Lord Of The Oses

Recently one of my friends, a computer wizard, paid me a visit. As we were talking I mentioned that I had recently installed Windows XP on my PC. I told him how happy I was with this operating system and showed him the Windows XP CD. To my surprise he threw it into my microwave oven and turned it on. Instantly I got very upset, because the CD had become precious to me, but he said, "Do not worry, it is unharmed." After a few minutes he took the CD out, gave it to me and said, "Take a close look at it." To my surprise the CD was quite cold to hold and it seemed to be heavier than before. At first I could not see anything, but on the inner edge of the central hole I saw an inscription, an inscription finer than anything I had ever seen before. The inscription shone piercingly bright, and yet remote, as if out of a great depth:


'I cannot understand the fiery letters,' I said in a timid voice. "No but I can," he said. "The letters are Hex, of an ancient mode, but the language is that of Microsoft, which I shall not utter here. But in common English this is what it says:

One OS to rule them all, One OS to find them,
One OS to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

It is only two lines from a verse long known in System-lore:

Three OS's from corporate-kings in their towers of glass
Seven from valley-lords where orchards used to grow
Nine from dotcoms doomed to die
One from the Dark Lord Gates on his dark throne
In the Land of Redmond where the Shadows lie
One OS to rule them all, One OS to find them,
One OS to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Redmond where the Shadows lie."

Origin uncertain, but possibly by Darcy Brockbank, who posted the following version to comp.sys.next.misc Mar 4 1993:

 Subject: I'm feeling paranoid today... 

If ya know The Lord of the Rings...

Three rings for UNIX kings, under USL Seven rings for the Mac lords, with their System 7 Nine rings for vapor Pink, doomed to die One OS to rule them all, one OS to find them, One OS to take them all, and in the darkness bind them In the depths of Redmond, where the shadows lie

(Historical notes: USL = Unix Systems Labs, Pink was one of (or the, depending on how you look at it) Apple's ill-fated next-generation OS projects.
One of the older (1998) versions to have an added hex string for the inscription used the following hex:


...which makes sense, whereas the other hex I don't get.

Sorry, I didn't know this had an original source. (Although it seems more fitting that it should end in 0D0A...) DeleteWhenRead

Very nice. Have you ever really thrown a CD in the microwave before, though? They spark a lot, and then cool patterns emerge on them. So this is almost semi-plausible. -- JonathanTang

CategoryWhimsy CategoryOperatingSystem

View edit of August 25, 2007 or FindPage with title or text search