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Proverbs, aphorisms, quotations (English) by Linux fortune

I remember once being on a station platform in Cleveland at four in the
morning.  A black porter was carrying my bags, and as we were waiting for
the train to come in, he said to me: "Excuse me, Mr. Cooke, I don't want to
invade your privacy, but I have a bet with a friend of mine.  Who composed
the opening theme music of 'Omnibus'?  My friend said Virgil Thomson."  I
asked him, "What do you say?" He replied, "I say Aaron Copeland." I said,
"You're right."  The porter said,  "I knew Thomson doesn't write counterpoint
that way."  I told that to a network president, and he was deeply unimpressed.
                -- Alistair Cooke
network packets travelling uphill (use a carrier pigeon)
because of network lag due to too many people playing deathmatch
The new frame relay network hasn't bedded down the software loop transmitter yet.
A plumber is needed, the network drain is clogged
Network failure -  call NBC
network down, IP packets delivered via UPS
A famous Lisp Hacker noticed an Undergraduate sitting in front of a Xerox
1108, trying to edit a complex Klone network via a browser. Wanting to
help, the Hacker clicked one of the nodes in the network with the mouse,
and asked "what do you see?" Very earnestly, the Undergraduate replied "I
see a cursor." The Hacker then quickly pressed the boot toggle at the back
of the keyboard, while simultaneously hitting the Undergraduate over the head
with a thick Interlisp Manual.  The Undergraduate was then Enlightened.
===  ALL USERS PLEASE NOTE  ========================

Bug reports now amount to an average of 12,853 per day.  Unfortunately,
this is only a small fraction [ < 1% ] of the mail volume we receive.  In
order that we may more expeditiously deal with these valuable messages,
please communicate them by one of the following paths:

        ARPA:  WastebasketSLMHQ.ARPA
        UUCP:  [berkeley, seismo, harpo]!fubar!thekid!slmhq!wastebasket
         Non-network sites:  Federal Express to:
                Room NE43-926
                Copernicus, The Moon, 12345-6789
        For that personal contact feeling call 1-415-642-4948; our trained
        operators are on call 24 hours a day.  VISA/MC accepted.*

* Our very rich lawyers have assured us that we are not
  responsible for any errors or advice given over the phone.
How much net work could a network work, if a network could net work?
If you ever want to have a lot of fun, I recommend that you go off and program
an imbedded system.  The salient characteristic of an imbedded system is that
it cannot be allowed to get into a state from which only direct intervention
will suffice to remove it.  An imbedded system can't permanently trust anything
it hears from the outside world.  It must sniff around, adapt, consider, sniff
around, and adapt again.  I'm not talking about ordinary modular programming
carefulness here.  No.  Programming an imbedded system calls for undiluted
raging maniacal paranoia.  For example, our ethernet front ends need to know
what network number they are on so that they can address and route PUPs
properly.  How do you find out what your network number is?  Easy, you ask a
gateway.  Gateways are required by definition to know their correct network
numbers.  Once you've got your network number, you start using it and before
you can blink you've got it wired into fifteen different sockets spread all
over creation.  Now what happens when the panic-stricken operator realizes he
was running the wrong version of the gateway which was giving out the wrong
network number?  Never supposed to happen.  Tough.  Supposing that your
software discovers that the gateway is now giving out a different network
number than before, what's it supposed to do about it?  This is not discussed
in the protocol document.  Never supposed to happen.  Tough.  I think you
get my drift.
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
        It is a period of system war.  User programs, striking from a hidden
directory, have won their first victory against the evil Administrative Empire.
During the battle, User spies managed to steal secret source code to the
Empire's ultimate program: the Are-Em Star, a privileged root program with
enough power to destroy an entire file structure.  Pursued by the Empire's
sinister audit trail, Princess _LPA0 races ~ aboard her shell script,
custodian of the stolen listings that could save her people, and restore
freedom and games to the network...
                -- DECWARS
`Lasu' Releases SAG 0.3 -- Freeware Book Takes Paves For New World Order
by staff writers

        The central Superhighway site called ``''
collapsed in the morning before the release.  News about the release had
been leaked by a German hacker group, Harmonious Hardware Hackers, who
had cracked into the author's computer earlier in the week.  They had
got the release date wrong by one day, and caused dozens of eager fans
to connect to the sunsite computer at the wrong time.  ``No computer can
handle that kind of stress,'' explained the mourning sunsite manager,
Erik Troan.  ``The spinning disks made the whole computer jump, and
finally it crashed through the floor to the basement.''  Luckily,
repairs were swift and the computer was working again the same evening.
``Thank God we were able to buy enough needles and thread and patch it
together without major problems.''  The site has also installed a new
throttle on the network pipe, allowing at most four clients at the same
time, thus making a new crash less likely.  ``The book is now in our
Incoming folder'', says Troan, ``and you're all welcome to come and get it.''
                -- Lars Wirzenius <>
Little known fact about Middle Earth: The Hobbits had a very sophisticated
computer network!  It was a Tolkien Ring...
... there are about 5,000 people who are part of that committee.  These guys
have a hard time sorting out what day to meet, and whether to eat croissants
or doughnuts for breakfast -- let alone how to define how all these complex
layers that are going to be agreed upon.
                -- Craig Burton of Novell, Network World
Ummm, well, OK.  The network's the network, the computer's the computer.
Sorry for the confusion.
                -- Sun Microsystems
"Morality is one thing.  Ratings are everything."
- A Network 23 executive on "Max Headroom"
"Although Poles suffer official censorship, a pervasive secret
police and laws similar to those in the USSR, there are
thousands of underground publications, a legal independent
Church, private agriculture, and the East bloc's first and only
independent trade union federation, NSZZ Solidarnosc, which is
an affiliate of both the International Confederation of Free
Trade Unions and the World Confederation of Labor.  There is
literally a world of difference between Poland - even in its
present state of collapse - and Soviet society at the peak of
its "glasnost."  This difference has been maintained at great
cost by the Poles since 1944.
-- David Phillips, SUNY at Buffalo, about establishing a
   gateway from EARN (Eurpoean Academic Research Network)
   to Poland
"There is also a thriving independent student movement in
Poland, and thus there is a strong possibility (though no
guarantee) of making an EARN-Poland link, should it ever come
about, a genuine link - not a vacuum cleaner attachment for a
Bloc information gathering apparatus rationed to trusted
-- David Phillips, SUNY at Buffalo, about establishing a
   gateway from EARN (Eurpoean Academic Research Network)
   to Poland
Eleventh Law of Acoustics:
        In a minimum-phase system there is an inextricable link between
        frequency response, phase response and transient response, as they
        are all merely transforms of one another.  This combined with
        minimalization of open-loop errors in output amplifiers and correct
        compensation for non-linear passive crossover network loading can
        lead to a significant decrease in system resolution lost.  However,
        of course, this all means jack when you listen to Pink Floyd.
        [Acronym for Mechanized Applications in Forced Insurance
Accounting.] An extensive network with many on-line and offshore
subsystems running under OS, DOS, and IOS.  MAFIA documentation is
rather scanty, and the MAFIA sales office exhibits that testy
reluctance to bona fide inquiries which is the hallmark of so many DP
operations.  From the little that has seeped out, it would appear that
MAFIA operates under a non-standard protocol, OMERTA, a tight-lipped
variant of SNA, in which extended handshakes also perform complex
security functions.  The known timesharing aspects of MAFIA point to a
more than usually autocratic operating system.  Screen prompts carry an
imperative, nonrefusable weighting (most menus offer simple YES/YES
options, defaulting to YES) that precludes indifference or delay.
Uniquely, all editing under MAFIA is performed centrally, using a
powerful rubout feature capable of erasing files, filors, filees, and
entire nodal aggravations.
                -- Stan Kelly-Bootle, "The Devil's DP Dictionary"
SUN Microsystems:
        The Network IS the Load Average.
In a minimum-phase system there is an inextricable link between
frequency response, phase response and transient response, as they
are all merely transforms of one another.  This combined with
minimalization of open-loop errors in output amplifiers and correct
compensation for non-linear passive crossover network loading can
lead to a significant decrease in system resolution lost.  However,
this all means jack when you listen to Pink Floyd.
God rest ye CS students now,                The bearings on the drum are gone,
Let nothing you dismay.                        The disk is wobbling, too.
The VAX is down and won't be up,        We've found a bug in Lisp, and Algol
Until the first of May.                        Can't tell false from true.
The program that was due this morn,        And now we find that we can't get
Won't be postponed, they say.                At Berkeley's 4.2.
(chorus)                                (chorus)

We've just received a call from DEC,        And now some cheery news for you,
They'll send without delay                The network's also dead,
A monitor called RSuX                        We'll have to print your files on
It takes nine hundred K.                The line printer instead.
The staff committed suicide,                The turnaround time's nineteen weeks.
We'll bury them today.                        And only cards are read.
(chorus)                                (chorus)

And now we'd like to say to you                CHORUS:        Oh, tidings of comfort and joy,
Before we go away,                                Comfort and joy,
We hope the news we've brought to you                Oh, tidings of comfort and joy.
Won't ruin your whole day.
You've got another program due, tomorrow, by the way.
                -- to God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
If Dr. Seuss Were a Technical Writer.....

Here's an easy game to play.
Here's an easy thing to say:

If a packet hits a pocket on a socket on a port,
And the bus is interrupted as a very last resort,
And the address of the memory makes your floppy disk abort,
Then the socket packet pocket has an error to report!

If your cursor finds a menu item followed by a dash,
And the double-clicking icon puts your window in the trash,
And your data is corrupted 'cause the index doesn't hash,
then your situation's hopeless, and your system's gonna crash!

You can't say this?  What a shame, sir!
We'll find you another game, sir.

If the label on the cable on the table at your house,
Says the network is connected to the button on your mouse,
But your packets want to tunnel on another protocol,
That's repeatedly rejected by the printer down the hall,
And your screen is all distorted by the side effects of gauss,
So your icons in the window are as wavy as a souse,
Then you may as well reboot and go out with a bang,
'Cause as sure as I'm a poet, the sucker's gonna hang!

When the copy of your floppy's getting sloppy on the disk,
And the microcode instructions cause unnecessary risc,
Then you have to flash your memory and you'll want to ram your rom.
Quickly turn off the computer and be sure to tell your mom!

                -- (DementDJ) [rec.humor.funny]
Microsoft seems to have gotten a lot of mileage out of the C2 rating for
NT with no network connection.  I wonder if a B3 rating for Linux with no
power cord might be of value.
My Beowulf cluster will beat your Windows NT network any day.

Of course I use Microsoft. Setting up a stable Unix network is no

   -- From a post
Microsoft ActivePromo Campaign: "Windows Competitive Upgrade Offer"

Microsoft's PR masterminds are planning a massive marketing campaign,
code-named "ActivePromo 2000", to promote the upcoming release of Windows
2000 (scheduled for February 2001).  This marketing campaign will include a
"Windows Competitive Upgrade Offer" promotion.

Users of non-Microsoft operating systems (Linux in particular) will be given
the opportunity to trade-in their present OS for a free copy of Windows 98
(or NT 4.0) and Office 97.  People (all three of them) who want to
participate in this program will have to:

1. Mail their operating system's floppy disks or CD-ROMs to Microsoft

2. Agree to a two year contract with the Microsoft Network.

3. Agree (in writing) to the Competitive Upgrade License Agreement; one of
the terms of which is that the user may not install, copy, or otherwise use
a non-Microsoft OS for five years.
Microsoft ActivePromo Campaign: "State Innovation Day"

Microsoft has successfully lobbied for the State of Washington to declare
August 24th as State Innovation Day.  Efforts are underway to lobby the US
Congress to decree a similar designation nationally.  Several events are
scheduled on August 24, 1999 to showcase "innovation" in the computer
industry (in other words, Microsoft), including:

* An "Innovation Day Parade" held in downtown Seattle, featuring
floats and helium-filled balloons representing various Microsoft products
(Dancing Paper Clip, Microsoft Bob, Flying Windows Logo, etc.)

* An "Innovation is Cool" essay contest for high school and
college students.  Possible topics include "Why IE Should Be Integrated in
Windows", "Why Bill Gates Is My Hero", "Government Intervention is Evil",
and "Why Monopolies Improve Product Quality and Lower Prices".

* A 24-hour "Innovation in Education" telethon on NBC to raise money for
school districts nationwide to buy new Wintel computer systems and Internet
access through the Microsoft Network.
When Computers Crash

HOLLYWOOD -- The FOX TV Network has announced a new series of "reality
shows" to be aired over the summer. The series, "When Computers Crash",
will consist of five hour-long shows documenting the aftermath of serious
computer crashes, failures, and other problems. This show comes on the
heels of other FOX reality shows such as "World's Funniest Antitrust Trial
Bloopers", "When Stupid TV Network Executives Create Bad Show Ideas", and
"When Lame Fortune Files Poke Fun At FOX Reality Shows"...

To coincide with the series, FOX will sponsor a publicity gimmick called
"Crash & Win!" Contest participants will download a free Windows 9x/NT
program that keeps track of the number of Blue Screens, Illegal
Operations, or other fatal errors that force a reboot. When a crash
occurs, the program will log it in an encrypted database, which will be
periodically uploaded to the "FOX Crash & Win!" server.

Prizes such as a "Deciphering Windows Error Messages for Dummies" book, a
1999 Ford "Gasguzzler" Sport Utility Vehicle, or a lifetime supply of
stress relief medication will be awarded to participants based on the
number of crashes they log.
Jargon Coiner (#12)

An irregular feature that aims to give you advance warning of new jargon
that we've just made up.

* IPO (I've Patented the Obvious): Acquiring patents on trivial things and
  then hitting other companies over the head with them.

  Example: "Amazon just IPO'd one-click spam and is now ready to sue B&N."

* IPO (I'm Pissed Off): Exclamation given by a Linux user who was unable
  to participate in a highly lucrative Linux IPO due to lack of capital or
  E*Trade problems. Also uttered by Linux hackers who did not receive The
  Letter from Red Hat or VA Linux even though their friends did.
* YAKBA (Yet Another Killer Backhoe Attack): The acronym that describes
  network outtages caused by a careless backhoe operator.

  Examples: "Don't blame us, our website was offline after we suffered a
  YAKBA". "Don't worry about Y2K, what we need to think about is
Brief History Of Linux (#4)
Walls & Windows

Most people don't realize that many of the technological innovations taken
for granted in the 20th Century date back centuries ago. The concept of a
network "firewall", for instance, is a product of the Great Wall of China,
a crude attempt to keep raging forest fires out of Chinese territory. It
was soon discovered that the Wall also kept Asian intruders ("steppe
kiddies") out, just as modern-day firewalls keep network intruders
("script kiddies") out.

Meanwhile, modern terminology for graphical user interfaces originated
from Pre-Columbian peoples in Central and South America. These natives
would drag-and-drop icons (sculptures of the gods) into vast pits of
certain gooey substances during a ritual in which "mice" (musical
instruments that made a strange clicking sound) were played to an eerie
Brief History Of Linux (#14)
Military Intelligence: Not an oxymoron in 1969

It was the Department Of Defense that commissioned the ARPANET in 1969, a
rare example of the US military breaking away from its official motto,
"The Leading Edge Of Yesterday's Technology(tm)".

In the years leading up to 1969, packet switching technology had evolved
enough to make the ARPANET possible. Bolt Beranek and Newman, Inc.
received the ARPA contract in 1968 for packet switching "Interface Message
Processors". US Senator Edward Kennedy, always on the ball, sent a
telegram to BBN praising them for their non-denominational "Interfaith"
Message Processors, an act unsurpassed by elected representatives until Al
Gore invented the Internet years later.

While ARPANET started with only four nodes in 1969, it evolved rapidly.
Email was first used in 1971; by 1975 the first mailing list, MsgGroup,
was created by Steve Walker when he sent a "First post!"  messages to it.
In 1979 all productive use of ARPANET ceased when USENET and the first MUD
were created. In 1983, when the network surpassed 1,000 hosts, a study
showed that 90.4% of all traffic was devoted to email and USENET flame wars.
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).
The Linux House 1.01

Mr. Billy O'Nair knows how to build a house. The 24 year old retired
dotcom billionaire has constructed the "Linux House 1.01", a bachelor pad
built in the shape of Tux Penguin. This geek haven features a 256 foot
long computer room, along with other smaller, lesser important rooms
(kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, etc.).

Explained O'Nair, "Why do architects waste a bunch of space on formal
living rooms, family rooms, dining rooms, closets, foyers, and hallways
that are rarely used? In my 'Linux House', the majority of square footage
is devoted to the two rooms that I myself use the most: a computer room
and a procrastination room."

...The Linux House features a LAN (Liquor Acquisition Network) that
delivers alcohol or caffeinated beverages to any room in the house by way
of pipes that run through the ceiling. 'PANIC' buttons scattered
throughout the house activate the RAM System (Random Access Munchies), in
which candy bars and other snacks are immediately delivered by FPM (Fast
Pretzel Mode) and EDO (Extended Delicacy Output) pneumatic tubes.
Microsoft Fights Linux -- By Contributing Kernel Patches

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em... and then destory 'em. That seems to be the
new Microsoft strategy for dealing with Linux. Instead of fighting a FUD or
patent war, Microsoft operatives are doing something totally out of character:
they are contributing patches for the Linux kernel and other programs.

Don't worry, Microsoft is still evil. It's all part of a massive denial of
service attack against Linus Torvalds designed to bring kernel development to
a standstill. By sending over 10,000 patches per minute by email to Linus and
other top kernel hackers, Microsoft has exposed Linux's Achilles heel.

"I can't believe this is happening!" one stressed-out kernel hacker said at a
press conference on IRC. "If this goes on, we may have to conduct kernel
development over some other network protocol, like avian carriers... Aw crap,
there's smoke coming from my email server! Ahh... it can't handle the load!"
At this point the developer cut off and we haven't heard from him since.

At first Linus was unsure where the deluge of patches was coming from. But
when he saw one patch to replace kernel panics with bluescreens, the source
was pretty obvious. "Oh, and the fact that all of the patches are covered by
Microsoft's GPL [Grossly Private License] was a dead giveaway, too,"
Humorix's Vast Spy Network(tm) has discovered that the White House website
is only 124 clicks away from an illegal, pirated copy of the upcoming
movie, "Star Trek XXIII: The Search For Merchandising Opportunities".
Clearly, the President's webmaster is violating the DMCA, and we urge that
this injustice be dealt with, just as soon as we finish downloading a
Class-Action Lawsuit Filed Against Linus Torvalds

SILLYCON VALLEY -- Nearly 130 former system administrators have filed suit
against Linus Torvalds in which they claim Linux cost them their jobs.
Recently several companies migrated from Windows to Linux, increasing
their productivity but decreasing the need for a large staff of tech
workers, prompting a wave of layoffs.

"The good old days when it required five full-time system administrators
to maintain a Microsoft Exchange server are history, all because of that
cancer known as Linux," explained the lead litigant in the lawsuit.

"It all started two years ago when some pimply-faced idiot down in
Accounting decided to smuggle in a Linux box to automate some of his work.
Before long every tech-savvy person in Accounting, Billing, and Sales was
secretly using Linux."

"That's when the troubles started. Productivity soared. Downtime was
limited to an average of three milliseconds per day. Macro viruses ceased
to spread. It was horrible! The entire IT staff was replaced by one
part-time bearded wonder, who was able to administrate the entire Linux
network! Due to the layoffs, I'm now sitting in a homeless shelter with
little hope to find work. Nobody wants to hire an MCSE anymore!"
Alan Olsen wrote:
> things correctly they have enhanced Wake-on-LAN to allow you to do
> things like reset the machine, update the BIOS and such by sending
> magic packets which are interpreted by the network card. Or maybe I am

Normally 'sending magic packets resets the machine' is considered a feature
reported to bugtraq. The alert stuff I have seen is more akin to sending SNMP
traps for things like people opening the lid, or fan failure

        - Alan Cox on linux-kernel
Let's start with conslutants who kept pushing crap into said network.
And continue with those who had bred tons of worthless "certified"
wankers pretending to be sysadmins, driving the wages down and replacing
clued people with illiterate trash.  Getting rid of script kiddies is
nice, but fsckwits who are directly responsible for current situation
should be first against the wall.

        - Al Viro on virus attacks
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Internet users who spend even a few hours a week online
at home experience higher levels of depression and loneliness than if
they had used the computer network less frequently, The New York Times
reported Sunday.  The result ...  surprised both researchers and
sponsors, which included Intel Corp., Hewlett Packard, AT&T Research and
Apple Computer.
<Teknix> our local telco has admitted that someone "backed into a
         button on a switch" and took the entire ATM network down
<netgod> hopefully now routers are designed better, so the "network
         off" swtich is on the back
<Knghtbrd> Okay, you people have started talking about BSDM applications of
           network hardware...  I think I'll run off and do something useful
           and Debianish and stay OUT of this one...
<Knghtbrd> (for a change)
A cow is a completely automated milk-manufacturing machine. It is encased
in untanned leather and mounted on four vertical, movable supports, one at
each corner.  The front end of the machine, or input, contains the cutting
and grinding mechanism, utilizing a unique feedback device.  Here also are
the headlights, air inlet and exhaust, a bumper and a foghorn.
        At the rear, the machine carries the milk-dispensing equipment as
well as a built-in flyswatter and insect repeller.  The central portion
houses a hydro- chemical-conversion unit.  Briefly, this consists of four
fermentation and storage tanks connected in series by an intricate network
of flexible plumbing.  This assembly also contains the central heating plant
complete with automatic temperature controls, pumping station and main
ventilating system.  The waste disposal apparatus is located to the rear of
this central section.
        Cows are available fully-assembled in an assortment of sizes and
colors.  Production output ranges from 2 to 20 tons of milk per year.  In
brief, the main external visible features of the cow are:  two lookers, two
hookers, four stander-uppers, four hanger-downers, and a swishy-wishy.
No guarantee of accuracy or completeness!
©TU Chemnitz, 2006-2022
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