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Softpanorama Open Source Humor Archive
(A Unique Collection of Open Source-Related Humor)

(Prev)  )  Vol. 15, 2003  (Next)
 

As a service to our readers who have better things to do than to read the self-congratulating news on Slashdot or Linux Today every day, we present the highlights of the best open source humor stories for the current year.  But sometimes they are from the previous year or even from the previous century; sometimes they are not about open source. You are warned ;-)

- Editor

"The hottest places in Hell are reserved for
those who, in times of moral crisis, preserved their neutrality."
 -- Dante
 

10 Reasons why Santa must be a System Administrator

  1. Santa is bearded, corpulent, and dresses funny.
  2. When you ask Santa for something, the odds of receiving what you wanted are infinitesimal.
  3. Santa seldom answers your mail.
How come all OSS "leaders" are wierd? (Score:1)
by wsb on Wednesday December 29, @12:17AM (#1437095)
(User #91803 Info | http://gnulix.org)
Just look at the facts:

RMS A beared ubergeek that plays the flute to his Amiga and carries around plastic bags filled with god knows what mind altering herbal substances!

ESR A gun toting maniac who threatens the lifes of all those that have a contrary opinion. And he writes tons of communistic propaganda, claiming it is in actuality a capitalistic manifesto. Yeah, right, and J Edgar Hoover didn't wear big pink undies...

Linus Torvalds A big, fat, finnish penguine dude that rulez the kernel development with an iron fist. What ever he doesn't understand (and there is a lot of it) he vetos against for the main kernel tree without any explaination what so ever.

Miguel de Icaza Instead of putting out a competent desktop he spend all his time spreading FUD about all other efforts. All the while Gnome looks like it is using a pre Macintosh GUI (no matter how you theme it). This guy is about as weak as a tortilla in a washing machine.

Russian programmers

  1. Russian programmers never read manuals and rarely use online help. But they easily get a grasp of any new program, simply because they have already tried every single program in this field before.
  2. Russian programmers never pay for the software. They either crack it or buy those wonderful CDs with tons of cracked software that are sold for 5 bucks in every major city in Russia.
  3. Russian programmers are always on the cutting edge of software development -- they always use the latest versions of the best tools available. It's easy, since there is no need to pay.

Humorix Bloated Open Source Projects Receive Surprise Grant Money

Fake News written by Ann Oneemuss on April 22, 2003
from the enntel-ennside dept.

SILLYCON VALLEY, CA -- In a major coup for the Linux community, Enntel Corporation has agreed to give $20 million worth of grants over the next three years to various open source projects that rely heavily on CPU power.

"Right now there's little incentive for people to rush out and buy computers with faster CPUs," explained CEO John Enntel. "But if bloated, CPU-intensive, eye-candy-enhanced projects like Mozilla or GNOME become popular, then our CPU sales will skyrocket. This $20 million is not an act of altruism -- it's an investment."

John Enntel came up with the idea after talking with his mother one day. "She keeps telling me that her 200 Mhz Enntium I machine works just fine for running Word or playing Solitaire," he explained. "Last month she told me, 'The only thing good about an expensive three gigawhatever machine is that it crashes more quickly!'"

"I had nightmares every night the following week," Enntel admitted. "What if millions of mothers and grandmothers were thinking the same thing? What if they refused to buy new computers with our state-of-the-art Enntium IV and Qualeron I? Oh the horror!"

Investing in open source, however, neatly solves the problem. "You try to run Mozilla on a vintage EnntiumSX processor from 1997 and it's going to run about as quickly as molasses on Pluto. Even an Enntel Ennside Pro chip from '99 struggles to run GNOME at a reasonable speed..."

A spokesperson for the Mozilla project was ecstatic about the news. "For years people told us that Mozilla was too bloated. 'Who needs a fscking chat client in a web browser?' critics would scream. Well, now that bloat is paying off. Our efforts have helped to spur demand for faster hardware, and that in turn is helping the economy. The din of a million keyboards can't be wrong."

It's not clear how the money will be distributed, although John Enntel points out that he doesn't really want it to be used for optimizing code. "The last thing I want is for GNOME to hire some genius that is able to speed up the whole system by 30% by inserting a single line of code. That would defeat the whole purpose. Instead, I want more bloat, more eye candy, more kitchen sinks, more... everything."

December 2003

SSH and SSL (Score:5, Funny)
by PacoTaco (577292) on Friday December 26, @06:08AM (#7811860)
I think it's ironic that the two things I had to patch most often this year were OpenSSH and OpenSSL. What does that first 'S' stand for again?

Christmas greetings from SCO

Here is the Letter (Score:5, Funny)
by KoolDude (614134) on Monday December 22, @07:18AM (#7785069)
D34r L1nux u53r

W3 0wn j00

r3g4rd5,
D4r1 Mcki1dd13
Re:And then get arrested, convicted... (Score:3, Funny)
by vsprintf (579676) on Friday December 19, @05:50PM (#7769564)
I don't know how many times I've said this, but I served eight years in Federal prison and the incidence of rape is much lower than the news media (including /.) would have you believe (at least if you're over forty and not terribly attractive...heh, heh).

Well, thanks for dashing our hopes about the future of the SCO executives.

 

Eric "The Absurdly Rich" Raymond on Microsoft: I don't really see how they could survive  --  I propose a new unit of ego: The ESR. As in case of Farad more practical units would  be PicoESR. Anyway, this he is still living in his "absurdly rich"  "open source" dreamland:

At one point, Thill asks Raymond, "Is there a way that Microsoft could coexist with the open source movement?"

Raymond answers, "It's hard to see how because they're used to a level of pricing and a level of profits that can really only be sustained if you have monopoly lockout. So in that sense I don't really see how they could survive."

Master/slave as politically incorrect terms

From a Los Angeles County Internal Services Department memorandum regarding shipments of computer hardware:

"It is the County's expectation that our manufacturers, suppliers and contractors make a concentrated effort to ensure that any equipment, supplies or services that are provided to County Departments do not possess or portray an image that may be construed as offensive or defamatory in nature. One such recent example included the manufacturer's labeling of equipment where the words 'Master/Slave' appeared to identify the primary and secondary sources. Based on the cultural diversity and sensitivity of Los Angeles County, this is not an acceptable. . . ."

The time may have arrived for the founding of the National Association of People Who Are Offended by People Who Are Offended.

Real posting... (Score:5, Funny)
by Doug Merritt (3550) <doug AT remarque DOT org> on Friday November 14, @07:06PM (#7478115)
(http://remarque.org/~doug | Last Journal: Saturday December 07, @01:44PM)
This was a real posting to a job list a few months ago:

 

> From: Jenny Richards [mailto:..........@yahoo.com]
> Sent: Friday, May 09, 2003 11:11 AM
> To: .........@yahoogroups.com
> Subject: [.......] Entry level programmer in Duluth, MN
>
> Location : Duluth, MN
> Term : 1 year
> Rate : $5.10 / hour
>
> Requirements:
>
> - 21+ years of J2EE Development.
> - Fluent Sanskrit.
> - PhD in Computer Science and 17th Century French Poetry.
> - Must have had 4 or more products that sold 1,000,000 copies.
> - Must be a member of the Mayflower Society.
>
> Locals to Duluth given preference.
> All requirements are mandatory, so don't waste my time by sending my
> your pathetic resume unless you're a perfect fit.

My Job (Score:5, Funny)
by Jennifer E. Elaan (463827) <je@nanosoft.hypermart.net> on Friday November 14, @07:47PM (#7478450)
(http://caladan.nanosoft.ca/)
Fine... this isn't a job posting, this is an actual description of my job duties, but I'll make it look like one:
  • Senior SQL Administrator/Programmer (PostgreSQL)
  • Senior Web Applications Developer (PHP). E-Commerce experience an asset.
  • Toolchain/Plugin Developer (C/C++). Develop PostgreSQL plugins and in-house applications.
  • Senior Network Administrator on a heterogeneous FreeBSD/Linux/WindowsXP environment. Must possess strong skills in server application deployment and windows interoperability. Must possess a background in firewall and network design.
  • BCS/BEE and/or 10+ years of proven software design experience.
  • Background in cryptography is an asset.
  • Must be willing to work overtime when necessary at 1x pay.

Benefits Package: none, contract basis, terminatable at any time without severance package
Pay: $14 Canadian/hour

Wait a minute... what am I doing? Is anyone looking for a developer (or hardware engineer for that matter)?

Requirements that end up in a checksum failure... (Score:5, Funny)
by LostCluster (625375) on Friday November 14, @06:51PM (#7477972)
(http://www.studioqb.com/)
The worst ones I've seen are ones that require you to have gone back in time in order to have enough experience with the software they want you to use:

"Requirements: 5 years experience with Windows 2000..."
Re:Requirements that end up in a checksum failure. (Score:5, Funny)
by DrCode (95839) on Friday November 14, @07:40PM (#7478413)
Those that irked me the most were the ones with explicit version requirements, like:

3 years with Java V1.31a7c
2 years Swing V2.93xL
Must have this experience on a Sun station running Solaris 5.839.

The above is an exaggeration, but only slightly.

 

GNOME vs. KDE

... ... ...

Warning to readers: this is mildly offensive, however it's not particularly obscene, for most values of obscene. On a flame-o-riffic scale of one to ten, it rates about a seventy-three.

When I contemplate how the GNOME and KDE desktops are developed, here is what I imagine:


KDE

A big room somewhere in Europe with lots of chrome and glass and a great big whiteboard in the front with lots of tiny, neat writing on it. There are about 50 desks, each with headphones and pristine workstations, also with a lot of chrome and glass. The faint sound of classical music permeates the room, accompanying the clicky-click of 50 programmers typing or quietly talking in one of the appropriately assigned meeting areas. (Which of course consist of elegant contemporary white pine coffee tables surrounded by contemporary white pine and fine leather meeting chairs.) Coffee, tea, mineral water and fruit juices are available in the break area.

At the end of the day, *everyone* checks in their code and the project leader does a "make" just to make sure it all compiles cleanly, but it's mostly only done from tradition anymore since it always compiles cleanly and works flawlessly. When all milestones have been met, and everything has been QA'd, (usually within a day or two of the roadmap that was written up 18 months previous) a new KDE release is packaged up and released to the mirror sites with the appropriate 24-hour delay for distribution before being announced.

... ... ... ...


GNOME

An abandoned warehouse in San Francisco, kitted up as for a rave, electronica playing at 15db louder than "my ears are bleeding and I'm developing an aneurism" volumes and the windows all painted over black so that the strobe and spotlights and lasers can be seen better. Computers, mainly made of whatever stuff has been exchanged for crack or scavenged from dumpsters behind dot-bombs, are scattered around on whatever furniture is available, which also consists of whatever stuff has been exchanged for crack or scavenged from dumpsters behind dot-bombs. There's no break area, but you may be able to bum a beer (or more likely something harder) off of one of the developers hanging around, and they will probably be too jacked up on X, coke, acid, heroin, ether or all of the above to notice that you've taken anything.

... ... .... ...

THE LOGINATAKA
(Dialogue between a Guru and a Newbie)
Version 2.1

Speak, O Guru: How can I become a UNIX Wizard?

O, Nobly Born: know that the Way to Wizardhood is long, and winding, and fraught with Risks. Thou must Attune thyself with the Source, attaining the arcane Knowledge and Conversation of the System Libraries and Internals. Yea; and such an all-consuming Time and Energy Sink is this as to greatly Imperil thy Grade Point Average (if one thou hast), not to mention thy Sex Life (if one thou hast). But persevere, oh Larval One; rewards beyond the Dreams of Lusers await thee!

Speak, O Guru: What books should I study? Are the O'Reilly "Nutshell" guides a good place to start?

O, Nobly Born: know that the O'Reilly books are but the palest Shadow, the outermost Portal of the True Enlightenment.

If thou desirest with True Desire to tread the Path of Wizardly Wisdom, first learn the elementary Postures of Kernighan & Pike's _The_Unix_Programming_ Environment_; then, absorb the mantic puissance of March Rochkind's _Advanced_ Unix_Programming_ and W. Richard Stevens's _Advanced_Programming_In_The_UNIX_Environment_. Immerse thyself, then, in the Pure Light of Maurice J. Bach's _The_Design_Of_The_UNIX_Operating_System_. Neglect not the Berkelian Way; study also _The_Design_Of_The_4.3BSD_UNIX_ Operating System_ by Samuel Leffler, Kirk McKusick et. al. For useful hints, tips, and tricks, see _UNIX_Power_ Tools_, Tim O'Reilly, ed. Consider also the dark Wisdom to be gained from contemplation of the dread _Portable_C_And_UNIX_ Systems_Programming_, e'en though it hath flowed from the keyboard of the mad and doomed Malvernite whom the world of unknowing Man misnames "J. E. Lapin".

These tomes shall instruct thy Left Brain in the Nature of the UNIX System; to Feed the other half of thy Head, O Nobly Born, embrace also the Lore of its Nurture. Don Libes's and Sandy Ressler's _Life_With_UNIX_ will set thy Feet unerringly upon that Path; take as thy Travelling Companion the erratic but illuminating compendium called _The_New_Hacker's_ Dictionary_ (Eric S. Raymond, ed., with Guy L. Steele Jr.).

(In this wise shalt thou travel the Way of the Camel.)

Speak, O Guru: To attain Mastery, how many Kernels do I need to take apart and reassemble?

O Nobly Born: this question reveals that indeed thou hast touched upon an Ineffable Truth about UNIX --- that thou canst not Plumb its Mysteries by mere Study but must become One with it through Practice. The true Way to the Knowledge of the Source is not the timid and footling way of the Student, but the Divine Foolery of the Hacker. Hack, then; strive against Mighty Problems, have joy in thy Striving, and let the Crashes fall where they may (maintaining the while, for the Good of thy Karma, a Rigorous Backup Policy).

(In this wise shalt thou travel the Way of the Lion.)

In this day of Boot-Time Autoconfiguration and Dynamically Loadable Device Drivers, reassembling a Kernel is no longer the daunting Test and Seal of Mastery that once it was. However, writing and verifying thine own Device Driver for some piece of Exotic Hardware is still a worthy challenge to thy Budding Guruhood.

Speak, O Guru: Some there are who claim that the sole Path to Wizardry and the proper Way of every Right-Thinking Hacker is to rewrite the UNIX Kernel from Scratch. Is this not Sacrilege?

Sacrilege, O Nobly Born? Nay! Certainly the Kernel Source is the Inmost Mystery of UNIX --- but there is a Mystery beyond that Mystery. The Nature of UNIX inhereth not in any one Version but in the Design Tradition of which all UNIXes are Evolving Parts.

The Rite of the Rewrite is not the only Path to Mastery, but it is perhaps the highest and most Sacred of all Paths. Few indeed are those who, travelling it, have crossed the dark and yawning Abyss of Implementation to Delivery. Many, yea, many in truth stagnate yet in the Desert of Delay, or linger ever in the ghastly limbo called Perpetual Beta.

Speak, O Guru: What, then, is the True Path to Wizardhood?

O Nobly Born: learn, and seek within thyself. Cultivate the cunning of the Serpent and the courage of the Tiger; sup deeply from the Wisdom of those who came before thee. Hack, and hack again; grow, by trial and by error. Post thy best hacks to the Net and gain in Repute thereby. Also, O Nobly Born, be thou grave and courteous in thy speech; be helpful to those less than thee, quick to succour and slow to flame.

If thou dost these things faithfully, if thou travellest with high heart and pure intention, soon shall thy callow Newbiehood be shed. By degrees imperceptible to thyself shalt thou gain Power and Wisdom, striving and doing all the while. Gradually shall thy puissance unfold and deepen.

O Nobly Born, if thou dost all these things, thy Wizardhood shall surely come upon thee; but not of a sudden, and not until after thy arrogant Mind hath more than half forgotten that such was its aim. For know this --- you may not by thyself in Pride claim the Mantle of Wizardry; that way lies only Bogosity without End.

Rather must you Become, and Become, and Become, until Hackers respect thy Power, and other Wizards hail thee as a Brother or Sister in Wisdom, and you wake up and realize that the Mantle hath lain unknown upon thy Shoulders since you knew not when. (In this wise shalt thou travel the Way of the Child.)

Newsgroups: alt.folklore.computers Subject: 10 Commandments (annotated) Date: 17 May 93 20:25:16 

The Rules of Slashdot

1) You can't talk about the rules of Slashdot. 2) Never read the article before commenting on it.
3) Anything proprietary is bad. Anything open-source/free-software is good.
4) Information wants to be free. So IP theft is OK and encouraged.
5) All patents are BAD and should be abolished.
6) Practicality is irrelevant. Running Linux on any piece of hardware that was not meant to run Linux such as a toaster, toilet, or toothbrush is considered uber cool and totally 133t.
7) If you have stolen source code from a previous employer (see Death Star) use the GPL to liberate and protect it, then post it anonymously on the Internet. Using a free hosting site like SourceForge(tm) works best.
8) Open-source/free-software really is communism but you can't admit this publicly. Flame into submission anyone that even hints at the communist connection.
9) Software licenses don't destroy jobs, CEO's do. It is OK for open-source/free-software to destroy domestic software jobs. It is BAD when domestic software jobs are sent overseas "off-shored" to countries with cheap labor rates such as India or China. Yes, hypocrisy is sweet.
10) Those who actually do the work don't waste their time posting on Slashdot.
11) Trolls that push the Slashdot agenda are GOOD. Trolls that offer a differing viewpoint are BAD. Yes, the hypocrisy is again sweet.
12) CmdrTaco can't spell correctly or form coherent sentences and neither should you or me.
13) Slashdot is the new world order and all your base are belong to us!

500 mile email story

Note: The following email is real. The author has a FAQ at
    http://www.ibiblio.org/harris/500milemail-faq.html

From trey@sage.org Fri Nov 29 18:00:49 2002
Date: Sun, 24 Nov 2002 21:03:02 -0500 (EST)
From: Trey Harris <trey@sage.org>
To: sage-members@sage.org
Subject: The case of the 500-mile email (was RE: [SAGE] Favorite impossible
    task?)
 

Here's a problem that *sounded* impossible...  I almost regret posting the story to a wide audience, because it makes a great tale over drinks at a conference. :-) The story is slightly altered in order to protect the guilty, elide over irrelevant and boring details, and generally make the whole thing more entertaining.

I was working in a job running the campus email system some years ago when I got a call from the chairman of the statistics department.

"We're having a problem sending email out of the department."

"What's the problem?" I asked.

"We can't send mail more than 500 miles," the chairman explained.

I choked on my latte.  "Come again?"

"We can't send mail farther than 500 miles from here," he repeated. "A little bit more, actually.  Call it 520 miles.  But no farther."

"Um... Email really doesn't work that way, generally," I said, trying to keep panic out of my voice.  One doesn't display panic when speaking to a department chairman, even of a relatively impoverished department like statistics.  "What makes you think you can't send mail more than 500 miles?"

"It's not what I *think*," the chairman replied testily.  "You see, when we first noticed this happening, a few days ago--"

"You waited a few DAYS?" I interrupted, a tremor tinging my voice. "And you couldn't send email this whole time?"

"We could send email.  Just not more than--"

"--500 miles, yes," I finished for him, "I got that.  But why didn't you call earlier?"

"Well, we hadn't collected enough data to be sure of what was going on until just now."  Right.  This is the chairman of *statistics*. "Anyway, I asked one of the geostatisticians to look into it--"

"Geostatisticians..."

"--yes, and she's produced a map showing the radius within which we can send email to be slightly more than 500 miles.  There are a number of destinations within that radius that we can't reach, either, or reach sporadically, but we can never email farther than this radius."

"I see," I said, and put my head in my hands.  "When did this start? A few days ago, you said, but did anything change in your systems at that time?"

"Well, the consultant came in and patched our server and rebooted it. But I called him, and he said he didn't touch the mail system."

"Okay, let me take a look, and I'll call you back," I said, scarcely believing that I was playing along.  It wasn't April Fool's Day.  I tried to remember if someone owed me a practical joke.

I logged into their department's server, and sent a few test mails. This was in the Research Triangle of North Carolina, and a test mail to my own account was delivered without a hitch.  Ditto for one sent to Richmond, and Atlanta, and Washington.  Another to Princeton (400 miles) worked.

But then I tried to send an email to Memphis (600 miles).  It failed. Boston, failed.  Detroit, failed.  I got out my address book and started trying to narrow this down.  New York (420 miles) worked, but Providence (580 miles) failed.

I was beginning to wonder if I had lost my sanity.  I tried emailing a friend who lived in North Carolina, but whose ISP was in Seattle. Thankfully, it failed.  If the problem had had to do with the geography of the human recipient and not his mail server, I think I would have broken down in tears.

Having established that -- unbelievably -- the problem as reported was true, and repeatable, I took a look at the sendmail.cf file.  It looked fairly normal.  In fact, it looked familiar.

I diffed it against the sendmail.cf in my home directory.  It hadn't been altered -- it was a sendmail.cf I had written.  And I was fairly certain I hadn't enabled the "FAIL_MAIL_OVER_500_MILES" option.  At a loss, I telnetted into the SMTP port.  The server happily responded with a SunOS sendmail banner.

Wait a minute... a SunOS sendmail banner?  At the time, Sun was still shipping Sendmail 5 with its operating system, even though Sendmail 8 was fairly mature.  Being a good system administrator, I had standardized on Sendmail 8.  And also being a good system administrator, I had written a sendmail.cf that used the nice long self-documenting option and variable names available in Sendmail 8 rather than the cryptic punctuation-mark codes that had been used in Sendmail 5.

The pieces fell into place, all at once, and I again choked on the dregs of my now-cold latte.  When the consultant had "patched the server," he had apparently upgraded the version of SunOS, and in so doing *downgraded* Sendmail.  The upgrade helpfully left the sendmail.cf alone, even though it was now the wrong version.

It so happens that Sendmail 5 -- at least, the version that Sun shipped, which had some tweaks -- could deal with the Sendmail 8 sendmail.cf, as most of the rules had at that point remained unaltered.  But the new long configuration options -- those it saw as junk, and skipped.  And the sendmail binary had no defaults compiled in for most of these, so, finding no suitable settings in the sendmail.cf file, they were set to zero.

One of the settings that was set to zero was the timeout to connect to the remote SMTP server.  Some experimentation established that on this particular machine with its typical load, a zero timeout would abort a connect call in slightly over three milliseconds.

An odd feature of our campus network at the time was that it was 100% switched.  An outgoing packet wouldn't incur a router delay until hitting the POP and reaching a router on the far side.  So time to connect to a lightly-loaded remote host on a nearby network would actually largely be governed by the speed of light distance to the destination rather than by incidental router delays.

Feeling slightly giddy, I typed into my shell:

  $ units
  1311 units, 63 prefixes
  
  You have: 3 millilightseconds
  You want: miles
        * 558.84719
        / 0.0017893979
  

"500 miles, or a little bit more."

Trey Harris 

Three rules for aspiring Linux Zealots (adapted from Pros, Priests and Zealots The Three Faces of Linux):

"Linux is 90% of the way there -- but getting the final 10% of the way requires a level of money, effort and fascism that doesn't exist in the Linux community." -- Doc Searls, SuitWatch
 

"Consider the Source" from Salon.com (1998)(humor)  In memory of the release of Netscape source code (Fifth annivesary) BY LAURA LEMAY

It's springtime, when the young geek's fancy turns to thoughts of love. Love of source code, that is. Lots of source code. Hundreds and thousands of lines of source code -- and the more complicated and difficult to understand, the better.

As of April 1, there's a new massive hunk of source code out there setting the hearts of geeks all over the world a-flutter. It's code with a cause. Code with a mission. Code with a silly green mascot.

I'm referring, of course, to the eagerly awaited public release of the source code for the Netscape Communicator browser. Free the code, the digerati had advised the company, and legions of programmers will beat a path to your door.

And so they did. The browser source, now called Mozilla after Netscape's dinosaur mascot, has spawned nearly unheard-of excitement in the geek community. You can take out the parts of the browser you don't use! You can add the features you've been wanting for years! You can fix the bugs! And, even better, you can help Netscape create a better browser and keep Microsoft from taking over the Internet. No wonder so many programmers are excited: There's only one thing a renegade programmer likes more than getting free source, and that's a chance to help fight the Microsoft Menace.

Are you geek enough to join the cult of the lizard? Even if you aren't a hard-core programmer with years and years of C++ under your belt, you may have become consumed by curiosity, and you may very well have fought your way to www.mozilla.org when the source release was announced, downloaded and even unpacked the archive. But where to go from there?

First of all, you should be aware that taking on free software is a hazardous occupation. The more people who work on a project, the more difficult it is to figure out what's going on in the code. I knew a programmer once who was bored one Sunday afternoon and decided to hack around for a while in the file-system source code for Linux, the operating system of choice in the open-source software universe. On Tuesday morning we broke down the door and found him crouched in the corner, whimpering. (Powerful antidepressants enabled him to return to some semblance of a normal life, and I'm told he's making a good living writing Visual Basic these days.)

Then there are the wizards of Perl, the scripting language preferred by free-software geeks; they're known for having a manic look in their eyes and a tendency to occasionally blather gibberish in polite company ("No, you idiot! You could do that so much more efficiently with a positive zero-width lookahead assertion!"). And it's said that there's a plaque up somewhere at MIT dedicated to the valiant programmers who have given their lives in pursuit of the GNU.

The Mozilla source runs 40 megabytes and 1 million-plus lines of intermingled C and C++ covering Windows and Mac and nearly every flavor of Unix, so diving into it is not an undertaking for those with weak hearts or slow computers. To build and use the free Mozilla source code for the free Mozilla browser, you will probably need to invest several thousand dollars in a new computer. However, if you've been throwing increasing amounts of cash at your computer dealer all along just to be able to run the latest actual Netscape browser, you may be just fine after all.

At any rate, you will definitely need a very modern computer (you know, one less than six days old), bulging with RAM and disk space. The assorted README files for the various Mozilla builds are hilariously blasé about this: "Having at least 128 megs of memory will make your debugging experience noticeably less agonizing." "You should be ok with a 400MB disk partition ..." "One of our beta testers had a machine with only 64MB of physical RAM (VM was off) and it ran out of memory trying to link."

In other words, do not try this on your 386.

What about the actual code? As I mentioned earlier, there's an awful lot of it -- although nearly 40.3 percent of the file space is eaten up by the Netscape Public License included in every separate file. (And in case you're wondering, I arrived at that percentage through a painstaking scientific process called "making it up.") The NPL is a complex legal document that can be summed up, roughly, as "You may modify this source code. You may not sue Netscape if you screw it up. We are not responsible for any system crashes, memory corruption or emotional anguish on your part. May cause drowsiness, headache, dysmenorrhea and cramp. Please stand behind the white line. Do not operate heavy machinery."

Even without the repetition of the NPL, there's still a lot of code to muck through. If your programming experience up to this point has been making buttons go up and down on your Web pages and writing simple Visual Basic programs to calculate your net worth, chances are good you're going to be somewhat overwhelmed.

But then maybe you're not interested in actually making changes, or qualified to do so; you just want to see what the code looks like (the "don't want to stare at the car accident, but feel compelled to" factor). Nothing wrong with that. Unfortunately, the rumor mill has it that a substantial amount of the time it took to prepare the source for release involved "sanitizing" the comments to remove the obscene language and various bits of comment graffiti that litter the source code of most commercial products. ("Joe's memory manager really blows goats. I wrote this next function as a grotesque kludge to get around it. Joe sucks and should NOT get any more stock options at the next performance review.")

The result of this is a dearth of gripping, suspenseful reading in the Mozilla source code. John Grisham it's not. What few comments remain are of this sort, from the library that does networking, in reference to the function:

NET_ChangeMaxNumberOfConnectionsPerContext:

/* set the maximum allowable number of open connections at any one
* time on a per context basis
*/

Such depth, such texture, such intricacy of plot. Only occasionally does something amusing slip through:
/*
* nesting deeper and deeper, harder and harder, go, go, oh, OH, OHHHH!!
* Sorry, got carried away there.
*/
struct lo_FormElementOptionData_struct {

If you're interested in exploring the source code to find specific features and make them stop, I'll warn you ahead of time that a close reading of the code shows no trace of the following functions, which one thinks must be there, but aren't:

suckUpAllRemainingSystemMemoryAndCrash()
manglePerfectlyLegalHTML()
generateRandomAnnoyance()
gratuitouslyBehaveDifferentlyFromIE()

On the other hand, all traces of Java have been conveniently pre-removed for you (ostensibly for licensing reasons, but no one is going to complain too hard about the added stability, either). And I'd like to make a point of mentioning line 75 of the file pa_tags.h, part of the HTML parsing library, which defines the BLINK tag.

Just one small comment, snuck in when no one was looking, would disable this blight on the existence of designers everywhere -- and, I think, go a significant ways toward making this particular geek's springtime the best one yet.
SALON | April 13, 1998

Laura Lemay has been making fun of Netscape almost as long as Netscape has been around, and isn't about to stop now. But she does think the source code release is pretty darn neat.

[Oct 22, 2003] Linux Today - DivisionTwo A Linux Distro for Barbie

"Making a bid for a piece of the emerging desktop Linux market, Mattel, Inc. announced the immediate availability of downloadable beta ISOs for BarbieOS 0.99, and said it hoped the final 1.0 retail version would be on store shelves in time for Christmas. The new OS was created by Mattel to power the upcoming revision of its popular B-Book line of laptops for girls between the ages of four and eleven. The original B-Book laptop, which ran a modified version of PalmOS, was a huge hit with consumers last holiday season, so much so that many stores had trouble keeping them in stock. This year, Mattel is upping the ante by making the B-Book into a full-fledged desktop replacement targeted specifically at toddler through preteen girls who are currently Windows users but may be seeking alternatives, possibly due to increasing licensing fees or out of a desire to break free of vendor lock-in.

"BarbieOS, based on Debian Linux, had been in private beta for more than six months prior to yesterday's public release. Initial reaction to the company's announcement has been mixed, as some analysts have claimed that the desktop Linuxmarket is already over-saturated given its current size, as other major players such as Lycoris Desktop/LX, Xandros Linux, and LindowsOS are already competing for the rather small percentage of home desktop users willing to try a non-Microsoft OS. Still, Mattel says it is confident of the potential of BarbieOS 1.0 to find a niche market of young girls under thirteen who are dissatisfied with current Microsoft offerings and are looking toward maybe asking mom and dad for a full-powered Linux laptop running BarbieOS this Christmas..."

[Oct 4, 2003] Programmers exist to turn cafeinated beverages into code.

        From Slashdot UN Summit Tones Down Open-Source Stance

[Sept 22, 2003] IF ARCHITECTS HAD TO WORK LIKE WEB PROGRAMMERS

Dear Mr. Architect:

Please design and build me a house. I am not quite sure of what I need, so you should use your discretion. My house should have somewhere between two and forty-five bedrooms. Just make sure the plans are such that the bedrooms can be easily added or deleted. When you bring the blueprints to me, I will make the final decision of what I want. Also, bring me the cost breakdown for each configuration so that I can arbitrarily pick one.

Keep in mind that the house I ultimately choose must cost less than the one I am currently living in. Make sure, however, that you correct all the deficiencies that exist in my current house (the floor of my kitchen vibrates when I walk across it, and the walls don't have nearly enough insulation in them).

As you design, also keep in mind that I want to keep yearly maintenance costs as low as possible. This should mean the incorporation of extra-cost features like aluminum, vinyl, or composite siding. (If you choose not to specify aluminum, be prepared to explain your decision in detail.)

Please take care that modern design practices and the latest materials are used in construction of the house, as I want it to be a showplace for the most up-to-date ideas and methods. Be alerted, however, that kitchen should be designed to accommodate, among other things, my 1952 Gibson refrigerator.

To insure that you are building the correct house for our entire family, make certain that you contact each of our children, and also our in-laws. My mother-in-law will have very strong feelings about how the house should be designed, since she visits us at least once a year. Make sure that you weigh all of these options carefully and come to the right decision. I, however, retain the right to overrule any choices that you make.

Please don't bother me with small details right now. Your job is to develop the overall plans for the house: get the big picture. At this time, for example, it is not appropriate to be choosing the color of the carpet. However, keep in mind that my wife likes blue.

Also, do not worry at this time about acquiring the resources to build the house itself. Your first priority is to develop detailed plans and specifications. Once I approve these plans, however, I would expect the house to be under roof within 48 hours.

While you are designing this house specifically for me, keep in mind that sooner or later I will have to sell it to someone else. It therefore should have appeal to a wide variety of potential buyers. Please make sure before you finalize the plans that there is a consensus of the population in my area that they like the features this house has. I advise you to run up and look at my neighbor's house he constructed last year. We like it a great deal. It has many features that we would also like in our new home, particularly the 75-foot swimming pool. With careful engineering, I believe that you can design this into our new house without impacting the final cost.

Please prepare a complete set of blueprints. It is not necessary at this time to do the real design, since they will be used only for construction bids. Be advised, however, that you will be held accountable for any increase of construction costs as a result of later design changes.

You must be thrilled to be working on as an interesting project as this! To be able to use the latest techniques and materials and to be given such freedom in your designs is something that can't happen very often. Contact me as soon as possible with your complete ideas and plans.

PS: My wife has just told me that she disagrees with many of the instructions I've given you in this letter. As architect, it is your responsibility to resolve these differences. I have tried in the past and have been unable to accomplish this. If you can't handle this responsibility, I will have to find another architect.

PPS: Perhaps what I need is not a house at all, but a travel trailer. Please advise me as soon as possible if this is the case.

 

[Sept 1, 2003] NewsForge The Online Newspaper of Record for Linux and Open Source  In a surprise announcement this morning, Linux creator Linus Torvalds says he will enter the race to be the governor of California.

In a surprise announcement this morning, Linux creator Linus Torvalds says he will enter the race to be the governor of California.

Linus' announcement came in the form of a message to the Linux Kernel Mailing List (lkml). Linus says he believes none of the California leadership race's 135 existing candidates can bring real change and improvement to the economy in the state, but that he does have a solution.

"There is a good state here, and it can use some improvement," Linus wrote in his announcement, "but I'd like to try creating my own. This race is a great opportunity to try."

As part of his governing strategy, Linus promised to open the government to contributions from anyone who wishes to contribute, and he will accept or reject those contributions by the people based on their merit and applicability to the situation at hand. "In this way," he wrote, "every citizen of California will have an accessible government. We will work together to develop and maintain a government capable of keeping up with the times which is always willing to try new things."

Governor Gray Davis, upon hearing the news late this morning, was overheard by a reporter telling an associate that Linus had no hope of winning the recall election because proprietary governments were much better than open governments. "No government that listened to changes proposed by an average citizen has ever succeeded," Mr. Davis said. "Ideas have to be developed in-house and sold to the public when they are complete. Public discussion of public policy is merely an illusion. The government passes laws and the people abide by them, whether or not they like them."

Linus knows that people can't win elections without substantial financial backing, he assured his supporters in the Linux community. Prior to his announcement he had already secured more than $3 million toward his campaign from various Linux and Open Source companies, which he has been in touch with over the last few weeks.

One of the hurdles facing Linus' campaign is that the nomination period for candidates has ended. Linus hopes to get around this problem by encouraging fans of freedom and openness looking for a new way of governing to write in his name on the ballot. "California election law allows write-in ballots," he said. "Use them for all they are worth."

With the tens of thousands of Linux developers and the millions of users of Linux around the world likely willing to help his campaign, Linus says he believes he can win the election. "California will be an open society and a wonderful place to live on my watch."

 

[Aug 18, 2003] PLiG - Internet Sunshine

Network traffic violation ticket

Nice definition of stupidity

Stupidity is not the same as a lack of intelligence...It's an independent dimension, quality of its own. It's unwitting self-destruction, the ability to act against one's best interests... It's a typical programmers talent.

The Register: Google bombed by missing WMDs

Type "Weapons of Mass Destruction" into Google's main search and hit the I'm Feeling Lucky button. The page, created as a prank by a Birmingham pharmacologist to amuse his friends, returns a detourned version of the Internet Explorer browser's 404 error message:

The weapons you are looking for are currently unavailable. The country might be experiencing technical difficulties, or you may need to adjust your weapons inspectors mandate.

The page was created on February 12 - before the invasion and subsequent occupation - and clocked-up a million and half page impressions that month. Prankster Anthony Cox told us that he'd even received a message from the UN inspection team in New York, telling him it had cheered up the office.

Unix Haters Book -- full text is now online

Slashdot Linus Moves To OSDL, Will Work On Kernel Full-Time

great
by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 17, @07:50AM (#6221234)
linux working full time on the kernel? Well everyone, expect more crashes in linux.
Re:Yes, but...
by rampant mac (561036) on Tuesday June 17, @08:18AM (#6221361)
(http://www.apple.com/)
"Maybe we should get him a part time job"

McDonald's is always hiring.

Slashdot effect
by stephanruby (542433) on Tuesday June 17, @08:02AM (#6221282)
Now, let's not all sell our Transmeta stock at the same time...
The rats are abandoning the sinking ship!
by Gnulix (534608) on Tuesday June 17, @08:30AM (#6221408)
(http://slashdot.org/)
Finally the SCO suit is showing some effect! Linux's leader is abdicating and fleeing the scene. Exactly as the nazis left Germany and took up hiding in South America.

I guess that this means we can all get back to conducting serious business based on SCO Unix - the bread and butter of many a development company.

(In 20 years time we'll probably see Torvalds daughter marrying the Swedish king!)
Changing jobs...
by TheShadow (76709) on Tuesday June 17, @08:42AM (#6221479)
While we are posting stories about people changing jobs...

Just last week I started a new job after a long and tedious four and a half year tenure at my former job. In this new job I'll finally get to work on things other than fighting fires. I'm very excited. Just thought everyone would like to know.
Let's see what happens in a year
by Call Me Black Cloud (616282) on Tuesday June 17, @09:44AM (#6221978)
Transmeta has always been very good at letting me spend even an inordinate amount of time on Linux, but as a result I've been feeling a little guilty at just how little "real work" I got done lately.

Just a little guilty? Boy, what a crappy employee. Really. It's one thing to work on projects in your spare time but to leech off your employer to do so is not right. I'm sure this will encourage other employers to support their employees' work on open source projects. I guess Transmeta didn't want the bad press associated with firing Torvalds...let's see if he goes back in a year. Will Transmeta even notice he's gone (except for part where they save money on his salary)?
Wired article
by OS390 (626227) on Tuesday June 17, @09:55AM (#6222072)
I was reading wired and they were talking about how after people leave their jobs after being interviewed in Wired. Barry Diller left Vivendi right after he was interviewed, and some other that I can remember because I left the issue at home. This was in the letters to the editor section for anyone that has a copy. One of the editors guessed that since Linus was getting interviewed in this months article, he was going to leave. He said something to the point of " anyone looking for a decent Unix programmer" in reference to Linus. Somebody should have the damn article.

Slashdot SCO Amends Suit, Clarifies Violations, Triples Damages The first guy in the post reproduce below probably did not understand the irony of the suggested analogy between US vs Iraq and IBM vs SCO ;-(. Kind of weird when you think that when Caldera (now SCO) acquired DR-DOS for alegal battle with Microsoft only two years ago and was applauded by the same people who denounce it now, but I suppose that just illustrates the shifting loyalties...

don't you mean....
by macshune (628296) on Friday June 13, @06:09PM (#6195545)
SCO J. Simpson?
never kill a customer
by cur3 (514524) * on Friday June 13, @05:19PM (#6195097)

seams to me that SCO has asked IBM about the dirty knife!
;D

Then IBM says to SCO:

YOU BASTARDS! YOU VICIOUS, HEARTLESS BASTARDS! LOOK WHAT YOU'VE DONE TO HIM (Linus)

HE'S WORKED HIS FINGERS TO THE BONE, TO MAKE THIS GNU/LINUX WHAT IT IS

AND YOU COME IN WITH YOUR PETTY, FEEBLE QUIBBLING AND YOU GRIND HIM INTO THE DIRT!

this fine, honorable man, whose boots you are not worthy to kiss!

Oh, it makes me mad, MAD
....
Re:Release the ninjas...
by Mohammed Al-Sahaf (665285) on Tuesday June 17, @09:28AM (#6221853)

There is no way penguins can write SMP code without our help. We will slaughter all the penquins and have them for dinner

As SCO's new press minister, I can confirm this.

IBM are a superpower of villains. They are superpower of Al Capone. These cowards have no morals - they have no shame about lying. We will slaughter them all
.... most of them. The situation is excellent, they are going to try to sue us, and I believe their grave will be there. We will push those crooks, those mercenaries back into the swamp!

Mohammed al-Sahaf (now SCO press spokesman)

Godwin's law v2
by BenjyD (316700) on Tuesday June 17, @08:53AM (#6221568)
(http://benroe.com/sied)
... available "for free distribution to anyone in the world," including residents of Cuba, Iran, Syria, North Korea and Libya, countries to which the United States controls exports. The open-source technology IBM released "can be used for encryption, scientific research and weapons research," the suit said.

So IBM is helping terrorists and rogue states now? I think we need an addition to Godwin's Law [science.uva.nl] - "As a dispute goes on, the probability of one side claiming the other is helping terrorists approaches one"

Slashdot Confronting Address Space Hijackers

A little curious.
by Sheetrock (152993) on Wednesday June 11, @03:02PM (#6174012)
(http://slashdot.org/...y&uid=442574&id=4236 | Last Journal: Thursday August 23, @06:44PM)
How the hell can't you be a little suspicious of somebody offering you a Class C for $500 on the condition that you only use a small part of it? What, did it fall off a truck?
Wot, you mean that ...
by binaryDigit (557647) on Wednesday June 11, @03:06PM (#6174060)
That Class A block that I bought on ebay from the guy from Nigeria who spammed me via SMS isn't legit? I better quickly cancel that wire transfer of money to his cousin, you know, the finance minister until I can check out his story about the president dieing in a plane crash and leaving all that money that he was going to invest in helping Quark get its native OSX version done.
It's OK...
by hawthorne (220575) <slashdot AT hawthorne DOT me DOT uk> on Wednesday June 11, @03:14PM (#6174155)
You can buy 10.x.x.x from me if you like - only $0.01 per IP address
The point?
by _Sharp'r_ (649297) <sharper.booksunderreview@com> on Wednesday June 11, @03:10PM (#6174112)
(http://www.booksunderreview.com/)
What's the point of stealing IPs to spam? Haven't these guys ever heard of wardriving for IPs?

These guys really need some serious technical help...

(Yes, not meant seriously for those law/spam enforcement types out there!)
Confronting these hijackers - Daytime TV style
by Torgo's Pizza (547926) on Wednesday June 11, @03:31PM (#6174339)
(http://www.videogamestumpers.com/ | Last Journal: Monday April 21, @05:35PM)
You know, sometimes I think the answer to "confronting" these pigs is to not use the courts, but use Jerry Springer.

Jerry: Today on our show, we have people who have stolen IP addresses to send SPAM. Why did you do it Larry?

Larry: Jerry, it's an addiction I have. I just feel the need to tell everyone that by sending money to my friend in Nigeria, they can get a stimulating diplomia and have investment opportunities in appendage lengthening. Is that so wrong? Audience boos.

Jerry: Not everyone agrees with you. Let's bring out a system administrator whose IP you hijacked.

SysAdmin: Appears from backstage. Upon seeing Larry, rushes him fists raised. You stupid #$@&! I'll kill you! I'll kick your fsking @$$! Throws chair. Is restrained by large bald stagehand. You stole my IP! I'll get you!

You too can have your own /16..
by Elk_Moose (575881) on Wednesday June 11, @03:44PM (#6174463)
Get Yours Now on Ebay! [ebay.com]

Don't know if it legit or not but here is one on Ebay now :) Hurry and get your own 65535 addresses!

RAND CORP
by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 11, @03:48PM (#6174498)
My friend scanned 21.0.0.0...and he disappeared the next day ;(

Slashdot/IBM Says SEC Probing Its Accounting  IMHO IBM has a long history fighting with the government. And 20 years ago they were the evil empire [lib.de.us].

Somewhere in Redmond
by stinky wizzleteats (552063) on Tuesday June 03, @11:30AM (#6105864)
(http://slashdot.org/ | Last Journal: Tuesday December 10, @09:41PM)
"Yes, thank you very much. The news is just starting to hit. Yes, it looks good so far. Well, it will take some work, but they'll look to settle the case after they lose about 80% of their market capitalization. Expect the usual

donation, and good luck with the finding WMD thing."

The Humanity....
by Tsali (594389) on Tuesday June 03, @11:33AM (#6105893)
The long, icy reach of SCO.... curses!

Oh wait? There is no conspiracy? Darn.
Where did all the income come from?
by gpinzone (531794) on Tuesday June 03, @11:33AM (#6105897)
(http://slashdot.org/)
Simple...they made it by stealing IP from SCO! Case closed!
Re:Doesn't matter at all
by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 03, @11:47AM (#6106043)
Enron just shifted revenue too. Of course they shifted it from the far future using an accounting time machine. :-)
Re:Doesn't matter at all
by milo_Gwalthny (203233) on Tuesday June 03, @11:51AM (#6106065)
My favorite way to illustrate how earnings are managed is to bring up a story from when I worked at big blue, 1990-ish.

I asked a work friend, a tech, to a new year's eve party I was having. He told me he couldn't come because he had to spend the night getting mainframes on trucks. Seems everyone in the facility (except us engineers--too soft, I guess--and management I assume) got drafted into getting more big iron shipped. You see, if it's on the truck prior to midnight, it's revenue in that year.

Of course, if it's revenue in that year then it's not revenue in the next year, so one year later they have to work twice as hard loading trucks. Then one year you run out of either trucks or iron and you miss your numbers. That's called paying the piper.
Software
by WPIDalamar (122110) on Tuesday June 03, @11:45AM (#6106030)
(http://www.wpidalamar.com/)

Well you see... they've been selling free software, so how could they possible have any revenue from it?

I bet if we look at their spending, there will be free software in there. No company would be dumb enough to sell free software, so that must be an accounting irregularity too!
What a joke.
by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 03, @11:59AM (#6106143)
Slashdot likes IBM, so this doesn't matter. The majority of the first 50 posts are saying this isn't a big deal.

If all the news was the same, but IBM was replaced with MS, they first 50 posts would have been so very different.

I know this is just
/. and it really doesn't matter, but how can you guys expect anyone to take you serious. /. as a whole is so influenced by its various prejudices that most of the comments are reduced to meaning nothing.

Is this the face of OSS? You guys criticize corporations for all their spin, but let me tell you, many a corporate PR department pales in comparison to the spinning and slanting the
/. community puts out.
New nick name on the rise?
by jabbadabbadoo (599681) on Tuesday June 03, @12:04PM (#6106183)
Accounting... Big Blue...

Big Red?

Ouchh.

UPDATE: IBM PRESS RELEASE
by SuperDuG (134989) <[be] [at] [eclec.tk]> on Tuesday June 03, @12:17PM (#6106299)
(http://www.eclec.tk/ | Last Journal: Tuesday December 25, @04:37PM)
For immediate release:

IBM "big blue" has recently checked its books and made note that it has in fact been hording all the money from the code that they stole from SCO and then gave to the massive company called Linux (tm). Linux is an "open source" project that has been under the guise of a "free community" for over 10 years now and recently was discovered that it was nothing more than big brother himself.

"We're in the business of taking other peoples code and giving it away to third parties in lew of violating contracs." Said Bill Lumberg CEO of IBM, "If it wasn't for us we wouldn't be able to screw over the little guys around every turn."

IBM is expected to filter the money in $4,999 transactions to off shore accounts in the carribean to offset what seems to be an "error" in the books. "We apologize we didn't see this earlier and we're going to catch the people who didn't cover this up correctly," said Lumberg.

SD

I'm confused as to how this works...
by Exitthree (646294) on Tuesday June 03, @12:25PM (#6106400)
(http://www.exitthree.com/)
Is it:
  1. ???
  2. Get investigated by SEC
  3. Profit!

or:

  1. Profit!
  2. ???
  3. Get investigated by SEC

Any insight?

In other news
by revividus (643168) on Tuesday June 03, @12:29PM (#6106441)
remaining Enron shareholders are suing IBM for a billion dollars, stating that they have proof that proprietary "Enron accounting practices" were used in IBM's bookkeeping.

Microsoft has already agreed to pay Enron for a license to use these same accounting practices.

A Long & Hidden History (Score:3, Interesting)
by DrSkwid (118965) <slashspam AT cuntbubble DOT com> on Tuesday June 03, @01:07PM (#6106778)
(http://www.hardlight.couk.com/)
IBM might well be the hand holder of OpenSource freedom these days but the company is bigger and darker than it's Linux initiative.

IBM Global Services started life as The Third Reich's data center when they [literally] muscled in to the punch card market, dominated it, and then leased the Nazi's the machines and sold them billions of punch cards to process everything from the railroads to the work rota's of the death camps.

Did you not ever wonder how the SS identified & catalogued millions of people. It certainly wasn't with pen & paper.

In 1937 IBM founder Thomas Watson was even given Germany's highest honour for a non-German, "The Cross of the German Eagle". It was not until 1940, while the bombs where dropping on Europe, that he reluctantly returned it.

They even managed to get their equipment back from the camps when they were liberated !

The path to redemption is public revelation
You cannot be forgiven, until you say sorry.

http://www.edwinblack.com [edwinblack.com]

[May 24, 2003] The Onion American People Ruled Unfit To Govern

WASHINGTON, DC—In a historic decision with major implications for the future of U.S. participatory democracy, the Supreme Court ruled 8-1 Friday that the American people are unfit to govern.

The controversial decision, the first of its kind in the 210-year history of U.S. representative government, was, according to Justice David Souter, "a response to the clear, demonstrable incompetence and indifference of the current U.S. citizenry in matters concerning the operation of this nation's government."

As a result of the ruling, the American people will no longer retain the power to choose their own federal, state and local officials or vote on matters of concern to the public.

"This decision was by no means easy, but it unfortunately had to be done," said Justice Antonin Scalia, who penned the majority decision in the case. "The U.S. Constitution is very clear: In the event that the voting public becomes incapacitated or otherwise unfit to carry out its duties of self-governance, there is a danger posed to the republic, and the judicial branch is empowered to remove said public and replace it with a populace more qualified to lead."

"In light of their unmitigated apathy toward issues of import to the nation's welfare and their inability to grasp even the most basic principles upon which participatory democracy is built, we found no choice but to rule the American people unfit to govern at this time," Scalia concluded.

The controversial ruling, court members stressed, is not intended as a slight against the character of the American people, but merely a necessary measure for the public good.

"The public's right to the best possible representation is a founding principle of our nation," Justice Sandra Day O'Connor told reporters. "If you were on a jet airliner, you wouldn't want an untrained, incompetent pilot at the controls, and this is the same thing. As federal justices, we have taken a solemn oath to uphold every citizen's constitutional rights, and if we were to permit an irresponsible, disinterested public to continue to helm the ship of state, we would be remiss in our duties and putting the entire nation at risk."

[May 14, 2003]   THE PROGRAMMER'S QUICK GUIDE TO THE LANGUAGES -- an old gem: The list does not include Java  "...in which you shoot yourself in a reference to your foot, and pass a message back to your foot informing it to behave as though it has been shot." (Slashdot Slashdot What I Hate About Your Programming Language   #5953669)

The proliferation of modern programming languages (all of which seem to have stolen countless features from one another) sometimes makes it difficult to remember what language you're currently using. This handy reference is offered as a public service to help programmers who find themselves in such a dilemma.

=====> TASK: Shoot yourself in the foot.

C: You shoot yourself in the foot.

C++: You accidentally create a dozen instances of yourself and shoot them all in the foot. Providing emergency medical assistance is impossible since you can't tell which are bitwise copies and which are just pointing at others and saying, "That's me, over there."

FORTRAN: You shoot yourself in each toe, iteratively, until you run out of toes, then you read in the next foot and repeat. If you run out of bullets, you continue with the attempts to shoot yourself anyway because you have no exception-handling capability.

Pascal: The compiler won't let you shoot yourself in the foot.

Ada: After correctly packing your foot, you attempt to concurrently load the gun, pull the trigger, scream, and shoot yourself in the foot. When you try, however, you discover you can't because your foot is of the wrong type.

COBOL: Using a COLT 45 HANDGUN, AIM gun at LEG.FOOT, THEN place ARM.HAND.FINGER on HANDGUN.TRIGGER and SQUEEZE. THEN return HANDGUN to HOLSTER. CHECK whether shoelace needs to be re-tied.

LISP: You shoot yourself in the appendage which holds the gun with which you shoot yourself in the appendage which holds the gun with which you shoot yourself in the appendage which holds the gun with which you shoot yourself in the appendage which holds the gun with which you shoot yourself in the appendage which holds the gun with which you shoot yourself in the appendage which holds...

FORTH: Foot in yourself shoot.

Prolog: You tell your program that you want to be shot in the foot. The program figures out how to do it, but the syntax doesn't permit it to explain it to you.

BASIC: Shoot yourself in the foot with a water pistol. On large systems, continue until entire lower body is waterlogged.

Visual Basic: You'll really only _appear_ to have shot yourself in the foot, but you'll have had so much fun doing it that you won't care.

HyperTalk: Put the first bullet of gun into foot left of leg of you. Answer the result.

Motif: You spend days writing a UIL description of your foot, the bullet, its trajectory, and the intricate scrollwork on the ivory handles of the gun. When you finally get around to pulling the trigger, the gun jams.

APL: You shoot yourself in the foot, then spend all day figuring out how to do it in fewer characters.

SNOBOL: If you succeed, shoot yourself in the left foot. If you fail, shoot yourself in the right foot.

Unix:
% ls
foot.c foot.h foot.o toe.c toe.o
% rm * .o
rm:.o no such file or directory
% ls
%

Concurrent Euclid: You shoot yourself in somebody else's foot.

370 JCL: You send your foot down to MIS and include a 400-page document explaining exactly how you want it to be shot. Three years later, your foot comes back deep-fried.

Paradox: Not only can you shoot yourself in the foot, your users can, too.

Access: You try to point the gun at your foot, but it shoots holes in all your Borland distribution diskettes instead.

Revelation: You're sure you're going to be able to shoot yourself in the foot, just as soon as you figure out what all these nifty little bullet-thingies are for.

Assembler: You try to shoot yourself in the foot, only to discover you must first invent the gun, the bullet, the trigger, and your foot.

Modula2: After realizing that you can't actually accomplish anything in this language, you shoot yourself in the head.

CLARION: You tell your computer to create a program for shooting yourself in the foot with a .22, but unfortunately, it only provides ammunition for a rocket launcher. Once you go into the source to fix the program, you find relevant proof that JFK really WAS shot by Lee Harvey Oswald.

JOVIAL: You go find the compiler writer and shoot him in the foot.

PL/I - You try to shoot yourself in the foot, but a third foot is secretly allocated before either of the previous two has been freed. You are then informed that a foot has been shot, with no indication given as to which one.

[May 5, 2003] Software hype as an art form

In a Wall Street Journal interview, Ellison was quoted saying, "We became the largest industry in the world by selling things that people didn't want to buy." 

Slashdot Python in a Nutshell

How much does it cost to advertise on Slashdott?
by Pizaz (594643) on Wednesday April 16, @12:13PM (#5744299)
Deer Slashdott.com, I've decided to right a book witch will bee very relevant to your readership (i.e geeks and nerds). Although i've yet too decide on the subject material, im very much looking forward to getting rich quick. Eventually, win I finish my book, i'd like too submit a glowing pseudo review to slashdott which contains a link to an online bookstore so that geeks and nerds and can start making me rich right away. Do these sorts of advertisements cost very much? I'm taking a cours in righting and I'll be able to start on the book real soon after I pass these lessons. Thank you. Looking forward to hearing from you so that I can start on the path to richdom.
Gentoo Zealot translator!
by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 16, @11:49AM (#5744137)
Official Gentoo-Linux-Zealot translator-o-matic

Gentoo Linux is an interesting new distribution with some great features. Unfortunately, it has attracted a large number of clueless wannabes who absolutely MUST advocate Gentoo at every opportunity. Let's look at the language of these zealots, and find out what it really means...

"Gentoo makes me so much more productive."
"Although I can't use the box at the moment because it's compiling something, as it will be for the next five days, it gives me more time to check out the latest USE flags and potentially unstable optimisation settings."

"Gentoo is more in the spirit of open source!"
"Apart from Hello World in Pascal at school, I've never written a single program in my life or contributed to an open source project, yet staring at endless streams of GCC output whizzing by somehow helps me contribute to international freedom."

"I use Gentoo because it's more like the BSDs."
"Last month I tried to install FreeBSD on a well-supported machine, but the text-based installer scared me off. I've never used a BSD, but the guys on Slashdot say that it's l33t though, so surely I must be for using Gentoo."

"Heh, my system is soooo much faster after installing Gentoo."
"I've spent hours recompiling Fetchmail, X-Chat, gEdit and thousands of other programs which spend 99% of their time waiting for user input. Even though only the kernel and glibc make a significant difference with optimisations, and RPMs and .debs can be rebuilt with a handful of commands, my box MUST be faster. It's nothing to do with the fact that I've disabled all startup services and I'm running BlackBox instead of GNOME or KDE."

"...my Gentoo Linux workstation..."
"...my overclocked AMD eMachines box from PC World, and apart from the third-grade made-to-break components and dodgy fan..."

"You Red Hat guys must get sick of dependency hell..."
"I'm too stupid to understand that circular dependencies can be resolved by specifying BOTH .rpms together on the command line, and that problems hardly ever occur if one uses proper Red Hat packages instead of mixing SuSE, Mandrake and Joe's Linux packages together (which the system wasn't designed for)."

"All the other distros are soooo out of date."
"Constantly upgrading to the latest bleeding-edge untested software makes me more productive. Never mind the extensive testing and patching that Debian and Red Hat perform on their packages; I've just emerged the latest GNOME beta snapshot and compiled with -09 -fomit-instructions, and it only crashes once every few hours."

"Let's face it, Gentoo is the future."
"OK, so no serious business is going to even consider Gentoo in the near future, and even with proper support and QA in place, it'll still eat up far too much of a company's valuable time. But this guy I met on #animepr0n is now using it, so it must be growing!"

Slashdot/Sun Introduces Subscription Solaris

like, totally
by nehril (115874) on Wednesday February 26, @07:32AM (#5385689)
It looks like another attempt to grab more cash in this nasty economy to me.

I hate it when companies try to make money. Employees, electricity and phone service should all be GPL. they could maybe get office furniture off of kazaa.

damn economy.

Slashdot Mandrake Linux... Not Dead Yet

Mandrake, OS, dead at 6
by stud9920 (236753) <slashdot.majoros@net> on Sunday February 23, @11:05AM (#5364787)
(http://www.majoros.net/ | Last Journal: Thursday September 06, @05:35AM)
I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Operating system distro Mandrake was found dead in it's Paris siege this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss it - even if you didn't enjoy their work, there's no denying their contributions to the free software movement. Truly a French icon.
Happiness..
by _marshall (71584) on Sunday February 23, @03:28PM (#5366103)
(http://www.arcaner.com/)
Is knowing you downloaded The 3 ISOs before this was posted on slashdot.

[Feb 18, 2003] Privacy International is holding a "stupid security" competition and is inviting folks to report pointless security measures they've witnessed over the last year.

PI Launches Competition to Find the World's Most Stupid Security Measure.
Privacy International has launched a competition to discover the world's most pointless, intrusive and self-serving security initiatives. The "Stupid Security" Award will highlight measures which are outrageously pointless and illusory, and which cause unnecessary distress and annoyance. Nominations are open to everyone. The winners will be announced in New York on April 3rd. Announcement and Guidelines.

[Feb 10, 2003] From slashdot.

People tend to focus exclusively on their area of expertise. Otherwise they become managers or even presidents :D

[Feb 5, 2003] From Fortune cookies:

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"

[Jan 25, 2003] SatireWire VIRUS MAKING TO BE HATE CRIME

COMPUTER VIRUS MAKING TO BE PROSECUTED AS HATE CRIME FOR TARGETING STUPID PEOPLE

Systems Administrators Now On Front Lines of Bias Crime

Washington, D.C. (SatireWire.com) — With yet another email virus spreading across the globe, 41 U.S. states and six European countries today announced that the act of creating an attachment-based computer virus will now be considered a hate crime because it intentionally targets stupid people.

"In a hate crime, the offender is motivated by the victim's personal characteristics, and in the case of email viruses, the maker is clearly singling out those who open email attachments when they've been told a
thousand times not to," said California Attorney General Bill Lockyer. "Like any other segment of the population, people of stupidity need protection from bias."

The decision, however, is already causing a firestorm of controversy. In the United States, the American Civil Liberties Union vehemently opposed the action, arguing it runs counter to the spirit of hate crime laws.

"Hate crime statutes are specifically designed to protect minority groups," said ACLU President Nadine Strossen. "I'm not sure the number of stupid computer users meets that criterion."

France, meanwhile, said it would not prosecute anyone willing to write a virus in French.

But in London, the British Civil Idiots Union applauded the move, arguing that virus-based hate crimes cause victims to suffer psychological harm. "Every time we pass on one of these emails, our self-esteem is shattered when we are forced to publicize our condition," said CIU President Michael Overly. "It's always a shock to my system every time I have to write, "Hey everybody, if you get an email attachment from me, don't open it! I just found out my computer got infected by a virus! Sorry!"

Random quotes:

The best approach might be not to switch to Linux. It might be to get a suitable hand-gun and use your Microsoft and C++ books for target practice. Only that might give you feeling that you are in control, again.

Slashdot Brain Surgery Robot Running Linux

When you just can't afford..
by h00dLuM (630451) on Thursday January 16, @09:01AM (#5093845)
a blue screen of death
[ Reply to This ]
 
Yeah, but if it doesn't go well...
by herrlich_98 (267669) on Thursday January 16, @09:01AM (#5093847)
The Microsoft press release title will be...

"Using Linux causes death!"
I just want to know
by DrFrasierCrane (609981) on Thursday January 16, @09:01AM (#5093848)
Is the software open-source? Then we could all write apps to drill into other various body parts. Sounds like fun!
Right Mind
by afrazer (152398) on Thursday January 16, @09:05AM (#5093894)
(http://yucs.org/~frazers)
"Who in his right mind would like to have his brain fondled by a MS product"

People generally have brain surgery because their mind is malfunctioning.

Zayin (91850) on Thursday January 16, @09:16AM (#5093966)
The team hopes to begin human trials by the middle of next year, following the completion of animal tests. Trials have been successfully conducted on cadavers.

"So far, no animals have volunteered, but since we're using Linux we expect lots of penguins to sign up." said Dr Yeo Tseng Tsai. In a subsequent interview RMS pointed out that if they had used the correct term GNU/Linux, they might have had more volunteers from the Gnu community. "I told you so. That's what happens when you leave out the GNU part.", explained RMS.

Re:Human trials
by OldStash (630985) on Thursday January 16, @09:33AM (#5094091)
I wonder how many beta testers will sign up for this one...
I can hear RMS already
by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 16, @09:19AM (#5093999)
after you've had brain surgery you will be called GNU/yourname.
Re:or how about Adventure... (Score:0)
by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 16, @01:07PM (#5095859)
You are in an operating room. The patient is on the operating table, sedated. You see a bunch of surgical instruments, and a robotic drill.
> Fix brain
You're not carrying a brain.
> Get brain
Taken.
> Fix brain
With what?
> Get drill
I don't see any drill here.
> Get robotic drill
I don't see any robotic drill here.
> Get robot
Taken.
> Fix brain
That didn't do anything.
> Examine robot
This is a surgeon's robotic drill, Mark 3000. It is turned off.
> Turn on robot
The robotic drill whirrs to life.
> Fix brain
You have not programmed a drilling pattern into the robot.
Your torch goes out.
The patient dies.
Play again (y/n)?

 

Writing Word Macro Viruses

Hot off the Press! Virus book marks fake O'Reilly 25th anniversary True to its devotion to open source software O'Reilly supposedly marked its "fake" 25th anniversary (actually their first book was published in 1986 which is only 17 years old, althouth they published some Unix manuals before that) with a novel "red-on-black" book Writing Word Macro Viruses.

Also their  flagship book True in a Nutshell was discounted 25%. Old animal covers now can be generated using a special web site oracovers. The publisher also announced that they will start making books about animals but put engravings of computers on the front.

The Smiley marks its 20th birthday

In September, a Microsoft researcher claimed to have dug up a record of the first smiley--that combination of characters used to denote a happy face. The rediscovery by Mike Jones who works in the Systems and Networking Research Group at Microsoft appeared to reveal that the emoticon was approaching its 20th birthday.

However, other claims have since dated the smiley earlier. The one that Jones found was posted in a bulletin board discussion at Carnegie Mellon University by Scott E. Fahlman on Sept. 19, 1982.

But according to computer applications consultant Charles Herbert, the smiley showed its face sometime earlier. In 1974, Herbert ran a company called Renaissance Computing, which had a contract with Intel to provide programming services to help develop a wafer lot control system, Herbert said. As part of the work, Renaissance Computing submitted yield analysis reports to Intel.

"If the yields were within acceptable ranges, Bob (Meyer, who died in 1994,) put a smiley face on the report. If not, there was a frown," said Herbert. "I believe that Bob Meyer may have used the smiley face first."

Others say the smiley is even older.

According to Brian Dear, who is writing a book on the PLATO system, which began life in 1960 as a solution to delivering individualized instruction to students in schools and universities across the United States, emoticons were regularly used on that system, although in a slightly different way.

"On the PLATO system, emoticons were much richer--made using multiple characters displayed on top of each other," Dear said. "It was possible to type, say, a single character, then press shift-space (which moved the cursor exactly one space backwards), then type another character. The second would display on top of the first. You could keep doing this for multiple characters and create many different faces, beer glasses, martini glasses, all kinds of things. And people peppered their e-mails and (PLATO's newsgroups) postings with them all the time."

Others have noted that emoticons were regularly used in teletype transmissions during the early 1960s.

SatireWire Study Finds You Don't Really Make a Difference -- In IS Your Hard Work, Diligence, Found to Mean Squat

London, England (SatireWire.com) — In an unprecedented study, British and American researchers have concluded that despite what you've been told at work, you really don't make a difference, and are not remotely integral to your company's success.

"In our research, we found that you've been encouraged to believe that your hard work and contributions are substantial, and that you are a significant member of the team. But what we discovered is that in your particular case, there's no way," said Neil Romsby of the London School of Economics.

In the study, jointly conducted by the LSE and Stanford University's Business School, researchers interviewed your superiors and colleagues, and uncovered a variety of slogans meant to boost employees' sense of worth, such as "Our employees are our greatest asset," and, "Our value is in our employees."

"We're not necessarily saying these platitudes are all lies," said Stanford economics professor Harold Bloom. "We're just saying they have nothing to do with you."

... ... ...

In another finding, researchers also learned that contrary to your company's public relations claims, your company is not really "creating the future" or "improving people's lives." This, Romsby explained, is actually good news for you.

"By failing to make a difference at a place that also doesn't make a difference, at least you're not really hurting anybody," he said.

Copyright © 2001, SatireWire.

HUMAN EMBRYO CLONED:

Berkeley, Cal. — News that a company has cloned a human embryo has sent shock waves through the bioethical community, which warns that a world populated by clones would be totally unrecognizable to us — a macabre, doppleganger place in which the like-minded inhabitants shop at cookie-cutter "chain" stores, apishly watch television shows patterned after the same theme, and even run their computers with the same operating system.

Regrettably,  most Linux users unable to recollecti horrible crashes of the Linux 2.4 kernel in 2002

Berkeley, Cal. In a study of hardcore Linux enthusiasts Berkeley University researchers had found "repulsive and unconscionable," that at least 80% of the general Linux users population had no special recollection of the horrible crashes of the Linux 2.4 kernel in 2002. Red Hat users were generally the most affected by this unexplainable collective amnesia.

SatireWire/SUPREME COURT RULES EARNINGS SHOULD BE PROTECTED AS ART

Washington, D.C. (SatireWire.com) — In a surprise decision that exonerates dozens of IS companies, and, especially Linux startups, the U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that corporate earnings statements should be protected as works of art.

SatireWire/You Never Visit Your Mother's Web Site

Miami, Fla. (SatireWire.com) — I'm thinking of divorcing your father. Oh, you didn't know that? Well, if you ever bothered to drop by your mother's web site, just once in a while, spare just a few of your precious surfing minutes, you'd know that. It was in my weblog from last week.

But far be it from me to complain, although would it hurt so much to visit the family web site — the site where you first learned how to code, I shouldn't have to mention? I've done some things around the place. Remember that animated .gif that your father used to love? The one with the stupid dancing fish? On the home page, he wanted it! He insisted! Well it's gone! I'm doing everything in Macromedia Flash now. Your father doesn't even know. G-d forbid he should make time to visit his own wife's site.

Your sister, she visits your mother's site every week, and you know how hard it is for her to get around, what with that 56k dial-up connection she suffers with. But you, you with your fancy DSL, you who won't put up a link to your own mother's site...

[Dec 18, 2002] In commemoration of the first profitable quarter Red Hat changed its name to Black Hat. The rumors that Red Hat is not just a mutual fund but that company that can produce earnings have been circulating for several years. The latest events left little doubt in investors' minds that Red Hat is not simply a stock or just a mutual fund, but may in fact be a real company.  Slashdot has an interesting discussion about the renaming and whether it is appropriate in the current difficult economic situation to further confuse investors: 

Overvalued (Score:3, Interesting)
by nuggz (69912) on Wednesday December 18, @06:52AM (#4914673)
(http://slashdot.org/)
Redhat has 170 million shares outstanding. A Market capitalization of 1 billion dollars.
$300k isn't going to cut it. (annually, quarterly, monthly or even weekly.)

Daily earnings of $300k would be decent. 1% profit on their sales is a little slim. They've still got a way to go to justify their price
Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) (Score:1)
by Grizzlysmit (580824) on Wednesday December 18, @07:14AM (#4914707)
It's the first time Red Hat has reported a profit using Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), according to the company.

What you mean not telling lies like Enron & others.

SatireWire AT&T TO CUT BACK 120 PERCENT

NEW YORK, N.Y. (SatireWire.com) — AT&T will reduce its workforce by an unprecedented 120 percent by the end of 2001, believed to be the first time a major corporation has laid off more employees than it actually has.

AT&T stock soared more than 12 points on the news.

The reduction decision, announced Wednesday, came after a year-long internal review of cost-cutting procedures, said AT&T Chairman C. Michael Armstrong. The initial report concluded the company would save $1.2 billion by eliminating 20 percent of its 108,000 employees.

From there, said Armstrong, "it didn't take a genius to figure out that if we cut 40 percent of our workforce, we'd save $2.4 billion, and if we cut 100 percent of our workforce, we'd save $6 billion. But then we thought, why stop there? Let's cut another 20 percent and save $7 billion.

"We believe in increasing shareholder value, and we believe that by decreasing expenditures, we enhance our competitive cost position and our bottom line," he added.

AT&T plans to achieve the 100 percent internal reduction through layoffs, attrition and early retirement packages. To achieve the 20 percent in external reductions, the company plans to involuntarily downsize 22,000 non-AT&T employees who presently work for other companies.

"We pretty much picked them out of a hat," said Armstrong.

Among firms AT&T has picked as "External Reduction Targets," or ERTs, are Quaker Oats, AMR Corporation, parent of American Airlines, Callaway Golf, and Charles Schwab & Co. AT&T's plan presents a "win-win" for the company and ERTs, said Armstrong, as any savings by ERTs would be passed on to AT&T, while the ERTs themselves would benefit by the increase in stock price that usually accompanies personnel cutback announcements.

"We're also hoping that since, over the years, we've been really helpful to a lot of companies, they'll do this for us kind of as a favor," said Armstrong.

Legally, pink slips sent out by AT&T would have no standing at ERTs unless those companies agreed. While executives at ERTs declined to comment, employees at those companies said they were not inclined to cooperate.

"This is ridiculous. I don't work for AT&T. They can't fire me," said Kaili Blackburn, a flight attendant with American Airlines.

Reactions like that, replied Armstrong, "are not very sporting."

Inspiration for AT&T's plan came from previous cutback initiatives, said company officials. In January of 1998, for instance, the company announced it would trim 18,000 jobs over two years. However, just a year later, AT&T said it had already reached its quota. "We were quite surprised at the number of employees willing to leave AT&T in such a hurry, and we decided to build on that," Armstrong said.

Analysts credited Armstrong's short-term vision, noting that the announcement had the desired effect of immediately increasing AT&T share value. However, the long-term ramifications could be detrimental, said Bear Stearns analyst Beldon McInty.

"It's a little early to tell, but by eliminating all its employees, AT&T may jeopardize its market position and could, at least theoretically, cease to exist," said McInty.

Armstrong, however, urged patience: "To my knowledge, this hasn't been done before, so let's just wait and see what happens."

See 2002 for Prev. stories


A Small Collection of Microsoft Hate Sites and Microsoft related humor

I love the way Microsoft follows standards.
 In much the same manner that fish follow migrating caribou.

Paul Tomblin

April, 2000. From Linux Today Eric S. Raymond Microsoft -- Designed for Insecurity

Cockcroaches breed in the dark. Crackers thrive on code secrecy. It's time to let the sunlight in.

Eric Raymond

Todd's Humor Archive The history of DOS (fwd)

Newsgroups: rec.humor.funny
From: rwilco@interlog.com (Adam Allouba)
Date: Wed, 26 Jul 95 4:30:02 EDT

Found this gem on the NANET Comedy Conference. If you know anything about DOS vs Windows vs OS/2 vs... then READ IT.

How It Came To Pass...

Long ago, in the days when all disks flopped in the breeze and the writing of words was on a star, the Blue Giant dug for the people the Pea Sea. But he needed a creature who could sail the waters, and would need for support but few rams.

So the Gatekeeper, who was said to be both micro and soft, fashioned a Dosfish, who was small and spry, and could swim the narrow sixteen-bit channel. But the Dosfish was not bright, and could be taught few new tricks. His alphabet had no A's, B's, or Q's, but a mere 640 K's, and the size of his file cabinet was limited by his own fat.

At first the people loved the Dosfish, for he was the only one who could swim the Pea Sea. But the people soon grew tired of commanding his line, and complained that he could be neither dragged nor dropped. "Forsooth," they cried. "the Dosfish can only do one job at a time, and of names, he knows only eight and three." And many of them left the Pea Sea for good, and went off in search of the Magic Apple.

Although many went, far more stayed, because admittance to the Pea Sea was cheap. So the Gateskeeper studied the Magic Apple, and rested awhile in the Parc of Xer-Ox, and he made a Window that could ride on the Dosfish and do its thinking for it. But the Window was slow, and it would break when the Dosfish got confused. So most people contented themselves with the Dosfish.

Now it came to pass that the Blue Giant came upon the Gateskeeper, and spoke thus: "Come, let us make of ourselves something greater than the Dosfish." The Blue Giant seemed like a humbug, so they called the new creature OZ II.

Now Oz II was smarter than the Dosfish, as most things are. It could drag and drop, and could keep files without becoming fat. But the people cared for it not. So the Blue Giant and the Gateskeeper promised another OZ II, to be called Oz II Too, that could swim the fast new 32-bit wide Pea Sea.

Then lo, a strange miracle occurred. Although the Window that rode on the Dosfish was slow, it was pretty, and the third Window was the prettiest of all. And the people began to like the third Window, and to use it. So the Gateskeeper turned to the Blue Giant and said, "Fie on thee, for I need thee not. Keep thy OZ II Too, and I shall make of my Window an Entity that will not need the Dosfish, and will swim in the 32-bit Pea Sea."

Years passed, and the workshops of the Gateskeeper and the Blue Giant were overrun by insects. And the people went on using their Dosfish with a Window; even though the Dosfish would from time to time become confused and die, it could always be revived with three fingers.

Then there came a day when the Blue Giant let forth his OZ II Too onto the world. The Oz II Too was indeed mighty, and awesome, and required a great ram, and the world was changed not a whit. For the people said, "It is indeed great, but we see little application for it." And they were doubtful, because the Blue Giant had met with the Magic Apple, and together they were fashioning a Taligent, and the Taligent was made of objects, and was most pink.

Now the Gateskeeper had grown ambitious, and as he had been ambitious before he grew, he was now more ambitious still. So he protected his Window Entity with great security, and made its net work both in serving and with peers. And the Entity would swim, not only in the Pea Sea, but in the Oceans of Great Risk. "Yea," the Gateskeeper declared, "though my entity will require a greater ram than Oz II Too, it will be more powerful than a world of Eunuchs.

And so the Gateskeeper prepared to unleash his Entity to the world, in all but two cities. For he promised that a greater Window, a greater Entity, and even a greater Dosfish would appear one day in Chicago and Cairo, and it too would be built of objects.

Now the Eunuchs who lived in the Oceans of Great Risk, and who scorned the Pea Sea, began to look upon their world with fear. For the Pea Sea had grown, and great ships were sailing in it, the Entity was about to invade their oceans, and it was rumored that files would be named in letters greater than eight. And the Eunuchs looked upon the Pea Sea, and many of them thought to immigrate.

Within the Oceans of Great Risk were many Sun Worshippers, and they wanted to excel, and make their words perfect, and do their jobs as easy as one-two-three. And what's more, many of them no longer wanted to pay for the Risk. So the Sun Lord went to the Pea Sea, and got himself eighty-sixed.

And taking the next step was He of the NextStep, who had given up building his boxes of black. And he proclaimed loudly that he could help anyone make wondrous soft wares, then admitted meekly that only those who know him could use those wares, and he was made of objects, and required the biggest ram of all.

And the people looked out upon the Pea Sea, and they were sore amazed. And sore confused. And sore sore. And that is why, to this day, Ozes, Entities, and Eunuchs battle on the shores of the Pea Sea, but the people still travel on the simple Dosfish.

Active HumorNT What alternative OS do you want to make fun of today

Windows in Action
Written by Mark Eating, Assistant Manager to the Vice President of Windows Marketing, on April 1, 1999
from the lets-just-see-linux-do-that! dept.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- According to one anonymous White House intern, Bill Clinton successfully uses Microsoft solutions. The intern tells HumorNT, "Windows NT and Access make the perfect platform for maintaining Bill's database of Lincoln Bedroom reservations and 'unofficial' campaign contributions. Last year, when Federal agents were investigating campaign contributions from the 1996 election, the Windows NT server happened to crash, destroying all of the evidence with it! White House record keeping is one mission critical application where operating system stability is a liability. Thank you, Microsoft, for fulfilling the needs of Bill Clinton and the White House staff with your wonderful, innovative products!"

Microsoft acquires Catholic Church (fwd)

Humorix All Linux Humor. All Copied Mottos. All the Time.

I Hate Microsoft   

Mirco$oft Hate Page  

Stuff O' Boug Anti-Micros$oft


Recommended Links

Softpanorama hot topic of the month

Softpanorama Recommended


Top 10 Classic Unix Humor Stories

1. The Jargon File the most famous Unix-related humor file.
 
Please note that so called "hacker dictionary" is the jargon file spoiled by Eric Raymond :-)  -- earlier versions of jargon file are better than the latest hacker dictionary...

2. Tao_Of_Programming (originated in 1992). This is probably No. 2 classic. There are several variants, but the link provided seems to be the original text (or at least an early version close to the original).

Here is a classic quote:

"When you have learned to snatch the error code from the trap frame, it will be time for you to leave."

... ...

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.

3. Know your Unix System Administrator by Stephan Zielinski -- Probably the third most  famous Unix humor item.  See also KNOW YOUR UNIX SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR  also at Field Guide to System Administrators [rec.humor.funny]. I personally like the descriptions of idiots and fascists and tend to believe that a lot of administrative fascists are ex-secretaries :-). At the same time former programmers can became sadists also quite often -- there is something in sysadmin job that seems cultivates the feeling of superiority and sadism ( "Users are Losers" mentality. IMHO other members of classification are not that realistic :-) :

There are four major species of Unix sysad:

  1. The Technical Thug.
    Usually a systems programmer who has been forced into system administration; writes scripts in a polyglot of the Bourne shell, sed, C, awk, perl, and APL.
  2. The Administrative Fascist.
    Usually a retentive drone (or rarely, a harridan ex-secretary) who has been forced into system administration.
  3. The Maniac.
    Usually an aging cracker who discovered that neither the Mossad nor Cuba are willing to pay a living wage for computer espionage. Fell into system administration; occasionally approaches major competitors with indesp schemes.
  4. The Idiot.
    Usually a cretin, morphodite, or old COBOL programmer selected to be the system administrator by a committee of cretins, morphodites, and old COBOL programmers.

---------------- SITUATION: Root disk fails. ----------------

TECHNICAL THUG:
Repairs drive. Usually is able to repair filesystem from boot monitor. Failing that, front-panel toggles microkernel in and starts script on neighboring machine to load binary boot code into broken machine, reformat and reinstall OS. Lets it run over the weekend while he goes mountain climbing.
ADMINISTRATIVE FASCIST:
Begins investigation to determine who broke the drive. Refuses to fix system until culprit is identified and charged for the equipment.
MANIAC, LARGE SYSTEM:
Rips drive from system, uses sledgehammer to smash same to flinders. Calls manufacturer, threatens pets. Abuses field engineer while they put in a new drive and reinstall the OS.
MANIAC, SMALL SYSTEM:
Rips drive from system, uses ball-peen hammer to smash same to flinders. Calls Requisitions, threatens pets. Abuses bystanders while putting in new drive and reinstalling OS.
IDIOT:
Doesn't notice anything wrong.

---------------- SITUATION: Poor network response. ----------------

TECHNICAL THUG:
Writes scripts to monitor network, then rewires entire machine room, improving response time by 2%. Shrugs shoulders, says, "I've done all I can do," and goes mountain climbing.
ADMINISTRATIVE FASCIST:
Puts network usage policy in motd. Calls up Berkeley and AT&T, badgers whoever answers for network quotas. Tries to get xtrek freaks fired.
MANIAC:
Every two hours, pulls ethernet cable from wall and waits for connections to time out.
IDIOT:
# compress -f /dev/en0

---------------- SITUATION: User questions. ----------------

TECHNICAL THUG:
Hacks the code of emacs' doctor-mode to answer new users questions. Doesn't bother to tell people how to start the new "guru-mode", or for that matter, emacs.
ADMINISTRATIVE FASCIST:
Puts user support policy in motd. Maintains queue of questions. Answers them when he gets a chance, often within two weeks of receipt of the proper form.
MANIAC:
Screams at users until they go away. Sometimes barters knowledge for powerful drink and/or sycophantic adulation.
IDIOT:
Answers all questions to best of his knowledge until the user realizes few UNIX systems support punched cards or JCL.

4. RFC 1925 The Twelve Networking Truths  by R. Callon

  1. It Has To Work.
  2. No matter how hard you push and no matter what the priority, you can't increase the speed of light. (2a) (corollary). No matter how hard you try, you can't make a baby in much less than 9 months. Trying to speed this up *might* make it slower, but it won't make it happen any quicker.
  3. With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. However, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.
  4. Some things in life can never be fully appreciated nor understood unless experienced firsthand. Some things in networking can never be fully understood by someone who neither builds commercial networking equipment nor runs an operational network.
  5. It is always possible to aglutenate multiple separate problems into a single complex interdependent solution. In most cases this is a bad idea.
  6. It is easier to move a problem around (for example, by moving the problem to a different part of the overall network architecture) than it is to solve it. (6a) (corollary). It is always possible to add another level of indirection.
  7.  It is always something (7a) (corollary). Good, Fast, Cheap: Pick any two (you can't have all three).
  8. It is more complicated than you think.
  9. For all resources, whatever it is, you need more. (9a) (corollary) Every networking problem always takes longer to solve than it seems like it should.
  10. One size never fits all.
  11. Every old idea will be proposed again with a different name and a different presentation, regardless of whether it works. (11a) (corollary). See rule 6a.
  12. In protocol design, perfection has been reached not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

5. Murphy's laws -- I especially like "Experts arose from their own urgent need to exist." :-). See also 

  1. Nothing is as easy as it looks.
  2. Everything takes longer than you think.
  3. Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
  4. If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will be the one to go wrong. Corollary: If there is a worse time for something to go wrong, it will happen then.
  5. If anything simply cannot go wrong, it will anyway.
  6. If you perceive that there are four possible ways in which a procedure can go wrong, and circumvent these, then a fifth way, unprepared for, will promptly develop.
  7. Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse.
  8. If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.
  9. Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.
  10. Mother nature is a bitch.
  11. It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious.
  12. Whenever you set out to do something, something else must be done first.
  13. Every solution breeds new problems.

    ... ... ....

6. Network Week/The Bastard Operator from Hell. The classic story about an Administrative Fascist sysadmin.

7. Academic Programmers- A Spotter's Guide by Pete Fenelon; Department of Computer Science, University of York

  Preamble  
  I Am The Greatest  
  Internet Vegetable  
  Rabid Prototyper  
  Get New Utilities!  
  Square Peg...  
  Objectionably ...  

  My Favourite ...  
  Give Us The Tools!  
  Macro Magician  
  Nightmare Networker  
  Configuration ...  
  Artificial Stupidity  
  Number Crusher  

  Meta Problem Solver  
  What's A Core File?  
  I Come From Ruritania  
  Old Fart At Play  
  I Can Do That!  
  What Colour ...  
  It's Safety Critical!  

Objectionably Oriented

OO experienced a Road To Damascus situation the moment objects first crossed her mind. From that moment on everything in her life became object oriented and the project never looked back. Or forwards.

Instead, it kept sending messages to itself asking it what direction it was facing in and would it mind having a look around and send me a message telling me what was there...

OO thinks in Smalltalk and talks to you in Eiffel or Modula-3; unfortunately she's filled the disk with the compilers for them and instead of getting any real work done she's busy writing papers on holes in the type systems and, like all OOs, is designing her own perfect language.

The most dangerous OOs are OODB hackers; they inevitably demand a powerful workstation with local disk onto which they'll put a couple of hundred megabytes of unstructured, incoherent pointers all of which point to the number 42; any attempt to read or write it usually results in the network being down for a week at least.

8 Real Programmers Don't Write Specs

Real Programmers don't write specs -- users should consider themselves lucky to get any programs at all, and take what they get.

Real Programmers don't comment their code. If it was hard to write, it should be hard to understand.

Real Programmers don't write application programs, they program right down on the bare metal. Application programming is for feebs who can't do system programming.

... ... ...

Real Programmers aren't scared of GOTOs... but they really prefer branches to absolute locations.

9. Real Programmers Don't Use Pascal -- [ A letter to the editor of Datamation, volume 29 number 7, July 1983. Ed Post Tektronix, Inc. P.O. Box 1000 m/s 63-205 Wilsonville, OR 97070 Copyright (c) 1982]

Back in the good old days-- the "Golden Era" of computers-- it was easy to separate the men from the boys (sometimes called "Real Men" and "Quiche Eaters" in the literature). During this period, the Real Men were the ones who understood computer programming, and the Quiche Eaters were the ones who didn't. A real computer programmer said things like "DO 10 I=1,10" and "ABEND" (they actually talked in capital letters, you understand), and the rest of the world said things like "computers are too complicated for me" and "I can't relate to computers-- they're so impersonal". (A previous work [1] points out that Real Men don't "relate" to anything, and aren't afraid of being impersonal.)

But, as usual, times change. We are faced today with a world in which little old ladies can get computers in their microwave ovens, 12 year old kids can blow Real Men out of the water playing Asteroids and Pac-Man, and anyone can buy and even understand their very own personal Computer. The Real Programmer is in danger of becoming extinct, of being replaced by high school students with TRASH-80s.

There is a clear need to point out the differences between the typical high school junior Pac-Man player and a Real Programmer. If this difference is made clear, it will give these kids something to aspire to -- a role model, a Father Figure. It will also help explain to the employers of Real Programmers why it would be a mistake to replace the Real Programmers on their staff with 12 year old Pac-Man players (at a considerable salary savings).

10. bsd_logo_story

Last week I walked into a local "home style cookin' restaurant/watering hole" to pick up a take out order. I spoke briefly to the waitress behind the counter, who told me my order would be done in a few minutes.

So, while I was busy gazing at the farm implements hanging on the walls, I was approached by two, uh, um... well, let's call them "natives".

These guys might just be the original Texas rednecks -- complete with ten-gallon hats, snakeskin boots and the pervasive odor of cheap beer and whiskey.

"Pardon us, ma'am. Mind of we ask you a question?"

Well, people keep telling me that Texans are real friendly, so I nodded.

"Are you a Satanist?"

Etc: other historically important items

Programming Eagles

... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

And they showed me the way There were salesmen down the corridor I thought I heard them say Welcome to Mountain View California Such a lovely place Such a lovely place (backgrounded) Such a lovely trace(1) Plenty of jobs at Mountain View California Any time of year Any time of year (backgrounded) You can find one here You can find one here

... ... ...  ... ... ... ...

John Lennon's Yesterday -- variation for programmers.

Yesterday,
All those backups seemed a waste of pay.
Now my database has gone away.
Oh I believe in yesterday.

Suddenly,
There's not half the files there used to be,
And there's a milestone hanging over me
The system crashed so suddenly.

I pushed something wrong
What it was I could not say.
Now all my data's gone
and I long for yesterday-ay-ay-ay.

Yesterday,
The need for back-ups seemed so far away.
I knew my data was all here to stay,
Now I believe in yesterday.

The UNIX cult

Notes from some recent archeological findings on the birth of the UNIX cult on Sol 3 are presented. Recently discovered electronic records have shed considerable light on the beginnings of the cult. A sketchy history of the cult is attempted.

On the Design of the UNIX operating System

This article was written in 1984 and was published in various UNIX newsletters across the world. I thought that it should be revived to mark the first 25 years of UNIX. If you like this, then you might also like The UNIX Cult.
Peter Collinson

,,, ,,, ,,,

'I Provide Office Solutions,' Says Pitiful Little Man a nice parody on programmers in general and open source programmers in particular

"VisTech is your one-stop source for Internet and Intranet open source development, as well as open source software support and collaborative development" said Smuda, adjusting the toupee he has worn since age 23. "We are a full-service company that can evaluate and integrate multi-platform open source solutions, including Linux, Solaris, Aix and HP-UX"

 "Remember, no job is too small for the professionals at VisTech," added the spouseless, childless man, who is destined to die alone and unloved. "And no job is too big, either."

Unofficial Unix Administration Horror Story Summary

Best of DATAMATION GOTO-less

By R. Lawrence Clark*

From DATAMATION, December, 1973


Nearly six years after publication of Dijkstra's now-famous letter, [1] the subject of GOTO-less programming still stirs considerable controversy. Dijkstra and his supporters claim that the GOTO statement leads to difficulty in debugging, modifying, understanding and proving programs. GOTO advocates argues that this statement, used correctly, need not lead to problems, and that it provides a natural straightforward solution to common programming procedures.

Numerous solutions have been advanced in an attempt to resolve this debate. Nevertheless, despite the efforts of some of the foremost computer scientists, the battle continues to rage.

The author has developed a new language construct on which, he believes, both the pro- and the anti-GOTO factions can agree. This construct is called the COME FROM statement. Although usage of the COME FROM statement is independent of the linguistic environment, its use will be illustrated within the FORTRAN language.

Netslave quiz

AT YOUR LAST JOB INTERVIEW, YOU EXHIBITED:

A. Optimism
B. Mild Wariness
C. Tried to overcome headache. I was really tied
D. Controlled Hostility

2. DESCRIBE YOUR WORKPLACE:

A. An enterprising, dynamic group of individuals laying the groundwork for tomorrow's economy.
B. A bunch of geeks with questionable social skills.
C. An anxiety-ridden, with long hours and a lot of stress because of backbiting bunch of finger-pointers.
D. Jerks and PHB

3. DESCRIBE YOUR HOME:

A. Small, but efficient.
B. Shared and dormlike.
C. Rubble-strewn and fetid.
D. I have a personal network at my home with three or more connected computers and permanent connection to the Internet

NEW ELEMENT DISCOVERED!

The heaviest element known to science was recently discovered by university physicists. The new element was tentatively named Administratium. It has no protons and no electrons, and thus has an atomic number of 0. However, it does have one neutron, 15 assistant neutrons, 70 vice-neutrons, and 161 assistant vice-neutrons. This gives it an atomic mass of 247. These 247 particles are held together by a force that involves constant exchange of a special class of particle called morons.

Since it does not have electrons, Administratium is inert. However, it can be detected chemically as it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. According to the discoverers, a minute amount of Administratium added to one reaction caused it to take over four days to complete. Without Administratium, the reaction took less than one second.

Administratium has a half-life of approximately three years, after which it does not normally decay but instead undergoes a complex nuclear process called "Reorganization". In this little-understood process, assistant neutrons, vice-neutrons, and assistant vice-neutrons appear to exchange places. Early results indicate that atomic mass actually increases after each "Reorganization".

Misc Unproductive Time Classification -- nice parody on timesheets

You Might Be A Programmer If...  By Clay Shannon - bclayshannon@earthlink.net

Jokes Magazine Drug Dealers Vs Software Developers

Jokes Magazine Ten Commandments For Stress Free Programming December 23, 1999

  1. Thou shalt not worry about bugs. Bugs in your software are actually special features.
  2. Thou shalt not fix abort conditions. Your user has a better chance of winning state lottery than getting the same abort again.
  3. Thou shalt not handle errors. Error handing was meant for error prone people, neither you or your users are error prone.
  4. Thou shalt not restrict users. Don't do any editing, let the user input anything, anywhere, anytime. That is being very user friendly.
  5. Thou shalt not optimize. Your user are very thankful to get the information, they don't worry about speed and efficiency.
  6. Thou shalt not provide help. If your users can not figure out themselves how to use your software than they are too dumb to deserve the benefits of your software any way.
  7. Thou shalt not document. Documentation only comes in handy for making future modifications. You made the software perfect the first time, it will never need mods.
  8. Thou shalt not hurry. Only the cute and the mighty should get the program by deadline.
  9. Thou shalt not revise. Your interpretation of specs was right, you know the users' requirements better than them.
  10. Thou shalt not share. If other programmers needed some of your code, they should have written it themselves.

Other Collections of Unix  Humor


Archive of The Softpanorama Humor Chronicle

Vol 16(2004) Vol 15(2003) Vol 14(2002) Vol 13(2001) Vol 12(2000)
Vol 11(1999) Vol 10(1998) Vol 9(1997) Vol 8(1996) Vol 7(1995)
Vol 6(1994) Vol 5(1993) Vol 4(1992) Vol 3(1991) Vol 2(1990)

Vol 9 (1997)

Pre HTML years ;-)

Vol.8 (1996)

 

Vol.7 (1995)

 

Vol. 6 (1994)

 

Vol. 5 (1993)

 

Vol. 4

 

Vol. 3

Vol. 2

 


Etc

Don't let a few insignificant facts distract you from waging a holy war

A Slashdot post

It's spelled Linux, but it's pronounced "Not Windows"

- Usenet sig

It is time to unmask the programming community
as a Secret Society for the Creation and Preservation of Artificial Complexity.

Edsger W. Dijkstra: The next forty years (EWD 1051)

 

Last but not Least

www.shibumi.org/EotI  -- great link:  "There are no more links. You must now turn off your computer and go do something productive." :-)

The Last Page

You have reached The End of the Internet

Thank you for visiting the Last Page.

There are no more links. You must now turn off your computer and go do something productive.


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The Last but not Least


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