, completely ignoring all video acceleration/display APIs that Linux has had for a long time. Their excuse is that Flash works on RGB data while the APIs scale YUV data. They must've not heard of OpenGL, this nifty cross-platform 3d acceleration API that also does RGB scaling and works great for videos, and it's almost always GPU-accelerated.

  16. Yes, I thought it was 4,0% too! GET OUT OF MY HEAD SAM HORN!

  17. "If you find a pinch hitter, make sure s/he is a _real_ Linux user, not some bullshit "I want everything to work as soon as I stick the CD in the tray" user. Because any real Linux user would have a friggin' ball with this one."

    Translated as: 'ohh, ohh, whine whine, see, you gotta be a REEEEEEEEEEEEEEAL LINUX USER before you can even dare touch a keyboard! If you're not a REEEEEEEEEEEEEAL LINUX USER, you're a dumb stupid idiot who sucks Bill Gates's balls, and you're way below me!'. See? It's exactly at YOUR kind of people this strip is aimed. And know what? Am I happy with today's strip. It's about time someone tries to dispell this arrogance in certain portions of the Linux community. People want to USE THEIR COMPUTER. Some people just don't want to bother with a bajillion workarounds in order to get simple stuff working -- we are NOT living in an age when only the "enlightened" ones should have access to a computer. Windows has a lot of really bad problems due to its urge to make everything dumb and easy, but things work. Badly? Perhaps, but they work. And, surprise, that's what people expect from their computer!
    Notice: I'm a Linux user, and even with the annoying, persisting problems I face with Linux, I don't think I'm ready to go back to Windows. I like Linux, but IT HAS PROBLEMS. But, to some people, merely admitting that is already a deadly insult.

    Today's strip wasn't at all a "joke": it was really pretty much a punch in the face of his fans, and I say, ABOUT FUCKING TIME.

    (yep, I made pretty much the same comment on the forum thread, so now you know who I am in there)

  18. In the immaculate words of John Denver...

    "Country roads, take me home
    To the place I belong
    West Virginia, mountain momma
    Take me home, country roads."

    I can see Rob's problem.

  19. yeah, listen. I am a man with simple tastes: I like organic farms, rhubarbs, and West Virginia. this was an opportunity too good to pass up. and I don't even have internet here so it is not like I could update the blog. SORRY Y'ALLZ

  20. Organic? Rhubarb? I bet you knit your own cheese and read the hessian New York Times too, hippie.

  21. Come on, Rob, have a heart. :(

    You look like you're fixing to have me die from laughter. Seriously, please, I don't think I can take much more.

  22. Hey numbnuts, everyone KNOWS Linux has problems. The point is that the people who USE Linux are supposed to be the people who enjoy solving those problems. If you just want software that works quickly, easily, and with zero effort, you don't fucking get a Linux distribution unless you're a moron. NO ONE is saying that nobody should use a computer until you can write your own Linux distro--they're saying you shouldn't use Linux specifically unless you enjoy solving computer problems. Do you misread everything from the perspective that Randall makes tolerable comics and XKCDsucks people are just looking for excuses to hate it?

    Plus there's all the technical inaccuracies. Seriously, how do you manage to condescend to people when you don't know what you're talking about?

  23. "The point is that the people who USE Linux are supposed to be the people who enjoy solving those problems. If you just want software that works quickly, easily, and with zero effort, you don't fucking get a Linux distribution unless you're a moron."

    Well? Go tell that to the Free Software Foundation, whose members do honestly feel it's absolutely IMMORAL for a person to choose proprietary software. Go tell that to the folks who preach about "software slavery". Go tell that to those who have multiple orgasms just thinking of Linux wiping out Windows of existence. Go tell that to the guys who love to tell EVERYONE how like everyone should switch to Linux because it's so much better than Windows in EVERYTHING.
    Your opinion on Linux is actually pretty much correct: one SHOULD NOT choose Linux if it does not suit him. But that's not the attitude of the Linux community at large: THEY think Linux is always better, no matter the gaping flaws it still has; and unfortunately it's THOSE people who are responsible for the development of Linux, and if that arrogance persists, Linux will stop in time. Did I misread the strip? Well, it ends with the phrase "Well, who uses THAT?", so I guess the best assumption is that the strip is commenting about THAT attitude. But some people prefer to read in between the lines and make up garbage to criticise. That's not MY fault, you know.

    Keep in mind, I'll say it once again: I AGREE with what you said. The Linux supporters don't, and it's THEIR attitude that I criticise.

  24. I think this isn't a particularly good joke but it is a particularly good troll. Look how it brings out people like n3xg3n or, far worse, the Anonymous pinch hitter guy.

    This doesn't even have to do with the kernel/userland split. If you're anal retentive you can complain that they are two different pieces of software (the kernel and one specific app which, irrelevantly, is a userland app). But that's the sort of argument you make against something presented as an argument, rather than presented as a comic.

    It's as though somebody went off on a rant about that Windows Hitler edition comic by complaining that the desktop background is user-configurable and most OEMs would not make it a picture of Hitler. I didn't think the Windows Hitler comic was funny either, but damn does that miss the point.

    Let's look at this for a second:

    "But yes, the comic utterly fails on the technical level. Either randall really _is_ a moron, or he's catering to the linux newbie types who may or may not know what a kernel is but just want their Flash to work. And that is just sad."

    The comic doesn't really have anything to say on a technical level. One character is proud of his user-irrelevant accomplishment and the other character wants to know if a user-centric problem has been resolved. And hey look! No technical details. How is there a technical inaccuracy at all here? I want to know. My best guess is that people are inserting the words "because you, the man responsible for the 4096 CPU patch, are also the man responsible for smooth full screen flash playback" into the dialogue somewhere. Because until that's there, there's nothing technically inaccurate.

    The moron/pandering dichotomy is a false dichotomy. It's more, either Randall is a moron or he's pandering to people who aren't pretentious twits. Which, sadly, is an inclusive or.

    And "that's just sad"? WHAT...THE...FUCK. What the hell is sad about pandering to "linux newbie types who may or may not know what a kernel is but just want their Flash to work"? Is there some test you have to pass before it's acceptable to be pandered to? What ridiculous elitism.

    And now Malethoth speaks up. I guarantee that you'll piss off a lot of Linux diehards with a rant like that. Linux isn't supposed to be a puzzle game (well, maybe Gentoo is :)), the desktop distros really are trying to work quickly, easily, and with zero effort, and the people who use Linux aren't supposed to be anybody in particular. But yes, arguably the distros are failing, especially some of the ones with the stricter capital-F Free Software policies and their video drivers.

    God DAMN people.

  25. Today's xkcd is the worst one in a long time. Someone has to be jumping at the chance to write it up.

    I wish there was a questionablecontentsucks blog also. I mean one that was updated regularly, I know of one but it only wrote about like the first 30 comics.

  26. Rob how could you you better get your internet back sooooooooooooon

  27. The linux zealot...

    When you mention Vista driver/preformance issues: FUCK YEAH! man, Bill Gates is such a prick, you know? Who would honestly release such a buggy crappy piece of software to the general public

    When you mention Linux driver/preformance issues: FUCK YOU MAN! YOU'RE NOT A REAL LINUX USER! THAT'S A FEATURE YOU FUCKING RETARD.

    I got a kick out of this comic.

  28. rob if you don't have internet HOW ARE YOU COMMENTING


  30. I think Amanda might be on to something

    This is evidence that demands a verdict, Rob

  31. well there is still 3G in west virginia

    Definitely sent from my iPhone, and not Firefox.

  32. This comic reads like Randall found two random facts about Linux on the Internet and decided to make a joke about them. Is there a list of comics in which he shows what tiny bit of information he knows of a certain field? As far as the joke goes it's alright by the formula of, "You focused on the insignificant instead of a common, recognized problem?!", but that's not much as it's tiredness parallels that of telling everyone on IRC that your apartment is on fire. See what I did there? I went to the Randall Munroe School of Comedy.

    Also: long time reader, first time commenter. Hi.

  33. Bullshit

    I have been to West Virginia, there is nought but mud in those lands

    I don't even know you anymore

  34. "Hmm, I need to draw a comic for this Wednesday's xkcd. What shall I do? Shall I draw some psuedo-surreal crap so everyone can see how quirky and weirdly cool I am? I can't do a cheap pop culture reference; I did that Monday. A meme?... Oh, I know! I haven't pandered to the Linux crowd lately. I'll just draw up a common complaint of theirs so they can all go LOL GET OUT MY HEAD RANDY. I'm such a comedic genuis! I can't wait until my book comes out so I can buy more balls for my ball pit."


  36. "Oh, I know! I haven't pandered to the Linux crowd lately. I'll just draw up a common complaint of theirs so they can all go LOL GET OUT MY HEAD RANDY."

    Yeah, openly insulting about half of your fanbase is a great way to do that.

  37. http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=7&p=1719552#p1719552

    ... okay, I take that one back.

  38. Honestly, I use Linux. For a little more than a year now. It's not all that relevant but let me tell you about my experiences.

    At first I noticed that unless you absolutely can't, you are not allowed to say that you use Linux ever. People will flame you for being smug, bragging or some other bullshit, just because you use an operating system that is not Windows.
    I remember I switched to Linux after my windows xp completely fucked up and I had enough. It was pirated anyway, so I figured I'd give Linux a chance. I started with ubuntu. It took some getting used to - indeed this was not the first time I had installed linux, but this was the first time I pulled through with it. The last time was a few years back and I was young and couldn't get the hang of it, so I swapped back. I had some problems with it at the start, but it all ran pretty smoothly. with wine I got most of the programs I needed, and for the other ones I found substitutes. Then I got a second monitor for christmas, which was a bit of a hassle. My first experience with proprietary driver hell. My onboard nvidia card would flicker with two or more monitors, but luckily my father gave me an ATI which he was no longer using. Setting it up was kind of a hassle, but after that everything was ok again.

    After updating ubuntu, everything got instable as hell. I installed debian, which is nice, but due to it's old versions of everything, my scanner would no longer work.

    But anyway, now I'm on vacation with a laptop with windows. I always remembered windows as fairly pleasant and easy to use, but now I realize that this is not true at all. Windows may be easier to set up - stuff tends to work out of the box, but if you get an error, it's so much harder to find a solution. Maybe I'm using it wrong, but everytime I start this PC explorer.exe crashes, sometimes drwtsn.exe too, which causes my whole system to crash. .NET apps don't work at all. Not a single one. I could not figure out how to solve a single one of these problems. I googled, asked on forums and no one could help me.

    On linux, if you have a problem, you find 3 pages on different wikis, 19 forum posts covering the problem. And you can go on any IRC channel, be it about pokemon slashfic, state your problem and someone will fix it for you.

    I'm not saying Linux is easier or better, that's pretty naive. Linux has it's problems and the elitism it's userbase seems to show does not help (If you want to uninstall a program, why don't you just learn how to work synaptic?), and of course, the Programs interfaces (if the programs have interfaces!) are by programmers, for programmers. They let you do many wonderful things, but you have to figure out how first.

  39. OK, blah blah blah kernel, but, Person #1, why do you go on IRC channels dedicated to Pokemon slashfic?

    That's the real question here.

  40. I uh... research?

    I was holding a presentation


    pokemon... slashfic

  41. I think the problem with saying that you have to be willing to work through the problems with Linux is that many people promote Linux as being a good desktop OS, some even going so far as to recommend it for the computer-illiterate. It's not.

    I'm willing to deal with problems. I ripped some CD's to flac using k3b. When I tried to play them in Amarok, they wouldn't seek. Fedora said it was Amarok's problem. Amarok said it was libXine's problem. libXine said it was whatever created the flac file's problem. Looking at k3b, it seemed to be flac command's problem. Looking at the flac program, the problem was that it doesn't buffer the whole song before encoding it. So, basically, it was my problem for expecting a popular media player to be able to seek music files created by a highly recommended CD ripper out of the box. Another lesson in lowering one's expectations when working with Linux.

    I don't do much youtube, let alone at fullscreen, and I'm willing to decipher a poorly rendered Word document, so it more or less works for me. However, it's certainly not acceptable in something you'd claim to be a good desktop OS for even the computer-semi-literate.

    But, I actually enjoyed the comic. I saw it as less a cynical remark against a certain type of Linux users and more as two people talking from two different worlds. Something like in Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels with the lines:
    "Fucking northern monkeys."
    "I hate these fucking southern fairies."

  42. Wait, did rob seriously do that?
    also - i still want the dr. horrible irc logs.

  43. @Person #1:

    Wobuffet X Wobuffet

  44. It's spelt Wobbuffet. Honestly, you people.

  45. Get out of my head.

    And get into my car. 8)

  46. At least this comic is one that's impossible to follow up with 'well, it's better than Vista' (unless you happen to be running Vista on a computer with 4,096 cores).

    In my opinion this comic wasn't horrible but it also wasn't good. I would be nitpicky and say 'people don't hold laptops like that' and 'people generally have their heads connected to their bodies in some way' but this is xkcd and my graphical standards have been lowered.

  47. ... so is anyone actually going to write a guest post, or do I have to take matters into my own hands?

    (I recommend you write a guest post)

  48. Anyway I can't believe I'm sort of agreeing with Fernie.

    This bash.org quote pretty much sums up my thoughts on the subject.

  49. I'm still waiting for that kernel patch that enables me to run Crysis on max.

  50. @Fernie Canto, Anonymous:

    I understand the point that I may have made comments that would be regarded as elitist. This was not my intention. I don't have a problem with distributions designed to be easy to use, such as Ubuntu. I think distributions like these are great for getting people interested in the wonderful world of Linux and open source hacking in general.

    What angers me about this comic is that it shows a total, _willful_ ignorance for the way that GNU/Linux is structured and a disrespect for those who commit their time (and their patches; HA HA what a funny pun) to make both the kernel and userspace levels great. This comic places blame on the Linux community on the whole when it should be placing blame squarely on Adobe.

    I am angry because this is just a high profile version of the crap I generally read on Linux forums. Some people think that they should just be able to install their OS and suddenly, everything works. That's fine; there's nothing wrong with that. But that's not what Linus had in mind when he started work on his kernel. And it's definitely not what Stallman had in mind when he created GNU.

    Last time I checked, while you can technically use a lawnmower to get to work, it's not very efficient to do so. Everything has its purpose; GNU/Linux has always been for those who want to spend time researching their own problems (hence the "no warranty is provided" section in the GPL) and creating their own tools as needed in exchange for the opportunity to heavily customize their environment. Distributions such as Ubuntu seek to make the initial setup much easier (at the cost of reduced flexibility later on), but some users just don't get the fact that there's no warranty--you can't just go to some Ubuntu/Linux kernel/non-Adobe developer and say "give me a better version of Flash". Adobe writes the Flash plugin; if you want to be productive about it, email customer service at Adobe and tell them how their Flash plugin caused you to fail your history assignment and now you're going to be held back a year (or make up something better... or you could even be honest).

    I acted too harshly in my previous comments. I was in too much of a blind rage over Randall's total disrespect for some of the greatest minds in computer science today.
    - "Pinch hitter guy"

  51. I think it's interesting how often Randall makes comics about people who are either dumb, willfully ignorant, or just plain missing the point. After all, both characters in this comic are missing at least a few points (Guy one doesn't understand why flash is useful, guy two doesn't understand why that's not something guy one can take care of), and it seems relatively common that the characters in XKCD are self-absorbed or dumb or what have you.

    An interesting choice for a comic ostensibly by a smart person, for an audience of smart people. Is the intention for us to get our jollies by going "Damn, he's right. Fucking casual Linux retards don't appreciate the hard work we do!" or "Damn, he's right. Fucking egghead Linux developers don't have any idea what people actually need their OS to do!" or "Damn, I'm glad I'm so much smarter than everyone!"?

  52. interesting interpretation, Mal

  53. Mal, I assume the strip was biased *against* the Linux egghead. It's true that this is just an interpretation of mine, but I take it that the intention is to show that people just want to know WHY their stuff don't work, instead of getting a lecture on how much Linux is still better regardless of any complaints.
    But then again, there's that title text, and it sort of breaks my interpretation. Either Randall was being intentionally troll-ish or it's just a stupid whine. I guess the jury's still out on this one, but I think that, IF it's an intentionall troll, it was an effective way to spark discussion on a delicate topic. But I haven't made up my mind, to be quite honest.

  54. I don't think it has to be just one. I think Randall could be hedging his bets, condescending to everyone possible, because probably every member of his TARGET AUDIENCE VOCABULARY TIME feels the same way about at least ONE subset of the Linux community.

  55. Get him to make you a fuckin' pie.

  56. You seem to have identity issues there, Billiam and William. You keep changing perspective.

  57. As obvious as it is that this was all staged, I cannot help but admit that this is possibly the most hilarious thing that XKCD sucks has ever done.

    Which isn't really saying much, but there you go.


  58. i can't believe you just called me a whale penis

    i'm coming for you, Billy.

  59. 224 genius points and you can't put your punctuation inside your quotation marks. Shame.

  60. it is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I inform you all I cannot stand this... this sabotage of this beloved blog! We must rise against it, we must fight off this fiendish plot.


  61. billiam

    i love you

    i love you so hard

    captcha: duchest

    duchess, duchessier, duchest

    or something

  62. Carl - when you pretend to be william, it makes me laugh.

  63. William Monty Hughes is the best thing to ever happen to this blog... with the possible exception of xkcd sucking.

    Surely though, William/Billiam IF THAT IS YOUR REAL NAME, one of your intellect must realize that standardized IQ tests are a poor measure of ones intelligence. To go around parading your suspiciously high score as evidence for your intellectual superiority comes off as childish. Furthermore, you fail to give proof of your score from an accredited institution of intelligence quotient testing. This seems highly suspect.

  64. "standardized IQ tests are a poor measure of ones intelligence"

    Not really.

  65. @ Anon 9:53

    actually yes because first you have to define what 'intelligence' means.

  66. @Dylan
    um intelligence means whatever lets me pat myself on my back for my high score the hardest

  67. iq tests are hilarious

    let me tell you about my sat scores, they are probably more accurate

  68. My SAT score used to be impressive, but now I understand it's a 2400-point scale, so it doesn't sound nearly as good anymore.

    Not that anyone cares about SAT once you get out of college.

  69. exactly the point

  70. Feigned hesitation. Yep.

  71. Translated as: [...]

    Holy crap. Fernie. We agree on something!

    Also: this is the best guest post ever.

  72. Haha, that was a great guest post. Too bad billy didn't say anything about the comic specifically, though.

  73. I found this comic funny. What's more funny is that I noticed the same flash problems on macosx.

  74. @ cara zuri:
    In Europe, it's okay to put punctuation marks outside quotes, but only if those punctuation marks modify the whole sentence in question and not the quote.

    What's-his-face here still fails spectacularly at it though because he just feels like putting quotes wherever the hell he wants.

    -- Anon "Grammar Nazi" Ymous

  75. Wobbuffet is beautiful to me.

  76. Yeah, so it's

    Ann said "Does xkcd suck?"


    Did Ann say "xkcd sucks"?

  77. Hey, GUYS!

    Back on the summer of madness post, in the comments, Ann Apolis put forward the following theory:

    Carl = William?

    Now I'm thinking Ann Apolis was on to something...

  78. Did anyone count the number of flaws in the top 618 list (aside from the obvious blaring one near the end)? I know there's at least one other, but I'm not bored enough to check each and every number.

  79. Appropriately skipped 404, granting Billiam the title of "remembers numbering gags."

  80. Excellent guest post, Willy.

  81. Damn you Rob! Damn you!

  82. Shouldn't it be

    Ann said "Does xkcd suck?".

    though? The way you put it the quote ends with punctuation, but the containing thing doesn't.


  83. @Fernie Canto 9:18

    Not all Linux users are like that. I will happily use proprietary software where it makes sense (e.g. the Nvidia proprietary drivers). Given the choice I may at times favor a slightly inferior free software alternative simply because it's free (note: this usually also means it integrates better with other free software), but I have nothing against proprietary software as a concept. Free software is nice and, as a programmer, I enjoy being able to fix and change things; however, I'm not going to argue that proprietary software is immoral or inherently bad or any such nonsense. Please don't pretend that what Stallman says is really the opinion of the majority of Linux users. He's an rather insane extremist. I really couldn't care less whether my WiFi firmware is open source or not, unlike him.

    @Anonymous 9:20

    Read the title-text. He really IS claiming that a kernel patch is responsible for fixing Flash full-screen support. As for the comic, well, Randall has historically pandered to the "target audience" (which I'm probably a part of, or was anyway), and it annoys me that he is showing such a blatant disregard for stuff he knows his "target audience" knows. I would have no issue with the joke if it were presented by a more general webcomic, but when Randall does it he's deliberately trolling his "target audience". Makes me wonder whether he'll have much of an audience left after a while.

    It's okay when someone not familiarized with the real reasons behind issues such as this one - I can understand the frustrations of users who have no idea about kernel/userspace and just want their Flash to work. But Randall does know the difference and yet he is deliberately blaming the kernel developers for a problem that is entirely Adobe's fault.

    I enjoyed "old xkcd". Programming jokes, what have you - sure, it was a nerdy comic, and I'm a nerd. But not only has it recently gone way downhill, now he's deliberately pissing off the programmer types?!? WTF, Randall?

    -- Anonymous 5:35 (not Anonymous 3:28)

  84. OMG this is outrageous! Willy Huge disguises himself as "Billy" to guest post on xkcdsucks! And Carl as usual doesn't even read it before posting so now there's a post praising xkcd on xkcdsucks!!! Ow! My side! I think my spleen just ruptured! Folks, I can't believe what I'm seeing!!!

    Malethoth (Mal from xkcdsucks): People who are dumb/ignorant/missing the point is funny! Just look at how funny Friends was.

    Oh, wait...

  85. Anon 5:35/7:24: Programmer types are the old fanbase. Now that xkcd is popular, most of randy's fans pride themselves in being "geeks" because they spent an entire day installing ubuntu.
    If there's one thing randy is good at, it's pandering to his fanbase.

  86. Billiam capitalized the "x" in "xkcd"! He's not a TRUE FAN AT ALL!

  87. HEY MAN

    Friends is side-splittingly hilarious!!

    Also you guys it's been like half a day and none of you have joined me in my war cry...

  88. @Cuddlefish 6:18

    No way, the correct sentence would invariable be:
    Ann said, "Does xkcd suck?"

    I'm almost entirely certain that it is never correct to put punctuation on both sides of the closing quotation mark.

    P.S. Thanks for posting a review, Rob :)

  89. I think the only times you would use punctuation on both sides of the closing quotation mark would be if it were something something, end quote, colon/semicolon.

  90. @Anonymous 7:24
    "But Randall does know the difference"

    Are you sure? Keep in mind that the extent of Randall's programming knowledge comes from "a weekend messing with Perl" in 11th grade. There's no evidence that he knows much of anything besides his high school education and Physics degree. *If* he can program I would bet that his knowledge is relatively basic. I'm not doubting that Randall is an intelligent guy, but I think we give more credit to his knowledge than is due.

  91. Too bad n3xg3n didn't get to write 619's writeup...I'm not digging these gimmicky/stylized writeups at all. Whoever is doing Friday's writeup, please don't make it all cutesy.

    619 is misplacing the blame of "Flash doesn't work right" onto Linux developers. Adobe keeps their code under wraps, so they HAVE to be the ones to write the drivers. If you don't like how Flash works in Linux, blame Adobe's restrictive nature.

    Ultimately, 619 is a flame-war-inducer. Those in favor of open source solutions will come stumbling to its protection (eloquently or otherwise), while those who only want their trusty Windows/Mac will only respond to the less articulate arguments and ignore anything that makes sense. Using the analogy of a flame war, 619 is a book of matches.

    This comes down to the crux of why xkcd sucks. Randall is a truly successful attention whore. This is why we mock him. His success story = picking up a "dirty word" as an alternate web address and spamming that link on Slashdot. This sort of behavior is usually the ONLY content on xkcd.

    To be fair to today's comic, the joke was clearly presented (excluding the 4.0% thing) and worth a chuckle for anyone who has used a Linux distro. This chuckle doesn't make it past "It's so true, there are many things that you cannot do quite as successfully on Linux", but today we got this well-worn joke in actual JOKE FORM. Sure, the presentation doesn't live anywhere in the confines of our reality (two guys standing around, one holds a laptop, the other has installed a kernel patch via his presence?) and Randall continues to struggle with his grasp on regular social interactions. But it was a good comic by itself, so long as you ignore its intent.

  92. Ultimately, 619 is a flame-war-inducer. Those in favor of open source solutions will come stumbling to its protection (eloquently or otherwise), while those who only want their trusty Windows/Mac will only respond to the less articulate arguments and ignore anything that makes sense. Using the analogy of a flame war, 619 is a book of matches.

    Ah right, so at least -some- OSS fans wil be able to seriously discuss this, while all Windows/OSX uers are bumbling idiots. Spoken like a true zealot.

  93. @Anonymous 1:00 I am citing the accepted definition of a flame war. One side is attacked by an outside source (in this case xkcd) and attempts to defend, while the other side ignores any strong defenses and chooses to use the weak defenses to make their side look more correct. It's how issues always seem to have JUST two sides.

    Flame wars are irrational fights between two sides. If the attacking side thoughtfully responded to the points made by the defending side, it would be called a "reasonable discussion" rather than a flame war.

  94. Amanda, I'll join you in that battle cry!
    Heck, I'd join you in a LOT of things...

  95. Back on the summer of madness post, in the comments, Ann Apolis put forward the following theory:Carl = William? Now I'm thinking Ann Apolis was on to something...

    Does that mean Ann Apolis = Carl?!

    Captcha: patibast
    Sounds like an indian cusine.

  96. Linux is a superior OS, for superior people.

  97. No matter what mormors kuk says, I am not Ann Apolis.


  98. The comic was more of a complaint than a joke, really. The punchline has been used to death, so it's not really funny anymore. Even people "in the know" on the strip's subject would find it barely chuckle worthy, but only in the sense of "I have that problem, too, and this is a comic about that problem that I have." It doesn't really bring anything else to the table, so it fails.

  99. @Kevin

    I suppose that's true. As I said, maybe Randall _is_ indeed that much of a moron? (not for not knowing it, but rather for pretending to be knowledgeable about the subject all along while being ignorant of such a basic fact)

  100. Man, I actually LIKED the latest XKCD. It's an interesting seed of an idea--WOULD it be that easy to fly on Titan?--it's a clever way to test it, and tbqh I thought that the Icarus reference was well worked-in, and a very old-school thing for Mr. Hat to do. My main quibble would be to remove the last panel. Heck, even the alt-text is just sort of there, rather than punitively stupid.

  101. I love this blog so much. That's all I really have to say. You guys're all the best, maaan, you diiid it.

    -Cuddlefish Prime, Esq.
    "Romanes eunt domus"

  102. The last XKCD isn't bad, but my main niggle is that if you have a heat lamp strong enough to melt hot glue, the person's skin would probably be peeling off.

    As Mal from xkcdsucks said, it we changed the punchline (perhaps if we even just adopted a adhesive substance with a lower melting point...like wax, but not as contrived) it would be fascinating enough. In fact, dropping the punchline all together would've been a good bet.

  103. If they're on Titan . . . Why no space suits? Why is there a bridge on titan? Where did he get those ropes and shit? Why is there a heat lamp on Titan? Why are there plants?

    Also: Please don't try this and get arrested? Yeah . . . I read a webcomic about flying on Titan, so now I'm gonna go do it. . .

    Also, Randy's drawings suck so much ass that he has to label the heat lamp. What the fuck.

    Also the joke? Haha Icarus flew to close to the sun and as a reuslt died. Now a stick man on Titan is flying and the black hat guy uses a heat lamp to melt his wings. That's SOOOO FUNNY, GET OUT OF MY HEAD RANDAL.

    Yet another reference comic. . .

  104. dj balam you missed a lot of the point there

    they're TESTING OUT HIS THEORY by simulating Titan's conditions ON EARTH

    and then the friends are being dicks to another because that's how friends are

  105. i suppose he deserves it, if his best choce for 'friend' is mr. hat

  106. The truth: William = Rob having a laugh

  107. So, 620. Yeah...620.

    It reminds me of 576. It presents a really cool idea that could have been neat if presented in the form of a blog post, like "A Date Idea Analyzed." It's not a joke, but something doesn't have to be a joke to be cool. Unfortunately, Randall tries to make a comic out of it, and a comic requires a joke. Thus, the comic fails because it is not working off of a joke, and the cool idea is ruined by being presented alongside a terrible joke.

  108. FUCK THE BLOG IDEAS, gaiz.

  109. Jesus CHRIST 620 is a terrible comic. I was actually sort of intrigued by the prospects of the experiments, and then the hot glue thing came up and I immediately thought "Oh, Icarus..." and it's followed by the lamest fucking joke in ages. "Friends into greek mythology?" Shit.

  110. notice how randall forgot to erase the lines between the 3rd last frame and the second last?


  111. Alternate title for today's comic: "What happens when you have friends that are into physics experiments but are also dicks".

    Also it seems that this experiment wouldn't work unless the bricks were off the ground?