Originally Published: Monday, 3 April 2000 Author: Jeff Alami
Published to: featured_articles/Featured Articles Page: 1/1 - [Printable]

April Fools!

Last year, April Fools fever caught three community sites -- they shut down for the last two weeks of March, citing possible legal action against them. Come April 1st, we realized we were all fooled. Although this year was a little more subdued, there was still much fun to go around, from a fake interview with an Alan Cox drunk on Red Hook beer to a multilingual Slashdot.

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It's that time of year again. No one likes a good April Fools joke better than us geeks. Last year, April Fools fever caught three community sites -- they shut down for the last two weeks of March, citing possible legal action against them. Come April 1st, we realized we were all fooled. Although this year was a little more subdued, there was still much fun to go around, from a fake interview with an Alan Cox drunk on Red Hook beer to a multilingual Slashdot.

Slashdot is the first Web site that comes to mind when I think of April Fools mayhem. This year, they didn't disappoint; they didn't waste any time, either. At 12:32AM on April 1st, an article entitled "Yet Unuzeer Internet Treckeeng Ixplueet" was written in a form that comment posters referred to as "Swedish Chef." They didn't settle with only one wacky post. Following were posts in pig latin, Italian, Portuguese, and finally, script kiddie speak ("Why 1 L3ft Fr33 S0ftw4r3 F0r MS").

Other sites were quick to pick up on the April Fools madness. Themes.org made a post about a new PalmOS themes site, palm.themes.org. Of course, little did they know at the time that there actually are Palm themes, thanks to PalmTheme Pro. LinuxGames had a rather interesting news item, about a world in which Linux is where all the games are released. "We're sick of games not being ported to Windows, and we're not going to take it anymore!"

But I have to give the award of "Best April Foolery" to 32BitsOnline.com. Countless hours were spent making a "DOS Special Issue." From a primer on porting Linux apps to DOS, to an interview where Alan Cox gets drunk and Linus talks about releasing DOS as Linux, 32BitsOnline.com's April Fools masterpiece is by far the funniest.

Remember, April Fools is all in good fun. However, people sometimes do feel hurt by these jokes, especially if they were completely taken by the foolery. So why do we do it, and why does the Linux community feel the need to take April Fools to the next level? Maybe it's because of our geek nature, and this is what makes us different. Reasons aside, you can learn one thing from April Fools. Don't believe everything you read or hear -- even on the Web -- on April 1st.

Jeff Alami (jeff@linux.com), the Editor-in-Chief of Linux.com, has been fooled one time too many. He's just far too gullible.





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