IBM serves download of new Linux ad.
September 8, 2003 6:20 PM   Subscribe

IBM serves download of new Linux ad. IBM launched a TV ad this week featuring a nine-year-old boy named Linux. To their credit, they have enabled some computer users the ability to watch the ad as a download. Strangely, though, they don't make it easy to watch the spot on a Linux box. There's plenty of support for Closed Source operating systems and apps, but don't expect to view it with the popular Open Source movie viewer, xine.
posted by tbc (31 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
tbc, there's a link to xmovie (which has shipped with every Mandrake distribution that I've downloaded in the past few years, and which supports MPEGs just fine) on the IBM page to which you've linked. There are MPEG decoder plugins for xine, and other open source video players, such as mplayer and videolan, support MPEG just fine. You can also get realplayer for linux. I'm not seeing your point.
posted by mr_roboto at 6:32 PM on September 8, 2003

I saw this ad on TV while watching a football game with my roommate yesterday. While I was laughing at it, she was completely confused. "What the hell was that?"

I understand ads not being "about" what they're advertising, but when consumers are presented with (a) a kid who's being taught a whole bunch of random stuff and (b) the name linux, they don't have any clue what linux is or why they should want it. Who would be "converted" by this ad?
posted by katieinshoes at 6:43 PM on September 8, 2003

wget this. View in player of your choice. (I prefer this one.)
posted by wobh at 6:46 PM on September 8, 2003

well, they could have offered the movie in, say, xvid or ogg video, instead of formats requiring* proprietary binary codecs.

totem (that is to say, xine) was more pissed off by the foolish streamifying attempt than it was by the actual video encoding...

*to be fair, I'm pretty sure that ffmpeg can decode regular mpeg without requiring any third party junk.
posted by dorian at 6:51 PM on September 8, 2003

for what it's worth i can't get any of the links to work on mac in safari, camino, or explorer.
posted by rhyax at 6:53 PM on September 8, 2003

But shouldn't the boy be a 12-year-old?
posted by jamsterdam at 6:54 PM on September 8, 2003

These IBM Linux ads aren't aimed at people who know what Linux is. They're aimed at upper management guys, who IBM wants to walk in on Monday and tell the IT guy "What do you think of this 'Linux' thing? Should we use it?" It's all style over substance--which is ironic considering Linux's reputation for being all substance over style.
posted by jpoulos at 6:55 PM on September 8, 2003

upper management toad> hey, can we buy one of those genius kid things that IBM is selling now? what's it called, D.A.R.Y.L.? no, wait...Linux!
posted by dorian at 6:58 PM on September 8, 2003

(also, RMS must be spinning in his grave about 10x faster now...)
posted by dorian at 6:59 PM on September 8, 2003

Creepy. Anyone remember the movie "D.A.R.Y.L."?
posted by 4easypayments at 7:00 PM on September 8, 2003

what's it called, D.A.R.Y.L.?

Sorry dorian, I guess that answers my question.
posted by 4easypayments at 7:01 PM on September 8, 2003

glad to see someone else was as creeped out as I was!
posted by dorian at 7:03 PM on September 8, 2003

No no, it's called BOB.
posted by omidius at 7:12 PM on September 8, 2003

RMS is dead? Who knew!
posted by Jimbob at 7:15 PM on September 8, 2003

more like undead. if there's anything that can truly kill him off, it's going to be IBM trying to turn linux into some sort of Apple-RDF brand. although it will probably just make him stronger. hmm, maybe WW needs to sue Stallman for impersonating their IP.
posted by dorian at 7:23 PM on September 8, 2003

1, 2, 3, 4 - count 'em - windows google ads. hee!
posted by quonsar at 7:30 PM on September 8, 2003

Clicked on the link, nothing happened then clicked the Back the following:
This page provides potentially unsafe information to an ActiveX control. Your current security settings prohibit running controls in this manner. As a result, this page may not display correctly
Secret message coming in from Redmond sir, it says All...your...base...
posted by m@ at 7:36 PM on September 8, 2003

what's it called, D.A.R.Y.L.?

Or you could have DARL?

they don't make it easy to watch the spot on a Linux box.

There's some phrase about preaching and choirs that seems relevant...
posted by weston at 7:39 PM on September 8, 2003

tell the IT guy "What do you think of this 'Linux' thing? Should we use it?"
ehe I can just imagine the way that conversation is gonna go!

It's really scary to see the way IBM is attaching itself to linux like some parasite. apple too... same thing really.

and yeah those sidebars things are whacked. i've just noticed that in the last few days, are there a team of marketers who spend their days reloading mefi?
posted by carfilhiot at 8:06 PM on September 8, 2003

I've always found IBM ads to be amusing and some of the best commercials. This is no exception.

As a Latin student, my favorite part is the Latin teacher saying, "Res publica non dominetur." If I translated correctly, it means something like "The commonwealth must not be ruled." "Ruled" could be replaced with something such as "dominated" as well.
posted by thebabelfish at 8:29 PM on September 8, 2003

Does anyone know who the Sagan-like astronomer is? (Stupidity alert: In the transcript they say "Astrologer".)
posted by Eloquence at 10:23 PM on September 8, 2003

I just watched it on a linux box, using the realplayer port. Granted, the port is closed source, but still, it does play without any great to-do.

and I thought it was cute.
posted by condour75 at 11:33 PM on September 8, 2003

Well, I was brought to tears by it. I suppose I have a good bit emotionally invested in open source, though.
posted by Ryvar at 11:43 PM on September 8, 2003

I was unable to download the movie using Opera 7 on Mandrake 9.1. I was able to use wobh's link, and play it with mplayer. Now if I could just work out how to get sound working...
posted by salmacis at 1:20 AM on September 9, 2003

The low-bandwidth version was a little blurry, but I'm pretty sure that was Eminem.
posted by teg at 1:59 AM on September 9, 2003

apt-get install xmovie

oh, man that's awesome.. pump and dump while you can, SCO! you can't fuck with the golden child :)
posted by shadow45 at 4:58 AM on September 9, 2003

What if Aliens are smarter than us, so our future open source architeture is interpreted easily, making us suceptible to alien attacks in the near future?!
posted by Keyser Soze at 5:12 AM on September 9, 2003

Sure, Linux is cute now, but wait until he starts getting acne, crashing his Dad's car, and trying to push himself into the box in the next cubicle.
posted by stonerose at 7:11 AM on September 9, 2003

Strangely, though, they don't make it easy to watch the spot on a Linux box.

As it's been mentioned, they provide a link to a MPEG version, which is probably the format for which there are the most players on any platform. I remember watching MPEG movie clips on my computer using Linux in 1997 or so, long before players like xine, mplayer, and videolan existed. However, xine did have MPEG support, the last time I used it.

Did they add the MPEG link after the FPP, or is this meant to be a bitch about open formats and not actual playability?
posted by mikeh at 8:17 AM on September 9, 2003

Thanks for straightening me out on the particulars about the downloads. It wasn't easy for me, so I stand by my complaint; however, the points about xmovie, Linux users not being the target audience, etc. are noted. And I second dorian, too.
posted by tbc at 1:57 PM on September 9, 2003

Kiss me, I'm a dork. I liked the ad, and was jealous of the kid.
posted by Goofyy at 5:51 AM on September 10, 2003

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