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Proverbs, aphorisms, quotations (English) by Linux fortune

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."
Open Source Irrational Constant

BREEZEWOOD, PA -- In a revelation that could rock the foundations of
science, a researcher in Pennsylvania has discovered that the digits of the
irrational constant PI encode a version of the Linux kernel.  "I can't
believe it," the researcher, Neil Hoffman, exclaimed.  "And yet, here I am
staring at what appears to be the source code for Linux kernel 5.0.0.
Needless to say, my whole world-view has changed..."

Hoffman explained, "My algorithm, which applies several dozen conversions and
manipulations to each digit of PI, spits out plain vanilla ASCII characters
that happen to form the source code for the Linux kernel."

Many members of the scientific community are skeptical.  One One
mathematician who has memorized the digits of PI to 10,000 places said,
"This is the kind of nonsense one would expect to find in a tabloid such as
the National Mathematics Enquirer.  Or a Linux fortune(6) file.  Hoffman's
'discovery' is obviously a hoax designed to secure government research
grants."

In a related matter, we have received an unconfirmed report that a region of
the Mandelbrot fractal contains what appear to be the words "LINUS TORVALDS
WAS HERE".  In addition, the words "TRANSMETA: THIS SECRET MESSAGE IS NOT
HERE YET" supposedly appear within the depths of the Julia Set.
Jargon Coiner (#3)

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

* LILOSPLAININ': Arduous process of explaining why there's now a LILO boot
  prompt on the office computer.

  Example: "John had some lilosplainin' to do after his boss turned on the
  computer and the Windows splash screen didn't appear."

* UPTIME DOWNER: Depression that strikes a Linux sysadmin after his uptime
  is ruined. Can be caused by an extended power outtage, a pet chewing
  through the power cord, a lightning bolt striking the power line, or an
  urgent need to reboot into Windows to read a stupid Word document.

* OSTR (Off-Switch Total Recall): The sudden recollection of something
  terribly important you need to do online that occurs exactly 0.157
  seconds after you've shut down your computer.
Ted Turner Unveils All-Commercial Channel

For years, the pundits have predicted that the Web would become more like
television. However, media tycoon Ted Turner is pursuing the exact
opposite. Taking a cue from pop-under advertisements, Flash ads,
get-rich-quick spam emails, viral marketing, and "Gator" programs, Turner
has unveiled "TCC", the Turner Commercial Channel, for cable TV.

TCC will feature "shows" like "Best Commercials That You've Seen A Million
Times", "Life Is A Slogan, Just Buy It", and "Name That Jingle". These
shows will occupy about 30% of the screen, while several rows of marquees
at the bottom will flash various advertising messages. An animated "TCC"
watermark will float around the screen while corporate logos are flashed
randomly in the corners.

Meanwhile, "pop-up ads" will randomly appear that obscure the other ads.
These pop-ups will sometimes be further obscured by meta-pop-ups.
Likewise, corporate jingles will play in the background, interfering with
other jingles and advertising sounds.
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.
Jon Splatz's Movie Review: "Lord of the Pings"

I've never walked out on a movie before. When I pay $9.50 to see a movie
(plus $16.50 for snacks), I'm going to sit through every single minute no
matter how awful. The resolve to get my money's worth allowed me to watch
Jar Jar Binks without even flinching last year.

But I couldn't make it through "Lord of the Pings". This movie contains a
scene that is so appalling, so despicable, so vile, so terrible, so
crappy, and so gut-wrenching that I simply had to get up, run out of the
theater, and puke in the nearest restroom. It was just that bad.

The whole thing is completely ruined by a scene that takes place only 52
seconds into the flick. Brace yourself: big letters appear on screen that
say "An AOL/Time Warner Production".

...

Because this film is brought to you by the letters A-O-L-T-W, I must give
it an F-minus even though I've only seen 53 seconds of it.
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.
The smiling Spring comes in rejoicing,
And surly Winter grimly flies.
Now crystal clear are the falling waters,
And bonnie blue are the sunny skies.
Fresh o'er the mountains breaks forth the morning,
The ev'ning gilds the oceans's swell:
All creatures joy in the sun's returning,
And I rejoice in my bonnie Bell.

The flowery Spring leads sunny Summer,
The yellow Autumn presses near;
Then in his turn come gloomy Winter,
Till smiling Spring again appear.
Thus seasons dancing, life advancing,
Old Time and Nature their changes tell;
But never ranging, still unchanging,
I adore my bonnie Bell.
                -- Robert Burns, "My Bonnie Bell"
'Twas the night before crisis, and all through the house,
        Not a program was working not even a browse.
The programmers were wrung out too mindless to care,
        Knowing chances of cutover hadn't a prayer.
The users were nestled all snug in their beds,
        While visions of inquiries danced in their heads.
When out in the lobby there arose such a clatter,
        I sprang from my tube to see what was the matter.
And what to my wondering eyes should appear,
        But a Super Programmer, oblivious to fear.
More rapid than eagles, his programs they came,
        And he whistled and shouted and called them by name;
On Update!  On Add!  On Inquiry!  On Delete!
        On Batch Jobs!  On Closing!  On Functions Complete!
His eyes were glazed over, his fingers were lean,
        From Weekends and nights in front of a screen.
A wink of his eye, and a twist of his head,
        Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread...
                -- "Twas the Night before Crisis"
Fortune's Law of the Week (this week, from Kentucky):
        No female shall appear in a bathing suit at any airport in this
State unless she is escorted by two officers or unless she is armed
with a club.  The provisions of this statute shall not apply to females
weighing less than 90 pounds nor exceeding 200 pounds, nor shall it
apply to female horses.
Legislation proposed in the Illinois State Legislature, May, 1907:
        "Speed upon county roads will be limited to ten miles an hour
unless the motorist sees a bailiff who does not appear to have had a
drink in 30 days, when the driver will be permitted to make what he can."
This product is meant for educational purposes only.  Any resemblance to real
persons, living or dead is purely coincidental.  Void where prohibited.  Some
assembly may be required.  Batteries not included.  Contents may settle during
shipment.  Use only as directed.  May be too intense for some viewers.  If
condition persists, consult your physician.  No user-serviceable parts inside.
Breaking seal constitutes acceptance of agreement.  Not responsible for direct,
indirect, incidental or consequential damages resulting from any defect, error
or failure to perform.  Slippery when wet.  For office use only.  Substantial
penalty for early withdrawal.  Do not write below this line.  Your cancelled
check is your receipt.  Avoid contact with skin.  Employees and their families
are not eligible.  Beware of dog.  Driver does not carry cash.  Limited time
offer, call now to insure prompt delivery.  Use only in well-ventilated area.
Keep away from fire or flame.  Some equipment shown is optional.  Price does
not include taxes, dealer prep, or delivery.  Penalty for private use.  Call
toll free before digging.  Some of the trademarks mentioned in this product
appear for identification purposes only.  All models over 18 years of age.  Do
not use while operating a motor vehicle or heavy equipment.  Postage will be
paid by addressee.  Apply only to affected area.  One size fits all.  Many
suitcases look alike.  Edited for television.  No solicitors.  Reproduction
strictly prohibited.  Restaurant package, not for resale.  Objects in mirror
are closer than they appear.  Decision of judges is final.  This supersedes
all previous notices.  No other warranty expressed or implied.
We should realize that a city is better off with bad laws, so long as they
remain fixed, then with good laws that are constantly being altered, that
the lack of learning combined with sound common sense is more helpful than
the kind of cleverness that gets out of hand, and that as a general rule,
states are better governed by the man in the street than by intellectuals.
These are the sort of people who want to appear wiser than the laws, who
want to get their own way in every general discussion, because they feel that
they cannot show off their intelligence in matters of greater importance, and
who, as a result, very often bring ruin on their country.
                -- Cleon, Thucydides, III, 37 translation by Rex Warner
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"
Scotty:        Captain, we din' can reference it!
Kirk:        Analysis, Mr. Spock?
Spock:        Captain, it doesn't appear in the symbol table.
Kirk:        Then it's of external origin?
Spock:        Affirmative.
Kirk:        Mr. Sulu, go to pass two.
Sulu:        Aye aye, sir, going to pass two.
        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"
Any time things appear to be going better, you have overlooked something.
I don't wish to appear overly inquisitive, but are you still alive?
It is imperative when flying coach that you restrain any tendency toward
the vividly imaginative.  For although it may momentarily appear to be the
case, it is not at all likely that the cabin is entirely inhabited by
crying babies smoking inexpensive domestic cigars.
                -- Fran Lebowitz, "Social Studies"
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"
mathematician, n.:
        Some one who believes imaginary things appear right before your _i's.
Rule of the Great:
        When people you greatly admire appear to be thinking deep
        thoughts, they probably are thinking about lunch.
        "I quite agree with you," said the Duchess; "and the moral of
that is -- `Be what you would seem to be' -- or, if you'd like it put
more simply -- `Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it
might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not
otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be
otherwise.'"
                -- Lewis Carrol, "Alice in Wonderland"
When the great Tao is forgotten,
Kindness and morality arise.
When wisdom and intelligence are born,
The great pretense begins.

When there is no peace within the family,
Filial piety and devotion arise.
When the country is confused and in chaos,
Loyal ministers appear.
Has the great art and mystery of politics no apparent utility? Does it
appear to be unqualifiedly ratty, raffish, sordid, obscene and low down,
and its salient virtuosi a gang of umitigated scoundrels?  Then let us
not forget its high capacity to soothe and tickel the midriff, its
incomparable services as a maker of entertainment.
                -- H.L. Mencken, "A Carnival of Buncombe"
History shows that the human mind, fed by constant accessions of knowledge,
periodically grows too large for its theoretical coverings, and bursts them
asunder to appear in new habiliments, as the feeding and growing grub, at
intervals, casts its too narrow skin and assumes another...  Truly the imago
state of Man seems to be terribly distant, but every moult is a step gained.
                -- Charles Darwin, from "Origin of the Species"
What does it take for Americans to do great things; to go to the moon, to
win wars, to dig canals linking oceans, to build railroads across a continent?
In independent thought about this question, Neil Armstrong and I concluded
that it takes a coincidence of four conditions, or in Neil's view, the
simultaneous peaking of four of the many cycles of American life.  First, a
base of technology must exist from which to do the thing to be done.  Second,
a period of national uneasiness about America's place in the scheme of human
activities must exist.  Third, some catalytic event must occur that focuses
the national attention upon the direction to proceed.  Finally, an articulate
and wise leader must sense these first three conditions and put forth with
words and action the great thing to be accomplished.  The motivation of young
Americans to do what needs to be done flows from such a coincidence of
conditions. ...  The Thomas Jeffersons, The Teddy Roosevelts, The John
Kennedys appear.  We must begin to create the tools of leadership which they,
and their young frontiersmen, will require to lead us onward and upward.
                -- Dr. Harrison H. Schmidt
A failure will not appear until a unit has passed final inspection.
Some performers on television appear to be horrible people, but when
you finally get to know them in person, they turn out to be even worse.
                -- Avery
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"
History shows that the human mind, fed by constant accessions of knowledge,
periodically grows too large for its theoretical coverings, and bursts
them asunder to appear in new habiliments, as the feeding and growing
grub, at intervals, casts its too narrow skin and assumes another...
Truly the imago state of Man seems to be terribly distant, but every
moult is a step gained.
- Charles Darwin, from "Origin of the Species"
The magician is seated in his high chair and looks upon the world with favor.
He is at the height of his powers.  If he closes his eyes, he causes the world
to disappear.  If he opens his eyes, he causes the world to come back.  If
there is harmony within him, the world is harmonious.  If rage shatters his
inner harmony, the unity of the world is shattered.  If desire arises within
him, he utters the magic syllables that causes the desired object to appear.
His wishes, his thoughts, his gestures, his noises command the universe.
-- Selma Fraiberg, _The Magic Years_, pg. 107
How comes it to pass, then, that we appear such cowards in reasoning,
and are so afraid to stand the test of ridicule?
                -- A. Cooper
"I may appear to be just sitting here like a bucket of tapioca, but don't
let appearances fool you.  I'm approaching old age ... at the speed of light."
                -- Prof. Cosmo Fishhawk
We only acknowledge small faults in order to make it appear that we are
free from great ones.
                -- La Rouchefoucauld
When there are two conflicting versions of the story, the wise course
is to believe the one in which people appear at their worst.
                -- H. Allen Smith, "Let the Crabgrass Grow"
A long-forgotten loved one will appear soon.

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