|Proverbs, aphorisms, quotations (English)||by Linux fortune|
|The GPL Is Not Y2K-Compliant! |
BOSTON, MA -- Panic ensued earlier today at GNU Project Headquarters when
it was discovered that the GNU General Public License is not ready for the
year 2000. Thankfully, the panic quickly subsided when RMS posted an
emergency diff file to Usenet that patches the GPL to eliminate the
The non-Y2K compliant material appears on lines 295 and 316 of version 2.0
of the GPL. Both lines contain the text, "Copyright (C) 19yy ", a classic
example of unpreparedness for the year 2000.
Microsoft was quick to respond to the news, saying in a rushed press
release, "At least our license agreements don't contain any Y2K issues."
The GNU Project immediately countered Microsoft's statement with a press
release that said simply, "Whatever".
|New Linux Companies Hope To Get Rich Quick (#1)|
Adopt-A-Beowulf: the latest company to hop the Linux bandwagon
as it tramples down Wall Street.
Every geek dreams of owning their own Beowulf supercomputer. Very few
people (except for dotcom billionnaires) can afford to build one, but the
folks at Adopt-a-Beowulf can provide the next best thing: a virtual
beowulf. For US$49.95, you can "adopt" your own 256-node Beowulf cluster.
You won't own it, or even get to see it in person, but you will receive
photos of the cluster, a monthly newsletter about its operation, and a
limited shell account on it.
The company hopes to branch out into other fields. Some slated products
include Adopt-A-Penguin, Lease-A-Camel (for Perl mongers), and
Adopt-A-Distro (in which your name will be used as the code-name for a
beta release of a major Linux distribution or other Open Source project).
|New Linux Companies Hope To Get Rich Quick (#3)|
In the "Cathedral and the Bazaar", ESR mentions that one motivation behind
Open Source software is ego-gratification. That's where OpenEgo, Inc.
comes in. For a fee, the hackers at OpenEgo will produce a piece of Open
Source software and distribute it in your name, thus building up your
reputation and ego. You can quickly become the envy of all your friends --
without lifting a finger. Want a higher-paying tech job? With OpenEgo's
services, you'll look like an Open Source pro in no time, and have dozens
of hot job offers from across the country.
Says the OpenEgo sales literature, "Designing, implementing, maintaining,
and promoting a successful Open Source project is a pain. However, at
OpenEgo, we do all the work while you reap all the rewards..." A page on
the OpenEgo site claims, "We produced a Linux kernel patch for one
customer last year that was immediately accepted by Linus Torvalds...
Within days the person gained employment at Transmeta and is now on the
road to IPO riches..."
Prices range from $1,000 for a small program to $5,000 for a kernel patch.
|Excerpts From The First Annual Nerd Bowl (#6)|
(Round 4, the Who Wants To Be A Billionaire? Round)
ERIC RAYMOND (Moderator): Here's the second question: Who is the primary
author of the world-renowned fetchmail program? [Bzzz] Yes, Hemos?
HEMOS: Mr. Eric... Fetch of Cincinnati, Ohio.
RAYMOND: No, no, no! The answer is me, me, me, you idiots! Sheesh. I'm
resetting your points to zero for that.
ALAN COX: Are you going to ask any questions that are not about you?
RAYMOND: Um... let's see... yeah, there's one or two here... Okay, here's
question three... What loud-mouthed hippie-spirtualist founder of the
GNU Project keeps demanding that everybody use the crappy term "Free
Software" instead of "Open Source"? [Bzzz] Yes, Anonymous Coward?
ANONCOW: Eric Raymond!
RAYMOND: Why you little [expletive]! I'm going to...
|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 (#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 (#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.
|Are you sick of wasting valuable seconds while ingesting caffeine or|
eating a cold pizza? Is your programming project running behind because
you keep falling asleep? EyeOpener(tm) brand caffeinated beverages has the
solution. Our new ActiveIV product will provide a 24 hour supply of
caffeine via intravenous tube while you work -- so you can hack without
any interruptions at all (except going to the bathroom -- but our
Port-a-Urinal(tm) can help solve that problem as well).
EyeOpener(tm) beverages contain at least 5,000% of the daily recommended
dose of caffeine, a quantity that will surely keep you wide awake, alert,
and in Deep Hack Mode for weeks at a time. With EyeOpener and ActiveIV,
you won't waste your valuable time at a vendine machine.
EyeOpener(tm): You'll Never Waste Another Millisecond Ever Again.
|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).
|"The open-source approach is not a magic bullet for every type of software development project."|
-- Brian Behlendorf on OSS (Open Sources, 1999 O'Reilly and Associates)
|"Absolutely nothing should be concluded from these figures except that|
no conclusion can be drawn from them."
(By Joseph L. Brothers, Linux/PowerPC Project)
|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)
|Has anyone realized that the purpose of the fortune cookie program is to|
defuse project tensions? When did you ever see a cheerful cookie, a
non-cynical, or even an informative cookie?
Perhaps inadvertently, we have a channel for our aggressions. This
still begs the question of whether the cookie releases the pressure or only
serves to blunt the warning signs.
Long live the revolution!
Have a nice day.
|Absolutely nothing should be concluded from these figures except that|
no conclusion can be drawn from them.
-- Joseph L. Brothers, Linux/PowerPC Project)
|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
|AP/STT. Helsinki, Dec 5th, 6:22 AM. For immediate release.|
In order to allay fears about the continuity of the Linux project, Linus
Torvalds together with his manager Tove Monni have released "Linus
v2.0", affectionately known as "Kernel Hacker - The Next Generation".
Linux stock prices on Wall Street rose sharply after the announcement;
as one well-known analyst who wishes to remain anonymous says - "It
shows a long-term commitment, and while we expect a short-term decrease
in productivity, we feel that this solidifies the development in the
Other analysts downplay the importance of the event, and claim that just
about anybody could have done it. "I'm glad somebody finally told them
about the birds and the bees" one sceptic comments cryptically. But
even the skeptics agree that it is an interesting turn of events.
Others bring up other issues with the new version - "I'm especially
intrigued by the fact that the new version is female, and look forward
to seeing what the impact of that will be on future development. Will
"Red Hat Linux" change to "Pink Hat Linux", for example?"
-- Linus Torvalds announcing that he became father of a girl
|As I was passing Project MAC,|
I met a Quux with seven hacks.
Every hack had seven bugs;
Every bug had seven manifestations;
Every manifestation had seven symptoms.
Symptoms, manifestations, bugs, and hacks,
How many losses at Project MAC?
|If I promised you the moon and the stars, would you believe it?|
-- Alan Parsons Project
|There's little in taking or giving,|
There's little in water or wine:
This living, this living, this living,
Was never a project of mine.
Oh, hard is the struggle, and sparse is
The gain of the one at the top,
For art is a form of catharsis,
And love is a permanent flop,
And work is the province of cattle,
And rest's for a clam in a shell,
So I'm thinking of throwing the battle --
Would you kindly direct me to hell?
-- Dorothy Parker
| The Three Major Kind of Tools|
* Tools for hittings things to make them loose or to tighten them up or
jar their many complex, sophisticated electrical parts in such a
manner that they function perfectly. (These are your hammers, maces,
bludgeons, and truncheons.)
* Tools that, if dropped properly, can penetrate your foot. (Awls)
* Tools that nobody should ever use because the potential danger is far
greater than the value of any project that could possibly result.
(Power saws, power drills, power staplers, any kind of tool that uses
any kind of power more advanced than flashlight batteries.)
-- Dave Barry, "The Taming of the Screw"
|Q: Know what the difference between your latest project|
and putting wings on an elephant is?
A: Who knows? The elephant *might* fly, heh, heh...
|While the year 2000 (y2k) problem is not an issue for us, all Linux|
implementations will impacted by the year 2038 (y2.038k) issue. The
Debian Project is committed to working with the industry on this issue
and we will have our full plans and strategy posted by the first quarter
|<dark> "Hey, I'm from this project called Debian... have you heard of it?|
Your name seems to be on a bunch of our stuff."
|"In the event of a percieved failing of the project leadership #debian is|
empowered to take drastic and descisive action to correct the failing,
including by not limited to expelling officials, apointing new officials
and generally abusing power"
-- proposed amendment to Debian Constitution
| [ ] DOGBERT|
[ 2 ] RICHARD STALLMAN
[ 3 ] BUFFY SUMMERS
[ 1 ] MANOJ SRIVASTAVA
[ 4 ] NONE of the above
-- Debian Project Leader 1999 ballot
|<_Anarchy_> acf: maybe April 1 next year slashdot needs to run "Rob Malda|
accepts new job as head of Debian project" 8)
|* Mercury calmly removes XT-Ream's arm..|
* Mercury then proceeds to beat XT-Ream with XT-Ream's arm.
<Knghtbrd> wow, all this quake hacking is making Mercury violent here
* mao is glad the quake forge project is in good hands
|<Mercury> You don't have to be crazy to be a member of the project, but|
you will be.. <=:]
|Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later.|
-- F. Brooks, "The Mythical Man-Month"
Whenever one person is found adequate to the discharge of a duty by
close application thereto, it is worse execute by two persons and
scarcely done at all if three or more are employed therein.
-- George Washington, 1732-1799
|`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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
| THE LESSER-KNOWN PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES #16: C-|
This language was named for the grade received by its creator when he
submitted it as a class project in a graduate programming class. C- is best
described as a "low-level" programming language. In fact, the language
generally requires more C- statements than machine-code statements to
execute a given task. In this respect, it is very similar to COBOL.
| The master programmer moves from program to program without fear. No|
change in management can harm him. He will not be fired, even if the project
is canceled. Why is this? He is filled with the Tao.
-- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
|There was, it appeared, a mysterious rite of initiation through which,|
in one way or another, almost every member of the team passed. The term
that the old hands used for this rite -- West invented the term, not the
practice -- was `signing up.' By signing up for the project you agreed
to do whatever was necessary for success. You agreed to forsake, if
necessary, family, hobbies, and friends -- if you had any of these left
(and you might not, if you had signed up too many times before).
-- Tracy Kidder, "The Soul of a New Machine"
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.
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.
|"The biggest problem facing software engineering is the one it will |
never solve - politics."
-- Gavin Baker, ca 1996, An unusually cynical moment inspired by working on a large
project beseiged by politics
|The first 90% of a project takes 90% of the time, the last 10% takes the|
other 90% of the time.
|What they say: What they mean:|
A major technological breakthrough... Back to the drawing board.
Developed after years of research Discovered by pure accident.
Project behind original schedule due We're working on something else.
to unforseen difficulties
Designs are within allowable limits We made it, stretching a point or two.
Customer satisfaction is believed So far behind schedule that they'll be
assured grateful for anything at all.
Close project coordination We're gonna spread the blame, campers!
Test results were extremely gratifying It works, and boy, were we surprised!
The design will be finalized... We haven't started yet, but we've got
to say something.
The entire concept has been rejected The guy who designed it quit.
We're moving forward with a fresh We hired three new guys, and they're
approach kicking it around.
A number of different approaches... We don't know where we're going, but
Preliminary operational tests are Blew up when we turned it on.
Modifications are underway We're starting over.
It's easy to get a loan unless you need it.
If stock market experts were so expert, they would be buying stock,
not selling advice.
Any task can be completed in only one-third more time than is
The only thing more costly than stretching the schedule of an
established project is accelerating it, which is itself the most
costly action known to man.
A revised schedule is to business what a new season is to an athlete
or a new canvas to an artist.
-- Norman Augustine
The thickness of the proposal required to win a multimillion dollar
contract is about one millimeter per million dollars. If all the
proposals conforming to this standard were piled on top of each other
at the bottom of the Grand Canyon it would probably be a good idea.
Ninety percent of the time things will turn out worse than you expect.
The other 10 percent of the time you had no right to expect so much.
The early bird gets the worm.
The early worm ... gets eaten.
Never promise to complete any project within six months of the end of
the year -- in either direction.
Most projects start out slowly -- and then sort of taper off.
-- Norman Augustine
|Bolub's Fourth Law of Computerdom:|
Project teams detest weekly progress reporting because it so
vividly manifests their lack of progress.
Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later.
|Chism's Law of Completion:|
The amount of time required to complete a government project is
precisely equal to the length of time already spent on it.
|Gordon's first law:|
If a research project is not worth doing, it is not worth doing well.
Any item of food that has been sitting in the refrigerator so
long it has become a science project.
-- Sniglets, "Rich Hall & Friends"
|Ninety-Ninety Rule of Project Schedules:|
The first ninety percent of the task takes ninety percent of
the time, and the last ten percent takes the other ninety percent.
|Official Project Stages:|
(1) Uncritical Acceptance
(2) Wild Enthusiasm
(3) Dejected Disillusionment
(4) Total Confusion
(5) Search for the Guilty
(6) Punishment of the Innocent
(7) Promotion of the Non-participants
| Phases of a Project:|
(4) Search for the Guilty.
(5) Punishment for the Innocent.
(6) Distinction for the Uninvolved.
|The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives.|
-- Admiral William Leahy, U.S. Atomic Bomb Project
|> ... What will be next, maybe you disable to run non GPL|
> executables under linux ?
Actually no. We are researching how to stop trolls posting to the kernel
list as our main AI project.
- Alan Cox on linux-kernel
|Daniel Phillips wrote:|
> Hi Dana,
> Are you still interested in signing up for a kernel project? I've got a good
> one I think would be perfect for you.
I have a long list of projects you can work on, too. Let me know.
- Jeff Garzik on linux-kernel
|To date, the firm conclusions of Project Blue Book are:|
1. no unidentified flying object reported, investigated and evaluated
by the Air Force has ever given any indication of threat to our
2. there has been no evidence submitted to or discovered by the Air
Force that sightings categorized as UNIDENTIFIED represent
technological developments or principles beyond the range of
present-day scientific knowledge; and
3. there has been no evidence indicating that sightings categorized
as UNIDENTIFIED are extraterrestrial vehicles.
- the summary of Project Blue Book, an Air Force study of UFOs from 1950
to 1965, as quoted by James Randi in Flim-Flam!
|Here is an Appalachian version of management's answer to those who are |
concerned with the fate of the project:
"Don't worry about the mule. Just load the wagon."
-- Mike Dennison's hillbilly uncle
|"Maintain an awareness for contribution -- to your schedule, your project, |
-- A Group of Employees
|"To undertake a project, as the word's derivation indicates, means to cast an|
idea out ahead of oneself so that it gains autonomy and is fulfilled not only
by the efforts of its originator but, indeed, independently of him as well.
-- Czeslaw Milosz
|There was, it appeared, a mysterious rite of initiation through which, in|
one way or another, almost every member of the team passed. The term that
the old hands used for this rite -- West invented the term, not the practice --
was `signing up.' By signing up for the project you agreed to do whatever
was necessary for success. You agreed to forsake, if necessary, family,
hobbies, and friends -- if you had any of these left (and you might not, if
you had signed up too many times before).
-- Tracy Kidder, _The Soul of a New Machine_