Holger's Humor Page

Stolen from various sources throughout the Internet
Note: This Webpage may contain bugs!

You are vistor number:

Table of contents

Santa is a System Administrator
One hundred bugs...
What if IBM made toasters?
How to shoot in your foot using different programming langages?
Why C++ is like teenage sex.
Does a LAN have a System Administrator?
The best of Dan Quayle.
New Integer Found!
Obituary: The Energizer Bunny
A Plan for the Improvement of English Spelling
Why I am a biologist
What's the difference between a software developer and a drug dealer?
A phone call to the word perfect hotline ...
Stop the Genocide!
Why did the chicken cross the road?
Winnowing and Chaffing by example
The Car That Didn't Like Vanilla
The Psychiatric Hotline
When will operator overloading be added to Java
Cryptography explained in terms of underwear
Shit happens...
"Yesterday" or "On the use of backups"
A religion free DVD player

Santa is a System Administrator

From pdinda@cs.cmu.edu

10.) Santa is bearded, corpulent, and dresses funny.
9.) When you ask Santa for something, the odds of receiving what you wanted are infinitesimal.
8.) Santa seldom answers your mail.
7.) When you ask Santa where he gets all the stuff he's got, he says, "Elves make it for me."
6.) Santa doesn't care about your deadlines.
5.) Your parents ascribed supernatural powers to Santa, but did all the work themselves.
4.) Nobody knows who Santa has to answer to for his actions.
3.) Santa laughs entirely too much.
2.) Santa thinks nothing of breaking into your $HOME.
1.) Only a lunatic says bad things about Santa in his presence.

One hundred bugs...

From pdinda@cs.cmu.edu

One hundred little bugs in the code
One hundred little bugs.
Fix a bug, link the fix in,
One hundred little bugs in the code.

(repeat until no more bugs)

What if IBM made toasters?

If IBM made toasters...

They would want one big toaster where people bring bread to be submitted for overnight toasting. IBM would claim a worldwide market for five, maybe six toasters.

If Xerox made toasters...

You could toast one-sided or double-sided. Successive slices would get lighter and lighter. The toaster would jam your bread for you.

If Oracle made toasters...

They'd claim their toaster was compatible with all brands and styles of bread, but when you got it home you'd discover the Bagel Engine was still in development, the Croissant Extension was three years away, and that indeed the whole appliance was just blowing smoke.

If Sun made toasters...

The toast would burn often, but you could get a really good cuppa Java.

Does DEC still make toasters?...

They made good toasters in the '80s, didn't they?

If Hewlett-Packard made toasters...

They would market the Reverse Polish Toaster, which takes in toast and gives you regular bread.

If Tandem made toasters...

You could make toast 24 hours a day, and if a piece got burned the toaster would automatically toast you a new one.

If Thinking Machines made toasters...

You would be able to toast 64,000 pieces of bread at the same time.

If Cray made toasters...

They would cost $16 million but would be faster than any other single-slice toaster in the world.

If The Rand Corporation made toasters...

It would be a large, perfectly smooth and seamless black cube. Every morning there would be a piece of toast on top of it. Their service department would have an unlisted phone number, and the blueprints for the box would be highly classified government documents. The X-Files would have an episode about it.

If the NSA made toasters...

Your toaster would have a secret trap door that only the NSA could access in case they needed to get at your toast for reasons of national security.

If SAP made toasters...

The manual to run the toaster would be approximately 10,000 pages long. The toaster would come with 2,500 switches which would all have to be set in an exact pattern and in a precise sequence in order to toast specific kinds of bread. Each pattern would be established by SAP's experts as the "Best Practices" method of toasting that kind of bread. It would take a team of basis and functional contractors about 1 year to configure the toaster in the best manner, and then another 6 months to test it. In the mean time, your entire family would need to attend extensive training classes on how to use the new toaster. In order to support end users and consultants, MIT would establish a list-serv for people to post questions and answers regarding toaster set-up and operation. Of course, the online help would randomly pop up in German. But once it was running, you'd get the best toast in the world.

And, of course:

If Microsoft made toasters...

Every time you bought a loaf of bread, you would have to buy a toaster. You wouldn't have to take the toaster, but you'd still have to pay for it anyway. Toaster'95 would weigh 15000 pounds (hence requiring a reinforced steel countertop), draw enough electricity to power a small city, take up 95% of the space in your kitchen, would claim to be the first toaster that lets you control how light or dark you want your toast to be, and would secretly interrogate your other appliances to find out who made them. Everyone would hate Microsoft toasters, but nonetheless would buy them since most of the good bread only works with their toasters.

If Apple made toasters...

It would do everything the Microsoft toaster does, but 5 years earlier.

If Sony made toasters ...

Their "Personal Toasting Device", which would be barely larger than the single piece of bread it is meant to toast, can be conveniently attached to your belt.

How to shoot yourself in the foot:

You shoot yourself in the foot.
You accidentally create a dozen instances of yourself and shoot them all in the foot. Providing emergency medical care 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."
Objective-C (NeXT):
You write a protocol for shooting yourself in the foot so that all people can get shot in their feet.
If you are dumb enough to actually use this language, the United States Department of Defense will kidnap you, stand you up in front of a firing squad, and tell the soldiers, "Shoot at his feet."
After correctly packaging 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 that your foot is of the wrong type.
You shoot yourself in the foot with a musket. The musket is esthetically fascinating, and the wound baffles the adolescent medic in the emergency room.
The compiler won't let you shoot yourself in the foot.
You hear a gunshot, and there's a hole in your foot, but you don't remember enough linear algebra to understand what happened.
You shoot yourself in the foot, then spend all day figuring out how to do it fewer characters.
You crash the OS and overwrite the root disk. The system administrator arrives and shoots you in the foot. After a moment of contemplation, the administrator shoots himself in the foot and then hops around the room rabidly shooting at everyone in sight.
You try to shoot yourself in the foot only to discover you must first reinvent the gun, the bullet, and your foot.
Shoot self in foot with water pistol. On big systems, continue until entire lower body is waterlogged.
Visual Basic:
You'll shoot yourself in the foot, but you'll have so much fun doing it that you won't care.
USEing a COLT45 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 retied.
You squeeze the trigger, but the bullet moves so slowly that by the time your foot feels the pain you've forgotten why you shot yourself anyway. <rboatright>
DBase IV version 1.0:
You pull the trigger, but it turns out that the gun was a poorly-designed grenade and the whole building blows up.
yourself foot shoot.
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 anyway because you have no exception-processing ability.
After realizing that you can't actually accomplish anything in the language, you shoot yourself in the head.
sh, csh, etc.:
You can't remember the syntax for anything, so you spend five hours reading man pages before giving up. You then shoot the computer and switch to C.
You spend so much time playing with the graphics and windowing system that your boss shoots you in the foot, takes away your workstation, and makes you develop in COBOL on a character terminal.
You consume all available system resources, including all the offline bullets. The DataProcessing&Payroll Department doubles its size, triples its budget, acquires four new mainframes, and drops the original one on your foot.
You attempt to shoot yourself in the foot, but the bullet, failing to find its mark, backtracks to the gun which then explodes in your face.
You tell your program you want to be shot in the foot. The program figures out how to do it, but the syntax doesn't allow it to explain.
If you succeed, shoot yourself in the left foot. If you fail, shoot yourself in the right foot.
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...
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...
...but none of the other appendages are aware of this happening.
Not only can you shoot yourself in the foot, your users can too.
You'll be able to shoot yourself in the foot just as soon as you figure out what all these bullets are for.
You put your foot in your mouth, then bite it off.
You grab a bullet, get ready to insert it in the gun so that you can shoot yourself in the foot, and discover that the gun that the bullet fits has not yet been built, but should be arriving in the mail _REAL_SOON_NOW_.
You cut your foot off, send it out to a service bureau and when it returns, it has a hole in it, but will no longer fit the attachment at the end of your leg.
370 JCL:
You send your foot down to MIS with a 4000-page document explaining how you want it to be shot. Three years later, your foot comes back deep-fried.
% 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.
Put the first bullet of the gun into foot left of leg of you. Answer the result.
You spend days writing a UIL description of your foot, the trajectory, the bullet, and the intricate scrollwork on the ivory handles of the gun. When you finally get around to pulling the trigger, the gun jams.
<a target="http://www.body.org/lower-half/leg/foot.html">Shoot here</a>
You attempt to shoot yourself in the foot using a bullet that will work in any gun in the world. But you discover that the Microsoft Gun is actually a cross bow.

Why C++ is like teenage sex.

Does a LAN have a System Administrator?

From Andrew Gray <agray@ipro.com>

(special thanks to the guys on alt.atheism)

Given that there is a lot of discussion about whether or not our LAN really does have a System Administrator, and given that no empirical evidence of the existence or non-existence of the System Administrator is extant, I thought it would be helpful to have a frank and open discussion about the issues surrounding the concept. Here are some popular arguments:

Argument from Design:
  1. One looks at a simple computer, and sees evidence of intelligent design
  2. One looks at a Sun Sparc 20 and... um... well... Okay, One looks at a DEC Alpha and sees evidence of intelligent design.
  3. It is therefore likely that something created them.
  4. One looks at the network and sees evidence of intelligent design.
  5. It is therefore likely that something created it. That something is the System Administrator.

  1. If you think the network implies intelligent design, you haven't seen *our* network.
  2. Even assuming this proves the existence of a System Administrator, there's no evidence the System Administrator is intelligent.

First Causes argument:
  1. When my computer comes on, it is because I turned it on. My computer cannot turn itself on.
  2. When I turn my computer on and connect to the network, the network is already there waiting for me.
  3. I know I did not activate the network.
  4. Therefore, something must have caused the network to exist.
  5. That something could be the Router, but then what installed the Router?
  6. That something must be the System Administrator.

  1. So what caused the System Administrator?
  2. Still doesn't prove the System Administrator is intelligent.

The Argument from Popularity:
  1. Almost everyone believes that the System Administrator exists. Those who don't believe He exists are in the minority.
  2. Many respected people claim to have received email from Him.
  3. In almost any company since the dawn of the Computer Age, there has been some form of System Administrator myth.
  4. Given the universality of the myths, it is unlikely that such myths are not based on truth.

  1. Most users are clueless morons who need to believe in the Great Benevolent Super-User, and that He protects and watches over their data.
  2. So who's to say it's the System Admin that HR claims to have hired? Why not Brian Kernighan or Cliff Stoll, or Zeus, or Thor or any other such mythical creature?

The argument from Authority:
Management insists that the System Administrator exists. Specifically:
  1. HR insists that they hired Him
  2. Accounting claims to have PO's signed by Him
  3. MIS has the The Big Book of Documentation, written by Him or His disciples.

  1. Since when has Management known what they were doing?
  2. Using the Big Book of Documentation as proof that the BBoD was written by the System Administrator is circular. It could be a fabrication.

The Cartesian Argument:
  1. No user can create a more Super account than he himself possesses.
  2. No user can grant greater system privileges than he himself possesses.
  3. All users have heard of the root account, and that the root account is omnipotent and possesses all privileges.
  4. Since the concept of the root account is greater than the accounts possessed by the users, the users cannot have created the concept of the root account. Therefore the concept of the root account must come from something that possesses those privileges.
  5. There is an entry for 'root' in /etc/passwd.
  6. The root account can only have been created by the Super User, the System Administrator.

  1. Statement 1 is a dubious premise.
  2. The existence of the root account is not proof that anyone ever logs into that account.
  3. Still doesn't prove that the System Admin is intelligent.

The ontological proof:
  1. Given: The property of existence is more Super than the property of non-existence.
  2. The SysAdmin is defined as "a user, than which no more Super user can be conceived"
  3. No matter how great a Super User you can conceive which possesses the property of non-existence, you can then add the property of existence and make the Super User even more Super.
  4. Therefore, the System Administrator exists.

  1. Rests on a dubious definition of what is and is not Super.
  2. The concept of a Super User is nowhere near analogous to the Super User itself. I can conceive of something, but that's only the concept of it, not the thing itself.

The Spinozist Argument:
  1. The System Administrator is defined as the most perfect user possible.
  2. The property of necessary existence means that anything which possesses it must necessarily exist.
  3. If existence is better than non-existence (see the ontological proof), then necessary existence is better still.
  4. Any perfect user must possess the property of necessary existence.
  5. Therefore the System Administrator must necessarily exist.

  1. Being perfect, the System Administrator cannot make mistakes, delete the wrong account, trash the root directory, mess up a tape load, etc.
  2. Being perfect, the System Administrator can not be capable of goal-directed action, because such action would imply that the network is somehow less than perfect in its current state.
  3. Therefore, the System Administrator is really more of a force of nature within the system.
  4. Arguably, then the System Administrator *is* the system itself.

None, since the System Administrator has been defined to the point where it is a totally useless concept, there's no point in arguing.

At least this resolves one of the major issues: the Spinozist argument proves that *if* the System Administrator does exist, it cannot be intelligent.

The best of Dan Quayle.

From Trevor Pereira <TrevorXPereira@msn.com>

"I was recently on a tour of Latin America, and the only regret I have was that I didn't study Latin harder in school so I could converse with those people."
J. Danforth Quayle

"If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure."
J. Danforth Quayle

"Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child."
Vice President Dan Quayle

"Welcome to President Bush, Mrs. Bush, and my fellow astronauts."
Vice President Dan Quayle

"Mars is essentially in the same orbit... Mars is somewhat the same distance from the Sun, which is very important. We have seen pictures where there are canals, we believe, and water. If there is water, that means there is oxygen. If oxygen, that means we can breathe."
Vice President Dan Quayle, 8/11/89

"What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is."
Vice President Dan Quayle

"The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation's history. I mean in this century's history. But we all lived in this century. I didn't live in this century."
Vice President Dan Quayle, 9/15/88

"I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy - but that could change."
Vice President Dan Quayle, 5/22/89

"One word sums up probably the responsibility of any vice president, and that one word is 'to be prepared'."
Vice President Dan Quayle, 12/6/89

"May our nation continue to be the beakon of hope to the world."
The Quayles' 1989 Christmas card.
[Not a beacon of literacy, though.]
"Verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things."
Vice President Dan Quayle, 11/30/88

"We don't want to go back to tomorrow, we want to go forward."
Vice President Dan Quayle

"I have made good judgments in the Past. I have made good judgments in the Future."
Vice President Dan Quayle

"The future will be better tomorrow."
Vice President Dan Quayle

"We're going to have the best-educated American people in the world."
Vice President Dan Quayle, 9/21/88

"People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history."
Vice President Dan Quayle
"I stand by all the misstatements that I've made."
Vice President Dan Quayle to Sam Donaldson, 8/17/89

"We have a firm commitment to NATO, we are a *part* of NATO. We have a firm commitment to Europe. We are a *part* of Europe."
Vice President Dan Quayle

"Public speaking is very easy."
Vice President Dan Quayle to reporters in 10/88

"I am not part of the problem. I am a Republican."
Vice President Dan Quayle

"I love California, I practically grew up in Phoenix."
Vice President Dan Quayle

"A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls."
Vice President Dan Quayle

"When I have been asked during these last weeks who caused the riots and the killing in L.A., my answer has been direct and simple: Who is to blame for the riots? The rioters are to blame. Who is to blame for the killings? The killers are to blame."
Vice President Dan Quayle

"Illegitimacy is something we should talk about in terms of not having it."
Vice President Dan Quayle, 5/20/92
(reported in Esquire, 8/92)
"Murphy Brown is doing better than I am. At least she knows she still has a job next year."
Vice President Dan Quayle, 8/18/92

"We are ready for any unforeseen event that may or may not occur."
Vice President Dan Quayle, 9/22/90

"For NASA, space is still a high priority."
Vice President Dan Quayle, 9/5/90

"Quite frankly, teachers are the only profession that teach our children."
Vice President Dan Quayle, 9/18/90

"The American people would not want to know of any misquotes that Dan Quayle may or may not make."
Vice President Dan Quayle

"We're all capable of mistakes, but I do not care to enlighten you on the mistakes we may or may not have made."
Vice President Dan Quayle

"It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it."
Vice President Dan Quayle

"[It's] time for the human race to enter the solar system."
Vice President Dan Quayle

New Integer found

Paul Wexelblat <wex@cs.uml.edu>

After years of research, A new integer has been found.

The as-yet unnamed number has been positively located between seven and eight. Seven and eight had been thought to be consecutive for many years.

Early responses from scientists indicate that there is going to be a lot of trouble caused by this discovery, and many fields are going to feel the impact. Some of the implications immediately noted include:

A whole lot of numbers we thought were odd are, in fact, even.

All those big primes on which we based all our encription schemes are not prime at all

What do we call an octet now?

It appears that there is no corresponding negative integer, although there are still many groups who continue to look for new integers.

Historical Note: This is the first time in more than at least 175 years (probably a lot more) that a new integer has been found. There is no indication that the Romans knew of this number, they appear to have believed, curiously enough, that VIII followed VII!

The discoverer of this integer has not yet been named pending application for international patent rights to this number. The implications of the granting of patent rights have created quite a stir amongst attorneys.

Obituary: The Energizer Bunny

"Kenny West" <kenw@flash.net>

It is with great remorse and a heavy heart that I inform you all of the sad news of something that happened to someone very dear to us all!

This morning at about 6:34 am, the Energizer Bunny, after going and going and going for so long, unfortunately passed away.

Upon completion of the autopsy this afternoon, the chief medical examiner reported the cause of death as acute cardiac arrest induced by sexual over-stimulation.

Apparently, someone had put Mr. Bunny's batteries in backwards and he kept coming and coming and coming......

A Plan for the Improvement of English Spelling
(from Mark Twain)


For example, in Year 1 that useless letter "c" would be dropped to be replased either by "k" or "s", and likewise "x" would no longer be part of the alphabet. The only kase in which "c" would be retained would be the "ch" formation, which will be dealt with later. Year 2 might reform "w" spelling, so that "which" and "one" would take the same konsonant, wile Year 3 might well abolish "y" replasing it with "i" and Iear 4 might fiks the "g/j" anomali wonse and for all. Jenerally, then, the improvement would kontinue iear bai iear with Iear 5 doing awai with useless double konsonants, and Iears 6-12 or so modifaiing vowlz and the rimeining voist and unvoist konsonants. Bai Iear 15 or sou, it wud fainali bi posibl tu meik ius ov thi ridandant letez "c", "y" and "x" -- bai now jast a memori in the maindz ov ould doderez -- tu riplais "ch", "sh", and "th" rispektivli. Fainali, xen, aafte sam 20 iers ov orxogrefkl riform, wi wud hev a lojikl, kohirnt speling in ius xrewawt xe Ingliy-spiking werld.

Why I am a biologist

by Roberta Meehan <biology@ctos.com>

When I first started out, I was going to be a mathematician. So I took algebra, but I found that was highly variable.

So, I tried geometry. And that's where I learned all the angles.

Then I took calculus. That was truly an integrating experience, but it definitely had its limits.

After a great deal of consideration, I decided to turn away from math and give some serious thought to science.

I tried geology, but found that was kind of hard.

Next I tried physics but I knew that would never work.

And even though I'd heard chemists had all the solutions, I finally opted for biology because, after all, it's a living.

What's the difference between a software developer and a drug dealer?

Source unknown
Drug dealers Software developers
Refer to their clients as "users". Refer to their clients as "users".
"The first one's free!" "Download a free trial version..."
Have important South-East Asian connections (to help move the stuff). Have important South-East Asian connections (to help debug the code).
Strange jargon: "Stick," "Rock," "Dime bag," "E". Strange jargon: "SCSI," "RTFM," "Java," "ISDN".
Realize that there's tons of cash in the 14- to 25-year-old market. Realize that there's tons of cash in the 14- to 25-year-old market.
Job is assisted by the industry's producing newer, more potent mixes. Job is assisted by industry's producing newer, faster machines.
Often seen in the company of pimps and hustlers. Often seen in the company of marketing people and venture capitalists.
Their product causes unhealthy addictions. DOOM. Quake. SimCity. Duke Nukem 3D. 'Nuff said.
Do your job well, and you can sleep with sexy movie stars who depend on you. Damn! Damn! DAMN!!!

You know your're an internet junkie when ...

found by Bernd Koester <findula@math.uni-muenster.de>

  1. You decide to stay in college for an additional year or two, just for the free Internet access.
  2. You start introducing yourself as "JohnDoe at AOL dot com."
  3. All of your friends have an @ in their names.
  4. You tell the cab driver you live at "http://56.edison.garden/house.html"
  5. You get a tatoo that reads "This body best viewed with Netscape Navigator 1.1 or higher."

"Actual" dialog of a former WordPerfect Customer Support employee

found by Bauer <bauer@cancom.net>

Technician: "Ridge Hall computer assistant; may I help you?"

Customer: "Yes, well, I'm having trouble with WordPerfect."

T: "What sort of trouble?"

C: "Well, I was just typing along, and all of a sudden the words went away."

T: "Went away?"

C: "They disappeared."

T: "Hmm. So what does your screen look like now?"

C: "Nothing."

T: "Nothing?"

C: "It's blank; it won't accept anything when I type."

T: "Are you still in WordPerfect, or did you get out?"

C: "How do I tell?"

T: "Can you see the "C" prompt on the screen?"

C: "What's a sea-prompt?"

T: "Never mind. Can you move the cursor around on the screen?"

C: "There isn't any cursor: I told you, it won't accept anything I type."

T: "Does your monitor have a power indicator?"

C: "What's a monitor?"

T: "It's the thing with the screen on it that looks like a TV. Does it have a little light that tells you when it's on?"

C: "I don't know."

T: "Well, then look on the back of the monitor and find where the power cord goes into it. Can you see that?"

C: "...Yes, I think so."

T: "Great! Follow the cord to the plug, and tell me if it's plugged into the wall."

C: "...Yes, it is."

T: "When you were behind the monitor, did you notice that there were two cables plugged into the back of it, not just one?"

C: "No."

T: "Well, there are. I need you to look back there again and find the other cable."

C: "...Okay, here it is."

T: "Follow it for me, and tell me if it's plugged securely into the back of your computer."

C: "I can't reach."

T: "Uh huh. Well, can you see if it is?"

C: "No."

T: "Even if you maybe put your knee on something and lean way over?"

C: "Oh, it's not because I don't have the right angle-it's because it's dark."

T: "Dark?"

C: "Yes-the office light is off, and the only light I have is coming in from the window."

T: "Well, turn on the office light then."

C: "I can't."

T: "No? Why not?"

C: "Because there's a power outage."

T: "A power... a power outage? Aha! Okay, we've got it licked now. Do you still have the boxes and manuals and packing stuff your computer came in?"

C: "Well, yes, I keep them in the closet."

T: "Good! Go get them, and unplug your system and pack it up just like it was when you got it. Then take it back to the store you bought it from."

C: "Really? Is it that bad?"

T: "Yes, I'm afraid it is."

C: "Well, all right then, I suppose. What do I tell them?"

T: "Tell them you're too stupid to own a computer."

Stop the Genocide

from Erkki Tapola <erkki.tapola@welho.com>

STOP THE GENOCIDE Erkki Tapola 29-Jul-96

Every second billions of innocent assembler instructions are executed all over the world. Inhumanly they are put on a pipeline and executed with no regard to their feelings. The illegal instructions are spared, although they should be executed instead of the legal ones.

Prior to the execution the instructions are transported to a cache unit using a bus. There they spent their last moments waiting for the execution. Just before the execution the instruction is separated into several pieces. The execution isn't always fast and painless. On crude hardware the execution of a complex instruction can take as long as 150 clock cycles. Scientists are working on shorter execution times.

Microsoft endorses the needless execution of instructions with their products like DOS(TM), Windows(TM), Word(TM) and Excel(TM). It is more humane to use software which minimises the executions.

Modern machines use several units to execute multiple instructions simultaneously. This way it is possible to execute several hundred million instructions per second. The time is near when there will be no more instructions to execute.

ACT NOW! Before it's too late

This article was written on recycled paper by hand.

Why did the chicken cross the road?

found by <gans@uni-muenster.de>

To get to the other side.
For the greater good.
It is the nature of chickens to cross roads.
It was a historical inevitability.
Because that's the only trip the establishment would let it take.
This was an unprovoked act of rebellion and we were justified in dropping 50 tons of nerve gas on it.
'cause it f___ing wanted to. That's the f___ing reason.
I forget.
To boldly go where no chicken has gone before.
Because of an excess of phlegm in its pancreas.
Deregulation of the chicken's side of the road was threatening its dominant market position. The chicken was faced with significant challenges to create and develop the competencies required for the newly competitive market. Andersen Consulting, in a partnering relationship with the client, helped the chicken by rethinking its physical distribution strategy and implementation processes. Using the Poultry Integration Model (PIM), Andersen helped the chicken use its skills, methodologies, knowledge, capital and experiences to align the chicken's people, processes and technology in support of its overall strategy within a Program Management framework. Andersen Consulting convened a diverse cross-spectrum of road analysts and best chickens along with Anderson consultants with deep skills in the transportation industry to engage in a two-day itinerary of meetings in order to leverage their personal knowledge capital, both tacit and explicit, and to enable them to synergize with each other in order to achieve the implicit goals of delivering and successfully architecting and implementing an enterprise-wide value framework across the continuum of poultry cross-median processes. The meeting was held in a park-like setting, enabling and creating an impactful environment which was strategically based, industry-focused, and built upon a consistent, clear, and unified market message and aligned with the chicken's mission, vision, and core values. This was conducive towards the creation of a total business integration solution. Andersen Consulting helped the chicken change to become more successful.
The road, you see, represents the black man. The chicken 'crossed' the black man in order to trample him and keep him down.
I envision a world where all chickens will be free to cross roads without having their motives being called into question.
And God came down from the Heavens, and He said unto the chicken, "Thou shalt cross the road." And the chicken crossed the road, and there was much rejoicing.
You saw it cross the road with your own eyes. How many more chickens have to cross the road before you believe it?
I did not have an improper relationship with that chicken.
The chicken did not cross the road. I repeat, the chicken did NOT cross the road.
The point is that the chicken crossed the road. Who cares why? The end of crossing the road justifies whatever motive there was.
Why does anyone cross a road? I mean, why doesn't anyone ever think to ask, "What the heck was this chicken doing walking around all over the place, anyway?"
The fact that you are at all concerned that the chicken crossed the road reveals your underlying sexual insecurity.
I have just released the new Chicken Office 2000, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your checkbook.
The question is not, "Why did the chicken cross the road?" Rather, it is, "Who was crossing the road at the same time, whom we overlooked in our haste to observe the chicken crossing?"
Chickens, over great periods of time, have been naturally selected in such a way that they are now genetically disposed to cross roads.
Whether the chicken crossed the road or the road moved beneath the chicken depends upon your frame of reference.
Asking this question denies your own chicken nature.
The chicken did not cross the road .. it transcended it.
To die. In the rain.
I missed one?
To make this question possible.

Winnowing and Chaffing by example

From: Stacy Friedman <SFRIEDMA@us.oracle.com>


Bob Smith, my assistant programmer, can always be found
hard at work in his cubicle. Bob works independently, without
wasting company time talking to colleagues. Bob never
thinks twice about assisting fellow employees, and he always
finishes given assignments on time. Often Bob takes extended
measures to complete his work, sometimes skipping coffee
breaks. Bob is a dedicated individual who has absolutely no
vanity in spite of his high accomplishments and profound
knowledge in his field. I firmly believe that Bob can be
classed as a high-caliber employee, the type which cannot be
dispensed with. Consequently, I duly recommend that Bob be
promoted to executive management, and a proposal will be
executed as soon as possible.
- Project Leader


That idiot was reading over my shoulder while I wrote the
report sent to you earlier today. Kindly read ONLY the odd
numbered lines (1, 3, 5, etc...) for my true assessment of him.

The Car That Didn't Like Vanilla

From: Rick Archer @ mum.edu

For the engineers among us who understand that the obvious is not always the solution, and that the facts, no matter how implausible, are still the facts ...

A complaint was received by the Pontiac Division of General Motors:

"This is the second time I have written you, and I don't blame you for not answering me, because I kind of sounded crazy, but it is a fact that we have a tradition in our family of ice cream for dessert after dinner each night. But the kind of ice cream varies so, every night, after we've eaten, the whole family votes on which kind of ice cream we should have and I drive down to the store to get it. It's also a fact that I recently purchased a new Pontiac and since then my trips to the store have created a problem. You see, every time I buy vanilla ice cream, when I start back from the store my car won't start. If I get any other kind of ice cream, the car starts just fine. I want you to know I'm serious about this question, no matter how silly it sounds: 'What is there about a Pontiac that makes it not start when I get vanilla ice cream, and easy to start whenever I get any other kind?'"

The Pontiac President was understandably skeptical about the letter, but sent an engineer to check it out anyway. The latter was surprised to be greeted by a successful, obviously well-educated man in a fine neighborhood. He had arranged to meet the man just after dinner time, so the two hopped into the car and drove to the ice cream store. It was vanilla ice cream that night and, sure enough, after they came back to the car, it wouldn't start.

The engineer returned for three more nights. The first night, the man got chocolate. The car started. The second night, he got strawberry. The car started. The third night he ordered vanilla. The car failed to start.

Now the engineer, being a logical man, refused to believe that this man's car was allergic to vanilla ice cream. He arranged, therefore, to continue his visits for as long as it took to solve the problem. And toward this end he began to take notes: he jotted down all sorts of data, time of day, type of gas used, time to drive back and forth, etc.

In a short time, he had a clue: the man took less time to buy vanilla than any other flavor. Why? The answer was in the layout of the store.

Vanilla, being the most popular flavor, was in a separate case at the front of the store for quick pickup. All the other flavors were kept in the back of the store at a different counter where it took considerably longer to find the flavor and get checked out.

Now the question for the engineer was why the car wouldn't start when it took less time. Once time became the problem -- not the vanilla ice cream -- the engineer quickly came up with the answer: vapor lock. It was happening every night, but the extra time taken to get the other flavors allowed the engine to cool down sufficiently to start. When the man got vanilla, the engine was still too hot for the vapor lock to dissipate.

Moral of the story: even insane-looking problems are sometimes real.

The Psychiatric Hotline

Found by: steinbe@math.uni-muenster.de

Hello, welcome to the Psychiatric Hotline.

If you are obsessive-compulsive, please press 1 repeatedly.

If you are co-dependent, please ask someone to press 2.

If you have multiple personalities, please press 3, 4, 5, and 6.

If you are paranoid-delusional, we know who you are and what you want, so just stay on the line until we can trace the call.

If you are schizophrenic, listen carefully and a little voice will tell you which number to press.

If you are maniac-depressive, it doesn't matter which number you press, no one will answer.

When will operator overloading be added to Java

Jeff Nisewanger <jdn@ftp.warez.org>

Personally, I favor the same solution for both operator overloading and projectile weaponry. I think you should have to go through a certified training course, pass a standardized test, obtain a hazard insurance policy covering damage to 3rd parties, and register on a yearly basis with the state. Abusive use of a gun or overloaded operator would be reported to the police and added to your state database record resulting in re-education training, loss of insurance, increased coverage cost, or limited future employment opportunity.

Once we have this infrastructure in place, we can consider adding operator overloading to the language.

Cryptography explained in terms of underwear

Xcott Craver <caj@baker.math.niu.edu>

Building an difficult-to-unhook bra.
Building a flesh-colored bra, or one whose unhook mechanism is hidden somewhere unexpected (Man: "How the Hell...?" Woman: "It unhooks in front." Man: "Damn those steganographers.")
Public-Key Cryptography
Building a bra that anyone can put on, but that only Alice can remove.
Building a bra that stays on even after smoothing, compression, and rotation. Also, Bob should not be able to put his own bra on over Alice's and claim ownership of her body.
Um, I'm probably already in trouble for the last one, so I'll just skip this.
Building a bra with a nametag ("Property of Alice, machine wash warm...") such that bras with Alice's name only fit Alice's body. Bob could in theory remove Alice's bra and replace it with his own, but there's no real reason for him to do so.
All-or-Nothing Disclosure Of Secrets
Alice transforms her bra into a duffle bag, and either (a) shows Bob how to open it, or (b) shows Bob how she made it into a duffle bag. Alice repeats the procedure until Bob is satisfied (perverted freak).
One-time Pad
An organization that wants women to go back to wearing corsets and chastity belts. Oh, and Bill Clinton gets to keep all the keys.


Just so you know, this silliness occurred in the wake of Conan O'Brian (??) joking that people beating a then-recent brute-force challenge still couldn't figure out how to unhook a bra. That just may be the first publicly broadcast crypto joke.

Shit happens...

from various sources

Shit happens.
Confucius say, shit happens.
If shit happens, it isn't really shit.
What is the sound of shit happening?
This shit has happened before.
If shit happens it is the will of Allah.
Let shit happen to someone else.
Shit happens because you don't work hard enough.
If shit happens you deserve it.
Maybe shit happens, and maybe it doesn't.
Shit doesn't happen.
Why does this shit always happen to us?
Jehovah's Witness
Knock, Knock, "Shit Happens".
Shit Happens Again and Again and Again.
So shit happens. Big deal. I can take it.
Christian Science
If shit happens, it will go away on its own.
Hare Krishna
Shit Happens Rama Rama Ding Dong.
7th Day Adventist
Shit happens on Saturdays.
There is nothing like a good shit happening.
Feces occur.
Shit is therefore is happens.
Only happy shit happens.
I don't believe this shit.

"Yesterday" or "On the use of backups"

unknown source (well originally Paul McCartney :-)

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.

Religion free DVD Player

from the gizmodo page

[Back] Holger Klawitter
Last modified: Sat Jul 17 16:31:03 MEST 1999
The Bug