Linux Graffiti Spotted in Toronto Subway Station

As we all know, Vista was released last week with big events all over the globe. With these events also came huge wall size ads announcing Vista’s “WOW” to the world. These ads can be seen all over subway stations in Toronto. This morning on my way to class, I spotted this “modified” ad:

Now, while I’m all for Linux exposure, I’m not too sure about the negative image this may bring to Linux. Most people walking by most likely have not clue what “Linux” is and may now equate it as some graffiti tag cut-out that some delinquent kids made on top of some Vista thing ad. Hopefully I’m wrong. Regardless of what the general population may think of this, I have to say that as a Linux user, it gave me a good laugh.

Edit: The pictures are from Finch station.

Edit [2007-02-06 09:59 am]: It has now been removed. After closer inspection and more caffeine this morning, it is safe to say that I may stand corrected (It looks like it was a cut out). They removed it by cutting off the paint around the letters. It is now mostly a big square cut-out on top of the windows logo.

26 thoughts on “Linux Graffiti Spotted in Toronto Subway Station

  1. It is pretty funny at the beginning to see “Linux” splattered over the Windows logo. But as you state, hopefully it does not bring any negative impressions to Linux in general. Funny regardless.

  2. Hi I am from the general public (NYC).

    I think this is a beautiful expression of art; a revolutionary act being that it is illegal; a good example of how the Hip Hop culture (born in NYC) does its part for general ideas of liberation; and a symbolic gesture against desktop-software imperialism.

    It also says the following to me.

    Microsoft = Neo-Conservatism
    Apple = Neo-Liberalism
    Linux = Anarchism

    So about your fears on how folks will take the “LINUX” graff … they will all take it differently, just like they will take my comparison of OS’s and political ideologies. But just like the graff, it is meant to make one think.

    It makes me think.

  3. Here’s another one …

    Microsoft = the Republican party
    Apple = the Democrat party

    … both of which are pro-war who bicker about it in different ways (25,000 US soldiers is the difference). They both appeal to non-conscious people who want everything done for them.

    Linux = The Green Party
    It was anti-war before the war started and it is still anti-war. It is pro-People and pro-Peace. But still not People friendly enough with all of its academic jargon and thinking.

  4. Haha .. glad I was not the only one who noticed this. Made me chuckle on a Monday morning. I actually took the time from my morning mad dash to take pictures as well. Someone had the balls to do this right under all those security cameras. And one small correction, this is not so much a “graffiti” .. more of an “alteration”. The letters “Linux” have actually been cut out of the WOW decal – thus the yellowish paint showing through. Makes it harder to fix, I suppose. Good choice of a decal, IMHO, since it makes no mention of Windows or Microsoft on the entire wall – MS relied strictly on symbolism here. So the new addition does not seem much out of place.
    I’m somewhat surprised there has not been more buzz about this tho ..

    miji2

  5. This is fun – I like that.. pretty much harmless, but should hopefully get good exposure.

    However, Linux (in my humble opinion) is good enough for people to stop being anti-Microsoft, and instead being pro-Linux. It appears as though many different observers are starting to question the Vista domination, and (from the BBC site at least) apple is being touted as the only viable alternative. Whilst the anti-Microsoft camp love this, in reality apple is far more closed-source then MS, as it’s even got proprietary hardware.

    So in my opinion we need to see more pro-Linux press, and less anti-Microsoft (even though it does make me chuckle).

  6. I just give the ads the finger as I walk by, but the graffiti is nice.

    But Linux “advocacy” like this would have better success by graffitiing “fnord”. Windows does give a certain unpronounceable and unsettling feeling.

    Operating systems and software is not comparable to political systems or views, and Linux is not anarchism.

    And what is that security code, a fwcking aptitude test? I had to try it four times..

  7. Please please please don’t confuse Linux up with the mess that is American politics. Linux/Green and Microsoft/Republican? Could the reason why the OS hasn’t made any headway in the home be because people are too busy flaming about which political party Linux is?

  8. This doesn’t have any relation with vista and linux themselves.

    The fact is that the man who drew this graffiti is just a criminal for property destruction.
    And people like YOU are just only advocate who lack moral and common sense.

    I hate and doubt sanity of linux users like YOU who back up this criminal.
    I think it may be natural that people are going to have a prejudice
    for linux because there are linux users like YOU.

    This doesn’t have any relation with vista and linux themselves.

    The fact is that the man who drew this graffiti is just a criminal for property destruction.
    And people like YOU are just only advocate who lack moral and common sense.

    I hate and doubt sanity of linux users like YOU who back up this criminal.
    I think it may be natural that people are going to have a prejudice
    for linux because there are linux users like YOU.

    > If there were vista ads over here I’d do it.
    There is an “would-be criminal” of property destruction!

  9. @aniki

    ….
    >>And people like YOU are just only advocate who lack moral and >>common sense.

    Where do YOU get that I lack moral and common sense or that I advocate this type of behavior?

    Get off your high horse and take the time to actually read what I posted. Bring your defenses down and actually make the attempt at reading without automatically crying.

    I was just sharing what I saw. Should I have not taken the pictures? Have we gotten to the point where the simple act of taking a picture of something you found interesting and somewhat funny is instantly and ,and may I add ignorantly, labeled as lacking common sense and moral? You cannot be possibly serious? Should I have not taken the pictures and buried the issue? NO. I don’t believe in that.

    Finally, Let me reiterate, as it seems like, you my friend, lack basic English comprehension skills. I DO NOT advocate vandalism (because you are right, this is what it is) and I do not think this is the proper way of bringing exposure to Linux. But what else can I say, it seems like you already pretend to know my “morals” and extend of my familiarity with common sense huh?

  10. i’d like to leave a response to your entry about the linux graffiti. wouldn’t let me though cause i guess i have to be added by you? not sure exactly how it works. this is what it would be:

    i definitely think it sends the wrong message. regardless of whether people misrepresent linux as just some tag or whether they know what linux is, it makes linux seem like something that is childish, juvenile and irresponsible. i think Operation Cold Comfort was a way more intelligent idea. giving out cds was a great idea. i’d like to see displays in malls and computer stores with a stack of linux discs with a sign above that says “Think Free. Linux.” attack both competitors ;). plus, it was done really poorly, probably because of time restraints, but it looks awful. why bother?

  11. aniki: what are you? 2 years old? go suck a cow

    overall, it’s a good thing and bad thing. good because it get’s the word Linux out there, but bad because it has the probability of blowing up in Linux’s face..

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