644: Surgery

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 12:38, 8 January 2016 by Flewk (talk | contribs) (arm instead of brain)
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Damn. Not only did he not install it, he sutured a 'Vista-Ready' sticker onto my arm.
Title text: Damn. Not only did he not install it, he sutured a 'Vista-Ready' sticker onto my arm.


Linux is an open source kernel for an operating system. Linux is notorious for its less-than-perfect support for hardware, although support for most hardware is eventually patched into the official kernel release. Cueball is here under the impression that support for a USB port can be patched into his arm in a similar fashion to how hardware support can be added to the Linux kernel.

The "Vista-Ready" sticker in the title text is a humorous indication from the doctor that the patient is "advanced enough" to have Windows Vista installed. The irony is multilayered. There was a lawsuit against Microsoft about promoting not-so-capable computers as "Windows Vista Capable"; they could neither run Vista fully nor smoothly. On top of that, the typical Linux user would not be very enthusiastic about Windows at all; someone who runs Linux has actively chosen an alternative operating system.


[A surgeon is standing over a patient on a gurney.]
Patient: While you're doing the surgery, can you also implant this in my arm?
Surgeon: A USB port?
Patient: Just wire it up to some nerves.
Surgeon: ...This won't let your brain control USB devices, you know.
Patient: Sure – I just want the hardware.
Patient: The rest is software; I'm sure there will be a project to patch together support eventually.
Surgeon: Ah – you're a Linux user, I see.
Patient: Yeah, how'd you know?
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Anyone who wants to see more about this kind of implant technology would be advised to have a look at the works of Kevin Warwick of Reading University in the UK (There must be others as well). ‎ (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)