Monday, November 03, 2008

Richard Stallman has a gun!

August 1999 and it was the first LinuxWorld conference at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose California. Linus Torvalds had just finished one of his infamous Q&A keynote speeches. The room was packed to capacity with about 6000 people. Both Charlie Greco the president of IDG and Linus Torvalds were on stage and about to announce the winner of the $25,000 IDG/Linus Torvalds Community Award when all of a sudden something terrifying happened.

A poorly dressed, bearded, wild eyed madman runs onto the stage screaming and waving a gun. This crazed lunatic then approaches the podium, points his gun at Charlie Greco, says this is a "stick up" and demands some money. The audience was in shock and about to panic. Linus then calms everybody down and introduces the founder of the Free Software Foundation (FSF), Richard Stallman.

It was all a joke but unfortunately nobody was laughing. Well, Mr. Greco looked mortified and Richard Stallman was never again invited to speak at a LinuxWorld conference.