Sometimes, at the end of the day, when I'm
smiling and shaking their hands, I want to kick them.
              -- Richard M. Nixon

If a team is in a positive frame of mind, it will have a good attitude.
If it has a good attitude, it will make a commitment to playing the
game right. If it plays the game right, it will win -- unless, of
course, it doesn't have enough talent to win, and no manager can make
goose-liver pate out of goose feathers, so why worry?
              -- Sparky Anderson

> Other than the fact Linux has a cool name, could someone explain why I
> should use Linux over BSD?

No. That's it. The cool name, that is. We worked very hard on
creating a name that would appeal to the majority of people, and it
certainly paid off: thousands of people are using linux just to be able
to say "OS/2? Hah. I've got Linux. What a cool name". 386BSD made the
mistake of putting a lot of numbers and weird abbreviations into the
name, and is scaring away a lot of people just because it sounds too
       -- Linus Torvalds' follow-up to a question about Linux

Ok, I'm just uploading the new version of the kernel, v1.3.33, also
known as "the buggiest kernel ever".
       -- Linus Torvalds

Those who do not understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly.
              -- Henry Spencer

"I looked out my window, and saw Kyle Pettys' car upside down, then I
thought 'One of us is in real trouble'."
       -- Davey Allison, on a 150 m.p.h. crash

One of the chief duties of the mathematician in acting as an advisor... is
to discourage... from expecting too much from mathematics.
       -- N. Wiener

       A doctor, an architect, and a computer scientist were arguing about
whose profession was the oldest. In the course of their arguments, they
got all the way back to the Garden of Eden, whereupon the doctor said, "The
medical profession is clearly the oldest, because Eve was made from Adam's
rib, as the story goes, and that was a simply incredible surgical feat."
       The architect did not agree. He said, "But if you look at the Garden
itself, in the beginning there was chaos and void, and out of that the Garden
and the world were created. So God must have been an architect."
       The computer scientist, who'd listened carefully to all of this, then
commented, "Yes, but where do you think the chaos came from?"

        | 2 1/3
        | z dz cos(3 * PI / 9) = ln (e )
       \/ 1

The integral of z squared, dz
From 1 to the cube root of 3
       Times the cosine
       Of 3 PI over nine
Is the log of the cube root of e

All parts should go together without forcing. You must remember that the
parts you are reassembling were disassembled by you. Therefore, if you
can't get them together again, there must be a reason. By all means, do
not use a hammer.
              -- IBM maintenance manual, 1925

Republicans consume three-fourths of the rutabaga produced in this
country. The remainder is thrown out.

Beware of the Turing Tar-pit in which everything
is possible but nothing of interest is easy.

              It's grad exam time...

       Inside your desk you'll find a listing of the DEC/VMS operating
system in IBM 1710 machine code. Show what changes are necessary to
convert this code into a UNIX Berkeley 7 operating system. Prove that
these fixes are bug free and run correctly. You should gain at least 150%
efficiency in the new system. (You should take no more than 10 minutes on
this question.)

       If X equals PI times R^2, construct a formula showing how long it
would take a fire ant to drill a hole through a dill pickle, if the
length-girth ratio of the ant to the pickle were 98.17:1.

       You have been provided with a razor blade, a piece of gauze, and a
bottle of Scotch. Remove your appendix. Do not suture until your work
has been inspected. (You have 15 minutes.)

       Describe the history of the papacy from its origins to the present
day, concentrating especially, but not exclusively, on its social,
political, economic, religious and philosophical impact upon Europe, Asia,
America, and Africa. Be brief, concise, and specific.

       Create life. Estimate the differences in subsequent human culture
if this form of life had been created 500 million years ago or earlier,
with special attention to its probable effect on the English parliamentary

       Describe the Universe. Give three examples.

You've got to pity New Mexico... so far from heaven, so close to Texas.

Real programmers don't write in FORTRAN. FORTRAN is for pipe stress
freaks and crystallography weenies. FORTRAN is for wimp engineers who
wear white socks.

I don't know why, but first C programs tend to look a lot worse than
first programs in any other language (maybe except for fortran, but then
I suspect all fortran programs look like `firsts')
       -- Olaf Kirch

On a normal ascii line, the only safe condition to detect is a 'BREAK'
- everything else having been assigned functions by Gnu EMACS.
       -- Tarl Neustaedter

By golly, I'm beginning to think Linux really *is* the best thing since
sliced bread.
       -- Vance Petree, Virginia Power

I'd crawl over an acre of 'Visual This++' and 'Integrated Development
That' to get to gcc, Emacs, and gdb. Thank you.
       -- Vance Petree, Virginia Power

Oh, I've seen copies [of Linux Journal] around the terminal room at The
       -- Dennis Ritchie

If you want to travel around the world and be invited to speak at a lot
of different places, just write a Unix operating system.
       -- Linus Torvalds might as well skip the Xmas celebration completely, and instead
sit in front of your linux computer playing with the all-new-and-improved
linux kernel version.
       -- Linus Torvalds

Besides, I think Slackware sounds better than 'Microsoft,' don't you?
       -- Patrick Volkerding

All language designers are arrogant. Goes with the territory...
       -- Larry Wall

And the next time you consider complaining that running Lucid Emacs
19.05 via NFS from a remote Linux machine in Paraguay doesn't seem to
get the background colors right, you'll know who to thank.
       -- Matt Welsh

...Unix, MS-DOS, and Windows NT (also known as the Good, the Bad, and
the Ugly).
       -- Matt Welsh

...very few phenomena can pull someone out of Deep Hack Mode, with two
noted exceptions: being struck by lightning, or worse, your *computer*
being struck by lightning.
       -- Matt Welsh

Whip me. Beat me. Make me maintain AIX.
       -- Stephan Zielinski

quit When the quit statement is read, the bc processor
is terminated, regardless of where the quit state-
ment is found. For example, "if (0 == 1) quit"
will cause bc to terminate.
       -- seen in the manpage for "bc". Note the "if" statement's logic

* [...] Note that 120 sec is defined in the protocol as the maximum
* possible RTT. I guess we'll have to use something other than TCP
* to talk to the University of Mars.
* PAWS allows us longer timeouts and large windows, so once implemented
* ftp to mars will work nicely.
       -- from /usr/src/linux/net/inet/tcp.c, concerning RTT [round trip time]

DOS: n., A small annoying boot virus that causes random spontaneous system
crashes, usually just before saving a massive project. Easily cured by
       -- David Vicker's .plan

MSDOS didn't get as bad as it is overnight -- it took over ten years
of careful development.

Proof techniques #2: Proof by Oddity.
SAMPLE: To prove that horses have an infinite number of legs.
(1) Horses have an even number of legs.
(2) They have two legs in back and fore legs in front.
(3) This makes a total of six legs, which certainly is an odd number of
legs for a horse.
(4) But the only number that is both odd and even is infinity.
(5) Therefore, horses must have an infinite number of legs.

Topics is be covered in future issues include proof by:
Gesticulation (handwaving)
"Try it; it works"
Constipation (I was just sitting there and ...)
Blatant assertion
Changing all the 2's to n's
Mutual consent
Lack of a counterexample, and
"It stands to reason"

Top scientists agree that with the present rate of consumption, the
earth's supply of gravity will be exhausted before the 24th century.
As man struggles to discover cheaper alternatives, we need your help.


Follow these simple suggestions:

(1) Walk with a light step. Carry helium balloons if possible.
(2) Use tape, magnets, or glue instead of paperweights.
(3) Give up skiing and skydiving for more horizontal sports like
(4) Avoid showers .. take baths instead.
(5) Don't hang all your clothes in the closet ... Keep them in one big
(6) Stop flipping pancakes

Whenever anyone says, "theoretically", they really mean, "not really".
-- Dave Parnas

"I hate quotations."
       -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Love makes the world go 'round, with a little help from intrinsic angular

Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

One of the questions that comes up all the time is: How
enthusiastic is our support for UNIX?
Unix was written on our machines and for our machines many
years ago. Today, much of UNIX being done is done on our machines.
Ten percent of our VAXs are going for UNIX use. UNIX is a simple
language, easy to understand, easy to get started with. It's great for
students, great for somewhat casual users, and it's great for
interchanging programs between different machines. And so, because of
its popularity in these markets, we support it. We have good UNIX on
VAX and good UNIX on PDP-11s.
It is our belief, however, that serious professional users will
run out of things they can do with UNIX. They'll want a real system and
will end up doing VMS when they get to be serious about programming.
With UNIX, if you're looking for something, you can easily and
quickly check that small manual and find out that it's not there. With
VMS, no matter what you look for -- it's literally a five-foot shelf of
documentation -- if you look long enough it's there. That's the
difference -- the beauty of UNIX is it's simple; and the beauty of VMS
is that it's all there.
-- Ken Olsen, President of DEC, 1984

beta test, v:
To voluntarily entrust one's data, one's livelihood and one's
sanity to hardware or software intended to destroy all three.
In earlier days, virgins were often selected to beta test volcanos.

Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made
sense from things she found in gift shops.
-- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

       [Internation Business Machines Corp.] Also known as Itty Bitty
       Machines or The Lawyer's Friend. The dominant force in computer
       marketing, having supplied worldwide some 75% of all known hardware
       and 10% of all software. To protect itself from the litigious envy
       of less successful organizations, such as the US government, IBM
       employs 68% of all known ex-Attorneys' General.

Albert Einstein, when asked to describe radio, replied: "You see, wire
telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New
York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And
radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive
them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."


In the beginning there was data. The data was without form and null,
and darkness was upon the face of the console; and the Spirit of IBM
was moving over the face of the market. And DEC said, "Let there be
registers"; and there were registers. And DEC saw that they carried;
and DEC separated the data from the instructions. DEC called the data
Stack, and the instructions they called Code. And there was evening
and there was morning, one interrupt ...
-- Rico Tudor

"Nuclear war would really set back cable."
-- Ted Turner

What color is a chameleon on a mirror?

There was a plane crash over mid-ocean, and only three survivors were
left in the life-raft: the Pope, the President, and Mayor Daley.
Unfortunately, it was a one-man life-raft, and quickly sinking, so
they started debating who should be allowed to stay. The Pope pointed
out that he was the spiritual leader of millions all over the world,
the President explained that if he died then America would be stuck
with the Vice-President, and so forth. Then Mayor Daley said, "Look!
We're not solving anything like this! The only fair thing to do is
to vote on it." So they did, and Mayor Daley won by 97 votes.

The President publicly apologized today to all those offended by his
brother's remark, "There's more Arabs in this country than there is
Jews!". Those offended include Arabs, Jews, and English teachers.
-- Baltimore, Channel 11 News, on Jimmy Carter

Let's call it an accidental feature.
-- Larry Wall

Our OS who art in CPU, UNIX be thy name.
Thy programs run, thy syscalls done,
In kernel as it is in user!

There are three kinds of lies: Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics.
-- Disraeli

Health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

A mathematician is a machine for converting coffee into theorems.

If they can make penicillin out of moldy bread, they can sure make
something out of you.
              --Muhammad Ali

UNIX was half a billion (500000000) seconds old on
Tue Nov 5 00:53:20 1985 GMT (measuring since the time(2) epoch).
              --Andy Tannenbaum

How many seconds are there in a year? If I tell you there are
3.155 x 10^7, you won't even try to remember it. On the other hand,
who could forget that, to within half a percent, pi seconds is a
              --Tom Duff, Bell Labs

The primary purpose of the DATA statement is to give names to
constants; instead of referring to pi as 3.141592653589793 at every
appearance, the variable PI can be given that value with a DATA
statement and used instead of the longer form of the constant. This
also simplifies modifying the program, should the value of pi change.
              --FORTRAN manual for Xerox Computers

As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not
certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.
              --Albert Einstein

"...nerds need to eat too. (Fun fact of the day: even frozen pizza and
Hostess cupcakes are made from farm products!)"

> Seen on /. on 10/13/99 (

It is always preferable to visit home with a friend. Your parents will
not be pleased with this plan, because they want you all to themselves
and because in the presence of your friend, they will have to act like
mature human beings ...
              --Playboy, January 1983

Get GUMMed
--- ------
The Gurus of Unix Meeting of Minds (GUMM) takes place Wednesday, April
1, 2076 (check THAT in your perpetual calendar program), 14 feet above
the ground directly in front of the Milpitas Gumps. Members will grep
each other by the hand (after intro), yacc a lot, smoke filtered
chroots in pipes, chown with forks, use the wc (unless uuclean), fseek
nice zombie processes, strip, and sleep, but not, we hope, od. Three
days will be devoted to discussion of the ramifications of whodo. Two
seconds have been allotted for a complete rundown of all the user-
friendly features of Unix. Seminars include "Everything You Know is
Wrong", led by Tom Kempson, "Batman or Cat:man?" led by Richie Dennis
"cc C? Si! Si!" led by Kerwin Bernighan, and "Document Unix, Are You
Kidding?" led by Jan Yeats. No Reader Service No. is necessary because
all GUGUs (Gurus of Unix Group of Users) already know everything we
could tell them.
              --Dr. Dobb's Journal, June '84

A famous Lisp Hacker noticed an Undergraduate sitting in front of a
Xerox 1108, trying to edit a complex Klone network via a browser.
Wanting to help, the Hacker clicked one of the nodes in the network
with the mouse, and asked "what do you see?" Very earnestly, the
Undergraduate replied "I see a cursor." The Hacker then quickly
pressed the boot toggle at the back of the keyboard, while
simultaneously hitting the Undergraduate over the head with a thick
Interlisp Manual. The Undergraduate was then Enlightened.

> If this isn't really funny, than you've never programmed in LISP or used
> Interleaf.

"355/113 -- Not the famous irrational number PI, but an incredible

HR 3128. Omnibus Budget Reconciliation, Fiscal 1986. Martin, R-Ill.,
motion that the House recede from its disagreement to the Senate
amendment making changes in the bill to reduce fiscal 1986 deficits.
The Senate amendment was an amendment to the House amendment to the
Senate amendment to the House amendment to the Senate amendment to the
bill. The original Senate amendment was the conference agreement on
the bill. Agreed to.
              --Albuquerque Journal

"There was an interesting development in the CBS-Westmoreland trial:
both sides agreed that after the trial, Andy Rooney would be allowed to
talk to the jury for three minutes about little things that annoyed him
during the trial."
              -- David Letterman

Well, I would -- if they realized that we -- again if -- if we led them
back to that stalemate only because our retaliatory power, our seconds,
or strike at them after our first strike, would be so destructive they
they couldn't afford it, that would hold them off.
-- President Ronald Reagan, on the MX missile

"The good Christian should beware of mathematicians and all those who
make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that mathematicians
have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and confine
man in the bonds of Hell."
-- St. Augustine

Mistakes are often the stepping stones to utter failure.

You are at a business lunch when you are suddenly overcome with an
uncontrollable desire to pick your nose. Since this is definitely a
no-no, you:

(a) Pretend to wave to someone across the room and with one fluid
motion, bury your forefinger in your nostril right up to the 4th

(b) Get everyone drunk and organize a nose picking contest with a prize
to the one who makes his nose bleed first.

(c) Drop your napkin on the floor and when you bend over to pick it up,
blow your nose on your sock.

"Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under Communism, it's just the
-- John Kenneth Galbraith

Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.
-- Pablo Picasso

The geographical center of Boston is in Roxbury. Due north of the
center we find the South End. This is not to be confused with South
Boston which lies directly east from the South End. North of the South
End is East Boston and southwest of East Boston is the North End.

The reason that every major university maintains a department of
mathematics is that it's cheaper than institutionalizing all those

Overflow on /dev/null, please empty the bit bucket.

Love cannot be much younger than the lust for murder.
-- Sigmund Freud

"It's not Camelot, but it's not Cleveland, either."
-- Kevin White, mayor of Boston

The temperature of Heaven can be rather accurately computed. Our
authority is Isaiah 30:26, "Moreover, the light of the Moon shall be as
the light of the Sun and the light of the Sun shall be sevenfold, as
the light of seven days." Thus Heaven receives from the Moon as much
radiation as we do from the Sun, and in addition 7*7 (49) times as much
as the Earth does from the Sun, or 50 times in all. The light we
receive from the Moon is one 1/10,000 of the light we receive from the
Sun, so we can ignore that ... The radiation falling on Heaven will
heat it to the point where the heat lost by radiation is just equal to
the heat received by radiation, i.e., Heaven loses 50 times as much
heat as the Earth by radiation. Using the Stefan-Boltzmann law for
radiation, (H/E)^4 = 50, where E is the absolute temperature of the
earth (-300K), gives H as 798K (525C). The exact temperature of Hell
cannot be computed ... [However] Revelations 21:8 says "But the
fearful, and unbelieving ... shall have their part in the lake which
burneth with fire and brimstone." A lake of molten brimstone means
that its temperature must be at or below the boiling point, 444.6C. We
have, then, that Heaven, at 525C is hotter than Hell at 445C.
-- From "Applied Optics" vol. 11, A14, 1972