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Unix was a Program Gone Bad

News Humor Chronicle BSD Logo Story Know Your Unix System Administrator Top 10 Classic Unix Humor Manifest of the Softpanorama IT Slacker Society The Sysadmin Price List
RFC 1925: The Twelve Networking Truths Murphy's Laws The Cuckoo's Egg The Worst Job in the World SYSTEM PROBLEM REPORT The Unix Hierarchy Unix was a Program Gone Bad
NETSLAVE QUIZ Interview with a hacker GURU The Unix Cult Office Diplomacy Lesson Six Types of Troubles with bosses Santa as sysadmin
 A letter from a programmer wife DNS Commandments "Mountain View California" (Sung to the tune "Hotel California" by the Eagles) Freudian Send in e-mail Flame Wars Glossary for Research Reports  vi himor The Corporate Jungles Of Cubonia
 C C++ Assembler Perl Shell Java Debugging
 Miscellaneous Unproductive Time Classification "Linux Sucks" Humor  Networking humor Solaris humor Orthodox Unixoid definition Algorithms Editors humor
RMS Linus Torvalds Larry Wall & Perl GPL humor Information Passing Customer calls a UNIX consultant with a question Man page for Unix baby command
OFM Humor Wisdom for Grads SE Humor    Unix And C Are Jokes Viruses Eric Raymond Etc

Unix was a program gone bad. Born into poverty, its parents, the phone company, couldn't afford more than a roll of teletype paper a year, so Unix never had decent documentation and its source files had to go without any comments whatsoever. Year after year, Papa Bell would humiliate itself asking for rate increases so that it could feed its child. Still, Unix had to go to school with only two and three letter command names because the phone company just couldn't afford any better. At school, the other operating systems with real command names, and even command completion, would taunt poor little Unix for not having any job or terminal management facilities or for having to use its file system for interprocess communication and locking.

Then, bitter and emasculated by its poverty, the phone company began to drink. During lost weekends of drunken excess, it would brutally beat poor little Unix about the face and neck. Eventually, Unix ran away from home. Soon it was living on the streets of Berkeley. There, Unix got involved with a bad crowd. Its life became a degrading journey of drugs and debauchery. To keep itself alive, it sold cheap source licenses for itself to universities which used it for medical experiments. Being wantonly hacked by an endless stream of nameless, faceless undergraduates, both men and women, often by more than one at the same time, Unix fell into a hell-hole of depravity.

And so it was that poor little Unix began to go insane. It retreated steadily into a dreamworld, the only place where it felt safe. He start writing crazed poetry in which it found deep meaning but which no one else could understand:

    $sed <$mf >$mf.new -e '1,/^# AUTOMATICALLY/!d'

    make shlist || ($echo "Searching for .SH files..."; \
            $echo *.SH | $tr ' ' '\012' | $egrep -v '\*' >.shlist)
    if $test -s .deptmp; then
        for file in `cat .shlist`; do
            $echo `$expr X$file : 'X\(.*\).SH'`: $file config.sh \; \
                /bin/sh $file >> .deptmp
        done
        $echo "Updating $mf..."
        $echo "# If this runs make out of memory, delete /usr/include lines." \
            >> $mf.new
        $sed 's|^\(.*\.o:\) *\(.*/.*\.c\) *$|\1 \2; '"$defrule \2|" .deptmp \
           >>$mf.new
    else
        make hlist || ($echo "Searching for .h files..."; \
            $echo *.h | $tr ' ' '\012' | $egrep -v '\*' >.hlist)
	$echo "You don't seem to have a proper C preprocessor. Using grep instead."
        $egrep '^#include ' `cat .clist` `cat .hlist`  >.deptmp
        $echo "Updating $mf..."
        <.clist $sed -n                                                 \
            -e '/\//{'                                                  \
            -e   's|^\(.*\)/\(.*\)\.c|\2.o: \1/\2.c; '"$defrule \1/\2.c|p"
        \
            -e   d
        \
            -e '}'
        \
            -e 's|^\(.*\)\.c|\1.o: \1.c|p' >> $mf.new
        <.hlist $sed -n 's|\(.*/\)\(.*\)|s= \2= \1\2=|p' >.hsed
        <.deptmp $sed -n 's|c:#include "\(.*\)".*$|o: \1|p' | \
           $sed 's|^[^;]*/||' | \
           $sed -f .hsed >> $mf.new
        <.deptmp $sed -n 's|c:#include <\(.*\)>.*$|o: /usr/include/\1|p' \
           >> $mf.new
        <.deptmp $sed -n 's|h:#include "\(.*\)".*$|h: \1|p' | \
           $sed -f .hsed >> $mf.new
        <.deptmp $sed -n 's|h:#include <\(.*\)>.*$|h: /usr/include/\1|p' \
           >> $mf.new
        for file in `$cat .shlist`; do
            $echo `$expr X$file : 'X\(.*\).SH'`: $file config.sh \; \
                /bin/sh $file >> $mf.new
        done
    fi

Eventually, Unix began walking down Telegraph Avenue talking to itself, saying "Panic: freeing free inode," over and over again. Sometimes it would accost perfect strangers and yell "Bus error (core dumped)!" or "UNEXPECTED INCONSISTENCY: RUN FSCK MANUALLY!" at them in a high pitched squeal. Upstanding citizens pretended it was invisible. Mothers with children crossed to the other side of the street.

Then one evening Unix watched television, an event which would change its life. There it discovered professional wrestling and knew that it had found its true calling. It began to take huge doses of corticosteroids to build itself up even bigger than the biggest of the programs which had beaten it up as a child. It ate three dozen pancakes and four dozen new features for breakfast each day. As the complications of the steroids grew worse, its internal organs grew to the point where Unix could no longer contain them. First the kernel grew, then the C library, then the number of daemons. Soon one of its window systems was requiring two megabytes of swap space for each open window. Unix began to bulge in strange, unflattering places.

The worst strain was on Unix's mind. Unable to assimilate all the conflicting patchworks of features it had ingested, its personality began to fragment into millions of distinct, incompatible operating systems. People would cautiously say "good morning Unix. And who are we today?" and it would reply "Beastie" (BSD), or "Domain", or "I'm System III, but I'll be System V to- morrow." Psychiatrists labored for years to weld together the two major poles of Unix's personality, "Beasty Boy", an inner-city youth from Berkeley, and "Belle", a southern transvestite who wanted a to be a woman. With each attempt, the two poles would mutate, like psychotic retroviruses, leaving their union a worthless blob of protoplasm requiring constant life support to remain compatible with its parent personalities.

Finally, unbalanced due to its own growth, Unix accidentally fell into a vat of toxic radioactive telecommunication waste, from which it emerged with strange greenish glow well visible at night. His skin became yellow and hair green. With a horrible grin on the face of multiple VT220 terminals, it set out to conquer the world.

- Ian Horswill



Etc

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Groupthink : Two Party System as Polyarchy : Corruption of Regulators : Bureaucracies : Understanding Micromanagers and Control Freaks : Toxic Managers :   Harvard Mafia : Diplomatic Communication : Surviving a Bad Performance Review : Insufficient Retirement Funds as Immanent Problem of Neoliberal Regime : PseudoScience : Who Rules America : Neoliberalism  : The Iron Law of Oligarchy : Libertarian Philosophy

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Bulletin:

Vol 25, No.12 (December, 2013) Rational Fools vs. Efficient Crooks The efficient markets hypothesis : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2013 : Unemployment Bulletin, 2010 :  Vol 23, No.10 (October, 2011) An observation about corporate security departments : Slightly Skeptical Euromaydan Chronicles, June 2014 : Greenspan legacy bulletin, 2008 : Vol 25, No.10 (October, 2013) Cryptolocker Trojan (Win32/Crilock.A) : Vol 25, No.08 (August, 2013) Cloud providers as intelligence collection hubs : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : Inequality Bulletin, 2009 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Copyleft Problems Bulletin, 2004 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Energy Bulletin, 2010 : Malware Protection Bulletin, 2010 : Vol 26, No.1 (January, 2013) Object-Oriented Cult : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2011 : Vol 23, No.11 (November, 2011) Softpanorama classification of sysadmin horror stories : Vol 25, No.05 (May, 2013) Corporate bullshit as a communication method  : Vol 25, No.06 (June, 2013) A Note on the Relationship of Brooks Law and Conway Law

History:

Fifty glorious years (1950-2000): the triumph of the US computer engineering : Donald Knuth : TAoCP and its Influence of Computer Science : Richard Stallman : Linus Torvalds  : Larry Wall  : John K. Ousterhout : CTSS : Multix OS Unix History : Unix shell history : VI editor : History of pipes concept : Solaris : MS DOSProgramming Languages History : PL/1 : Simula 67 : C : History of GCC developmentScripting Languages : Perl history   : OS History : Mail : DNS : SSH : CPU Instruction Sets : SPARC systems 1987-2006 : Norton Commander : Norton Utilities : Norton Ghost : Frontpage history : Malware Defense History : GNU Screen : OSS early history

Classic books:

The Peter Principle : Parkinson Law : 1984 : The Mythical Man-MonthHow to Solve It by George Polya : The Art of Computer Programming : The Elements of Programming Style : The Unix Haterís Handbook : The Jargon file : The True Believer : Programming Pearls : The Good Soldier Svejk : The Power Elite

Most popular humor pages:

Manifest of the Softpanorama IT Slacker Society : Ten Commandments of the IT Slackers Society : Computer Humor Collection : BSD Logo Story : The Cuckoo's Egg : IT Slang : C++ Humor : ARE YOU A BBS ADDICT? : The Perl Purity Test : Object oriented programmers of all nations : Financial Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : The Most Comprehensive Collection of Editor-related Humor : Programming Language Humor : Goldman Sachs related humor : Greenspan humor : C Humor : Scripting Humor : Real Programmers Humor : Web Humor : GPL-related Humor : OFM Humor : Politically Incorrect Humor : IDS Humor : "Linux Sucks" Humor : Russian Musical Humor : Best Russian Programmer Humor : Microsoft plans to buy Catholic Church : Richard Stallman Related Humor : Admin Humor : Perl-related Humor : Linus Torvalds Related humor : PseudoScience Related Humor : Networking Humor : Shell Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2012 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2013 : Java Humor : Software Engineering Humor : Sun Solaris Related Humor : Education Humor : IBM Humor : Assembler-related Humor : VIM Humor : Computer Viruses Humor : Bright tomorrow is rescheduled to a day after tomorrow : Classic Computer Humor

The Last but not Least


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Last modified: September, 12, 2017