May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
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(slightly skeptical) Educational society promoting "Back to basics" movement against IT overcomplexity and  bastardization of classic Unix

Softpanorama Open Source Humor Chronicle
Vol 12 (2000)

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[Dec 19, 2000] The New Yorker Book of Technology Cartoons

[Nov 24, 2000] Unix is a huge iceberg with spots of penguin shit on the top

[Nov 24, 2000]  To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the glass is half empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

 The Tales from Tech Support

Fly the Friendly Skies of Computer-Operating-Systems

Fate and the Independent Thinker

The following concerns a question in a physics degree exam at the University of Copenhagen: "Describe how to determine the height of a skyscraper with a barometer." One student replied: You tie a long piece of string to the neck of the barometer, then lower the barometer from the roof of the skyscraper to the ground. The length of the string plus the length of the barometer will equal the height of the building." This highly original answer so incensed the examiner that the student was failed immediately. He appealed on the grounds that his answer was indisputably correct, and the university appointed an independent arbiter to decide the case. The arbiter judged that the answer was indeed correct, but did not display any noticeable knowledge of physics. To resolve the problem it was decided to call the student in and allow him six minutes in which to provide a verbal answer which showed at least a minimal familiarity with the basic principles of physics.


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".


The other day I was sitting in a bar when the guy next to me asked for a light. I thought to myself, Hey, there is a market here. I just need to figure out how to exploit it. So I said to the guy, "I can't give you a light without some compensation for my time and effort, not to mention my flint, my steel and my lighter fluid. So, I will, for $0.25, licence to you the right to burn one of your cigarettes."

The guy was a little drunk and probably thought that I was too, so he gave me a quarter and I lit his cigarette. As I was pocketing the quarter, to my horror and dismay, this guy's buddy took the cigarette I had just lit and used it to light his own cigarette, in clear violation of the licence agreement! This person had stolen my fire!

AND, before I could point out the violation to this thief, he passed the lit cigarette on to other patrons of the bar. Soon everyone in the bar was benefiting from my fire. I had no recourse but to try to enforce the contract, but as I was going from patron to patron trying to explain that they had stolen from me and that they owed me 25 cents each, the bouncer threw me out of the bar and suggested that I insert my lighter in a place that I consider anatomically difficult if not impossible. I guess that there will always be thieves.

At least you and I have the pleasure of ranting about them.

Frank Ross

John Lennon's Yesterday -- variation for programmers.

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

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.

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

Ode to GPL  by Kurt Gavor - [sing along] ( Sep 7, 2000)

The License Police, as dogmatic as they can get...
The License Police, they'll come and judge your code
Oh nooooooo......

Well I can't write code 'cause they're lookin' at me...
And when I fall asleep bet they're griping 'bout me...

'Cause they're yelling at me, unbundling me...
They're driiivin' me insane.....
...Those men at Deb-i-annnn....

(with apologies to Cheap Trick)

hey there sonny... (Score:5, Funny)
by TWX_the_Linux_Zealot ([email protected]) on Wednesday September 13, @02:08PM EDT (#76)
(User #227666 Info)
... back in my day, we didn't have any http search tools. I had to walk twelve miles, buck naked, in the snow to find a terminal with access to an archie client, and we didn't have no graphics neither! we had to read binary code to interpret our results, if we even got any over out 110 baud connection! and sometimes the results would be in swahili, and we didn't know what to make of what we downloaded, but we were happy! not whining snot nosed little brats like yourselves, who are mad because you can't find that naked picture of Britney Spears or haven't broken 88TB of mp3s downloaded, so stop sniveling!

Slashdot's Alarmism (Score:3, Funny)
by KingJawa (dan at whattheheck dot com) on Wednesday September 13, @01:32PM EDT (#23)
(User #65904 Info)

If David Letterman were to do a "Top 10 Geeks Signs Hell Is Freezing Over," he'd probably need only to look at the /. headlines.

"OMG, Compaq may be violating GPL!!! Someone ask /.!"

"Run for the hills! Google is pimping Yahoo!"

"A private company decided not to publish DeCSS -- it's the end of free speech as we know it!"

"*Red Alert* Corporations try to make money *Red Alert* "

Linux should be set free (Humor)
by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 18, @09:40AM EDT (#18)

We must let Linux permutate by itself without anybody in control of it. There should be no Monster Dictator on top that demands what should go in and what should not. We do not want another Stalin amongst our comrades. We peasants should take control, not let any power hungry man on top tell us how kernel lock synchronization should be implemented.

With this way, all variations would grow, with the lackluster ones dying off. There is no other way to evolve in our commune. We have to follow the example of the human species in the world, in which we come to dominate the mammal universe not because of our brute strength, but because of our superior intelligence. If we blow each other up, that is the way it is, since the survivors would be go on to build a better race(whatever that would be.)

So all comrades, rise to arm and pick out your mouse. We must topple anyone with power within our group as they are the perpetrators to our progress toward Utopia. Suppression of our freedom to do it anyway we want to shall not be a rule of the game anymore.

! Central control is the true way of evolving.

[Aug 23, 2000] The Great Penguin Hoax  Letter from Alan Cox

All in all, Linux is a waste of time, and its devotees can't see the forest for the trees. Any advantages Linux may have as an operating system is more than canceled out by the lack of uniformity, lack of documentation, and lack of hardware support. Unless one is willing to invest a great deal of time and money in Linux, don't bother. Win 9x, Win NT, and Win 2K may be bloatware and may be overpriced, but just like back in 1976 when I bought MS-Basic on papertape, it works and the documentation is accurate and clear.

Now I'm going fishing.

 American Focus: Should The U.S. Impose Limits On Incredibly Stupid Shit

"The manufacture, marketing and distribution of stupid, worthless shit is an unfortunate but unavoidable reality of any modern industrialized nation. Nonetheless, the problem has gotten way out of hand here in America," said C. Brian Mattson, a member of the Commerce Department's Advisory Board On Stupid, Really Stupid & Incredibly Stupid Shit, testifying before Congress Monday. "The time has come to face facts: Without some sort of cap on America's unchecked stupid-shit production, we face a crisis of diminished intelligence within the national discourse that threatens to bury our society under a tidal wave of crap the likes of which the world has never seen."

'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 collaborative-computing support," said Smuda, adjusting the toupee he has worn since age 23. "We are a full-service company that can evaluate and integrate multi-platform environments, including Unix-based Sun workstations, Novell Netware-based PC servers and AppleTalk-based TCP/IP LANs."

 "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."

Area Man Consults Internet Whenever Possible

COLUMBUS, OH--Larry Wisniewski, a 36-year-old Columbus-area office manager, turns to the Internet for information whenever humanly possible.

 "Are you trying to find out what time Angela's Ashes is playing at Crosswoods Marcus Cinema?" Wisniewski asked his wife Pamela, noticing her looking through The Columbus Dispatch's movie listings. "I can log on to the Dispatch's web site and check it in a flash."

"Now that my household is hooked up to the Internet, nothing is out of reach," Wisniewski said. "With the click of a mouse, anything we could want to know is available--even stuff that's otherwise only available in print."

Wisniewski's fervor for consulting the Internet has not gone unnoticed by his wife.

"I was on the phone getting directions to a restaurant we were going out to," Pamela said, "when Larry started yelling, 'No, no, don't ask! I'll find it!' So he opens up, enters our address and the restaurant's, and within 10 minutes, he had complete door-to-door directions printed out."

"That's right," Larry said. "And she wanted to get a pen and write down the directions by hand."

The Internet came in equally handy last Sunday, when Pamela suggested making pancakes for breakfast. "There was a good recipe on the side of the Bisquick box, but Larry insisted on getting on that AltaVista thing and searching for more," Pamela said.

 After only 30 minutes of searching, Wisniewski came up with nearly 200 different pancake recipes. "Without the Internet," Larry said, "she would've been stuck with the one variety of pancakes available from the box."

"Let's face it," he added, "Bisquick boxes are a dead medium."

Internet Opens Up Whole New World Of Illness For Local Hypochondriac

MERIDEN, CT--All her life, Janet Hartley has suffered from a host of ill-defined viruses and inexplicable aches and pains, diagnosing herself with everything from diabetes to cancer. But ever since discovering such online medical resources as WebMD,, and Yahoo! Health, the 41-year-old hypochondriac has had a whole new world of imaginary illnesses opened up to her.

      "The Internet has really revolutionized my ability to keep on top of my medical problems," said Hartley, speaking from her bed. "For instance, I used to think my headaches were just really bad migraines. But then last week, while searching Mt. Sinai Hospital's online medical database, I learned about something much more serious called cranial AVM, or arteriovascular malformation, which, along with headache pain, may also result in dizziness, loss of concentration, and impaired vision. I immediately thought to myself, 'Hey, that's exactly what happens to me.'"

Slashdot Shutting Down

 "You mean I can no longer expect to enjoy a grossly overinflated market cap for my unprofitable, $200-million-in-debt Internet start-up? That's not fair!" -- Onion

US Patent 05443036 Page 1 -- I didn't know I infringed this patent :)

In other news.... (Score:4, Funny)
by soulsteal ([email protected]) on Wednesday August 02, @06:41PM EDT (#38)
(User #104635 Info)
Later that day, RMS was seen communicating with the mainframe leader of Cyberdyne, creators of SkyNet. He was trying to convince SkyNet to GPL the code that runs at the hearts of all T-100 Terminator models. It's rumored that SkyNet is holding onto it's closed source ways due to a belief that the human resistance would be able to find security exploits that would allow them control of improperly secured Terminators.

"The rain in Spain falls mainly on the Spaniards."

Nation's Schoolchildren Call For Cuts In Math, Science Funding

Hired Magazine interviews Good Software Group founder  -- RMS under the fire ;-)

The following is an interview by Hired Magazine, the monthly magazine devoted to commerce and trade, with Gilbert Oram Dawson, the founder of the Good Software Group.

Hired: Gilbert, it's been fifteen years since you single-handedly created the Good Software movement and its spokesman and umbrella organization, the Good Software Group. How does it feel to be sitting in the catbird seat, now that Good Software is all the rage?
Dawson: It's a great feeling to see just about everyone either using or else wanting to use Good Software. It proves that I am the visionary I always told you I was. But I'll tell you this: it hurts me that most people don't realize that without the Good Software Group, they probably wouldn't even have any Good Software. In fact, most people who use Good Software have barely even heard of the GSG. It really wounds me to be so under-appreciated, even after all the Good Software that I've personally created for the world.

        ... ... ... ... ...  

Hired: Do you feel that the Good Software Group is neglected when the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal mentions E-commerce but doesn't talk about how important Good Software and the GSG in particular have been to it?
Dawson: I don't care for the word `E-commerce', and you've put your finger on exactly why. It disrespects how important we are. Don't you realize that without Good Software, the E-conomy would be nowhere? It's the very foundation of the entire system! Oh, there isn't always a lot of our stuff there, but we were the guiding light behind it all. That's why I insist upon the term `Good/E-commerce' instead. However, if you really find that difficult, I shall permit you to use the term `E/Good-Commerce' in my presence as a tolerable but not a preferable alternative. The reason I don't care for it as much is that you've placed the Good part too far back, even though I really started it all. At least you give the GSG some credit that way, though.
Hired: I'm sorry - I'll try to more careful from now on. I'd like to thank you for this interview. I'm sure that this will clarify for our readers your role in the goodware movement--
Dawson: Stop right there! I am not now nor have I ever been a member of the so-called `goodware' movement. I am the founding father of `Good Software' movement, which is completely different. `Goodware' is the despicable term used by a sham libertarian outfit who's trying to reach out to the not-for-profit community. When they say `goodware', they just mean software that's not bad. Can you believe it? Do you realize that they actually support letting people take what was originally Good Software and convert it into something that will never be used for one single good or service? That no longer will money change hands? Why, if everyone did that, our whole country would fall apart! That's not Good Software, and I shall have nothing to do with them. Fortunately, the GPL prohibits them from doing that with GPL'd software, which is why I strongly advocate slapping the GPL on every bit of software you can. It's the only way to keep those gun-toting libertarians off our backs and to keep our nation's E-conomy strong! By using the GPL to make Permanently Good Software!

Hungarian Notation

pI vThink aHungarian nNotation vIs iA aWonderful nThing cAnd pEveryone
avShould vUse pIt aAll dThe nTime, adNo nMatter pWhat dThe nContext,
adEven adWhen vSpeaking.



p = pronoun
v = verb
a = adjective
n = noun
i = indef. art.
d = def. art.
c = conjunction
av = aux. verb
ad = adverb
s = smiley

C. Keith Ray - An exclusive interview with Linus 'Linux' Torvalds and Alan 'Kernel Hacker' Cox [Feature Articles-Interview]

(C) Clifford: So. What kinds of userland changes you referred to a minute ago in the car, uh - what kinds of enhancements have you made for the upcoming release?

(LT) Linus Torvalds: Well. We talked a lot about - em - Alan and I talked a lot about the things that were keeping Linux from really taking over the desktop - not the things he and I usually talk about - in the kernel space - but in the actual user functionality, and we decided to go back to the beginning, as it were - back to the earliest utilities that were available for the majority of the computer users out there.

(AC)Alan Cox: (To the waitress) I had the bangers - the sausage, uh - know, this doesn't taste like beer much. You got any Guinness ?

(W)Waitress: Well, honey, we have some of that Red Hook, if you don't like the Bud....

(AC) All right, I'll try it. You know, for all the genius in the States you people really never got the hang of beer.....

(W) Most folks around here think it's just right. Where you from? New York?

(AC) No..... England, actually. But I lived in North Carolina for a couple of years...

(W) Uh-Huh.

(LT), as I was saying, the user space that most of the people in the world were comfortable with, before the Windows user space, and the command line...

(AC) Mostly we were tired of getting all the crap in the press about how difficult Linux was to use and customize - hey, mum, that was good, can I have another?? And we thought since there was such an incredible user base among people who had used DOS for such a long time that we could....

(LT) ...That we could really capitalize on this specific group - people old enough to really make decisions in the companies that they work for - IT executives, VP's in charge of purchasing...and...

(AC) And "the media" just like you, Cliffie...
... ... ...

Microsoft Patents Ones, Zeroes

REDMOND, WA--In what CEO Bill Gates called "an unfortunate but necessary step to protect our intellectual property from theft and exploitation by competitors," the Microsoft Corporation patented the numbers one and zero Monday.

      With the patent, Microsoft's rivals are prohibited from manufacturing or selling products containing zeroes and ones--the mathematical building blocks of all computer languages and programs--unless a royalty fee of 10 cents per digit used is paid to the software giant.

      "Microsoft has been using the binary system of ones and zeroes ever since its inception in 1975," Gates told reporters. "For years, in the interest of the overall health of the computer industry, we permitted the free and unfettered use of our proprietary numeric systems. However, changing marketplace conditions and the increasingly predatory practices of certain competitors now leave us with no choice but to seek compensation for the use of our numerals."

      A number of major Silicon Valley players, including Apple Computer, Netscape and Sun Microsystems, said they will challenge the Microsoft patent as monopolistic and anti-competitive, claiming that the 10-cent-per-digit licensing fee would bankrupt them instantly.

      "While, technically, Java is a complex system of algorithms used to create a platform-independent programming environment, it is, at its core, just a string of trillions of ones and zeroes," said Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy, whose company created the Java programming environment used in many Internet applications. "The licensing fees we'd have to pay Microsoft every day would be approximately 327,000 times the total net worth of this company."

.... .... ....  .... .... ...


details (Score:3, Funny)
by Golias on Tuesday June 27, @04:18PM EDT (#22)
(User Info)

It is starting to bug me that none of the Transmeta-related press releases I have seen so far seem to give many clues about the price of these chips. Sure they are low-power, low-heat chips filled with all kinds of crunchy goodness, but how do they stack up against, for example, the fondly remembered Strong-ARM in terms of "!" for "$"?

For that matter, how to they compete in price against the IBM-cabal's G3, which runs for hours off the static electricity of your body and actually cools the air around its own heatsinks, but costs more than a new family car... or the good old "de"Celeron, which doubles your power bill and is so hot that you can cook an egg on the next desk over, but can be bought in the Wal-mart bargain bin for $3 a pop and overclocked to 2500 MHz?

(Disclaimer: The above might contain a few slight exaggerations of the strengths and weaknesses of various CPU's.)

Information wants to be anthropomorphized.

[June 27, 2000] Such a sexy means to such an unsexy end by Sebbo ([email protected]) on Tuesday June 27, @04:15PM EDT (#16) (User Info)

The original press conference read sort of like the Cheese Shop Sketch.

"The crusoe can emulate any chip at all."
"Like a PowerPC?"
"Or an Alpha?"
"Or a Dragonball?"
"So what can it actually emulate?"
"Any chip at all, so long as it's an x86."

[June 09, 2000] - ANSI Standard Perl Since you've in the business for a respectable number of years, what are your five biggest pet peeves about programming?

LR: That's a toughie. How about four, in no particular order:

[June 08, 2000] i think that ESR's idea of geeks with guns is the scarest thing about being a geek...i mean..i've seen these people get in fights over text editors. just imagine them with guns.

[June 08, 2000] The evil Linux empire is complete Slashdot reader joke on VA Linux acquisition of

"The merger *will* be completed on schedule, my Master."
"You have done well, Lord Taco... and now I sense you wish to continue your search for young Hemos."
"Yes, my Master..."

With the recent merger of VA systems and, Slashdot has gained an unreasonable degree of dominance over the web discussion market, claimed the Justice Department Wednesday. Negotiations are continuing between Andover lawyers and government officials, but a current plan would break Slashdot up into a number of competing operations, each in charge of one of its flagship products:

Slash: News for nerds
Dot: Stuff that matters
org: Hot Grits

A press release from CmdrTaco claims that they are cooperating with the Justice Department, but do not feel that criticism of their business as monopolistic is warranted. As competition in each of their major areas, Taco cited Kuro5hin, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the work of Jesustussinheadface.

[April 16, 2000] A thunderstorm is God's way of saying you spend too much time in front of the computer.

[April 1, 2000] OpenBSD to merge with RedHat (Press Release) -- nice parody on the opportunism of Bob Yong:

The new merged operating system will also be released under the Rad Hat Community Source License. Young was quick to point that the new 15 page source license still means business as usual for developers
and users. "Whatever you could do with the source code before, you can still do under the new license", said Young. "It's just that corporate buyers didn't take us seriously with the GPL or the BSD licenses. Now
that they have to spend serious cash on lawyers to interpret this thing for them, they view us as a real software vendor.

[Mar.17, 2000] OPEN SOURCE OPEN SOURCE (PART I) posted to Slashdot by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 16. Nice parody on Start Wars as one slashdot reader put it "a great take-off/rip on return of the jedi (for what THAT movie was worth)"

[Feb 9, 2000] Slashdot Science Sleep Deprivation Increases Brain Activity -- contains good parody on Slashdot style:

Slashdot deprivation (Score:2)
by 348 on Friday February 11, @07:59PM EST (#48)
(User Info)

The ability of the brain to function following Slashdot deprivation appears to vary with the task at hand, and in some cases the brain attempts to compensate for the adverse effects caused by lack of Slashdot, according to a study published in the Feb. 10 issue of Flamebait.

A team of researchers from the UCSD School of Medicine and the Zelot Affairs Healthcare System, San Diego used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technology to monitor activity in the brains of Slashdot-deprived subjects performing simple verbal learning tasks.

They were somewhat surprised to learn that regions of the brainís prefrontal cortex (PFC) displayed more activity in direct correlation with the subjectís sense of Slashdotness; the Slashdotier the subject, the more active the PFC.

Furthermore, the temporal lobe, a brain region involved in language processing, was activated during flaming previous posts in troll subjects but not in Slashdot deprived subjects. Additionally, a region of the brain called the parietal lobes, not activated in troll subjects during the posting exercise, was more active when the subjects were deprived of Slashdot. The parietal region normally performs somewhat different functions in the learning process than the temporal region. Although subjectsí memory performance was less efficient with Slashdot deprivation, greater activity in the parietal region was associated with better memory.

"Only in recent years have we begun to realize the prevalence and severity of Slashdot deprivation in our population, with a significant number of people doing first posts work, suffering from karma lag and so forth," said J. Natalie Portman, M.D., professor of psychiatry at the UCSD and the San Diego VAMC, and an author of the Flamebait paper. "Yet, we donít know very much about how Slashdot deprivation impairs sexual performance, and how precisely the brain reacts to lack of Slashdot. These findings are just a beginning, and as we learn more, perhaps will be able to devise interventions to alleviate the behavioral impairments associated with lack of Slashdot."

Never knock on Death's door:
Ring the doorbell and run (he hates that).

[Feb 8, 2000]  Ode to greed

Ode to Greed (Score:0)
by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 09, @09:48AM EST (#137)

There once was a man from Andover
Who asked Slashdot to bendover
He bribed them it seems
And fulfilled all their dreams
But slashdot as we knew it is over

[Jan 21,  2000] Me use linux too IPO open sore Linus open ebiz ASP solutions

The final destruction of what used to be a charming little OS scene arrived today, Monday, December 13, 1999.

linuxtoday is spewing forth "me-use-linux-too-IPO-open-sore-Linus-open-ebiz-ASP-solutions" press releases from every backwater, buzzless Joe Q. Corp with a hotmail account...

OS figureheads are being courted for interviews with a veracity that is usually reserved only for pathological child molesters and internet CEOS, and sometimes both.

Forty thousand "Embedded Internet eSolution Firewall Privacy Biz Remote" solutions are being deeply discounted to the five people who care enough to add one more script to their boxes...

2-bit players are buying half-bit companies without a dime to their names just to get at the word linux in their press releases...

[Jan 9, 2000] osOpinion: A Letter from Bill GPL as Gate's Public License - not bad ;-)

Let's give that poor Finn some relief. You've leaned on him too long. Besides, he
works for my buddy, Paul. Let's help Paul to get his undivided attention for a while.

[Jan 9, 2000] Netslave quiz


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


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


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

[Jan 8, 2000] The power of Microsoft tech support

A guy rings tech support to report that his computer is faulty

TECH: "What's the problem?"

User: "There's smoke coming out of the power supply."

TECH: "You'll need a new power supply."

User: "No I don't! I just need to change the startup files."

TECH: "Sir, the power supply is faulty. You'll need to replace it."

User: "No way! Someone told me I just needed to change the startup and it will fix the problem! All I need is for you to tell me the command."

The User is still adamant that he is right.

The TECH is frustrated and fed up!

TECH: "Sorry sir, we don't normally tell our customers this, there is an undocumented Windows command that will fix the problem."

User: "I knew it!"

TECH: "Just add the line NOSMOKE.COM at the end of the autoexec.bat. Let me know how it goes."

... ... ...

[Jan. 7, 2000] ESR parody

fat-time waddled down the sidewalk with his lubricating midget rapid fire pellet gun tucked firmly under arm. ahead, he noticed a well-dressed man leaning against a building reading a paper.

"howdy sir, " fat-time nodded.

"hello friend."

"whatcha readin' there, sir?"

"i'm reading about this evil tool of the devil, my friend. they call it open-source software. it's a new software development paradigm brought over here by the communisses."

fat-time reddened with fury, "bastard communisses!"

"yes, friend. the communisses are a blight upon our democratic way!"

the rapid fire pellet gun began to grow impatient, "come on, fat-time, i want some cheese!"

... ... ...

[Jan. 5, 2000]  An Open Letter to the Y2K Bug

It's 2am, January 1st, 2000. Most of the parties are over, all the large crowds have dispersed. The fireworks have all gone off and the corks have popped from countless bottles of champagne. It was a fun party, or so I'm told. I wouldn't know. I've been at my computer in the office 'just in case' something goes wrong. I'd like to take this time to thank the now infamous Y2K Bug for not causing any real problems. While I'm at it, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank a few other people that are directly related.
First off, I'd like to thank the media for it's sharp, critical coverage of all things Y2K related. Did we really need a five minute segment on how a town in Michigan solved a small part of their potential problem by installing stop signs at every intersection? Congratulations, you pulled off another successful media event. Perhaps in all of your coverage, you could have found someone that wasn't a prophet of doom. Perhaps someone that makes a career out of computer administration? Give us sustenance, not more endless speculation. Show me what's been done, not what might happen, or someone's worst fears.

[Jan. 5, 2000] Salon Technology Predictions for 2000

[Jan. 5, 2000] Finnux redux

Having resolved in a national referendum that it was high time that the country of Finland should be known for something more than saunas and the world's highest per-capita cell phone use, the Finns will declare an open-source country. Citizenship will be open to anybody who writes any portion of the new constitution. The Finnish parliament, the Eduskunta, will be replaced by a high-powered array of computers that will be responsible for key political decisions such as the appropriate length of time for streetlights to stay yellow. Linux creator and open-source demigod Linus Torvalds, however, will be left out of the decision-making process because of widespread confusion about whether he is a Finn or a penguin.

[Jan. 5, 2000] The man who got what he wanted

There was once a young man who, in his youth, professed a desire to become a "great" writer. When asked to define "great", he said "I want to write stuff that the whole world will read, stuff that people will react to on a truly emotional level,  stuff that will make them scream, cry,wail, howl in pain, desperation and anger!" He now works for Microsoft writing error messages.

FROM: Jordan K. Hubbard
DATE: 04/29/1996 19:26:36
SUBJECT:  Keith Bostic: TTLOTD - The Ten Usenet Commandments



I rather like the first commandment.. :-)
------- Forwarded Message

From: Keith Bostic <<EMAIL: PROTECTED>>
Subject: TTLOTD - The Ten Usenet Commandments

Forwarded-by: Peter Langston <<EMAIL: PROTECTED>>
Forwarded-by: "Jack D. Doyle" <<EMAIL: PROTECTED>>
Forwarded-by: <EMAIL: PROTECTED> (K. Sivakumar)

Chris Hennessy (<EMAIL: PROTECTED>) wrote:

 The brothers Usas and Senda, despairing of the state of UseNet, went unto
 the mountain at the feet of Net.God.  "Oh Net.God, there is confusion
 and sorrow in your place of UseNet. The people worship false gods and
 knowst not your will."

 Net.God spoke unto Usas and Senda. "YOU PLAYETH THE GAME BY NET.GOD`S

 Usas, being devout and greatly afeard of Net.God, prayed.  "Lord, how
 am I to know your will?"

 And Net.God, being wise in the ways of Usas, spake thus, "THOU SHALT
 GENERATION," for He is a merciful God.

 So did Net.God deliver unto Usas the Commandments.


1. Thou shalt not battle over operating systems.
   I am wise and in My wisdom have created diverse and various operating
   systems. Be true unto the chosen system and neither covet nor despise
   your neighbour`s operating system.

2. Thou shalt not battle over nationalities or tribes.
   I have placed the UseNet aside from all things, and granted it unto Usas.
   I am blind to the place in which pray, all prayers being equal in Virtual

3. Thou shalt not flame.
   Your Net.God has anger in His heart for those who flame without cause
   or who do persecute the spelling of others. In my wisdom I have created
   opinions to be as armpits; your`s is warm and secure but thine
   neighbour`s stinks. Tolerate others as you would be tolerated. Flames
   are Mine, and I do preserve some good ones for these people.

4. Thou shalt not MAKE-$$$$-FAST.
   I have made Usas wise that the love of money is the root of all evil.
   He who angers his neighbour by the wasting of bandwidth shall anger
   Net.God, and also by spamming or cluttering. I reserveth a special Hell
   for these, and great shall be their sorrow.

5. Thou shalt quote meaningfully.
   Net.God loves not the man who taketh more than needed nor he who quoteth
   all, including the sig. Render unto Net.God what is Net.God`s, render
   unto Usas what is Usas; credit Senda for he is good.

6. Thou shalt e-mail personal prayers.
   I have rendered unto Usas the ability to talk to all the peoples of the
   world. I tell you, it is better to whisper into an ear than shout into
   a crowd.

7. Thou shalt not me-too.
   Make not your prayers to the Senda the knowledge of thine neighbour. The
   wisdom of Usas is the ability to speak to all people, and to choose to
   speak to one.

8. Thou shalt not cross post unwisely.
   The place I grant thee for rec.pets.cats is not the place of

9. Thou shalt not post tests in profusion.
   I giveth unto you the lands of alt.test to learn of your God.  Tend to
   Usas as I do My calves; let the new gather the strength to stand before
   joining with the herd.

10.Thou shalt send complete offerings.
   Send not to your God incomplete offerings. If the parts of the sacrifice
   number all the people of the world times ten your God will not be pleased
   to receive all but two. The blessing of Net.God is upon he who posts
   fewer large parts that he who posts many small ones.



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