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<   No. 609   2004-09-26   >

Comic #609

1 {scene: meeting room}
1 Shakespeare: {to Mercutio as he enters} Hi Mercutio. Still hacking Linux?
2 Mercutio: Yeah. This office would be much easier to administrate if you all switched over, you know.
3 Ophelia: But I prefer my Macintosh.
3 Shakespeare: And I like my Windows apps.
4 Mercutio: A plague on both your OSes!

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Mercutio is the office's system administrator. Naturally he also does some programming. I figured a programmer/sysad character must be good for a few jokes somewhere along the line.

Mercutio is also, of course, the name of Romeo's best friend in Romeo and Juliet, who dies after being wounded by Tybalt as he tries to prevent Romeo and Tybalt from fighting. As he dies, he curses the feud between Romeo's and Tybalt's families, yelling his famous line, "A plague on both your houses!"

2013-10-09 Rerun commentary: Coming from a background in academia and research, for a long time "supporting both operating systems" meant to me Unix and VMS. I remember the first time I got a job in a non-research-based company, and they gave me a Windows PC. My internal reaction was, "Really? But this is for playing games on! How do you expect me to do real work on one of these?" At the time, I had no idea that actual offices and businesses used PCs (as opposed to terminals linked to a Unix or VMS server).

And I've since learnt that most* companies simply will not support multiple operating systems. All employees will use Windows (or MacOS, or whatever), and that's that. It makes things considerably easier for the IT support staff and so cheaper for the company.

* There are some exceptions. Or so I am led to believe.

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