A lovely trick — from Tim O’Reilly

A lovely trick — from Tim O’Reilly

From a Wired report. Quote:

O’Reilly said the old idea of stand-alone software — the unconnected word processor or spreadsheet — is becoming passť. Even the idea of making a distinction between software platforms — Mac, Windows and Linux — is starting to no longer make sense.

“The platform is no longer the box sitting at your desk,” O’Reilly said.

To illustrate his point, O’Reilly asked how many people in the audience of Mac OS X programmers were Linux users. Several raised their hands. But when O’Reilly asked how many used Google, there was a unanimous show of hands.

“Ah,” O’Reilly said, “you’re all Linux users.” Google is a Linux application running on the world’s largest Linux cluster, he explained.

What a wonderful rhetorical trick. Must use it sometime soon in a lecture.