Title text: 40% of OpenBSD installs lead to shark attacks. It's their only standing security issue.
This comic refers to a common experience in which attempts to improve or change something can get you into even worse trouble, and where just getting back to the state at which you started becomes an arduous or even impossible task. Here, this idea is taken to a ridiculously (and amusingly) extreme level, where the attempt to install an operating system snowballs into ever more complicated problems, resulting in Cueball and Megan somehow literally getting themselves in deep water.
The OS they are trying to install is OpenBSD, an open source Unix operating system that, like some other Unix variants, is notoriously difficult to install and configure correctly, especially on home desktops with less common hardware profiles, and especially compared with the more popular Windows operating system.
The title text is a reference to OpenBSD's premium on security. For a time, their slogan was "Five years without a remote [security] hole in the default install!" This was eventually changed to "Only two remote holes in the default install, in a heck of a long time!" That their only standing security issue would be shark attacks is effectively an acknowledgement that any attempts to install the OS will only lead to getting stranded in the middle of the ocean.
This comic was referenced later in 1350: Lorenz. Trying to install BSD was also referenced in 518: Flow Charts. The last panel in 1912: Thermostat may explain how this comic ended. Later, another possible reason to ending up in the ocean was given in 2083: Laptop Issues.
- As a project wears on, standards for success slip lower and lower.
- 0 hours
- [Megan is looking at Cueball, working on the computer.]
- Cueball: Okay, I should be able to dual-boot BSD soon.
- 6 hours
- [Cueball is on the floor fiddling with the open tower in front of him.]
- Cueball: I'll be happy if I can get the system working like it was when I started.
- 10 hours
- [Cueball is standing in front of the computer, which now has a laptop plugged into the tower.]
- Cueball: Well, the desktop's a lost cause, but I think I can fix the problems the laptop's developed.
- 24 hours
- [Cueball and Megan are swimming in the sea; an island and a beach can be seen in the distance.]
- Cueball: If we're lucky, the sharks will stay away until we reach shallow water.
- Megan: If we make it back alive, you're never upgrading anything again.
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