April Fools Day

I’m never a big fan of April Fools day, mostly because I’m too guilible for my own good.  That said, on occasion I get in the mood.  This year, a colleague and I discussed sending out an email to the staff of our company, regarding the IT infrastructure.  We got permission from the boss, because, well just because.  Here’s the text that we sent out:

April 1, 2009

Dear Employees of XXX,

We have been tasked by XXX’s management to identify appropriate solutions for XXX’s computing needs.  As you may know, Microsoft will be terminating it’s support for Windows XP.  With complaints about Windows rising, and the looming lack of support for XP, we began considering a company-wide migration to Linux.  However, Linux is based on the Unix (Posix) standard which is almost 40 years old.  For that reason, we have settled on the latest operating system from the same inventors: Plan 9 from Bell Labs.  http://plan9.bell-labs.com/plan9/

Plan 9 is the latest in research operating systems and should be a great fit with the work we perform at XXX.  That said, Plan 9 may not support all hardware that we own.  In order to ensure a painless transition, we ask that all employees review the Plan 9 “Supported PC Hardware” page at http://plan9.bell-labs.com/wiki/plan9/Supported_PC_hardware/index.html

Fortunately, Plan 9 has a large supported software base.  Common software such as Python, GCC and TeX are fully supported in Plan 9.  Other POSIX programs can be compiled through the use of APE
(http://plan9.bell-labs.com/sys/doc/ape.html).  Common desktop tasks such as word processing and web browsing can be accomplished through the pre-installed OpenOffice (a MS Office clone) and one of the Plan 9 web-browsers (Mothra, Abaco or Charon), respectively.  Unfortunately, Mathworks, has not yet seen fit to port Matlab to Plan 9.  We are confident that by using APE, we will be able to port Octave as an
acceptable alternative.  This transition will have the added benefit of drastically reducing our licensing costs.

We anticipate that this transition will benefit XXX greatly in the long run and that you will grow to love the Plan 9 experience.  We look forward to working with you over the next twelve months and anticipate
completing the migration by the next April Fool’s Day, April 1st 2010.

Chris and Mark

We did have at least one person think we were serious and a couple of people that we had going until they finished the email.  All in all, not too bad for a half hour’s work last night.

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