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Why Coyote Runs Linux


In the time before time there was the Darkness and there was Grandfather Fire. And all the animal brothers and sisters sat in a great circle around Grandfather Fire, speaking to each other in the sacred language of spirit.

Grandfather Fire listened to them speaking to one another and made note of their gifts.  Crow was quick and full of magic, so Grandfather Fire made him a software developer.  Buffalo was methodical and thoughtful, so Grandfather Fire made him a project manager.

Coyote though, seemed to have many talents, and yet be unable to master any of them.  So Grandfather Fire went to Coyote and asked him what he thought his talent was.  “I am exceedingly clever,” said Coyote.  “You must be an IT generalist,” said Grandfather Fire.

So Grandfather Fire gave Coyote a Tandy 286 running DOS.  Being exceedingly clever, Coyote immediately broke it.  So Grandfather Fire gave Coyote a 386 running Windows 3.1.  Coyote immediately broke that too.  “If you are going to break the things I give you,” said Grandfather Fire, “I will not give you things!”

And so Coyote used his cleverness and fixed the things Grandfather Fire had given him.  And Grandfather Fire was impressed.  Grandfather Fire gave Coyote a 486 running Windows 95 and Coyote did not break it.  “Good,” said Grandfather Fire.  “If you wish to further develop your cleverness, you must learn more.” And he gave Coyote some bits and pieces, a mother board, and RAM sticks.  A hard drive and a CD ROM and ribbon cables and screws and things.  And Coyote looked at them for a while and then made them into a Pentium running Windows 98.

“Now you are ready,” said Grandfather Fire, and he sent Coyote out into the world to create things and have adventures.

But Rat had been watching Coyote and had been eyeing this Pentium with its Windows 98 covetously.  While Coyote was gone, Rat slipped up to the Pentium machine and used it.  He played Coyote's video games and used the Internet to download naughty pictures without Coyote's permission.  And even though every time Rat saw Coyote coming back from the horizon he slunk away to his den, Coyote was clever and with his good nose he sniffed out Rat's tracks all over the place and knew what Rat had been up to.  So Coyote thought to himself, “I'll show him!”

In his adventures in the world, Coyote had heard much talk of a thing called linux.  Coyote had heard that, like himself, linux was exceedingly clever.  So Coyote went to Grandfather Fire and asked him about linux and Grandfather Fire gave Coyote a set of floppy diskettes.  “On these,” said Grandfather Fire, “is a thing called Debian.  Become the master of it, as you did with Windows, and you will have a new magic.”
So Coyote did.  And it was tough.  He had to do everything himself, and read man pages and learn ip networking and bash scripting and how to load a kernal module from the command line.  But all of it was fun and when Coyote was done he did, as Grandfather Fire had promised, have a new magic.

And the next time Rat came creeping back when Coyote was gone, he was presented with a linux command line.  Coyote, being Coyote, had left it logged in, just to see what Rat would do.

Rat snarled, frustrated.  He tried typing win.exe.  He tried other DOS commands.  But nothing worked.  Rat did not understand the new magic.  More importantly, he did not try.  And when Coyote came back, it was obvious what Rat had been doing.  Coyote told all the animal brothers and sisters and they had a good laugh about it.

And that's why Coyote first ran linux, in the time before time.