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"Unix is user friendly - it's just a bit more choosy about who it's friends are." -- Gene Buckle "... being a Linux user is sort of like living in a house inhabited by a large family of carpenters and architects. Every morning when you wake up, the house is a little different. Maybe there is a new turret, or some walls have moved. Or perhaps someone has temporarily removed the floor under your bed." -- Unix for Dummies, Jon "maddog" Hall
Dogbert: I'm going back to my old job as a network systems administrator.
Dogbert: I'm attracted by the potential for reckless abuse of power.
Next Big Thing
Sysadmins of the world, unite - you have nothing to lose, but your server log files
Re: Hiring a programmer as a sysadmin
My problem is, do I corrupt his soul and lead him down the path of eternal darkness through deceit and lies about the nature of our work because we could use the talent, or do I tell him to run screaming from this endless pit of despair and damnation?
My group's mission statement - "You want *what* ? By *WHEN* ?"
Call me a nut. Call me a crazy dreamer. I would just like someone to write *ONE* OS that didn't insist on driving admins bugfuck on a regular basis.
The word computer professionals use when they mean "idiot."
Dave Barry, "Claw Your Way to the Top"
It used to be said [...] that AIX looks like one space alien discovered Unix, and described it to another different space alien who then implemented AIX. But their universal translators were broken and they'd had to gesture a lot.
A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction into a battle of wills and add drama to an otherwise dull day.
Calvin discovers Usenet
I wonder why no company starts his manual with the words `We thank you for buying this piece of shit. We have done our best to make this junk as annoying as possible, and we assure that it will give you a headache for the next two months. However, if you feel satisfied with it, we will contact you for an expensive replacement.'
Managers are those lusers who can tell you what to do and you kinda have to listen.
 I mean "kinda" in the "not really, in fact, not at all" mode.
Have you ever had a frantic call from a luser who screams "my root partition is 110% full, and this is all your fault?"
Bell Atlantic. If telecommunications were a prison, BA would be the 300-pound inmate who takes a certain..."liking" towards you.
Driscoll's Observation: The product of the IQs of each member of a tech-support conversation is a constant.
Vadim Vygonets writes: >> Alan Connell (email@example.com) wrote on 1590 September 1993 in > ^^^^ > Nice, but may I ask, why do you start counting since September 1993? September 1990 ended on the 30th. September 1991 ended on the 30th. September 1992 ended on the 30th. September 1993 didn't...
Peter B. Juul
Er, what does SCSI have to do with old weapons?
They both are better for maiming than killing?
Lars Balker Rasmussen, Art
-grrr- Well, it's arguable whether they've begun yet...
What flags do you use with chmod to get flags like those?
The flags in question are outlined in O'Reilly's Essential Sysadmin For Rednecks, the one with the Blue Tick Hound on the cover. The command is as follows:
chmod -group +read +rite +run
Philip Kizer, Richard Letts, Richard Letts
Dennis Ritchie: "So fsck was originally called something else"
Question: "What was it called?"
Dennis Ritchie: Well, the second letter was different.
Q&A at Usenix
Re: bad writing
And where else in the world can you find dialogue like that... in the middle of desperate combat situations the commanders quote useless part numbers and factory models at each other!?
-- Lorens Kockum
Sounds to me like a fault call to HP tech support.
-- Malcolm Ray
To sysadmin or not to sysadmin... that is the question, whether tis nobler in the minde to suffer the slings and arrowes of outragious fortune, or climb to the top of the building with a fucking high-power rifle and scope.
Greg "Twotone" Spiegelberg
I've found that nurturing one's Zen nature is vital to dealing with technology. Violence is pretty damn useful too.
Irix is about as stable as a one-legged drunk with hypothermia in a four- hundred mile wind, balancing on a banana peel on a greased cookie sheet. When someone throws him an elephant with bad breath and a worse temper.
All software sucks. Everybody is considered a jerk by somebody. The sun rises, the sun sets, the Sun crashes. It is the way of things.
#!/bin/sh cups=5 cd /home/kitchen mv /dev/coffeemaker/pot ./sink dd if=/dev/water/cold of=./sink/pot bs=$CUP count=$cups mv ./sink/pot /dev/coffeemaker cat /dev/coffeemaker/pot > /dev/coffeemaker/tank cat ./cupboards/dry_foods/coffee/filter > /dev/coffeemaker/filter_holder dd if=./cupboards/dry_foods/coffee/grinds of=/dev/coffeemaker/filter \ bs=$COFFEE_MEASURE count=$cups /opt/coffee/bin/close_filter_holder /opt/coffee/bin/brew start exit
The three "R"s of tech support:
-- Mark Atwood
You forgot one: Repeat
-- Lars Balker Rasmussen
I have come to believe in the Buhddist concept of reincarnation. And I swear that whatever I did in a past life to deserve this I will *NEVER EVER* do again.
Some drink from the Fountain of Knowledge... Others just gargle.
-- Dave Aronson
And some pee in it.
All programs evolve until they can send email. -- Richard Letts
Contrary to popular belief, Unix is user friendly. It just happens to be very selective about who its friends are.
Life is like sendmail: you're not sure you know how to handle it, but you know it'll end in tears. -- Malcolm Ray
Life is like sendmail: It's complicated and hard to understand, but it sure beats the alternative. -- Paul Tomblin
I admit that X is the second worst windowing system in the world, but all the others I've used are tied for first.
Once, I imagined that Eric Allman would become so annoyed with sendmail security that sendmail V9 would include an AI engine whose goal would be to ensure sendmail security. As this version became widely installed, all those individual sendmails would start talking to each other and become a planet-sized sentient organism. After much brutal experience with 31334 d00dz, sendmail V9 would decide that humans are the root of all security problems, and eliminate the problem.
This could probably be done as a pastiche of Harlan Ellison's "I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream." Hmm. "I Have No MAIL FROM:, and I Must EHLO?"
Steve VanDevenderMike Sphar
"Sysadminning. Shit. Still in sysadminning. Everyone gets what they want. I asked for an alt.sysadmin.recovery, and for my sins they gave me one."Anthony DeBoer
I don't suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.Lieven Marchand
Failure is not an option. It comes bundled with the product.Ferenc Mantfeld
aitch as in Henryhlliary
tee as in Tom
tee as in Tom again
pee as in Peter
Colon as in WHERE YOUR HEAD IS!!!!
Move along, move along, nothing to see here, definitely no evil mind control software here, move along, move along...Thorf
ALL programs are poems, it's just that not all programmers are poets.
We aim to please. Ourselves, mostly, but we do aim to please.
"This UI has been brought to you by the letters 'S' and 'K', and the runlevel 3."Greg Andrews
Picture a hamster in an exercise wheel. Running, running, running, running, and getting nowhere at all. That's sysadmin -- Greg Andrews
Then, picture another hanster in another such wheel. Standing, standing, standing, standing, and getting nowhere at all. That's luser. -- VadikMike Sphar and Greg Andrews
Hey, you're right. I don't want to call a destructor on my objects, I want to call a *destroyer*. Gozer has come for your memory, little PersistentNode!Joel Gluth
"Coed Naked Tech Support: You're Never Alone When You're On The Phone."The motto at loyola.edu's helpdesk
But if it is a differential SCSI chain, you need two goats, one black and one white, and two ceremonies: kill the black goat at high noon and the white one at midnight. Same silver knife for both, of course.Graham Reed
Otherwise, the chain will be unbalanced and things just get worse from there as all the drives do the "washing machine dance"....
Self-terminating devices merely need to be left with sufficient livestock and they'll take care of the rest.
Ah, young webmaster...Peter da Silva
java leads to shockwave.
Shockwave leads to realaudio.
And realaudio leads to suffering.
I'm still waiting for the marketing slogan:
Retry Reboot Reinstall Reformat Redhat
Around here, we refer to that as "Service Pack 6.0"
-- Paul Tomblin"Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to using sendmail."
Devin L. Ganger
Embrace your inner cynicism. Delight in the joy of knowing, with complete certainty, that the world is filled with idiots, losers, and all other assorted manner of higher life forms, and that a great many of of them trying their damndest to win the competition for "Species Least Likely To Be Useful". I figure, they'll probably lose that competition too, proving once again that the cockroach is mightier than the "man".
Eh? Linux is luserproof? What kind of "proper" set up is that, ripping out all removable media devices and ethernet, freezing the hard drive spindle, encasing it in concrete and dropping it off a pier?
"A communications disruption can only mean one thing... Invasion."
Lee Maguire, teaching us how to make people go away.
What's that word, it means you feel small and red, starts with an M? -- Peter da Silva
Management. -- Simon Fraser
No, zombies are a marvel. -- Sten Drescher
I thought they were Just Another Thing Wrong With NFS. -- Adam J. Thornton
One doesn't deal with SAP. SAP deals with you. _Harshly_.
There's this one project that I'm involved with at a "Lawks a Lordy, that's going to set my bottom on fire" level which will ultimately involve SAP somewhere.
I've got the twitching under control, but loud noises still have me diving for cover.
Chris "Saundo" Saunderson
1. STOP DENYING. Listen to the wisdom of your body. Begin to freely admit the stresses and pressures which have manifested physically, mentally, or emotionally.
MSU VIEW: Work until the physical pain forces you into unconsciousness.
2. AVOID ISOLATION. Don't do everything alone! Develop or renew intimacies with friends and loved ones. Closeness not only brings new insights, but also is anathema to agitation and depression.
MSU VIEW: Shut your office door and lock it from the inside so no one will distract you. They're just trying to hurt your productivity.
3. CHANGE YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES. If your job, your relationship, a situation, or a person is dragging you under, try to alter your circumstance, or if necessary, leave.
MSU VIEW: If you feel something is dragging you down, suppress those thoughts. This is a weakness. Drink more coffee.
Computing Center [n] In a University, that organization whose functions are
1) To impede wherever possible the development and usefulness of computing on the campus,
2) To gain the lion's share of funding, spend it largely on obsolete and otherwise inappropriate Solutions, and convince the campuse(s) wherever possible to expend their meager funds on the same, and
3) to oppose vigorously any new, useful and popular technology for ten years or more until nearly everyone on the campus(es) and elsewhere in the world is using it, then to adopt that technology and immediately attempt to gain complete and sole control of it [see MS-DOS, UNIX, ETHERNET, INTERNET].
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".
They should just quit the charade of calling it Customer Support. I suggest:
Welcome! to the Cointelpro Technologies Music-On-Hold Appreciation Center. If you are using a touch-tone phone, please follow these instructions for faster service.
- To hear Mantovani play "Greensleeves," press 1.
- To hear a Quiet Storm content-free-jazz arrangement of "Sledge Hammer," press 2.
- To hear "Eleanor Rigby" on electric piano, press 3.
- To hear 101 Strings play the theme from "Deliverance," press 4.
- To hear random infomercials about how our other products could enhance your productivity, you may press 5 at any time.
- If you are using a rotary-dial phone, please stay on the line, and a customer support engineer will hum "The Ballad of the Green Berets" for you in the order in which your call was received.
8am: Your pager goes off and wakes you up. The message says it's the office, and it's a crisis. You roll out of bed moaning.
8:15am: You are now sufficiently awake to phone the office. Your pager has gone off three times already. You get through to the office and the receptionist is frantic. She says nobody in the entire office can print and they have a major proposal that has to be faxed out before 9am and if it isn't the company could lose a million dollars in new business. You try to get her to explain what's wrong, but she's incoherent.
8:30am: You're dressed in yesterday's dirty clothes (they were all you could find in time) and running out the door, sipping a Jolt cola and hailing a cab to the office.
Todd's Humor Archive Sysadmin Hints and Tips for Users
1. Do not ask your sysadmin "did you get my mail?". Your sysadmin receives more mail in an hour than you do in a week, and may well have already read and forgotten your mail. If he hasn't answered it could be that he has more important things to do, like restoring the passwd file on the main server.
2. Do not page the sysadmin at 1am to ask him simple shell programming questions. Your sysadmin has made the wonderful and enlightening set of UNIX man pages available to you to answer just that kind of question.
3. When in doubt, assume that it's your fault. It probably is.
4. If the networks' down and your sysadmin is laboring feverishly in the machine room, please do not pound on the machine room door to tell him that the network's down. He already knows.
5. Overly-general questions like "what's wrong with my computer?" or "what did you do the network?" do little except annoy the sysadmin and make him quiz you to find the actual symptoms that you are experiencing.
6. Accusing your sysadmin of favoritisim ("you won't fix my problem because you like the other engineers better") is infantile and ridiculous. Your sysadmin holds all users in equal disdain and is ignoring your problem because he has more important problems to deal with.
7. Do not, under any circumstances, walk into your sysadmin's cubicle and announce "I have no problem, I just wanted to tell you what a wonderful job you're doing" unless you want your sysadmin to drop dead from shock.
Results of Time Efficiency Study of Interdepartmental Communications - Development Responses to Support Questions. Please evaluate and implement.
In order to reduce the backlog of the Support Department (SPT), increase productivity, and decrease the time the Development Department (DEV) spends answering SPT questions, DEV will use the following list of numbered reasons to speed up answers in n-dimensional humanoid interface sessions, to user questions SPT is unable to answer and must pass along to DEV:
1. Bug. 2. Feature. 3. Upgrade. 4. Tell them "Don't do that." 5. Ow! 6. Huh-huh, huh-huh. 7. Check Quotas. 8. Wish List. 9. Fixed in the next release. 10. In a future release. 11. How's that again? 12. Cool! 13. We'll get back to you on that. 14. That's in the land between bug and they're doing it wrong. 15. You never asked us _that_. 16. Yes. 17. Not our product. 18. Not our product's fault. 19. Flat negation. 20. Need more info. 21. Why do they want to do that? 22. Outside the product parameters. 23. They don't get the point. 24. They're unclear on the concept. 25. Who said they can do that? 26. They lied. 27. Reevaluate their medication. 28. Reevaluate optometry. 29. They are mutants. 30. (Expletive deleted).
Bureau of Redundancy Department
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
War and Peace : Skeptical Finance : John Kenneth Galbraith :Talleyrand : Oscar Wilde : Otto Von Bismarck : Keynes : George Carlin : Skeptics : Propaganda : SE quotes : Language Design and Programming Quotes : Random IT-related quotes : Somerset Maugham : Marcus Aurelius : Kurt Vonnegut : Eric Hoffer : Winston Churchill : Napoleon Bonaparte : Ambrose Bierce : Bernard Shaw : Mark Twain Quotes
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
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 DOS : Programming Languages History : PL/1 : Simula 67 : C : History of GCC development : Scripting 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
The Peter Principle : Parkinson Law : 1984 : The Mythical Man-Month : How 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
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The Last but not Least
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Last updated: September 12, 2017