The Penguin, by Brian Richardson (With apologies to Edgar Allan Poe) (Gathered from, 10/31/00)

Once upon a Tuesday dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Installing the same version of Windows once more. While I cursed the constant crashing, I made a fist and started bashing, Started bashing the computer case and CD-ROM drive door. ?Piece of crap,? I muttered, bashing the CD-ROM drive door, ?I will take this crap no more!?

Distinctly I do remember, when I bought my PC in December, The marketing man said this software would crash no more. Eagerly I wished to borrow a tool to inflict pain and sorrow So that one day, perhaps tomorrow, I could go to my computer store For the chance to make the salesman sell this crap no more. Only this and nothing more.

So after wasting countless hours, I unplugged the beige mini-tower. My day was looking very tragic like the old poetry of gothic lore, But suddenly there came a tapping, rhymthic like the beats of rapping. Actually, it sounded like flippers flapping, flapping at my apartment door. ?That is very odd,? I muttered, ?the time is nearly half past four, Who is knocking on my door??

The door was opened but it only revealed a penguin standing quite lonely, Standing with a bag of CD-ROMs on the stoop before my apartment door. I thought at first it was a delusion, for I was wrought with great confusion Over the presence of a flightless Antarctic bird at my apartment door. So I stood there, looking quite the fool, with my jaw down to the floor. Then the bird said, ?Pay no more!?

I thought to call the SPCA ? perhaps it escaped the zoo today. But instead I brought the talking Aptenodytes forsteri inside my door. He looked around, he looked at me ? and then he waddled to my PC. I followed fast and I did see him place his disc in my drive door. His program booted and began to install software I?d never seen before, Then the bird said, ?Pay No More!?

He brought me LINUX to install, said it rarely crashed at all. Then he showed me some books while the software installed some more. The interface, it looked like UNIX ? but ?twas much cheaper than QNX. In fact, the code was open, so the source of bugs was hidden no more It made wonder about the penguin?s disc, behind my CD drive door ? And why the bird said, ?Pay No More.?

So I tried this new installation, at first with fear and trepidation, But soon I found it more stable than the OS I used before. The files were in different places, and I put Linux through its paces And very rarely made odd faces ? it didn?t crash like Windows did before. For this fat penguin made me see a way to use my computer as never before. Then the bird said, ?Pay No More!?

So once upon a morning sunny, I installed Linux for no money, With the CD-ROM brought by a penguin to my apartment door. After cursing the old installation, I reduced my overall frustration And with a bit of determination I removed the software I used before. Now I read Linux books and Web sites to use my free operating system more. Quoth the penguin, ?Pay No More.?