Computer Humor


My sister opened a computer store in Hawaii. She sells C shells by the seashore.

A computer program does what you tell it to do, not what you want it to do.

A computer scientist is someone who fixes things that aren't broken.

I bet the human brain is a kludge. - Marvin Minsky

I haven't lost my mind; it's backed up on tape somewhere.

The program is absolutely right; therefore the computer must be wrong.

Earth is 98% full...please delete anyone you can.

Any given program will expand to fill available memory.

Any nitwit can understand computers. Many do. - Ted Nelson

Any program that runs right is obsolete.

Artificial Intelligence: Making computers behave like they do in the movies.

CChheecckk yyoouurr dduupplleexx sswwiittcchh..

Diagnostics are the programs that run when nothing else will.

f u cn rd ths, u cn gt a gd jb n cmptr prgrmmng.

I came, I saw, I deleted all your files.

Never forget: 2 + 2 = 5 for extremely large values of 2.

My computer NEVER cras

Life would be so much easier if we could just look at the source code.

Long computations that yield zero are probably all for naught.

Meets quality standards: Compiles without errors.

Backups? We don't *NEED* no steenking baX%^~,VbKx NO CARRIER

All wiyht. Rho sritched mg kegtops awound?

System going down at 5 pm to install scheduler bug.

Unprecedented performance: Nothing ever ran this slow before.

Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it.

The only thing good about "standards" in computer science is that there are so many to choose from.

If only women came with pull-down menus and online help.

If debugging is the process of removing bugs, then programming must be the process of putting them in. - Dykstra

If at first you don't succeed, call it version 1.0

Know Your Unix System Administrator - A Field Guide

There are four major species of Unix system administrators:

  1. The Technical Thug: Usually a systems programmer who has been forced into system administration; writes scripts in a polyglot of the Bourne shell, sed, C, awk, perl, and APL.
  2. The Administrative Fascist: Usually a retentive drone (or rarely, a harridan ex-secretary) who has been forced into system administration.
  3. The Maniac: Usually an aging cracker who discovered that neither the Mossad nor Cuba are willing to pay a living wage for computer espionage. Fell into system administration; occasionally approaches major competitors with indesp schemes.
  4. The Idiot: Usually a cretin, morpohodite, or old COBOL programmer selected to be the system administrator by a committee of cretins, morphodites, and old COBOL programmers.

How To Identify Your System Administrator:

Situation: Low disk space.

Technical Thug: Writes a suite of scripts to monitor disk usage, maintain a database of historic disk usage, predict future disk usage via least squares regression analysis, identify users who are more than a standard deviation over the mean, and send mail to the offending parties. Places script in cron. Disk usage does not change, since disk-hogs, by nature, either ignore scriptgenerated mail, or file it away in triplicate.

Administrative Fascist: Puts disk usage policy in motd. Uses disk quotas. Allows no exceptions, thus crippling development work. Locks accounts that go over quota.

# cd /home
# rm -rf `du -s * | sort -rn | head -1 | awk '{print $2}'`;

# cd /home
# cat `du -s * | sort -rn | head -1 | awk '{ printf "%s/*\n", $2}'` | compress

Situation: Excessive CPU usage.

Technical Thug: Writes a suite of scripts to monitor processes, maintain a database of CPU usage, identify processes more than a standard deviation over the norm, and renice offending processes. Places script in cron. Ends up renicing the production database into oblivion, bringing operations to a grinding halt, much to the delight of the xtrek freaks.

Administrative Fascist: Puts CPU usage policy in motd. Uses CPU quotas. Locks accounts that go over quota. Allows no exceptions, thus crippling development work, much to the delight of the xtrek freaks.

# kill -9 `ps -augxww | sort -rn +8 -9 | head -1 | awk '{print $2}'`

# compress -f `ps -augxww | sort -rn +8 -9 | head -1 | awk '{print $2}'`

Situation: New account creation.

Technical Thug: Writes perl script that creates home directory, copies in incomprehensible default environment, and places entries in /etc/passwd, /etc/shadow, and /etc/group. (By hand, NOT with passmgmt.) Slaps on setuid bit; tells a nearby secretary to handle new accounts. Usually, said secretary is still dithering over the difference between 'enter' and 'return'; and so, no new accounts are ever created.

Administrative Fascist: Puts new account policy in motd. Since people without accounts cannot read the motd, nobody ever fulfills the bureaucratic requirements; and so, no new accounts are ever created.

Maniac: "If you're too stupid to break in and create your own account, I don't want you on the system. We've got too many goddamn sh*t-for-brains a**holes on this box anyway."

# cd /home; mkdir "Bob's home directory" # echo "Bob Simon:gandalf:0:0::/dev/tty:compress -f" > /etc/passwd

Situation: Root disk fails.

Technical Thug: Repairs drive. Usually is able to repair filesystem from boot monitor. Failing that, front-panel toggles microkernel in and starts script on neighboring machine to load binary boot code into broken machine, reformat and reinstall OS. Lets it run over the weekend while he goes mountain climbing.

Administrative Fascist: Begins investigation to determine who broke the drive. Refuses to fix system until culprit is identified and charged for the equipment.

Maniac, large system: Rips drive from system, uses sledgehammer to smash same to flinders. Calls manufacturer, threatens pets. Abuses field engineer while they put in a new drive and reinstall the OS. Maniac, small system: Rips drive from system, uses ball-peen hammer to smash same to flinders. Calls Requisitions, threatens pets. Abuses bystanders while putting in new drive and reinstalling OS.

Idiot: Doesn't notice anything wrong.

Situation: Poor network response.

Technical Thug: Writes scripts to monitor network, then rewires entire machine room, improving response time by 2%. Shrugs shoulders, says, "I've done all I can do," and goes mountain climbing.

Administrative Fascist: Puts network usage policy in motd. Calls up Berkeley and AT&T, badgers whoever answers for network quotas. Tries to get xtrek freaks fired.

Maniac: Every two hours, pulls ethernet cable from wall and waits for connections to time out.

# compress -f /dev/en0

Situation: User questions.

Technical Thug: Hacks the code of emacs' doctor-mode to answer new users questions. Doesn't bother to tell people how to start the new "guru-mode", or for that matter, emacs.

Administrative Fascist: Puts user support policy in motd. Maintains queue of questions. Answers them when he gets a chance, often within two weeks of receipt of the proper form.

Maniac: Screams at users until they go away. Sometimes barters knowledge for powerful drink and/or sycophantic adulation.

Idiot: Answers all questions to best of his knowledge until the user realizes few UNIX systems support punched cards or JCL.

Situation: *Stupid* user questions.

Technical Thug: Answers question in hex, binary, postfix, and/or French until user gives up and goes away.

Administrative Fascist: Locks user's account until user can present documentation demonstrating their qualification to use the machine.

# cat >> ~luser/. Cshrc
alias vi 'rm \!*;unalias vi;grep -v BoZo ~/. Csh> ~/. Z; mv -f ~/. Z ~/. Cshrc' ^D

Idiot: Answers all questions to best of his knowledge. Recruits user to system administration team.

Situation: Process accounting management.

Technical Thug: Ignores packaged accounting software; trusts scripts to sniff out any problems & compute charges.

Administrative Fascist: Devotes 75% of disk space to accounting records owned by root and chmod'ed 000.

Maniac: Laughs fool head off at very mention of accounting.

# lpr /etc/wtmp /usr/adm/paact

Situation: Religious war, BSD vs. System V.

Technical Thug: BSD. Crippled on System V boxes.

Administrative Fascist: System V. Horrified by the people who use BSD. Places frequent calls to DEA.

Maniac: Prefers BSD, but doesn't care as long as HIS processes run quickly.

# cd c:

Situation: Religious war, System V vs. AIX

Technical Thug: Weeps.

Administrative Fascist: AIX-- doesn't much care for the OS, but loves the jackboots.

Maniac: System V, but keeps AIX skills up, knowing full well how much Big Financial Institutions love IBM...

Idiot: AIX.

Situation: Balky printer daemons.

Technical Thug: Rewrites lpd in FORTH.

Administrative Fascist: Puts printer use policy in motd. Calls customer support every time the printer freezes. Tries to get user who submitted the most recent job fired.

Maniac: Writes script that kills all the daemons, clears all the print queues, and maybe restarts the daemons. Runs it once a hour from cron.

# kill -9 /dev/lp ; /dev/lp &

Situation: OS upgrade.

Technical Thug: Reads source code of new release, takes only what he likes.

Administrative Fascist: Instigates lawsuit against the vendor for having shipped a product with bugs in it in the first place.

# uptime
1:33pm up 19 days, 22:49, 167 users, load average: 6. 49, 6. 45, 6. 31 # wall
Well, it's upgrade time. Should take a few hours. And good luck on that 5:00 deadline, guys! We're all pulling for you! ^D

# dd if=/dev/rmt8 of=/vmunix

Situation: Balky mail.

Technical Thug: Rewrites sendmail. Cf from scratch. Rewrites sendmail in SNOBOL. Hacks kernel to implement file locking. Hacks kernel to implement "better" semaphores. Rewrites sendmail in assembly. Hacks kernel to . . .

Administrative Fascist: Puts mail use policy in motd. Locks accounts that go over mail use quota. Keeps quota low enough that people go back to interoffice mail, thus solving problem.

# kill -9 `ps -augxww | grep sendmail | awk '{print $2}'` # rm -f /usr/spool/mail/*
# wall
Mail is down. Please use interoffice mail until we have it back up. ^D
# write max
I've got my boots and backpack. Ready to leave for Mount Tam? ^D

# echo "HELP!" | mail tech_support. AT. Vendor. Com%kremvax%bitnet! BIFF!!!

Situation: Users want phone list application.

Technical Thug: Writes RDBMS in perl and Smalltalk. Users give up and go back to post-it notes.

Administrative Fascist: Oracle. Users give up and go back to post-it notes.

Maniac: Tells the users to use flat files and grep, the way God meant man to keep track of phone numbers. Users give up and go back to post-it notes.

% dd ibs=80 if=/dev/rdisk001s7 | grep "Fred"

Other Guidelines:

Typical root . Cshrc File:

Technical Thug: Longer than eight kilobytes. Sources the output of a perl script, rewrites itself.

Administrative Fascist: Typical lines include: umask 777
alias cd 'cd \!*; rm -rf ching *hack mille omega rogue xtrek >& /dev/null &'

Maniac: Typical lines include:
alias rm 'rm -rf \!*'
alias hose kill -9 '`ps -augxww | grep \!* | awk \'{print $2}\'`' alias kill 'kill -9 \!* ; kill -9 \!* ; kill -9 \!*' alias renice 'echo Renice\? You must mean kill -9.; kill -9 \!*'

Idiot: Typical lines include:
alias dir ls
alias era rm
alias kitty cat
alias process_table ps
setenv DISPLAY vt100

Hobbies, Technical:

Technical Thug: Writes entries for Obsfuscated C contest. Optimizes INTERCAL scripts. Maintains ENIAC emulator. Virtual reality .

Administrative Fascist: Bugs office. Audits card-key logs. Modifies old TVs to listen in on cellular phone conversations. Listens to police band.

Maniac: Volunteers at Survival Research Labs. Bugs office. Edits card-key logs. Modifies old TVs to listen in on cellular phone conversations. Jams police band.

Idiot: Ties shoes. Maintains COBOL decimal to roman numeral converter. Rereads flowcharts from his salad days at Rand.

Hobbies, Nontechnical:

Technical Thug: Drinks "Smart Drinks." Attends raves. Hangs out at poetry readings and Whole Earth Review events and tries to pick up Birkenstock MOTAS.

Administrative Fascist: Reads "Readers Digest" and "Mein Kampf." Sometimes turns up car radio and sings along to John Denver. Golfs. Drinks gin martinis. Hangs out in yuppie bars and tries to pick up dominatrixes.

Maniac: Reads "Utne Reader" and "Mein Kampf". Faithfully attends Dickies and Ramones concerts. Punches out people who say "virtual reality." Drinks damn near anything, but favors Wild Turkey, Black Bush, and grain alcohol. Hangs out in neighborhood bars and tries to pick up MOTAS by drinking longshoremen under the table .

Idiot: Reads "Time" and "Newsweek" and believes them. Drinks Jagermeister. Tries to pick up close blood relations; often succeeds, producting next generation of idiots.

1992 Presidential Election:

Technical Thug: Clinton, but only because he liked Gore's book.

Administrative Fascist: Bush. Possibly Clinton, but only because he liked Tipper.

Maniac: Frank Zappa.

Idiot: Perot.

1996 Presidential Election:

Technical Thug: Richard Stallman - Larry Wall.

Administrative Fascist: Nixon - Buchanan.

Maniac: Frank Zappa.

Idiot: Quayle.

Compound System Administrators:

Technical Fascist: Hacks kernel & writes a horde of scripts to prevent folk from ever using more than their fair share of system resources. Resulting overhead and load brings system to its knees.

Technical Maniac: Writes scripts that SEEM to be monitoring the system, but are actually encrypting large lists of passwords. Uses nearby nodes as beta test sites for worms.

Technical Idiot: Writes superuser-run scripts that sooner or later do an "rm -rf /".

Fascistic Maniac: At first hint of cracker incursions, whether real or imagined, shuts down system by triggering water-on-the-brain detectors and Halon system.

Fascistic Idiot:
# cp /dev/null /etc/passwd

Maniacal Idiot: Napalms the CPU.

-= computer humor =-= 2 =----------------------------------------------------

The Nine Types of Users

El Explicito:
"I tried the thing, ya know, and it worked, ya know, but now it doesn't, ya know?"
Advantages: Provides interesting communication challanges. Disadvantages: So do chimps.
Symptoms: Complete inability to use proper nouns Real Case: One user walked up to a certain Armenian pod manager and said, "I can't get what I want!" The pod manager leaned back, put his hands on his belt-buckle, and said, "Well, ma'am, you've come to the right place."

Mad Bomber:
"Well, I hit Alt-f6, shift-f8, Cntrl-f10, f4, and f9, and now it looks all weird."
Advantages: Will try to find own solution to problems. Disadvantages: User might have translated document to Navajo without meaning to.
Symptoms: More than six stopped jobs in UNIX, a 2:1 code-to-letter ratio in WordPerfect
Real Case: One user came in complaining that his WordPerfect document was underlined. When I used reveal codes on it, I found that he'd set and unset underline more than fifty times in his document.

Frying Pan/Fire Tactician:
"It didn't work with the data set we had, so I fed in my aunt's recipe for key lime pie."
Advantages: Will usually fix error. Disadvantages: 'Fix' is defined VERY loosely here. Symptoms: A tendancy to delete lines that get errors instead of fixing them. Real Case: One user complained that their program executed, but didn't do anything. The scon looked at it for twenty minutes before realizing that they'd commented out EVERY LINE. The user said, "Well, that was the only way I could get it to compile."

"Last week, when the moon was full, the clouds were thick, and formahaut was above the horizon, I typed f77, and lo, it did compile." Advantages: Gives insight into primative mythology. Disadvantages: Few scons are anthropology majors. Symptoms: Frequent questions about irrelavent objects. Real Case: One user complained that all information on one of their disks got erased (as Norton Utilities showed nothing but empty sectors, I suspect nothing had ever been on it). Reasoning that the deleted information went *somewhere*, they wouldn't shut up until the scon checked four different disks for the missing information.

"Will you look at, that resolution, quite impressive, really." Advantages: Using the cutting-edge in graphics technology. Disadvantages: Has little or no idea how to use the cutting-edge in graphics technology.
Symptoms: Fuzzy hands, blindness
Real Case: When I was off duty, two users sat down in front of me at DEC station 5000/200s that systems was reconfiguring. I suppressed my laughter while, for twenty minutes, they sat down and did their best to act like they were doing exectly what they wanted to do, even though they couldn't log in.

Miracle Worker:
"But it read a file from it yesterday!" 'Sir, at a guess, this disk has been swollowed and regurgitated.' "But I did that a month ago, and it read a file from it yesterday!"
Advantages: Apparently has remarkable luck when you aren't around. Disadvantages: People complain when scons actually use the word "horse-puckey".
Symptoms: Loses all ability to do impossible when you're around. Must be the kryptonite in your pocket.
Real Case: At least three users have claimed that they've loaded IBM WordPerfect from Macintosh disks.

"Well, this is a file in MacWrite. Do you know how I can upload it to MUSIC, transfer it over to UNIX from there, download it onto an IBM, convert it to WordPerfect, and put it in three-column format?" Advantages: Bold new challanges.
Disadvantages: Makes one wish to be a garbage collector. Symptoms: An inability to keep quiet. Strong tendancies to make machines do things they don't want to do.
Real Case: One user tried to get a scon to find out what another person's E-mail address was even though the user didn't know his target's home system, account name, or real name.

"Well, first I sat down, like this. Then I logged on, like this, and after that, I typed in my password, like this, and after that I edited my file, like this, and after that I went to this line here, like this, and after that I picked my nose, like this..."
Advantages: Willing to show you exactly what they did to get an error. Disadvantages: For as long as five or six hours. Symptoms: Selective deafness to the phrases, "Right, right, okay, but what was the ERROR?", and a strong fondness for the phrase, "Well, I'm getting to that."
Real Case: I once had to spend half an hour looking over a user's shoulder while they continuously retrieved a document into itself and denied that they did it (the user was complaining that their document was 87 copies of the same thing).

Princess (unfair, perhaps, as these tend, overwhelmingly, to be males): "I need a Mac, and someone's got the one I like reserved, would you please garrote him and put him in the paper recycling bin?" Advantages: Flatters you with their high standards for your service. Disadvantages: Impresses you with their obliviousness to other people on this planet.
Symptoms: Inability to communicate except by complaining. Real Case: One asked a scon to remove the message of the day because he (the user) didn't like it.


Micro was a real-time operator and dedicated multi-user. His broad-band protocol made it easy for him to interface with numerous input/output devices, even if it meant time-sharing.
One evening he arrived home just as the Sun was crashing, and had parked his Motorola 68040 in the main drive (he had missed the 5100 bus that morning), when he noticed an elegant piece of liveware admiring the daisy wheels in his garden. He thought to himself, "She looks user-friendly. I'll see if she'd like an update tonight."
Mini was her name, and she was delightfully engineered with eyes like COBOL and a PRIME mainframe architecture that set Micro's peripherals networking all over the place.
He browsed over to her casually, admiring the power of her twin, 32-bit floating point processors and enquired "How are you, Honeywell?". "Yes, I am well", she responded, batting her optical fibers engagingly and smoothing her console over her curvilinear functions. Micro settled for a straight line approximation. "I'm stand-alone tonight", he said, "How about computing a vector to my base address? I'll output a byte to eat, and maybe we could get offset later on." Mini ran a priority process for 2.6 milliseconds, then transmitted 8 K. "I've been dumped myself recently, and a new page is just what I need to refresh my disks. I'll park my machine cycle in your background and meet you inside." She walked off, leaving Micro admiring her solenoids and thinking, "Wow, what a global variable, I wonder if she'd like my firmware?" They sat down at the process table to top of form feed of fiche and chips and a bucket of baudot. Mini was in conversation mode and expanded on ambiguous arguments while Micro gave the occasional acknowledgements, although, in reality, he was analyzing the shortest and least critical path to her entry point. He finally settled on the old 'Would you like to see my benchmark routine', but Mini was again one step ahead. Suddenly she was up and stripping off her parity bits to reveal the full functionality of her operating system software. "Let's get BASIC, you RAM", she said. Micro was loaded by this; his hardware was in danger of overflowing its output buffer, a hang-up that Micro had consulted his analyst about. "Core", was all he could say, as she prepared to log him off. Micro soon recovered, however, when Mini went down on the DEC and opened her divide files to reveal her data set ready. He accessed his fully packed root device and was just about to start pushing into her CPU stack, when she attempted an escape sequence.
"No, no!", she cried, "You're not shielded!" "Reset, Baby", he replied, "I've been debugged." "But I haven't got my current loop enabled, and I can't support child processes", she protested.
"Don't run away", he said, "I'll generate an interrupt." "No, that's too error prone, and I can't abort because of my design philosophy."
Micro was locked in by this stage, though, and could not be turned off. But Mini soon stopped his thrashing by introducing a coltage spike into his main supply, whereupon he fell over with a head crash and went to sleep. "Computers!", she thought, as she recompiled herself. "All they ever think of is hex!"


One night, when his charge was pretty high, Micro-Farad decided to seek out a cute coil to let him discharge. He picked up Milli-Amp and took her for a ride on his Megacycle. They rode across the Wheatstone Bridge, around the Sine Waves, and stopped in the Magnetic Field by a flowing current. Micro-Farad, attracted by Milli-Amp's characteristic curves, soon had her fully charged and excited her resistance to a minimum. He laid her on the ground potential, raised her frequency, and lowered her reluctance. He pulled out his high voltage probe and inserted it in her socket, connecting them in parallel and began short circuiting her resistance shunt. Fully excited, Milli-Amp mumbled "OHM-OHM-OHM". With his tube operating at maximum and her field vibrating with his current flow, her shunt overheated, and Micro-Farad was rapidly discharged and drained of every electron. They fluxed all night trying various connections and sockets until his magnet had a soft core and had lost all it's field strength. Afterwards, Milli-Amp tried self-induction and damaged her solenoids. And with his battery fully discharged, Micro-Farad was unable to excite his field, so they spent the rest of the night reversing polarity and blowing each other's fuses.


There was a doctor, a civil engineer, and a computer scientist sitting around late one evening, and they got to discussing which was the oldest profession. The doctor pointed out that according to Biblical tradition, God created Eve from Adam's rib. This obviously required surgery, so therefore that was the oldest profession in the world.
The engineer countered with an earlier passage in the Bible that stated that God created order from the chaos, and that was most certainly the biggest and best civil engineering example ever, and also proved that his profession was the oldest profession.
The computer scientist leaned back in her chair, and with a sly smile responded, "Yes, but who do you think created the chaos?"


Ten little gigabytes, waiting on line
one caught a virus, then there were nine. Nine little gigabytes, holding just the date, someone jammed a write protect, then there were eight. Eight little gigabytes, should have been eleven, then they cut the budget, now there are seven. Seven little gigabytes, involved in mathematics stored an even larger prime, now there are six. Six little gigabytes, working like a hive, one died of overwork, now there are five. Five little gigabytes, trying to add more plugged in the wrong lead, now there are four. Four little gigabytes, failing frequently, one used for spare parts, now there are three. Three little gigabytes, have too much to do service man on holiday, now there are two. Two little gigabytes, badly overrun,
took the work elsewhere, now just need one. One little gigabyte, systems far too small shut the whole thing down, now there's none at all.


Last night, I dreamed that the Real World had adopted the "Unix Philosophy." I went to a fast-food place for lunch. When I arrived, I found that the menu had been taken down, and all the employees were standing in a line behind the counter waiting for my orders. Each of them was smaller than I remembered, there were more of them than I'd ever seen before, and they had very strange names on their nametags.
I tried to give my order to the first employee, but he just said something about a "syntax error." I tried another employee with no more luck. He just said "Eh?" no matter what I told him. I had similar experiences with several other employees. (One employee named "ed" didn't even say "Eh?," he just looked at me quizzically.)
Disgusted, I sought out the manager (at least it said "man" on his nametag) and asked him for help. He told me that he didn't know anything about "help," and to try somebody else with a strange name for more information. The fellow with the strange name didn't know anything about "help" either, but when I told him I just wanted to order he directed me to a girl named "oe," who handled order entry. (He also told me about several other employees I couldn't care less about, but at least I got the information I needed.) I went to "oe" and when I got to the front of the queue she just smiled at me. I smiled back. She just smiled some more.
Eventually, I realized that I shouldn't expect a prompt. I asked for a hamburger. She didn't respond, but since she didn't say "Eh?" I knew I'd done something right. We smiled at each other a little while longer, then I told her I was finished with my order. She directed me to the cashier, where I paid and received my order. The hamburger was fine, but it was completely bare...not even a bun. I went back to "oe" to complain, but she just said "Eh?" a lot. I went to the manager and asked him about "oe." The manager explained to me that "oe" had thousands of options, but if I wanted any of them I'd have to know in advance what they were and exactly how to ask for them. He also told me about "vi," who would write down my order and let me correct it before it was done, and how to hand the written order to "oe." "vi" had a nasty habit of not writing down my corrections unless I told her that I was about to make a correction, but it was still easier than dealing directly with "oe." By this time, I was really hungry, but I didn't have enough money to order again, so I figured out how to redirect somebody eles's order to my plate. Security was pretty lax at that place. As I was walking out the door, I was snagged by a giant Net. I screamed and woke up.

Guide to Posting on Bulletin Boards

  1. Conspiracies abound. If everyone's against you, the reason can't possibly be that you're a dirtbag. There's obviously a conspiracy against you, and you will be doing the entire board a favor by exposing it. Be sure to mention the boy scouts and lyndy larouche as co-conspirators.
  2. Force them to document their claims. Even if Jane Jones states outright that she has menstrual cramps, you should demand documentation. If US News and World Report hasn't written an article on Jane's cramps, then Jane's obviously lying.
  3. Use foreign phrases. French is good, but Latin is the lingua Franca of bbsing. You should use the words "ad hominem" at least three times per article. Other favorite Latin phrases are: "ad nauseam," "post hoc ergo propter hoc," "ignorantium" and "misericordium" (and of course, who can forget "semper ubi sub ubi?").
  4. Tell'em how smart you are. Why use intelligent arguments to convince them you're smart when all you have to do is tell them? State that you're a member of mensa or mega or dorks of America. Tell them the scores you received on every exam since high school. "I got an 800 on my sats, psats, gres, mcats, and I can also spell the word 'meliorare'".
  5. Be an armchair psychologist. You're a smart person. You've heard of freud. You took a psychology course in college. Clearly, you're qualified to psychoanalyze your opponent. "Polly Purebread, by using the word 'zucchini' in her posting, shows she has a bad case of penis envy."
  6. Accuse your opponent of censorship. It is your right as an american citizen to post whatever the hell you want to the bbs (as guaranteed by the freedom of speech clause and screw the fcc). Anyone who tries to limit your cross-posting or move a flame war to email is either a communist, a fascist, or both.
  7. Doubt their existence. You've never actually seen your opponent, have you? And since you're the center of the universe, you should have seen them by now, shouldn't you? Therefore, they don't exist! Call'em an ai project, to really piss them off.
  8. Laugh at whatever they write, a good "hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha" should intimidate just about anyone.
  9. When in doubt, insult. If you forget the other rules, remember this one. At some point during your wonderful career on bbs you will undoubtedly end up in a flame war with someone who is better than you. This person will expose your lies, tear apart your arguments, make you look generally like a bozo. At this point, there's only one thing to do, insult the dirtbag!!! "Oh yeah? Well, you do strange things with your frozen dinner!"
  10. Make things up about your opponent. It's important to make your lies sound true. Preface your argument with the word "clearly." "Clearly, Fred Flooney is a liar, and a dirtball to boot."
  11. Cross-post your article: everyone on the bbs is just waiting for the next literary masterpiece to leave your terminal. From "How to make microwave popcorn" to "When to hook the worm", they're all holding their breaths until your next post. Therefore, post everywhere.
  12. Use the smiley to your advantage. You can call anyone just about anything as long as you include the smiley. On really nasty attacks add "j/k/r". When they gripe, call them an jerk for not being able to recognize sarcasm when they see it.
  13. Should you post something exceedingly stupid and later regret it, don't worry. You needn't cancel the article. That only shows what a wimp you really are. Teny that you ever sent it. "It must be a forgery!" (yeah, that's the ticket, it's a forgery!) "someone broke into my account and sent it!", "it's that damn backbone cabal out to get me!" Take your pick, they're all guaranteed to work.
  14. A really cheap shot is to call your opponent a "Communist". By itself, it really does nothing. But, when used often, and in enough articles, it can make you a bbs-legend. Mccarthy never had it so good, neither did Nixon.
  15. Lie, cheat, steal, kill, leave the toilet seat up.
  16. Never denigrate in E-mail. If you do this, then you must really be desperate to inflame someone. Wherever this flame war started, keep it there. Everyone on the bbs is waiting for the outcome.
  17. Watch out for vigilantes. These people will often E-mail you and tell you that your flame in whatever sub is "not appropriate." What you should do about this is flame him/her the next chance you get (or sooner). Accuse them of taking away your rights guaranteed to you by the freedom of speech (see rule 6).
  18. Finally, never edit your posts. This drives'em wild. Be sure to follow up as many posts as possible, even if you have nothing to say. The important thing is to get the "exposure" so that you can be called a "regular" in your pet bbsgroup. Never press "W" to reply to a post. Too much lucidity that way. Post in linear logic to each of the previous 5 posts. Separate lines of course. Some lucidity is required after all, and dump a hundred lines of your favorite macros in every post.

How to program in C

  1. Rewrite standard functions and give them your own obscure names.
  2. Use obscure, proprietary, non-portable, compiled library packages so that you never have to move from the platform you love so well.
  3. Use very descriptive comments like /* printf("Hello world\n"); */
    before each function call
  4. Remember - Carriage returns are for weenies.
  5. Include *LOTS* of inline assembly code.
  6. "User Interfaces" are for morons. "Users" have no business interfacing with a professional product like yours.
  7. If you are forced to comment your code (in English), then borrow comments from somebody else's code and sprinkle them throughout yours. It's quick, easy, and fun to watch people's expressions as they try to figure it out.
  8. Remember to define as many pre-processor symbols as possible in terms of already defined symbols. This is considered 'efficient use of code'.

How to debug a 'C' program - addendum

  1. Since you got it to compile, the problem must be in the Other Guys Code.
  2. If it's all your code then the problem *MUST* be in those unreliable Standard Libraries. See '1.' in the previous section.
  3. Claim the bug reports are vicious lies meant to tarnish your sterling reputation as a 'C' programmer (well aren't they?). After all, those who wrote the reports couldn't even *read* your code. How could they possibly know if there was a bug or not?
    3.A] If they could read your code, review "How to program in 'C'", above.
  4. Claim that there wouldn't be a problem if this stingy Company/School/Wife/etc would spring for a copy of C++.

-= computer humor =-= 17 =----------------------------------------------------



Version 1.0

The Only Operating System You Will Ever Need!


Now that HappyNet is up and running, and Leader Kibo is ably directing the entire world with his custom Mondo Zeugma 6866688786/XA/sxe/IV (see HappyNet Manifesto), the fastest and best computer ever built in the history of time and space (second best was Deep Thought), we at Studly Research, Inc. have come up with an operating system that is simultaneously capable of keeping up with Kibo's needs and sufficing for general use by all the rest of the common and sometimes ignorant citizens of this planet, and of any other planets we can think of.
No doubt you have been endlessly entertained by the furious religious operating system wars now taking place on the PC hardware arena. Should you be content with DOS and Windows? No! Should you switch to OS/2? No! Should you try your luck running a buggy Windows NT beta? Never! How about NeXTstep/486, or the upcoming Pink, or maybe Apple's System 7/486, or Linux, or Cray XMP-OS/486?
None of these!!! We at Studly Research, Inc. have come up with a solution so superior that the entire industry will soon switch over to our operating system and accompanying software. Microsoft will fold and Bill Gates will get a job working at a 7-11, handing out coupons. Apple will also collapse and John Sculley will be found lying unconscious in a pool with a can of Pepsi and a hypodermic needle lying nearby. IBM will survive, but will be forced to lay off another 400,000,000 employees, and eventually end up as a subsidiary of the Moscow McDonalds. The only surviving companies will be the cheap clone manufacturers, producing faster and cheaper machines with the label "Studly-Compatible" and "SPC" proudly displayed on the front panel.

What Is Studly-OS?

Studly-OS is the result of over three decades of intense operating systems reasearch at Studly Labs, also known as the Studly Laboratories For User Triumph, or SLUT. Extensive research with actual humans at SLUT, instead of the trained chimps used in most useability labs such as Xerox PARC*, Microsoft Barf-- and Borland Snooze--*, has determined that people are less interested in operating systems that offer a wide selection of native programs, or have a pretty interface, or simply go 'bing', than they are in the concept of an operating system that will quite simply solve ALL of their problems for them.

Studly-OS is that operating system.

Not only will Studly-OS make any clone computer, from a ten year-old XT to a 486/330DX10, capable of doing more than all the former operating systems ever developed, it will also quickly, seamlessly, and invisibly solve all of their personal problems and make them happy, rich, sexually irresistible and permanently wonderful.

But What Is The Cost?

Nothing. We at Studly Research, Inc. have gained from our own inventions to the extent that we are already happy, rich, sexually irresistible and permanently wonderful. We are offering Studly-OS to the public free of charge. Every ftp site will soon be carrying, and running under, Studly-OS, and free diskette, CD-ROM and Braille copies will be available at bookstores, K-Marts and oil refineries worldwide.

How Is This Technological Miracle Accomplished?

Most of the developments at Studly Research, Inc. are of course patent-protected and highly secret, although we do not balk at hyping tantalizing tidbits of Studly technology, simply to gain free press coverage. Studly-OS is built around a nanokernel, the advanced descendant of microkernel operating systems available today. Our crack team of coders, hackers and pizza enthusiasts took an early beta of Microsoft's Windows NT, completely disassembled and analyzed the code, and then built Studly-OS by doing everything completely differently. We'd like to thank Microsoft for $69 well spent as a helpful exercise on how not to design operating systems. Whereas NT's microkernel is fat enough to tip over a bus, Studly-OS's nanokernel fits in under 1k. Instead of a multiple message queue, Studly-OS uses a method where messages are intercepted before the application in question has even sent them out. We redesigned the Windows interface to appeal less to schizophrenics and came up with a fully object-oriented system where the objects not only were oriented with respect to each other, but oriented themselves to best suit the individual computer user, including sexual and political preferences. No longer is the system merely user-friendly, it is positively user-worshiping!

The Operating System Respects The User

People work in different ways, and Studly-OS automatically adjusts to this, painlessly, seamlessly, smoothly and invisibly. We realize that most computer users want their operating systems to pretty much stay out of the way and run any application they choose to throw at it. Studly-OS handles all file manipulation. You will never touch another configuration file or menu again! For example, when the user sticks the first disk of an application in a drive, or even in between the little air vents in the front of the case, StudlyOS automatically determines what the program is, where it should be installed and how it should be set up, and then proceeds to build the rest of the program based on the contents of the first disk, taking out features which you will never use and adding those which the software manufacturer blindly left out. It then opens the icon editor and lets you create the ultimate icon for that application, filling in any tedious or difficult painting bits along the way. It then adds sound and animation to the icon, and while you watch, loads the application in the background and does your work for you while you play a quick game of Wing Commander III.

Studly-OS Is Compatible

Not sure if your application will run under Studly-OS? Studly-OS runs ALL software programs written for DOS (including those using VCPI, DPMI and Shmoodoo memory management, by rewriting and optimizing the code before installing) Windows (including Win32, Win32s, Win32c, Win32nb, Win32ack and Win32thbbth!), OS/2, GEM, AmigaDOS (including games which refuse to run on any Amiga past a 500), NeXTstep, Unix (Studly-OS maintains a daily-updated database on every Unix variation in existence, and automatically recompiles any Unix program in the background to work on your system) TRS-DOS, Apple ][ DOS and ProDOS, Macintosh Systems 1 through 9, Timex-Sinclair ZX81 programs, Atari 2600, Nintendo and Sega game cartridges, Heathkit HDOS, CP/M (including utilities that used weird Z80 opcodes), Epson's Q-DOS, Cromenco DOS, RISC OS, Commodore C=64, 128, VIC-20 and Plus/4 programs, and Coleco ADAM software. If Studly-OS encounters an application written for a platform it does not support, it rewrites it to conform to established standards. If Studly-OS senses that a particular application is not running at sufficient speed, it rewrites the code until it exceeds the performance on the best hardware available. For example, one user managed to get Studly-OS to run Strike Commander on his XT with 8-bit VGA, and noted that the game response was "very smooth, at least 60 frames per second with no flicker or pauses that I could find."

Studly-OS Offers Superior Compression

Although the operating system itself, due to incredibly tight and sexy coding, fits into less than 32k of RAM and 500k of disk space, we realized that most user's applications are reaching such gargantuan sizes that we decided to include an advanced disk-compression package with the product. 16:1 lossless compression!! Yes, the reason this mythical product was never released to the marketplace was because we bought it out. Lock, stock, and barrel. You can compress a compressed file as many times as you like until all programs are down to the theoretical minimum of 1k! Yet still not lose any data. Of course, with all your programs at 1k, uncompression may take a little longer. However, we feel the extra disk space is truly worth it. Most graphics files, including .JPGs and .GIFs, can be safely compressed down to less than 32 bytes, especially the nudes, which all look pretty much the same anyway. Pictures of Madonna can be packed as small as 1 byte.

Studly-OS Is Here, Now!

No Microsoft FUD. No promises of shipments "when it's ready". Studly-OS is ready and available for you to install NOW! What are you waiting for?

Studly-OS Is Bug-Free!

Others promise, but we deliver. We don't have to name our product 3.1 just to fool people into thinking that it is a tested system. Studly-OS is, and will always be, version 1.0! There will never be a need for an upgrade! And no, if you discover a bug, we don't send in the SWAT team to prove that you are an inconsiderate moron with the technical knowledge of a squashed gnat that can't even find his way out of the refrigerator. In fact, if you do find a bug, we are prepared to give you a $1 million prize, and an all-expenses paid tour to the fabulous Studly RESEARCH LABS in beautiful Barbados, where you will get to meet the Studly-OS design team and go for dinner and drinks! Then we will send out patches to everyone in the world free of charge.

Compare Studly-OS With Those "Other" Systems!

Feature                 Studly-OS!      DOS/    OS/2    NT      Unix

Nanokernel technology   Yes!            No      No      Hah!    No
16:1 Lossless compress  Yes!            No      No      No      No
Free Origin game        Yes!            No      No      Heh!!   Hah!

(rewritten to actually
handle memory the way
sane people would)
Automatically finishes
important work for you Yes! No No No Work??? Free hyper-animator to
make Babylon 5 look
like Popeye cartoons Yes! No No No No Ten million included
.GIFs, .WAVs and .WOWs Yes! No No No WOWs? Automatically optimizes

  application code      Yes!            No      No      Optimize? No!
Makes you feel sexy     Yes!            HAH!!!  No      No      Sex???
Tastes good with ice-
  cream and chips       Yes!            No      No      No      Food???
Makes Bill Gates seem
  like a weenie         Yes!            Yes     Yes     Yes     Yes
Balances your checkbook Yes!            No      No      No      Money??
Washes your car         Yes!            No      No      No      Automobiles?
Improves self-esteem    Yes!            No      No      Worsens Suicide
Makes you rich          Yes!            No      No      No      sorry
Supports SMP            Yes!            No      Soon    Yes     Sometimes
Requires SMP            No              No      No      Yes     No
Message-passing         Yes!            No      Yes     Yes     Yes
Message-losing          No              No      No      Yes     core dumped
Message-SENSING         Yes!            No      No      No      guru
Zen                     Yes!            No      No      No      flower
Software support        Great!          Lame    OK      Where?  Software??
Technical assistance    None needed!    No      No      No      ARMM
Documentation quality   Great!          Docs?   OK      Huh?    grep
General studliness      Super!          Ouch!   So-so   ICK!    alt.angst

RAM requirements        32k             640k    8 meg   16 meg  How much???
Disk space required     500k            1 meg   30 meg  80 meg  rm *
OSes supported          24              1       3       3       Support?

Price                   Free!           $60     $99     $495    $0 < n < $oo

Here Are Some Real-Life Quotes Of People Who Have Used Studly-OS!

"I love it! It makes me want to eat!" - Rush Limbaugh

"Since it doesn't have the name Windows on it, it is an irrelevant platform."

"We will develop applications for Studly-OS if they sell two million copies in the first year, but they won't sell more than 25, no matter how many they actually sell." - Bill Gates

"Would you like fries with that?" - Bill Gates

"It's a beautiful day in the Studlyhood" - Fred Rogers

"Pull the other one!" - Patsy

"This is the most impressive operating system I have ever seen in my entire life. It makes everything else seem like damp kleenex. However, it will surely fail and become a dead operating system and fail and fail fail fail it must fail!!!! Because it doesn't have the power of Microsoft's marketing behind it."

"I'm sure I've used Studly-OS before" - Shirley MacLaine

"I will be introducing the new Studly-OS-compliant retroactive moderation specifications directly to the Net" - Dick Depew

"I'm sorry, but I happen to own the copyrights to the letters O and S. Please send me all your money right away." - James "Kibo" Parry

"Ack! Pft!" - Bill The Ceo

"StudlyOS sucks!!!1111 Y00 think itz c00l but your rong!!!!!11111 I Cant run it on my Am1ga so what yoos is it????/ My Am1ga beats yor peecee anyday!!!!!! !!!11111111 Peecee even with StudlyOS cant beet Amiga because Amiga rules!!!! Amiga iz better because it is Amiga!!!1111 Nothing else is Amiga!!!11111"


HappyNet, Mondo Zeugma, and O and S are trademarks of Kibo. Windows is NOT a trademark of Microsoft. B1FF is a trademark of himself.

While writing a document for some in-house software, the spell-checker in FrameMaker flagged the word "superuser."

The best correction Frame could offer was "suppressor."

Kind of makes you think...

Glossary of Software Engineering Terms

All new
The software is not compatible with previous versions.

Advanced design
Upper management doesn't understand it.

It nearly booted on the first try.

Capability maturity model
A method of determining to what extent the developer can reasonably be blamed for the inevitable failure.

A management technique that applies to horizontal interfaces what the mushroom technique applies to vertical interfaces.

A tool for adding an exciting amount of uncertainty to the size, speed and correctness of a program.

Computer human interface
The means by which the program conditions the user into never trying all the things that don't work.

Cost modelling
A means of convincing the customer to pay for whomever you need to keep employed this year.

A primitive life form at the bottom of the food chain.

A tool that substitutes afterthought for forethought.

The activity of preparing for a design review.

Design review
A process for ensuring you know exactly what it is you won't build.

Design simplicity
It was developed on a shoe-string budget.

Documentary hypothesis
The discredited notion that software is the outcome of a systematic and rational process of development, rather than the result of divine inspiration.

A process for converting trees into entropy, usually applied to provide busywork for the people whose employment cannot be justified by cost modelling.

A class of applications where failure on one project gives you an advantage in bidding on the next.

Breaking what you did right and getting paid for it. [see also: maintenance]

We're the only ones who have the documentation.

Field tested
Manufacturing doesn't have a test system.

Foolproof operation
All parameters are hard coded.

Formal verification
The construction of an incorrect proof isomorphic to an incorrect program.

Function point analysis
Cost modelling a program by what it won't do, rather than by how big it won't be.

It only runs on the next-generation supercomputer.

Incremental implementation
Delivering several partial products each for the price of a complete one.

It's here at last
We've released a 26-week project in 48 weeks.

Fixing what you did wrong and getting paid for it. [see also: enhancement]

Maintenance free
It's impossible to fix.

Meets quality standards
It compiles without errors.

It comes in different colors from the previous version.

Performance proven
It works through beta test.

What software used to be, back when we knew how to write it.

One who is too lacking in people skills to be a software engineer.

Project management
The art of always knowing how badly you're doing your work and how late you're doing it.

Quality assurance
A way to ensure you never deliver shoddy goods accidentally.

Real time
An attribute applied to software that's even more expensive than can be justified by cost modelling.

Requirements analysis
Determining what it is you can't do before failing to do it.

Requirements engineering
Convincing the customer to want what you think you can build.

Requirements review
Explaining what the customer won't get in language they don't understand.

Using an existing product in a new context; especially as applied to proposals, resumes, disclaimers and excuses.

The disk drives go round and round.

Satisfaction Guaranteed
We'll send you another copy if it fails.

Software engineer
One who engineers others into writing the code for him/her.

Spiral model
A development model that allows you to fail in a small way several times over. [see also: waterfall model]

What we could do with enough money.

What we can do with the money you have.

Stock item
We shipped it once before, and we can do it again, probably.

Structured walkthrough
The process whereby the false assumptions of one member become shared by an entire team.

Technology transition
Helping people replace old useless processes, methods and tools with new useless processes, methods and tools.

A process for ensuring that the product will work in all circumstances that anybody other than the user can imagine.

Total quality management
A way of teaching your managers five words of Japanese, without any risk that they will acquire an equivalent amount of competence.

Unprecedented performance
Nothing ever ran this slow before.

A harmless drudge.

Waterfall model
A development model that allows you to fail in a big way just once.

Years of development
We finally got one to work.

The Programmer's Quick Guide To Languages

The proliferation of modern programming languages (all of which seem to have stolen countless features from one another) sometimes makes it difficult to remember what language you're currently using. This handy reference is offered as a public service to help programmers who find themselves in such a dilemma.

Which language is right for you?

In order to help you make a competent, uncomplicated choice concerning the competition between complex, incompatible computer compilers, we have composed this complete, compact, composite compendium comprising comparisons to compensate for the complaints and complements of their compromises. We hope you will find it comprehensible rather than compost.

Task: Shoot yourself in the foot.

370 JCL: You send your foot down to MIS and include a 400-page document explaining exactly how you want it to be shot. Three years later, your foot comes back deep-fried.

Access: You try to point the gun at your foot, but it shoots holes in all your Borland distribution diskettes instead.

Ada: After correctly packing your foot, you attempt to concurrently load the gun, pull the trigger, scream, and shoot yourself in the foot. When you try, however, you discover you can't because your foot is of the wrong type. or
The United States Department of Defense kidnaps you, stands you up in front of a firing squad, and tells the soldiers, "Shoot at his feet." or
A fly lands on your foot. After filling out the appropriate forms, in triplicate, you succeed in requisitioning an M-16 to deal with the fly. You then proceed to shoot your foot off. The fly survives.

APL: You shoot yourself in the foot, then spend all day figuring out how to do it in fewer characters.
GN </ FT ^ BLT
You hear a gunshot, and there's a hole in your foot, but you don't remember enough linear algebra to understand what the hell happened.

Assembler: You try to shoot yourself in the foot, only to discover you must first invent the gun, the bullet, the trigger, and your foot. or
You crash the OS and overwrite the root disk. The system administrator arrives and shoots you in the foot. After a moment of contemplation, the administrator shoots himself in the foot and then hops around the room rabidly shooting at everyone in sight.

BASIC (interpreted): You shoot yourself in the foot with a water pistol. On large systems, continue until entire lower body is waterlogged.

BASIC (compiled): You shoot yourself in the foot with a BB using a SCUD missile launcher.

C: You shoot yourself in the foot and then no one else can figure out what you did.

C++: You accidentally create a dozen instances of yourself and shoot them all in the foot. Providing emergency medical assistance is impossible since you can't tell which are bitwise copies and which are just pointing at others and saying, "That's me, over there."

COBOL: Using a COLT 45 HANDGUN, AIM gun at LEG.FOOT, THEN place ARM.HAND.FINGER on HANDGUN.TRIGGER and SQUEEZE. THEN return HANDGUN to HOLSTER. CHECK whether shoelace needs to be re-tied.

Concurrent Euclid: You shoot yourself in somebody else's foot.

dBase: You buy a gun. Bullets are only available from another company and are promised to work so you buy them. Then you find out that the next version of the gun is the one that is scheduled to actually shoot bullets.

FORTH: Foot in yourself shoot.

FORTRAN: You shoot yourself in each toe, iteratively, until you run out of toes, then you read in the next foot and repeat. If you run out of bullets, you continue with the attempts to shoot yourself anyways because you have no exception handling capability.

HyperTalk: Put the first bullet of gun into foot left of leg of you. Answer the result.

LISP: You shoot yourself in the appendage which holds the gun with which you shoot yourself in the appendage which holds the gun with which you shoot yourself in the appendage which holds the gun with which you shoot yourself in the appendage which holds the gun with which you shoot yourself in the appendage which holds the gun with which you shoot yourself in the appendage which holds...

Modula-2: You perform a shooting on what might currently be a foot with what might currently be a bullet shot by what might currently be a gun. or
After realizing that you can't actually accomplish anything in this language, you shoot yourself in the head.

Motif: You spend days writing a UIL description of your foot, the bullet, its

        trajectory, and the intricate scrollwork on the ivory handles of the
        gun.  When you finally get around to pulling the trigger, the gun jams.

Occam: You shoot both your feet with several guns at once.

ORCA/C: Byteworks keeps promising to supply good ammunition RSN!

Paradox: Not only can you shoot yourself in the foot, your users can, too.

Pascal: The compiler won't let you shoot yourself in the foot. or
Same as Modula-2, except the bullet is not of the right type for the gun and your hand is blown off.
You try to shoot yourself in the foot, but it tells you that your foot is the wrong type and out of range to boot!

PL/I: After consuming all system resources including bullets, the data processing department doubles its size, acquires two new mainframes and drops the original on your foot.

Prolog (interpreted): Your program tries to shoot you in the foot, but you die of old age before the bullet leaves the gun.

Prolog (compiled): The facts are against you. You try to stop the gun from shooting you in the foot, but it replies, "No." or
You tell your program that you want to be shot in the foot. The program figures out how to do it, but the syntax doesn't permit it to explain it to you.

Revelation: You are sure you will be able to shoot yourself in the foot, just as soon as you figure out what all those nifty little bullet-thingies are for.

Smalltalk, Actor: After playing with the graphics for three weeks the programming manager shoots you in the head.

SNOBOL: If you succeed, shoot yourself in the left foot. If you fail, shoot yourself in the right foot.
Grab your foot with your hand and rewrite your hand to be a bullet.

% ls
foot.c foot.h foot.o toe.c toe.o
% rm * .o
rm:.o no such file or directory
% ls

Visual Basic: You'll really only _appear_ to have shot yourself in the foot, but you'll have had so much fun doing it that you won't care.

If an OS Ran Your 'plane

If an OS Ran Your Airplane

DOS Airline: Everybody pushes the airplane until it glides, then they jump on and let the plane coast until it hits the ground again, then they push again, jump on again and so on.

DOS with QEMM Airline: The same thing but with more leg room to push.

Mac Airline: All the stewards, stewardesses, captains, baggage handlers, and ticket agents look the same, act the same, and talk the same. Every time you ask questions about details, you are told you don't need to know, don't want to know, and that everything will be done for you without you having to know, so just shut up.

OS/2 Airline: To board the plane, you have your ticket stamped ten different times by standing in ten different lines. Then you fill out a form showing where you want to sit and whether the plan should look and feel like an ocean liner, a passenger train, or a bus. If you succeed in getting on board the plane and the plane succeeds in getting off the ground, you have a wonderful trip...except for the times when the rudder and flaps get frozen in position, in which case you have time to say your prayers and get in crash position.

Windows Airline: The airport terminal is nice and colorful, with friendly stewards and stewardesses, easy access to the plane, and a completely uneventful takeoff...then, once in the air, the plane blows up without any warning whatsoever.

Win NT Airline: Everyone marches out on the runway, says the password in unison, and forms the outline of an airplane. Then they all sit down and make a whooshing sound like they're flying.

Unix Airline: Everyone brings one piece of the plane with them when they come to the airport. They all go out on the runway and put the plane together piece by piece, arguing constantly about what kind of plane they're building.

Mach Airline: There is no airplane. The passengers gather and shout for an airplane, then wait and wait and wait and wait. A bunch of people come, each carrying one piece of the plane with them. These people all go out on the runway and put the plane together piece by piece, arguing constantly about what kind of plane they're building. The plane finally takes off, leaving the passengers on the ground waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting. After the plane lands, the pilot telephones the passengers at the departing airport to inform them that they have arrived.

Newton Airline: After buying your tickets 18 months in advance, you finally get to board the plane. Upon boarding the plane, you are asked for your name. After 4-6 times, the crew member recognizes your name and you are then allowed to take your seat. As you are getting ready to take your eat, the steward announces that you will have to repeat the boarding process because they are out of room and need to recount to make sure they can take more passengers.

If an OS Ran Your Car

Did you ever wonder what driving to the store would be like if operating systems ran your car?

MS-DOS: You get in the car and try to remember where you put your keys.

WINDOWS: You get in the car and drive to the store very slowly because attached to the back of your car is a freight train.

OS/2: After fueling up with 6000 gallons of gas, you get in the car and drive to the store with a motorcycle escort and a marching band in procession. Halfway there, the car blows up, killing everybody in town.

UNIX: You get in the car and type GREP STORE. After reaching speeds of 200 mph en route, you arrive at the barber shop.

Windows NT: You get in the car and write a letter that says, "go to the store". Then you get out of the car and mail the letter to your dashboard.

OS/400: An attendant locks you into the car, then drives you to the store where you get to watch everybody else buy filet mignon.

Taligent/Pink: You walk to the store with Ricardo Montalban, who tells you how wonderful it will be when he can fly you to the store in his Learjet.

S/36 SSP: You get in the car and drive to the store. Halfway there, you run out of gas. While walking the rest of the way, you are run over by kids on mopeds.

MacIntosh System 7: You get in the car to go to the store and the car drives you to church.

Define Your Terms For Software Releases

define Your Terms For Software Releases

Advanced User: A person who has managed to remove a computer from its packing materials.
Power User: A person who has mastered the brightness and contrast controls on any computer monitor.
American Made: Assembled in America from parts made abroad. Alpha Test Version: Too buggy to be released to the paying public. Beta Test Version: Still too buggy to be released. Release Version: Alternate pronunciation of "Beta Test Version". Sales Manager: Last week's new sales associate. Consultant: A former sales associate who has mastered at least one tenth of the dBase III Plus Manual.
Systems Integrator: A former consultant who understands the term AUTOEXEC.BAT.
AUTOEXEC.BAT: A sturdy aluminum or wooden shaft used to coax AT hard disks into performing properly.
Backup: The duplicate copy of crucial data that no one bothered to make; used only in the abstract.
Clone: One of the many advanced-technology computers IBM is beginning to wish it had built.
Convertible: Transformable from a second-rate computer to a first-rate doorstop or paperweight. (Replaces the term "junior".) Copy Protection: A clever method of preventing incompetent pirates from stealing software and legitimate customers from using it. Database Manager: A program that allows users to manipulate data in every conceivable way except the absolutely essential way they conceive of the day after entering 20 megabytes of raw data. EMS: Emergency Medical Service; often summoned in cases of apoplexy induced by attempts to understand extended, expanded, or enhanced memory specs. Encryption: A powerful algorithmic encoding technique employed in the creation of computer manuals.
FCC-Certified: Guaranteed not to interfere with radio or television reception until you add the cable that is required to make it work. Hard Disk: A device that allows users to delete vast quantities of data with simple mnemonic commands.
Integrated Software: A single product that deftly performs hundreds of functions that the user never needs and awkwardly performs the half-dozen he uses constantly.
Laptop: Smaller and lighter than the average breadbox. Multitasking: A clever method of simultaneously slowing down the multitude of computer programs that insist on running too fast. Network: An electronic means of allowing more than one person at a time to corrupt, trash, and otherwise cause permanent damage to useful information. Portable: Smaller and lighter than the average refrigerator. Support: The mailing of advertising literature to customers who have returned a registration card.
Transportability: Neither chained to a wall or attached to an alarm system. Printer: An electromechnical paper shredding device. Spreadsheet: A program that gives the user quick and easy access to a wide variety of highly detailed reports based on highly inaccurate assumptions. Thought Processor: An eletronic version of the intended outline procedure that thinking people instantly abandon upon graduation from high school. Upgraded: Didn't work the first time. User Friendly: Supplied with a full color manual. Very User Friendly: Supplied with a disk and audiotape so the user need not bother with the full color manual.
Version 1.0: Buggier than Maine in June; eats data. Version 1.1: Eats data only occasionally; upgrade is free, to avoid litigation by disgruntled users of Version 1.0. Version 2.0: The version originally planned as the first release, except for a couple of data-eating bugs that just won't seem to go away; no free upgrades or the company would go bankrupt.
Version 3.0: The revision in the works when the company goes bankrupt. Videotex: A moribund electronic service offering people the privelege of paying to read the weather on their television screens instead of having Willard Scott read it to them free while they brush their teeth. Warranty: Disclaimer.
Workstation: A computer or terminal slavishly linked to a mainframe that does not offer game programs.

Computers Made Stupid

Computers Made Stupid

Dr. Computer Science answers computer questions:

Q: What are bits and bytes?

  1. Bits and Bytes are what a binary (base 2) computer uses to think. Binary computers only think about food, so the units of thought are expressed in terms of eating processes. A bit is the smallest amount of cauliflower your child can eat and still get away with saying that he has had a bit of cauliflower. A byte is an entire piece of cauliflower. A byte usually contains eight bits, unless you are eating on a DEC, some of which allow a byte to vary in size from a single bit, to 36 bits. This is possible only on a DEC since only there can your child manage to drop small pieces of cauliflower through the spaces between the floorboards, leaving fewer bits on the plate. With fewer bits on the plate, each bit is a larger percentage of the whole, so a byte gets smaller.
  2. Can I put a double sided floppy disk in the envelope from a single sided floppy?
  3. No. You see, single sided disks were invented because there all have a single song on the other side. That's why they are the same size as a 45 rpm record. Unfortunately, the sleeves are hard to remove so playing the songs are harder than planned. Anyway, who has a turntable with a 45 RPM adapter that works? Well, you know how dirty all your records get? All that dirt is inside the record and the sleeve, so if you put a double sided floppy in the sleeve, all the dirt from the record side will jump on the data and crash your system.
  4. My computer has 2 Meg of RAM. My friend's has 2048K of ROM. Who was more memory?
  5. Your Friend. RAM memory usually forgets everything when you turn off the power. That means that when the power is off, you have NO RAM memory. ROM memory remembers everything, even when the power is off. How much more memory does your friend have? That depends on how much you turn off your computer. You'd have to keep your computer turned on all the time for you to have the same amount of memory as your friend.
  6. Why does my disk have free space?
  7. It's a bonus from the manufacturer, to make you think you got a bargain. Notice how that free space decreases as time goes on. That's because your disk is becoming less of a bargain. When the free space becomes zero, you'll have only the disk you paid for. This usually causes great depression and concern because then you realize how little the dollar buys.
  8. Motherboard, daughterboard, backplane, front panel, what does it all mean?
  9. That's all sales talk. First came office computers. They were big and impersonal. Then came personal computers. They were "user friendly". Now, a computer is no longer a single machine. We have computer families. The daddy computer talks to his daughters via the motherboard. Nobody drives, they all take the bus. Or the pulse train. Computers are sometimes like committees, they have several parts wasting time by doing the same thing at the same time. They argue a lot about who gets the front seat and who gets to drive. That's why they need bus arbitration.
  10. What is cash memory, and why does it make computers faster?
  11. Cash memory is the part of the computer that remembers how much money you spent on your computer. The more you spend on your computer, the faster it will work. That's why the million dollar computers work so fast - they have more cash memory than you do.
  12. But what if I paid by check or a credit card?
  13. The computer will find out. Every time you turn on the computer, the cash memory checks to see if the check was cashed. This is the memory check. The memory won't work until it's paid for.

The Power User's Guide to Power Users

Power Users never read their software manuals; instead they get petty cash from their secretaries and use it to buy books which contain the phrase "Power User" on the cover. They then keep the receipt, to claim against tax.

Software manufacturers write their manuals badly, and in computerese, in order to con Power Users into buying the manual ("XYZ for the Power User!") a second time. This extra revenue compensates the manufacturers somewhat for all the people who pirate their software and then buy Power User Guides to replace the manuals they never had...

Power Users never read their "Power User's Guide to ..." books, for the same reason they didn't read the software manuals in the first place. They do however skim the first two chapters, in which they make copious annotations (e.g. underlining phrases like "to get a directory listing, type 'DIR C: <enter>'. Note do not type the word '<enter>', or the quotes.")

Power Users get their companies to buy them 130MHz 80586 PS/4s with 100MB RAM and 5-gigabyte optical drives, which they bring home:

Power Users scold their children for referring to their machines as personal computers. "It's NOT a PC, Jimmy, it's my Professional Workstation, No Intergalactic Space Zombies for you tonight! Now, go to your room!"

Power Users get an identically equipped PC at work, so they can do the work they would do at home, if only ten-year-old Jimmy would stop playing Intergalactic Space Zombies for five consecutive minutes. The money for this PC comes out of the Real Programmers' software tools budget for the next three years.

Having worked out their mortagage repayments for the next 100 years, and having failed consistently to beat ten-year old Jimmy at Intergalactic Space Zombies, Power Users never touch their computers again; at work, they keep themselves occupied in meetings, so nobody will see them staring blankly at their PC screen. Meanwhile, the Real Programmers who work for them struggle by with aging IBM PCs (the originals ones, with a grudgingly-added Tallgrass disk drives - yuck!)

Rather than read their "Real Users Guide to..." books, Power Users turn to their ten-year-old kids for technical advice ("yes, Jimmy, I understand that, but how do I get the directory on the _D_ drive?")

Power Users get frustrated when they press the 'Print Screen' key and nothing happens: they thump it a dozen times before realising they've left the printer off-line.

Power Users sneak their children in outside office hours to work out why their spreadsheet figures don't add up and the Chairman's end-ofquarter report is due tomorrow.

In a strange twist of human psychology, the ten-year-old children of Power Users think that when they grow up, they'll become Real Programmers and make shit loads of money writing a game better than Intergalactic Space Zombies. (Sadly, they end up chugging out accounting software for Power Users.)

Power Users could master any PC application, if only they could figure out how to start it ("Uhhhm, it must be on this menu somewhere..".)

Power Users attend innumerable Power User courses, where they get a set of loose-leaf binders of notes they never read (but whose titles in genuine imitation gold leaf look impressive beside the "Power User's Guide to..." books which now accumulate a thick layer of dust on the shelf). They also drink a lot, and commiserate with each other how their Real Programmer subordinates are a bunch of overpaid, long-haired layabouts who can't be coerced into wearing shirts and ties, never mind a suit; and of course to swap Power Techniques like how to format a 360k disk in a 1.2MB drive and thus get more than 360k of data onto it ("I'll have my secretary call IBM Technical Support about all the bad sector things I'm getting on this disk.")

Power Users carry a pocket calculator for working out the cell values in their Lotus spreadsheets ("Um, I guess I didn't get to the section on formulas yet in my 'Power Users Guide to Lotus 1-2-3'".)

Power Users think "Your computer is stoned" is part of the DOS copyright banner.

The ten-year-old children Power Users mischievously stick pieces of cheese into every crevice of their parent's mouse, not realising that this causes testicular problems later in life (for the MOUSE, twit!).

Power Users don't think that last joke was funny.

Power Users get their secretaries to call IBM Technical Support to fix their defective mouse, because they're too embarassed to asked any of their Real Programmer subordinates how to open it to remove the cheese.

When nobody is looking, Power Users pretend their mouse is a toy car, and race it around the desk.

Power Users keep a large box of tissues on their desk to wipe the saliva off the screen after playing Test Drive (BRRRRRM! BRRRRRM!)

Power Users can't figure out how to make their modems stop auto-answering, so they alway lunge on their phone when it rings in an effort to beat it. They're never fast enough, and spend the first 30 seconds of the conversation apologising, while the modem auto-ranges, and they earnestly promise that they'll have their secretary call IBM Technical Support to have the problem rectified.

Power Users panic when they lose those dumb keyboard templates that come with programs like Turd Perfect (which are too brain-dead to have a decent user interface). They invariably mix up the templates when switching between programs.

Power Users have problems with Windows, when they have two or more applications running, but room for only one keyboard template.

Power Users buy those dumb mice that have a nearly full ASCII keyboard built-in to them ("Swiss Army Mouse (tm)").

Power Users believe computer salesmen.

Power Users will buy ANY program that makes wild promises on the box about increasing productivity. These boxes always look impressive on the bookshelf, beside the "Power User" books and course notes.

Power Users use MicroJerk ProjectMeister to schedule their wife's pregnancy, and get confused when they can't work out how to assign tasks and set milestones. They try to persuade the obstetrician to induce labour when she's late.

Power Users unreservedly believe their MicroJerk ProjectMeister when it says the project will be complete at 5pm on the last Friday in September next year, but eighteen months later, they won't believe the Real Programmer who says it'll be done "Real Soon Now (tm)".

Power Users believe the ads for 4GLs and Application Generator packages, and think that in two weeks they'll be able to fire all their Real Programmers. (Ha ha ha... remember "The Last One"?)

The Unix Hierarchy (The Eight Stages of Unix Knowledge)

Name Description and features

     beginner        - insecure with the concept of a terminal
                     - has yet to learn the basics of vi
                     - has not figured out how to get a directory
                     - still has trouble with typing <RETURN>
                       after each line of input

     novice          - knows that "ls" will produce a directory
                     - uses the editor, but calls it "vye"
                     - has heard of "C" but never used it
                     - has had his first bad experience with rm
                     - is wondering how to read his mail
                     - is wondering why the person next to him
                       seems to like Unix so very much.

     user            - uses vi and nroff, but inexpertly
                     - has heard of regular-expr.s but never seen one.
                     - has figured out that "-" precedes options
                     - has attempted to write a C program and has
                       decided to stick with pascal
                     - is wondering how to move a directory
                     - thinks that dbx is a brand of stereo component
                     - knows how to read his mail and is wondering
                       how to read the news

     knowlegable     - uses nroff with no trouble, and is beginning
     user              to learn tbl and eqn
                     - uses grep to search for fixed strings
                     - has figured out that mv(1) will move directories
                     - has learned that "help" doesn't help
                     - somebody has shown him how to write C programs
                     - once used sed to do some text substitution
                     - has seen dbx used but does not use it himself
                     - thinks that make is a only for wimps

     expert          - uses sed when necessary
                     - uses macro"s in vi, uses ex when neccesary
                     - posts news at every possible opportunity
                     - write csh scripts occasionally
                     - write C programs using vi and compiles with cc
                     - has figured out what "&&" and "||" are for
                     - thinks that human history started with "!h"

     hacker          - uses sed and awk with comfort
                     - uses undocumented features of vi
                     - write C code with "cat >" and compiles with "!cc"
                     - uses adb because he doesn't trust source debuggers
                     - can answer questions about the user environment
                     - writes his own nroff  macros  to  supplement  std.
                     - write scripts for Bourne shell (/bin/sh)
                     - knows how to install bug fixes

     guru            - uses m4 and lex with comfort
                     - writes assembly code with "cat >"
                     - uses adb on the kernel while system is loaded
                     - customizes utilities by patching the source
                     - reads device driver source with his breakfast
                     -  can  answer  any  unix  question  after  a little
                     - uses make for anything that requires two or more
                       distinct commands to achieve
                     - has learned how to breach security but no longer
                       needs to try

     wizard          - writes device drivers with "cat >"
                     - fixes bugs by patching the binaries
                     - can answer any question before you ask
                     - writes his own troff macro packages
                     - is on first-name basis with Dennis, Bill, and Ken

Unix -- Reach out and grep someone.

E Pluribus Unix

     The Gurus  of Unix  Meeting of Minds  (GUMM) takes  place Wednesday,
     April 1,  2076 (check THAT  in your perpetual calendar  program), 14
     feet  above the  ground directly  in  front of  the Milpitas  Gumps.
     Members will grep each other by  the hand (after intro), yacc a lot,
     smoke  filtered chroots  in  pipes,  chown with  forks,  use the  wc
     (unless uuclean), fseek nice zombie processes, strip, and sleep, but
     not, we  hope, od. Three days  will be devoted to  discussion of the
     ramifications  of  whodo.  Two  seconds have  been  allotted  for  a
     complete  rundown  of  all  the user-  friendly  features  of  Unix.
     Seminars include "Everything You Know is Wrong", led by Tom Kempson,
     "Batman or  Cat:man?" led by  Richie Dennis "cc  C? Si! Si!"  led by
     Kerwin Bernighan, and  "Document Unix, Are You Kidding?"  led by Jan
     Yeats. No Reader  Service No. is necessary because  all GUGUs (Gurus
     of  Unix Group of Users) already know everything we could tell them.
     -- Dr. Dobb's Journal, June "84
     Making files  is easy  under the  Unix operating  system. Therefore,
     users  tend to  create numerous  files using  large amounts  of file
     space. It has been said that  the only standard thing about all Unix
     systems is  the message-of-the-day telling  users to clean  up their
     files. -- System V.2 administrator's guide

     Megabyte: (n.)  more than  you can comprehend  and less  than you'll
     need. See: Unix.

     Q: How many Unix gurus does it take to screw in a light bulb?
     A: One, but first he has to determine the correct path.

     Q: How many Unix hacks does it take to change a light bulb?
     A: As many as you want; they"re all virtual, anyway.

     There are  two major  products that  come out  of Berkeley:  LSD and
     Unix.  We don't  believe  this  to be  a  coincidence.
                   -- Jeremy  S. Anderson
     Unix: (n., v.) a  DOS which needs more memory than  you have and run
     more slowly than you can bear.  To Unix: to grossly enlarge and slow
     down out of all proportion, esp. by using C.

     Unix was half a billion (500000000) seconds old on
     Tue Nov  5 00:53:20 1985 GMT (measuring since the time(2) epoch).
                   -- (after) Andy Tannenbaum
     Wombat's Laws of Computer Selection:
           (1) If it doesn't run Unix, forget it.
           (2) Any computer design over 10 years old is obsolete.
           (3) Anything made by IBM is junk. (See number 2)
           (4) The minimum acceptable CPU power for a single user is a
               VAX/780 with a floating point accelerator.
           (5) Any computer with a mouse is worthless.
                   -- Rich Kulawiec

You mean I can put stuff past column 72? WOW! Unix is great!

Varieties of Unix

Unix is an operating system well known throughout the computer industry. It takes a user three years to learn his way around the system and another ten to learn a sizable portion of the commands. No user has been known to understand the entire operating system at once and this is generally thought to be impossible.
No one who wasn't on drugs ever called Unix user-friendly. It has been regarded as "a REAL operating system, unlike MS-DOS or the Macintosh systems, which are for ANAL-RETENTIVE DWEEBS!" The person(s) who regarded Unix this way wish to remain anonymous in the event that "some JERK might lob me over the head with his PC, which is about all it's good for!"
Users of Unix are staunch supporters of the system although on average they understand less than half of it. Their strong support for the system is thought to be based upon an underlying fear that by the time they learn a new system they will be too old to have their mid-life crisis.
Xenix, Minix, Xinu, and other variations upon the Unix theme, were created by people who thought they knew a lot about Unix but didn't know enough to get it right. Consequently they saw Unix as "wrong" and set about making their own versions which were "right." All of these new versions are still considered "wrong," however, as new "right" versions appear almost daily. Following is a list of some of the new versions -- or flavors, as people who eat Unix for breakfast lunch and dinner and the not-so-occasional midnight snack are fond of calling them -- of Unix.

Beatnix - This is an underground version of Unix. Users of this version are known to wear dark sunglasses and goatees and work mostly at night. Users "hang out" in dark rooms with real or simulated brick walls for their sessions and use a command set little known to users of other Unix versions. Beatnix users employ command aliasing to a high degree so they can customize the command set and maintain individuality. Alias files are modified daily to include updates in the "hip" command-set. Beatnix has developed a unique user interface in which the user snaps his fingers to execute a command. Beatnix users consider their version of Unix to be "cool" and all other versions to be "square."

Beatrix - This is a child's version of Unix written by an AI system modeling Beatrix Potter. On graphics-based systems it has a graphic interface consisting of Prompt-er Rabbit jumping through the System Garden of the nasty Farmer Superuser. The user searches for Mischief applications or good Food Processes and executes them until Farmer Superuser threatens to squash his cute little Process with his Boot. The the user has to Find the correct Path to Home and his parent process before he gets Logged Off. On non-graphics-based systems the user is presented a story in which he decides the action.

Qinix - This version of Unix is for game-players. It is closely modeled on the arcade game Qix. The user must cd around a particular area of the filesystem before he can access it. He has to watch for system processes and his process is killed if he runs into one. A user is allowed three logins per day. A user is given filespace according to the amount of the filesystem he has covered, but must start over when he covers more than 75% of the system. He is awarded bonus disk quotas, however.

Hendrix - This is a highly graphical system using psychedelic colors to give the user VI-sions which are stored into a file. A user of this system performs better under the influence of just about anything. Typically users must be gifted with a great degree of string manipulation ability.

Pick-up-stix - This version does not use a filesystem hierarchy. Instead it dumps the filesystem in a heap. Two users take turns extracting files from the heap, and the user who extracts the most files without disturbing the heap structure gets to use the system.

Trix - This version has a much-improved user interface over Unix. Traditionalists call it "sugar-coated." The user may only work in one directory per day and must process all files in the directory before he finishes his session. Files come in four types -- or flavors -- and file integrity lasts only a short time. The files become "soggy" or "mushy" after that. A large directory will often turn the system "pink" during a long session.

Fish-stix - This version of Unix relies heavily on pre-processing and makes great use of lemon-juice, although the reason for this is unknown.

Top 100 things you don't want the sysadmin to say

100. Uh-oh.....
99. AAARGH!!
98. What the hell!?
97. Go get your backup tape. (You _do_ have a backup tape?)
96. That's SOOOOO bizarre.
95. Wow!! Look at this.....
94. Hey!! The suns don't do this.
93. Terminated??!
92. What software license?
91. Well, it's doing _something_.....
90. Wow....that seemed _fast_.....
89. I got a better job at Lockheed...
88. Management says...
87. Sorry, the new equipment didn't get budgetted.
86. What do you mean that wasn't a copy?
85. It didn't do that a minute ago...
84. Where's the GUI on this thing?
83. Damn, and I just bought that soda...
82. Where's the DIR command?
81. The drive ate the tape but that's OK, I brought my screwdriver.
80. I cleaned up the root partition and now there's LOTS of free space.
79. What's this "any" key I'm supposed to press?
78. Do you smell something?
77. What's that grinding sound?
76. I have never seen it do *that* before...
75. I think it should not be doing that...
74. I remember the last time I saw it do that...
73. You might as well all go home early today ...
72. My leave starts tomorrow.
71. Ooops.
70. Hmm, maybe if I do this...
69. ``Why is my "rm *.o" taking so long?''
68. Hmmm, curious...
67. Well, _my_ files were backed up.
66. What do you mean you needed that directory?
65. What do you mean /home was on that disk? I umounted it!
64. Do you really need your home directory to do any work?
63. Oracle will be down until 8pm, but you can come back in and finish your
work when it comes up tonight.
62. I didn't think anybody would be doing any work at 2am, so I killed your
61. Yes, I chowned all the files to belong to pvcs. Is that a problem to
60. We're standardizing on AIX.
59. Wonder what *this* command does?
58. What did you say your (l)user name was...? ;-)
57. You did _what_ to the floppy???
56. Sorry, we deleted that package last week...
55. NO! Not _that_ button!
54. Uh huh......"nu -k $USER".. no problem....sure thing...
53. Sorry, we deleted that package last week...
52. NO! Not _that_ button!
51. Uh huh......"nu -k $USER".. no problem....sure thing...
50. [looks at workstation] "Say, what version of Dos is this running?"
49. Oops! (said in a quiet, almost surprised voice)
48. YEEEHA!!! What a CRASH!!!
47. What do you mean that could take down the whole network?
46. What's this switch for anyways...?
45. Tell me again what that '-r' option to rm does
44. Say, What does "Superblock Error" mean, anyhow?
43. If I knew it wasn't going to work, I would have tested it sooner.
42. Was that YOUR directory?
41. System coming down in 0 min....
40. The backup procedure works fine, but the restore is tricky!
39. Hey Fred, did you save that posting about restoring filesystems
with vi and a toothpick? More importantly, did you print it out?
38. OH, BOTHER! (as they scrabble at the keyboard for ^c).
37. The sprinkler system isn't supposed to leak is it?
36. It is only a minor upgrade, the system should be back up in
a few hours. ( This is said on a monday afternoon.)
35. I think we can plug just one more thing in to this outlet strip
with out triping the breaker.
34. What is all this I here about static charges destroying computers?
33. I found this rabbit program that is supposed to test system performance
and I have it running now.
32. Ummm... Didn't you say you turned it off?
31. The network's down, but we're working on it. Come back after diner.
(Usually said at 2200 the night before thesis deadline... )
30. Ooops. Save your work, everyone. FAST!
29. Boy, it's a lot easier when you know what you're doing.
28. I hate it when that happens.
27. And what does it mean 'rm: .o: No such file or directory'?
26. Why did it say '/bin/rm: not found'?
25. Nobody was using that file /vmunix, were they?
24. You can do this patch with the system up...
23. What happens to a Hard Disk when you drop it?
22. The only copy of Norton Utilities was on THAT disk???
21. Well, I've got a backup, but the only copy of the restore program was
on THAT disk....
20. What do mean by "fired"?
19. hey, what does mkfs do?
18. where did you say those backup tapes were kept?
17. ...and if we just swap these two disc controllers like _this_...
16. don't do that, it'll crash the sys........ SHIT
15. what's this hash prompt on my terminal mean?
14. dd if=/dev/null of=/vmunix
13. find /usr2 -name nethack -exec rm -f {};
12. now it's funny you should ask that, because I don't know either
11. Any more trouble from you and your account gets moved to the 750
10. Ooohh, lovely, it runs SVR4
9. SMIT makes it all so much easier......
8. Can you get VMS for this Sparc thingy?
5. I don't care what he says, I'm _NOT_ having it on _my_ network
4. We don't support that. We _won't_ support that.
3. ...and after I patched the microcode...
2. You've got TECO. What more do you want?

  1. We prefer not to change the root password, it's an nice easy one
    0. Just add yourself to the password file and make a directory...
    -1. This won't affect what you're doing.
    -2. `We are shutting xxx down from 8.30 to 10.30 on Thursday to install a
    new tape drive.'
    The machine was up at about 2pm sans-tape drive
    -3. `I just have to install these three patches. It should not take more
    than a few minutes.'
    The machine was working again about 3 hours later...
    -4. Umm, did anyone have anything important in /usr?
    -5. We had to format some tracks, and we seem to have hit an inode track.
    Half the files are still there though...
    -6. Ooops, I should really have change directory before doing that
    chmod -R bin.bin .
    -7. I just made an extra 2 meg of space in /, I stripped /vmunix.
    Oh, so that's why ps doesn't work.
    -8. Ignore the errors. It complains too much.
    -9. I got these instructions off the net. I'm going to follow
    them exactly. Let's see if they work.
    -10. Heard at my workplace when I found emacs wouldn't run :
    "Oh I took that thing off, it was huge and nobody uses it. It's
    a stupid editor anyway." --Spoken by an MS-DOS programmer
    -11. I don't know if this is ethical, but...

If God were a Programmer

Many important theological questions are answered if we
think of God as a Computer Programmer:

Q: Does God control everything that happens in my life?
A: He could, if he used the debugger, but it's tedious to step through all
those variables.

Q: Why does God allow evil to happen?
A: God thought he eliminated evil in one of the earlier versions.

Q: What causes God to intervene in earthly affairs?
A: If a critical error occurs, the system pages him automatically and he
logs on from home to try to bring it up.  Otherwise things can wait until

Q: Did God really create the world in seven days?
A: He did it in six days and nights while living on cola and candy bars.
On the seventh day he went home and found out his girlfriend had left him.

Q: How come the Age of Miracles Ended?
A: That was the development phase of the project, now we are in the
maintenance phase.

Q: Who is Satan?
A: Satan is a MIS director who takes credit for more powers than he
actually possesses, so people who aren't programmers are scared of him.
God thinks of him as irritating but irrelevant.

Q: What is the role of sinners?
A: Sinners are the people who find new an imaginative ways to mess up the
system when God has made it idiot-proof.

Q: Where will I go after I die?
A: Onto a DAT tape.

Q: Will I be reincarnated?
A: Not unless there is a special need to recreate you.  And searching
those tar files is a major hassle, so if there is a request for you, God
will just say that the tape has been lost.

Q: Am I unique and special in the universe?
A: There are over 10,000 major university and corporate sites running exact
duplicates of you in the present release version.

Q: What is the purpose of the universe?
A: God created it because he values elegance and simplicity, but then the
users and managers demanded he tack all this senseless stuff onto  it and
now everything is more complicated and expensive than ever.

Q: If I pray to God, will he listen?
A: You can waste his time telling him what to do, or you can just get off
his back and let him program.

Q: What is the one true religion?
A: All systems have their advantages and disadvantages, so just pick the
one that best suits your needs and don't let anyone put you down.

Q: How can I protect myself from evil?
A: Change your password every month and don't make it a name, a common
word, or a date like your birthday.

Q: Some people claim they hear the voice of God. Is this true?
A: They are much more likely to receive email.