CIO Symmetry

Apr 16 2008   7:40PM GMT

Taking Linux on a fishing trip

Glen Weaver Profile: The Weave

Remember Big Mouth Billy Bass?It was a wall-mounted singing fish that somebody made a fortune off of in the span of about six months.

This thing would sing “Take Me To The River” and “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” at the push of a button. And beer-swilling, poker-playing groups of guys would lean back and laugh, no matter how many times you turned the thing on.

My favorite story about this toy (which was featured, along with Billy Beer, on CMT’s “100 Greatest Redneck Moments” a few weeks ago) has always been the guy I knew who actually lifted one from a gas station at 3 a.m. because he realized the next day was Father’s Day.

Until now.

Turns out that anybody with more than a passing interest in Linux can make the fish, still available on eBay, sing along with any recorded bit of music.

Should you want to (and you should), you can get all the directions here.

This is what the site says you’ll need to gut the thing:

  1. Big Mouth Billy Bass.
  2. Phillips head screwdriver.
  3. Soldering gun and solder.
  4. Parallel port breakout box.
  5. Network cables or high-quality phone line cables. At least six wires inside.
  6. Two 4.7 kOhm resistors.
  7. Circuit board.
  8. Audio patch cables.
  9. Multimeter – optional but highly recommended.

All of these items, including the bass, should already be somewhere in the IT department. I will pay $75 to anyone who can send me a Big Mouth Billy Bass that sings the chorus to “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy” by Kenny Chesney. That’s a real offer. I wasn’t watching CMT by accident. Email me at

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