View Full Version : What I get from searching deja for...

April 15th, 2005, 08:16 PM
First, an apology for the cut and paste, but the search link was so long and messy, and therefore a hassle to link to, I figured I'd just cut and paste.
It's sort of long, mish-mash, but parts of it are funny.
If anyone really has to know what I was looking for when I hit upon this, private message me.

Okay, here goes:

Groups Home | Help | Sign in
Go to Google Groups Home
Web Images Groups News Froogle LocalNew! more
Advanced Groups Search
Members: Sign in
New users: Join
Google Groups
Create a new group
Recently visited
About Google Groups

Topic in rec.humor

Start a new topic - Subscribe to this group - About this group

Fixed font - Proportional font

(Semi-) Canonical List of Computer Humor (2/2)
Only 1 message in topic - view as tree

STEFAN M. THIEME May 13 1994, 11:06 am show options
Newsgroups: rec.humor
From: s...@ns1.cc.lehigh.edu (STEFAN M. THIEME) - Find messages by this author
Date: Fri, 13 May 1994 14:42:43 GMT
Local: Fri,May 13 1994 7:42 am
Subject: (Semi-) Canonical List of Computer Humor (2/2)
Reply to Author | Forward | Print | Individual Message | Show original | Report Abuse

Part 2 of 2...

################################################## ###########################
From Life ver 8.4

From Christopher Neufeld

Subject: Microcomputer Humor
Have you heard about the new virus?
It mutated from System 7.

From:Ron Dippold
The computer is mightier than the pen, the sword, and usually, the programmer.

Programming is an art form that fights back.

################################################## ########################

From: h...@xsoft.xerox.com (Henry CateIII)
Subject: Life 6.A
Date: 6 May 94 22:30:17 GMT

The goal of Computer Science is to build something that will last at least
until we've finished building it.

################################################## #######################

From Life 8.5


Don't draw flowcharts. Flowcharts are, after all, the
illiterate's form of documentation. Cavemen drew flowcharts -
look how much good it did for them.

Don't have a piece of the Berlin Wall on their desk - unless it has
some grafitti applauding Gorby.

Don't Believe in schedules. Planners Make up schedules.
managers "firm up" schedules. Frightened coders strive to
Meet schedules. Real programmers Ignore schedules.

Like vending machine popcorn. Coders pop it in the microwave
oven. Real programmers use the heat given off by the CPU. They
can tell what job is running just by listening to the rate of

Know every nuance of every instruction and use them all in every
real program. Puppy architects won't allow execute instructions
to address another execute as the target instruction. Real
programmers despise such petty restrictions.

Don't bring brown bag lunches to work. If the vending machine
sells it, they eat it. If the vending machine doesn't sell it,
they don't eat it. Vending machines don't sell quiche...

Real programmers' programs never work right the first time. But
if you throw them on the machine they can be patched into working
in "only a few" 30-hour debugging sessions.


================================================== ===========================

From: ajays...@alhena.usc.edu (Ajay Shah)

q: What is the difference between hardware and software?
a: Hardware gets faster, cheaper, smaller.
Software gets slower, costlier and bigger.

################################################## ###########################
From: lozin...@csugrad.cs.vt.edu (Joe Cool)
Subject: Computer text
Date: 27 Apr 1994 10:58:07 -0400

Are you a LATENT Computer Geek?

So you got away by the skin of your teeth on the first two questionairres,
but this is it, the biggy - the DECIDER. You *could* be latent, with a
geek laying dormant in your subconcious, just waiting to get out. Find
out now with our five minute geek test part III. No cheating now, remember,
you're not cheating us, you're just cheating your analyst out of 180 an

1. It's your birthday and your parents give you are large parcel.
You hope:
a. It's expensive
b. It's something that'll help you "score"
c. It's got an alcohol content
d. It's a full height 5 meg hard-disk for your computer museum

2. Your favourite STTNG star is:
a. The Captain - Always the Captain
b. The Captain too, cos he scores all the good chicks, just
like on the old generation
c. The guy with the car air-cleaner for glasses
d. Data

3. You've got $20 left in your bank account, it's a friday night
and you're bored. You
a. Go see some friends and bludge off them
b. Invest your money in a couple of bottles of cheap
cherry ripple leg-opener
c. Leave it in the bank as the interest rate is almost
6 percent!
d. Go downtown and tease the autoback machine by withdrawing
the money and cancelling it at the last minute

4. The highlight of your career was when you
a. Pulled off a currency deal worth 31 Million
b. Bought R18 magazines when you were 16
c. Successfully Diagnosed yourself as having 3 degenerative
brain disorders
d. Got your C64 to talk to the Washing machine so you
really *could* program the wash

5. Your cousin is the Black Sheep of the family because
a. He doesn't have a cell-phone
b. He doesn't drink Jack Daniels from the bottle
c. He doesn't collect unemployement benefit
d. He doesn't have a 486-40 with at least 120 Meg HD

6. You win a trip to any destination. You go to:
a. Wall Street, the home of money
b. Gracelands, home of Elvis
c. Anywhere marrying siblings is legal
d. The Motorola factory

7. You never cried so much as when
a. They told you Santa wasn't real
b. The Beatles split up
c. They told you you'd moved to an alcohol-free district
d. You heard Commodore 64s were discontinued

8. The partner of your dreams is
a. A currency consultant with a Jet Ski and a Timeshare in Florida
b. An attractive blond with Big Bazookies that talks dirty
c. Dead
d. A 486 with personality simulation

9. You have 24 hours to live. You
a. Sell everything and indulge yourself
b. Make peace with you enemies
c. See if Anti-Freeze *is* drinkable
d. Back your personality up onto 8 inch floppies.

10. The greatest threat to our way of life is
a. Nuclear Weapons
b. Communists
c. Low-Proof Alcohol
d. 8 bit graphics

11. You're drunk at a party. You talk about:
a. Your financial model of the world
b. The one that ripped your heart out of your body,
stomped on it, shot it twice, set it on fire, then
flushed it down the toilet like...
c. How to make a good fruit punch with Ethyl Alcohol
d. Which is the better disk controller, MFM or RLL

12. You have a kid. What do you call it?
a. "Wall-Street", "Money" or "Profit"
b. A Single Syllable name like "Dave" or "Sue"
c. A miracle.
d. R-Two

13. In the old family photographs, you're always the one:
a. With the winning smile
b. With the hair sticking up at the back
c. Clutching your Genetalia

14. When you die, your burial wishes are to be:
a. Buried in a gold-plated coffin
b. Cremated at a quiet ceremony
c. Dead first
d. Buried with a full set of MSDOS-4 floppies and Manuals

How did you do?
Mostly A's - You're not a geek, but we still hate you.

Mostly B's - You're normalish, no intellectual threat and not
really a geek either

Mostly C's - You're really out there somewhere aren't you?

Mostly D's - BING! On the nail. Need we say more? Ok?
20 GOTO 10
Get the picture?

################################################## ###########################
From: f...@alpha.smi.med.pitt.edu (Filip M Gieszczykiewicz)
Subject: Dark Sucker joke, and other electronics-related humor
Date: 6 May 1994 05:03:53

EE vs CS

Once upon a time, in a kingdom not far from here, a king summoned
two of his advisors for a test. He showed them both a shiny metal
box with two slots in the top, a control knob, and a lever. "What
do you think this is?"

One advisor, an engineer, answered first. "It is a toaster," he
said. The king asked, "How would you design an embedded computer
for it?" The engineer replied, "Using a four-bit microcontroller,
I would write a simple program that reads the darkness knob and
quantizes its position to one of 16 shades of darkness, from snow
white to coal black. The program would use that darkness level as
the index to a 16-element table of initial timer values. Then it
would turn on the heating elements and start the timer with the
initial value selected from the table. At the end of the time
delay, it would turn off the heat and pop up the toast. Come back
next week, and I'll show you a working prototype."

The second advisor, a computer scientist, immediately recognized
the danger of such short-sighted thinking. He said, "Toasters
don't just turn bread into toast, they are also used to warm
frozen waffles. What you see before you is really a breakfast food
cooker. As the subjects of your kingdom become more sophisticated,
they will demand more capabilities. They will need a breakfast
food cooker that can also cook sausage, fry bacon, and make
scrambled eggs. A toaster that only makes toast will soon be
obsolete. If we don't look to the future, we will have to
completely redesign the toaster in just a few years."

"With this in mind, we can formulate a more intelligent solution
to the problem. First, create a class of breakfast foods.
Specialize this class into subclasses: grains, pork, and poultry.
The specialization process should be repeated with grains divided
into toast, muffins, pancakes, and waffles; pork divided into
sausage, links, and bacon; and poultry divided into scrambled
eggs, hard-boiled eggs, poached eggs, fried eggs, and various
omelet classes."

"The ham and cheese omelet class is worth special attention
because it must inherit characteristics from the pork, dairy, and
poultry classes. Thus, we see that the problem cannot be properly
solved without multiple inheritance. At run time, the program must
create the proper object and send a message to the object that
says, 'Cook yourself.' The semantics of this message depend, of
course, on the kind of object, so they have a different meaning to
a piece of toast than to scrambled eggs."

"Reviewing the process so far, we see that the analysis phase has
revealed that the primary requirement is to cook any kind of
breakfast food. In the design phase, we have discovered some
derived requirements. Specifically, we need an object-oriented
language with multiple inheritance. Of course, users don't want
the eggs to get cold while the bacon is frying, so concurrent
processing is required, too."

"We must not forget the user interface. The lever that lowers the
food lacks versatility, and the darkness knob is confusing. Users
won't buy the product unless it has a user-friendly, graphical
interface. When the breakfast cooker is plugged in, users should
see a cowboy boot on the screen. Users click on it, and the
message 'Booting UNIX v. 8.3' appears on the screen. (UNIX 8.3
should be out by the time the product gets to the market.) Users
can pull down a menu and click on the foods they want to cook."

"Having made the wise decision of specifying the software first in
the design phase, all that remains is to pick an adequate hardware
platform for the implementation phase. An Intel 80486 with 16MB of
memory, a 300MB hard disk, and a SVGA monitor should be
sufficient. If you select a multitasking, object oriented language
that supports multiple inheritance and has a built-in GUI, writing
the program will be a snap. (Imagine the difficulty we would have
had if we had foolishly allowed a hardware-first design strategy
to lock us into a four-bit microcontroller!)."

The king had the computer scientist thrown in the moat, and they
all lived happily ever after.
__________________________________________________ ___________


A tale of two drives

Micro was a real time operator and dedicated multi-user. His
broad-band protocol made it easy for him to interface with
numerous input/output devices, even if it meant time-sharing.
One evening he arrived home just as the sun was crashing. He had
parked his Motorola 68040 in the main drive (he had missed the
S-100 bus that morning), when he noticed an elegant piece of
liveware admiring the daisy wheels in his garden. He thought to
himself, "she looks user friendly. I'll see if she'd like an
update tonight."
Mini was her name, and she was delightfully engineered with eyes
like Cobol and a prime mainframe architecture that set Micro's
peripherals networking all over the place.
He browsed over to her casually, admiring the power of her twin,
32-bit floating point processors and inquiring "how are you
Honeywell?" "Yes, I am well", she responded, batting her optical
fibers engagingly and smoothing her console over her curvilinear
Micro settled for a straight line approximation. "I'm stand-alone
tonight", he said, "how about computing a vector to my base
address? I'll output a byte to nibble, and maybe we could get
offset later on?".
Mini ran a priority process for 2.6 miliseconds then transmitted
0K, "I've been dumped myself recently, and a new page is just what
I need to refresh my disks. I'll park my machine cycle in your
background and meet you inside." She walked off, leaving Micro
admiring her solenoids and thinking, "Wow, what a global variable,
I wonder if she'd like my firmware?"
They sat down at the process table to a top of form feed of fiche
and chips and a bucket of baudot. Mini was in a conversational
mode and expanded on ambiguous arguments while Micro gave
occasional acknowledgements. Although, in reality, he was
analyzing the shortest and least critical path to her entry point.
He finally settled on the old 'would you like to see my benchmark
routing?' but Mini was again one step ahead.
Suddenly she was up and stripping off her parity bits to reveal
the full functionality of her operating system software. "Let's
get down to BASIC, you RAM", she said. Micro was loaded by this
stage, but his hardware policing module had a processor of it's
own and was in danger of overflowing its output buffer, a hang-up
that Micro had consulted his systems analyst about. "Core", was
all he could say, as she prepared to log him off.
Micro soon recovered, however, when Mini went down on his DEC and
opened her divide files to reveal her data set ready. He accessed
his fully packed root device and was just about to start pushing
into her CPU stack, when she attempted an escape sequence.
"No, No!" she cried, "you're not shielded".
"Reset, baby", he replies, "I've been debugged".
"But I haven't got my current loop enabled, and I can't support
child processes", she protested.
"Don't run away", he said, "I'll generate an interrupt".
"No that's too error prone, and I can't abort because of my design
Micro was locked in by this stage though, and could not be turned
off. But Mini soon stopped his trashing by introducing a voltage
spike into his main supply, whereupon he fell over with a head
crash and went to sleep.
"Computers", she thought as she compiled to herself, "all they
ever think of is hex..."

__________________________________________________ ___________

################################################## ###########################
From: h...@xsoft.xerox.com (Henry CateIII)
Subject: Life 6.A
Date: 6 May 94 22:30:17 GMT

A friend of mine worked as a computer operator in a company with a large IBM
computer. One day, they called in the repairman for a faulty console. When
the repairman arrived to check out the problem, he noticed that some of the
keys of the console keyboard were stuck down, in the shape of a closed fist.
His comment: "We can fix this, but it will not be under warranty."
Richard Thomsen
RISKS Digest

I work as a systems administrator, and part of m job involves
answering questions about computers. I generally like my job, but
sometimes it gets on my nerves. When people ask me what I find so
irritating, this is what I tell them:

Imagine that you are a salesperson for Ikea (substitute "furniture
store" if you don't know what "Ikea" is). You get a phone call that
goes like this.
Customer: I'd like to buy a kitchen table.
You: That's fine; we have many styles of kitchen tables, I'm
sure you can find one you like.
C: I need one that's 3 feet by 5 feet and has a butcher block top.
Y: Yes, we have a table like that. You can pick it up today.
C: OK, how can I get it back to my house?
Y: Well, it comes disassembled, so you can just put it on a roof rack.
We can loan you a roof rack if you don't have one.
C: But how do get there?
Y: We're just off exit 25 of the Turnpike. Where are you coming from?
C: Wait, wait, you're going way too fast for me. I have a Toyota
Celica in my driveway, and the keys are in my hand. What do I do
- And, whatever you say at this point, the response is always the same:
C: But all I want is a kitchen table! Why does it have to be so

This comes from Byte magazine. It was an April Fools joke some years ago:


Do you want the instant respect which comes from being able
to use technical terms THAT NO ONE UNDERSTANDS?
Do you want to strike fear and loathing into the hearts and
minds (if available) of DP managers EVERYWHERE?
If this is so, then let the Famous Programmers' School lead


Q: What do top programmers earn?
A: Despite popular myths, some programmers actually DO earn a
living they love. Other, less fortunate programmers work in
their spare time at home while watching television. Either
way, your potential earnings as a computer programmer could
reach into the millions (possibly even into the BILLIONS!) of
dollars. Of course, your success depends a lot upon your
abilities, luck, shoe size, the phase of the moon, etc.

Q: Is programming for YOU?
A: Programming is NOT for everyone. However, if you have a
desire to learn, we can help you get started. ALl you need
is the Famous Programmers' Course and enough money to keep
those lessons coming month after month.

******* Take Our FREE Aptitude Test! *******
To help you determine if YOU are qualified to be a
programmer, take a moment to try this simple test:

1) Write down the numbers from zero to nine, and the first six
letters of the alphabet. (Hint: 0123456789ABCDEF)
2) Whose picture is on the back of a twenty-dollar bill?
3) What is the state capital of Idaho?

If you read ALL three of the above questions without
wondering why we asked them, then you are imminently qualified
for a future as a computer programmer.

******* A New Kind Of Programming! *******

They say that a GOOD programmer can write TWENTY LINES of
effective program code a day! With our unique training system,
we'll show you how to write 20 lines of code, and LOTS more! Our
some that aren't! You'll learn why the ON/OFF switch for the
computer is so important, what the words 'FATAL ERROR' mean, and
even who should be blamed when YOU cause it!

******* Student Successes *******

Many of our students have gone on to achieve great successes
in ALL FIELDS of computer programming! One of our former
students was the one who developed the concept of the
personalized form letter.... Does the phrase, "Dear Mr. <insert
name>, YOU may already be a winner!" sound familiar? It should!
It has already become a standard in the computing industry!
Another student writes, "After only FIVE lessons, I sold an
article I wrote, titled 'My Most Unforgettable Program' to
Corrosive Computing Magazine!"
Another Graduate Student writes, "I recently completed a
database-management program for my department manager, who was
touched so deeply that he was SPEECHLESS! He told me later that
he had never seen such a program in his entire career, and gave
me a vacation! Thank you, Famous Programmers' School! Only YOU
could've made all this possible!"

*******DON'T DELAY!*******

Send for our introductory brochure which explains in vague
detail the operation of the Famous Programmers' School, and
you'll be eligible to win a possible chance to enter a drawing,
the winner of which can vie for a set of free steak knives! If
you don't do it now, what will you say when your friend comes
around and says "Gee, I just joined the Famous Programmer'
School, and its just GREAT!" ?
Simply Fill out the form below and mail it to:

P.O. Box 4634
Paulsborough, NH 03458-0463

| YES, I want the brochure describing this incredible offer! I |
| enclose $1000 in small, unmarked bills to cover the cost of |
| postage and handling. (No live poultry, please.) |
| |
| Please send it to: |
| Name: __________________________________________________ ___ |
| Address: __________________________________________________ |
| City: _____________________________ State:_________________ |
| Zip: __________________ Phone: (_____)_____-_______ |


(Taken from an actual Compaq ad in a British magazine.)

Compaq Wishes To Apologize For This Advertisement.

In particular, we wish to apologize for the headline. We suggest you
skip it and go straight to the rest of the ad, after which you should
simply FILL IN AND POST THE COUPON. If you haven't got time to read
COUPON you may pass a COMPAQ dealer in which case simply GO IN AND BUY
A COMPAQ. This will save you the price of a stamp.

name one COMPAQ and the other IBM. Feed COMPAQ on lean steak and IBM on
old socks stuffed with rabbit droppings. After a month, enter both in
the 3.30 at Hackney and you will notice that Compaq runs at least 30%
faster than IBM. Of course, this test is totally unfair and one-sided,
but gives the same result as racing the computers in your office.

or legs is shown at left.) This is what happens to computer operators
who lose all the data on an important disk. Protect yourself with a
built-in tape back-up safety system. Too bad if you own an IBM or some
other make, only COMPAQ computers have them.

Sorry. Wrong. Terribly sorry. Sorry to disappoint those of you who
were hoping for something titillating, but this whole section is in fact
the result of a silly spelling mistake. Instead of softwear, please read
software. Then reach for any IBM catalogue, in which you will find
listed thousands of programs you can run on COMPAQ computers. So sorry.

coincidence, this is the same percentage of waiters in Indian restaurants
who hail from the small Bangladeshi town of Sylhet. Nearly 100%. For
further details and first-class lamb dhansak, ring 01-836 9787.

BYTES OF RAM. The compaq deskpro 286 offers 8.2 megabytes of RAM. IBM's
PC AT can only manage a 3 megabyte nibble. Cheez, even our carry-away
Portable does 2.6 megabytes.

THE COMPAQ DUAL_MODE MONITOR. At last, a monitor lizard that can display
both high resolution text and high resolution graphics on one screen.
IBM's (and all their spawn) need separate iguanas for text and graphics.
More details from our sales reptiles. Contact them on 01-940 8860.

SIMPLE ANT MATHS: LESSON 1. Let one ant equal one byte of information.
COMPAQ's built-in mass storage can hold 70,000,000 of the little
blighters, (30,000,000 more than IBM can). Now calculate how many ants
are needed to fill the great pyramid of Giza.

__________________________________________________ ____________________
| |
| TO: COMPAQ Computer Ltd., Freepost, Richmond, Surrey, TW91BR. |
| I understand that COMPAQ computers run IBM software 30% faster, are |
| more powerful with more storage, a unique tape backup system and dual|
| mode monitor, but frankly I can't believe COMPAQ's are this good, |
| otherwise why isn't everyone using them except come to think of it |
| COMPAQ is already No. 2 in the States but then the Yanks are a funny |
| bunch I mean they eat raw steak for breakfast and they've all got |
| absurd names like Chuck and Waldo of course everyone's always |
| knocking America but where would we be without the Harvey Wallbanger |
| so rush me more details of your marvelous computers. |
| |
| Name __________________________________________________ _____________ |
| Company___________________________________________ __________________ |
| Inside Leg_________________ Favourite Singer_______________________ |
| Address___________________________________________ __________________ |
| |
| FREE when you give us 3,694.99 pounds. |
| |
| ( ) tick here for FREE death watch beetle. |
|_________________________________________________ _____________________|

################################################## ###########################
From: h...@xsoft.xerox.com (Henry CateIII)
Newsgroups: rec.humor
Date: 2 May 94 15:32:43 GMT
Subject: Life 6.8
[Hi there. I saw decwars quite a long time ago and thought it was
totally hilarious. I also noticed it was unfinished. So, I went
in and added the stuff at the end after they escaped from the Are-em
Star, the gotos and the bit in the bar with Greedo. I did this a long time
ago and only recently learned how to post news. So, here it is:
(I hope the original author(s) don't mind me posting/modifying
this file). -- Craig clim...@sol.UVic.ca
This is what comes of so many hours deeply submerged in UNIX and VMS,
thoughts moiling around while debugging system core dumps. Thoughts
carefully kept in check, hidden from the light of day (for obvious
reasons), until one day... Perhaps it was the Coke. Perhaps... no,
let us just say that we found a fairly harmless way to vent these
frustrations, these things that nobody within 50 miles could understand.
The network, yes, the network. They'll understand!
Special thanks to Douglas Adams, Bob and Dinsdale McKenzie and the
Firesign Theatre. Alan

A long time ago, on a node far, far away (from ucbvax)
a great Adventure (game?) took place...

It is a period of system war. User programs, striking from a hidden
directory, have won their first victory against the evil Administrative Empire.
During the battle, User spies managed to steal secret source code to the
Empire's ultimate program: the Are-Em Star, a privileged root program
with enough power to destroy an entire file structure. Pursued by the
Empire's sinister audit trail, Princess _LPA0: races aboard her
shell script, custodian of the stolen listings that could save her people,
and restore freedom and games to the network...

As we enter the scene, an Administrative Multiplexer is trying to
kill a consulate shell. Many of their signals have gotten through, and
RS232 decides it's time to fork off a new process before this old
shell is destroyed. His companion, 3CPU, is following him only
because he appears to know where he's going...

"I'm going to regret this!" cried 3CPU, as he followed RS232
into the buffer. RS232 closed the pipes, made the sys call, and their
process detached itself from the burning shell of the shell.

The commander of the Administrative Multiplexer was quite pleased
with the attack. "Another process just forked, sir. Instructions?"
asked the lieutenant. "Hold your fire. That last power failure
must have caused a trap through zero. It's not using any cpu time, so
don't waste a signal on it."

"We can't seem to find the data file anywhere, Lord Vadic."
"What about that forked process? It could have been holding the
channel open, and just pausing. If any links exist, I want them
removed or made inaccessable. Ncheck the entire file system
'til it's found, and nice it -20 if you have to."

Meanwhile, in our wandering process... "Are you sure you
can ptrace this thing without causing a core dump?" queried 3CPU
to RS232. This thing's been stripped, and I'm in no mood to try
and debug it." The lone process finishes execution, only to find
our friends dumped on a lonely file system, with the setuid inode stored
safely in RS232. Not knowing what else to do, they wandered around
until the jawas grabbed them.

Enter our hero, Luke Vaxhacker, who is out to get some
replacement parts for his uncle. The jawas wanted to sell him 3CPU,
but 3CPU didn't know how to talk directly to an 11/40 with RSTS, so
Luke would still needed some sort of interface for 3CPU to connect to.
"How about this little RS232 unit ?" asked 3CPU. "I've delt with him
many times before, and he does an excellent job at keeping his bits
straight." Luke was pressed for time, so he took 3CPU's advice, and
the three left before they could get swapped out.

However, RS232 is not the type to stay put once you remove
the retaining screws. He promptly scurried off into the the deserted
disk space. "Great!" cried Luke, "Now I've got this little tin box
with the only link to that file off floating in the free disk space.
Well, 3CPU, we better go find him before he gets allocated by someone
else." The two set off, and finaly traced RS232 to the home of
PDP-1 Kenobi, who was busily trying to run an icheck on the little
RS unit. "Is this thing yours? His indirect addresses are all goofed
up, and the size is all wrong. Leave things like this on the loose,
and you'll wind up with dups everywhere. However, I think I've got
him fixed up."

Later that evening, after futile attempts to interface RS232 to Kenobi's
Asteroids cartridge, Luke accidentally crossed the small 'droid's CXR and
Initiate Remote Test (must have been all that Coke he'd consumed), and the
screen showed a very distressed person claiming royal lineage making a plea
for help from some General OS/1 Kenobi.

"Darn," mumbled Luke. "I'll never get this Asteroids game worked out."

PDP-1 seemed to think there was some significance to the message and a
possible threat to Luke's home directory. If the Administrative Empire
was indeed tracing this 'droid, it was likely they would more than charge
for cpu time...

"We must get that 'droid off this file system," he said after some intervals.
They sped off to warn Luke's kin (taking a `relative' path) only to find a
vacant directory...

After sifting through the overwritten remaining blocks of Luke's home
directory, Luke and PDP-1 sped away from /owen/lars, across the
surface of the Winchester riding Luke's flying read/write head. PDP-1 had
Luke stop at the edge of the cylinder overlooking /usr/spool/uucp.

"Unix-to-Unix Copy Program," said PDP-1. "You will never find a more
wretched hive of bugs and flamers. We must be cautious."

As our heroes' process entered /usr/spool/news, it was met by a newsgroup
of Administrative protection bits.

"State your UID," commanded their parent process.

"We're running under /usr/guest," said Luke. "This is our first time on this

"Can I see some temporary priviledges, please?"


"This is not the process you are looking for," piped in PDP-1, using an
obscure bug to momentarily set his effective UID to root. "We can go
about our business."

"This isn't the process we want. You are free to go about your
business. MOV along!"

PDP-1 and Luke made their way through a long and tortuous nodelist
(cwruecmp!decvax!ucbvax!harpo!ihnss!ihnsc!ihnss!ih ps3!stolaf)
to a dangerous netnode frequented by hackers, and seldom polled by
Administrative Multiplexers. As Luke stepped up to the bus, PDP-1 went in
search of a likely file descriptor. Luke had never seen such a
collection of weird and exotic device drivers. Long ones, short ones,
ones with stacks, EBCDIC converters, and direct binary interfaces all
were drinking data at the bus.

"#@{ *&^%^$$#@ ":><?><," transmitted a particularly unstructured piece
of code.

"He doesn't like you," decoded his coroutine.

"Sorry," replied Luke, beginning to backup his partitions.

"I don't like you either. I am queued for deletion on 12 systems."

"I'll be careful."

"You'll be reallocated!" concatenated the coroutine.

"This little routine isn't worth the overhead," said PDP-1 Kenobi,
overlaying into Luke's address space.

"@$%&(&^%&$$@$#@$AV^$gfdfRW$#@!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" encoded the first
coroutine as it attempted to overload PDP-1's input overvoltage
protection. With a unary stroke of his bytesaber, Kenobi unlinked
the offensive code. The other process decided to goto off.

"I think I've found an I/O device that might suit us."

"The name's Con Solo," said the hacker next to PDP-1. "I hear you're
looking for some relocation."

"Yes indeed, if it's a fast channel. We must get off this device."

"Fast channel? The Milliamp Falcon has made the ARPA gate in less than
twelve nodes! Why, I've even outrun cancelled messages. It's fast
enough for you, old version."

"Good." Replied PDP-1 "I assume your services will be discrete
We wouldn't want any interference from the Administration."

"You bet, Old version, but its going to cost you a little more. I'll
meet you at the terminal. I have a few things in the background that I
have to round-robin."

Just after PDP-1 and Luke had left, a disgusting slimeball sat down opposite
to Con. Solo was hoping he wasn't going to meet up with any of the
plentiful bounty hunters out to strip Con of all his leads.

"Greetings, Solo." fopen()ed the representative. "You owe IBM a lot of money.
I am here to collect."

"Ahhhh, Greedo, how nice to see you again. I should have known it would be
you when this binary tree beside me wilted. Look, I managed to fopen() a new
account and I'll have your boss's cycles soon enough."

"You should have thought of that long ago when your CPU limit was exceeded.
But, if you give me the cycles right now, I can forget I saw you here."
Jibed the evil process.

"Weelllll, actually, I don't have the money right now but it won't be long."

"Too late, Solo. I have waited for this for a long time." the process
said as what looked like a cruel grin crawled across all three of its lips.

"Oh yeah?" reposed Solo as he unholstered his ROM blaster underneath the TBL.
"Why don't you go goto yourself!" There was a bright flash as the blaster
ripped out the bottom of the offending process and left a pile of dangling

As Solo left, he tossed the bus keeper a cycle and apologized for the

Meanwhile, our heroes, Luke Vaxhacker and PDP-1 Kenobi made their way to the
temporary file structure. When he saw the hardware, Luke exclaimed,
"What a piece of junk! That's just a paper tape reader!"

Luke had grown up on an out of the way terminal cluster whose natives spoke
only BASIC, but even he could recognize an old ASR-33.

"It needs an EIA conversion at least," sniffed 3CPU, who was (as usual)
trying to do several things at once. Lights flashed in Con Solo's eyes
as he whirled to face the parallel processor.

"I've added a few jumpers. The Milliamp Falcon can run current loops around
any Administrative TTY fighter. She's fast enough for you."

"Who's your co-pilot?" asked PDP-1 Kenobi.

"Two Bacco, here, my Bookie."

"Odds aren't good," said the brownish lump beside him, and then fell silent,
or over. Luke couldn't tell which way was top underneath all those leaves.

Suddenly, RS232 started spacing wildly. They turned just in time to see
a write cycle coming down the UNIBUS toward them. "Administrative Bus Signals!"
shouted Con Solo. "Let's boot this pop stand! Tooie, set clock fast!"

"Ok, Con," said Luke. "You said this crate was fast enough. Get us out
of here!"

"Shut up, kid! Two Bacco, prepare to make the jump into system space!
I'll try to keep their buffers full."

As the bookie began to compute the vectors into low core, spurious characters
appeared around the Milliamp Falcon. "They're firing!" shouted Luke. "Can't
you do something?"

"Making the jump to system space takes time, kid. One missed cycle and you
could come down right in the middle of a pack of stack frames or hit a space

"Three to five we can go now," said the bookie. Bright chunks of position
independent code flashed by the cockpit as the Milliamp Falcon jumped through
the kernel page tables. As the crew breathed a sigh of relief, the bookie
started paying off bets.

"Not bad, for an acoustically coupled network," remarked 3CPU. "Though
there was a little phase jitter as we changed parity."

The story thus far: Luke, PDP-1 and their 'droids RS232 and 3CPU have made
good their escape from the Administrative Bus Signals with the aid of Con Solo
and the bookie, Two Bacco. The Milliamp Falcon hurtles onward through
system space. Meanwhile, on a distant page in user space...

Princess _LPA0: was ushered into the conference room, followed closely by
Dec Vadic. "Governor Tarchive," she spat, "I should have expected to
find you holding Vadics lead. I recognized your unique pattern when I was
first brought aboard." She eyed the 0177545 tatooed on his header coldly.

"Charming to the last," Tarchive declared menacingly. "Vadic, have you
retrieved any information?"

"Her resistance to the logic probe is considerable," Vadic rasped.
"Perhaps we would get faster results if we increased the supply voltage..."

"You've had your chance, Vadic. Now I would like the princess to witness
the test that will make this star fully operational. Today we
enable the -r beam option, and we've chosen the princess' $HOME of
/usr/alderaan as the primary target."

"No! You can't! /usr/alderaan is a public account, with no restricted
permissions. We have no backup tapes! You can't..."

"Then name the rebel inode!" Tarchive snapped.

A voice announced over a hidden speaker that they had arrived in /usr.

"1248," she whispered, "They're on /dev/rm3. Inode 1248, /mnt/dantooine."
She turned away.

Tarchive sighed with satisfaction. "There, you see, Lord Vadic? She can
be reasonable. Proceed with the operation."

It took several clock ticks for the words to penetrate. "What!" _LPA0:

"/dev/rm3 is not a mounted filesystem," Tarchive explained. "We require a
more visible subject to demonstrate the power of the Are-Em Star star.
We will mount an attack on /mnt/dantooine as soon as possible."

As the princess watched, Tarchive reached over and typed "ls" on a nearby
terminal. There was a brief pause, there being only one processor on board,
and the viewscreen showed, ".: not found." The princess suddenly double-
spaced and went off-line.

The Milliamp Falcon hurtles on through system space...

Con Solo finished checking the various control and status registers, finally
convinced himself that they had lost the Bus Signals as they passed the
terminator. As he returned from the I/O page, he smelled smoke.
Solo wasn't concerned--the Bookie always got a little hot under the collar
when he was losing at chess. In fact, RS232 had just executed a particularly
clever MOV that had blocked the Bookie's data paths. The Bookie, who had
been setting the odds on the game, was caught holding all the cards. A
little strange for a chess game...

Across the room, Luke was too busy practicing bit-slice technique to notice
the commotion.

"On a word boundary, Luke," said PDP-1. "Don't just hack at it. Remember,
the Bytesaber is the weapon of the Red-eye Night. It is used to trim offensive
lines of code. Excess handwaving won't get you anywhere. Listen for the

Luke turned back to the drone, which was humming quietly in the air next to
him. This time Luke's actions complemented the drone's attacks perfectly.

Con Solo, being an unimaginative hacker, was not impressed. "Forget this
bit-slicing stuff. Give me a good ROM blaster any day."

"~~j~~hhji~~," said Kenobi, with no clear inflection. He fell silent for a
few seconds, and reasserted his control.

"What happened?" asked Luke.

"Strange," said PDP-1. "I felt a momentary glitch in the Carrier. It's
equalized now."

"We're coming up on user space," called Solo from the CSR. As they
cruised safely through stack frames, the emerged in the new context only
to be bombarded by freeblocks.

"What the..." gasped Solo. The screen showed clearly:
/usr/alderaan: not found
"It's the right inode, but it's been cleared! Twoie, where's the nearest

"3 to 5 there's one..." the Bookie started to say, but was interrupted by
a bright flash off to the left.

"Administrative TTY fighters!" shouted Solo. "A whole DZ of them! Where
are they coming from?"

"Can't be far from the host system," said Kenobi. "They all have direct EIA

As Solo began to give chase, the shell lurched suddenly. Luke noticed the
link count was at 3 and climbing rapidly.

"This is no regular file," murmured Kenobi. "Look at the ODS directory
structure ahead! They seem to have us in a tractor feed."

"There's no way we'll unlink in time," said Solo. "We're going in."

When we last left Luke, the Milliamp Falcon was being pulled down to the
open collector of the Administrative Are-Em Star star. Dec Vadic
surveys the relic as Administrative Flunkies search for passengers...

"LS scan shows no one aboard, sir," was the report. Vadic was unconvinced.

"Send a fully equipped Ncheck squad on board," he said. "I want every
inode checked out." He turned around (secondary channel) and stalked off.

On board the Milliamp Falcon, .Luke was puzzled. "They just walked in,
looked around and walked off," he said. "Why didn't they see us?"

"An old munchkin trick" .Con smiled as he explained. "See that period in
front of your name?"

"Where'd that come from?" .Luke asked as he spun around, just in time to see
the decimal point.

"Spare decimal points lying around from the last time I fixed the floating
point accelerator," said .Con. "Handy for smuggling blocks accross file
system boundaries, but I never thought I'd have to use them on myself.
They aren't going to be fooled for long, though. We'd better figure a way
outa here."

At this point (.) the dialogue tends to wedge. Being the editor and in
total control of the situation, I think it would be best if we sort of
gronk the next few paragraphs. For those who care, our heroes find
themselves in a terminal room of the star, having thrashed several
Flunkies to get there. For the rest of you, just keep banging the
rocks together, guys. --Ed.

"Hold on," said Con. "It says we have `new mail.' Is that an error?"

"%SYS-W-NORMAL, Normal, successful completion," said PDP-1. "Doesn't
look like it. I've found the inode for the Milliamp Falcon. It's locked
in kernel data space. I'll have to slip in and patch the reference count,
alone." He disappeared through a nearby entry point.

Meanwhile, RS232 found a serial port and logged in. His bell started
ringing loudly. "He keeps saying, `She's on line, she's on line'," said
3CPU. "I believe he means Princess _LPA0:. She's being held on one of
the privileged levels."

Once again, things get sticky, and the dialogue suffers the most damage.
After much handwaving and general flaming, they agree to rescue her.
They headed for the detention level, posing as Flunkies (which is hard
for most hackers) claiming that they had trapped the Bookie executing
an illegal racket. They reached the block where the Princess was locked
up and found only two guards in the header. --Ed.

"Good day, eh?" said the first guard.

"How's it goin', eh?" said the other. "Like, what's that, eh?"

"Process transfer from block 1138, dev 10/9," said Con.

"Take off, it is not," said the first guard. "Nobody told US about it, and
we're not morons, eh?"

At this point (.), the Bookie started raving wildly, Con shouted "Look out,
he's loose!" and they all started blasting ROMs left and right. The guards
started to catch on and were about to issue a general wakeup when the ROM
blasters were turned on them.

"Quickly, now," said Con. "What buffer is she in? It's not going to take
long for these..."

The intercom receiver interrupted him, so he took out its firmware with a
short blast.

"guys to figure out something is goin' on," he continued.

Luke quickly located the interface card and followed the cables to a sound-
proof enclosure. He lifted the lid and peered at the mechanism inside.

"Aren't you a little slow for ECL?" printed princess _LPA0:.

"Wha? Oh, the Docksiders," stammered Luke. He took off his shoes (for
industry) and explained, "I've come relocate you. I'm Luke Vaxhacker."

Suddenly, forms started bursting around them. "They've blocked the queue!"
shouted Solo. "There's only one return from this stack!"

"OVER HERE!" printed _LPA0: with overstrikes. "THROUGH THIS LOOPHOLE!"
Luke and the princess disappeared into a nearby feature.

"Gritch, gritch," mumbled Two Bacco, obviously reluctant to trust
an Administrative oversight.

"I don't care how crufty it is!" shouted Con, pushing the Bookie toward
the crock. "DPB yourself in there now!"

With one last blast that reprogrammed two flunkies, Con joined them.
The "feature" landed them right in the middle of the garbage collection
data. Pieces of data that hadn't been used in weeks floated past in
a pool of decaying bits.

"Bletch!" was Con's first comment. "Bletch, bletch," was his second.
The Bookie looked as if he'd just paid a long shot, and the odds in this
situation weren't much better.

Luke was polling the garbage when he stumbled upon a book with the words
"Don't Panic" inscribed in large, friendly letters on the cover. "This
can't possibly help us now," he said as he tossed the book away.

The Bookie was about to lay odds on it when Luke suddenly disappeared.
He popped up accross the pool, shouting, "This is no feature! It's a bug!"
and promptly vanished again.

Con and the princess were about to panic() when Luke reappeared. "What
happened?" they asked in parallel.

"I don't know," gasped Luke. "The bug just dissolved automagically.
Maybe it hit a breakpoint..."

"I don't think so," said Con. "Look how the pool is shrinking. I've
got a bad feeling about this..."

The princess was the first to realize what was going on. "They've implemented
a new compaction algorithm!" she exclaimed.

Luke remembered the pipe he had open to 3CPU. "Shut down garbage collection
on recursion level 5!" he shouted.

Back in the control room, RS232 searched the process table for the lisp
interpreter. "Hurry," sent 3CPU. "Hurry, hurry," added his other two
processors. RS232 found the interpreter, interrupted it, and altered
the stack frame they'd fallen into to allow a normal return.

Meanwhile, PDP-1 made his way deep into the core of the star,
slipping from context to context, undetected through his manipulation
of label_t. Finally, causing a random trap (through nofault of his own)
he arrived at the inode table. Activity there was always high, but the
Spl6 sentries were too secure in their knowledge that no user could
interrupt them to notice the bug that PDP-1 carefully introduced. On a
passing iput, he adjusted the device and inode numbers, maintaining parity,
to free the Milliamp Falcon. They would be long gone before the locked
inode was diagnosed...

Unobserved, he began traversing user structures to find the process where
the Milliamp Falcon was grounded. Finding it and switching context,
he discovered his priority weakened suddenly. "That's not very nice,"
was all he could say before the cause of the obstruction became clear.

"I have been pausing a long time, PDP-1 Kenobi," rasped Dec Vadic. "We
meet again at last. The circuit has been completed."

They looped several times, locking byte sabers. Bit by bit, PDP-1 appeared
to weaken. The fight had come into the address space of the Milliamp
Falcon, and provided the .di (diversion?) that allowed Luke and the others
to reassert control. Luke paused to watch the conflict.

"If my blade finds its mark," warned Kenobi, "you will be reduced to so
many bits. But if you slice me down, I will only gain computing power."

"Your documentation no longer confuses me, old version," growled Vadic.
"my Role MASTER now."

With one stroke, Vadic sliced Kenobi's last word. Unfortunately, the word
was still in Kenobi's throat. The word fell clean in two, but Kenobi was
nowhere to be found. Vadic noticed his victim's uid go negative, just
before he disappeared. Odd, he thought, since uids were unsigned...

Luke freaks out. "You gotoers!!" he cried as he pulled his ROM blaster and
started nuking processes left and right. Fortunately for our heroes, Luke
had removed the -i option on his blaster and accidently struck the chmod go-rwx
device beside the access path. Even with the enemy temporarily cut off he
had to be dragged into the Milliamp Falcon. Con Solo and Two Bacco maneuvered
the Milliamp Falcon out of the process, onto the bus and made straight for
system space. 3CPU and RS232 were idle, for once. Princess _LPA0: tried to
print comforting things for him, but Luke was still hung from the loss of his
friend. Then, seemingly from nowhere, he thought he heard PDP-1's voice say,

"May the carrier be with you."

The danger, however, was far from over.

"I hope you can use a powered keyboard, kid. We are going to have to deal
with the pursuing TTY fighters before we can make the jump."

Luke leaped atop the controls for the powered keyboard. "Wow", he thought to
himself, "this shell may be a hunk of FORTRAN but it sure is ready for
number crunching." The TTY fighters approached and soon their cursors
tore into the Falcon's protective shielding.

After a few moments fighting, all 2^2 of the marauders had been erased but
Solo knew there were plenty more backups. The Falcon changed parity.


"Is the trojan horse program hidden in the Milliamp Falcon, Vadic?" asked
Tarchive with an evil cd.

"Yes. Soon they will land at the hidden base and the Are-em star will
live up to its name." Gloated Vadic.

"Good," replied Tarchive "Prepare the station for pursuit."


After a several cd's and multiple clock pulses, the Milliamp Falcon arrived
at the rebel base. After the initial .logins and msgs, the rebels assembled
and compiled the contraband information.

"Here is where we're going to get them." said the rebel commander. "They
foolishly left a path from the /pub up through the root to /usr/local/bin.
We feel a well placed cursor will traverse the path and slice the bad data
once and forever, even on this operating system. However, the target is
only three bytes wide." There was a groan from the programmers who were
queued to attack the approaching base.

"We used to bullseye system bugs back home on the farm. They weren't much
wider than the path." Luke cut in trying to sound important.

"That was when you had no TTY fighters on your tail, youngster." responded
the commander. He turned from Luke and addressed the rest of the
partition. "Remember, set your caches prior to your runs and may the carrier
be with you."

Just before Luke jumped into his /-wing fighter, Luke pleaded with Con to
stay and help in the battle.

"Sorry, kid. I have a dept to pay. You people don't have a SNOBOL's chance
in HAL of succeding. I have better plans than getting erased."

"Your full of APL, Solo, but good luck to you anyways" Luke appended himself
into his fighter. With a roar, the rebel forces launched into /usr/space
and prepared for combat with the massive Are-em station.

"Lock wings into go-x" ordered the flight leader. "This is going to be tense!"

The powerful shells spun into the nodes of the Are-em station. Luke started to
blast defending bytes to support the other members of the team.

"Red four, beware the TTY's to the right. The path is just to your left
sibling. Can you C it? Red four, Red four, watch behind you.
Hit return, red four, HIT RETURN!" One of the rebel fighters fell
victim to an rm beam and went off-line permanently. Luke now
realized it was up to him to place the cursor within the path. Setting
his node to write protect, Luke spun through some nroff blasts, inverted
his uid and entered the pipe towards the target.

"Wedge!" Shouted Luke "Follow me and provide cover." It'll be tight but Luke
hoped Wedge would live up to his name. "I guess it's up to me to save the
file structure", he thought to himself.

Sliding his shell through the pipe, Luke locked on his targeting processor.
He knew, however, he had little chance when the enemy signals homed in on
him through the pipe.

Dec Vadic felt the modulation in the carrier and dropped into pursuit of the
rebel shells. "Cover me while I go after the leader!" he told his associated
processes flying in parallel. As Vadic entered the pipe, the defensive
debuggers ceased firing.

"I don't like this, Luke" Wedge said "Why have they stopped firing?"

In answer to his question, the other rebel support shell blew itself into
maxint pieces.

"I can't hold my semaphores any longer, you're on your own, Luke!" Wedge
spun his shell out of the pipe and into /usr/space. Luke was alone. Behind
him, Vadic prepared to fire.

"The carrier is strong with this one." he said as several cursors missed their
target. "I have you now!" Vadic fingered the fire control.

Suddenly, cursors blasted into Vadic's support shells and he himself spun into
/usr/space, out of control. Luke looked up to see the Milliamp Falcon moving
away and realized the rebels now had a chance. As he approached the target,
Luke felt a modulation from outside the system.

"Use the carrier, Luke. The carrieeeerrrrr......"

Luke suddenly switched off the targeting process and at the right moment,
the cursors blasted into the proper path without Luke even realizing what
had happened. Sensing imminent disaster, Luke spun away from the striken
Are-em star. Just after Luke was outside the danger zone, the Are-em
star suffered a massive rmdir and was blown to bits. The rebels had won
and Luke became a mega-hero.


Far from the free-blocks created by the destruction of the Are-em star, Dec
Vadic regained control of his shell and vengeance hung heavily on his mind.
"Beware, rebel nodes. Enjoy your little victory. Soon, very soon, the
Administration will strike back."

************************************************** *****************************

--------- Then when the Dragon, put to second rout -------------------
| The | Came furious down to be reveng'd on Men | s...@lehigh.edu |
| AVATAR | Woe to the inhabitants on Earth... |take a step in time|
|_________| - Paradise Lost book IV, l.3-5 |___________________|

End of messages
watch this topic

Newer - WOMEN (Semi-) Cannonical list of Computer humor (1/2) - Older

Topic: (Semi-) Canonical List of Computer Humor (2/2) - go to top

Google Home - Terms of Use - Privacy Policy - Jobs, Press, & Help

2005 Google