Tux the penguin waddles to last place in Indy 500; Joost fares better

In the 91st Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, the much-hyped 'Linux car' crashes, but since it isn't Windows, there was no blue screen of death.

The 'Tux car' during a qualifying round. Indianapolis Motor Speedway

When the pale blue " Linux car ," also known as car #77 from Chastain Motorsports, was the first car to crash in the 91st Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, we can imagine hordes of geeks wishing it had been a "Vista car" instead. Imagine the "blue screen of death" jokes that could have resulted!

The Linux car, as you probably know already, was the result of a campaign called Tux 500, jump-started by two enthusiasts named Bob Moore and Ken Starks. They solicited donations from fellow Linux fans in a "community powered Linux marketing program" to make the open-source operating system a household name by putting its logo on a race car. Unfortunately, it's likely going to be remembered as "the car that placed last."

The race fared better for the "Joost car," car #2 from Vision Racing. While we've heard from more than a few beta testers who say Joost's downloadable software has a tendency to crash on occasion, that didn't happen for the Joost-branded car in the Indy 500, which ended up placing seventh. Mashable speculates that the car may have been a result of the deal between the peer-to-peer video start-up and Indy 500 parent organization IndyCar Series. There's an IndyCar branded channel on Joost, which features footage from Sunday's race (tip: use plenty of slow-mo and pausing when Marco Andretti's car bites it) as well as from all Indy 500 races dating back to 1990.

About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.


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