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Proverbs, aphorisms, quotations (English) by Linux fortune

This is an especially good time for you vacationers who plan to fly, because
the Reagan administration, as part of the same policy under which it
recently sold Yellowstone National Park to Wayne Newton, has "deregulated"
the airline industry.  What this means for you, the consumer, is that the
airlines are no longer required to follow any rules whatsoever.  They can
show snuff movies.  They can charge for oxygen.  They can hire pilots right
out of Vending Machine Refill Person School.  They can conserve fuel by
ejecting husky passengers over water.  They can ram competing planes in
mid-air.  These innovations have resulted in tremendous cost savings which
have been passed along to you, the consumer, in the form of flights with
amazingly low fares, such as $29.  Of course, certain restrictions do apply,
the main one being that all these flights take you to Newark, and you must
pay thousands of dollars if you want to fly back out.
                -- Dave Barry, "Iowa -- Land of Secure Vacations"
Brief History Of Linux (#25)

By the mid-1990's the Linux community was burgeoning as countless geeks
fled Redmond monopolistic oppression, Armonk cluelessness, and Cupertino
click-and-drool reality distortion fields. By late 1991 there was an
informal Linux User Group in Finland, although its primary focus was Linux
advocacy, not drinking beer and telling Microsoft jokes as most do today.

Kernel development continued at a steady clip, with more and more people
joining in and hoping that their patches would be accepted by the
Benevolent Dictator himself. To have a patch accepted by Linus was like
winning the Nobel Prize, but to face rejection was like being rejected
from Clown College. The reputation game certainly sparked some flame wars.

One of the most memorable crisis was over the behavior of the delete and
backspace keys. A certain faction of hackers wanted the Backspace key to
actually backspace and the Delete key to actually delete. Linus wasn't too
keen on the proposed changes; "It Works For Me(tm)" is all he said. Some
observers now think Linus was pulling rank to get back at the unknown
hacker who managed to slip a patch by him that replaced the "Kernel panic"
error with "Kernel panic: Linus probably fscked it all up again".
Brief History Of Linux (#27)

Microsoft's position as the 5,000 pound gorilla of the computer industry
didn't change during the 1990's. Indeed, this gorilla got even more
bloated with every passing Windows release. Bill Gates' business strategy
was simple:

1. Pre-announce vaporous product.
2. Hire monkeys (low-paid temps) to cruft something together in VB
3. It it compiles, ship it.
4. Launch marketing campaign for new product showcasing MS "innovation".
5. Repeat (GOTO 1).

With such a plan Microsoft couldn't fail. That is, unless some external
force popped up and ruined everything. Such as Linux and the Internet
perhaps. Both of these developments were well-known to Bill Gates in the
early and mid 1990's (a company as large as Microsoft can afford a decent
spy network, after all). He just considered both to be mere fads that
would go away when Microsoft announced some new innovation, like PDAs --
Personal Desktop Agents (i.e. Bob and Clippit).
I'm having a MID-WEEK CRISIS!
An egghead is one who stands firmly on both feet, in mid-air, on both
sides of an issue.
                -- Homer Ferguson
The fountain code has been tightened slightly so you can no longer dip objects
into a fountain or drink from one while you are floating in mid-air due to

Teleporting to hell via a teleportation trap will no longer occur if the
character does not have fire resistance.

- README file from the NetHack game
"Perhaps I am flogging a straw herring in mid-stream, but in the light of
what is known about the ubiquity of security vulnerabilities, it seems vastly
too dangerous for university folks to run with their heads in the sand."
-- Peter G. Neumann, RISKS moderator, about the Internet virus
Well, my daddy left home when I was three,
And he didn't leave much for Ma and me,
Just and old guitar an'a empty bottle of booze.
Now I don't blame him 'cause he ran and hid,
But the meanest thing that he ever did,
Was before he left he went and named me Sue.
But I made me a vow to the moon and the stars,
I'd search the honkey tonks and the bars,
And kill the man that give me that awful name.
It was Gatlinburg in mid-July,
I'd just hit town and my throat was dry,
Thought I'd stop and have myself a brew,
At an old saloon on a street of mud,
Sitting at a table, dealing stud,
Sat that dirty (bleep) that named me Sue.
Now, I knew that snake was my own sweet Dad,
From a wornout picture that my Mother had,
And I knew that scar on his cheek and his evil eye...
                -- Johnny Cash, "A Boy Named Sue"
Fourth Law of Applied Terror:
        The night before the English History mid-term, your Biology
        instructor will assign 200 pages on planaria.

        Every instructor assumes that you have nothing else to do except
        study for that instructor's course.
Mid-Twenties Breakdown:
        A period of mental collapse occurring in one's twenties,
often caused by an inability to function outside of school or
structured environments coupled with a realization of one's essential
aloneness in the world.  Often marks induction into the ritual of
pharmaceutical usage.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
The time was the 19th of May, 1780.  The place was Hartford, Connecticut.
The day has gone down in New England history as a terrible foretaste of
Judgement Day.  For at noon the skies turned from blue to grey and by
mid-afternoon had blackened over so densely that, in that religious age,
men fell on their knees and begged a final blessing before the end came.
The Connecticut House of Representatives was in session.  And, as some of
the men fell down and others clamored for an immediate adjournment, the
Speaker of the House, one Col. Davenport, came to his feet.  He silenced
them and said these words: "The day of judgment is either approaching or
it is not.  If it is not, there is no cause for adjournment.  If it is, I
choose to be found doing my duty.  I wish therefore that candles may be
                -- Alistair Cooke
Awash with unfocused desire, Everett twisted the lobe of his one remaining
ear and felt the presence of somebody else behind him, which caused terror
to push through his nervous system like a flash flood roaring down the
mid-fork of the Feather River before the completion of the Oroville Dam
in 1959.
                -- Grand Panjandrum's Special Award, 1984 Bulwer-Lytton
                   bad fiction contest.
        I'm sure that VMS is completely documented, I just haven't found the
right manual yet.  I've been working my way through the manuals in the document
library and I'm half way through the second cabinet, (3 shelves to go), so I
should find what I'm looking for by mid May.  I hope I can remember what it
was by the time I find it.
        I had this idea for a new horror film, "VMS Manuals from Hell" or maybe
"The Paper Chase : IBM vs. DEC".  It's based on Hitchcock's "The Birds", except
that it's centered around a programmer who is attacked by a swarm of binder
pages with an index number and the single line "This page intentionally left
                -- Alex Crain
In a display of perverse brilliance, Carl the repairman mistakes a room
humidifier for a mid-range computer but manages to tie it into the network
                -- The 5th Wave
OS/2 Skyways:
The terminal is almost empty, with only a few prospective passengers milling
about. The announcer says that their flight has just departed, wishes them a
good flight, though there are no planes on the runway. Airline personnel
walk around, apologising profusely to customers in hushed voices, pointing
from time to time to the sleek, powerful jets outside the terminal on the
field. They tell each passenger how good the real flight will be on these
new jets and how much safer it will be than Windows Airlines, but that they
will have to wait a little longer for the technicians to finish the flight
systems. Maybe until mid-1995. Maybe longer.
Real software engineers don't like the idea of some inexplicable and
greasy hardware several aisles away that may stop working at any
moment.  They have a great distrust of hardware people, and wish that
systems could be virtual at *___all* levels.  They would like personal
computers (you know no one's going to trip over something and kill your
DFA in mid-transit), except that they need 8 megabytes to run their
Correctness Verification Aid packages.
The fountain code has been tightened slightly so you can no longer dip
objects into a fountain or drink from one while you are floating in mid-air
due to levitation.
        Teleporting to hell via a teleportation trap will no longer occur
if the character does not have fire resistance.
                -- README file from the NetHack game
No guarantee of accuracy or completeness!
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