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Proverbs, aphorisms, quotations (English) by Linux fortune

"The lymbic system in my brain is so electrically active, it qualifies
as a third brain.  Normal humans have two brains, left and right.

        - Jeff Merkey
"I'm a bastard. I have absolutely no clue why people can ever think
otherwise. Yet they do. People think I'm a nice guy, and the fact is that
I'm a scheming, conniving bastard who doesn't care for any hurt feelings
or lost hours of work if it just results in what I consider to be a better
system."

         - Linus Torvalds
Understatement of the century:
"Hello everybody out there using minix - I'm doing a (free) operating
system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu) for
386(486) AT clones"

        - Linus Torvalds, August 1991
> That is reimplementing file system functionality in user space.
> I'm in doubts that this is considered good design...

Keeping things out of the kernel is good design. Your block indirections
are no different to other database formats. Perhaps you think we should
have fsql_operation() and libdb in kernel 8)

        - Alan Cox on linux-kernel
What is it about so many mail system authors and lacking sense of humour.

        - Alan Cox on linux-kernel
In the same world where Vomit-Making System is elegant, SGI "designs" are
and NT is The Wave Of Future(tm).  Pardon me, but I'll stay in our universe
and away from the drugs of such power.

        - Al Viro on linux-kernel
Besides, REAL computers have a rename() system call.    :-)
             -- Larry Wall in <7937@jpl-devvax.JPL.NASA.GOV>
Chip Salzenberg sent me a complete patch to add System V IPC (msg, sem and
shm calls), so I added them.  If that bothers you, you can always undefine
them in config.sh.  :-) -- Larry Wall in <9384@jpl-devvax.JPL.NASA.GOV>
Does the same as the system call of that name.
If you don't know what it does, don't worry about it.
             -- Larry Wall in the perl man page regarding chroot(2)
The whole intent of Perl 5's module system was to encourage the growth
of Perl culture rather than the Perl core.
             -- Larry Wall in <199705101952.MAA00756@wall.org>
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.
        I for one cannot protest the recent M.T.A. fare hike and the
accompanying promises that this would in no way improve service.  For
the transit system, as it now operates, has hidden advantages that
can't be measured in monetary terms.
        Personally, I feel that it is well worth 75 cents or even $1 to
have that unimpeachable excuse whenever I am late to anything:  "I came
by subway."  Those four words have such magic in them that if Godot
should someday show up and mumble them, any audience would instantly
understand his long delay.
Management:        How many feet do mice have?
Reply:                Mice have four feet.
M:        Elaborate!
R:        Mice have five appendages, and four of them are feet.
M:        No discussion of fifth appendage!
R:        Mice have five appendages; four of them are feet; one is a tail.
M:        What?  Feet with no legs?
R:        Mice have four legs, four feet, and one tail per unit-mouse.
M:        Confusing -- is that a total of 9 appendages?
R:        Mice have four leg-foot assemblies and one tail assembly per body.
M:        Does not fully discuss the issue!
R:        Each mouse comes equipped with four legs and a tail.  Each leg
        is equipped with a foot at the end opposite the body; the tail
        is not equipped with a foot.
M:        Descriptive?  Yes.  Forceful NO!
R:        Allotment of appendages for mice will be:  Four foot-leg assemblies,
        one tail.  Deviation from this policy is not permitted as it would
        constitute misapportionment of scarce appendage assets.
M:        Too authoritarian; stifles creativity!
R:        Mice have four feet; each foot is attached to a small leg joined
        integrally with the overall mouse structural sub-system.  Also
        attached to the mouse sub-system is a thin tail, non-functional and
        ornamental in nature.
M:        Too verbose/scientific.  Answer the question!
R:        Mice have four feet.
        Plumbing is one of the easier of do-it-yourself activities,
requiring only a few simple tools and a willingness to stick your arm into a
clogged toilet.  In fact, you can solve many home plumbing problems, such as
annoying faucet drip, merely by turning up the radio.  But before we get
into specific techniques, let's look at how plumbing works.
        A plumbing system is very much like your electrical system, except
that instead of electricity, it has water, and instead of wires, it has
pipes, and instead of radios and waffle irons, it has faucets and toilets.
So the truth is that your plumbing systems is nothing at all like your
electrical system, which is good, because electricity can kill you.
                -- Dave Barry, "The Taming of the Screw"
XXXI:
        The optimum committee has no members.
XXXII:
        Hiring consultants to conduct studies can be an excellent means of
        turning problems into gold -- your problems into their gold.
XXXIII:
        Fools rush in where incumbents fear to tread.
XXXIV:
        The process of competitively selecting contractors to perform work
        is based on a system of rewards and penalties, all distributed
        randomly.
XXXV:
        The weaker the data available upon which to base one's conclusion,
        the greater the precision which should be quoted in order to give
        the data authenticity.
                -- Norman Augustine
'Kitchen Sink' OS Announced

Coding has begun on a new operating system code named 'Kitchen Sink'. The new
OS will be based entirely on GNU Emacs. One programmer explained, "Since many
hackers spend a vast amount of their time in Emacs, why not just make it the
operating system?" When asked about the name, he responded, "Well, it has been
often said that Emacs has everything except a kitchen sink. Now it will."

One vi advocate said, "What the hell?!?! Those Emacs people are nuts. It seems
that even with a programming language, a web browser, and God only knows what
else built into their text editor, they're still not satisfied. Now they want
it to be an operating system. Hell, even Windows ain't that bloated!"
Mad Programmer Commits Suicide

KENNETT, MO -- For two years Doug Carter toiled away in his basement computer
lab working on his own 'Dougnix' operating system. Apparently he was sick of
Windows 95 so he decided to create his own OS, based loosely on Unix. He had
developed his own 'DougUI' window manager, Doug++ compiler, DougFS filesystem,
and other integrated tools.

All was going well until last week when he hooked his computer up to the
Internet for the first time. It was then that he stumbled on to www.linux.org.
Reports are sketchy about what happened next. We do know he committed suicide
days after, leaving behind a rambling suicide note. Part of the note says:

"I've wasted the past two years of my life... Wasted... Gone... Forever...
Never return to. [illegible] Why did I bother creating my own OS... when Linux
is exactly what I needed!?!?!?! If I had only known about Linux! Why someone
didn't tell me? [illegible] Wasted! Aggghhh!" [The rest of the note is filled
with incomprehensible assembly language ramblings.]
Red Hat Unveils New Ad Campaign

Linux distributor Red Hat has announced plans for a $650,000 ad campaign. The
ads will appear on several major newspapers as well as on a few selected
websites. "These ads will be targetted towards Windows users who are fed up but
aren't aware of any OS alternatives," a Red Hat spokesman said. "We feel that
there is a large audience for this."

One of the ads will be a half page spread showing two computers side-by-side: a
Wintel and a Linux box. The title asks "Is your operating system ready for the
year 2000?" Both computers have a calendar/clock display showing. The Windows
box shows "12:00:01AM -- January 1, 1900" while the Linux box shows "12:00:01AM
-- January 1, 2000". The tagline at the bottom says "Linux -- a century ahead
of the competition."
Increased Electricity Consumption Blamed on Linux

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The US Department of Energy claims Linux is partially
responsible for the increased demand for electricity during the past year.
Electricity use was up 2.5% from January to September of 1998 compared with
the same period in 1997.  "While some of the increase can be attributed to
higher temperatures over the summer," one Department bureaucrat explained,
"Linux is certainly a contributor to the increased demand for power."  

When asked for clarification, the bureaucrat responded, "In the past, most
PCs have been turned off when not in use.  Linux users, on the other hand,
usually don't turn off their computers.  They leave them on, hoping to
increase their uptime to impress their friends.  And since Linux rarely
crashes the entire system, those computers stay on for weeks, months, even
years at a time.  With Linux use continuing to grow, we expect demand for
electricity to increase steadily over the next several years."

In response to the news, several utility companies have announced plans to
give away free Linux CDs to paying customers who request them.  One anonymous
executive said, "The more people who use Linux, the more power they consume.
The more electricity they use, the more money we make. It's a win-win
combination."  Yesterday Linus Torvalds was nominated as a candidate for the
Assocation of American Utility Companies Person of the Year.
Humorix Holiday Gift Idea #3

iTux Penguin Computer
Price: $999.95 for base model
Producer: Orange Computer, Co.; 1-800-GET-ITUX

Based on the Slashdot comments, response to the Apple iMac from the Linux
community was lukewarm at best.  Orange Computer, Co., has picked up where
Apple left behind and produced the iTux computer specifically for Linux users
who want to "Think a lot different".

The self-contained iTux computer system is built in the shape of Tux the
Penguin.  Its 15 inch monitor (17 inch available next year) is located at
Tux's large belly.  The penguin's two feet make up the split ergonomic
keyboard (without those annoying Windows keys, of course).  A 36X CD-ROM
drive fits into Tux's mouth.  Tux's left eye is actually the reboot button
(can be reconfigured for other purposes since it is rarely used) and his
right eye is the power button.  The iTux case opens up from the back,
allowing easy access for screwdriver-wielding nerds into Tux's guts.

The US$995.95 model contains an Alpha CPU and all the usual stuff found in a
Linux-class machine.  More expensive models, to be debuted next year, will
feature dual or quad Alpha CPUs and a larger size.
Humorix Holiday Gift Idea #5

AbsoluteZero(tm) Cryogenic Refrigerator
$29,999.95 for economy model at Cryo-Me-A-River, Inc.

The pundits have been hyping new technology allowing your home appliances to
have Internet access. Most people aren't too keen with the thought of their
refrigerator sharing an IP address with their can opener.

But with the new AbsoluteZero(tm) Refrigerator, that might change. This is not
a fridge for your food -- it's a fridge for your overclocked, overheating CPU.
You stick your computer inside, bolt the door shut, turn the temperature down
to 5 degrees Kelvin, and you've got the perfect environment for accelerating
your CPU to 1 Terahertz or more.

This cryogenic cooling system may not actually reach absolute zero, but it
comes mighty close. Unfortunately, the AbsoluteZero(tm) is the size of a small
house, consumes a constant stream of liquid nitrogen, and requires it's own
nuclear reactor (not included). But that's a small price to pay for the
ability to play Quake 3 at 100,000 frames per second.
Red Hat Linux 10.0

RALEIGH-DURHAM, NC -- HypeNewsWire -- Red Hat, the producer of the most
popular Linux distribution with over 25 million estimated users, is proud to
announce the availability of Red Hat Linux 10.0.  The latest version
contains the new Linux 6.2 kernel, the Z Window System 2.0, full support for
legacy Windows 3.x/9x/200x/NT software apps, and more. Copies of Red Hat
Linux 10.0 will be available in stores on CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, or GNUDE (GNU
Digital Encoding) disks within the next week.

Compaq, Dell, Gateway, and several other large computer manufacturers have
announced that they will offer computer systems with Red Hat 10.0
pre-installed.  "We can sell systems with Red Hat pre-installed for
considerably less than systems with Microsoft ActiveWindows 2001. Overall,
Red Hat Linux's superior quality, low price, and modest system requirements
puts Windows to shame," one Dell spokesperson said at last week's LinDex
convention.
Microsoft ActivePromo Campaign: "Frequent Upgrade Points"

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
"Frequent Upgrade Points" promotion.

Customers who purchase upgrades to Windows, Office, or other Microsoft
"solutions" will receive "frequent upgrade points" (FUPs) when they register
online.  These points, like Frequent Flyer Miles, can be redeemed in the
future for discounts on other Microsoft upgrades. This program, combined
with the fact that older versions of some Microsoft programs have glaring
Y2K problems, should be enough to convince many people to shell out big
bucks to upgrade to a more bloated Microsoft operating system. The company
hopes to eradicate 99% of Windows 3.x installations by 2003.
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.
Attack of the Tuxissa Virus

What started out as a prank posting to comp.os.linux.advocacy yesterday has
turned into one of the most significant viruses in computing history.
The creator of the virus, who goes by the moniker "Anonymous Longhair",
modified the Melissa virus to install Linux on infected machines.

"It's a work of art," one Linux advocate told Humorix after he looked
through the Tuxissa virus source code.  "This virus goes well beyond the
feeble troublemaking of Melissa.  It actually configures a UMSDOS partition
on the user's hard drive and then downloads and installs a stripped-down
version of Slackware Linux."

The email message that the virus is attached to has the subject "Important
Message About Windows Security".  The text of the body says, "I want to let
you know about some security problems I've uncovered in Windows 95/98/NT,
Office 95/97, and Outlook. It's critically important that you protect your
system against these attacks.  Visit these sites for more information..."
The rest of the message contains 42 links to sites about Linux and free
software.

Details on how the virus started are a bit sketchy.  The "Anonymous
Longhair" who created it only posted it to Usenet as an early April Fool's
gag, demonstrating how easy it would be to mount a "Linux revolution".
New Crime Identified: "Tech Rage"

HARRISBURG, IL -- The police department in this Illinois town has coined a
new term for a growing trend in crime: "tech rage". Tech rage shares many
similarities with another modern crime, "road rage", but instead of
affecting drivers, tech rage is experienced by disgruntled computer users.

The first documented case of tech rage involves a Microsoft salesman, Bob
Glutzfield, who convinced the local TV station to "upgrade" its computer
systems from Macintosh to Wintel.  While the migration seemed successful at
first, the Blue Screen became more prevalent during the following months.

Then, in January, the entire computer system crashed in the middle of the
weather forecast during the 10 o'clock evening news. Viewers could plainly
see the Blue Screen of Death showing in the monitors behind James Roland,
the chief meteorologist. The instability of Windows 98 stretched Roland's
patience until he snapped last week and succumbed to tech rage.

Roland tracked down the Microsoft salesman and followed him one evening to
his apartment.  The weatherman yelled at the bewildered Microserf, "You
[expletive]! Because of you, I'm the [expletive] laughing stock of Southern
Illinois!" and then proceeded to beat him up.  Roland is currently out on
bond pending trial next month.
Invasion of the Dancing Penguin

Those annoying, dancing cartoon characters embedded in software applications
are no longer confined to Microsoft programs.  They have entered the realm
of Linux.  A new Linux distribution under development, called LinTux,
promises to provide a more "user-friendly" environment through its "Dancing
Penguin" assistant.

Dancing Tux will "guide" users through the installation process and will be
a permanent fixture of the X root window.  The LinTux staff demonstrated a
prototype version of the Dancing Tux program to this Humorix reporter.  It
was certainly impressive, but, like the Dancing Paper Clip in Microsoft
Office, it becomes annoying very fast.

The one redeeming feature of LinTux is that, when the system is idle,
Dancing Tux becomes a make-shift screen saver.  The animations included in
the prototype were quite amusing.  For instance, in one scene, Tux chases
Bill Gates through an Antarctic backdrop.  In another animation, Tux can be
seen drinking beers with his penguin pals and telling Microsoft jokes.
BSOD Simulator

Users of Red Hat 6.0 are discovering a new feature that hasn't been widely
advertised: a Blue Screen of Death simulator.  By default, the bsodsim
program activates when the user hits the virtually unused SysRq key (this is
customizable) causing the system to switch to a character cell console to
display a ficticious Blue Screen.

Red Hat hails the bsodsim program as the "boss key" for the Linux world. One
RH engineer said, "Workers are smuggling Linux boxes into companies that
exclusively use Windows.  This is all good and well until the PHB walks by
and comments, 'That doesn't look like Windows...' With bsodsim, that problem
is solved.  The worker can hit the emergency SysRq key, and the system will
behave just like Windows..."

The bsodsim program doesn't stop at just showing a simulated error message.
If the boss doesn't walk away, the worker can continue the illusion by
hitting CTRL-ALT-DEL, which causes a simulated reboot.  After showing the
usual boot messages, bsodsim will run a simulated SCANDISK program
indefinitely. The boss won't be able to tell the difference.  If the boss
continues to hang around, the worker can say, "SCANDISK is really taking a
long time... maybe we should upgrade our computers.  And don't you have
something better to do than watch this computer reboot for the tenth time
today?"
Examples of the output generated when running commonly typed commands
under YODIX, the new Unix-like operating system for Star Wars fans
(Submitted by Dave Finton):

# pwd
Know you not where you are. Show you I shall.

# uptime
When 900 years you be, look this good you will not.

# cd /win95
Once you start down the Dark Path, forever will it dominate your destiny!

# winnuke 192.168.1.0
That, my friend, will lead you to the dark side. Help you I will not.

# rm -rf /
Idiot you are. Yeeesss.

# shutdown -h now
Luke... there is... another... Sky... walker...
Slashdot Effect Vaporizes Ganymede
  -- Submitted by Dave Finton
  
In one of the more bizarre consequences of the infamous "Slashdot Effect",
Ganymede, the largest moon in our solar system, was completely and utterly
destroyed when CmdrTaco posted an article about the Hubble Space
Telescope's latest round of images and discoveries.

"It all started when we put up some more info on our web page about
Jupiter and Ganymede," said one NASA guy whom we believe may be in charge
of something. "CmdrTaco got wind of it, and posted it on his site."

According to observers, the webserver promptly exploded thereafter,
damaging the nearby remote control system used to aim and focus the
Hubble's cameras from the ground.

"All of the sudden our controls went wacky!" said one engineer. "The
Hubble then started shooting these death rays all over the universe. One
of those rays hit Ganymede, and *POOF*. There it went! We were all like,
'COOOOOL! Let's aim it something else!'"
Jargon Coiner (#6)

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

* STOP MIRAGE: Trying to click on an imaginary Stop button on a program's
  toolbar after doing something you didn't want to. Usually caused as the
  result of excessive use of Netscape.

* YA-PREFIX: Putting "another" or "yet another" in front of a name or
  tacking "YA" in front of an acronym.

  Example: "We could ya-prefix this fortune by titling it 'Yet Another
  Lame List of Fabricated Jargon'."

* DOMAINEERING: Using a service like Netcraft to determine what operating
  system and webserver a particular domain is running.

* NOT-A-SALTINE EXPLANATION: The canned response given to someone who
  uses the term "hacker" instead of "cracker".
Jargon Coiner (#10)

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

* HOBTOB (Hanging Out By The O'Reilly Books): Seeking free Linux technical
  support at a bookstore by waiting near the computer books for a geek to
  come by and then casually asking them for help.

* MOOLA (Marketing Officially Organizes Linux Adoptance):  A press release
  issued by a Dot Com (or Dot Con?) heralding their "support" for Linux
  (i.e. "BigPortal.com adopts Linux as their official operating system by
  adding five Linux-related links to their BigDirectory"); used to inflate
  their stock price and rake in moola even though none of their employees
  have ever used Linux and don't really care.
  
* KARMA KOLLECTOR: Slashdot user who treats the acquisition of "karma" as
  a game; often has a detailed strategy on how to sucker moderators into
  raising the score of their posts (i.e. posting a comment with a title
  like "Microsoft Sucks!!! (Score 3, Insightful)" or using "Only a fool
  would moderate this down" as a signature). See also "Karma Whore".
This telethon isn't just about helping disenfranchised geeks. We're
also here for the betterment of mankind through our research into finding
a Cure for Windows.

Each day, millions of man-hours are wasted due to design flaws in
Microsoft Windows. Each day, millions of dollars are sent by business and
individuals like yourself into a huge black hole known as "Microsoft" for
exorbitantly priced software products that should be free.

But don't worry. We've almost found a Cure for Windows. Geeks worldwide
have toiled endlessly for the past eight years working on a replacement
operating system called Linux. It's almost ready. Now we need to convince
the world to use our creation and eliminate the virus known as Windows.

   -- Excerpt from Eric S. Raymond's speech during the Geek Grok '99
      telethon held in Silicon Valley
Bill Gates Passes Turing Test

LONDON, ENGLAND -- Microsoft proclaimed that they have passed the Turing
Test by creating a Bill Gates multimedia simulacrum that crack BBC
interviewer Jeremy Paxman couldn't distinguish from the real thing. "I
never would have expected this," Paxman said about the Gates AI program.
"After all, this Microsoft program actually worked for an extended period
of time, something you don't see very often."

Microsoft has plans to mass-produce the Bill Gates holographic simulation
by 2010 or so. "The hardware just isn't there yet for home use," a
Microserf explained. "By then, though, Intel's Itanium 6 Super Pro Plus
III CPU running at 600 Ghz or whatever should be sufficient." Windows 2010
is expected to include the Bill Gates simulation, making the World's
Richest Man(tm) accessible to the entire world.

A newly printed brochure for the faux-Gates advertises, "Need help running
Windows 2010? Bill Gates will sit beside you and guide you through the
system. Have a question for the world's sexiest and smartest nerd? He'll
answer it. Wondering if free and open source software is a plot by
Communists freaks to overthrow the free market system? He'll be there to
explain. Want to ask for a personal loan? Sorry, won't happen."          
Evolution Of A Linux User: The 11 Stages Towards Getting A Life

0. Microserf - Your life revolves around Windows and you worship Bill
   Gates and his innovative company.
1. Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt... About Microsoft - You encounter a growing
   number of problems with Microsoft solutions, shaking your world-view
2. FUD... About Linux - After hearing about this new Linux thing, you
   take the plunge, but are unimpressed by the nerdware OS.
3. Born-Again Microserf - You rededicate your life to Microsoft worship
4. Disgruntled User - Microsoft software keeps screwing you over,
   and you're not going to take it anymore!
5. A Religious Experience - You successfully install Linux, and are
   left breathless at its elegance. No more Windows for you!
6. Linux Convert - You continue to fall in love with the new system
7. Linux Zealot - You dedicate your life to Linux World Domination...
   and it shows! You go beyond mere advocacy to sheer zealotry.
8. Back To Reality - Forces out of your control compel you to
   return to using Windows and Office
9. Enlightened Linux User - You become 100% Microsoft free after finding
   ways to overcome the need for Microsoft bloatware
10.Get A Life - You become a millionaire after your Linux portal is
   acquired; you move to a small tropical island and get a life
What Did Santa Claus Bring You In 1999? (#1)

LINUS TORVALDS: Santa didn't bring me anything, but Tim O'Reilly just gave
me a large sum of money to publish my new book, "Linus Torvalds' Official
Guide To Receiving Fame, Fortune, and Hot Babes By Producing Your Own
Unix-Like Operating System In Only 10 Years".

ORDINARY LINUX HACKER: I kept hinting to my friends and family that I
wanted to build my own Beowulf Cluster. My grandmother got mixed up and
gave me a copy of "Beowulf's Chocolate Cluster Cookbook". I like
chocolate, but I would've preferred silicon.

LINUX LONGHAIR: My friends sent me a two-year subscription to several
Ziff-Davis publications, much to my dislike. I don't want to read Jesse
Berst's rants against Linux, or John Dvorak's spiels about how great
Windows 2000 is. Still, I suppose this isn't so bad. Ziff-Davis glossy
paper makes an excellent lining for fireplaces.
What Did Santa Claus Bring You In 1999? (#2)

WEBMASTER OF LINUXSUPERMEGAPORTAL.COM: One of my in-laws gifted me a
CD-ROM containing the text of every "...For Dummies" book ever published.
It's a shame IDG never published "Hiring A Hitman To Knock Off Your
Inlaws... For Dummies", because that's something I'm itching to do. At any
rate, I'm using the CD as a beer coaster.

JESSE BERST: I got a coupon redeemable for the full copy of Windows 2000
when it comes out in February. Win2K is the most innovative,
enterprise-ready, stable, feature-enriched, easy-to-use operating system
on the market. I don't see how Linux can survive against Microsoft's far
superior offering. I ask you: could you get fired for NOT choosing Windows
2000? You bet.

LINUX CONVERT: I kept hinting for a SGI box, but instead my wife got me an
old Packard Bell. Unfortunately, she bought it at CompUSSR, which doesn't
take returns, so I'm stuck with it. I haven't been able to get Linux to
boot on it, so this machine will probably become a $750 paperweight.
Alan Cox Releases Quantum Kernel
Submitted by Dave Finton

A surprising development in the linux-kernel mailing list surfaced when
Alan Cox announced the release of a 2.2 Linux kernel existing both as an
official stable kernel and as a prepatch kernel. This immediately spurred
the creation of two different realities (and hence two different Alan
Coxes), where a kernel would not settle down to one or the other state
until someone looked at it.

"I think this resulted from the large number of 'final' prepatch kernels
prior to the 2.2.14 release," said David Miller, kernel networking guru
and gas station attendent (he'll settle down to one or the other state
when someone looks at him).

When word of this development spread to Microsoft, Bill Gates was
extremely delighted. The Redmond, WA campus has been plagued with quantum
fluctuations ever since the inception of Windows 2000 back in 1992. "Our
release date has been existing in infinitely many states since the very
beginning," said a Microsoft spokesperson. "This just shows the Linux
operating system cannot scale to multiple realities as well as our OS."
Linux World Domination: Not A Joke!

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Senator Fattecat (R-WA) is pushing for a ban on
Finnish-produced software. His chief of staff, Ms. Dee Septive, has
published a 200-page report revealing "the Helsinkian Underground", a
Finnish world domination plot hatched in 1943.

The Fattecat expose describes Finland's recent scheme involving free
software. "Linux, originally called Freix (FREIX Retrieves Electronic
Intelligence X), is a scheme to infiltrate the Western world with a 'free'
operating system with nasty backdoors hidden within its obfuscated source
code. IRC (Intelligence Relaying Code) is another Finnish innovation
designed for spying purposes."

Linus Torvalds plays a prominent role in the conspiracy. "That old story
about Linus developing a Unix clone in his spare time while at University
is a lark," the report states. "Indeed, the name Linux ("Line X") was
coined because the kernel can extract any arbitrary line of intelligence
from any document it has access to."
Excerpts From The First Annual Nerd Bowl (#7)

JOHN SPLADDEN: In this final round, the two teams must assemble a 16-node
Beowulf cluster from scratch, install Linux on them, and then use the
system to calculate pi to 1 million digits. This is the ultimate test for
nerds... only people in the Big Leagues should attempt this... [snip]

BRYANT DUMBELL: Look at that! Instead of messing with screws, the
Portalbacks are using duct tape to attach their motherboards to the cases!
That should save some time. [snip] They've done it! The Mad Hatters have
completed the Final Round in 2 hours, 15 minutes. That's one hell of a
Beowulf cluster they produced... drool.

SPLADDEN: With that, the Mad Hatters win the Nerd Bowl 105 to 68! There's
going to be some serious beer-drinking tonight back at the Red Hat offices.

DUMBELL: Linus Torvalds has emerged from the sidelines to present his
Linus Torvalds Trophy to the winners. What a glorious sight! This has
definitely been the best Nerdbowl ever. I pity those people that have been
watching the Superbowl instead.
Freaks In Linux Houses Shouldn't Throw FUD

By Mr. Stu Poor, technology pundit for the Arkansas "Roadkill
Roundup" newspaper. [Editor's Note: He's the local equivalent of Jesse
Berst].

As you all know, February 17th was the happy day that Microsoft officially
released Windows 2000. I went down to the local Paperclips computer store
and asked if they had any copies in stock.

One of the pimply-faced Linux longhairs explained that Paperclips didn't
carry Win2K because it is not intended for consumers. What FUD! I can't
believe the gall of those Linux Communists to spread such FUD (Fear,
Uncertainty, and Doubt) about Windows 2000, which is _the_ best, most
stable operating system ever produced in the history of mankind!
Man Charged With Crashing Windows

MOUNTAIN HOME, AR -- Eric Turgent, a closet Linux advocate, was arrested
yesterday for intentionally crashing his co-worker's Windows box at the
offices of the "Roadkill Roundup" newspaper. Turgent disputes the charges,
saying, "If causing an operating system to crash is illegal, than why
isn't Bill Gates serving life without parole?"

Turgent's co-worker, Mr. Stu Poor, the clueless technology pundit for the
newspaper, is a heavy Microsoft supporter. He frequently brags in his
weekly Tech Talk column that he "once had a conversation with Bill Gates."
A heated argument broke out yesterday morning in which the two insulted
each other ("You're nothing but a Linux hippie freak on the Red Hat
payroll!" vs. "You make Jesse Berst and Fred Moody look like [expletive]
geniuses!") for two hours.

At the heat of the moment, Turgent shoved Poor aside and typed in
"C:\CON\CON". The machine crashed and the pundit lost all of his work (a
real loss to humanity, to be sure). Turgent is in jail awaiting trial for
violating the "Slash Crashes Act". This bill was enacted in 1999 after a
Senator's gigabyte cache of pornography was destroyed by a Windows crash.
Affordable Virtual Beowulf Cluster

Every nerd drools over Beowulf clusters, but very few have even seen one,
much less own one. Until now, that is. Eric Gylgen, the open source hacker
famous for EviL (the dancing ASCII paperclip add-on to vi), is working on
a program that will emulate Beowulf clusters on a standard desktop PC.

"Of course," he added candidly, "the performance of my virtual cluster
will be many orders of magnitude less than a real cluster, but that's not
really the point. I just want to be able to brag that I run a 256 node
cluster. Nobody has to know I only spent $500 on the hardware it uses."

Eric has prior experience in this field. Last month he successfully built
a real 32 node Beowulf cluster out of Palm Pilots, old TI-8x graphing
calculators, various digital cameras, and even some TRS-80s.

He demonstrated a pre-alpha version of his VirtualEpicPoem software to us
yesterday. His Athlon machine emulated a 256 node Beowulf cluster in which
each node, running Linux, was emulating its own 16 node cluster in which
each node, running Bochs, was emulating VMWare to emulate Linux running
old Amiga software. The system was extremely slow, but it worked.
  Another Satisfied
          
        MICROSOFT Customer...
  
+----------+   As the inventor of the Internet, I know a
|          |   quality server operating system when I see
| SMILING  |   one.  Microsoft Windows 2000(tm) provides
|          |   innovative features that no other competitor
|   GORE   |   can claim.
|          |
|  PHOTO   |   We've been using Windows at the White House
|          |   for five years now without any problems.
|          |   Windows' BlueScreen(tm) technology
+----------+   automatically crashes our Exchange(tm) email
               server whenever Federal investigators are
  Al Gore      around.  Thanks to this feature, archives of
               incriminating emails have been wiped clean.
               This is what I call innovation. Thank you,
               Microsoft!
If Microsoft uses the breakup as an opportunity to port Office, and its
infernal Dancing Paper Clip, to my Linux operating system, heads will fly!
I'll track down that idiot who created Clippit and sic a killer penguin on
him!

   -- Linus Torvalds, when asked by Humorix for his reaction
      to the proposed Microsoft two-way split
The new "I Love You" virus is not the work of some snot-nosed acne-laced
teenager working from a basement in the Phillipines. It's actually part of
a conspiracy concocted by the unholy alliance of Microsoft and several
well-known and well-despised spammers.

You'll notice that the ILOVEYOU, Melissa, and Tuxissa strains all extract
email addresses from the victim's system. This is a gold mine for
spammers, who are able to use these viruses to harvest active email
addresses for them. Everytime ILOVEYOU, for instance, propogates, it keeps
track of all the email addresses it has been sent to, so that when it
finally boomerangs back to a spammer, they have a nice convenient list of
addresses to send "laser printer toner" and "get rich quick!"
advertisements to.

   -- Bob Smith (not his real code-name), in a speech given at the
      First Annual Connecticut Conspiracy Convention (ConConCon),
      "the largest ever gathering of conspiracy theorists east of the
      Mississippi."
Right now hundreds of Anonymous Cowards are cheering the fact that only
Windows boobs are victims of ILOVEYOU and other email viruses. I realize
Outlook is so insecure that using it is like posting a sign outside your
door saying, "DOOR UNLOCKED -- ROB ME!". However, Linux isn't immune. If I
had a dollar for every pine buffer overflow uncovered, I could buy a
truckload of fresh herring.

I expect the next mass email virus to spread will be cross-platform. If
the recipient is a Windows/Outlook luser, they'll get hit. If the
recipient is a Linux/pine user, they'll find themselves staring at a
self-executing bash script that's has just allocated 1 petabyte of memory
and crashed the system (or worse).

Either that or the next mass email virus will only damage Linux systems. I
can just see Bill Gates assigning some junior programmer that very task.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.

   -- A speech given at the First Annual Connecticut Conspiracy]
      Convention (ConConCon) by an anonymous creature said to
      be "wearing what appeared to be a tuxedo".
Elite Nerds Create Linux Distro From Hell

HELL, MICHIGAN -- A group of long-time Linux zealots and newbie haters
have thrown together a new Linux distro called Hellix that is so
user-hostile, so anti-newbie, so cryptic, and so old-fashioned that it
actually makes MS-DOS look like a real operating system. Said the founder
of the project, "I'm sick and tired of the Windowsification of the Linux
desktop in a fruitless attempt to make the system more appealing to
newbies, PHBs, and MCSEs. Linux has always been for nerds only, and we
want to make sure it stays that way!"

One of the other Bastard Distributors From Hell explained, "In the last
five years think of all the hacking effort spent on Linux... and for what?
We have nothing to show for it but half-finished Windows-like desktops, vi
dancing paperclips, and graphical front-ends to configuration files. Real
nerds use text files for configuration, darnit, and they like it! It's
time to take a stand against the hordes of newbies that are polluting our
exclusive operating system."

One Anonymous Coward said, "This is so cool... It's just like Unix back in
the good old days of the 70's when men were men and the only intuitive
interface was still the nipple."
Brief History Of Linux (#8)
Let's all holler for Hollerith

In 1890 the US Congress wanted to extend the census to collect exhaustive
demographic information on each citizen that could be resold to marketing
companies to help pay for the newly installed gold-plated toilets on
Capitol Hill. Experts estimated that the 1890 Census wouldn't be completed
until 1900.  It was hoped that an electronic tabulating machine using
punchcards designed by Herman Hollerith would speed up the process.

It didn't quite work out that way. An infestation of termites ate their
way through the wooden base of Hollerith's machines, and then a wave of
insects devoured several stacks of punchcards.  Also, some Hollerith
models had the propensity to crash at the drop of a hat... literally. In
one instance, the operator dropped his hat and when he reached down to
pick it up, he bumped the machine, causing it to flip over and crash.

These flaws meant that the census was delayed for several years. However,
the system was, in the words of one newspaper reporter, "good enough for
government work", a guiding principle that lives on to this very day and
explains the government's insistence on using Windows-based PCs.
Brief History Of Linux (#13)
Wanted: Eunuchs programmers

Everything you know about the creation of the Unix operating system is
wrong. We have uncovered the truth: Unix was a conspiracy hatched by
Ritchie and Thompson to thwart the AT&T monopoly that they worked for. The
system, code-named EUNUCHS (Electronic UNtrustworthy User-Condemning
Horrible System), was horribly conceived, just as they had planned.

The OS, quickly renamed to a more respectable "Unix", was adopted first by
Ma Bell's Patent Department and then by the rest of the monopoly. AT&T saw
an inexpensive, multi-user, portable operating system that it had all
rights to; the authors, however, saw a horrible, multi-crashing system
that the Evil Ma Bell Empire would become hopelessly dependent on. AT&T
would go bankrupt trying to maintain the system and eventually collapse.

That didn't happen. Ritchie and Thompson were too talented to create a
crappy operating system; no matter how hard they tried the system was too
good. Their last ditch effort to sabotage the system by recoding it
obfuscated C was unsuccessful. Before long Unix spread outside of Bell
Labs and their conspiracy collapsed.
Brief History Of Linux (#17)
Terrible calamity

IBM chose Microsoft's Quick & Dirty Operating System instead of CP/M for
its new line of PCs. QDOS (along with the abomination known as EDLIN) had
been acquired from a Seattle man, Tim Paterson, for the paltry sum of
$50,000. "Quick" and "Dirty" were truly an accurate description of this
system, because IBM's quality assurance department discovered 300 bugs in
QDOS's 8,000 lines of assember code (that's about 1 bug per 27 lines --
which, at the time, was appalling, but compared with Windows 98 today, it
really wasn't that shabby).

Thanks in part to IBM's new marketing slogan, "Nobody Ever Got Fired For
Choosing IBM(tm)", and the release of the VisiCalc spreadsheet program
that everybody and their brother wanted, IBM PCs running DOS flew off the
shelves and, unfortunately, secured Microsoft's runaway success. Bill
Gates was now on his way to the Billionaire's Club; his days as a mediocre
programmer were long gone: he was now a Suit. The only lines of code he
would ever see would be the passcodes to his Swiss bank accounts.
Brief History Of Linux (#18)
The rise and rise of the Microsoft Empire

The DOS and Windows releases kept coming, and much to everyone's surprise,
Microsoft became more and more successful. This brought much frustration
to computer experts who kept predicting the demise of Microsoft and the
rise of Macintosh, Unix, and OS/2.

Nobody ever got fired for choosing Microsoft, which was the prime reason
that DOS and Windows prevailed. Oh, and DOS had better games as well,
which we all know is the most important feature an OS can have.

In 1986 Microsoft's continued success prompted the company to undergo a
wildly successful IPO. Afterwards, Microsoft and Chairman Bill had
accumulated enough money to acquire small countries without missing a
step, but all that money couldn't buy quality software. Gates could,
however, buy enough marketing and hype to keep MS-DOS (Maybe Some Day an
Operating System) and Windows (Will Install Needless Data On While System)
as the dominant platforms, so quality didn't matter. This fact was
demonstrated in Microsoft's short-lived slogan from 1988, "At Microsoft,
quality is job 1.1".
Brief History Of Linux (#19)
Boy meets operating system

The young Linus Torvalds might have been just another CompSci student if
it wasn't for his experiences in the Univ. of Helsinki's Fall 1990 Unix &
C course. During one class, the professor experienced difficulty getting
Minix to work properly on a Sun box. "Who the heck designed this thing?"
the angry prof asked, and somebody responded, "Andrew Tanenbaum".

The name of the Unix & C professor has already escaped from Linus, but the
words he spoke next remain forever etched in his grey matter:
"Tanenbaum... ah, yes, that Amsterdam weenie who thinks microkernels are
the greatest thing since sliced bread. Well, they're not. I would just
love to see somebody create their own superior Unix-like 32-bit operating
system using a monolithic kernel just to show Tanenbaum up!"

His professor's outburst inspired Linus to order a new IBM PC so he could
hack Minix. You can probably guess what happened next. Inspired by his
professor's words, Linus Torvalds hacks together his own superior
Unix-like 32-but operating system using a monolithic kernel just to show
Mr. Christmas Tree up.
Brief History Of Linux (#20)
Linux is born

Linus' superhuman programming talent produced, within a year, a full
operating system that rivaled Minix. The first official announcement on
comp.os.minix came October 5th, in which Linus wrote these famous words:

   Do you pine for the nice days of minix-1.1, when men were men and wrote
   their own device drivers? Do you want to cut your teeth on an operating
   system that will achieve world domination within 15 years? Want to get
   rich quick by the end of the century by taking money from hordes of
   venture capitalists and clueless Wall Street suits? Need to get even
   with Bill Gates but don't know what to do except throw cream pies at
   him? Then this post might just be for you :-)

Linux (which was known as "Lindows", "Freax", and "Billsux" for short
periods in 1991) hit the bigtime on January 5, 1992 (exactly one year
after Linus wasn't hit by a bus) when version 0.12 was released under the
GNU GPL. Linus called his creation a "better Minix than Minix"; the famous
Linus vs. Tanenbaum flamewar erupted soon thereafter on January 29th and
injured several Usenet bystanders.
Brief History Of Linux (#21)
The GNU Project

Meet Richard M. Stallman, an MIT hacker who would found the GNU Project
and create Emacs, the operating-system-disguised-as-a-text-editor. RMS,
the first member of the Three Initials Club (joined by ESR and JWZ),
experienced such frustration with software wrapped in arcane license
agreements that he embarked on the GNU Project to produce free software.

His journey began when he noticed this fine print for a printer driver:

   You do not own this software. You own a license to use one copy of this
   software, a license that we can revoke at any time for any reason
   whatsoever without a refund. You may not copy, distribute, alter,
   disassemble, or hack the software. The source code is locked away in a
   vault in Cleveland. If you say anything negative about this software
   you will be in violation of this license and required to forfeit your
   soul and/or first born child to us.

The harsh wording of the license shocked RMS. The computer industry was in
it's infancy, which could only mean it was going to get much, much worse.
Brief History Of Linux (#23)

Linus Torvalds certainly wasn't the only person to create their own
operating system from scratch. Other people working from their leaky
basements did create their own systems and now they are sick that they
didn't become an Alpha Geek like Torvalds or a Beta Geek like Alan Cox.

Linus had one advantage not many else did: Internet access. The world was
full of half-implemented-Unix-kernels at the time, but they were sitting
isolated on some hacker's hard drive, destined to be destroyed by a hard
drive crash. Thankfully that never happened to Linux, mostly because
everyone with Net access could download a copy instead of paying shipping
charges to receive the code on a huge stack of unreliable floppy disks.

Indeed, buried deep within a landfill in Lansing, Michigan sits a stack of
still-readable 5-1/4 floppies containing the only known copy of "Windows
Killer", a fully functional Unix kernel so elegant, so efficient, so
easy-to-use that Ken Thompson himself would be jealous of its design.
Unfortunately the author's mother threw out the stack of floppies in a
bout of spring cleaning. The 14 year old author's talents were lost
forever as his parents sent him to Law School.
Brief History Of Linux (#24)
Linus Torvalds quotes from his interview in "LinuxNews" (October 1992):

"I doubt Linux will be here to stay, and maybe Hurd is the wave of the
future (and maybe not)..."

"I'm most certainly going to continue to support it, until it either dies
out or merges with something else. That doesn't necessarily mean I'll make
weekly patches for the rest of my life, but hopefully they won't be needed
as much when things stabilize." [If only he knew what he was getting into.]

"World domination? No, I'm not interested in that. Galactic domination, on
the other hand..."

"Several people have already wondered if Linux should adopt a logo or
mascot. Somebody even suggested a penguin for some strange reason, which I
don't particularly like: how is a flightless bird supposed to represent an
operating system? Well, it might work okay for Microsoft or even Minix..."

"I would give Andy Tanenbaum a big fat 'F'."
Look Out! It's Microsoft Outlook

An old maxim in the Unix community states, "All programs expand until they
can read mail... except Microsoft Outlook." Well, that's no longer true.
By taking advantage of loopholes in several undocumented APIs, a team of
geeks were able to transform Outlook from a virus-delivery system into an
actual mail client.

"It was quite a feat to accomplish this," said one of the geeks. "I mean,
the rat's nest that is the Windows API can be used to frighten small
children... or adults. And the frequency by which Outlook exploits are
discovered is directly proportional to the number of times Bill Gates uses
the word 'innovation'. But this is the first time somebody has discovered
a beneficial exploit."

Microsoft has vowed to release a patch to fix the uncovered security
flaws. "We simply cannot tolerate unauthorized reverse engineering and
hacking of our innovative solutions. Our Security Response Team will pull
an all-nighter to eliminate these known issues."
The Next Big Thing: "Clairvoyant Consultants"

Nobody likes to deal with tech support or customer service reps. A growing
number of people are getting sick of being put on hold for three hours and
then paying ridiculous "per incident" fees so some Microserf can tell them
to "reinstall the operating system!"

Desperate users are turning to an unlikely source to diagnose and fix
software problems: psychics. Palm[Pilot] readers, 1-900 number operators,
and clairvoyant consultants are quickly becoming the hottest careers in
the tech sector.

Explained Madam Cosmos, owner of the Main Street Mysticism Temple in
Keokuk, Iowa, "With my special powers, I can track down the source of any
problem. Got a rogue Registry entry that's causing Bluescreens? I'll find
it. Missing a curly bracket in your Perl program but can't locate it
because the error messages are so unhelpful? I'll know where it is even
before you walk in my door."
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.
Throwing Windows Out The Window

The Federal Bureau Of Missing Socks has banned the use of Microsoft Windows
and Office on all employee computers. But don't get too excited; they aren't
going to replace them with Linux. Instead, this government agency has decided
to go back to using abucusses, slide rules, and manual typewriters.

The banishment of Microsoft software stems from the agency's new policy
against computer games. MS Office, which contains several games in the form of
Easter Eggs, is now verboten on all agency computers. "Flight simulators,
pinball games, magic eight balls... they all violate our policy," said the
sub-adjunct administrator second-class. "So we can't use Office."

Windows is forbidden for the same reason. "We've had way too many
employees wasting time playing Solitaire," she said. "Unfortunately,
Solitaire is an integral part of Windows -- Microsoft executives said so
during the anti-trust trial. If Solitaire is removed, the operating system
won't function properly. Therefore, we have no choice but to banish all
Windows computers."

The Bureau's Assistant Technology Consultant, Mr. Reginald "Red" Taype,
asked,  "Have you ever seen an abucus crash? Have you ever seen anybody
have fun with a slide rule? Do adding machines contain undocumented easter
eggs? No! That's why we're ditching our PCs."
World Domination, One CPU Cycle At A Time

Forget about searching for alien signals or prime numbers. The real
distributed computing application is "Domination@World", a program to advocate
Linux and Apache to every website in the world that uses Windows and IIS.

The goal of the project is to probe every IP number to determine what kind of
platform each Net-connected machine is running. "That's a tall order... we
need lots of computers running our Domination@World clients to help probe
every nook and cranny of the Net," explained Mr. Zell Litt, the project head.

After the probing is complete, the second phase calls for the data to be
cross-referenced with the InterNIC whois database. "This way we'll have the
names, addresses, and phone numbers for every Windows-using system
administrator on the planet," Zell gloated. "That's when the fun begins."

The "fun" part involves LART (Linux Advocacy & Re-education Training), a plan
for extreme advocacy. As part of LART, each Linux User Group will receive a
list of the Windows-using weenies in their region. The LUG will then be able
to employ various advocacy techniques, ranging from a soft-sell approach
(sending the target a free Linux CD in the mail) all the way to "LARTcon 5"
(cracking into their system and forcibly installing Linux).
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!"
The Blue Screen Of Advocacy

The Federal Bureau of Investigation & Privacy Violations has issued a
national advisory warning computer stores to be on the lookout for the
"Bluescreen Bandits". These extreme Linux zealots go from store to store
and from computer to computer typing in "C:\CON\CON" and causing the demo
machines to crash and display the Blue Screen Of Death.

Efforts to apprehend the bandits have so far been unsuccessful. The
outlaws were caught on tape at a CompUSSR location in Southern California,
but in an ironic twist, the surveillance system bluescreened just before
the penguinistas came into clear view.

"We don't have many clues. It's not clear whether a small group is behind
the bluescreen vandalism, or whether hundreds or even thousands of geek
zealots are involved," said the manager of a Capacitor City store.

The manager has good reason to be upset. The bluescreen raid was the top
story in the local newspaper and quickly became a hot topic of discussion.
As a result, the local school board halted its controversial plans to
migrate their computers from Macs to PCs.
The Humorix Oracle explains how to get a job at a major corporation:

1. Find an exploit in Microsoft IIS or another buggy Microsoft product to
   which large corporations rarely apply security patches.
2. Create a virus or worm that takes advantage of this exploit and then
   propogates itself by selecting IP numbers at random and then trying to
   infect those machines.
3. Keep an eye on your own website's server logs. When your virus starts
   propogating, your server will be hit with thousands of attacks from
   other infected systems trying to spread the virus to your machine.
4. Make a list of the IP numbers of all of the infected machines.
5. Perform a reverse DNS lookup on these IP numbers.
6. Make a note of all of the Fortune 500 companies that appear on the list
   of infected domains.
7. Send your resume to these companies and request an interview for a
   system administrator position. These companies are hiring -- whether
   they realize it or not.
8. Use your new salary to hire a good defense lawyer when the FBI comes
   knocking.
8GB Ought To Be Enough For Anybody

REDMOND, WA -- In a shocking move, Microsoft has revealed that the new
Xbox console will only contain an 8 gigabyte hard drive. This implies that
the machines will use a version of the Windows operating system that fits
within only 8GB. Squeezing Windows into such a small footprint must
certainly be one of the greatest technological achievements ever crafted
by Microsoft's Research & Assimilation Department.

"I can't believe it," said one industry observer who always happens to
show up when this Humorix reporter needs to quote somebody. "To think that
they were able to strip away the easter egg flight simulators, the
multi-gigabyte yet content-free Help files, and all of the other crap that
comes bundled with Windows is simply remarkable. I don't even want to
think about all of the manpower, blood, sweat, and tears required to
distill Windows into only 8 gigabytes of bare essentials. Wow!"

Hard drive manufacturers are deeply disturbed over the news. Explained one
PR flack at Eastern Analog, "We depend on Microsoft to continually produce
bloated software that becomes larger and larger with each passing day. We
can't sell huge 100GB drives if Microsoft Windows only occupies a measly 8
gigs! They will never buy a new drive if Microsoft doesn't force them!"
Press Release -- For Immediate Release
Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, WA

...Virtually all version of Linux (and Unix) contain a security hole that
allows unauthorized users to gain complete control over the machine. By
simply typing "root" at the login prompt and supplying a password from a
limited number of possibilities, a malicious user can easily gain
administrator privileges. This hole can be breached in seconds with only a
dozen or so keystrokes...

We suspect this issue has been known to Red Hat and other Linux
distributors for years and they have refused to acknowlege its existence
or supply a patch preventing users from exploiting the "root" login
loophole...

By ignoring the problem, the Linux community has proven that installing
Linux is a dangerous proposition that could get you fired. We would like
to point out that Windows XP does not suffer from this gaping hole...
Tests conducted by both Ziff-Davis and Mindcraft prove that Windows XP is
indeed the most secure operating system ever produced...
Severe Acronym Shortage Cripples Computer Industry

SILICON VALLEY, CALIFORNIA (SVC) -- According to a recent study by the
Blartner Group, 99.5% of all possible five letter combinations have
already been appropriated for computer industry acronyms. The impending
shortage of 5LC's is casting a dark shadow over the industry, which relies
heavily on short, easy-to-remember acronyms for everything.

"Acronym namespace collisions (ANCs) are increasing at a fantastic rate
and threaten the very fabric of the computing world," explained one ZD
pundit. "For example, when somebody talks about XP, I don't know whether
they mean eXtreme Programming or Microsoft's eXceptionally Pathetic
operating system. We need to find a solution now or chaos will result."

Leaders of several SVC companies have floated the idea of an
"industry-wide acronym conservation protocol" (IWACP -- one of the few
5LCs not already appropriated). Explained Bob Smith, CTO of IBM, "If
companies would voluntarily limit the creation of new acronyms while
recycling outdated names, we could reduce much of the pollution within the
acronym namespace ourselves. The last thing we want is for Congress to get
involved and try to impose a solution for this SAS (Severe Acronym
Shortage) that would likely only create many new acronyms in the process."
Solving The Virus Problem Once And For All

System administrators across the globe have tried installing anti-virus
software. They've tried lecturing employees not to open unsolicited email
attachments. They've tried installing firewalls and the latest security
patches. But even with these precautions, email viruses continue to rank
third only to Solitaire and the Blue Screen Of Death in the amount of lost
productivity they cause. Meanwhile, Microsoft Exchange and LookOut! remain
as the number one virus delivery products on the market today.

But maybe not for much longer. A group of disgruntled administrators have
teamed up to produce and sell a brand new way to fight viruses, one that
attacks the root of the problem: stupid users.

Salivating Dogs, Inc. of Ohio has unveiled the "Clue Delivery System"
(CDS), a small device that plugs into the back of a standard PC keyboard
and delivers a mild electric shock whenever the luser does something
stupid. The device is triggered by a Windows program that detects when the
luser attempts to open an unsolicited email attachment or perform another
equally dangerous virus-friendly action.
A place for everything and everything in its place.
                -- Isabella Mary Beeton, "The Book of Household Management"

        [Quoted in "VMS Internals and Data Structures", V4.4, when
         referring to memory management system services.]
God help the troubadour who tries to be a star.  The more that you try
to find success, the more that you will fail.
                -- Phil Ochs, on the Second System Effect
Public use of any portable music system is a virtually guaranteed indicator
of sociopathic tendencies.
                -- Zoso
        The big problem with pornography is defining it.  You can't just
say it's pictures of people naked.  For example, you have these
primitive African tribes that exist by chasing the wildebeest on foot,
and they have to go around largely naked, because, as the old tribal
saying goes: "N'wam k'honi soit qui mali," which means, "If you think
you can catch a wildebeest in this climate and wear clothes at the same
time, then I have some beach front property in the desert region of
Northern Mali that you may be interested in."
        So it's not considered pornographic when National Geographic
publishes color photographs of these people hunting the wildebeest
naked, or pounding one rock onto another rock for some primitive reason
naked, or whatever.  But if National Geographic were to publish an
article entitled "The Girls of the California Junior College System
Hunt the Wildebeest Naked," some people would call it pornography.  But
others would not.  And still others, such as the Spectacularly Rev.
Jerry Falwell, would get upset about seeing the wildebeest naked.
                -- Dave Barry, "Pornography"
We're constantly being bombarded by insulting and humiliating music, which
people are making for you the way they make those Wonder Bread products.
Just as food can be bad for your system, music can be bad for your spirtual
and emotional feelings.  It might taste good or clever, but in the long run,
it's not going to do anything for you.
                -- Bob Dylan, "LA Times", September 5, 1984
We the people of the Debian GNU/Linux distribution, in order to form a
more perfect operating system, establish quality, insure marketplace
diversity, provide for the common needs of computer users, promote
security and privacy, overthrow monopolistic forces in the computer
software industry, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and
our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Debian
GNU/Linux System.
"I think that most debian developers are rather "strong willed" people
with a great degree of understanding and a high level of passion for what
they perceive as important in development of the debian system."
        --Bill Leach
"What is striking, however, is the general layout and integration of the
system.  Debian is a truly elegant Linux distribution; great care has
been taken in the preparation of packages and their placement within the
system.  The sheer number of packages available is also impressive...."
The X Window System:
  The standard UNIX graphical environment.  With Linux, this is usually
  XFree86 (http://www.xfree86.org).  You may call it X, XFree, the X
  Window System, XF86, or a host of other things.  Call it 'XWindows' and
  someone will smack you and you will have deserved it.
<Knghtbrd> Overfiend - BTW, after we've discovered X takes all of 1.4 GIGS
           to build, are you willing admit that X is bloatware?  =>
<Overfiend> KB: there is a 16 1/2 minute gap in my answer
<acf> knghtbrd: evidence exists that X is only the *2nd* worst windowing
      system ;)
2.3.1 has been released. Folks new to this game should remember that
2.3.* releases are development kernels, with no guarantees that they
will not cause your system to do horrible things like corrupt its
disks, catch fire, or start running Mindcraft benchmarks.
        -- Slashdot
But modifying dpkg is infeasible, and we've agreed to, among other things,
keep the needs of our users at the forefront of our minds. And from a
user's perspective, something that keeps the system tidy in the normal
case, and works *now*, is much better than idealistic fantasies like a
working dpkg.
        -- Manoj Srivastava
=== This letter is the Honor System Virus ====
If you are running a Macintosh, OS/2, Unix, or
Linux computer, please randomly delete
several files from your hard disk drive and
forward this message to everyone you know.
==============================================
<Mercury> LordHavoc: The reason why GL has overdraw is because it is only
          using HALF of the system they designed for vis.
<Mercury> LordHavoc: Shooting itself in the foot.
* Dabb looks at all those bullet holes in his shoes - damn, lots :)
Never underestimate the power of somebody with source code, a text editor,
and the willingness to totally hose their system.
        -- Rob Landley <telomerase@yahoo.com>
<Marticus> There's too much blood in my caffeine system.
If the colleges were better, if they really had it, you would need to get
the police at the gates to keep order in the inrushing multitude.  See in
college how we thwart the natural love of learning by leaving the natural
method of teaching what each wishes to learn, and insisting that you shall
learn what you have no taste or capacity for.  The college, which should
be a place of delightful labor, is made odious and unhealthy, and the
young men are tempted to frivolous amusements to rally their jaded spirits.
I would have the studies elective.  Scholarship is to be created not
by compulsion, but by awakening a pure interest in knowledge.  The wise
instructor accomplishes this by opening to his pupils precisely the
attractions the study has for himself.  The marking is a system for schools,
not for the college; for boys, not for men; and it is an ungracious work to
put on a professor.
                -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
                        It's grad exam time...
COMPUTER SCIENCE
        Inside your desk you'll find a listing of the DEC/VMS operating
system in IBM 1710 machine code. Show what changes are necessary to convert
this code into a UNIX Berkeley 7 operating system.  Prove that these fixes are
bug free and run correctly. You should gain at least 150% efficiency in the
new system.  (You should take no more than 10 minutes on this question.)

MATHEMATICS
        If X equals PI times R^2, construct a formula showing how long
it would take a fire ant to drill a hole through a dill pickle, if the
length-girth ratio of the ant to the pickle were 98.17:1.

GENERAL KNOWLEDGE
Describe the Universe.  Give three examples.
                        It's grad exam time...
MEDICINE
        You have been provided with a razor blade, a piece of gauze, and a
bottle of Scotch.  Remove your appendix.  Do not suture until your work has
been inspected.  (You have 15 minutes.)

HISTORY
        Describe the history of the papacy from its origins to the present
day, concentrating especially, but not exclusively, on its social, political,
economic, religious and philisophical impact upon Europe, Asia, America, and
Africa.  Be brief, concise, and specific.

BIOLOGY
        Create life.  Estimate the differences in subsequent human culture
if this form of life had been created 500 million years ago or earlier, with
special attention to its probable effect on the English parliamentary system.
        7,140        pounds on the Sun
           97        pounds on Mercury or Mars
          255        pounds on Earth
          232        pounds on Venus or Uranus
           43        pounds on the Moon
          648        pounds on Jupiter
          275        pounds on Saturn
          303        pounds on Neptune
           13        pounds on Pluto

                -- How much Elvis Presley would weigh at various places
                   in the solar system.
        An architect's first work is apt to be spare and clean.  He knows
he doesn't know what he's doing, so he does it carefully and with great
restraint.
        As he designs the first work, frill after frill and embellishment
after embellishment occur to him.  These get stored away to be used "next
time." Sooner or later the first system is finished, and the architect,
with firm confidence and a demonstrated mastery of that class of systems,
is ready to build a second system.
        This second is the most dangerous system a man ever designs.
When he does his third and later ones, his prior experiences will
confirm each other as to the general characteristics of such systems,
and their differences will identify those parts of his experience that
are particular and not generalizable.
        The general tendency is to over-design the second system, using
all the ideas and frills that were cautiously sidetracked on the first
one.  The result, as Ovid says, is a "big pile."
                -- Frederick Brooks, "The Mythical Man Month"
Back in the early 60's, touch tone phones only had 10 buttons.  Some
military versions had 16, while the 12 button jobs were used only by people
who had "diva" (digital inquiry, voice answerback) systems -- mainly banks.
Since in those days, only Western Electric  made "data sets" (modems) the
problems of terminology were all Bell System.  We used to struggle with
written descriptions of dial pads that were unfamiliar to most people
(most phones were rotary then.)  Partly in jest, some AT&T engineering
types (there was no marketing in the good old days, which is why they were
the good old days) made up the term "octalthorpe" (note spelling) to denote
the "pound sign."  Presumably because it has 8 points sticking out.  It
never really caught on.
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.
One Bell System - it sometimes works.
One Bell System - it used to work before they installed the Dimension!
One Bell System - it works.
With every passing hour our solar system comes forty-three thousand
miles closer to globular cluster M13 in the constellation Hercules, and
still there are some misfits who continue to insist that there is no
such thing as progress.
                -- Ransom K. Ferm
As the system comes up, the component builders will from time to time appear,
bearing hot new versions of their pieces -- faster, smaller, more complete,
or putatively less buggy.  The replacement of a working component by a new
version requires the same systematic testing procedure that adding a new
component does, although it should require less time, for more complete and
efficient test cases will usually be available.
- Frederick Brooks Jr., "The Mythical Man Month"
Each team building another component has been using the most recent tested
version of the integrated system as a test bed for debugging its piece.  Their
work will be set back by having that test bed change under them.  Of course it
must.  But the changes need to be quantized.  Then each user has periods of
productive stability, interrupted by bursts of test-bed change.  This seems
to be much less disruptive than a constant rippling and trembling.
- Frederick Brooks Jr., "The Mythical Man Month"
It is a very humbling experience to make a multimillion-dollar mistake, but it
is also very memorable.  I vividly recall the night we decided how to organize
the actual writing of external specifications for OS/360.  The manager of
architecture, the manager of control program implementation, and I were
threshing out the plan, schedule, and division of responsibilities.

The architecture manager had 10 good men.  He asserted that they could write
the specifications and do it right.  It would take ten months, three more
than the schedule allowed.

The control program manager had 150 men.  He asserted that they could prepare
the specifications, with the architecture team coordinating; it would be
well-done and practical, and he could do it on schedule.  Futhermore, if
the architecture team did it, his 150 men would sit twiddling their thumbs
for ten months.

To this the architecture manager responded that if I gave the control program
team the responsibility, the result would not in fact be on time, but would
also be three months late, and of much lower quality.  I did, and it was.  He
was right on both counts.  Moreover, the lack of conceptual integrity made
the system far more costly to build and change, and I would estimate that it
added a year to debugging time.
- Frederick Brooks Jr., "The Mythical Man Month"
It is important to note that probably no large operating system using current
design technology can withstand a determined and well-coordinated attack,
and that most such documented penetrations have been remarkably easy.
-- B. Hebbard, "A Penetration Analysis of the Michigan Terminal System",
Operating Systems Review, Vol. 14, No. 1, June 1980, pp. 7-20
Overall, the philosophy is to attack the availability problem from two
complementary directions:  to reduce the number of software errors through
rigorous testing of running systems, and to reduce the effect of the
remaining errors by providing for recovery from them.  An interesting footnote
to this design is that now a system failure can usually be considered to be
the result of two program errors:  the first, in the program that started the
problem; the second, in the recovery routine that could not protect the
system.  -- A. L. Scherr, "Functional Structure of IBM Virtual Storage Operating
Systems, Part II: OS/VS-2 Concepts and Philosophies," IBM Systems Journal,
Vol. 12, No. 4, 1973, pp. 382-400
"Probably the best operating system in the world is the [operating system]
made for the PDP-11 by Bell Laboratories." - Ted Nelson, October 1977
Operating-system software is the program that orchestrates all the basic
functions of a computer.
- The Wall Street Journal, Tuesday, September 15, 1987, page 40
If science were explained to the average person in a way that is accessible
and exciting, there would be no room for pseudoscience.  But there is a kind
of Gresham's Law by which in popular culture the bad science drives out the
good.  And for this I think we have to blame, first, the scientific community
ourselves for not doing a better job of popularizing science, and second, the
media, which are in this respect almost uniformly dreadful.  Every newspaper
in America has a daily astrology column.  How many have even a weekly
astronomy column?  And I believe it is also the fault of the educational
system.  We do not teach how to think.  This is a very serious failure that
may even, in a world rigged with 60,000 nuclear weapons, compromise the human
future.
- Carl Sagan, The Burden Of Skepticism, The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. 12, Fall 87
"Unibus timeout fatal trap program lost sorry"
- An error message printed by DEC's RSTS operating system for the PDP-11
As to Jesus of Nazareth...I think the system of Morals and his Religion,
as he left them to us, the best the World ever saw or is likely to see;
but I apprehend it has received various corrupting Changes, and I have,
with most of the present Dissenters in England, some doubts as to his
divinity.
- Benjamin Franklin
On our campus the UNIX system has proved to be not only an effective software
tool, but an agent of technical and social change within the University.
- John Lions (University of New South Wales)
This was the ultimate form of ostentation among technology freaks -- to have
a system so complete and sophisticated that nothing showed; no machines,
no wires, no controls.
- Michael Swanwick, "Vacuum Flowers"
It is inconceivable that a judicious observer from another solar system
would see in our species -- which has tended to be cruel, destructive,
wasteful, and irrational -- the crown and apex of cosmic evolution.
Viewing us as the culmination of *anything* is grotesque; viewing us
as a transitional species makes more sense -- and gives us more hope.
- Betty McCollister, "Our Transitional Species",
  Free Inquiry magazine, Vol. 8, No. 1
Ill-chosen abstraction is particularly evident in the design of the ADA
runtime system. The interface to the ADA runtime system is so opaque that
it is impossible to model or predict its performance, making it effectively
useless for real-time systems. -- Marc D. Donner and David H. Jameson.
"The Amiga is the only personal computer where you can run a multitasking
operating system and get realtime performance, out of the box."
-- Peter da Silva
There is something you must understand about the Soviet system.  They have the
ability to concentrate all their efforts on a given design, and develop all
components simulateously, but sometimes without proper testing.  Then they end
up with a technological disaster like the Tu-144.  In a technology race at
the time, that aircraft was two months ahead of the Concorde.  Four Tu-144s
were built; two have crashed, and two are in museums.  The Concorde has been
flying safely for over 10 years.
-- Victor Belenko, MiG-25 fighter pilot who defected in 1976
   "Defense Electronics", Vol 20, No. 6, pg. 100
"...I could accept this openness, glasnost, perestroika, or whatever you want
to call it if they did these things: abolish the one party system; open the
Soviet frontier and allow Soviet people to travel freely; allow the Soviet
people to have real free enterprise; allow Western businessmen to do business
there, and permit freedom of speech and of the press.  But so far, the whole
country is like a concentration camp.  The barbed wire on the fence around
the Soviet Union is to keep people inside, in the dark.  This openness that
you are seeing, all these changes, are cosmetic and they have been designed
to impress shortsighted, naive, sometimes stupid Western leaders.  These
leaders gush over Gorbachev, hoping to do business with the Soviet Union or
appease it.  He will say: "Yes, we can do business!"  This while his
military machine in Afghanistan has killed over a million people out of a
population of 17 million.  Can you imagine that?
-- Victor Belenko, MiG-25 fighter pilot who defected in 1976
   "Defense Electronics", Vol 20, No. 6, pg. 110
"Remember Kruschev:  he tried to do too many things too fast, and he was
removed in disgrace.  If Gorbachev tries to destroy the system or make too
many fundamental changes to it, I believe the system will get rid of him.
I am not a political scientist, but I understand the system very well.
I believe he will have a "heart attack" or retire or be removed.  He is
up against a brick wall.  If you think they will change everything and
become a free, open society, forget it!"
-- Victor Belenko, MiG-25 fighter pilot who defected in 1976
   "Defense Electronics", Vol 20, No. 6, pg. 110
Mr. DePree believes participative capitalism is the wave of the future.  The
U.S. work force, he believes, "more and more demands to be included in the
capitalist system and if we don't find ways to get the capitalist system
to be an inclusive system rather than the exclusive system it has been, we're
all in deep trouble.  If we don't find ways to begin to understand that
capitalism's highest potential lies in the common good, not in the individual
good, then we're risking the system itself."
-- Max DePree, chairman and CEO of Herman Miller Inc., "Herman Miller's
   Secrets of Corporate Creativity", The Wall Street Journal, May 3, 1988
"Only a brain-damaged operating system would support task switching and not
make the simple next step of supporting multitasking."
-- George McFry
A comment on schedules:
Ok, how long will it take?    
   For each manager involved in initial meetings add one month.
   For each manager who says "data flow analysis" add another month.
   For each unique end-user type add one month.
   For each unknown software package to be employed add two months.
   For each unknown hardware device add two months.
   For each 100 miles between developer and installation add one month.
   For each type of communication channel add one month.
   If an IBM mainframe shop is involved and you are working on a non-IBM
      system add 6 months.
   If an IBM mainframe shop is involved and you are working on an IBM
      system add 9 months.
Round up to the nearest half-year.
--Brad Sherman
By the way, ALL software projects are done by iterative prototyping.
Some companies call their prototypes "releases", that's all.
It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more
doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage, than the creation of a
new system.  For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by
the preservation of the old institutions and merely lukewarm defenders in
those who would gain by the new ones.
-- Machiavelli
"If you weren't my teacher, I'd think you just deleted all my files."
-- an anonymous UCB CS student, to an instructor who had typed "rm -i *" to
   get rid of a file named "-f" on a Unix system.
"The net result is a system that is not only binary compatible with 4.3 BSD,
but is even bug for bug compatible in almost all features."
-- Avadit Tevanian, Jr., "Architecture-Independent Virtual Memory Management
   for Parallel and Distributed Environments:  The Mach Approach"
...At that time [the 1960s], Bell Laboratories scientists projected that
computer speeds as high as 30 million floating-point calculations per
second (megaflops) would be needed for the Army's ballistic missile
defense system.  Many computer experts -- including a National Academy
of Sciences panel -- said achieving such speeds, even using multiple
processors, was impossible.  Today, new generation supercomputers operate
at billions of operations per second (gigaflops).
-- Aviation Week & Space Technology, May 9, 1988, "Washington Roundup", pg 13
[Astrology is] 100 percent hokum, Ted.  As a matter of fact, the first edition
of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, written in 1771 -- 1771! -- said that this
belief system is a subject long ago ridiculed and reviled.  We're dealing with
beliefs that go back to the ancient Babylonians.  There's nothing there....
It sounds a lot like science, it sounds like astronomy.  It's got technical
terms.  It's got jargon.  It confuses the public....The astrologer is quite
glib, confuses the public, uses terms which come from science, come from
metaphysics, come from a host of fields, but they really mean nothing.  The
fact is that astrological beliefs go back at least 2,500 years.  Now that
should be a sufficiently long time for astrologers to prove their case.  They
have not proved their case....It's just simply gibberish.  The fact is, there's
no theory for it, there are no observational data for it.  It's been tested
and tested over the centuries.  Nobody's ever found any validity to it at
all.  It is not even close to a science.  A science has to be repeatable, it
has to have a logical foundation, and it has to be potentially vulnerable --
you test it.  And in that astrology is reqlly quite something else.
-- Astronomer Richard Berendzen, President, American University, on ABC
    News "Nightline," May 3, 1988
Backed up the system lately?
The Seventh Edition licensing procedures are, I suppose, still in effect,
though I doubt that tapes are available from AT&T.  At any rate, whatever
restrictions the license imposes still exist.  These restrictions were and
are reasonable for places that just want to run the system, but don't allow
many of the things that Minix was written for, like study of the source in
classes, or by individuals not in a university or company.

I've always thought that Minix was a fine idea, and competently done.

As for the size of v7, wc -l /usr/sys/*/*.[chs] is 19271.

-- Dennis Ritchie, 1989
"All over the place, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is
constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role
they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume."
-- Noam Chomsky
"A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple
system that worked."
-- John Gall, _Systemantics_
"All the system's paths must be topologically and circularly interrelated for
conceptually definitive, locally transformable, polyhedronal understanding to
be attained in our spontaneous -- ergo, most economical -- geodesiccally
structured thoughts."
-- R. Buckminster Fuller [...and a total nonsequitur as far as I can tell.  -kl]
"You can have my Unix system when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers."
-- Cal Keegan
An Hacker there was, one of the finest sort
Who controlled the system; graphics was his sport.
A manly man, to be a wizard able;
Many a protected file he had sitting on his table.
His console, when he typed, a man might hear
Clicking and feeping wind as clear,
Aye, and as loud as does the machine room bell
Where my lord Hacker was Prior of the cell.
The Rule of good St Savage or St Doeppnor
As old and strict he tended to ignore;
He let go by the things of yesterday
And took the modern world's more spacious way.
He did not rate that text as a plucked hen
Which says that Hackers are not holy men.
And that a hacker underworked is a mere
Fish out of water, flapping on the pier.
That is to say, a hacker out of his cloister.
That was a text he held not worth an oyster.
And I agreed and said his views were sound;
Was he to study till his head wend round
Poring over books in the cloisters?  Must he toil
As Andy bade and till the very soil?
Was he to leave the world upon the shelf?
Let Andy have his labor to himself!
                -- Chaucer
                [well, almost.  Ed.]
And now your toner's toney,                Disk blocks aplenty
And your paper near pure white,                Await your laser drawn lines,
The smudges on your soul are gone        Your intricate fonts,
And your output's clean as light..        Your pictures and signs.

We've labored with your father,                Your amputative absence
The venerable XGP,                        Has made the Ten dumb,
But his slow artistic hand,                Without you, Dover,
Lacks your clean velocity.                We're system untounged-

Theses and papers                         DRAW Plots and TEXage
And code in a queue                        Have been biding their time,
Dover, oh Dover,                        With LISP code and programs,
We've been waiting for you.                And this crufty rhyme.

Dover, oh Dover,                Dover, oh Dover, arisen from dead.
We welcome you back,                Dover, oh Dover, awoken from bed.
Though still you may jam,        Dover, oh Dover, welcome back to the Lab.
You're on the right track.        Dover, oh Dover, we've missed your clean
                                        hand...
Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
                -- T.S. Eliot, "The Hollow Man"

        [Quoted in "VMS Internals and Data Structures", V4.4, when
         referring to system service dispatching.]
        Hack placidly amidst the noisy printers and remember what prizes there
may be in Science.  As fast as possible get a good terminal on a good system.
Enter your data clearly but always encrypt your results.  And listen to others,
even the dull and ignorant, for they may be your customers.  Avoid loud and
aggressive persons, for they are sales reps.
        If you compare your outputs with those of others, you may be surprised,
for always there will be greater and lesser numbers than you have crunched.
Keep others interested in your career, and try not to fumble; it can be a real
hassle and could change your fortunes in time.
        Exercise system control in your experiments, for the world is full of
bugs.  But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive
for linearity and everywhere papers are full of approximations.  Strive for
proportionality.  Especially, do not faint when it occurs.  Neither be cyclical
about results; for in the face of all data analysis it is sure to be noticed.
        Take with a grain of salt the anomalous data points.  Gracefully pass
them on to the youth at the next desk.  Nurture some mutual funds to shield
you in times of sudden layoffs.  But do not distress yourself with imaginings
-- the real bugs are enough to screw you badly.  Murphy's Law runs the
Universe -- and whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt <Curl>B*n dS = 0.
        Therefore, grab for a piece of the pie, with whatever proposals you
can conceive of to try.  With all the crashed disks, skewed data, and broken
line printers, you can still have a beautiful secretary.  Be linear.  Strive
to stay employed.
                -- Technolorata, "Analog"
How doth the VAX's C-compiler
        Improve its object code.
And even as we speak does it
        Increase the system load.

How patiently it seems to run
        And spit out error flags,
While users, with frustration, all
        Tear their clothes to rags.
I must Create a System, or be enslav'd by another Man's;
I will not Reason and Compare; my business is to Create.
                -- William Blake, "Jerusalem"
I've built a better model than the one at Data General
For data bases vegetable, animal, and mineral
My OS handles CPUs with multiplexed duality;
My PL/1 compiler shows impressive functionality.
My storage system's better than magnetic core polarity,
You never have to bother checking out a bit for parity;
There isn't any reason to install non-static floor matting;
My disk drive has capacity for variable formatting.

I feel compelled to mention what I know to be a gloating point:
There's lots of room in memory for variables floating-point,
Which shows for input vegetable, animal, and mineral
I've built a better model than the one at Data General.

                -- Steve Levine, "A Computer Song" (To the tune of
                   "Modern Major General", from "Pirates of Penzance",
                   by Gilbert & Sullivan)
If a system is administered wisely,
its users will be content.
They enjoy hacking their code
and don't waste time implementing
labor-saving shell scripts.
Since they dearly love their accounts,
they aren't interested in other machines.
There may be telnet, rlogin, and ftp,
but these don't access any hosts.
There may be an arsenal of cracks and malware,
but nobody ever uses them.
People enjoy reading their mail,
take pleasure in being with their newsgroups,
spend weekends working at their terminals,
delight in the doings at the site.
And even though the next system is so close
that users can hear its key clicks and biff beeps,
they are content to die of old age
without ever having gone to see it.
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@ccip.perkin-elmer.com (DementDJ) [rec.humor.funny]
Nine megs for the secretaries fair,
Seven megs for the hackers scarce,
Five megs for the grads in smoky lairs,
Three megs for system source;

One disk to rule them all,
One disk to bind them,
One disk to hold the files
And in the darkness grind 'em.
Once there was a little nerd who loved to read your mail,
And then yank back the i-access times to get hackers off his tail,
And once as he finished reading from the secretary's spool,
He wrote a rude rejection to her boyfriend (how uncool!)
And this as delivermail did work and he ran his backfstat,
He heard an awful crackling like rat fritters in hot fat,
And hard errors brought the system down 'fore he could even shout!
        And the bio bug'll bring yours down too, ef you don't watch out!
And once they was a little flake who'd prowl through the uulog,
And when he went to his blit that night to play at being god,
The ops all heard him holler, and they to the console dashed,
But when they did a ps -ut they found the system crashed!
Oh, the wizards adb'd the dumps and did the system trace,
And worked on the file system 'til the disk head was hot paste,
But all they ever found was this:  "panic: never doubt",
        And the bio bug'll crash your box too, ef you don't watch out!
When the day is done and the moon comes out,
And you hear the printer whining and the rk's seems to count,
When the other desks are empty and their terminals glassy grey,
And the load is only 1.6 and you wonder if it'll stay,
You must mind the file protections and not snoop around,
        Or the bio bug'll getcha and bring the system down!
Scratch the disks, dump the core,        Shut it down, pull the plug
Roll the tapes across the floor,        Give the core an extra tug
And the system is going to crash.        And the system is going to crash.
Teletypes smashed to bits.                Mem'ry cards, one and all,
Give the scopes some nasty hits                Toss out halfway down the hall
And the system is going to crash.        And the system is going to crash.
And we've also found                        Just flip one switch
When you turn the power down,                And the lights will cease to twitch
You turn the disk readers into trash.        And the tape drives will crumble
                                                in a flash.
Oh, it's so much fun,                        When the CPU
Now the CPU won't run                        Can print nothing out but "foo,"
And the system is going to crash.        The system is going to crash.
                -- To the tune of "As the Caissons go Rolling Along"
She can kill all your files;
She can freeze with a frown.
And a wave of her hand brings the whole system down.
And she works on her code until ten after three.
She lives like a bat but she's always a hacker to me.
                -- Apologies to Billy Joel
Strange things are done to be number one
In selling the computer                        The Druids were entrepreneurs,
IBM has their strategem                        And they built a granite box
Which steadily grows acuter,                It tracked the moon, warned of monsoons,
And Honeywell competes like Hell,        And forecast the equinox
But the story's missing link                Their price was right, their future
Is the system old at Stonemenge sold                bright,
By the firm of Druids, Inc.                The prototype was sold;
                                        From Stonehenge site their bits and byte
                                        Would ship for Celtic gold.
The movers came to crate the frame;
It weighed a million ton!
The traffic folk thought it a joke        The man spoke true, and thus to you
(the wagon wheels just spun);                A warning from the ages;
"They'll nay sell that," the foreman        Your stock will slip if you can't ship
        spat,                                What's in your brochure's pages.
"Just leave the wild weeds grow;        See if it sells without the bells
"It's Druid-kind, over-designed,        And strings that ring and quiver;
"And belly up they'll go."                Druid repute went down the chute
                                        Because they couldn't deliver.
                -- Edward C. McManus, "The Computer at Stonehenge"
System/3!  System/3!
See how it runs!  See how it runs!
        Its monitor loses so totally!
        It runs all its programs in RPG!
        It's made by our favorite monopoly!
System/3!
'Twas midnight, and the UNIX hacks
Did gyre and gimble in their cave
All mimsy was the CS-VAX
And Cory raths outgrabe.

"Beware the software rot, my son!
The faults that bite, the jobs that thrash!
Beware the broken pipe, and shun
The frumious system crash!"
What pains others pleasures me,
At home am I in Lisp or C;
There i couch in ecstasy,
'Til debugger's poke i flee,
Into kernel memory.
In system space, system space, there shall i fare--
Inside of a VAX on a silicon square.
What segment's this, that, laid to rest
On FHA0, is sleeping?
What system file, lay here a while        This, this is "acct.run,"
While hackers around it were weeping?        Accounting file for everyone.
                                        Dump, dump it and type it out,
                                        The file, the highseg of login.
Why lies it here, on public disk
And why is it now unprotected?
A bug in incant, made it thus.                Mount, mount all your DECtapes now
And copy the file somehow, somehow.        The problem has not been corrected.
                                        Dump, dump it and type it out,
                                        The file, the highseg of login.
                -- to Greensleeves
"`Incidentally,' he said, `what does teleport mean?'
Another moment passed.
Slowly, the others turned to face him.
`Probably the wrong moment to ask,' said Arthur, `It's just
I remember you use the word a short while ago and I only
bring it up because...'
`Where,' said Ford quietly, `does it say teleport?'
`Well, just over here in fact,' said Arthur, pointing at a
dark control box in the rear of the cabin, `Just under the
word "emergency", above the word "system" and beside the
sign saying "out of order".'"

- Arthur finding an escape route from a certain death
situation.
"Don't come back until you have him", the Tick-Tock Man said quietly,
sincerely, extremely dangerously.

They used dogs.  They used probes.  They used cardio plate crossoffs.
They used teepers.  They used bribery.  They used stick tites.  They used
intimidation.  They used torment.  They used torture.  They used finks.
They used cops.  They used search and seizure.  They used fallaron.  They
used betterment incentives.  They used finger prints.  They used the
bertillion system.  They used cunning.  They used guile.  They used treachery.
They used Raoul-Mitgong but he wasn't much help.  They used applied physics.
They used techniques of criminology.  And what the hell, they caught him.
                -- Harlan Ellison, "Repent, Harlequin, said the Tick-Tock Man"
        To lose weight, eat less; to gain weight, eat more; if you merely
wish to maintain, do whatever you were doing.
        The Bronx diet is a legitimate system of food therapy showing that
food SHOULD be used a crutch and which food could be the most effective in
promoting spiritual and emotional satisfaction.  For the first time, an
eater could instantly grasp the connection between relieving depression and
Mallomars, and understand why a lover's quarrel isn't so bad if there's a
pint of ice cream nearby.
                -- Richard Smith, "The Bronx Diet"
not enough memory, go get system upgrade
boss forgot system password
bank holiday - system operating credits  not recharged
high pressure system failure
failed trials, system needs redesigned
system has been recalled
need to wrap system in aluminum foil to fix problem
system needs to be rebooted
The file system is full of it
backup tape overwritten with copy of system manager's favourite CD
halon system went off and killed the operators.
Daemons loose in system.
User was distributing pornography on server; system seized by FBI.
You can tune a file system, but you can't tune a fish (from most tunefs man pages)
system consumed all the paper for paging
runaway cat on system.
The Borg tried to assimilate your system. Resistance is futile.
Due to Federal Budget problems we have been forced to cut back on the number of users able to access the system at one time. (namely none allowed....)
microelectronic Riemannian curved-space fault in write-only file system
tachyon emissions overloading the system
Repeated reboots of the system failed to solve problem
This is a test of the emergency broadcast system.  Had there been an
actual emergency, then you would no longer be here.
This is a test of the Emergency Broadcast System.  If this had been an
actual emergency, do you really think we'd stick around to tell you?
[From an announcement of a congress of the International Ontopsychology
Association, in Rome]:

The Ontopsychological school, availing itself of new research criteria and
of a new telematic epistemology, maintains that social modes do not spring
from dialectics of territory or of class, or of consumer goods, or of means
of power, but rather from dynamic latencies capillarized in millions of
individuals in system functions which, once they have reached the event
maturation, burst forth in catastrophic phenomenology engaging a suitable
stereotype protagonist or duty marionette (general, president, political
party, etc.) to consummate the act of social schizophrenia in mass genocide.
Your digestive system is your body's Fun House, whereby food goes on a long,
dark, scary ride, taking all kinds of unexpected twists and turns, being
attacked by vicious secretions along the way, and not knowing until the last
minute whether it will be turned into a useful body part or ejected into the
Dark Hole by Mister Sphincter.  We Americans live in a nation where the
medical-care system is second to none in the world, unless you count maybe
25 or 30 little scuzzball countries like Scotland that we could vaporize in
seconds if we felt like it.
                -- Dave Barry, "Stay Fit & Healthy Until You're Dead"
"If a machine couldn't run a free operating system, we got rid of it."

  -- Richard Stallman (Open Sources, 1999 O'Reilly and Associates)
"So right now the only vendor that does such a stupid thing is Microsoft."

  -- Linus Torvalds on bad file system interface design. (Open Sources , 1999 O'Reilly and Associates.)
Bagbiter:
        1. n.; Equipment or program that fails, usually intermittently.  2.
adj.: Failing hardware or software.  "This bagbiting system won't let me get
out of spacewar." Usage: verges on obscenity.  Grammatically separable; one
may speak of "biting the bag".  Synonyms: LOSER, LOSING, CRETINOUS,
BLETCHEROUS, BARFUCIOUS, CHOMPER, CHOMPING.
Brooke's Law:
        Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool
        discovers something which either abolishes the system or
        expands it beyond recognition.
Cache:
        A very expensive part of the memory system of a computer that no one
        is supposed to know is there.
Complex system:
        One with real problems and imaginary profits.
compuberty, n:
        The uncomfortable period of emotional and hormonal changes a
        computer experiences when the operating system is upgraded and
        a sun4 is put online sharing files.
default, n.:
        [Possibly from Black English "De fault wid dis system is you,
        mon."] The vain attempt to avoid errors by inactivity.  "Nothing will
        come of nothing: speak again." -- King Lear.
                -- Stan Kelly-Bootle, "The Devil's DP Dictionary"
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.
flowchart, n. & v.:
        [From flow "to ripple down in rich profusion, as hair" + chart
"a cryptic hidden-treasure map designed to mislead the uninitiated."]
1. n. The solution, if any, to a class of Mascheroni construction
problems in which given algorithms require geometrical representation
using only the 35 basic ideograms of the ANSI template.  2. n. Neronic
doodling while the system burns.  3. n. A low-cost substitute for
wallpaper.  4. n.  The innumerate misleading the illiterate.  "A
thousand pictures is worth ten lines of code." -- The Programmer's
Little Red Vade Mecum, Mao Tse T'umps.  5. v.intrans. To produce
flowcharts with no particular object in mind.  6. v.trans. To obfuscate
(a problem) with esoteric cartoons.
                -- Stan Kelly-Bootle, "The Devil's DP Dictionary"
Hardware, n.:
        The parts of a computer system that can be kicked.
incentive program, n.:
        The system of long and short-term rewards that a corporation uses
        to motivate its people.  Still, despite all the experimentation with
        profit sharing, stock options, and the like, the most effective
        incentive program to date seems to be "Do a good job and you get to
        keep it."
kern, v.:
        1. To pack type together as tightly as the kernels on an ear
        of corn.  2. In parts of Brooklyn and Queens, N.Y., a small,
        metal object used as part of the monetary system.
kernel, n.:
        A part of an operating system that preserves the medieval
        traditions of sorcery and black art.
MAFIA, n:
        [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"
Pascal Users:
        The Pascal system will be replaced next Tuesday by Cobol.
        Please modify your programs accordingly.
Performance:
        A statement of the speed at which a computer system works.  Or
        rather, might work under certain circumstances.  Or was rumored
        to be working over in Jersey about a month ago.
Portable, adj.:
        Survives system reboot.
Shaw's Principle:
        Build a system that even a fool can use, and only a fool will
        want to use it.
statistics, n.:
        A system for expressing your political prejudices in convincing
        scientific guise.
system-independent, adj.:
        Works equally poorly on all systems.
The rules:
         (1) Thou shalt not worship other computer systems.
         (2) Thou shalt not impersonate Liberace or eat watermelon while
              sitting at the console keyboard.
         (3) Thou shalt not slap users on the face, nor staple their silly
             little card decks together.
         (4) Thou shalt not get physically involved with the computer system,
             especially if you're already married.
         (5) Thou shalt not use magnetic tapes as frisbees, nor use a disk
             pack as a stool to reach another disk pack.
         (6) Thou shalt not stare at the blinking lights for more than one
             eight hour shift.
         (7) Thou shalt not tell users that you accidentally destroyed their
             files/backup just to see the look on their little faces.
         (8) Thou shalt not enjoy cancelling a job.
         (9) Thou shalt not display firearms in the computer room.
        (10) Thou shalt not push buttons "just to see what happens".
theory, n.:
        System of ideas meant to explain something, chosen with a view to
        originality, controversialism, incomprehensibility, and how good
        it will look in print.
transparent, adj.:
        Being or pertaining to an existing, nontangible object.
        "It's there, but you can't see it"
                -- IBM System/360 announcement, 1964.

virtual, adj.:
        Being or pertaining to a tangible, nonexistent object.
        "I can see it, but it's not there."
                -- Lady Macbeth.
Voter's Block:
        The attempt, however futile, to register dissent with the
current political system by simply not voting.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
DOS: n., A small annoying boot virus that causes random spontaneous system
     crashes, usually just before saving a massive project.  Easily cured by
     UNIX.  See also MS-DOS, IBM-DOS, DR-DOS.
(from David Vicker's .plan)
Fatal Error: Found [MS-Windows] System -> Repartitioning Disk for Linux...
(By cbbrown@io.org, Christopher Browne)
Microsoft Corp., concerned by the growing popularity of the free 32-bit
operating system for Intel systems, Linux, has employed a number of top
programmers from the underground world of virus development. Bill Gates stated
yesterday: "World domination, fast -- it's either us or Linus". Mr. Torvalds
was unavailable for comment ...
(rjm@swift.eng.ox.ac.uk (Robert Manners), in comp.os.linux.setup)
"If the future navigation system [for interactive networked services on
the NII] looks like something from Microsoft, it will never work."
(Chairman of Walt Disney Television & Telecommunications)
"If you want to travel around the world and be invited to speak at a lot
of different places, just write a Unix operating system."
(By Linus Torvalds)
"Linux: the operating system with a CLUE...
Command Line User Environment".
(seen in a posting in comp.software.testing)
"Note that if I can get you to \"su and say\" something just by asking,
you have a very serious security problem on your system and you should
look into it."
(By Paul Vixie, vixie-cron 3.0.1 installation notes)
"sic transit discus mundi"
(From the System Administrator's Guide, by Lars Wirzenius)
"Waving away a cloud of smoke, I look up, and am blinded by a bright, white
light. It's God. No, not Richard Stallman, or Linus Torvalds, but God. In
a booming voice, He says: "THIS IS A SIGN. USE LINUX, THE FREE UNIX SYSTEM
FOR THE 386."
(Matt Welsh)
"What you end up with, after running an operating system concept through
these many marketing coffee filters, is something not unlike plain hot
water."
(By Matt Welsh)
`When you say "I wrote a program that crashed Windows", people just stare at
you blankly and say "Hey, I got those with the system, *for free*".'
(By Linus Torvalds)
A real patriot is the fellow who gets a parking ticket and rejoices
that the system works.
I DON'T THINK I'M ALONE when I say I'd like to see more and more planets
fall under the ruthless domination of our solar system.
                -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.
If voting could change the system, it would be illegal.  If not voting
could change the system, it would be illegal.
If we all work together, we can totally disrupt the system.
The founding fathers tried to set up a judicial system where the accused
received a fair trial, not a system to insure an acquittal on technicalities.
The genius of our ruling class is that it has kept a majority of the
people from ever questioning the inequity of a system where most people
drudge along paying heavy taxes for which they get nothing in return.
                -- Gore Vidal
The two party system ... is a triumph of the dialectic.  It showed that
two could be one and one could be two and had probably been fabricated
by Hegel for the American market on a subcontract from General Dynamics.
                -- I.F. Stone
They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom for trying to change the
system from within.  I'm coming now I'm coming to reward them.  First
we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin.

I'm guided by a signal in the heavens.  I'm guided by this birthmark on
my skin.  I'm guided by the beauty of our weapons.  First we take Manhattan,
then we take Berlin.

I'd really like to live beside you, baby.  I love your body and your spirit
and your clothes.  But you see that line there moving through the station?
I told you I told you I told you I was one of those.
        -- Leonard Cohen, "First We Take Manhattan"
Where the system is concerned, you're not allowed to ask "Why?".
"Even if you want no state, or a minimal state, then you still have to
argue it point by point.  Especially since most minimalists want to
keep exactly the economic and police system that keeps them
privileged.  That's libertarians for you -- anarchists who want police
protection from their slaves!"
                -- Coyote, in Kim Stanley Robinson's "Green Mars"
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.
Delay not, Caesar.  Read it instantly.
                -- Shakespeare, "Julius Caesar" 3,1

Here is a letter, read it at your leisure.
                -- Shakespeare, "Merchant of Venice" 5,1

        [Quoted in "VMS Internals and Data Structures", V4.4, when
         referring to I/O system services.]
For the fashion of Minas Tirith was such that it was built on seven levels,
each delved into a hill, and about each was set a wall, and in each wall
was a gate.
                -- J.R.R. Tolkien, "The Return of the King"

        [Quoted in "VMS Internals and Data Structures", V4.4, when
         referring to system overview.]

What If Bill Gates Was a Stand-Up Comedian?

1. None of his jokes would be funny.
2. Subliminal message hyping Microsoft and Windows 98 would be inserted
    throughout his performance.
3. The audio system (running Windows NT) would always crash right before Bill
    got to a punch line. At that time one of the managers would announce,
    "Please hold tight while we diagnose this intermittent issue."
4. Tickets for Bill's show would be handed out for free in an attempt to
    attract customers away from Netscape's shows.
5. Industry pundits would call Bill's show "innovative" and would ask "Why
    doesn't IBM have a stand-up routine? This is exactly why OS/2 is failing in
    the market."
6. Bill's show would be called "ActiveHumor 98"
7. In a perfect imitation of his Windows 95 OS, Bill wouldn't be able to tell
    a joke and walk around at the same time.
8. Audience members would have to sign a License Agreement in which one of the
    terms is "I agree never to watch Linus Torvalds' show, 'GNU/Humorux'".
9. All audience members would receive a free CD of Internet Explorer 4.0, with
    FakeJava(R) and ActiveHex(tm) technology.
10. Bill Gates would appear on Saturday Night Live, causing ratings to drop
    even further.
It is not too late to turn back from the GATES of hell.
Use Linux - the free 32 bit operating system.
Never trust an operating system you don't have sources for.
Linux: the operating system with a CLUE... Command Line User Environment
When you say "I wrote a program that crashed Windows", people just stare at
you blankly and say "Hey, I got those with the system, *for free*".
  
   -- Linus Torvalds
What you end up with, after running an operating system concept through
these many marketing coffee filters, is something not unlike plain hot
water.

   -- Matt Welsh
Fatal Error: Found MS-Windows System -> Repartitioning Disk for Linux...
Yo-yo operating system = WinNT: it goes up..., it goes down..., it goes...

   -- From a Slashdot.org post
Why would people waste their time developing viruses for Microsoft
products when Microsoft does such a good job itself of adding in bugs
which crash your system?

   -- From a Slashdot.org post
Slight disorientation after prolonged system uptime is normal for new Linux
users. Please do not adjust your browser.

   -- From a Slashdot.org post
If you want to travel around the world and be invited to speak at a lot of
different places, just write a Unix operating system.

   -- Linus Torvalds
See, you not only have to be a good coder to create a system like Linux,
you have to be a sneaky bastard too.

   -- Linus Torvalds
Machine Always Crashes, If Not, The Operating System Hangs (MACINTOSH)
        -- Topic on #Linux
When you say "I wrote a program that crashed Windows", people just stare at
you blankly and say "Hey, I got those with the system, *for free*".
        -- Linus Torvalds
Note that if I can get you to "su and say" something just by asking,
you have a very serious security problem on your system and you should
look into it.
        -- Paul Vixie, vixie-cron 3.0.1 installation notes
If the future navigation system [for interactive networked services on
the NII] looks like something from Microsoft, it will never work.
        -- Chairman of Walt Disney Television & Telecommunications
If you want to travel around the world and be invited to speak at a lot
of different places, just write a Unix operating system.
        -- Linus Torvalds
What you end up with, after running an operating system concept through
these many marketing coffee filters, is something not unlike plain hot
water.
        -- Matt Welsh
Linux: the operating system with a CLUE... Command Line User Environment.
        -- seen in a posting in comp.software.testing
Sic transit discus mundi
        -- From the System Administrator's Guide, by Lars Wirzenius
Waving away a cloud of smoke, I look up, and am blinded by a bright, white
light.  It's God. No, not Richard Stallman, or Linus Torvalds, but God. In
a booming voice, He says: "THIS IS A SIGN. USE LINUX, THE FREE UNIX SYSTEM
FOR THE 386.
        -- Matt Welsh
DOS: n., A small annoying boot virus that causes random spontaneous system
     crashes, usually just before saving a massive project.  Easily cured by
     UNIX.  See also MS-DOS, IBM-DOS, DR-DOS.
        -- David Vicker's .plan
Microsoft Corp., concerned by the growing popularity of the free 32-bit
operating system for Intel systems, Linux, has employed a number of top
programmers from the underground world of virus development.  Bill Gates stated
yesterday: "World domination, fast -- it's either us or Linus".  Mr. Torvalds
was unavailable for comment ...
        -- Robert Manners, rjm@swift.eng.ox.ac.uk, in comp.os.linux.setup
When you say 'I wrote a program that crashed Windows', people just stare at
you blankly and say 'Hey, I got those with the system, *for free*'.
        -- Linus Torvalds
Never trust an operating system you don't have sources for. ;-)
        -- Unknown source
I forgot to mention an important fact in the 1.3.67 announcement. In order to
get a fully working kernel, you have to follow the steps below:
- Walk around your computer widdershins 3 times, chanting "Linus is
   overworked, and he makes lousy patches, but we love him anyway". Get
   your spuouse to do this too for extra effect.  Children are optional.
- Apply the patch included in this mail
- Call your system "Super-67", and don't forget to unapply the patch
   before you later applying the official 1.3.68 patch.
- reboot
        -- Linus Torvalds, announcing another kernel patch
> If you don't need X then little VT-100 terminals are available for real
> cheap.  Should be able to find decent ones used for around $40 each.
> For that price, they're a must for the kitchen, den, bathrooms, etc.. :)
You're right. Can you explain this to my wife?
        -- Seen on c.o.l.development.system, on the subject of extra terminals
Besides, its really not worthwhile to use more than two times your physical
ram in swap (except in a select few situations). The performance of the system
becomes so abysmal you'd rather heat pins under your toenails while reciting
Windows95 source code and staring at porn flicks of Bob Dole than actually try
to type something.
        -- seen on c.o.l.development.system, about the size of the swap space
One of the things that hamper Linux's climb to world domination is the
shortage of bad Computer Role Playing Games, or CRaPGs. No operating system
can be considered respectable without one.
        -- Brian O'Donnell, odonnllb@tcd.ie
Checking host system type...
i586-unknown-linux
configure: error: sorry, this is the gnu os, not linux
        -- Topic on #Linux
The easiest way to get the root password is to become system admin.
        -- Unknown source
Well, since MS cant be sure of the username of someone downloading
things, they are going to play it safe and have everything dowloaded
and executed by Explorer as suid root. That way, it will run on ANY
system anywhere. :)
        -- George Bonser <grep@cris.com>
Win 95 is simplified for the user:

User: What does this configuration thing do?
You: It allows you to modify you settings, for networking,
        hardware, protocols, ...
User: Whoa! Layman's terms, please!
You:  It changes stuff.
User: That's what I'm looking for!  What can it change?
You:  This part change IP forwarding.  It allows ...
User: Simplify, simplify!  What can it do for ME?
You:  Nothing, until you understand it.
User: Well it makes me uncomfortable.  It looks so technical;
      Get rid of it, I want a system *I* can understand.
You:  But...
User: Hey, who's system is this anyway?
You:  (... rm this, rm that, rm /etc/* ...) "All done."
        -- Kevin M. Bealer <kmb203@psu.edu>
Linux - Das System fuer schlaue Maedchen ;)
        -- banshee
/*
* Buddy system. Hairy. You really aren't expected to understand this
*
*/
        -- From /usr/src/linux/mm/page_alloc.cA
Wenn also die KDE-Arbeit nochmal gemacht wird bei GNOME, hat das die
Entwicklungszeit fr ein freies Desktop-System verkrzt.  Hast Du auch
irgendwo die passende Algebra zu der Rechnung?
        -- Sascha Ziemann in de.comp.os.unix.linux.misc
Boston State House is the hub of the Solar System.  You couldn't pry that out
of a Boston man if you had the tire of all creation straightened out for a
crowbar.
                -- Oliver Wendell Holmes
Q:        How many hardware engineers does it take to change a light bulb?
A:        None.  We'll fix it in software.

Q:        How many system programmers does it take to change a light bulb?
A:        None.  The application can work around it.

Q:        How many software engineers does it take to change a light bulb?
A:        None.  We'll document it in the manual.

Q:        How many tech writers does it take to change a light bulb?
A:        None.  The user can figure it out.
Q:        How many IBM types does it take to change a light bulb?
A:        Fifteen.  One to do it, and fourteen to write document number
        GC7500439-0001, Multitasking Incandescent Source System Facility,
        of which 10% of the pages state only "This page intentionally
        left blank", and 20% of the definitions are of the form "A:.....
        consists of sequences of non-blank characters separated by blanks".
A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a
simple system that works.
        A manager went to the master programmer and showed him the requirements
document for a new application.  The manager asked the master: "How long will
it take to design this system if I assign five programmers to it?"
        "It will take one year," said the master promptly.
        "But we need this system immediately or even sooner!  How long will it
take it I assign ten programmers to it?"
        The master programmer frowned.  "In that case, it will take two years."
        "And what if I assign a hundred programmers to it?"
        The master programmer shrugged.  "Then the design will never be
completed," he said.
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
        A novice asked the Master: "Here is a programmer that never designs,
documents, or tests his programs.  Yet all who know him consider him one of
the best programmers in the world.  Why is this?"
        The Master replies: "That programmer has mastered the Tao.  He has
gone beyond the need for design; he does not become angry when the system
crashes, but accepts the universe without concern.  He has gone beyond the
need for documentation; he no longer cares if anyone else sees his code.  He
has gone beyond the need for testing; each of his programs are perfect within
themselves, serene and elegant, their purpose self-evident.  Truly, he has
entered the mystery of the Tao."
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
A student, in hopes of understanding the Lambda-nature, came to Greenblatt.
As they spoke a Multics system hacker walked by.  "Is it true", asked the
student, "that PL-1 has many of the same data types as Lisp?"  Almost before
the student had finished his question, Greenblatt shouted, "FOO!", and hit
the student with a stick.
===  ALL USERS PLEASE NOTE  ========================

A new system, the CIRCULATORY system, has been added.

The long-experimental CIRCULATORY system has been released to users.  The
Lisp Machine uses Type B fluid, the L machine uses Type A fluid.  When the
switch to Common Lisp occurs both machines will, of course, be Type O.
Please check fluid level by using the DIP stick which is located in the
back of VMI monitors.  Unchecked low fluid levels can cause poor paging
performance.
===  ALL USERS PLEASE NOTE  ========================

JCL support as alternative to system menu.

In our continuing effort to support languages other than LISP on the CADDR,
we have developed an OS/360-compatible JCL.  This can be used as an
alternative to the standard system menu.  Type System J to get to a JCL
interactive read-execute-diagnose loop window.  [Note that for 360
compatibility, all input lines are truncated to 80 characters.]  This
window also maintains a mouse-sensitive display of critical job parameters
such as dataset allocation, core allocation, channels, etc.  When a JCL
syntax error is detected or your job ABENDs, the window-oriented JCL
debugger is entered.  The JCL debugger displays appropriate OS/360 error
messages (such as IEC703, "disk error") and allows you to dequeue your job.
... an anecdote from IBM's Yorktown Heights Research Center.  When a
programmer used his new computer terminal, all was fine when he was sitting
down, but he couldn't log in to the system when he was standing up.  That
behavior was 100 percent repeatable: he could always log in when sitting and
never when standing.

Most of us just sit back and marvel at such a story; how could that terminal
know whether the poor guy was sitting or standing?  Good debuggers, though,
know that there has to be a reason.  Electrical theories are the easiest to
hypothesize: was there a loose with under the carpet, or problems with static
electricity?  But electrical problems are rarely consistently reproducible.
An alert IBMer finally noticed that the problem was in the terminal's keyboard:
the tops of two keys were switched.  When the programmer was seated he was a
touch typist and the problem went unnoticed, but when he stood he was led
astray by hunting and pecking.
        -- "Programming Pearls" column, by Jon Bentley in CACM February 1985
An elephant is a mouse with an operating system.
As part of the conversion, computer specialists rewrote 1,500 programs;
a process that traditionally requires some debugging.
                -- USA Today, referring to the Internal Revenue Service
                   conversion to a new computer system.
As the system comes up, the component builders will from time to time appear,
bearing hot new versions of their pieces -- faster, smaller, more complete,
or putatively less buggy.  The replacement of a working component by a new
version requires the same systematic testing procedure that adding a new
component does, although it should require less time, for more complete and
efficient test cases will usually be available.
                -- Frederick Brooks Jr., "The Mythical Man Month"
Both models are identical in performance, functional operation, and
interface circuit details.  The two models, however, are not compatible
on the same communications line connection.
                -- Bell System Technical Reference
Build a system that even a fool can use and only a fool will want to use it.
But in our enthusiasm, we could not resist a radical overhaul of the
system, in which all of its major weaknesses have been exposed,
analyzed, and replaced with new weaknesses.
                -- Bruce Leverett, "Register Allocation in Optimizing Compilers"
C++ is the best example of second-system effect since OS/360.
Computers are unreliable, but humans are even more unreliable.
Any system which depends on human reliability is unreliable.
                -- Gilb
Congratulations!  You are the one-millionth user to log into our system.
If there's anything special we can do for you, anything at all, don't
hesitate to ask!
During the next two hours, the system will be going up and down several
times, often with lin~po_~{po       ~poz~ppo\~{ o n~po_~{o[po         ~y oodsou>#w4k**n~po_~{ol;lkld;f;g;dd;po\~{o
Each new user of a new system uncovers a new class of bugs.
                -- Kernighan
/earth: file system full.
Established technology tends to persist in the face of new technology.
                -- G. Blaauw, one of the designers of System 360
Fortune suggests uses for YOUR favorite UNIX commands!

Try:
        [Where is Jimmy Hoffa?                        (C shell)
        ^How did the^sex change operation go?        (C shell)
        "How would you rate BSD vs. System V?
        %blow                                        (C shell)
        'thou shalt not mow thy grass at 8am'        (C shell)
        got a light?                                (C shell)
        !!:Say, what do you think of margarine?        (C shell)
        PATH=pretending! /usr/ucb/which sense        (Bourne shell)
        make love
        make "the perfect dry martini"
        man -kisses dog                                (anything up to 4.3BSD)
        i=Hoffa ; >$i; $i; rm $i; rm $i                (Bourne shell)
HOST SYSTEM NOT RESPONDING, PROBABLY DOWN. DO YOU WANT TO WAIT? (Y/N)
HOST SYSTEM RESPONDING, PROBABLY UP...
How can you work when the system's so crowded?
How much does it cost to entice a dope-smoking UNIX system guru to Dayton?
                -- Brian Boyle, UNIX/WORLD's First Annual Salary Survey
        If the Tao is great, then the operating system is great.  If the
operating system is great, then the compiler is great.  If the compiler
is great, then the application is great.  If the application is great, then
the user is pleased and there is harmony in the world.
        The Tao gave birth to machine language.  Machine language gave birth
to the assembler.
        The assembler gave birth to the compiler.  Now there are ten thousand
languages.
        Each language has its purpose, however humble.  Each language
expresses the Yin and Yang of software.  Each language has its place within
the Tao.
        But do not program in COBOL if you can avoid it.
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
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.
If you think the system is working, ask someone who's waiting for a prompt.
In practice, failures in system development, like unemployment in Russia,
happens a lot despite official propaganda to the contrary.
                -- Paul Licker
        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
It is a very humbling experience to make a multimillion-dollar mistake, but
it is also very memorable.  I vividly recall the night we decided how to
organize the actual writing of external specifications for OS/360.  The
manager of architecture, the manager of control program implementation, and
I were threshing out the plan, schedule, and division of responsibilities.
        The architecture manager had 10 good men.  He asserted that they
could write the specifications and do it right.  It would take ten months,
three more than the schedule allowed.
        The control program manager had 150 men.  He asserted that they
could prepare the specifications, with the architecture team coordinating;
it would be well-done and practical, and he could do it on schedule.
Furthermore, if the architecture team did it, his 150 men would sit twiddling
their thumbs for ten months.
        To this the architecture manager responded that if I gave the control
program team the responsibility, the result would not in fact be on time,
but would also be three months late, and of much lower quality.  I did, and
it was.  He was right on both counts.  Moreover, the lack of conceptual
integrity made the system far more costly to build and change, and I would
estimate that it added a year to debugging time.
                -- Frederick Brooks Jr., "The Mythical Man Month"
It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more
doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage, than the creation of
a new system.  For the initiator has the emnity of all who would profit
by the preservation of the old institutions and merely lukewarm defenders
in those who would gain by the new ones.
                -- Niccolo Machiavelli, 1513
It turned out that the worm exploited three or four different holes in the
system.  From this, and the fact that we were able to capture and examine
some of the source code, we realized that we were dealing with someone very
sharp, probably not someone here on campus.
                -- Dr. Richard LeBlanc, associate professor of ICS, in
                   Georgia Tech's campus newspaper after the Internet worm.
It's a naive, domestic operating system without any breeding, but I
think you'll be amused by its presumption.
`Lasu' Releases SAG 0.3 -- Freeware Book Takes Paves For New World Order
by staff writers

Helsinki, Finland, August 6, 1995 -- In a surprise movement, Lars
``Lasu'' Wirzenius today released the 0.3 edition of the ``Linux System
Administrators' Guide''.  Already an industry non-classic, the new
version sports such overwhelming features as an overview of a Linux
system, a completely new climbing session in a tree, and a list of
acknowledgements in the introduction.
        The SAG, as the book is affectionately called, is one of the
corner stones of the Linux Documentation Project.  ``We at the LDP feel
that we wouldn't be able to produce anything at all, that all our work
would be futile, if it weren't for the SAG,'' says Matt Welsh, director
of LDP, Inc.
        The new version is still distributed freely, now even with a
copyright that allows modification.  ``More dough,'' explains the author.
Despite insistent rumors about blatant commercialization, the SAG will
probably remain free.  ``Even more dough,'' promises the author.
        The author refuses to comment on Windows NT and Windows 96
versions, claiming not to understand what the question is about.
Industry gossip, however, tells that Bill Gates, co-founder and CEO of
Microsoft, producer of the Windows series of video games, has visited
Helsinki several times this year.  Despite of this, Linus Torvalds,
author of the word processor Linux with which the SAG was written, is
not worried.  ``We'll have world domination real soon now, anyway,'' he
explains, ``for 1.4 at the lastest.''
        ...
                -- Lars Wirzenius <wirzeniu@cs.helsinki.fi>
                   [comp.os.linux.announce]
LOGO for the Dead

LOGO for the Dead lets you continue your computing activities from
"The Other Side."

The package includes a unique telecommunications feature which lets you
turn your TRS-80 into an electronic Ouija board.  Then, using Logo's
graphics capabilities, you can work with a friend or relative on this
side of the Great Beyond to write programs.  The software requires that
your body be hardwired to an analog-to-digital converter, which is then
interfaced to your computer.  A special terminal (very terminal) program
lets you talk with the users through Deadnet, an EBBS (Ectoplasmic
Bulletin Board System).

LOGO for the Dead is available for 10 percent of your estate
from NecroSoft inc., 6502 Charnelhouse Blvd., Cleveland, OH 44101.
                -- '80 Microcomputing
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
Never trust an operating system.
No part of this message may reproduce, store itself in a retrieval system,
or transmit disease, in any form, without the permissiveness of the author.
                -- Chris Shaw
NOTE: No warranties, either express or implied, are hereby given. All
software is supplied as is, without guarantee.  The user assumes all
responsibility for damages resulting from the use of these features,
including, but not limited to, frustration, disgust, system abends, disk
head-crashes, general malfeasance, floods, fires, shark attack, nerve
gas, locust infestation, cyclones, hurricanes, tsunamis, local
electromagnetic disruptions, hydraulic brake system failure, invasion,
hashing collisions, normal wear and tear of friction surfaces, comic
radiation, inadvertent destruction of sensitive electronic components,
windstorms, the Riders of Nazgul, infuriated chickens, malfunctioning
mechanical or electrical sexual devices, premature activation of the
distant early warning system, peasant uprisings, halitosis, artillery
bombardment, explosions, cave-ins, and/or frogs falling from the sky.
        One of the questions that comes up all the time is: How enthusiastic
is our support for UNIX?
        Unix was written on our machines and for our machines many years ago.
Today, much of UNIX being done is done on our machines. Ten percent of our
VAXs are going for UNIX use.  UNIX is a simple language, easy to understand,
easy to get started with. It's great for students, great for somewhat casual
users, and it's great for interchanging programs between different machines.
And so, because of its popularity in these markets, we support it.  We have
good UNIX on VAX and good UNIX on PDP-11s.
        It is our belief, however, that serious professional users will run
out of things they can do with UNIX. They'll want a real system and will end
up doing VMS when they get to be serious about programming.
        With UNIX, if you're looking for something, you can easily and quickly
check that small manual and find out that it's not there.  With VMS, no matter
what you look for -- it's literally a five-foot shelf of documentation -- if
you look long enough it's there.  That's the difference -- the beauty of UNIX
is it's simple; and the beauty of VMS is that it's all there.
                -- Ken Olsen, president of DEC, DECWORLD Vol. 8 No. 5, 1984
[It's been argued that the beauty of UNIX is the same as the beauty of Ken
Olsen's brain.  Ed.]
"Our attitude with TCP/IP is, `Hey, we'll do it, but don't make a big
system, because we can't fix it if it breaks -- nobody can.'"

"TCP/IP is OK if you've got a little informal club, and it doesn't make
any difference if it takes a while to fix it."
                -- Ken Olson, in Digital News, 1988
Overall, the philosophy is to attack the availability problem from two
complementary directions:  to reduce the number of software errors through
rigorous testing of running systems, and to reduce the effect of the remaining
errors by providing for recovery from them.  An interesting footnote to this
design is that now a system failure can usually be considered to be the
result of two program errors:  the first, in the program that started the
problem; the second, in the recovery routine that could not protect the
system.
                -- A.L. Scherr, "Functional Structure of IBM Virtual Storage
                   Operating Systems, Part II: OS/VS-2 Concepts and
                   Philosophies," IBM Systems Journal, Vol. 12, No. 4.
Proposed Additions to the PDP-11 Instruction Set:

BBW        Branch Both Ways
BEW        Branch Either Way
BBBF        Branch on Bit Bucket Full
BH        Branch and Hang
BMR        Branch Multiple Registers
BOB        Branch On Bug
BPO        Branch on Power Off
BST        Backspace and Stretch Tape
CDS        Condense and Destroy System
CLBR        Clobber Register
CLBRI        Clobber Register Immediately
CM        Circulate Memory
CMFRM        Come From -- essential for truly structured programming
CPPR        Crumple Printer Paper and Rip
CRN        Convert to Roman Numerals
Real Users find the one combination of bizarre input values that shuts
down the system for days.
        Something mysterious is formed, born in the silent void.  Waiting
alone and unmoving, it is at once still and yet in constant motion.  It is
the source of all programs.  I do not know its name, so I will call it the
Tao of Programming.
        If the Tao is great, then the operating system is great.  If the
operating system is great, then the compiler is great.  If the compiler is
greater, then the applications is great.  The user is pleased and there is
harmony in the world.
        The Tao of Programming flows far away and returns on the wind of
morning.
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
***** Special AI Seminar (abstract)

It has been widely recognized that AI programs require expert knowledge
in order to perform well in complex domains.  But knowledge alone is not
sufficient for some applications; wisdom is needed as well.  Accordingly,
we have developed a new approach to artificial intelligence which we call
"wisdom engineering".  As a test of our ideas, we have written IMMANUEL, a
wisdom based system for the task domain of western philosophical thought.  
IMMANUEL was supplied initially with 200 wisdom units which contained wisdom
about such elementary concepts as mind, matter, being, nothingness, and so
forth.  IMMANUEL was then allowed to run freely, guided by the heuristic
rules contained in its heterarchically organized meta wisdom base.  IMMANUEL
succeeded in rediscovering most of the important philosophical ideas developed
in western culture over the course of the last 25 centuries, including those
underlying Plato's theory of government, Kant's metaphysics, Nietzsche's theory
of value, and Husserl's phenomenology.  In this seminar, we will describe
IMMANUEL's achievements and internal architecture.  We will also briefly
discuss our recent efforts to apply wisdom engineering to oil exploration.
Still a few bugs in the system... Someday I have to tell you about Uncle
Nahum from Maine, who spent years trying to cross a jellyfish with a shad
so he could breed boneless shad.  His experiment backfired too, and he
wound up with bony jellyfish... which was hardly worth the trouble.  There's
very little call for those up there.
                -- Allucquere R. "Sandy" Stone
System checkpoint complete.
System going down at 1:45 this afternoon for disk crashing.
System going down at 5 this afternoon to install scheduler bug.
System going down in 5 minutes.
System restarting, wait...
        *** System shutdown message from root ***

System going down in 60 seconds
                The Guy on the Right Doesn't Stand a Chance
The guy on the right has the Osborne 1, a fully functional computer system
in a portable package the size of a briefcase.  The guy on the left has an
Uzi submachine gun concealed in his attache case.  Also in the case are four
fully loaded, 32-round clips of 125-grain 9mm ammunition.  The owner of the
Uzi is going to get more tactical firepower delivered -- and delivered on
target -- in less time, and with less effort.  All for $795. It's inevitable.
If you're going up against some guy with an Osborne 1 -- or any personal
computer -- he's the one who's in trouble.  One round from an Uzi can zip
through ten inches of solid pine wood, so you can imagine what it will do
to structural foam acrylic and sheet aluminum.  In fact, detachable magazines
for the Uzi are available in 25-, 32-, and 40-round capacities, so you can
take out an entire office full of Apple II or IBM Personal Computers tied
into Ethernet or other local-area networks.  What about the new 16-bit
computers, like the Lisa and Fortune?  Even with the Winchester backup,
they're no match for the Uzi.  One quick burst and they'll find out what
Unix means.  Make your commanding officer proud.  Get an Uzi -- and come home
a winner in the fight for office automatic weapons.
                -- "InfoWorld", June, 1984
The human mind ordinarily operates at only ten percent of its capacity
-- the rest is overhead for the operating system.
The IBM 2250 is impressive ...
if you compare it with a system selling for a tenth its price.
                -- D. Cohen
        The Magician of the Ivory Tower brought his latest invention for the
master programmer to examine.  The magician wheeled a large black box into the
master's office while the master waited in silence.
        "This is an integrated, distributed, general-purpose workstation,"
began the magician, "ergonomically designed with a proprietary operating
system, sixth generation languages, and multiple state of the art user
interfaces.  It took my assistants several hundred man years to construct.
Is it not amazing?"
        The master raised his eyebrows slightly. "It is indeed amazing," he
said.
        "Corporate Headquarters has commanded," continued the magician, "that
everyone use this workstation as a platform for new programs.  Do you agree
to this?"
        "Certainly," replied the master, "I will have it transported to the
data center immediately!"  And the magician returned to his tower, well
pleased.
        Several days later, a novice wandered into the office of the master
programmer and said, "I cannot find the listing for my new program.  Do
you know where it might be?"
        "Yes," replied the master, "the listings are stacked on the platform
in the data center."
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
The New Testament offers the basis for modern computer coding theory,
in the form of an affirmation of the binary number system.

        But let your communication be Yea, yea; nay, nay:
        for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
                -- Matthew 5:37
        The salesman and the system analyst took off to spend a weekend in the
forest, hunting bear.  They'd rented a cabin, and, when they got there, took
their backpacks off and put them inside.  At which point the salesman turned
to his friend, and said, "You unpack while I go and find us a bear."
        Puzzled, the analyst finished unpacking and then went and sat down
on the porch.  Soon he could hear rustling noises in the forest.  The noises
got nearer -- and louder -- and suddenly there was the salesman, running like
hell across the clearing toward the cabin, pursued by one of the largest and
most ferocious grizzly bears the analyst had ever seen.
        "Open the door!", screamed the salesman.
        The analyst whipped open the door, and the salesman ran to the door,
suddenly stopped, and stepped aside.  The bear, unable to stop, continued
through the door and into the cabin.  The salesman slammed the door closed
and grinned at his friend.  "Got him!", he exclaimed, "now, you skin this
one and I'll go rustle us up another!"
The system was down for backups from 5am to 10am last Saturday.
The system will be down for 10 days for preventive maintenance.
The work [of software development] is becoming far easier (i.e. the tools
we're using work at a higher level, more removed from machine, peripheral
and operating system imperatives) than it was twenty years ago, and because
of this, knowledge of the internals of a system may become less accessible.
We may be able to dig deeper holes, but unless we know how to build taller
ladders, we had best hope that it does not rain much.
                -- Paul Licker
There are no games on this system.
        There was once a programmer who was attached to the court of the
warlord of Wu.  The warlord asked the programmer: "Which is easier to design:
an accounting package or an operating system?"
        "An operating system," replied the programmer.
        The warlord uttered an exclamation of disbelief.  "Surely an
accounting package is trivial next to the complexity of an operating
system," he said.
        "Not so," said the programmer, "when designing an accounting package,
the programmer operates as a mediator between people having different ideas:
how it must operate, how its reports must appear, and how it must conform to
the tax laws.  By contrast, an operating system is not limited my outside
appearances.  When designing an operating system, the programmer seeks the
simplest harmony between machine and ideas.  This is why an operating system
is easier to design."
        The warlord of Wu nodded and smiled.  "That is all good and well, but
which is easier to debug?"
        The programmer made no reply.
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
        There was once a programmer who worked upon microprocessors.  "Look at
how well off I am here," he said to a mainframe programmer who came to visit,
"I have my own operating system and file storage device.  I do not have to
share my resources with anyone.  The software is self-consistent and
easy-to-use.  Why do you not quit your present job and join me here?"
        The mainframe programmer then began to describe his system to his
friend, saying: "The mainframe sits like an ancient sage meditating in the
midst of the data center.  Its disk drives lie end-to-end like a great ocean
of machinery.  The software is a multi-faceted as a diamond and as convoluted
as a primeval jungle.  The programs, each unique, move through the system
like a swift-flowing river.  That is why I am happy where I am."
        The microcomputer programmer, upon hearing this, fell silent.  But the
two programmers remained friends until the end of their days.
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
This quote is taken from the Diamondback, the University of Maryland
student newspaper, of Tuesday, 3/10/87.

        One disadvantage of the Univac system is that it does not use
        Unix, a recently developed program which translates from one
        computer language to another and has a built-in editing system
        which identifies errors in the original program.
This system will self-destruct in five minutes.
Those parts of the system that you can hit with a hammer (not advised)
are called hardware; those program instructions that you can only curse
at are called software.
                -- Levitating Trains and Kamikaze Genes: Technological
                   Literacy for the 1990's.
To err is human, to forgive, beyond the scope of the Operating System.
To those accustomed to the precise, structured methods of conventional
system development, exploratory development techniques may seem messy,
inelegant, and unsatisfying.  But it's a question of congruence:
precision and flexibility may be just as disfunctional in novel,
uncertain situations as sloppiness and vacillation are in familiar,
well-defined ones.  Those who admire the massive, rigid bone structures
of dinosaurs should remember that jellyfish still enjoy their very
secure ecological niche.
                -- Beau Sheil, "Power Tools for Programmers"
Unix is the worst operating system; except for all others.
                -- Berry Kercheval
We are experiencing system trouble -- do not adjust your terminal.
We the Users, in order to form a more perfect system, establish priorities,
ensure connective tranquility, provide for common repairs, promote preventive
maintenance, and secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our
processes, do ordain and establish this Software of The Unixed States
of America.
Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers
something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.
X windows:
        It's not how slow you make it.  It's how you make it slow.
        The windowing system preferred by masochists 3 to 1.
        Built to take on the world... and lose!
        Don't try it 'til you've knocked it.
        Power tools for Power Fools.
        Putting new limits on productivity.
        The closer you look, the cruftier we look.
        Design by counterexample.
        A new level of software disintegration.
        No hardware is safe.
        Do your time.
        Rationalization, not realization.
        Old-world software cruftsmanship at its finest.
        Gratuitous incompatibility.
        Your mother.
        THE user interference management system.
        You can't argue with failure.
        You haven't died 'til you've used it.

The environment of today... tomorrow!
        X windows.
X windows:
        Something you can be ashamed of.
        30% more entropy than the leading window system.
        The first fully modular software disaster.
        Rome was destroyed in a day.
        Warn your friends about it.
        Climbing to new depths.  Sinking to new heights.
        An accident that couldn't wait to happen.
        Don't wait for the movie.
        Never use it after a big meal.
        Need we say less?
        Plumbing the depths of human incompetence.
        It'll make your day.
        Don't get frustrated without it.
        Power tools for power losers.
        A software disaster of Biblical proportions.
        Never had it.  Never will.
        The software with no visible means of support.
        More than just a generation behind.

Hindenburg.  Titanic.  Edsel.
        X windows.
X windows:
        You'd better sit down.
        Don't laugh.  It could be YOUR thesis project.
        Why do it right when you can do it wrong?
        Live the nightmare.
        Our bugs run faster.
        When it absolutely, positively HAS to crash overnight.
        There ARE no rules.
        You'll wish we were kidding.
        Everything you never wanted in a window system.  And more.
        Dissatisfaction guaranteed.
        There's got to be a better way.
        The next best thing to keypunching.
        Leave the thrashing to us.
        We wrote the book on core dumps.
        Even your dog won't like it.
        More than enough rope.
        Garbage at your fingertips.

Incompatibility.  Shoddiness.  Uselessness.
        X windows.
                        DELETE A FORTUNE!
Don't some of these fortunes just drive you nuts?!
Wouldn't you like to see some of them deleted from the system?
You can!  Just mail to `fortune' with the fortune you hate most,
and we'll make sure it gets expunged.
No guarantee of accuracy or completeness!
©TU Chemnitz, 2006-2019
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