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Proverbs, aphorisms, quotations (English) by Linux fortune

With the current ACPI code in my test boxes it seems to be no worse than
APM, unfortunately it would be hard to be worse.

        - Alan Cox on the ACPI mailing list
Everybody but Sam had signed up for a new company pension plan that
called for a small employee contribution.  The company was paying all
the rest.  Unfortunately, 100% employee participation was needed;
otherwise the plan was off.  Sam's boss and his fellow workers pleaded
and cajoled, but to no avail.  Sam said the plan would never pay off.
Finally the company president called Sam into his office.
        "Sam," he said, "here's a copy of the new pension plan and here's
a pen.  I want you to sign the papers.  I'm sorry, but if you don't sign,
you're fired.  As of right now."
        Sam signed the papers immediately.
        "Now," said the president, "would you mind telling me why you
couldn't have signed earlier?"
        "Well, sir," replied Sam, "nobody explained it to me quite so
clearly before."
None of our men are "experts."  We have most unfortunately found it necessary
to get rid of a man as soon as he thinks himself an expert -- because no one
ever considers himself expert if he really knows his job.  A man who knows a
job sees so much more to be done than he has done, that he is always pressing
forward and never gives up an instant of thought to how good and how efficient
he is.  Thinking always ahead, thinking always of trying to do more, brings a
state of mind in which nothing is impossible. The moment one gets into the
"expert" state of mind a great number of things become impossible.
                -- From Henry Ford Sr., "My Life and Work"
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.
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.
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 (#22)

RMS had a horrible, terrible dream set in 2020 in which all of society was
held captive by copyright law. In particular, everyone's brain waves were
monitored by the US Dept. of Copyrights. If your thoughts referenced a
copyrighted idea, you had to pay a royalty. To make it worse, a handful of
corporations held fully 99.9% of all intellectual property rights.

Coincidentally, Bill Gates experienced a similar dream that same night. To
him, however, it was not a horrible, terrible nightmare, but a wonderful
utopian vision. The thought of lemmings... er, customers paying a royalty
everytime they hummed a copyrighted song in their head or remembered a
passage in a book was simply too marvelous for the budding monopolist.

RMS, waking up from his nightmare, vowed to fight the oncoming Copyright
Nightmare. The GNU Project was born. His plan called for a kernel,
compiler, editor, and other tools. Unfortunately, RMS became bogged down
with Emacs that the kernel, HURD, was shoved on the back burner. Built
with LISP (Lots of Incomprehensible Statements with Parentheses), Emacs
became bloated in a way no non-Microsoft program ever has. Indeed, for a
short while RMS pretended that Emacs really was the GNU OS kernel.
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.
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."
Falling in Love
        When two people have been on enough dates, they generally fall in
love.  You can tell you're in love by the way you feel: your head becomes
light, your heart leaps within you, you feel like you're walking on air,
and the whole world seems like a wonderful and happy place.  Unfortunately,
these are also the four warning signs of colon disease, so it's always a
good idea to check with your doctor.
                -- Dave Barry
The myth of romantic love holds that once you've fallen in love with the
perfect partner, you're home free.  Unfortunately, falling out of love
seems to be just as involuntary as falling into it.
Notes for a ballet, "The Spell": ... Suddenly Sigmund hears the flutter of
wings, and a group of wild swans flies across the moon ... Sigmund is
astounded to see that their leader is part swan and part woman --
unfortunately, divided lengthwise.  She enchants Sigmund, who is careful
not to make any poultry jokes.
                -- Woody Allen
There are three rules for writing a novel.  Unfortunately, no one knows
what they are.
                -- Somerset Maugham
There are two jazz musicians who are great buddies.  They hang out and play
together for years, virtually inseparable.  Unfortunately, one of them is
struck by a truck and killed.  About a week later his friend wakes up in
the middle of the night with a start because he can feel a presence in the
room.  He calls out, "Who's there?  Who's there?  What's going on?"
        "It's me -- Bob," replies a faraway voice.
        Excitedly he sits up in bed.  "Bob!  Bob!  Is that you?  Where are
you?"
        "Well," says the voice, "I'm in heaven now."
        "Heaven!  You're in heaven!  That's wonderful!  What's it like?"
        "It's great, man.  I gotta tell you, I'm jamming up here every day.
I'm playing with Bird, and 'Trane, and Count Basie drops in all the time!
Man it is smokin'!"
        "Oh, wow!" says his friend. "That sounds fantastic, tell me more,
tell me more!"
        "Let me put it this way," continues the voice.  "There's good news
and bad news.  The good news is that these guys are in top form.  I mean
I have *never* heard them sound better.  They are *wailing* up here."
        "The bad news is that God has this girlfriend that sings..."
Microsoft is a cross between the Borg and the Ferengi.  Unfortunately,
they use Borg to do their marketing and Ferengi to do their
programming.
        -- Simon Slavin
Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils.
                -- Hector Berlioz
...And no philosophy, sadly, has all the answers.  No matter how assured
we may be about certain aspects of our belief, there are always painful
inconsistencies, exceptions, and contradictions.  This is true in religion as
it is in politics, and is self-evident to all except fanatics and the naive.
As for the fanatics, whose number is legion in our own time, we might be
advised to leave them to heaven.  They will not, unfortunately, do us the
same courtesy.  They attack us and each other, and whatever their
protestations to peaceful intent, the bloody record of history makes clear
that they are easily disposed to restore to the sword.  My own belief in
God, then, is just that -- a matter of belief, not knowledge.  My respect
for Jesus Christ arises from the fact that He seems to have been the
most virtuous inhabitant of Planet Earth.  But even well-educated Christians
are frustated in their thirst for certainty about the beloved figure
of Jesus because of the undeniable ambiguity of the scriptural record.
Such ambiguity is not apparent to children or fanatics, but every
recognized Bible scholar is perfectly aware of it.  Some Christians, alas,
resort to formal lying to obscure such reality.
- Steve Allen, comdeian, from an essay in the book "The Courage of
  Conviction", edited by Philip Berman
  "Emergency!"  Sgiggs screamed, ejecting himself from the tub like it was
a burning car.  "Dial 'one'!  Get room service!  Code red!"  Stiggs was on
the phone immediately, ordering more rose blossoms, because, according to
him, the ones floating in the tub had suddenly lost their smell.  "I demand
smell," he shrilled.  "I expecting total uninterrupted smell from these
f*cking roses."

  Unfortunately, the service captain didn't realize that the Stiggs situation
involved fifty roses.  "What am I going to do with this?" Stiggs sneered at
the weaseling hotel goon when he appeared at our door holding a single flower
floating in a brandy glass.  Stiggs's tirade was great.  "Do you see this
bathtub?  Do you notice any difference between the size of the tub and the
size of that spindly wad of petals in your hand?  I need total bath coverage.
I need a completely solid layer of roses all around me like puffing factories
of smell, attacking me with their smell and power-ramming big stinking
concentrations of rose odor up my nostrils until I'm wasted with pleasure."
It wasn't long before we got so dissatisfied with this incompetence that we
bolted.
-- The Utterly Monstrous, Mind-Roasting Summer of O.C. and Stiggs,
   National Lampoon, October 1982
"None of our men are "experts."  We have most unfortunately found it necessary
to get rid of a man as soon as he thinks himself an expert -- because no one
ever considers himself expert if he really knows his job.  A man who knows a
job sees so much more to be done than he has done, that he is always pressing
forward and never gives up an instant of thought to how good and how efficient
he is.  Thinking always ahead, thinking always of trying to do more, brings a
state of mind in which nothing is impossible. The moment one gets into the
"expert" state of mind a great number of things become impossible."
-- From Henry Ford Sr., "My Life and Work," p. 86 (1922):
Although written many years ago, Lady Chatterley's Lover has just been
reissued by the Grove Press, and this pictorial account of the
day-to-day life of an English gamekeeper is full of considerable
interest to outdoor minded readers, as it contains many passages on
pheasant-raising, the apprehending of poachers, ways to control vermin,
and other chores and duties of the professional gamekeeper.
Unfortunately, one is obliged to wade through many pages of extraneous
material in order to discover and savour those sidelights on the
management of a midland shooting estate, and in this reviewer's opinion
the book cannot take the place of J. R. Miller's "Practical Gamekeeping."
                -- Ed Zern, "Field and Stream" (Nov. 1959)
Unfortunately we have run out of bits/bytes/whatever. Don't worry, the next supply will be coming next week.
Everything is controlled by a small evil group to which, unfortunately,
no one we know belongs.
Gentlemen,
        Whilst marching from Portugal to a position which commands the
approach to Madrid and the French forces, my officers have been
diligently complying with your requests which have been sent by H.M. ship
from London to Lisbon and thence by dispatch to our headquarters.
        We have enumerated our saddles, bridles, tents and tent poles,
and all manner of sundry items for which His Majesty's Government holds
me accountable. I have dispatched reports on the character, wit, and
spleen of every officer. Each item and every farthing has been accounted
for, with two regrettable exceptions for which I beg your indulgence.
        Unfortunately the sum of one shilling and ninepence remains
unaccounted for in one infantry battalion's petty cash and there has been
a hideous confusion as the the number of jars of raspberry jam issued to
one cavalry regiment during a sandstorm in western Spain.  This
reprehensible carelessness may be related to the pressure of circumstance,
since we are war with France, a fact which may come as a bit of a surprise
to you gentlemen in Whitehall.
        This brings me to my present purpose, which is to request
elucidation of my instructions from His Majesty's Government so that I
may better understand why I am dragging an army over these barren plains.
I construe that perforce it must be one of two alternative duties, as
given below.  I shall pursue either one with the best of my ability, but
I cannot do both:
        1. To train an army of uniformed British clerks in Spain for the
benefit of the accountants and copy-boys in London or perchance:
        2. To see to it that the forces of Napoleon are driven out of Spain.
                -- Duke of Wellington, to the British Foreign Office,
                   London, 1812
Alex Buell:
Or how about a Penguin logo painted in really really trippy
colours, and emblazoned with the word LSD. :o)

Geert Uytterhoeven:
We already had that one, but unfortunately Russell King fixed that nasty
palette bug in drivers/video/fbcon.c :-)
        -- linux-kernel
Yes, I've now got this nice little apartment in New York, one of those
L-shaped ones.  Unfortunately, it's a lower case l.
                -- Rita Rudner
===  ALL USERS PLEASE NOTE  ========================

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

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

* Our very rich lawyers have assured us that we are not
  responsible for any errors or advice given over the phone.
        THE LESSER-KNOWN PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES #8: LAIDBACK

This language was developed at the Marin County Center for T'ai Chi,
Mellowness and Computer Programming (now defunct), as an alternative to
the more intense atmosphere in nearby Silicon Valley.

The center was ideal for programmers who liked to soak in hot tubs while
they worked.  Unfortunately few programmers could survive there because the
center outlawed Pizza and Coca-Cola in favor of Tofu and Perrier.

Many mourn the demise of LAIDBACK because of its reputation as a gentle and
non-threatening language since all error messages are in lower case.  For
example, LAIDBACK responded to syntax errors with the message:

        "i hate to bother you, but i just can't relate to that.  can
        you find the time to try it again?"
Unfortunately, most programmers like to play with new toys.  I have many
friends who, immediately upon buying a snakebite kit, would be tempted to
throw the first person they see to the ground, tie the tourniquet on him,
slash him with the knife, and apply suction to the wound.
                -- Jon Bentley
"We invented a new protocol and called it Kermit, after Kermit the Frog,
star of "The Muppet Show." [3]

[3]  Why?  Mostly because there was a Muppets calendar on the wall when we
were trying to think of a name, and Kermit is a pleasant, unassuming sort of
character.  But since we weren't sure whether it was OK to name our protocol
after this popular television and movie star, we pretended that KERMIT was an
acronym; unfortunately, we could never find a good set of words to go with the
letters, as readers of some of our early source code can attest.  Later, while
looking through a name book for his forthcoming baby, Bill Catchings noticed
that "Kermit" was a Celtic word for "free", which is what all Kermit programs
should be, and words to this effect replaced the strained acronyms in our
source code (Bill's baby turned out to be a girl, so he had to name her Becky
instead).  When BYTE Magazine was preparing our 1984 Kermit article for
publication, they suggested we contact Henson Associates Inc. for permission
to say that we did indeed name the protocol after Kermit the Frog.  Permission
was kindly granted, and now the real story can be told.  I resisted the
temptation, however, to call the present work "Kermit the Book."
                -- Frank da Cruz, "Kermit - A File Transfer Protocol"
No guarantee of accuracy or completeness!
©TU Chemnitz, 2006-2019
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