SAINT PAUL, Minn. (May 1, 2007) A key creator of open source software products that turn Mac OS X and Linux into Windows-compatible operating systems is issuing a medical warning to the open source community: trying to rid the world of its dependency on the Windows operating system may be linked to kidney stones in men in their 40s, it was reported today.
Forty-four year old Jon Parshall, chief operating officer for CodeWeavers (www.codeweavers.com) – a leading developer of Wine and other Linux programming solutions, which allows users to run Windows applications without purchasing a license from Microsoft – recently suffered two weeks of mind-numbing agony and extraordinary urethral discomfort as a result of at least one or possibly more kidney stones that suddenly appeared within his urinary system.
Parshall began suffering the kidney stones in March, at the height of CodeWeavers’ development of a new version of their CrossOver Mac, a breakthrough product that allows Mac OS X users to install and use popular Windows applications without the presence of the Windows operating system. The company debuted CrossOver Mac 6.0 in January to acclaim, and plans to introduce 6.1 next week with a broader spectrum of Windows applications users can access.
“It was like I was descending into the eighth level of hell,” Parshall explained. “My days were filled with mouth-drying, white-hot shards of torment that stretched from my lower back across to my abdomen and beyond. Sweat-soaked nights were spent rolling in bed in agony. I pled for a second of respite in the form of sleep that never came.”
Parshall first noticed the stones one evening chasing his kids around his Minneapolis house. “I ran into the piano bench and I ended up flipping across the room,” Parshall recalled. “That’s when the pain emerged. At first, though, it wasn’t that bad. How wrong I was.”
He foolishly attempted to go to work the next morning.
“By the time he walked in the office, his face already had the pallor of a long-deserted rock quarry – all bombed out, hollow and powdery,” said Jeremy White, CodeWeavers chief executive officer. “I immediately told him, ‘as your long-time friend, colleague and life-coach, I suggest you see a doctor immediately.’ Unfortunately, I was too busy building 6.1 to take him there myself.”
“By that time I was wondering if I had ruptured a disc, or burst my spleen,“ Parshall recalled. “I tried to make it to an urgent care, but within about three blocks I could barely steer the car. I felt like I’d been kicked by a Clydesdale. So I headed for the closest ER, only to end up trapped behind a little old lady in a Buick Century going 18 miles per hour. Screaming at her didn’t seem to help. She probably couldn’t hear me, which was really saying something.”
Shortly after reaching the ER, doctors diagnosed Parshall with kidney stones.
“Sure, at some level I blame the long hours sitting on my behind keying in code and consuming mass quantities of soda, coffee, chocolate and peanuts for these devilish stones,” Parshall said. “But above all I blame Microsoft Windows, because were it not for Microsoft’s equally fiendish OS monopoly, I would not have been spending so much time trying to make a few more applications run under our new version of CrossOver – which, by the way, can be ordered on a free 30-day trial basis at www.codeweavers.com.
“I call on all of my fellow open source software developers – especially dudes in their 40s like me – to know they may be at risk,” he added.
Parshall’s stones passed two weeks later in the men’s room at his office.
“The docs make you pee into a filter, you know,” Parshall noted. “So, here you are working 20 hour days, with your body reduced to a spasming, pain-wracked mass of wretchedness, but then every 20 minutes or so you also have to balance a strainer under your you-know-what, trying to catch a pointy little stone about two millimeters in diameter. By the way, whoever thought it was a good idea to put nerve endings on the ‘inside’ of your kidney made about as intelligent a design choice as Microsoft making their Web browser a ‘component’ of their operating system.”
Eventually, Parshall put the stone into a cup and took it to his physician for analysis.
“I still can’t stop blaming Microsoft for what I went through, and I cursed them as I walked into the doctor’s office,” Parshall said. “But, I try to be very Zen about the whole thing. I know that in some ways, CodeWeavers seeks to be the proverbial stone jiggling inside Microsoft’s kidney, annoying them as best we can. I just hope that if they ever try to flush us out of their system, they’ll go through what I did.”
For the true signs and treatment for kidney stones, CodeWeavers recommends consulting with your doctor. Or, seek more information online using an open source Web browser.
About CodeWeavers, Inc.:
Founded in 1996 as a general software consultancy, CodeWeavers today focuses on the development of Wine and other Linux programming solutions. The company’s goal is to bring expanded market opportunities for Windows software developers by making it easier, faster, and more painless to port Windows software to Linux. CodeWeavers is recognized as a leader in open-source Windows porting technology, and maintains development offices in Minnesota, California, the Netherlands, and Germany. The company is privately held. For more information about CodeWeavers, log on to www.codeweavers.com.
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