While wandering around the neighborhood

While wandering around the neighborhood the other day, I noticed that there were spray-painted stencil graphics on every sidewalk corner for many, many blocks. A Peace symbol. A heart. And Tux. I didn’t see the print ads accompanying the plan until this past weekend, so I didn’t know it was for IBM‘s Linux effort, but I had guessed it wasn’t just some self-styled hacker street team trying to promote the OS.

Now, of course, this is just about the stupidest thing possible. The only way they could have made it worse was if they had planted a StreetBeam transmitter next to each piece of graffiti. Beside being a defacement of a public thoroughfare for advertising purposes, it’s preposterous as a marketing strategy. Was there some focus group of high-level IT executives who described their decision-making process for past platform choices?

"Well, yes, we were unsure what server platform and consulting partner would provide the best combination of manageability, affordability, support, and maintenance for our needs. We wanted a combination of low TCO and flexibility when implementing new technologies, so I looked down at the pavement on my way to the subway this morning and decoded the obscure iconography crudely stenciled there and realized our outsourcing choice was obvious. IBM."

Again, the people who do these things should have to give their funding to the rest of us, in exchange for our mercy and restraint in not pursuing campaigns of violent agression against them.