Raven's Home : Sysadmin : Memorable Quotes from Alt.Sysadmin.Recovery

Memorable Quotes from Alt.Sysadmin.Recovery

Last Modified : December 22, 1999

...and every time I think about this, I keep thinking: if one of the growing mass of Celeron hyper-ultra-overclocking crowd put up a webpage detailing how they modified a fishtank, a small water pump, and a supply of synthetic blood plasma for use as their latest handy-dandy cooling adventure, they'd be arrested. -- Mark C. Langston

What for? There's nothing illegal going on, unless they are stealing the flourinert. -- Paul Tomblin

Ah. But, you see, those misguided kids aren't going to stop there. They probably listen to that horrible goth music by Marylin Manson[0], and own black clothing. Why, I bet they strip nekkid, cover themselves in Nutella, and dance around the CPUs at midnight![1] Society must be protected![2] Sure, today it's flourinert. If we don't stop this now, they'll be stalking the halls of our fine schools, looking for victims to drain so that they may further their evil cooling desires! Act now, before you catch your son or daughter leering at that spare centrifuge down the way! Petition your local school board to place these authentic anti-overclocking tiles in the entranceway of your school, before it's too late.

This rant brought to you by Your Friend The Media(TM), in association with the Mineral Oil Preservation Society.

Mark C. Langston
No, zombies are a marvel. -- Sten Drescher

I thought they were Just Another Thing Wrong With NFS. -- Adam J. Thornton

Best viewed with Netscape 4.7 for UNIX/X on a 1280x1024 resolution with 24-bit color depth, maximum contrast, minimum brightness, in a 1000x960 window placed in the exact center of your display with this window manager configuration [etc.] -- Unk.

"...with a colour temperature of 9300K using barco phosphors and connected to an AGP Matrox G200 via 5 individual RG179B/U coax cables with a contact resistance less than 0.1 mOhm..." -- David Jordan

On an <insert impossible to find make of monitor> here. -- Peter Corlett

Monitor? I was thinking along the lines of a UKP 10k data projector placed 3142mm from a 2m diagonal screen in a semiconductor clean room with no more than 5 10um particles per cubic metre of air...

Nah... That's going too far... What you want to say is, "Don't look at this page, it's crap." -- David Jordan

I never really understood how there could be things that would drive you insane just because you knew them until I ran into Windows.
Peter da Silva
I think that we should officially make this the sysadmins credo. We'll call it "The Abigail Oath" and require all new sysadmins to swear it.

Well, without the layoff part, maybe something like this:

I am hired because I know what I am doing, not because I will do whatever I am told is a good idea. This might cost me bonuses, raises, promotions, and may even label me as "undesirable" by places I don't want to work at anyway, but I don't care. I will not compromise my own principles and judgement without putting up a fight. Of course, I won't always win, and I will sometimes be forced to do things I don't agree with, but if I am my objections will be known, and if I am shown to be right and problems later develop, I will shout "I told you so!" repeatedly, laugh hysterically, and do a small dance or jig as appropriate to my heritage.

Mike Sphar, re: Abigail's resignation letter
If men are from Mars and women are from Venus, there's going to be one big-ass fight over where to set the thermostat.
Jim Rosenberg
"As a member of the First International Church of the Fucking Christ, I believe it is blasphemous to mention His holy name without including His holy gerund. And, moreover, it is a mortal sin to remove His holy name, gerund and all, from any text in which it appears."
Chad R Orzel
I'm an apatheist. The question is no longer interesting, and the answer no longer matters.
People who are willing to rely on the government to keep them safe are pretty much standing on Darwin's mat, pounding on the door, screaming, "Take me, take me!"
Carl Jacobs
[...] and the French an excuse to use their traditional battle cry. -- Firebeard

"We Surrender, here, have my daughter."? -- Paul Tomblin

IBM tells us mainframe types _NEVER_ _EVER_ to apply software maintenance to a running system, as "the results may be unpredictable". The IBM software types talk about this sounds like people who do it should expect werewolves, vampires, and nameless Lovecraftian things shambling drippily out of darkness into the dimly-lit dinosaur pen to eat the techies' souls or to carry off all concerned to Places O Which It Is Not Good To Think.

IBM lies dreaming in its fastness at Poughkeepsie.

Mike Andrews
Windows gives you a nice view of clouds so you can't see any potentially useful boot time messages.
Bill Hay
If the Internet is almost democratic anarchy, are Admins the priesthood of a bureaucratic, conformist, psuedo religion, trying to impose their will on people who would rather be getting drunk and laid and doing things randomly? -- Chris Hacking

No, the Admins are the priesthood of an irrational, anarchistic, random, pseudo-religious hardware platform, trying to impose their will on people who would rather be using us to avoid real work. The Admins are the ones who would rather be getting drunk and laid and doing things randomly.

Doing things randomly is what Admins do best.[1] <clickety-click>

Joe Moore
IBM's vision is apparently to make IBM hardware "scream with Microsoft software" -- The Register

I have visions of screaming with (at and about) Microsoft software, too.

Joe Moore
My Win98 installation has been doing that for months.. German, English, and Dutch, all intermingled. What's so frightening about that? -- Jasper Janssen

You mean seeing "Reboot Macht Frei" on your screen? -- Greg Andrews

I want a Frog Magnetic Levitation Hockey game.

It would be loosely based on an Air Hockey table.

It would require remote controls so it could be played from far enough away from all that magnetism that our Leathermen wouldn't go tearing straight forward through our butts. OTOH, Naked Co-ed Frog Magnetic Levitation Hockey could have its moments too.

This new game might provide hours and hours of recovery.

Anthony DeBoer
along with a metric assload of rebar -- Carl Jacobs

What's that in Imperial arseloads? -- Alistair J. R. Young

NT-powered-cellphones: who do you want to hang up on today? -- Tanuki the Raccoon-dog

Microsoft would make it a car phone. No, I mean it'd have a car built in. -- Joe Moore

Sun would make a Java-powered car phone. It would only go 10 km/hr, and you'd have to stop at every Starbucks for a refill. -- Paul Tomblin

[A]ctually it was almost in final approach, and the hydraulic assist unit for the rudder decided, "Hmm. I think the rudder would really rather be...all the way to the LEFT. Oh, no, wait, the pilot's telling me this is not the case. Screw him, he never listens to *us*. I'll show HIM. HOW'S IT FEEL, YOU SANCTIMONIOUS LITTLE HAT-WEARING WANKER?"

This is why I refuse to get on 737s. Hydraulic assist thingummies apparently get crotchety in their old age, and in dog years, most 737s are dead.

Carl Jacobs
Be a better bastard. -- Josh Brandt

...and the world will beat a luser to death at your door. -- Carl Jacobs

With any luck, neither will his vache-orkers. -- Jasper Janssen

ITYM "orqueadors des vaches." HTH. HAND. -- Eric The Read

And if you know *precisely* where it is, you can be guaranteed that it's not a Heisentowel. -- Unk.

No, no, no. It could still be a Heisentowel -- he'd just have no clue how fast it was. -- Devin L. Ganger

And what direction it's traveling. -- Mike Sphar

I'm sorry, but comfortable is the last thing I want in my server room. I want it unbearably cold, and noisy. I want items scattered dangerously around the floor. I want random floor tiles to be missing. I want a very old sandwich of undetermined origin sitting half-eaten in the corner. I want the first thought of any person that enters my server room to be "Dear $DEITY, I must get out of this place IMMEDIATELY!"
Mike Sphar
When all you have is a Swiss Army Knife, every problem looks like email.
Peter da Silva
What's that word, it means you feel small and red, starts with an M? -- Peter da Silva

Management. -- Simon Fraser

URLs point to web pages, not to people.

That's not true. The R stands for "Resource", and we know how much HR likes to refer to people as "Resources" rather than "Human". Therefore, there should be a URL to point to a person.


should return "Paul is currently sitting in his cubicle, bored out of his mind and wishing he could strangle the people across from him who use their speaker phones excessively". The word "cubicle" in that sentence could be a hyperlink to a "cubicle://frontiercorp.com/180S.Clinton/2ndFloor/NE/187/" URL.

Paul Tomblin
It seems that there are two different sorts of people: People who care about the important stuff--like if a job gets done, and if it gets done well--and clueless fucking morons who wouldn't know a job well done if it bit them on the ass, and so think that "professionalism" is a better indicator of the quality of work.
Dave Brown
Same to you, dipshit -- Coredump

Clue: You've got the appropriate amount of hostility for the Monastery, however you are metaphorically getting out of the safari jeep and kicking the lions. Guess what that means, mtepahorically?

conclusion: 2 points for gusto, minus several million for good sense

Here's your cable. We made it fifty feet long, just in case. In case what, in case tectonic movement makes the serial ports farther apart? -- Carl Jacobs

You should ask them to wrap the cable multiple times around a car battery "just to keep it stable". -- Mike Sphar

[...] I personally don't mind giving up a portion of my earnings to try to keep said unadaptable people from starving in the street. -- Mike Sphar

Goodness, no, they should not be allowed to die on the streets. We have alleys for that. -- Carl Jacobs

They kept dying but there were always more of them. It was like there was an Elven prince making machine whose 'Name' setting was stuck on F*. -- John Burnham

Look at the bright side: this machine was glob-driven. If it were regexp-driven, it would make Elven princes with names like "FFF", "FFFFF", and "FFFFFFFFF", and "". OTOH, it would be easier to compress these names efficiently. -- Vadim Vygonets

"Some call me '^F[a-z\'-]+$', but I have many names". -- Malcolm Ray

THRUSH = the Technological Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity -- Jim Hayter

As good a description of the Scary Devil Monastery as I've ever seen. -- Calle Dybedahl

I love the way Microsoft follows standards. In much the same manner that fish follow migrating caribou.
Paul Tomblin
We were suffering from STR backlash. -- Mike Andrews

After a good meal of pasta and antipasta I imagine you would. -- Peter da Silva

hooWHARF! Damn, that book stunk on ice. Guess I was right in avoiding the others. "Pets and Children of Dune." "Dune, Meshugganah." "Dune: The Unfortunate Continuation." -- Josh Brandt

"Chicken Soup for the Fremen Soul", "10 Stupid Things Harkonnen Do to Mess Up Their Lives"... -- Mike Sphar

"Mentats for Dummies." -- Paul Tomblin

I couldn't get to ASR for a couple of nights and since then I've been coming in spurts. -- Joe Thompson

The monastery isn't -that- good. -- Majdi Abbas

[Re : Star Office]

But, boy, that thing sure has pretensions towards being Microsoft Windows, doesn't it? -- Dave Brown

It sure does. It's not just content to be a bloated, buggy and slow word processor and office suite, it also has pretensions of being a window manager. Yeah, you're right, it *does* think it's Microsoft. -- Paul Tomblin

So if I don't go to that site, they will not feed someone who they otherwise would have? -- Jeffrey L. Bell


And they'll show them a picture of your face, any web presences you might have, and how you spend your leisure time. They'll give the starving person your name and address and a bus ticket (and/or plane ticket) and a map and send them off. One day, you'll be kicking back at home, playing Nintendo and gorging yourself of sticky handfuls of Fiddle-Faddle, when the doorbell will ring. You'll answer it and find, standing on your doorstep, a tiny waiflike third-world child, all big eyes and protruding ribs, who will sniffle, shed a single tear, say, "Why?" and expire in front of you.

So that's why you ought to go click.

Josh Brandt
[Re : quantum physics]

I can't say I care one way or another. -- Kai Henningsen

That's just because nobody's measured you yet. -- Christian Bauernfeind

"Contestant number two, how do you set up a dial-up connection in Windows 95?"

"Call the systems administration people and tell them my machine is broken."

BZZZZZZZZT! "Oh, I'm sorry but that answer is so wrong that our systems people have already found your address and will be visiting you personally tonight."

Janet Rolsma
An ethernet hub with SCSI interface. All the subtlety of SCSI in a device that until recently could be managed with a VT100. Now THAT's an image I don't need. And someone, somewhere, out there, probably thinks it would be a really neat idea.

"termination error on SCSI bus 5. All your networks have now gone down the crapper".

Bram Smits
I start to be a wandering sysadmin on the 10th Jan. -- John Burnham

Do you get your own bard as well?

"Bravely bold Sir Burnham
Brought forth from Camelot.
He was not afraid to die,
Oh, brave Sir Burnham!
He was not at all afraid to be killed in nasty ways.
Brave, brave, brave Sir Burnham.

He was not in the least bit scared to be mashed into a pulp.
Or to have his cables gouged out, and his MX records broken!
To have his domains split, and his /dev burned away
And his file systems all hacked and mangled, brave Sir Burnham.

His newsrc smashed in and his heart cut out,
And his relays removed and his routers unplugged,
And his hubs baked and his soul burnt off,
And his peni--"

Mark Edwards
"A communications disruption can only mean one thing... Invasion."
Lee Maguire, teaching us how to make people go away.
After all, everybody's got a water buffalo. -- Ben Coleman

in their machine room. -- Nix

with the candlestick. -- Christian Bauernfeind

Never meddle in the affairs of NT. It is slow to boot and quick to crash.
Stephen Harris
BTW. Violence, rude language, excessive drinking, paganism. It's hard to find children's books like that these days.
Stig Morten Valstad
Speaking of Star Trek, I have just discovered the suckiest program in all creation. Forget sucking golf balls through soda straws. Forget sucking asteroids through pipettes. Hell, even sucking blue-giant stars through millipore filters is nothing compared to the suckiness of Solomon IV and its Time Card module.

This program could suck the entire space-time continuum through one of Brin's "tuned strings". You need a cavitron and ten extra dimensions of space time to describe its appalling suckiness.

This program requires you enter fields in a very specific order... NOT the order laid out on the window, and if you mess up you have to exit it and start over.

It chews up nearly 100M of VM.

It takes many minutes to exit and start up again if you made a mistake.

It's easy to make a mistake... every field has its own non-standard method of entering data... for example instead of a pulldown you hit F3 and it brings up a dialog box.

The dialog box has scroll bars that don't move, you click above or below them to scroll the window they're attached to... but they don't actually move. If you drag them they don't actually do anything.

Another field, a date, has a yellow background for some reason.

This one you enter by clicking on it and typing the new value. It doesn't provide much feedback... if you got the value right it changes into something similar to what you typed when it's checked it.

If you double-click in another field it changes the thing from a table to a single entry for one time code.

You can't switch back, that I can tell. Note that in Windows double-clicking a field is a very common way of bringing up a dialog box.

Aftre you entry any other fields, you can no longer change the date field.

The date field is always set to today, but you always need to set it to the last day of the previous week.

If you don't set it to anything, it will set itself to the last day of the next week.

To save your changes, you go to another window and select save. This other window has a toolbar on it that includes "forward" and "back" icons... but they don't do anything either.

This sounds like something Simon Travaglia would come up with to abuse lusers, but apparently this really is what they think a good user interface is like.

Peter da Silva
Maybe, but I think I'd like to propose Schwartz' Second Law (anybody who reads or lurks on r.a.a.m should be able to find my First Law), namely: "The consquences of any action will never be fully understood until after it's too late to do anything about it." An obvious corollary: the sysadmin will be the one who gets blamed for it, despite having warned them several times before.
Eric The Read
[Re: Linda McCartney's backing vocal mike.]

I've never heard it, but it is apparently one of the more painful experiences that a sentient being can undergo. Entire songs, written in the key of C, being sung in the key of P sharp major with a demented ninth.

Joe Bidgood
Ever read the little warning that comes with Lose9* and NT, with OS/2, and with damn near anything else that has a Java compiler on it?

Very much like "Don't use this code for realtime control, for weapons systems, or for anything else that may put life or limb at hazard. It isn't man-rated, it isn't really thing-rated, and we don't claim that it's worth a good G*dDamn for anything at all, at all."

Mike Andrews
A *huge* proportion of people cannot make *correct and accurate* generalisations of principles. They have to learn everything as if it's an unrelated piece of crap, BECAUSE THEY ARE STUPID! PEOPLE ARE STUPID! YES, THAT'S RIGHT, I'M SHOUTING NOW! AIEEEE!! PEOPLE ARE STUPID!

"New for Linux: SoftCondom. Because with a GUI named Explorer, you never know where NT's been."
Joe Thompson
"The way NT mounts filesystems is something I'd expect to find in a barnyard or on a stock-breeding farm."
Mike Andrews
Every time you apply the LART, you give some poor luser a chance to redeem itself and RTFM nect time. -- Infinitas

Oh. You didn't apply the LART hard enough.

They get to RTFM next time around the Wheel Of Reincarnation, if you do it right. :)

I trust Microsoft.

I trust them to be spectacularly unable to get anything right, including and especially hard things like large-scale industrial espionage. Sure, they'll make clownish, clumsy stabs at it and fail in predictable, amusing and embarassing ways, and then do it all over again. And their victi^H^H users will not only forgive them but spend a lot of energy making up excuses for them.

The only way to convince some people that HTML is about content, not style is with a 2x4 <PLANK>.
Geoff. Lane
Fsck, either way I'm screwed. -- petro

Now *that* is the Sysadmin's motto. -- Peter da Silva

"You are trapped in a maze of screens and ssh sessions all alike."
"It is dark, and you are likely to log off the wrong account."
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
I find Trinitron is worth an extra 2" in size at least. -- Peter da Silva

While I agree that Trinitron is valuable, I am a bit worried about the currency you payed in... -- Felix

For their next act, they'll no doubt be buying a firewall running under NT, which makes about as much sense as building a prison out of meringue.
Not only do I buy the beer, but I also have the root password. There's always enough Guinness for me.
Mike Sphar
You can lead an idiot to knowledge but you cannot make him think.

You can, however, rectally insert the information, printed on stone tablets, using a sharpened poker.

Remember - if all you have is an axe, every problem looks like hours of fun.
I don't know, I think the shiny metal looks more menacing than wood. Wood just seems to natural and...woody. Metal is cold and hard like a BOFH's heart.
Mike Sphar
And it's 1, 2, 3, what are we booting for?
Don't ask me I don't give a damn
Buy me a gig of RAM

And it's 5, 6, 7, bend over for Billy Gates,
We-ell there ain't no time to learn vi,
Whoopee! We'll all go to Fry's!

For is it not written, wheresoever two or three are gathered together, yeay they will perform the Parrot Sketch.
[Microsoft Vaccine 2000 is configuring your immune system. This may take a few minutes. If your body stops responding for a long time and there is no brain activity please die. Setup will continue after you are reborn.]
Ban cars and what you end up with are walk-by shootings. With water pistols. Pretty messy, especially when the protagonists are using drench guns[0]. Lecturers will come into the room wondering why the front row of desks is flooded. The local supermarket will sell out of its entire stock of weapons in a single afternoon, after which a continuing arms race will lead to people hauling backpack water tanks around with them. Others will be seen wandering down corridors looking as though they'd been caught in a heavy thunderstorm... but it's a sunny day. Noone will dare enter a room without doing a terminator-style survey of the place[1]. This will lead to a general collapse of civilisation and worldwide anarchy, the extinction of the human race, and the evolution of sentient frogs to replace them.

Better to stick with drive-by killings.

I can offer you some industrial-strength Beef, Egg and Onion pies; served with a healthy amount of baked beans, if that doesn't get your emissions of Eggdimethyl Beansoxide up to a level which constitutes a violation of the Geneva Convention on chemical warfare, i don't know what will.
Congratulations. You're a BOFH. This means you are a clued and discerning individual. However you must realise that a certain etiquette applies to your position. Read on for advice to help you win friends and influence people. The *right* friends and people.

LANGUAGE: You should only call someone a 'Bastard' if they are deserving of this honorific. Under no circumstances should the word be applied to someone who is neither ruthless nor clued. It *is* appropriate to encourage budding instances of this behaviour with the term of endearment "BOFHlet".

TABLE MANNERS: Do not use your Leatherman to cut your food. A simple knife will suffice, and preserve the blade for better things. When entertaining, always offer caffeine and/or alcohol to visiting BOFHs. Under no circumstances should you mix BOFHs and lusers in the same social invitation; it distresses your BOFH guests and the stains are difficult to get out of most carpet fabrics.

TIMING: Punctuality, as understood by the less educated population to mean adherence to a time-measuring-device, is not required by the BOFH, though it is not an outright faux pas to indulge in it if you are so inclined. However an exemplary BOFH will show great feats of event-driven timing such as walking into a dead computer room before the UPS runs out, or logging on in the middle of the night moments before a mission-critical disk fills up. You should also show promptness in swiftly LARTing a luser as an example to others, though some delay for comic timing is widely tolerated.

LARTS: When considering items to use as a LART, there are two golden rules. Firstly, it has to be as severe as the transgression merits *at the very least*. Secondly, you should be attentive to innocent third parties. In particular, the discharge of thermonuclear and biochemical weapons is severely frowned upon in the near proximity of clued individuals. In general this means that you are unlikely to be able to use one politely outside the general vicinity of Redmond. Also, it is not done to do leave body parts in the office trash for the cleaning staff to collect unless they have actively displeased you.

If practical QCs ever become reality, the one thing we can be sure of is that they'll suck. But they'll suck in multiple universes simultaneously, which is probably a first. -- Malcolm Ray

Nah, I had a girl friend who could do that... -- petro

Al Gore invented the Internet, Bill Gates delpoyed it. That's their respective stories, anyways. -- Firebeard

delpoyment: the art of defining, then implementing the ugliest deviant interpretation of an already established standard. -- Peter N. M. Hansteen

Keep on about Scotch again, and I'll be forced to tell my Boston/Logan Airport/Car Rental story, and that'll get Joe Thompson all wadded up, and he'll complain, and things will get really ugly.

Then some yahoo who forgot to keep up with the thread and who fails to realise that it's dead will mention how he is rather fond of Macallan 18 over ice, and after the screams of outrage die down, then the whole discussion of the virtues of adding water/not adding water to Scotch will begin, and everyone will agree that whether or not you like water in your scotch, it should at least be in liquid form, and then someone will probably mention purity of chocolate, and one of the Yurpean Monks will brag about having a shop right across the street which sells bars that are 99.44% pure, and everyone will point out that, in fact, he's really been eating Ivory Soap, and no one will agree on anything except that American chocolate sucks and...and...we don't really need that.

So enough with the Scotch already.

Carl Jacobs
I've always maintained that no software should be released that can't withstand three hours of enthusiastic yet undirected pounding-on by a typical five-year-old. -- Joe Thompson

You've just described Microsoft's entire development process. -- Malcolm Ray

I'm not sure that the ability to create routing diagrams similar to pretzels with mad cow disease is actually a marketable skill.
Steve Levin
The ability to watch M*A*S*H on demand justified purchasing a VCR for myself. That show taught me a lot of useful things; for example, if one's skills are sufficiently in demand, one can wear a bathrobe to work, and generally have one's eccentricities tolerated.
cat Dimensions | /dev/blackhole > Dimensions.bz -- Robert Blake

Wow. Rootkit for Universes. -- Peter da Silva

Yes, but Ghod help you if you ctrl-alt-del while using it. . . . -- Keith A. Glass

In a previous article, djc@cc.umanitoba.ca (D. Joseph Creighton) said: >In the last exciting episode, Chad Matsalla wrote: maybe someday they will find a way to remotely administer cattle. -- Chad Matsalla

They're called Collies. Of course, distance is limited to line-of-sight or hearing range. -- D. Joseph Creighton

Now I'm trying to picture Wide Area Border Collies. Thanks. -- Paul Tomblin

Well then I am not sure what your idea of "remote" is. And if I am going to use a dog in systems administration it will be part of a pack of other wild dogs. And herding will be the last thing they are trained to do. -- Chad Matsalla

Usenet should require licenses; licenses that can be revoked.
The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny ..."
Isaac Asimov
You are in a twisty maze of lusers all alike. -- Paul Martin

While, on the surface, this appears to be true. In actual fact, when examined closely, each and every luser is uniquely and serially stupid. -- Geoff. Lane

Then the home office "took control of the situation". That consisted of demanding the root password, and then contacting me at least once every three hours until 0100 last night. Sometimes they paged me. Sometimes they called me at home. After I unplugged my phone from the wall and took the battery out of my pager, my boss showed up at my front door. -- Jack Twilley

This situation almost sounds fun to me. I would take great joy in sitting in the living room happily ignoring said boss knocking on my door. I'd probably even turn up the TV and make loud "whooza fuzzy kitty den? You are, aren't you?" noises at my cat. -- Mike Sphar

I used to herd dairy cows. Now I herd lusers. Apart from the isolation, I think I preferred the cows. They were better conversation, easier to milk, and if they annoyed me enough, I could shoot them and eat them.
Rodger Donaldson
Sigh. Anyone want an irritable, manic-depressive sysadmin ? -- John

I'll think about it. Do you think I should keep a backup for the one I already have? -- Bernard Peek

No. You run them both in a cluster environment, so they can share the irritability. Of course, having two sysadmin's you naturally get twice the irritability than before. If one sysadmin goes down[0] then the other one becomes twice as irritable to cope.

Benefits in this environment allow one sysadmin to go offline for maintenance (eg beer!) without major impact. Unfortunately most clusters of this type are poorly configured and one sysadmin going offline generally causes the other to go offline as well.

I think if Cael approached me, arms flaming, with his usual scary-looking expression, not only would I stop dancing, I'd likely start running very fast.

You just don't mess with a man whose arms are on fire.


In my opinion, the press covers every country.
In the veterinary sense.
Damn, squid must have satisfied my reloads from cache. -- Peter da Silva

That sounds so very much nastier than it is. -- adam

Except that his file won't have the pretty little thumbnail that he gets on the Mac. He'll get the dogeared-piece-of-paper icon on that file, and sit there waving his flippers like a thalidomide baby until you show him that yes, Photoshop will still open the file.
Charles Gimon
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?
Greg Andrews
To me it sounds like a flock of ducks trying to out-honk a Mac Truck, but getting cut short tragically as they all fly into the grill work of the truck. But that's just me.
Paul Tomblin, about the system beep on the Alpha UDB.
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".
Jeff Gostin
What is the sound of one backpack EMP weapon discharging? -- Joe Thompson

"Clickety-click" -- Charles Cazabon

"Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to using Windows NT for mission-critical applications."
-- What Yoda *meant* to say
Devin L. Ganger
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He wears red to hide the bloodstains, and he brings fscked disks to bad sysadmins. That means all of us, according to Santa Claus.
Mike Andrews
When I write non-quick-and-dirty stuff aimed at sysadmins, I'll include the standard blah about typographical conventions, but if I have to include a warning that running a command with an argument list which bears *no* *relation* to the argument list shown cannot be expected to have the same effect, it's time for a reality check.
Malcolm Ray
"Each McSploit meal comes with your choice of a McPortscan burger or Chicken McNukets and a root-sized fries and drink. And with each McSploit meal, you'll get one of these four l33t toys: Own all four today!"
Matthew Sachs
I live in fear of the day that the Hoopsnakes hybridize with the common Ethernet Patchsnake[1]. Imagine the sheer hell of it: colonies of them becoming established in the warm, dark recesses of wiring-closets, and concealing themselves in boxes with routers, switches and the like.
-- Tanuki

Hm, that might explain why the PFYs keep on disappearing after I send them off to work in the comms riser on the 49th floor.
-- Lionel Lauer

"Oh, I would LART five hundred times, and I would LART five hundred more/ Just to be the man who LARTs a thousand, times to kill them by the score..."
Joe Thompson
Yes, I did programmatically remove all instances of shit like:

/*** hey emacs this is C source ***/
/*@@ 3l33t-source-code-printer-program-opts: -foo -bar -qux @@*/

** RESIZE EDITOR WINDOW TO THIS BIG------------------------------------------------->

from the source tree and if I find them back there I will _personally_ take great pleasure in gouging out your eyes and stuffing the bleeding sockets with fire ants and broken glass.

Two of my imaginary friends reproduced once ... with negative results.
Ben (float)
I can see it now: We can turn sysadminness into a big business. A line of cute sysadmin toys-My Little Lionel, My Little Simon. An especially My Little Frossie, complete with the little heart in the center. Sure, puke now, but wait til you count the $$$. Then comes A cute sysadmin cartoon, Admin Babies. "Dear me, baby Thorfy, we gotta go boot the 3b2 frontend to that convex over there." "Oh no, Mr. Meanyhead the Luser has filled his quota up again". Sysadmin trading cards: "Here we have the Evi Nemeth Special Edition, back when she was still back at Waterloo, in the minors"[1]. A cute little platform game where you have to navigate your sysadmin through wiring closets, machine rooms and the like, collecting the magic scsi terminators. [2]
Matthew Crosby
One day, a student asked a master, "Master, there is conflict between the suits and the sysadmins. Which group has the Zen nature, and which group is grieviously disturbing the stillness of the Tao?"

And the master said nothing, but installed an operating system. And the student was enlightened.

Anthony DeBoer
"We are either doing something, or we are not. 'Talking about' is a subset of 'not'."

This sounds like the meaningless story an executive mailed out the other day:

$PERSON was walking through a construction site, and asked the first worker he saw what he was doing. The worker responded "I'm mixing cement". $PERSON then walked to second worker and asked same question, to which the second worker responded "I'm laying bricks". $PERSON then asks same question of a third worker who responds proudly "I'm building a cathedral!"

Said executive then goes on to talk about how he's looking for "cathedral-builders" for his company, blah blah blah blah.

All I could think was: "Hey, if I'm working at a construction site, and some idjit walks up and asks what I'm *doing", I will answer 'Pouring cement, dipshit, what does it look like I'm doing?'"

Mike Sphar
When people ask me what my religion is, I say either "Frisbeetarianism" which satisfies them if they're not listening closely, or "I'm trying to make up my mind between the Greek and Babylonian chaos goddesses, do you think Eris or Mummu has dishier priestesses?"

Though now I'm a minister I should probably take that question more seriously.

Peter da Silva
First time I've gotten a programming job that required a drug test. I was worried they were going to say "you don't have enough LSD in your system to do Unix programming".
Paul Tomblin
A distributed system is one in which the failure of a computer you didn't even know existed can render your own computer unusable.
Leslie Lamport
A disturbance of sysadmins. Because if we are, you will be.
Joe Thompson
A Zen of SysAdmins

We are at one with our work. If you disturb our work, our foot will be at one with your ass. Sadly, you won't be at One with anything thereafter. You'll be in lots of little pieces we call Bits, some of which are at One with themselves, and others, which are at Zero with themselves, but none of which will be At One with you.

J. Gostin
Unfortunately, our Bright Young PFY will no longer be assisting with expeditions downtown, as he has been dubbed the Telecom Destruction Bunny and banned from taking his aura anywhere near anything major.
Anthony DeBoer
I mean, we all self-LART to varying degrees on occasion. What sets us apart from the lusers is that we can pull ourselves out of the nosedive.
Mike Sphar
... (Has Microsoft lost its Buddha nature?) -- Ingvar Mattsson

Someone really ought to explain to them that the Buddha nature consists of more than being obese and just sitting there.

Anthony DeBoer
I'm locked in a maze of little projects, all of which suck.
Chris "Saundo" Saunderson
"I'm not lean and mean, I'm surly and anorexic".
Chris "Saundo" Saunderson
Hacksaws and band saws and cleavers and sharp knives,
After the lusers have given up their lives,
BOFHen need ways, to separate parts,
Why not use some of our favorite LARTs?

Dynamite, TNT, nitro and tac-nukes,
Those are too harsh on the poor little dumb pukes.
They hurt machines and they don't leave much meat,
If we use them, then what are we to eat?

When the LARTs fall, when the fools die, when I'm feeling glad,
I just cut them up (not across), and haul them to my pad.

Dave Aronson
"Redirection is hard." -- Web-Luser Barbie -- flaps

"Forging headers is tough!" --Spammer Barbie -- Chris "Saundo" Saunderson

I quite often tell my SO to iron my shirts, make dinner, do the cleaning, etc... but only because I like to hear her laugh.
[Re: The Four Horsemen]

Don't you mean

Paul Tomblin
And besides, given raw postscript in web pages, for every one person who writes a clever bit of code, there would be ten thousand clicking the "Save as Postscript for Extra Pretty Fonts!" button in GUI-Visual-Bloat Web Designer, by Obesityware, pushing the average page size into the multi-megabyte range. Yup. There's a feature, all right.
Mark Jeffcoat
From empirical experience, your Exchange admin needs to put down the crack pipe and open a window to disperse the fumes.
Joe Thompson
Cardiac Arrest(tm) Snack Cakes! Tossed Death Cookies(r)! And Little Debbie(r) Fatal Attraction Pies(tm)![0]

[0] As if everything by Little Debbie isn't a fatal attraction. She is not your friend, she is a lying deceitful bitch who wants to give you a heart attack. But DAMN, she's irresistable.

Mark Hughes
These girls is crafty & evil beasties. They twist & turn like... like... twisty, turny things. -- Lionel Lauer

"Passages", Lionel, "passages". -- Thorfy

Passages and girls in a comparison? Does someone have a barge-pole I can absolutely not touch this one with? -- Joe Thompson

passages:girls::bargepoles:NO CARRIER -- Ben (float)

I see an Urgent Need(tm) for a new unit of measurement, to distinguish the amount of something that will kill half the sample population from the amount that will simply make half of them _want_ to die. UDNAD50 anyone?

The UDNAD50 of tequila is around half a bottle. The UDNAD50 of crappy C code is about 300 lines. Imacs, damn near one.

A closely related unit is the LARTD50, which is the dose of something that will inspire half the sample population to make the perpetrator want to die.

I think that sick people in Ankh-Morpork generally go to a vet. It's generally a better bet. There's more pressure on a vet to get it right. People say "it was god's will" when granny dies, but they get *angry* when they lose a cow.
Terry Pratchett
That sounds like exactly the right way Microsoft would do it:

(I'm picturing Windows NT jamming a network backbone going "la la la la I can't hear you la la la la la".)
Graham Reed
They used to advertise it claiming, "If you've eaten a banana and drank some milk you've had everything in n*sweet."

My reply was, "You've also had everything in potassium cyanide. So what?"

Joe Zeff
<fantasy mode>
"Sir, Sir! I've deleted all my files"
"Yes my child, and pray tell me how"
"I wanted to delete directories fred1 and fred2 but I typed rm -rf fred * when should have typed rm -rf fred*"
"Ah ha, and what have you learnt"
"To beware of powerful file name globbing facilities that my shell provides for my careful use."
"Yes my child, you have learnt a painful lession. Now you must learn how to recover files from one of the many, multiply redundent backup tapes you have carefully written every evening ever since you were granted a powerful personal workstation."
"Master, I'm eager to learn!"
</fantasy mode>
Geoff. Lane
No lusers were harmed in the creation of this usenet article.
Geoff. Lane
life suddenly made much more sense, the day i fully grokked that people are stupid.
Frank Sweetser
[Re: Anakin building C3PO out of spare parts for free]

What I wanna know is where he got the language databases for the over six million forms of communication. Building a droid doesn't look too hard, based on evidence. Populating that droid with knowledge that is likely exceedingly expensive is not a walk in the park.
-- Eric The Read


This also explains what tempted him to his first steps toward the "dark side."

It's only a very short step from that to Palpatine seeing a post along the lines of: "CA|\| NE1 0N Th]5 BB0ARD T3Ll M3 H0w 2 GeT KeWL S]Th P0WeRZ!?!?!?!??!?"

The rest is, well, a couple more overly-hyped ILM graphics demos.
-- henke

The Imperial Vendor or Contractor probably told them that droid armies don'T need redundant command centers, nor any kind of high availability ... you're supposed to buy several, and cluster them.
-- void

Redundant Array of Inexpensive Droids?

It's possible there had been armed autonomous droids at some point in the past, and one can almost imagine past issues of that galaxy's Risks Digest. Perhaps after such experiences, they considered it wisest that autonomous droids have nothing stronger than R2D2's bugzapper.
-- Anthony DeBoer

Ben, being able to utter the words "cryogenically cooled eyeballs" on Usenet was a form of recovery. Don't try to take that away from me or I might get crotchety and go Tomblinate[1] you.

[1] I've always been of the opinion that one's fellow sysadmins should be treated with the politeness due a group of well-armed individuals[2], but apparently not all of us are that hesitant.

[2] The wise man does not tell a person with a gun to go check his filesystems for consistency.

Anthony DeBoer
That's why there's no toilets on the Enterprise. They just beam it straight into the mass tanks from your body, much more efficient.
-- Peter da Silva

This gives new insight into why the engineering crew works so hard to get the system back online when the transporters go down.
-- Ansel

In every given certification course at least one student must decide that each person in the class came n-thousand miles to hear his/her own questionable "expertise" delivered unprompted and continued ad nauseum much to the dismay of the rest of the class.
Chad Matsalla
I'm still pondering whether i should pre-emptively register "I can't believe it's not Jesus" as a name for a low-calorie communion wafer, so i get in there before the church...
I try to explain, but he goes into the back room and gets this wizened old guy with a pocket protector and a nametag that read "Senior Engineer."
-- Jack Twilley

His mom really must have hated him.
-- Charles Cazabon

I may be a Bastard, but I never ever ever argue with flight crew. They just don't have a sense of humor about that sort of thing.

If the stewardess tells me NT is a far more stable and reliable OS than UNIX, I'll nod politely and say "Is it really? How nice."

Of course, I'll rant about what a luser she is later, but as long as we're on the plane, she gets to be uid zero.

Mike Sphar

Choose Windows. Choose a PC. Choose a fucking big hard disk and a Pentium III to run Internet Explorer and mIrc. Choose HTML email, and viruses... Melissa, Wm.Concept, ExploreZip. Choose sitting in that chair watching mind-numbing soulless web-pages, stuffing fucking virus-infected plugins into your browser. Choose porn, rotting away at the end of it all, pishing away your last on a miserable dialup, staring at fat whores, nothing but an embarassment to the people who built the net.

Choose Linux. Choose a PC. Choose a fucking big hard disk and a Pentium III to run Enlightenment and KDE. Choose warez, set up a webserver, smurf other lusers who diss you on IRC. Choose sitting in that char creating mind-numbing soulless web pages, stuffing them with blink and frames and javascript and virus-infected plugins. Choose porn, rotting away at the end of it all, pishing away your last on a miserable dialup, staring at fat whores, nothing but an embarassment to the people who built the net.

Doesn't matter what a luser chooses, they're still a luser.

Peter da Silva
Remember to chant "Pie Jesu domine, dona eis requiem" whenever you do that.
-- Peter Gutmann

I can't do that, Peter. I have several old texts in my office (bound with animal skin, and inked with blood), and every time I attempt to chant any sort of Latin[0] the walls begin to bleed, and my Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water bottle tells me it's going to kill me with my flathead screwdriver.
-- Stephen S. Edwards II

You should come to Germany to see what milk is supposed to taste like. Or, even better, a farmer in Denmark or Ireland.
-- Felix von Leitner

Maybe it's just me, but I really don't care to know what a farmer in Denmark or Ireland tastes like. -- Andy Wagliardo

If you tell them, they never listen. If they listen, they never learn. If they learn, they never remember. If they remember, they never obey.
"Usenet: wisdom in homeopathic doses."
Paul Martin
Someone else: Snots is a lot more than just an email program...
Me: ... it's a complete denial-of-service attack in one package.
Peter Gutmann
That's when you must acquire the skill to fart at whim... doing so will protect the Holy Personal Space.
Stephen S. Edwards II
I'm still waiting for the marketing slogan:

Retry Reboot Reinstall Reformat Redhat
-- Alan

Around here, we refer to that as "Service Pack 6.0"
-- Paul Tomblin

"Yeah, I know. It was a long time ago and I was a lot more optimistic then."
"And besides, the CNAME is dead."
Mike 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.

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.

Graham Reed
Ah, young webmaster...
java leads to shockwave.
Shockwave leads to realaudio.
And realaudio leads to suffering.
Peter da Silva
[Re: using a plunger to take out dents]
Yeah, *that'd* sound good in the convenience store: "One toilet plunger and a gallon of vaseline to go."
Lars Balker Rasmussen
[Re: SETI@home]
That would be on the "Let's look for intelligence out there, because there's none here" principle?
Paul Tomblin
If USENET is anarchy, IRC is a paranoid schizophrenic after 6 days on speed.
Chris "Saundo" Saunderson
Disney's _The Diary Of Anne Frank_, starring the voice of Ani DeFranco as the title character, and Arnold Schwartenegger as the voice of Hans Von Gruppenficher, the handsome young SS Commando who captures her heart.
-- Christian Wagner

Where's the talking animal? -- Shalon Wood

My guess would be on talking mice. Perhaps in a bit of cross-promoting, they could have the talking mice from _Cinderella_. Failing that, the talking fixtures from _Beauty & The Beast_ probably need more work.

Now that I think about it, a large, lovable police dog that finds the family but refuses to signal its masters after the young heroine smiles at it from a hiding place would probably work as well.

I'm not going to think about this anymore.
-- Gus

Nanau taught me the Second Clue. If you make a decision under pressure, and someone who's never been in the same position decides at leisure to criticise without being polite and asking questions, make sure that the person understands the absolute inappropriateness of this as hard as possible. If someone with more technical experience wants to suggest how you should handle it next time, that's okay fine.
Rebecca Ore
The BOFH's First Axiom : There are no inappropriate means for achieving the goal of getting questions or silence.
Named by Mike Andrews, defined by Rebecca Ore
Some are born to Enlightenment, some achieve Enlightenment, and others have Enlightenment larted upon them.
The screaming should be done by the luser - until the BOFH applies $LART_of_choice in a terminal way to stop the screaming. After all - whining and screaming are some of the few things lusers are good at [1] ...

[1] Breaking stuff by ''changing nothing'', ''touching nothing'' or even 'doing nothing'' and annoying the hard working BOFH are some others ...

The pages were fairly well bound. The cover was not. It looked as though the binder had sewn and glued the pages, let it dry, and then blown his nose on the spine and installed the cover.
``Turn off your targeting computer, Luke. Software sucks. Hardware sucks. You have a better chance of making this shot by guessing.''

``Now we're going to run through the woods. Well, not quite. You're going to put me in a backback and run through the woods carrying me. Why? *You're* the PFY.''
-- Rodger Donaldson

As one notices, Ben has been around the block far too many times. He has the BOFH nature. Luke, OTOH, goes for this crap hook, line, and sinker. He has the PFY nature.
-- Anthony DeBoer

By RotJ, of course, Luke also has BOFH nature. Note how he calmly goes to the HR department^W^W^WJabba's lair. Note how he calmly asks for his friends back. Note how he calmly annihilates all about him when he doesn't get what he wants.

Still, Jedi mind tricks would be great for BOFHen facing internal audits: ``These E10000s aren't the budget overruns you're looking for.''
-- Rodger Donaldson

BTW, I thank all the denizens for their fairly exemplary politeness to one another over the past weeks. I've been watching the ORBS/anti-ORBS/RBL/anti-RBL flamefests on nanae, and it has been ... well, the culinary equivalent is just about everyone spraying just about everyone else with pureed Habanero peppers. Copiously.
Mike Andrews
So the canonical metasyntactic syllables are foo, bar, baz, gzork, and zot? I always wondered what came after baz.
-- Charles Cazabon

Nono: bletch before baz, except after frob.
-- Malcolm Ray

A heisenbug jumps around the system; if you look at it, it disappears only to manifest in a seemingly totally unrelated place.

A schroedinbug is one where the bug exists for years, and theoretically would prevent the program from working, but because no one is aware of it it doesn't. However, eventually somebody looks at the code and goes "That couldn't *possibly* work!" at which point, it ceases to. Schroedinbugs are an inverse case of the Hundredth Monkey problem.
-- Joe Thompson

Bohr Bug: A repeatable bug; one that manifests reliably under a possibly unknown but well-defined set of conditions.

Mandelbug: A bug whose underlying causes are so complex and obscure as to make its behavior appear chaotic or even non-deterministic. This term implies that the speaker thinks it is a Bohr bug, rather than a heisenbug.
-- David Jacoby (quoting the Jargon File)

[Re : training lusers like one trains a bonsai tree]

Hmmm.. nice idea.. bury them up to their knees in mud, wrap them round with stiff wire, twist them into contorted shapes, chop bits off them at regular intervals, leave them where they are for forty years or so with minimal feeding, sell them for vast amounts of money.. there must be a snag in this somewhere.. why can't I see it?

In German "invent-a-new-word-where-a-perfectly-good-one-already-exists" is probably a word.
Peter da Silva
You know, I have dealt with some immensely stupid fucking wastes of skin, but these people astound me with their stupidity! Really!... These sacks of shit in expensive suits make a short bus full of retards look like a fucking physicist's convention!
Stephen S. Edwards II
[on "In God We Trust"]

Don't ask *me* how you set the trust-level of a god.
-- Par Leijonhufvud

At a PGP key signing party.
-- Peter da Silva

"This UI has been brought to you by the letters 'S' and 'K', and the runlevel 3."
Greg Andrews
Funny, the Canadian scouting organization has "religion in my life" badges with either an Alpha and Omega, a Menorah, a Crescent, and possibly other religous symbols that I haven't encountered yet.
-- Paul Tomblin

Watch out for the one with tentacles.
-- Malcolm Ray

Me and the caller ID window have a very positive working relationship.
Mike Sphar
BOFHs have no nation.
-- Mark 'Kamikaze' Hughes

We have the nation "Clue", with it's independant yet under governance territory "Root". Both have a nice (pron. "vicious") border patrol with at least some standards for getting into the joint.
-- Chris "Saundo" Saunderson

[Re: "Da Bomb" hot sauce]

This stuff will not only take the paint off a battleship, it'll also hunt down the painter and hir family, murder them, desecrate the bodies, and proceed to have its way with the family pet.

Mark C. Langston
The main difference between lusers & budgies is that it's standard practice to keep one's budgie in a cage. I feel that there is a lesson here for all of us.
Lionel Lauer
Perl isn't really a swiss army knife. That's more like C. Perl is a large, metallic toolbox containing:

-a complete set of box-end wrenches in metric and imperial, except 10mm and 3/8"
-a selection of five machinists' hammers
-one regular construction hammer
-ten- and twelve-pound sledgehammers
-complete set of Robertson screwdrivers
-and an infinite length of duct tape

Charles Cazabon
The difference between math and physics is the difference between masturbation and sex.
-- Paul Tomblin

They're both messy, but physics can get you in much more trouble.
-- Malcom Ray

And I administer machines for the army. I know stupid.
<example type=luser thinking> -- James Lin

Huh? That doesn't make sense. -- Michael Brown

Picture a hamster in an exercise wheel. Running, running, running, running, and getting nowhere at all. -- Greg Andrews

Then, picture another hanster in another such wheel. Standing, standing, standing, standing, and getting nowhere at all. That's luser thinking. -- Vadik

We aim to please. Ourselves, mostly, but we do aim to please.
Anthony DeBoer
"Thank you for ringing the Sonline. Calls cost £1.50 a minute. If you have forgotten to switch the monitor on, press 1. If you have forgotten to switch the computer on, press 2. If you were after software, but are too tight to actually *buy* it, press 3."


"Thank you. Please hold whilst we play some nasty musak and eventually put you through to somebody who - talks - really - slowly."

B13 Cabal Member
"Go go Gadget kernel compile!"
Chris "Saundo" Saunderson
The only sound a luser should make is a pleasant squishing sound as they're turned into a twitching pile of mince meat.
Chris "Saundo" Saunderson
Let's face it, sysadmins are composed of the most adaptable, least stress-susceptible people around. Lusers aren't. Pit one against the other, and I'll not be taking any bets on the luser winning (10 000 to 1 against the luser, anyone? No? Nobody? Thought not.)
Dan Holdsworth
The United States of America: Screwing with the English Language for over 200 years.
Mike 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 your Microsoft product.
Ferenc Mantfeld
aitch as in Henry
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...
ALL programs are poems, it's just that not all programmers are poets.
Jonathan Guthrie
BOFHmail should have no truck with the Robustness Principle. The desired attitude could best be described as "be pedantic in what you accept, and arbitrarily brutal in what you send". Other MTAs go to some lengths to accommodate broken SMTP implementations, and, let's face it, we're all heartily sick of such molly-coddling. Don't even *think* of dropping the connection because you don't understand EHLO: your T3 will melt shortly thereafter.

Some MTAs have shown a sickening tendency to present the lusers with cutesy error messages, frequently leading them into ultimately unrewarding conversations. Whilst deliberately wasting the luser's time is commendable, it's really not acceptable to deal gently with their stumblings. Bounces should be cryptic in the extreme. To keep the lusers on their toes, bounces should sometimes be generated for perfectly valid mail (it's educational).

BOFHmail should contain sophisticated a sophisticated spam detector. Any message qualifying as spam should be have various nouns replaced by more interesting ones such as 'bomb', 'cocaine' and 'President', and then be forwarded to the local FBI-equivalent.

This distressing trend towards easy configuration must stop. If it's hard to implement, it should be hard to understand. On the other hand, who has to do the configuration? Us, that's who, and who wants to debug line noise when you could be playing Half Life or corrupting Marketing's database? So BOFHmail's configuration should be the reverse of sendmail 8.x: a bewildering jumble of gibberish which looks like an explosion in an EBCDIC factory, hiding a simple and highly mnemonic configuration file (the latter only visible to root).

BOFHmail should incorporate a Swedish Chef convertor and not be afraid to use it.

Malcolm Ray
And I can't even begin to describe what a joy it is to work with a real metal case, with swing-out drive bays, that was designed for easy access and not built by the lowest-bidding Malaysian Monkey On Crack.
Adam J. Thornton
Ah. So-called "developers" who cannot be bothered to skim an O'Reilly book, let alone read an RFC. ... People who react to the comment, "Check the source" with an expression suggesting I _really_ said "Shove a weasel up your ass."
You *do* know there is a serial number on your car? -- Leif Nixon

FWIW, I've talked to my car about broadcasting its serial number on the Internet. It expressed remorse and promises never to do it again. -- Cael Jacobs

Oh, sure. It says that *now*, but you just wait: it's going to sneak online when you're gone for your evening walk; soon, it'll be pretending not to run properly so you'll be forced to take the bus to work, leaving it free to jump on the 'net and announce itself to the world for hours on end.

Next thing you know, it's going to get something pierced or tatooed. -- D. Joseph Creighton

I have a theory about Solaris.

The week that Sun suddenly decided to turn their nice, happy, BSD Unix that worked and was in wide use by universities everywhere into a so-called "Enterprise System" (which apparently entailed turning it into a hostile and buggy System V-based creature) yea verily, that *very week*, Fry's in San Jose was having a spectacular sale on Malaysian Crack Monkeys, with stupendous volume discounts, so Sun bought 300 dozen gross as the development team.

"Notes: it's enough to make a grown admin weep piteously and pray for an untimely death, and then just start swinging at anything that's pointy-haired and moving."
Chris "Saundo" Saunderson
I must confess that, being long-time familiar with the Antipodean meaning of "rooting", i had a real problem when i first became aware of "Roto-rooter".

For a brief and horrible moment, I imagined a device produced by the Westheimer Dildonics Corporation[1], designed as a snap-on fitment for hammer-action Hiltis and Makitas.

Actually, we have scientifically determined that Heisenberg did indeed sleep exactly here. However, we have no idea whatsoever just how fast asleep he was.
Dave Aronson
Re: naming a system 'babylon4'

Dunno, I've never had a server stolen and taken back in time to help in a great war against the forces of darkness.
-- John Burnham

Really? Huh. For me, it's the only thing that makes sysadminning worthwhile, some days.
-- Q

Wouldn't you love to fill out *that* report? "Company asset #423423 was lost while fighting the forces of evil."
-- Chris Adams

Windows is the answer, but only if the question was 'what is the intellectual equivalent of being a galley slave?'
Larry Smith, in comp.os.linux.misc
It is possible to cause a Mac to fail to boot by corrupting preference files. Sometimes, the Mac does this for you.

The MacOS is robust only in the sense that a 400-pound lard-arse pro wrestler can be described as `robust'.

Rodger Donaldson
Luservation, n: Dialogue between two or more lusers about subjects which they are complete ignorant of, and oblivious to. See "blathering".
Stephen S. Edwards
I can feel a slight breeze, as the vacuums in their heads pull away the air around me. I can smell the stench of feces oozing from their mouths, with every syllable of a word spoken. I liken the experience to being in a field filled with manure; the wind wisping the odor into my nostrils. I gag for fresh air, but to no avail. The spewing luser-manure mocks my breathing... as I drift into unconsciousness, I scream


with my last conscious breath. Then I dream of a world where idiots are hunted like wild pigs, and people like me have a vast array of weaponry[2] at their disposal.

Stephen S. Edwards
I've pondered the possible use of Runes for setting initial passwords.

"Your new password is Hagalaz Ehwaz Raido Nauthiz Ansuz Berkana Jera. You must change it the first time you log on. For security reasons your new password must not contain more than one Kano, Teiwaz or Algiz. and cannot contain the Blank Rune"

Starting your usenet experience with this group is like starting your drug experiences with 500 mikes of acid with an amphetamine chaser.
Rebecca Ore
In the simplest terms, you do not carry the familiar stench of not-particularly-well-repressed anger, cynicism and angst that the BOsFH recognize each other by. You have the chirpy piping voice of someone who is not quite smart enough yet.
Steve VanDevender
We are not gentle tolerant people. We like drastically effective solutions.
Steve VanDevender
"Hi, we're a group of ominous looking people who happen to deal with way too much spam. We'd like to wander aimlessly around your house discussing vivid images of what should be done to spammers, their families and casual acquaintences, and make veiled threats as to the future of your limbs (attached or not), animals and the insertion of farming implements into your orifices".
Chris "Saundo" Saunderson
Amy, I think you're going to earn a place as our Official ASR Sysadmin's Chum. In a secondary, particularly bloody-minded sense of the word.
Steve VanDevender
Well, BackOffice is what Microsoft laughingly call an I-commerce/intranet package. Think of IIS. Now get yourself out of the fetal position, and think of IIS doing not just web and FTP, but mail, remote admin, file sharing, secure transactions...

At this point it's likely you need medical help. Remain calm, don't try to move or speak. An ambulance is on its way.

Joe Thompson
I was screaming when I wrote this,
So HUP if it runs to slow.
I was booting an elisp kernel,
And boy did it ever blow.
The system says it's fine,
It'll boot up any day.
But I know it's dying,
And we're all going to really pay.
Say, say, boot V M Unix dot E L out of time!
For tongight it's going to run like it's 1959.
Paul Mc Auley
"Lotus Notes for Dummies" is surely a single page pull out with "don't" printed on it.
Re: lusers

They're only floundering and helpless when trying to get you to do stuff for them. It's an act. Actually they are scheming little fsckers, and nothing fascinates them as much as some person playing with them by giving them clues and mocking them.

Chris Johnson
Give a luser a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a luser to fish and he'll bug you for life:

"My bait's not working, but I haven't changed anything!"
"The river's gone down. Fix it!"
"Why is the net so slow today?"
-- Malcolm Ray

"I keep on getting my line caught on myself - why is it so hard to fish ?"
"Can I surf the river ?"
"I fell in the river and now I'm all wet - fix things so that I don't get wet when I fall in"
"Why can't the fish just jump out of the river into my frying pan ? It would make fishing so much easier"
"What is a fish ?"
"I can't fish" (which could be anything from not having a fishing rod to using a brick for bait).
-- Simes

Light a fire for a luser and he'll be warm for a night; set a luser on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.
-- fun

Give a man dynamite and soon the village will be showered with mud and rocks and unrecognisable bits of fish.
-- Peter Gutmann

Re: 'plural plural' vs. 'singular plural'

Think set of sets, eg

sheep, flock, flocks
person, people, peoples
bogon, bogons, microsoft

Kirrily re: the Australian National Anthem

Our land abounds in nature's gifts
Of beauty rich and rare.

Now that's a decidedly interesting way of putting `lethal snakes and spiders'.

When they turn up in our lusers offices or, if at all possible, underwear, then yes, I'ld say a lethal snake or spider is a beautiful gift of nature.
-- Bram 'mouser' Smits

You may remember that I posted something regarding Sun Professional Services. After a mild larting from my not-so-PH-boss, I am here to say that Sun Professional Services is the absolute Avatar of Computational Consulting Services. NOTHING they do could be improved upon.

And they absolutely do NOT take postings from the monastery and forward them to people you work with. Never. After all, why should they take postings from places that ARE OBVIOUSLY MEANT TO BE USED FOR BLOWING OFF STEAM, NOT FOR ASKING FOR BLOODY HELP.

Nope. Not SPS. Other lesser consulting firms, maybe. But don't even think about SPS doing such a thing.

Anonymous (duh!)
Re: Writing Solid Code

I still think buying a book of that title from Microsoft Press would be like buying a handbook for humanitarians from Pol Pot.

Paul Tomblin
I have to agree though, showing a misbehaving machine one of it's brethren in pieces, in pain, and in trouble seems to make them behave.

Swearing at them, bleeding into them and showing them their fates - three of the tenets of sysadminning.

Chris "Saundo" Saunderson
> I still haven't found the right problem to learn perl over...

Your essential mistake here is that you seek such a program. This is self-defeating Zen. When the time is right, the right program will quietly make _itself_ known to you.

Bless and smite. Yes! Perl already has _bless_, and we know what it does, right? Perl should also have _smite_, and we know what it should do, too. If more languages had _smite_ implemented, the remaining programmers would be better than the current average.
Mike Andrews
I like that one... especially as I do frequently throw my head into a state where it stops perceiving time as linear, and starts perceiving it as infinite.
-- Thorfinn

Oh, you've been to our "team" meetings then?
-- marc donovan

I've found an axe can do a lot for a paper-mangling printer. Especially if you shout for one at the top of your voice, and then a cow orker brings you said instrument.

Suddenly, no more paper jams.

>I'd imagine anyone who couldn't handle a translation from any
>format into one they wanted shouldn't be reading here.

I'd agree except that some people here have odd tastes in humor. It would not surprise me greatly to see something placed up in a truly perverted format last seen on some arcane coal-burning monstrosity that fortunately never left its home in Outer Elbonia...

Joseph> Win 3.x, Luse95, Virus98, Trojan2000.
                                  ^^^^^^^^^^ This must be a misnomer.
IIRC, trojans are seamless methods to confine a gooey mess to allow intense activity to occur safely. Their failure is rare and surprising, and a cause for great consternation. OTOH, using W2K means you are confined in an unseemly gui mess that seems determined to prevent intense activity. It fails regularly, especially during intense activity, to no-one's great surprise. It is not an event of great consternation, since no-one of any sense does anything mission-critical on NT.
Paul Joslin
Well, that's a whole 'nother thread by now, and I don't want to tangle too many threads in one place. Being called a Usenet Kitten would be embarrassing.
To rephrase, spam is not the answer. Spam is the question. Death is not the answer, but pretty close to it.
"In a small way, Windows NT is a Unix." -Bill Gates

Because of the way it resembles something decent that's been emasculated?

Debating unix flavors in the context of anything Microsoft is like talking about which ice cream flavor tastes least like sawdust with turpentine sauce.
[The thread so far : someone found a spammer, send almost-block-text "please kill this person" message to abuse. Almost-block-text section spells "Omydl" and it is suggested that this spell something.]

"Omydl", pron. "Turn this spammer into a high protein animal feed slurry".

Chris "Saundo" Saunderson
Verbogeny is one of the pleasurettes of a creatific thinkerizer.
Peter da Silva
fools are reliant
on POSIX compliant
buzzword encumbered
ever renumbered
bloated behemoths.
resource extremists
from those software pornographers
named by cartographers
as Redmond -
 or Armonk -
  or Cupertino.
take your choice sisters and brothers
"They all suck, some worse than others".
While preceding your entrance with a grenade is a good tactic in Quake, it can lead to problems if attempted at work.
C Hacking
[Debating the proper spawning of child processes (aka BOFHlets)]

If that's the fork(2), what is the exec(2)? It seems to me that
the fork(2) was the better part of a year ago, and the exec(2) just
-- Anthony DeBoer

Wouldn't you say it was actually a vfork(2), given that parent and child
shared an address space until the exec(2)?
-- Ben

I wish you'd tell me what kind of systems they're using instead, because HP can't be doing much worse than Sun "would you like the compiler or internet options with that" Microsystems, or Silicon "hey be glad the support-contract number isn't a 1-900" Graphics. Then there's Digital "It sucks in 64 bits, you can't suck in 64 bits anywhere else" Equipment Corp (Did we mention it's 64 bits?).
Don Kitchen
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/brew start
Juhana Siren
Is it just me, or does anyone else here find it vaguely unsettling that you get your theology from Star Trek?
-- Anthony DeBoer

Yeah, he should get it from B5 like us normal people.
-- Paul Tomblin

You can't remotely manage an etch-a-sketch.
-- Peter da Silva

Oh, I dunno... I reckon you could do it pretty well. All you'd need is a beefy vibrating pager attached/built-in to the etch-a-sketch. Instant remote management...
-- Peter Williams

The correct way to roll NT out is out the door and into the nearest Dempster Dumpster or other large waste receptacle.
Mike Andrews
In actuality, [Romeo & Juliet]'s an awful lot like the average sysadmin job. Sure, it looks really sweet at first, and there are always laughs to be had every payday, but it's all death and tears in the end.
Erik Nielsen
Asked whether Microsoft could threaten Linux, Torvalds said: "What can they do? What is the Microsoft threat? They certainly can't program around us. The only other thing they can do is marketing, and sure, let them try."
From the .sig file of Gus Hartmann
In fact, I think "Hello Kitty, Destroyer of Worlds" would be a very appropriate name for a cruise missile.
Collin Forbes
If JavaScript is walking alone late at night through a bad part of town with a pocket full of $20 bills, ActiveX is dropping your trousers in the middle of the yard of a maximum-security prison, bending over, and yelling 'Come and get it, boys!'
I managed to out-cool even the disgustingly cool people normally found at the cafe I went to, without trying. I'm assuming it was the IETF draft I was reading, because nothing else really accounts for it.
Kirrily 'Skud' Robert
Here in Alabama, USA we've just acquired the new area code "256" which means that some lucky (and probably unappreciative) bastard will get


Which has simply got to be the coolest damn phone number I can imagine.
-- David McNett

Can i dial 1-255-255-255255 and make every phone in the world ring?
-- Tanuki

Now, I like power tools as much as the next guy.

But if vi is a perfectly-serviceable five-blade Swiss Army Knife, and GNU Emacs is a 450hp twin-turbo five-speed four-barrelled-carb Leatherman/1974 Cadillac Coupe De Ville hybrid with leather seats, TECO is a 22-inch Husqvarna from 1948 that's been running continuously since then except that pouring in gasoline just DIDN'T HAVE ANY EFFECT after a while so it's been fed only a steady diet of lusers' blood and amphetamine-crazed weasels for a couple years, and it doesn't have any safety guard at all, and in fact the handle's missing so you just have to grab onto the motor and hope it doesn't burn you too badly or slice your legs off before you can use it to do what you needed to do and then throw it as far as possible hoping once again that no dangling body parts get in its way.

The problem with people whose minds are in the gutter is that they keep blocking my periscope.
Peter Gutmann
On the 012th day of September my luser sent to me:

Eighty lines of WINMAIL.DAT
Forty lines of PGP\PUBKEY.ASC
Ten lines of Content-type: application/msword; name=LIGHTBULB.DOC
Six lines of VCARD.DXF
Five lines of quoted-printable HTML
Four lines of embedded URLs.
Three lines of MIME headers
Two lines of Re:RE:(fwd)Re:
And a one line email help request!

Peter da Silva
I used to be convinced that MicroSquish shipped crap becase they simply didn't give a flying fuck as long as the sheep kept buying their shit. Now, I'm convinced that MicroSquish really does ship the best products they are capable of writing, and *that's* tragic.
Keeping UUCP running is starting to seem a lot like keeping a 130-year-old man who smokes 4 packs a day on life support because he's the last person on Earth who knows how to do the cha-cha, but he won't tell anyone.
Ryan Tucker
Microsoft is a cross between The Borg and the Ferengi. Unfortunately they use Borg to do their marketing and Ferengi to do their programming.
Simon Slavin
Windows has detected that a gnat has farted near your computer. Press any key to reboot.
Simon Oke
...when walking into an ASR gathering, you first mention to the lovely hostess that you're there for the meeting of the Camel and the Bat. And when she looks at you as if you've just made it on to her list of "most likely to be motivated primarily by controlled substances", you *then* ask her where the gathering of computer-wonkish-yet-strangely-vicious-seeming people is. And she points the rest of the group out, way the hell back in the corner, backs to the wall, with suspicious looks on their faces, and the air of being about to leap out of their chairs and do something messy yet satisfying to the rest of the human herd.

You've found the admins.

Carl Jacobs
I don't consider NT/Win network maintenance adminning at all.

Daily multiple performance of the single finger flip of the power switch to at least get the piece of crap that masquerades as an OS to a level of something approaching stability (unless the gnats are around, and for a very weird #define of stability) is what I call it. Of course, I'm not at work right now, so I'm a little more mellow about it.

Chris Saunderson
[2] Like my intelligent vorpal weapon, which had a penchant for argument and a willingness and ability to turn on and off its special powers, depending on whether I had been being nice to it of late. Basically it was pissy all the time because I was a lawful character and it was chaotic. Every time we went into combat I had to convince it that killing them there creatures would greatly advance the cause of chaos, while fending off questions about why I'd want to do it, then, what with being lawful and all.
-- Carl Jacobs

Damn, this sounds just like my NT machine here at work.
-- Henrik

Also, it was shaped sort of like a big gonzo potato-peeler.
-- Carl Jacobs

Oh, it's a Compaq...
-- Henrik

Take note of the toes you step on today as they may be connected to the ass you have to kick tomorrow.
PC's are designed by a committee of people who are in different companies
in different countries and who never talk to each other. -- Derick Siddoway

And nobody speaks the same language and they hate each other... -- Chris Adams

When computers emit smoke, it means they've chosen a new Pope. Unfortunately, they invariably choose the wrong one and immediately get condemned to nonfunctionality for heresy.
Anthony DeBoer
I imagine that playing with one's genital piercings while waiting for a client's disk to fsck or something would probably not be appropriate.
People who love sausages, respect the law, and work with IT standards shouldn't watch any of them being made.
Peter Gutmann
Cmdmt. XI: Thou shalt not inflict upon me thy useless prattlings, for I thy God am a busy God.
Joe Thompsonn
Re : ex-teamster, ex-nun potential PFY

...she can use the nun training to guilt the lusers after LARTing them: "Did you think Jesus died for your sins so you could fsck with the laser printer?"

Paul Joslin
"I'm sorry, I can't be a Jehovah's Witness, as I didn't see Jehovah's accident." -- Chris Suslowicz

"So, when will Jehova's marriage take place?" -- Niels

"So you're one of Jehovah's Witnesses. I'm Cthulhu's defence lawyer - prepare for cross-questioning" -- Tanuki

Simulated editor war, conducted by seasoned professionals in a controlled environment. Dont try this at home.
Christian Bauernfeind
It is the fact that someone could wind up using the phrase 'Because I was there, bitch' in a discussion about a computer that wants more than anything to be friendly and warm and fuzzy that makes me feel that the Internet is the greatest thing ever introduced to human communication.
Jeff Vogel regarding the iMac
Bleh. If I ever witness such a thing I'll become Amish, I swear.
-- Caton Little

"All right son, get up to your room. That's it, I've had it, you are Amish, young man. For the rest of this weekend. Did you hear me? Amish! And don't come down till you've made some noodles and raised a barn."
-- Joe Thompson

There's a staff who does nothing but imagine the worst possible circumstances all day, and then implement plans to circumvent them.
-- Gus Hartmann

I think we have the opposite. Staff who does nothing but imagine the worst possible circumstances all day, and then implement them.
-- Calle Dybedahl

Re : a luser who actually did it

I ask you lot, as experts in kicking people in the nuts, do you ever pause in the middle of doing so and ask the victim for a favour? Do you get indignant if they are somewhat less than ethusiastic about performing that favour seeing as how you asked for it right after savaging them once and and right before savaging them again?

Paul Tomblin
I am now taking bets on when this planet will reach its window manager event horizon. At some distant point in the future some sort of alien life-form is going to land on this planet and find everything dead except for a lone Sparcstation in an abandoned building waiting for a consignment of small lemon-soaked Motif widgets to be loaded.
Peter Gutmann
SMTP is cute, fluffy and goes Woof! When well treated she wags her tail, licks your face and delivers your mail. When badly treated by spammers or people running exchange/<insert other pseudo-SMTP systems here>/etc she tends to bite back.
Simon Burr
NT is the only OS that has caused me to beat a piece of hardware to death with my bare hands.
Derry Hamilton
Yea, tho I walk thru the valley of the shadow of clues, I shall fear no luser, for Thou lart with me, Thy chicken and Thy manual, they comfort me.
Dave Aronson
Nahh, that impending sound of doom is just the blades on my leatherman locking.
Luser is always a luser. You can't educate them. That's not what God invented education for. That's what Simon invented LART for.
Vadim Vygonets
Lusers. Can't live with 'em, can't run 'em over in the car park and make it look like an accident...
Chris King
The three "R"s of Microsoft support:

-- Mark Atwood

You forgot one: Repeat
-- Lars Balker Rasmussen

Some drink from the Fountain of Knowledge... Others just gargle.
-- Dave Aronson

And some pee in it.
-- moc.oohay

Is there a tape drive that isn't a DLT that doesn't suck dead weasels through a lint-clogged dryer hose?
Peter da Silva
"I have cut another $20,000 from the project. Instead of using ISDN PRIs, Cisco routers and the PM3, we will now use empty soup cans and string to communicate. At a later time I propose we upgrade to long flexible tubing so that we may shout our requests to eachother. We will hire a temp from a staffing agency to act as a 'repeater'. When the distance exceeds a usable signal, she/he will write down our requests and re-yell them to the recipient."
Matt Lammers
Imperial Star Destroyers? with Serial ports? -- Siggi B

What else did R2D2 plug himself into? -- rleach

The central vacuum cleaner system. Even 'droids need a little thread-that-shall-not-be-named from time to time. -- Joel Herda

O'Reilly's book about running W95 has a frog as the cover animal. Makes sence; both have lots of warts and croak all the time. -- Michael Kagalenko

And NT Backup and Recovery (or something along those lines anyway) has a hyena...rather appropriate, I would say. -- Jeff McAdams

And as I've said before, WinNT in a Nutshell has a picture of a Short- Toed Eagle. The colophon states "Eagles are grasping killers", which could describe NT's effect on system performance quite nicely... -- Chris King

All cats purr at 28hz.

I think your cats need tuning - according to a couple of quick measurements on a recently calibrated reference cat, the dominant frequency of a correctly adjusted cat should be 12Hz +/-20%.

Lionel Lauer
M$ Cat 1.0 would be big and bloated, with sharp claws and a bad attitude.

It would crap all over the place without warning, and make a big mess on the floor.

It would tear you to shreds even if you feed it with M$-approved cat food and give it toys on the CCL (Catware Compatibility List).

M$ recommends that Cat 1.0 be upgraded to Cat 2.0 after three months to eliminate the toilet training problems, but you'll also need to buy a bigger basket for it to sleep in.

Cat 2.0 will also need a Sexuality Downgrade (also known as "neutering") to stop it producing illegal copies of Cat 1.0.

Chris King
If I wanted to kill a battleship, I'd use a shitload of Harpoons. -- Paul Tomblin

NT is a lot cheaper. -- Petro

NT is a one-legged cow, but even a one legged cow is fast when it's got 160+ rockets strapped to it. -- Nick Manka

But that's not that impressive if all you can make it do is go around in circles. -- Darrell Fuhriman

The only truly safe "embedded system" is the system that has an axe embedded in it...
He knows all about using Microsoft Word or Excell, and this makes him a skilled computer support person. (The fact that he should be accompanied everywhere by an escort of police motorcycles with sirens warbling "LUSERluserLUSERluserLUSER ..." notwithstanding.)
Especially when some fscker specifies *one* dongle between *two* flailover[3] systems.

[3] So-called because when one goes down, it flails about until the other goes down with it.

Rodger Donaldson
If you plug a luser on life-support into an NT box, start printing cheques from the payroll package on the same box, strap a buttered cat to it, and chuck it off a building, what happens? -- Peter Morrison

Microsoft's version of software testing.
And a pissed off cat.
-- Rand()

All programs evolve until they can send email. -- Richard Letts

Except Microsoft Exchange. -- Art

Re: Charlie Stross' example of marketing gibberish

Can someone familiar with the current state of marketing gibberish in corporate America please translate this into words of one syllable for me?

"Our product sucks"
-- Abigail

Re: alt.sysadmin.recovery

A fitting punishment for kindly naivete, to end up belonging here.

Chris Johnson
Lucky Charms with Bailey's...the true Irish breakfast.
Daniel Macks
"The Transplant Wizard is preparing your body for the installation of a new bowel... please wait".

"Do you wish to make a backup copy of your existing bowel? [Y/N]"

"Installation proceeding.. 50%.. 60%.. 70%..."

"ERROR! Insufficient space left in abdominal cavity. Delete kidneys to create space?"

AFAIR, being insane is usually a pre-requisite for becoming a sysadmin. In the few cases where it's not pre-requisite, it's certainly going to be a bonus.
SIggi the Underpaid
The reason I read (and very occasionally post to) asr is because I have found no other group that understands (and indeed revels in) the fact that any clued-in professional in a technical field will eventually be surrounded on all sides: clueless end-users on one side, clueless hardware and software vendors on the other, with clueless management charging over the hill. This occurs regardless of your field, from Unix sysadmin to hardware technician to technical writer to software developer.
Christian Wagner
If this is UI, welcome to the real world. That cave must have been cramping.
Shawn K. Quinn
A reading from the Book of Armaments, Chapter 4, Verses 16 to 20:

Then did he raise on high the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, saying, "Bless this, O Lord, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy." And the people did rejoice and did feast upon the lambs and toads and tree-sloths and fruit-bats and orangutans and breakfast cereals ... Now did the Lord say, "First thou pullest the Holy Pin. Then thou must count to three. Three shall be the number of the counting and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither shalt thou count two, excepting that thou then proceedeth to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the number of the counting, be reached, then lobbest thou the Holy Hand Grenade in the direction of thine foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it."

Monty Python, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail"
It might not be practical, it might not be a good idea, but it could work. Sort of like Windows.
The Microsoft Torque Wrench: what do you want to shear today?
Malcolm Ray
Re: MS' rules for creating 8.3's out of "long filenames"

Rules? There are *rules* for this? And there was I thinking it just inserted a few random characters based on your cat's star-sign, the number of milliseconds since your last bowel movement, and the instantaneous value of the Dow Jones Index!

Nothing M$ makes is _that_ accurate.

Tanuki, Shawn Latimer
Re: Exchange's mailbox format

I hope that's not UI -- but the proper term is a "Jet database", accessed through the "Jet engine". A fitting name, considering that it sucks and blows.

we were a Win3.11 shop, I had to upgrade everyone to Lose95,

ITYM "downgrade everyone to Lose95"

If you want to be nit-picky about it, "anally reamed everyone with Lose95".

Ed Powell, Tanuki, Ed Powell
Hey, does anybody else hear that giant sucking sound? That's my will to live....
Justin Lowe
SprintLINK makes proton decay look fast.
Jude Charles Giampaolo
Any product designed to lure those who would not normally use it is guaranteed to be a total wanker of a product.
Lamont Lucas
I must admit that Micro$oft does seem to bear an awful resemblence to the Sirius Cybernetic Corporation. Considering that my attempts at using Word always resulted in something almost, but not quite, entirely unlike a document.
Rich Kaszeta
[Tivoli] : The thrill one gets from getting them to work at all helps to mask the fact that it didn't do what you wanted at all
Paraphrase from HHGTTG
Phone: Ring! Ring!
Me: 220 Home sendmail ready at Tue, 14 Nov 95 11:44:50 CST.
Them: 'Ehlo!
Me: Huh?
Them: Hello!
Me: 312.555.1234 Hello 312.555.4321, nice to meet you.
Them: Uh, this is a call for Abby.
Me: 250.
Them: Uh, it's from J. Random Caller.
Me: 250.
Them: Data.
Me: Okay, start your call now and end by hanging up the phone....
Abby Franquemont-Guillory
On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.
Charles Babbage
Contrary to popular belief, Unix is user friendly. It just happens to be very selective about who its friends are.
Kyle Hearn
Today I got to meet someone who had put their disk, naked, in a backpack, with a LIVE CAT. The cat had mauled the metal cover, managed to separate the plastic shell of the disk, and played with it. Of course, she wanted to know if we could recover her files.

Fortunately, someone who was not required by their job to be really friendly to the lusers got to laugh loudly at her first...

Yonatan Zunger
Can you SysAdmins tell me what might go on in a typical day?

Hours of endless frustration punctuated by moments of sheer terror.

Saul Tannenbaum
A Sysadmin Haiku :

Coffee. Black. Hot. Strong.
Coke gets spewed from nose to screen.
Down and not across.

Nick Cuccia
Surely the 4 sysadmins of the apocalypse should be:

edquota, rm -rf, kill -9, and shutdown

Rob Blake
What about the four lusers of the apocalypse?

I nominate:
"advertising", "can't log in", "power switch" and "what backup?"

Alistair Young
Concerning collective nouns for Sysadmins...
An armeggedon of sysadmins.

Which, of course, makes me think of the Four Sysadmins of the Apocalypse...

Greed, Envy, Lust and Sloth?

I'll be sloth.

What about the other three venal sins? Avarice, hate, and...oooooh...what the 7th one?

Not refilling the printer after using the last of the paper?

Several Readers of a.s.r
Word of the Day : autodarwinate
Stephen Hocking
Sysadmin Olympics :
  1. 10-base-T Cable Tracing (you'd know what I mean if you saw our site!)
  2. LUser Avoidance (100 yard race to the bathroom while outmaneuvering LUsers)
  3. UNIX SUDO wars (four people cuthroat combat..no fair using sudo csh)
  4. Vendor Poker (try to figure out which vendor is NOT bluffing)
  5. Find the correct backup tape (I know it's amongst these unlabeled DAT tapes in my desk)
  6. System disk recovery (Without a valid backup on a disk with a headcrash, see above)
  7. Write system configurations manual, without technical words.
  8. Guess what the Luser is really typing (see the csh> cd tilda or $set def sysdollarsystem or csh> VI DOTRHOSTS)
Several Readers of a.s.r
I've gone through over-stressed to physical exhaustion... what's next?


Simon Burr & Kyle Hearn

10. New seats would require everyone to have the same butt size.
9. We'd all have to switch to Microsoft Gas.
8. The U.S. government would get subsidies from an automake-a first.
7. The oil, alternator, gas and engine warning lights would be replaced by a single 'General Car Fault' warning light.
6. Sun Microsystems would make a car that was solar-powered, twice as reliable, five times as fast, but ran on only 5% of the roads.
5. You would be constantly pressured to upgrade your car.
4. You could have only one person in the car at a time, unless you bought Car 95 or Car NT-but then you would have to buy more seats.
3. Occassionally your car would die for no apparent reason and you would have to restart it. Strangely, you would just accept this as normal.
2. Every time the lines on the road were repainted, you would have to buy a new car.
1. People would get excited about the new features of Microsoft cars, forgetting that the same features had been available from other carmakers for years.

A recent issue of Information Week
He's wandering the wilds of West Buttfsck, administering a little personal attention to Jenny L. User [family motto: "My ISBN isn't working"].
K.T. Wiegman
I think the entire MS Mail thing can be summed up as a large, bloated, beached blue whale that has been dead for a week and is now really stinking up the entire coast, with the stench trying its best to make its way to the jet stream and overcome tons and tons of uninvolved, distant innocents who live nowhere near anyplace whales go to die.
Abby Franquemont-Guillory
When I first started working with sendmail, I was convinced that the cf file had been created by someone bashing their head on the keyboard. After a week, I realised this was, indeed, almost certainly the case
My take on all this is pretty simple: in a country where it is considered a normal, sane and fun recreational activity to strap two greased sticks to your feed and throw yourself down the side of a friggin' mountain, nobody has the right to call *my* minor peccidillos "unsafe."
Nathan J. Mehl
Clues seem to seep out of lusers faster than you can LART them back in.
Simon Burr

Modern operating system carefully crafted to prevent administrators from shooting themselves in the foot[1].

[1] Interestingly, most utilities have a command line option which will cause the system to rip the user's legs off and beat them to death with the soggy ends. This is often the default behaviour.

Bruce Murphy
Although as Boston's Computer Museum moves into the mainstream (read: succumbs to WWW hype) the general quality of their famed bowl of buttons has diminished, I managed to pull these gems out:

(1) You are in the presence of a system administrator. KNEEL.

(2) SCSI is *not* magic. There are fundamental technical reasons why it is necessary to sacrifice a young goat to your SCSI chain now and then.

Daniel M. Drucker
When you say 'I wrote a program that crashed Windows', people just stare at you blankly and say 'Hey, I got those with the system, for free'
Linus Torvalds
kill -9 them all, let reboot -rf now sort them out
Peter Gutmann
'Windows for Dummies'; says it all, really.
Gary Barnes
When you need a helpline for breakfast cereals, it's time to start thinking about tearing down civilisation and giving the ants a go.
Chris King
| <- You must be smarter than this stick to ride the Internet
Mike Handler, paraphrased from Bev White
Life...it's like a box of chocolates. A cheap, thoughtless perfunctory gift that nobody ever asks for. Unreturnable because all you ever get back is another box of chocolates. So you're stuck with this undefinable whipped mint crap that you mindlessly wolf down when there's nothing else left to eat. Sure once in a while there's a peanut butter cup or an English toffee but they're gone too fast and the taste is fleeting. You end up with nothing but broken bits filled with hardened jelly and teeth-shattering nuts. If you're desperate enough to eat those, all you've got left is an empty box filled with useless brown paper wrappers.
Cigarette-Smoking Man, _X Files_
Monday. Not just another day; a never ending spiral to Hell. (With a stop in Cleveland.)
Mark P. Beckman
If you can't take a little bloody nose, maybe you ought to go back home and crawl under your bed. It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross. But it's not for the timid.
-- Q discussing UseNet with Picard in "Q Who"
Alister (alister@theoffice.net)
root# su bofh
Good morning, Dave.
bofh* echo 'THANK luser4 FOR WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT.' | wall; rm -rf /
Joel Maslak
Concerning lusers and disk space...

They are like a gas in equilibrium with a big rerservoir in the fluid phase. No matter how much space they get the pressure never decreases.

Wolfgang Schelongowski
jpmg@eng.cam.ac.uk (Patrick Gosling) writes:
>An erupting volcano was attached to the net? Hmmmmm, strange images
>in my mind now.

For shame. "Was"? AOL is *still* connected to the net.

Jason Lindquist
The old "give 'em a Linux box and they think they're Jean-Luc Picard" syndrome.
Pete Bentley
Microsoft MUST have a very good idea of what decent and effective design is. How else can you explain their uncanny avoidance of good design all the time?

If you were making stuff up at random, some good design would creep in, somehow, somewhere. You might even end up with something that could be hacked into a reasonable too. But Microsoft manages to hit the target marked "CRAP" each and every time...

Dan Holdsworth
ThisemailhasbeenbroughttoyoubyJOLTCola, favoredbyssysadmins,netadminsandprogrammerseverywhere. JOLTCola--forallthesugarandtwicethecaffine(R).
Mark P. Beckman
I've found that things like "If you change even one configuration setting and your system ceases to function, or functions in a manner other than expected, our support staff will laugh at you in the sinister manner of Joseph Stalin just before he enslaved eastern Europe" helps to draw peoples attention to essential details like this.
Edward Grimm
SysAdmin is always right, I will listen to SysAdmin. I will not ignore SysAdmin's recommendations. SysAdmin is god. And if this ever happens again, SysAdmin will personally rip your lungs out!
You know the sort of thing, they ask you if you've implemented shadow passwords but don't know their /dev/arse from their /etc/elbow.
Chris King
Ignorance is bliss, and when it comes to computing, I want everyone to be happy...
Ryan Tucker

(Misunderstanding Godwins law for fun and profit since 1987)

Paul Tomblin
The Strong Lusethropic Principle states: "The more idiot proof the software, the more it encourages the user to be careless and not think. Therefore, idiot-proof software actually encourages, contributes, and actually CAUSES lusers to be stupid."

The Weak Lusethropic Principle states: "As more idiot-proof software becomes avalable, more idiots are able to use computers. Idiot-proof software did not make or cause computer lusers; it simple allowed lusers to use computers where they could not before."

Ben Cantrick
When I were a lad, if grandpa caught us double sigging, it's be straight to bed with no bread and butter after a good thrashing.
Peter Radcliffe
Sysadmins don't go to hell; we're already doing our time in purgatory.
Peter deFriesse
I think I'd like to see a Simpsons episode start up with Bart Simpson writing 'I will not attempt to undermine the Usenet cabal'.
J.D. Falk
This message brought to you by the letters 'X', 'e', 'r', 'o', 'x', 'c', 'r', 'a' and 'p'.
Alex McKay
adb@geac.com writes:
> Bill replies that he buys three regular
> cheeseburgers, tosses out two buns, and combines everything else into
> one monster burger. This of course cannot be eaten without making a
> huge mess.

This is so deeply analogous the way Microsoft produces software that it must be true.

Steve VanDevender
In other words, a policy that says 'We can't guarantee your privacy' will be interpreted in the same light that you might interpret a sign in a grocery store parking lot which says 'We can't be responsible for damage to vehicles caused by stray carts'. While both let you understand that there is a potential risk, it leads one to believe that the administrative body won't be actively out in the parking lot shoving carts into the side of your car.
Geoff Gerrietts
% rshock
Usage: rshock [voltage] [duration]
% rshock all Stop bloody phoning me with your stupid petty problems 1 500
BOFH Password:
Sent 1MV, 500ms shock to all hosts within network broadcast range.
Have a nice day.
Dalvenjah FoxFire
Anyway the :// part is an 'emoticon' representing a man with a strip of sticky tape across his mouth.
R. Douglas
Pete Krawczyk wrote :
> *sigh* Oh, how I wish lusers could read documentation more than they read
> porn...


"...and as she finally reached orgasm, she screamed 'the mail server will be down for three hours tonight! Yes! Oh, yes!'"

J.D. Falk
Security and MicroSoft :
"Bringing the world to your desktop - and your desktop to the world"
"The name doesn't go on until the insecurity goes in"
Peter Gutmann
My group's mission statement - "You want *what* ? By *WHEN* ?"
Simon Burr
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.
Mark Stapleton
Okay, so I have this coworker who believes that NT is God's Gift to Sysadmins.

There are lots of weird gods around, aren't they?

Yeah, he means Cthulu. That's the kind of OS he/she/it'd give as a gift.

Various Denizens
I work for an investment bank. I have dealt with code written by stock exchanges. I have seen how the computer systems that store your money are run. If I ever make a fortune, I will store it in gold bullion under my bed.
Matthew Crosby
An Emacs reference mug is what I want. It would hold ten gallons of coffee. -- Steve VanDevender

And, no doubt, have a lid that could only be removed with an obscure finger combination requiring both hands. (Ctrl-Alt-Meta-X gimme-the-damn-coffee) -- William Beegle

No, an Emacs reference mug would not just hold 10 gallons, not even just brew the coffee for you, it would grind it, roast it and grow it (not necessarily in that order). It would also sing the national anthem (which one? All of them - but it would check where it was first), play bagpipes and do the dishes.
Of course, no-one would ever have a big enough table to put it on and it would take forever to do anything, but those are minor bugs - you just need to upgrade your house. -- Chris Rovers

It's nice to be loved, but there's a lot to be said for CRINGING RESPECT
Anonymous button bin
I'm scared of TECO. I can use it to do some very simple things, but when you're dealing with a programmed editing tool where every character is a command, I don't care how smart you are, it's still brown-trousers time.
Mark 'Kamikaze' Hughes
What's the big deal? We'll all just filter CyberPromo IP's at our routers... -- Scott McDermott

ITYM "filter CyberPromo IPs at _their_ routers". HTH. HAND. -- Steve VanDevender

ITYM "filter CyberPromo IPs at the source, by getting a posse of BOFHs together, going 'round to Spamford's domicile, administering a gasoline enema, nailing him to a lit barbecue & then throwing pointy things at him as he writhes in mortal agony". HTH. HAND. -- Lionel Lauer

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.
Paul Tomblin
You have Lose95 to thank for providing the single message which strikes the greatest amount of dread into any human heart. Worse than "You have cancer", worse than "I'm pregnant[0]", worse than "You're going to need some root canal work", even worse than "This is Bertha, who'll be administering your enema", you have the dreaded "Windows has detected some new hardware".
Peter Gutmann
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 VanDevender
Re : Mail Transfer Agents

Qmail : a small office of neatly dressed clerks, delivering short clipped remarks to queries, and handling mail with a rude impersonality, except in the case of failiure where they let their hair down and have an after-hours beer and let you know about it, pointing to the pertinent header sections.

MMDF: A jumped up mailroom boy with a chip on his shoulder. Loves the bureaucracy and takes great pride in stamping "illegal address" in red ink on any mail it passes. Unpacks all the mail and repacks it in his own special envelopes before delivery to end users.

PP: MMDF gone mad with standards fever. Think "Brazil".

No, PP is... well, see, when it receives a letter, it chops it into small pieces, then translates bits of it using an English-Hungarian phrasebook and puts all the bits into various pigeon-holes. When it gets round to delivering the message, it collects all the bits, translates them back using a Hungarian-English phrasebook, tapes them together, and loses the letter. Some time later, you get a bounce message:

   ----- The following addresses had permanent fatal errors -----

   ----- Transcript of session follows -----
... while talking to bloat.example.com.:
>>> RCPT To:<luser@example.com>
<<< 550 My hovercraft is full of eels

PP is John Cleese.

Sendmail: Shiva as a postman. Many arms delivering mail, dancing, taking drugs, destroying as it sees fit. Often makes creative changes to the mail for kicks, but ultimately can be persuaded to do anything with the right incantation...and that includes giving you other people's mail.

VMail: No experience yet, but I'd guess something like a wisened old man sitting on the porch outside the postoffice. Looks at everyone who passes by with deep suspicion, but turns out to be friendly and helpful once he realises you're not there to rob the place.

Micro$oft IMC: The Scarlet Pimpernel of postmen. Hard to find, impossible to order about, but every once in a while it saves a piece of mail from disaster. Sometimes even with it's head(ers) intact.

cc:Mail SMTPLINK: A 5 year old child left in charge of a large sorting office. Can't reach over the counter properly, can't handle more than one letter at once and has to go looking for a grownup whenever it wants to deliver to mail to other towns. Often opens parcels to look for shiney things inside then just delivers the wrapping paper onwards.

cc:mail UUCPLINK: an insane madman sitting in a box. Mail is thrown into a box where unknown things happen to it.. sometimes mail actually leaves the box.. usually to be delivered to the administrator of a totally unrelated postoffice and containing a complaint that the madman could not find the recipient in his dark box and would you please contact the person with the key of the box. Of course, the only way to reach that person is by mail and even if the box is opened the madman cannot be pursuaded to actually send mail to unknown addressees to the person with the key anyway...

Gus, Pete Bentley, Malcolm Ray, Perry Rovers
Thanx to the media, Microslush, Apphole, Steve Knob and Bill Rakes, and all the other buzzword compliant digiwhores, I get to deal with fscking speed bump poster children, rather than with other competent graphics gurus like I used to.
Stoney Edwards
"Includes Adobe PageMaker. Now you can create layouts that look like you paid a professional!" No, now you can create layouts that look like you used a tool that a professional might have used, had you had the sense to pay him.

Our pens have been favored by professional writers for a full century! Now you, too, can own one of these fine pens, and write as well as they did!

Christopher R. Maden
Never meddle in the affairs of BOFHs, for we have no need of subtlety.
Look what sendmail just dragged in:

Ah, so if SMTP is a dog, does that imply that sendmail is a cat? It'd make sense, given that cats will often drag in nasty little dying things & drop them lovingly in front of you.

A female cat. Because sometimes, sendmail is a bitch.

Peter Dalgaard, Lionel Lauer and Bill Bradford
Perry Rovers quoting a luser : "I can't get the images I need for my project!".

"my project"? I've never heard wanking referred to in this manner before.

Paul Tomblin
Sysadmin Barbie! ISAGN. Complete with tiny pager, Leatherman, selection of LARTs, and makeup kit for that haven't-slept-in-3-days look. Death.net t-shirt not included. -- Malcolm Ray

"Hacking sendmail.cf is tough!" -- nuke

What's the nutritional content of a Bogon?  Wonder if they sell canned
Bogosity anywhere.  Would be an interesting label to read:

Calories: 0 Fat: ?

Cluefulness: 0% Disorientation: 100%

Ingredients: MS-Windows, Apple Lisa, Edsel, Hindenburg, Land war in Asia, Toxic Waste (for flavor). (No cluons were disturbed in the making of this product.)

Content information for a Win95 manual might tell you that the above is per serving, with an average of 666 servings per manual? (Contents may settle during shipment.)

Alex John
USER, n.:

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.
Paul Tomblin
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.'
Alex Priem
Managers are those lusers who can tell you what to do and you kinda[3] have to listen.

[3] I mean "kinda" in the "not really, in fact, not at all" mode.

Chris Saunderson
I believe that there is a special room in Tarterus reserved for Brian Eno, in which a Windows '95 machine constantly reboots itself, displays clouds, plays the Microsoft Sound, reboots, displays clouds, plays the Microsoft Sound, reboots...
Steve Conley
Vadim Vygonets writes:
>> Alan Connell (alan.connell@ces-cdr.beer) 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
>>Ever fill a 1000 megabyte partition with debugging logs?  Ever reached
>>your filesystem's limit on file size?  You will.
>"And the company that will bring it to you..."

  ....Microsoft, who thinks that /etc is a fine place for a root-owned
RADIUS process to dump its copious authentication logs.

  Have you ever had a frantic call from a luser who screams "my root
partition is 110% full, and this is all your fault?"

  You WILL.
>>Michael Driscoll, >Steve Conley, Ben Cantrick
It looks like the machines have figured out that I'm enjoying myself a little too much, though, as one is now having daily freakouts where it basically just starts shrieking "The network connections! All the network connections! AAAAAGH!" and curls up on the floor whimpering and catatonic for up to an hour about every day.
Steve VanDevender
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?

Bell Atlantic. If telecommunications were a prison, BA would be the 300-pound inmate who takes a certain..."liking" towards you.
The day I have to run that I know don't work, that the vendor knows don't work, and that the PHB ferverently believes with all the power of deep religion work better than anything else, is the day I become a sewer repairman. At least then the stench is honest.
Steve Conley
fenris@nospam.frob.ml.org wrote:
>Compare this to my school.  Colorado School of Mines

I read this as "Colorado School of Mimes," and my first reaction was:
*Nobody* needs to recover *that* much.
Ayse Sercan
All software sucks. Everybody is considered a jerk by somebody. The sun rises, the sun sets, the Sun crashes, lusers are LARTed, BOFHs get drunk. It is the way of things.
Steve Conley
101 unpleasant hangover experiences, number 72: trying to put your clothes on, and they won't stop moving by themselves. i hate that.
Tom Yates
Driscoll's Observation: The product of the IQs of each member of a tech-support conversation is a constant.
Michael Driscoll
In a previous article, longword@newsguy.com said:
>[0] Unless you count an ellipsis with an extra period, which would be
>being spectacularly pedantic.
Welcome to Usenet.  Have a nice day.
Paul Tomblin
What's it called when you split them down the chest, pull their ribcage apart, arrange their non-essential organs outside them, then wait for them to die? -- Nigel Williams

Resourcing labor assets to action the vision statement. -- Mark C. Langston

Ah, that would explain the bloodstains on our ISO9000 handbook.... -- Lionel Lauer

The only "intuitive" interface is the nipple. After that, it's all learned.
Bruce Ediger, in comp.os.linux.misc, on X interfaces
Apparently there is a Moscow -> Ulan Bator flight, however the airport at Ulan Bator freezes up every now and then. -- Chris Ebenezer

Have they tried rebooting? -- Joe Zeff

That's "Ulan Bator", not "Microsoft Lan Manager" -- Paul Tomblin

Hey! In the 7 years I ran LAN Manager, I almost never had to reboot. It always rebooted whenever it wanted. -- Carl Schelin

There is a style of design I call "wishful thinking engineering." It starts with something like "pigs can fly if you feed them enough beans" and develops utopian plans such as like having everyone commute to work riding on personal pigs, and along the way ignores minor details such as the consequent rain of the non-gaseous byproducts.
Vernon Schryver
Quoted-Printable: a standard for mangling Internet messages
Quoted-Unreadable: the result of applying said standard
Unquoted-Unprintable: the comments from the recipients of the above
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.
Reminds me of the feeling I get from my quicj perl hacks to do something - everything hardcoded, no command line options, etc. Just feels.... quick and dirty. Which for a perl hack isn't a bad thing - but for a finished commerical product? Especially one that microsoft is calling Enterprise capable? (whatever that means)

You need to re-watch some of the episodes in which the computer goes amok and Kirk and Spock have to regain control from it before it destroys the ship.

Chris Rovers, Anthony DeBoer
Especially one that microsoft is calling Enterprise capable? (whatever that means)

Translated from microsoftese that means roughly "until now our products annoyed the hell out of your systems administrators and about 10% of your users, and turned the other 90% in point'n'drooling vegetables, fucked up workstations and caused massive productivity loss, but now you can destroy your entire company by putting this product in the server room". I must admit, their version is shorter.

Chris Rovers, Bram Smits
Three servers for the admins under the influence of rye,
seven routers for the network techs in their halls of stone
Nine workstations for mortal lusers doomed to die
One NT box from the dark lord on his throne
in the land of Redmond where the shadows lie

One box to run them all, one box to blind them
one box to control them all and in the darkness grind them
from the land of Redmond where the shadows lie.
Bram Smits
How many people here have ever wanted to be able to tell a luser '"The customer is always right" is fine when the issue is whether you wanted extra mustard or no mustard, but does not apply when the customer in question just took a bulk magnet to his hard drive'?
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.
Simon Cozens
"It's 806 miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of coffee, half a fsckload of Y2K crap, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses."

"Hit it".

Security-wise, NT is a server with a "Kick me" sign taped to it.
Peter Gutmann
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
The day Micro$lop makes something that doesn't suck is probably the day they start making vacuum cleaners.
Ernst Jan Plugge
bing-bong. Brimish Rull regret that mumble maz bem dermumble a mir mumble mumble bimble late. Passengers mizzing to mumble rimble mumble are advised to momble mar at murmble. Thank you mor mumble mimbling Brimble mum. bing-bong.
Gaz on railway announcements
the best answer when anybody asks you if you're any good with explosives is to hold up two open hands and simply say "Ten".
Anthony DeBoer
ZENgineering: v. when you've looked at the obvious to solve a problem you start doing something completely different to fix it. Other examples of ZENingeering solutions are: rebooting the router the opposite side of the campus to where the lusers are reporting network problems (Tuesday). I have no idea what the ATM bridge/router was doing to affect the network. it's not even got anything plugged into the ethernet interfaces, and it only has one ATM port!
Alpha port's not as cool because DEC's in bed with you-know-who, *sigh*.

You misspelled "tied facedown over the whipping horse without benefit of lubricant".

float, Berry Kercheval
I would be rather disappointed to have Exchange Feet.

I could only take three steps before I plan carefully in advance the next three steps.

My feet would suddenly drop off at random times, whiz around the room and hide themselves somewhere. Meanwhile I either crawl about looking for my feet or painfully teeter around on stumps, falling constantly. Occasionally I'd bleed to death.

When getting new shoes, I'd have to get two pairs of the same style. I could never be sure that I'd have a right foot on my right leg and a left foot on my left leg. Sometimes this would be reversed or I'd have two of the same type of foot.

I would rue the day when the Toenail Wizard comes out. Among other things, the need to clip my toenails would be obviated. Of course, they wouldn't be clipped properly and I'd be cursed with ingrown toenails.

I'm not a hobbit, nor do I want to preview being one and please don't demo the foot hair on the sole either.

David Griffith
I've found that nurturing one's Zen nature is vital to dealing with technology. Violence is pretty damn useful too.
Lionel Lauer
This FPOS is the debilitating proof of the bitter necessity of having the word "Crapware" in one's vocabulary.
Ernst Jan Plugge
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
[It] contains "vegetable stabilizer" which sounds ominous. How unstable are vegetables?
Jeff Zahn
I figure I'll have about 30 kids and six or seven generations down the road I'll have my own fair-size nation to rule over. And when we get nukes, as we surely shall, we shall wage unlimited war against the Empire of Microsoft.
Joe "Barry G." Thompson
It must be too little caffeine in my bloodstream.

ITYM "too much blood in my caffeine stream". HTH. HAND.

scorpios, Art
I think that when they use NT for controlling their weapons, any place far away from strategic objects might exactly be the place where the first strikes hit.
The same people that tell you that a Linux program is as good as a WinNT program would also tell you it's better to wipe your ass with a belt sander instead of toilet paper. I can hear them now -- "It may not look as good but it's faster and does a more thorough job!
-- Anonymous Luser

Don't bother arguing with a Windows User. The same people that tell you that a Windows program is as good as a Linux program would also tell you it's better to wipe your ass with your bare friggin hand instead of toilet paper. I can hear them now -- "It might not work as well, it might piss you off, it might be a whole lot messier....but it's easier to learn, even a child can do it...and it's much more colorful!"
-- Brian J.S. Miller

My definition of a "Power User" (the l is silent and invisible) is somebody who successfully weasels the best and most powerful computers in the office, far better and bigger than the ones the productive staff are getting. He then uses all that massive power to spend his entire day tweaking the look and feel of his desktop and mac-dinking his documents, most of which are full of terrible grammar, spelling and incoherent thoughts that never-the-less made it past his state-of-the-art word processor's spelling and grammar check. It's usually just as well that his thoughts are incoherent because if you could understand them, you'd run screaming from the room. Regardless, because of his aura of superiority that his equally pointy haired bosses buy into, these incoherent ideas will become cast-in-concrete policy and no amount of counter arguments, factual refutation or ranting and raving will reverse. He will ask you for help to print his documents, every single time. He will demand his own personal laser printer because the shared one is too far to walk, and will get it because he'll justify it as a security requirement. Then he'll make you set it up for him. He'll run a screen saver that chews up all the processor power so you can't even run RC5 on his machine. Three days after the screen saver activates he'll ask you what the password is. He'll talk into his mouse thinking it's a microphone. He'll put all his files in the root directory because he doesn't know how to use subdirectories. When he fills up the root directory's file table, he'll buy another hard disk. He will continue this until he has a huge disk farm of disks with 127(?) files on each. His 24" super-duper monitor will be set up for 640x480 and 16 colours at 35Hz (Interlaced) because he didn't know that it's not set up to the 1600x1280, 24 bit at 100Hz that it's capable of. If you point this out to him he'll scoff at you and tell you why it only *looks* like it's misconfigured, but he likes it this way. Several days later he'll ask you to fix it for him. When you do, he'll complain that now all the letters are really little because he can't figure out how to increase font sizes. He'll ask you why he doesn't have an "any" key, and will try and order a new keyboard. He'll demand a 32x CD-ROM, then use it as a cup-holder. He'll order a tape backup system (in spite of the fact that you have networked backups), but never use it. He will fold a 5.25" floppy disk to put it in the 3.5" disk slot. He'll put a 3.5" floppy disk in the CD-ROM drive. He'll download software from pirate BBSes and infect his computer with a virus. In order to see if the software is infected, he'll load it onto the network file server, thereby infecting all the PCs on your network. Even though he knows nothing of the backup cycle, he'll magically know when the last uninfected backup has been sent off-site before he'll tell you about his problems.

He'll install Windows 98.

Paul Tomblin
...which gives the server a futuristic, serverish, 'Don't touch me, or I will put a printer up your ass!', kind of look.
Nir Soffer
...the Windows NT machines at work work much like the reannual wine of the Discworld. They reboot as a reaction to the crash they will have later that day.
There seem to be two kinds of linux users, those who come from a unix background and those who come from an ibm-pc background. You could call them "sysadmins" and "lusers".
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: a looney spammer

Have faith in Darwin... By the looks of it, this guy couldn't reproduce himself if he had an installation wizard.

Andreas Skau
A week in [MS Exchange] class, and he doesn't even know how to make the thing speak SMTP. -- Jason Wright

Oh, it does actually speak some industry standards?? -- John Riddoch

Well, not so much /speak/ it, as mumble it. -- Lionel Lauer

In heavily-accented pidgin. -- Brandon Allbery

Through a very solid door; locked and barred with a bucket of soapy water above it. -- Chris "Saundo" Saunderson

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

More, I think, that a burden shared is one halved. It's comforting to know that the clueless I face, I do not face alone. For yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of cluelessness, I shall fear not the lusers I see, for I am the meanest BOFH with a LART they ever thought they could piss off.... and live.

"My BOFH is an Old Testament BOFH - a lot of smiting, a lot of LARTing, all the good stuff".

Chris "Saundo" Saunderson
So I'm waiting around after hours here at BFC, because we've got a bad 4mm DAT drive attached to the file server in our lab, and the daily and weekly backups are therefore suspect. Also the disk drives are making that sound which says, "I'm a happy drive. I'm a cheerful drive. I'm smiling at you because I'm grinding my spindles into microscopic dust and there's not a single thing you can do about it. I'm going to fail. I'm going to do it soon. Or later. I'm not telling. Probably soon, because I've been chatting with the DAT drive two hops up the SCSI chain, and he tells me that he's been ill, so if I fail *now*, you'll have no recent backups. That's why I'm happy. I'm in control. I want a goat. And candles. Black ones. Pray, human. Pray that I'm in a good mood. PRAY, DAMMIT, ON YOUR KNEES, YOU LIMACEOUS BIT OF MEATWARE!"

I digress.

Carl Jacobs
I find that anthropomorphism really doesn't help me deal with hardware all that much, because it lends a certain attitude of disdain to what would otherwise be a mere malfunction.
Carl Jacobs
NASA uses Windows? Oh great. If Apollo 13 went off course today the manual would just tell them to open the airlock, flush the astronauts out, and re-install new ones.
Sanity is like money; you should just have enough to get by. Any more and you turn into a freak.

Heather Garvey / raven@xnet.com