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Last updated by Steven Libis & Associates on 03/12/2001


The Computer Humor web page is being reformatted and is being moved to my newer more general humor site (still located here): Internet Humor Pages

Like everything else on the internet, it will be a work in progress. When I have the time, and the energy, and the interest, I will be moving the other BBS humor bulletins here, as well as adding new items that get forwarded to me.

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 | Earthquake City BBS            BULLETIN # 50           Sysop: Steven Libis |

 Bulletin # 50                   Computer Humor               Updated: 09/21/97

 from the usual sources over the internet (REZ) 9/17/97
JZ>DW::>     "Real Life"? What's that?
JZ>  I've heard of those; they're supposed to be pretty neat.  I
JZ>  haven't found where to download a copy from, though; it
JZ>  doesn't seem to be on any of the big archives...
You are simply not looking in the right place.  It is on my BBS.
The greatest BBS in the world (TFSUYDIBPYYL.BBS), it offers all
readers  of this conference a free membership. The system is located in
Ulan  Bator, Mongolia at 069-7867-432 (300 baud, single line, 7-N-E). 
If you fill out the 12-page questionnaire (available in either Urdu or
 Sanskrit), you will receive a free 5-year membership and be entered
into  the drawing for the Grand Prize of a genuine fur-lined bathtub,
trimmed  with barbed wire and filled with 300 pounds of rancid yak
butter. This  offer will be quickly oversubscribed so HURRY!!!!! (The
bathtub will be  shipped via my private helicopter and should arrive
within 20 or 30  years.)
If you'd prefer the yak instead of the yak butter, that can be easily 
arranged. However, you will need to pay shipping costs. 
This is the home system for the eagerly awaited Turbo Edlin for OS/2
and  the beta (144.5MB) is available for download. Also located here are
 LastReader (the only OLMR ever written in ADA) [242MB] and LETTER!!! 
(the only word processing program that uses such easy-to-remember 
keystrokes as CTRL-ALT-SHIFT-F12 for underlines) [registration fee is 
only $16,235].
The Supervising Board of Directors include Pope John-Paul, the Dalai 
Lama, Archbishop Tutu and Bill Gates.
Persons who can prove they are over 21 will receive access to the
adult  area where there are over 2 GB of JPG images of naked camels,
llamas,  and goats. 
See you there?
 I'm not paranoid! Which of my enemies told you this? 

 Information Week - September 15, 1997 - Front End - Editor: Rory J. Thompson

 Hidden Meanings

 Maybe it's because we're all so wired together, but the computer 
 industry certainly does have a way with a phrase.

 The following are new definitions tha showed in our inbox recently.

 Blamestorming:  Sitting around in a group discussing why a deadline was
                 missed or a project failed and who was responsible.
 Cube Farm:  An office filled with cubicles.
 Ego Surfing:  Scanning the Net, databases, print media, and so on looking
               for references to one's own name.
 OhNoSecond:  That fraction of time in which you realize you've just made
              a big mistake, like seeing your boss's name on the TO: list 
              of dirty jokes you just sent out.
 Stress Puppy:  A person who thrives on being stressed-out and whiny.
 Tourists:  Those who take training classes just to take a vacation from
            their jobs--"We had three serious students in the class; the 
            rest were tourists."
 Uninstalled:  Euphemism for being fired.
 Xerox subsidy:  Rationale for copying personal documents on the office 

 from the usual sources over the internet (REZ) 9/12/97

Subject: Humor: The Last Person without Win95
The following message is forwarded to you by ... for:
[x] your enjoyment
[ ] absolutely no reason whatsoever
[ ] all of the above
and will self destruct in 10 seconds.
This message may have been edited (for various reasons), and some may find
it objectionable.  Read at your own risk!
There was a knock on the door.  It was the man from Microsoft.
"Not you again," I said.
"Sorry," he said, a little sheepishly.  "I guess you know why I'm here."
Indeed I did.  Microsoft's $300 million campaign to promote the Windows 95
operating system was meant to be universally effective, to convince every
human being on the planet that Windows 95 was an essential, some would say
integral, part of living.  Problem was, not everyone had bought it. 
Specifically, I hadn't bought it.  I was the Last Human Being Without
Windows 95.  And now this little man from Microsoft was
"No," I said.
"You know I can't take that," he said, pulling out a copy of Windows 95
from a briefcase.  "Come on.  Just one copy.  That's all we ask."
"Not interested."  I said.  "Look, isn't there someone else you can go
bother for a while?  There's got to be someone else on the planet who
doesn't have a copy."
"Well, no," The Microsoft man said.  "You're the only one."
"You can't be serious.  Not everyone on the planet has a computer," I
said.  "Hell, not everyone on the planet has a PC!  Some people own
Macintoshes, which run their own operating system.  And some people who
have PCs run OS/2, though I hear that's just a rumor.  In short, there are
some people who just have no use for Windows 95."
The Microsoft man look perplexed.  "I'm missing your point," he said.
"Use!"  I screamed.  "Use!  Use!  Use!  Why BUY it, if you can't USE it?"
"Well, I don't know anything about this 'use' thing you're going on
about," The Microsoft man said.  "All I know is that according to our
records, everyone else on the planet has a copy."
"People without computers?"
"Got 'em."
"Amazonian Indians?"
"We had to get some malaria shots to go in, but yes."
"The Amish."
"Oh, come on," I said.  "They don't even wear BUTTONS.  How did you get
them to buy a computer operating system?"
"We told them there were actually 95 very small windows in the box," the
Microsoft man admitted.  "We sort of lied.  Which means we are all going
to Hell, every single employee of Microsoft."  He was somber for a minute,
but then perked right up.  "But that's not the point!"  he said.  "The
point is, EVERYONE has a copy.  Except you."
"So what?"  I said.  "If everyone else jumped off a cliff, would you
expect me to do it, too?"
"If we spent $300 million advertising it?  Absolutely."
"Jeez, back to that again," the Microsoft man said.  "Hey.  I'll tell you
what.  I'll GIVE you a copy.  For free.  Just take it and install it on
your computer."  He waved the box in front of me.
"No," I said again.  "No offense, pal.  But I don't need it.  And frankly,
your whole advertising blitz has sort of offended me.  I mean, it's a
computer operating system!
Great.  Fine.  Swell.  Whatever.  But you guys are advertising it like it
creates world peace or something."
"It did."
"World peace.  It was part of the original design.  Really.  One button
access.  Click on it, poof, end to strife and hunger.  Simple."
"So what happened?"
"Well, you know," he said.  "It took up a lot of space on the hard drive. 
We had to decide between it or the Microsoft Network.  Anyway, we couldn't
figure out how to make a profit off of world peace."
"Go away," I said.
"I can't," he said.  "I'll be killed if I fail."
"You have got to be kidding," I said.
"Look," the Microsoft man said, "We sold this to the AMISH.  The Amish! 
Right now, they're opening the boxes and figuring out they've been had. 
We'll be pitchforked if we ever step into Western Pennsyvania again.  But
we did it.  So to have YOU holding out, well, it's embarassing.  It's
embarassing to the company.  It's embarassing to the product.  It's
embarassing to BILL."
"Bill Gates does not care about me," I said.
"He's watching right now," the Microsoft man said.  "Borrowed one of those
military spy satellites just for the purpose.  It's also got one of those
high-powered lasers.  You close that door on me, zap, I'm a pile of grey
"He wouldn't do that," I said, "He might hit that copy of Windows 95 by
"Oh, Bill's gotten pretty good with that laser," the Microsoft man said,
nervously.  "Okay.  I wasn't supposed to do this, but you leave me no
choice.  If you take this copy of Windows 95, we will reward you
handsomely.  In fact, we'll give you your own Caribbean island!  How does
Montserrat sound?"
"Terrible.  There's an active volcano there."
"It's only a small one," the Microsoft man said.
"Look," I said, "even if you DID convince me to take that copy of Windows
95, what would you do then?  You'd have totally saturated the market. 
That would be it.  No new worlds to conquer.  What would you do then?"
The Microsoft man held up another box and gave it to me.
"'Windows 95....For Pets'?!?!?"
"There's a LOT of domestic animals out there," he said.
I shut the door quickly.  There was a surprised yelp, the sound of a
laser, and then nothing.
The OS/2 Users List from the OS/2 Supersite
 -- End of forwarded message

 from other sources over the internet (Rez) 9/6/97

Q: Okay, my husband (who works for Keane, (that does the tech 
   support for MS), and I have a question... is Word 97 the 
   same as Word 8? *laugh*

A: Dana,

   Yes, you average the integers from the date to determine the
   version. For Office 97:


   This was introduced with Office 95:


   Microsoft is working on the year 2000 problem associated with 
   this version numbering scheme in order to avoid version 0 which 
   no one would buy.


 from other sources over the internet (PIBMUG) 9/3/97


CAPE CANAVERAL, FL--NASA officials have confirmed that the 
space agency's $170 million Mars Rover was destroyed Sunday 
by a ship-to-ship phaser fired from the defense array of the 
$950 billion Spielberg-Gates Space Palace, an opulent, Rhode
Island-sized orbiting mansion which serves as an outer-space 
getaway for moviemaker Steven Spielberg and computer magnate 
Bill Gates.

While powerless to counterattack, NASA pleaded with Spielberg 
and Gates to be more merciful with NASA equipment in the future. 
"While we greatly respect the advances Mr. Spielberg and Mr. 
Gates have made with their privately funded space fleet, and we 
apologize for our unauthorized entrance into their orbit zone, 
we beseech them to share the solar system with us."

Spokespersons for Spielberg and Gates said the two ardent 
video-game enthusiasts were "just playing."

 from other sources over the internet (PIBMUG) 8/20/97

Subject: Confidential Memo from Redmond

----Original Message----

From:           Bill Gates, CEO
Sent:           Monday, August 11, 1997 8:05 AM
To:             Greg Maffei, Chief Financial Officer
Subject:        Recent Purchase




 from other sources over the internet (James) 8/7/97

While scanning the PCWorld from Jan last year, I found a letter titled
Cruelty to Automobiles. Names have been changed to protect the smart
innocents. :)

Billy Bob's Full Disclosure column in your November (1995) issue, "Fit
and Finish: Anyone Want a Yugo?" states that in the realm of software
quality, Windows 95 is a Yugo.

Isn't that being too harsh--on the Yugo?

 from other sources over the internet (Sue) 8/7/97

   Diary of an AOL User.

July 18 - I just tried to connect to America Online. I've heard it is
the best online service I can get.  They even included a free disk!
I'd better hold onto it incase they don't ever send me anther one!  I
can't connect. I don't know what is wrong.

July 19 - Some guy at the tech support center says my computer needs a
modem. I don't see why. He's just trying to cheat me. How dumb does he
think I am?

July 22 - I bought the modem. I couldn't figure out where it goes. It
wouldn't fit in the monitor or the printer. I'm confused.

July 23 - I finally got the modem in and hooked up. that nine year old
next door did it for me. But it still don't work. I cant get online.

July 25 - That nine year old kid next door hooked me up to America
Online for me. He's so smart. I told the kid he was a prodigy.  But he
says that's just another service. What a modest kid.  He's so smart
and he does these services for people.  Anyway he's smarter then the
jerks who sold me the modem. They didn't even tell me about
communications software. Bet they didn't know. And why do they put two
telephone jack holes in the back of a modem when you only need one?
And why do they have one labeled phone when you are not suppose to
hook it to the phone jack on the wall?  I thought the dial tone
sounded funny! Boy, are modem makers dumb!  But the kid figured it out
by the sound.

July 26 - What's the internet?  I thought I was on America Online. Not
this internet thing. I'm confused.

July 27 - The nine year old kid next door showed me how to use this
America Online stuff. I told him he must be a genius. He says that he
is compared to me.  Maybe he's not so modest after all.

July 28 - I tried to use chat today.  I tried to talk into my computer
but nothing happened. maybe I need to buy a microphone.

July 29 - I found this thing called usenet. I got out of it because
I'm connected to America Online not usenet.

July 30 - These people in this usenet thing keep using capital
letters. How do they do that?  I never figured out how to type capital
letters. Maybe they have a different type of keyboard.








August 7 - Why have a Caps Lock key if you're not suppose to use it?
Its probably an extra feature that costs more money.

August 8 - I just read this post called make money fast. I'm so
exited. I'm going to make lots of money. I followed his instructions
and posted it to every newsgroup I could find.

August 9 - I just made my signature file.  Its only 6 pages long. I
will have to work on it some more.

August 10 - I just looked at a group called alt.aol.sucks. I read a
few posts and I really believe that aol should be wiped off the face
of the earth. I wonder what an aol is.

August 11 - I was asking where to find some information about
something.   Some guy told me to check out ftp.netcom.com. I've 
looked and looked but I can't find that group.

August 12 - I sent a post to every usenet group on the Internet asking
where the ftp.netcom.com is. hopefully someone will help. I cant ask
the kid next door. His parents said that when he comes back from my
house he's laughing so hard he can't eat or sleep or do his homework.
So they wont let him come over anymore. I do have a great sense of
humor. I don't know why the rec.humor group didn't like my chicken
joke. Maybe they only like dirty stuff. Some people sent me posts
about my 56 posts of the joke and they used bad words.

August 13 - I sent another post to every usenet group on the Internet
asking where the ftp.netcom.com is. I had forgot yesterday to include
my new signature file which is only 8 pages long. I know everyone will
want to read my favorite poem so I included it. I'm also going to add
that short story I like.

August 14 - Some guy suspended my account because of what I was doing.
I told him I don't have an account at his bank. He's so dumb.

Selected by Jim Griffith.  MAIL your joke to funny@clari.net.
Attribute the joke's source if at all possible.  A Daemon will

Jokes ABOUT major current events should be sent to topical@clari.net
(ie. jokes which won't be funny if not given immediate attention.)
Anything that is not a joke submission goes to funny-request@clari.net
For the full submission guidelines, see http://comedy.clari.net/rhf/

 from other sources over the internet (Sue) 8/7/97

Songs if country singers were computer nerds

01. "Woman, you reformatted my heart"
02. "She looked so sloppy my hard drive went floppy"
03. "My Norton Anti-Virus warned me about you"
04. "You don't type 'I love you'/you don't voice-mail love songs
05. "Don't click OK if you ain't ready to run"
06. "You said you was a virgin, but your version's 6.5"
07. "Is this love, or are we still in beta?"
08. "I met her on the web, fell in love when I eyed her, but she
     turned out to be a black widow spider"
09. "My wife talks faster than an ISDN modem"
10. "She can't stop hiden files in her home directory"
11. "I'd love to put your software on my laptop"
12. "Aichy-Breakey RAM"
13. "I signed up for ISDN, but got AOL instead"
14. "Online River" (take my mind)"
15  "I love the smell of sweet nectar of the perfume you spilled
     on my pocket protector"
16. "She threw out my clothes, killed my plants, and removed my
     name from her home page"
17. "All my rowdy friends are getting on IRC tonight"
18. "I was born a COBOL programmer's daughter"
19. "Stand by your Skypager"
20. "I Walk the Linux"
21. "You were always up online...."
22. "I've got friends with home pages...."
23. "Bill Gates went down to Georgia....."
24. "I'm lying here beside her/ With Lycos on my mind"
25. "She got the coalmine/I got the Windows 95 (convieniently
    this one may also be called ""she got the coalmine/I got the
    shaft and STILL apply"""
26. "She loves joysticks, but never owned a computer"
27. "My old fashioned girl's happy with DOS 3.2"
28. "I've Got the Internet Blues..."
29. "Don't let your babies grow up to be programmers"
30. "Alot about surfin' and a little about the web"
31. "Don't rock the hard drive"
32. "Yes I ad-mit, I've got a DRAM problem"
33. "Boot Sector Boogie"

 from other sources over the internet (S.C.) 7/29/97

Actual quotes from Bill Gates

Perhaps the Most Truthful: on Microsoft marketing:
"There won't be anything we won't say to people to try and convince
them that our way is the way to go."

Not on his mind while developing Win9X..circa 1981...
"640K ought to be enough for anybody."

On the solid code base of Win9X... thanks WPW!
"If you can't make it good, at least make it look good."

from "OS/2 Programmer's Guide" (forward by Bill Gates):
"I believe OS/2 is destined to be the most important operating system,
and possibly program, of all time. As the successor to DOS, which has
over 10,000,000 systems in use, it creates incredible opportunities
for everyone involved with PCs."

Bill Gates, Free Market and the LA Times Thanks GC!
"There are people who don't like capitalism, and people who don't like
PCs. But there's no-one who likes the PC who doesn't like Microsoft"

From the back of an old Digitalk Smalltalk/V PM manual, 1990:
"This is the right way to develop applications for OS/2 PM. OS/2 PM is
a tremendously rich environment, which makes it inherently complex.
From the back of an old Digitalk Smalltalk/V PM manual, 1990:
"This is the right way to develop applications for OS/2 PM. OS/2 PM is
a tremendously rich environment, which makes it inherently complex.

Smalltalk/V PM removes that complexity and lets you concentrate on
writing great programs. Smalltalk/V PM is the kind of tool that will
make OS/2 the successor to MS/DOS".

from "OS/2 Notebook", Microsoft Press, (c) 1990--an excerpt from an
interview with Bill Gates and Jim Cannavino, p. 614: Developer: Does
the announcement [of the OS/2 joint development agreement between IBM
and Microsoft] mean that Microsoft is curtailing any plans for future
development of Windows? Gates: Microsoft has not changed any of its
plans for Windows. It is obvious that we will not include things like
threads and preemptive multitasking in Windows. By the time we added
that, you would have OS/2.

There's a reason they threw it away...
from "Programmers at Work" by Microsoft Press, interview with Bill
(found on comp.os.os2.advocacy), Interviewer: Is studying computer
science the best way to prepare to be a programmer?

Gates: No, the best way to prepare is to write programs, and to study
great programs that other people have written. In my case, I went to
the garbage cans at the Computer Science Center and I fished out
listings of their operating system.

Only the finest Microsoft marketing! (submitted by BarryB):
"If you don't know what you need Windows NT for, you don't need it."

On the Box of Windows 2.11 for 286 (submitted by GLDM)
"New interface closely resembles Presentation Manager, preparing you
for the wonders of OS/2!"

On code stability, from Focus Magazine (submitted by Benedikt Heinen
Microsoft programs are generally bug-free. If you visit the Microsoft
hotline, you'll literally have to wait weeks if not months until
someone calls in with a bug in one of our programs. 99.99% of calls
turn out to be user mistakes. [...] I know not a single less
irrelevant reason for an update than bugfixes. The reasons for updates
are to present more new features.

Unconfirmed quotes:

Microsoft's GUI innovations... 1983 (thanks E.R.)
"Imagine the disincentive to software development if after months of
work another company could come along and copy your work and market it
under it's own name...without legal restraints to such copying,
companies like Apple could not afford to advance the state of the

Even more 1984 predictions (thanks Scott Renyen)
"The next generation of interesting software will be made on a
Macintosh, not an IBM PC."

 from the usual sources over the internet (Marty) 7/25/97

 Emoticon Meanings:
We all know those cute little computer symbols called "emoticons,"
where  :) means a smile and :( is a frown.  Sometimes these are
represented by :-) and :-( respectively.  Well, how about some
"ass icons"?
Here goes:

(_!_)      a regular ass

(__!__)    a fat ass

(!)        a tight ass

(_._)      a flat ass

(_^^_)      a bubble ass

(_*_)      a sore ass

(_!__)     a lop-sided ass

{_!_}      a swishy ass

(_o_)      an ass that's been around

(_O_)     and ass that's been around even more

(_x_)     kiss my ass

(_X_)     leave my ass alone

(_zzz_)    a tired ass

(_o^^o_)   a wise ass

(_13_)     an unlucky ass

 from other sources over the internet (Nola) 7/16/97

    From: jedihawk@mail.com (Kevin Hawkins)
    To: jedihawk@mail.com
    Subject: [JOKE]  Real Stud Hombre Cybermuffin
    Date: Wed, 16 Jul
        You Have to be a Real Stud Hombre Cybermuffin to Handle Windows
                                by Dave Barry
 People often say to me: "Dave, as a professional columnist, you have a job
 that requires you to process large quantities of information on a timely
 basis. Why don't you get a real haircut?"
 What these people are REALLY asking, of course, is: How am I able to produce
 columns with such a high degree of accuracy, day in and day out, 54 weeks
 per year?
 The answer is: I use a computer. This enables me to be highly efficient.
 Suppose, for example, that I need to fill up column space by writing BOOGER
 BOOGER BOOGER BOOGER BOOGER. To accomplish this in the old precomputer days,
 I would have had to type "BOOGER" five times manually. But now all I have to
 do is type it once, then simply hold the left-hand "mouse" button down while
 "dragging" the "mouse" so that the "cursor" moves over the text that I wish
 to "select"; then release the left-hand "mouse" button and position the
 "cursor" over the "Edit" heading on the "menu bar"; then click the left-hand
 "mouse" button to reveal the "edit menu"; then position the "cursor" over
 the "Copy" command; then click the left-hand "mouse" button; then move the
 "cursor" to the point where I wish to insert the "selected" text, then click
 the left-hand "mouse" button; then position the "cursor" over the "Edit"
 heading on the "menu bar" again; then click the left-hand "mouse" button to
 reveal the "edit menu"; then position the "cursor" over the "Paste" command;
 then click the left-hand "mouse" button four times; and then, as the French
 say, "voila!" (Literally, "My hand hurts!")
 If you need this kind of efficiency in your life, you should get a computer.
 I recommend the kind I have, which is a "DOS" computer ("DOS" is an acronym,
 meaning "ROM"). The other major kind of computer is the "Apple," which I do
 not recommend, because it is a wuss-o-rama New-Age computer that you
 basically just plug in and use. This means you don't get to participate in
 the most entertaining aspect of computer-owning, which is trying to get the
 computer to work. This is where "DOS" really shines. It is way beyond normal
 human comprehension.
 It was invented by Bill Gates. He is now one of the wealthiest individuals
 on Earth - wealthier than Queen Elizabeth; wealthier even than some people
 who fix car transmissions - and do you want to know why? Because he's the
 only person in the world who understands "DOS." Every day he gets frantic
 phone calls like this:
      BUSINESS EXECUTIVE: Our entire worldwide corporate accounting system is
 paralyzed, and no matter what we type into the computer, it replies, "WHO
 WANTS TO KNOW? (signed) 'DOS.'"
      BILL GATES: Ha-ha! I mean, sounds pretty serious.
      BUSINESS EXECUTIVE: We'll give you $17 million to tell us how to fix it.
      BILL GATES: OK. Press the "NUM LOCK" key.
      BUSINESS EXECUTIVE: So THAT'S what that thing does! Thanks! The check
 is on the way!
 My current computer, in addition to "DOS," has "Windows," which is another
 invention of Bill Gates, designed as a security measure to thwart those
 users who are somehow able to get past "DOS." You have to be a real stud
 hombre cybermuffin to handle "Windows." I have spent countless hours trying
 to get my computer to perform even the most basic data-processing functions,
 such as letting me play "F-117A Stealth Fighter" on it. I have personally,
 with my bare hands, changed my "WIN.INI" and "CONFIG.SYS" settings. This may
 not mean much to you, but trust me, it is a major data-processing
 accomplishment. Albert Einstein died without ever doing it. ("WAIT a
 minute!" were his last words. "It erased my equation! It was 'E' equals
 I am not the only person who uses his computer mainly for the purpose of
 diddling with his computer. There are millions of others. I know this,
 because I encounter them on the Internet, which is a giant international
 network of intelligent, informed computer enthusiasts, by which I mean,
 "people without lives." We don't care. We have each other, on the Internet.
 "Geek pride," that is our motto. While you are destroying your mind watching
 the worthless, brain-rotting drivel on TV ("Dave's World," Monday nights,
 CBS, check your local listings), we on the Internet are exchanging, freely
 and openly, the most uninhibited, intimate and - yes - shocking details
 about our "CONFIG.SYS" settings.
 You would not believe how wrought up we get about this type of thing, on the
 Internet. I regularly connect with a computer group that has a heated debate
 going on about - I am not making this issue up - the timing of
 Hewlett-Packard's decision to upgrade from a 386 to a 486 microprocessor in
 its Omnibook computer. This has aroused enormous passion. People - some of
 them from other continents - are sending snide, angry, sometimes furious
 messages to each other. I'm sure that some participants, even as we speak,
 are trying to figure out if there is a way to alter their CONFIG.SYS
 settings so that they can electronically punch their opponents in the mouth.
 This debate has been raging, soap-opera-like, for months now, and I have
 become addicted to it. I tune in every day to see what the leading
 characters are saying. You probably think this is weird, but I don't care. I
 am a happy nerd in cyberspace, where nobody can see my haircut.
    ***** You are reading the JediHawk JokeList.
    ***** To subscribe, happily send email to 'jedihawk@mail.com'
    ***** To unsubscribe, sadly send email to 'jedihawk@mail.com'
    ***** Enjoy!

 from the usual sources over the internet (REZ) 6/22/97

Breaking Windows isn't just for kids anymore...

 from the usual sources over the internet (PIBMUG) 6/06/97

 -------- Now some funny stuff --------

 When I first saw this, I thought, oh, god, not another list...
 then I started laughing out loud (LOL)
 Emoticon Meanings:
 :) Happy person
 :( Sad person
 :-) Happy person with a nose
 :-( Sad person with a nose
 :---( Person sad because he or she has a large nose
 :--Person sad because he or she has a large crayfish for a nose
 :-D Person laughing
 :-D* Person laughing so hard he or she does not notice that a large spider
      is hanging from his or her lip
 :-| Person unsure which long distance company to choose
 8-0-(&) Person just realizing that he or she has a tapeworm
 ;-) Person winking
 -) Person who can still smile despite losing an eyeball
 :0-WW Person vomiting a series of Slim Jims
 :-Q Person who just had cybersex and is now enjoying a postcoital
 :-Q-... Person who was enjoying a postcoital cybercigarette until he
         suddenly noticed, to his alarm, that there is some kind of discharge
         dribbling from his cybermember
 :-(8 Person who is none too happy with the results of her breast-enlargement
 :V:-| Person who cannot figure out why nobody wants to talk to him or her,
       little suspecting that there is an alligator on his or her head
 ~oE]:-| Fisherperson heading for market with a basket on his or her head
         containing a three legged octopus that is giving off smell rays
 :-[-()f Person who is none too pleased to be giving birth to a squid.

 from the usual sources over the internet (REZ) 6/02/97

 Subject: Natural selection ...

 One night, a Delta twin-engine puddle jumper was flying somewhere
 above New Jersey. There were five people on board: the pilot, Michael
 Jordan, Bill Gates, the Dali Lama, and a hippie. Suddenly, an illegal
 oxygen generator exploded loudly in the luggage compartment, and the
 passenger cabin began to fill with smoke. The cockpit door opened,
 and the pilot burst into the compartment.
 "Gentlemen," he began, "I have good news and bad news. The bad news
 is that we're about to crash in New Jersey. The good news is that
 there are four parachutes, and I have one of them!" With that, the
 pilot threw open the door and jumped from the plane.
 Michael Jordan was on his feet in a flash. "Gentlemen," he said, "I
 am the world's greatest athlete. The world needs great athletes. I
 think the world's greatest athlete should have a parachute!" With
 these words, he grabbed one of the remaining parachutes, and hurtled
 through the door and into the night.
 Bill Gates rose and said, "Gentlemen, I am the world's smartest man.
 The world needs smart men. I think the world's smartest man should
 have parachute, too." He grabbed one, and out he jumped.
 The Dali Lama and the hippie looked at one another. Finally, the Dali
 Lama spoke. "My son," he said, "I have lived a satisfying life and
 have known the bliss of True Enlightenment. You have your life ahead
 of you; you take a parachute, and I will go down with the plane."
 The hippie smiled slowly and said, "Hey, don't worry, pop. The
 world's smartest man just jumped out wearing my backpack."

 from the usual sources over the internet (PIBMUG) 5/26/97

 On May's PIBMUG meeting with Microsoft, Jim Young said:
 A few thoughts occurred to me after the meeting. (I was more than a little
 shocked at direction MicroSoft is taking and the words from the mouths of
 MicroSofties.)  Why don't they just make a few further slight modifications
 to eliminate confusion?  My suggestions are:
 1. Instead of www, use mww (for MicroSoft Wide Web).
 2. Instead of.doc, use.moc (for Mockery of Open Computing).
 3. List the decision makers within the company considering adopting
    Office 97 who just happen to own MicroSoft stock.
 4. Put a warning label on the boxes.  "This product may have been
    recommended by a MicroSoft Stockholder".
 I'll still use it but I'll be more careful about keeping other avenues open.

 from the usual sources over the internet (Marty) 5/07/97

 Subject: Another Joke to Share
 Sam has been in the computer business for 25 years and is finally sick of
 the stress. He quits his job and buys 50 acres of land in Vermont as far
 from humanity as possible. Sam sees the postman once a week and gets
 groceries once a month. Otherwise it's total peace and quiet. After six
 months or so of almost total isolation, he's finishing dinner when
 someone knocks on his door. He opens it and there's a big, bearded
 Vermonter standing there.

 "Names John... Your neighbor from four miles over the ridge... Havin a
 party Saturday... thought you'd like to come."

 "Great," says Sam, "after six months of this I'm ready to meet some local
 folks. Thank you."

 As John is leaving he stops. "Gotta warn you there's gonna be some

 "Not a problem...after 25 years in the computer business, I can do that
 with the best of them."

 Again, as he starts to leave John stops. "More 'n' likely gonna be some
 fightin, too."

 Damn, Sam thinks...tough crowd. "Well, I get along with people. I'll be
 there. Thanks again."

 Once again John turns from the door. "I've seen some wild sex at these
 parties, too."

 "Now that is not a problem" says Sam "Remember I've been alone for six
 months. I'll definitely be there!..... ....By the way, what should I wear
 to the party?"

 John stops in the door again and says "Whatever you want, it's just gonna
 be the two of us."

 from the usual sources over the internet (PIBMUG) 5/05/97

 Subject: It's almost May 10... (Mothers Day)
 Here's a light-hearted (and for a change early) Mothers-day gift.
 For years I badgered my mother with questions about whether Santa Claus is
 a real person or not. Her answer was always "Well, you asked for the
 presents and they came, didn't they?"
 I finally understood the full meaning of her reply when I heard the
 definition of a virtual device: "A software or hardware entity which
 responds to commands in a manner indistinguishable from the real device."
 Mother was telling me that Santa Claus is a virtual person (simulated by
 loving parents) who responds to requests from children in a manner
 indistinguishable from the real saint.
 Mother also taught the IF ... THEN ... ELSE structure: "If it's snowing,
 then put your boots on before you go to school; otherwise just wear your
 Mother explained the difference between batch and transaction processing:
 "We'll wash the white clothes when we get enough of them to make a load,
 but we'll wash these socks out right now by hand because you'll need them
 this afternoon."
 Mother taught me about linked lists. Once, for a birthday party, she laid
 out a treasure hunt of ten hidden clues, with each clue telling where to
 find the next one, and the last one leading to the treasure. She then gave
 us the first clue.
 Mother understood about parity errors. When she counted socks after doing
 the laundry, she expected to find an even number and groaned when only one
 sock of a pair emerged from the washing machine. Later she applied the
 principles of redundancy engineering to this problem by buying our socks
 three identical pairs at a time. This greatly increased the odds of being
 able to come up with at least one matching pair.
 Mother had all of us children write our Christmas thank you notes to
 Grandmother, one after another, on a single large sheet of paper which was
 then mailed in a single envelope with a single stamp. This was obviously an
 instance of blocking records in order to save money by reducing the number
 of physical I/O operations.
 Mother used flags to help her manage the housework. Whenever she turned on
 the stove, she put a potholder on top of her purse to reminder herself to
 turn it off again before leaving the house.
 Mother knew about devices which raise an interrupt signal to be serviced
 when they have completed any operation. She had a whistling teakettle.
 Mother understood about LIFO ordering. In my lunch bag she put the dessert
 on the bottom, the sandwich in the middle, and the napkin on top so that
 things would come out in the right order at lunchtime.
 There is an old story that God knew He couldn't be physically present
 everywhere at once, to show His love for His people, and so He created
 mothers. That is the difference between centralized and distributed
 processing.  As any kid who's ever misbehaved at a neighbor's house finds
 out, all the mothers in the neighborhood talk to each other. That's a
 local area network of distributed processors that can't be beat.  Mom,
 you were the best computer teacher I ever had.

 from the usual sources over the internet (PIBMUG) 4/30/97
 Q: Does God control everything that happens in my life?
 A: He could, if he used the debugger, but it's tedious to step through
    all those variables.
 Q: Why does God allow evil to happen?
 A: God thought he eliminated evil in one of the earlier revs.
 Q: Does God know everything?
 A: He likes to think so, but he is often amazed to find out what goes
    on in the overnight job.

 Q: What causes God to intervene in earthly affairs?
 A: If a critical error occurs, the system pages him automatically and he
    logs on from home to try to bring it up. Otherwise things can wait
    until tomorrow.
 Q: Did God really create the world in seven days?
 A: He did it in six days and nights while living on cola and candy bars.
    On the seventh day he went home and found out his girlfriend had left him.
 Q: How come the Age of Miracles Ended?
 A: That was the development phase of the project, now we are in the
    maintenance phase.
 Q: Will there be another Universe after the Big Bang?
 A: A lot of people are drawing things on the white board, but doubt
    that it will ever be implemented.
 Q: Who is Satan?
 A: Satan is an MIS director who takes credit for more powers than he
    actually possesses, so people who aren't programmers are scared of
    him. God thinks of him as irritating but irrelevant.
 Q: What is the role of sinners?
 A: Sinners are the people who find new and imaginative ways to mess up
    the system when God has made it idiot-proof.
 Q: Where will I go after I die?
 A: Onto a backup tape.
 Q: Will I be reincarnated?
 A: Not unless there is a special need to recreate you. And searching
    backup files is a major hassle, so if there is a request for you,
    God will just say that the tape has been lost.
 Q: Am I unique and special in the universe?
 A: There are over 10,000 major university and corporate sites running
    exact duplicates of you in the present release version.

 Q: What is the purpose of the universe?
 A: God created it because he values elegance and simplicity, but then
    the users and managers demanded he tack senseless features onto it
    and now everything is more complicated and expensive than ever.
 Q: If I pray to God, will he listen?
 A: You can waste his time telling him what to do, or you can just get
    off his back and let him program.
 Q: What is the one true religion?
 A: All systems have their advantages and disadvantages, so just pick
    the one that best suits your needs and don't let anyone put you down.
 Q: How can I protect myself from evil?
 A: Change your password every month and don't make it a name, a common
    word, or a date like your birthday.
 Q: Some people claim they hear the voice of God. Is this true?
 A: They are much more likely to receive e-mail.
 Q: Some people say God is Love.
 A: That is not a question. Please restate your query in the form of a
    question.  Abort, Retry, Fail?

 from the usual sources over the internet (Marty) 4/30/97

 Subject: Email Joke - For us e-mail-ites!

  1.  You wake up at 3 a.m. to go to the bathroom and stop to check your
      e-mail on the way back to bed.

  2.  You get a tatoo that reads "This body best viewed with Netscape
      Navigator 1.1 or higher."

  3.  You name your children Eudora, Mozillia and Dotcom.

  4.  You turn off your modem and get this awful empty feeling, like you
      just pulled the plug on a loved one.

  5.  You spend half of the plane trip with your laptop on your
      lap...and your child in the overhead compartment.

  6.  You decide to stay in college for an additional year or two, just
      for the free Internet access.

  7.  You laugh at people with 9600-baud modems.

  8.  You start using smileys in your snail mail.

  9.  Your hard drive crashes. You haven't logged in for two hours.  You
      start to twitch. You pick up the phone and manually dial your ISP's
      access number.   You try to hum to communicate with the modem.
      ...And you succeed.

 10.  You find yourself typing "com" after every period when using a
      word processor.com

 11.  You refer to going to the bathroom as downloading.

 12.  You start introducing yourself as "JohnDoe at AOL dot com."

 13.  All of your friends have an @ in their names.

 14.  Your cat has its own home page.

 15.  You can't call your mother...she doesn't have a modem.

 16.  You check your mail. It says "no new messages." So you check it again.

 17.  Your phone bill comes to your doorstep in a box.

 18.  You don't know what sex three of your closest friends are, because
      they have neutral nicknames and you never bothered to ask.

 19.  You move into a new house and decide to Netscape before you landscape.

 20.  You tell the cab driver you live at

 21.  You start tilting your head sideways to smile.

 from the usual sources over the internet (PIBMUG) 4/21/97

 Future memory technologies:
 DVRAM (Deja-Vue RAM) - the CPU thinks it has the data before it actually
 PVRAM (Presque-Vue RAM) - the CPU only has to pretend to access RAM to get
 the data.
 ODRAM (Oracle at Delphi RAM) - returns data the CPU plans to access next
 (first data access has to be a NOP).
 HRAM (Hearsay RAM) - CPU talks to other CPUs and uses what they all think
 the data is, instead of accessing the actual data (which may be different).
 711RAM (Seven-Eleven RAM) - always available, but may be held up during the
 night shift.
 ARAM (Audio RAM) - like video RAM, but describes the image verbally instead.
 MRAM (Mumble RAM) - gumb dortle vrmrgish tord summblum sart groff tuldard
 snangle gnig.

 from the usual sources over the internet (PIBMUG) 4/21/97

 *Endangered Species*
 A panda walks into a bar, sits down and orders a sandwich.  He eats the
 sandwich, pulls out a gun and shoots the waiter dead.
 As the panda stands up to go, the bartender shouts, "Hey! Where are you
 going?  You just shot my waiter and you didn't pay for your sandwich!"
 The panda yells back at the bartender, "Hey man, I'm a PANDA! Look it up!"
 The bartender opens his dictionary and sees the following definition for
 panda: "A tree dwelling marsupial of Asian origin, characterized by
 distinct black and white coloring. Eats shoots and leaves."

 from the usual sources over the internet (PIBMUG) 4/21/97

 Subject: environmental humor is NOT an oxymoron
 The following, courtesy of one of the members of our State Lobbyist Corps:
 *The Texan, Californian, and Seattlite*
 There are three guys in a bar--a Texan, a Californian, and a Seattlite.
 They drink all night, get a little crazy, and the Texan grabs a bottle of
 tequila.  He unscrews the top, takes a good swig, and throws the bottle
 into the air.  He then pulls out a .45 caliber automatic and shoots the
 bottle, spraying tequila all over everything.
 The other patrons at the bar shout, "Hey why'd you waste that?!" The Texan
 says, "Hell, it's just tequila.  Where I come from, we got lotsa tequila."
 The Californian, not to be outdone, whips out a corkscrew and opens a bottle
 of wine.  He pours some into a glass, swirls, sniffs and sips it.  Then he
 throws the bottle into the air and shoots it with a little silver pistol.
 The patrons again express their displeasure and astonishment at such a
 waste. The Californian says, "Hey, back off dudes.  In Napa Valley, we've
 got plenty of great wine."
 The Seattlite borrows an opener, pops the top off a bottle of Red Hook and
 downs the whole bottle.  He then throws the empty bottle into the air,
 shoots the Californian, and simultaneously catches the falling bottle.
 Now the people are screaming, "Why'd you do that???!!!!"  The Seattlite
 replies, "We got lots of Californians, but I have to recycle the bottle."

 from the usual sources over the internet (PIBMUG) 4/21/97

 Like acronyms? Try these on for size...
 A tool (usually made from a bent paper clip) used for manually ejecting
 disks from a disk drive.
 Short for "click here, a*****e." Refers to oversimplified navigation
 hints created for computer users who are assumed to be stupid. "We
 need some CHA to explain how the pulldown menus work."
 Leaky Reply
 A message sent to an unintended recipient by a sender using the Reply to
 All option in an email program. Leaky replies may contain information
 about the recipient that he or she was not supposed to receive.
 Prairie Dogging
 When someone yells or drops something loudly in an office, prompting
 everyone's head to pop up over their cubicle walls to see what's going on.

 from the usual sources over the internet (PIBMUG) 4/21/97

 David Jung asks: Did you hear that a division of the federal government
 is going to start making uninterruptible power supplies?
 They're going to call them: Fed-Ups.

 from the usual sources over the internet (PIBMUG) 4/21/97

 Subject: Service call not included
 You've probably heard about the Mars Pathfinder probe. Once it lands on
 the Red Planet, Pathfinder will release the Sojourner Rover, a little
 laboratory on wheels. Sojourner will cruise about the Martian surface
 performing experiments. It turns out that Sojourner and Pathfinder will
 communicate using two standard, off-the-shelf 9600 baud radio modems.
 According to Jet Propulsion Laboratory program manager Donna Shirley, the
 modem manufacturer warned JPL that sending the modem to Mars would void
 the warranty.

 from the usual sources over the internet (Rez) 4/21/97

 Subject: [JOKE]  Types of Computer Users

 OK, here it is - the official Types of Computer Users List version
 0.1.  This may be offensive to some of you who I'm mailing this out to,
 but I do not mean that in any way.

 Types of Computer Users - version 0.1

 Type 0:
 Stage name:  hermit
 Has never even heard of a computer.  Possibly Amish or a shut-in from birth.

 Type 1:
 Stage name:  parent
 Has heard of computers, finds them interesting, but doesn't quite know what
 they do.  Needs to learn that this thing is just a bloody giant calculator.
 "You put the information in the computer and it helps you out."

 Type 2:
 Stage name:  newbie
 Thinks an XT or Mac OS is an amazing breakthrough.  Needs tech support if
 something goes wrong.  Is intimidated by the power switch.  Just getting out
 of the phase where they worry about blowing up the CPU by pressing the wrong
 button.  Wonders where the `any' key is.  May be worried by the sound of the
 modem handshaking - is the thing breaking on me now?

 Type 3:
 Stage name:  Experienced newbie
 Thinks any version of Windows since 3.0 is an amazing breakthrough; may have
 a bit of trouble with Win95.  Thinks aol.com is a great Inet provider.  May
 go gaga over "Make Money Fast" schemes.

 Type 4:
 Stage name:  Windows user
 Can operate Windows 3.1 with fair skill, may go over to Win95.  New entrants
 into this stage may accidentally confuse memory and hard drive space, and
 will delete software they don't really need to free up an extra few megs of
 memory.  Uses one of the Big 3 Net Providers, but if prompted to re-enter a
 password or visa number due to a "system crash" or other similar phenomenon,
 has enough wit to either a) not reply, or b) send a series of *'s in place
 of said password or number.

 Type 5:
 Stage name:  Dos user
 Familiar with MS Dos, however prefers menu systems or GUI over Dos.  Has not
 yet heard of Linux.  Mind is blown by increase of speed after upgrading from
 v.22bis (2400bps) modem to v.32bis (14.4) modem.  Uses the Web.

 Type 6:
 Stage name:  Experienced Dos user
 Knows dos well, uses most recent version (6.22); prefers Dos over Windows
 for speed sake.  Familiar with Linux, but may not have it due to
 compatibility problems or lack of system capacity; or acknowledges existence
 of same, but frequently pronounces it "lienux", "linoox," or otherwise.
 (BTW, it  rhymes with "Skin ux.")  Capable of doing minor maintenance.
 Possibly a system operator of a BBS, and might even use OS/2 due to the fact
 that it doesn't closet out memory like MS's stuff does.

 Type 6 uses a 14.4 modem or faster.

 Type 7:
 Stage name:  Dual OS user
 Capable of system builds from the ground up; can program batch files in Dos,
 or shell scripts in Linux.  There's a bigger possibility of this user being
 a system operator of a local board, and if this is the case, there's a
 pretty good chance that s/he is networked to FidoNet or other BBS network,
 or might even have a UUCP connection for Internet mail and news.  Maintains
 dual operating system partitions on hard drive if user owns one computer, or
 has systems dedicated to given OS (one for Linux, one for MSDos, etc.)
 Prefers Linux over Dos for multitasking capabilities.  Has intermediate data
 recovery skills.  Drinks Coca-Cola religiously - because Real Hackers Drink
 Coke.  Uses a 28.8 modem and maybe somewhat familiar with how v.34 works.

 Type 8:
 Stage name:  Linux user
 Runs a Linux system.  This user has forgone all commercial operating
 systems, however may use the Linux Dos Emulator (DOSEMU) or WINE.  Uses
 X-Windows for GUI functions.  May network obsolete computers just for fun.
 Uses c, c++, perl, awk and/or sed as programming languages.  Has an ISDN

 Type 9:
 Stage name:  Linux administrator
 Uses Linux exclusively on a very high-powered machine (say, a Neptune dual
 chip board with two - count 'em, two - Pentium 200+ chips in there).
 Freelance programmer.  Pizza is a 5th food group for this user.  If this
 person is a ham radio operator, is capable of communicating in Morse Code at
 20+ words per minute.  Has a dedicated digital link to the Internet, runs an
 8-line BBS out of his bedroom.

 Type 10:
 Stage name:  Sun worshipper
 Owns and operates a Sun Ultra-1 Creator 3D.  (These cost about the same as a
 new Lexus, gang.)  Has private T-1 dump to the Internet, and might be
 running a 16-line BBS.  This user may never go outside for weeks at a time.
 Drinks Jolt and eats Pizza exclusively.  Thinks and/or speaks in C, C++
 and/or Perl as a second language; very possibly can speak with a TTY machine
 in 5-bit Baudot.

 Type 11:
 Stage name:  Cable guy
 Is in the process of developing a way to directly interface one's brain with
 his/her computer.  As you can imagine, s/he is completely insane.  Can
 communicate with a 28.8 modem at full speed.

 Type 12:
 Stage name:  Borg
 This person by now may never need to eat.  Speaks using an ISDN connection.

 Type 13:
 You don't even want to know about this person.  Alright, I'll tell you in
 two words:  Lawnmower Man.

 from the usual sources over the internet (Rez) 4/13/97

 Your Computer Might Be A Redneck If ...

 Working in the Atlanta area takes a toll on PCs.  Recently my 100mhz
 system began slowing down; when it got to 12mhz I figured it had
 picked up a southern drawl.  My biggest hint is that on boot-up, it

 from the usual sources over the internet (Marty) 4/13/97

 Subject: Internet Humor
                            LINES FOR MODEM TIMES
                              by Warren Clements
                                Globe and Mail

 The winner is Alanna Little of Toronto:

                       Home is where you hang your @.

 Other modern lines:

 A user and his leisure time are soon parted.
     --Ron Charach, Toronto

 Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach him
 to use the Net and he won't bother you for weeks.
     --Eric Mendelsohn, Toronto

 1. The e-mail of the specious is more deadly than the mail.
 2. Speak softly and carry a cellular phone.
     --Jim Parr, Toronto

 1. A journey of a thousand sites begins with a single click..
 2. C: is the root of all directories.
   -- Gord Reynolds, Scarborough ON

 1. You can't teach an old mouse new clicks.
 2. Don't put all your hypes in one home page.
 3. Programs expand to fill the memory available.
    --Tony Chandler, Sidney, BC

 Pentium wise, pen and paper foolish.
     --Colin Eyssen, Toronto

 Many RAMS make bytes work.
     --John Wrenman, Victoria, BC

 1. Discreet as a new PIN.
 2. There's no place like http://www.home.com.
    --Ken Purvis, Toronto

 In Gates we trust.
    --Allen Sutherland, Ottawa, ON

 Know what to expect before you connect.
    --Bruce C.W. McFarlane, Clifton Royal, BC

 1. Great groups from little icons grow.
 2. Fax is stranger than fiction.
 3. What boots up must come down.
 4. Windows will never cease.
 5. Virtual Reality is its own reward.
 6. The eyes are the Windows 95 of the soul.
 7. Modulation in all things.
    --Barrie Collins, Courtenay, BC

 1. The road to HAL is paved with good intentions.
 2. Oh, what a tangled Web site we weave when first we practice.
    --Paul Davy, Parry Sound, ON

 The modem is the message.
    --Kurt Loeb, Downsview, ON

 Byte off more than you can view.
    --Maureen Tingley, Fredericton, NB

 A glitch caught in time saves time on-line.
    --J.T. Currie, Simcoe, ON

 Too many clicks spoil the browse.
    --David Dunsmuir, Vancouver BC

 The geek shall inherit the earth.
    --Martin J. Steinbach, Toronto

 Let the search fit the on-line time.
    --Lesley Hands Wilson, Victori, BC

 A chat has nine lives.
    --David Reid, New Westminster, BC

 You could see the error message written all over his face.
    --Craig Swick, Columbia, MD

    It was the best of nodes, it was the worst of nodes.

    Where there is no ISP the people perish.

    I cried because I had no feet then I met a man with only a 14.4

    A single ERROR 404 is a tragedy, millions of them is a statistic.

    First they came for Mac users but since I was not a Mac user..

    Will the last human please uninstall internet.exe.
        --Ed Chilton, Toronto

 from the usual sources over the internet (Rez) 4/05/97

 Subject: A "simple little job"
 I've been away from the conference for awhile, seemingly long enough
 for the comp hardware industry to abandon all standards. Here's why I
 say that.
 The other day it seemed a good idea to update one of my 486 machines
 to a 3.5" 1.4 meg floppy drive.  Until now it had a pair of 5.25 1.2s.
 So I bought ny TBS1.44FD. Examination showed the power plug was no
 longer a 1-inch chunk but now was a tiny set of 4 prongs.  I pointed
 it out to the clerk, and asked him for a drive made for IBMs. "Huh?"
 he said, "they're all like that."
 I led him over to the table of power supplies and had him try to plug
 up the drive.  When he couldn't, he concluded there must be a plug
 adapter in the shrinkwrap rack and, for $5, there it was. I took the
 drive and power adapter home.
 On the way I remembered needing a mounting kit to put a 3.5 drive in a
 case made for 5.25s.  Stopped at another store.  The only one in stock
 was a multi-piece kit from Taiwan, $7.50.  So I burned up $12.50
 buying adapters so a floppy drive could be installed in a traditional
 desktop case only a few years old.  But that's only the start.
 With the mounting kit was, of all oddball things, a power plug adapter
 with 2 wires, not four as the power supply provided. Hey, maybe I
 didn't need the shrinkwrap $5 power adapter?  And there was also an
 adapter for the data cable connection because, I now noticed, the
 drive had no edge connector but instead a double row of 26 tiny pins.
 The modest instructions for the mounting kit showed how the edge
 connector adapter was used, and noted pins number 2 and 34 printed on
 the plug, should be "on top."  Ok, I can follow instructions.
 Risking a 2-wire rather than 4-wire hook-up (hell, it's only rippling
 DC) I installed this dog.
 The mounting kit came with a bag of machine screws to be used to
 attach the mounting frame to the drive, "if desired."  The frame did
 not provide screw driver access holes through the outside shell to
 make that possible but it didn't matter.  Why?
 There were no threaded holes in the side of the drive casing to take
 screws, and there were no holes through the inside shell of the
 mounting frame to put screws through. Instead the frame attached with
 fixed pins on the bottom, a plastic gizmo across the top that proved
 too large to fit in a crowded desktop case, and some nipples in the
 The kit and drive did fit into the case, but only after I re-arranged
 things to make it the top drive in the desktop. On top was headroom
 for that plastic gizmo. Making the best of it, I tried to use the
 provided screws to attach the mounting frame to the desktop case.
 There were 3 sizes of screws, all of them wrong.  Ok, I had my own.
 I attached the data cable (red stripe to the left like all my drives)
 and fired up the box. Both drives, the new 3.5" and the old 5.25", lit
 their access lights and went into polite but endless clatter while the
 SCSI booted up.
 Ok, the 2-wire power cable works fine but the CMOS needs to be reset.
 Did that.  Re-boot and more clatter.
 Power down, go through gyrations to twist the data cable to fit in
 "backwards" red stripe to the right, and fire it up.  Drives run fine,
 test out 100%.
 SO ... this simple job now takes a different data connector needing an
 adapter and plugged in backwards, a downsize power plug using only 2
 wires, and screws supplied by us because theirs don't fit their own
 Seems computers are still in the era where each railroad uses its own
 track width and A's cars won't fit on B's track.
 I figure it was a Mac drive wired for PS/2 with a mounting kit for a
 proprietary Compaq case, designed by a North Vietnamese with a grudge,
 and packed by exploited Chinese children trying to attract the
 attention of the Washington Post.
 We already know that's the origin of CD-ROM drives.

 from the usual sources over the internet (PIBMUG) 4/03/97

 From David Jung:
 For you pentium aficionados out there...
 INTRODUCING the greatest and most powerful new chip out of INTEL's(TM)
 Microprocessor Labs: The Potato(TM) Chip.
 Finally, with much fanfare, the newest upgrade to the best selling
 Pentium(TM) processor is released.  The Potato(TM) Chip uses the latest in
 biochemical and electronic engineering.  This newly developed organic
 microprocessor outshines the previous generation.
 The Potato(TM) Chip has 100more speed, 100 more memory, 1/10th the heat
 generation and 100000more starch then the traditional 200Mhz PentiumPro(TM)
 The new Potato(TM) Chip will soon be available in several flavors:  Standard
 for the generic PC, Barbecue for those engineers and scientists who need an
 extra kick, Cajun for secretaries so that the engineers can drool over it,
 sour-cream and onions for the very low end user, and Low Sodium for the lap
 top market.
 Soon a modified version of the Potato(TM) Chip will be released for the Very
 High End Computing sector. The new chip will be used in powerful parallel and
 supercomputer systems.  The chip will have a slightly modified shape, color,
 and will be stackable.  This project is code named Pringles(TM).
 Intel(TM) is beating out Motorola(TM) by two months for its own new chip: The
 Tortilla(TM) Chip.  Industry insiders believe that the marketing hype for the
 Tortilla(TM) chip is overblown.  Motorola's(TM) new chip is just too late and
 too underpowered compared to the Intel processor.  In addition, the
 Tortilla(TM) is completely incompatible with the Potato(TM) Chip and is based
 upon a very different technology.
 For more information contact Intel sales at: bitethischip@intel.com

 from the usual sources over the internet (Chrome Oxide) 4/07/97

In a world without fences, who needs Gates?

 from the usual sources over the internet (Marty) 4/13/97

 Subject: Heaven Can't Wait
 Q: Why did the Heaven's Gate cult mambers commit suicide?
 A: They were keeping up with the Jonses!
 The bad news is... it wasn't lawyers...
 Seeing all of those Nike shoes on the feet of the Heaven's Gate
 members gives new meaning to the slogan... "Just Do It!"
 If you know web design and are willing to relocate to San Diego,
 there's 39 job openings.
 Due to recent downsizing, Higher Source Enterprises is looking for
 motivated individuals for web page design. Individuals must be willing
 to travel...
 Investigators believe HTML coding resulted in suicides.

 The San Diego county sheriffs department announced today that the recent
 deaths of  39 cult members in southern California were caused, at least
 in part, by "the profound futility of HTML programming", an activity
 that cult members were required to participate in for many hours each
 day.  Documents retrieved from the mansion occupied by the cult members
 reveal that most, if not all of the members were despondent over a life
 spent creating what amounted to public relations material for brokerages
 and polo clubs.   "The entire cult was overwhelmed by "web malaise",
 says an unidentified member of the recently arrived FBI cybernetics swat
 team.   "They were swept away by the realization that all of their work
 had been done in an arena that offered no sustainable economic
 rationale," he continued.  "We're seeing this all over the country.
 Certain susceptible individuals are lured into "programming" with HTML.
 When they finally come to their senses, the shock can be overwhelming."

 Previous reports that the cultists believed their spirits would be
 gathered up by a comet-following UFO were revealed to be inaccurate.
 Notes left on the bodies unanimously expressed their hope, "that these
 higher beings will teach us C++."
 by Charles Forsythe

 REDMOND -- Microsoft Corporation has announced plans to acquire the
 Website and Internet development corporation Higher Source for an
 undisclosed fee.  "Higher Source has proven its commitment to strange
 mind-control cults and UFO religions," said Microsoft spokeswoman,
 Anita Klue,"Their willingness to kill themselves for the sake of their
 technology is the kind of dynamic that Microsoft wants to promote."

 In conjunction with the acquisition, Microsoft announced a new program
 called "Active Cult 97", which is expected to be in place by late
 1998.  Active Cult aims to make the use of Microsoft technology more
 of a religion-driven decision as opposed to a technology-driven
 decision.  "This isn't expected to be a big change for Microsoft's
 customer base," explained Ms. Klue.  Details of Active Cult were not
 disclosed, but it was suggested that instead of crashing with the
 infamous "blue screen of death" or "General Protection Fault",
 Microsoft's operating systems would merely display the message
 "Windows shed it's container for your sins."

 Mike S. Brown, who writes about the industry in his PC Weak column
 "M.S. Brown Knows" responded enthusiastically to the announcement.
 "This really raises the stakes for Internet development.  IBM may be
 content to kill its own products, like OS/2, but Microsoft is willing
 to kill its own developers and maybe even some customers.  That's the
 kind of bold difference that will make UNIX, OS/2 and the Mac
 completely irrelavent by the end of 1996!"  When is was pointed out
 that 1996 was already over, Mr. Brown retorted,"No it's not!  If it
 was, then Microsoft would be behind schedule on Windows 97 -- which it

 An IBM employee, who asked to remain anonymous due to the fact that
 the whole issue was "extremely silly," said that "IBM is committed to
 the future of network computing and OS/2 is an important part of that
 future."  He added that,"IBM is not interested in promoting suicide.
 If you want to talk about promoting suicide, talk to Microsoft's
 ISVs.  Can you say `Citrix'?"

 Reaction amongst Windows users was generally positive.  Ben de Miover,
 CIO for a large company which recently switched its operations from
 the Apple MacIntosh to Windows 95, explained,"Windows is really cool
 because you can play Quake in...,like..., a window and stuff."  He also
 cited a complete lack of Windows 95 applications for the MacIntosh.
 "How can modern business function without Windows 95 applications.
 Y'know, like Quake?"  In addition, he was pretty sure that OS/2 and
 UNIX were "new wave bands from L.A."

 Linus Torvalds was unavailable for comment.
 American Express is coming out with a credit card for cultists.
 The tag line will be, "Don't leave your container without it."
 I've been hearing about the 39 computer programmers who committed mass
 suicide, and I keep thinking -- "hard disk crash".
 I heard that Janet Reno's getting involved in this latest cult
 investigation.  Would someone please tell her they're ALREADY dead.
 I see where the California chapter of the Jack Kevorkian Fan Club has
 held their first convention...
 Somebody's trying to drum up some business by e-mailing the former
 clients of Higher Source...

 Dear Former Client of Higher Source,

 We in the web development community are saddened by the loss of our
 talented but somewhat looney brothers and sisters at Higher Source.
 We've been told that by combining great web design services with
 bizarre beliefs in the supernatural, Higher Source served their
 clients well, if only for a short time.

 Since your web designers have tragically taken their own lives, we
 thought we'd drop this little e-note to tell you a little bit about
 Snappy Web Design.  We at Snappy Web Design are all tepid Catholics,
 Jews, Agnostics and Vegans.   At worst, we drink, smoke, have
 pre-marital sex, and (some of us) attend mass on Palm Sunday.  We can
 assure you that next time a big ball of dust and ice comes streaming
 thru the inner solar system, we won't lease office space in the big
 design studio in the sky.  That's right, no imbibing from the toxic
 Java pot here!  And since we don't have a big San Diego mansion to
 rent, I think you find our design rates pleasantly competitive!

 We hope that you'll consider working with Snappy Web Design.   Along
 with great web design, death by natural causes is our way of life.


 Webmaster, Snappy Web Design

 P.S.  Down the road, if you hear that we commited suicide en-masse,
 don't panic.  We're just trying to get a lot of people to visit our
 web site!

 from the usual sources over the internet (PIBMUG) 4/04/97

 Due to sun spot interference, this message may have been delayed.
 STARDATE:  March 25th 1997       16:09:59
 To:  Heaven's Gate Personnel
 Due to extensive tail winds caused by the comet HALE-BOPP, pickup of 39
 passengers has been delayed until 2024 when we pass by the planet Earth

 That is all!

 from the usual sources over the internet (Rez) 3/30/97

 Subject: Developers Die
 The 39 men and women found dead after an apparent mass suicide were
 evidently web developers who were despondent about the delayed release
 of Microsoft Corporation's Internet Explorer 4.0 web browser.  The
 victims were all members of a web design firm called "Higher Source
 Contract Enterprises."
 The San Diego County Sheriff's department confirmed the finding of a
 suicide note located in the Windows "Recycle Bin" of one of the servers
 used by the group.  In the note, one of the Higher Source employees was
 quoted as saying "We can't take the wait anymore" and "life is just
 unbearable without IE 4.0."

 A Microsoft employee who asked not to be named confirmed that
 approximately 2,751 requests had been received from Higher Source
 members to join the beta testing program for the Internet Explorer
 software, but that these requests had gone unanswered.  "The betareq
 people are overloaded with requests," he said.  "We're still trying to
 finish fulfilling kits for the Windows 95 Preview Program."

 At least two of Higher Source's clients admitted that Higher Source
 representatives had promised them web sites built using Internet
 Explorer 4.0.  One client said that he had been promised a "Dynamic HTML
 web site with CDF push channels" by April 1, 1997.  Authorities have
 speculated that it was this impending deadline, along with the inability
 to obtain the required software, that might have prompted the group to
 rash action. Crime scene photos show that at least some members of
 Higher Source attempted to switch to Netscape Corporation technology at
 the last minute.

 In some of the photographs, open manuals for Netscape's "Constellation"
 beta software can be seen with handwritten notes in the margin such as

 "Higher Source believed a rumor posted on Usenet that IE 4.0 Platform
 Preview was available on a rogue FTP site located behind the Hale-Bopp
 comet," said a spokesperson for the Sheriff's department.  "They
 believed they needed to become 'one' with the comet in order to download
 Internet Explorer."

 Virginia has confirmed that there are currently no Internet sites
 registered on or behind the Hale-Bopp comet, while admitting to a
 27-month backlog of domain name requests.

 Forensic pathologists have speculated that the web design group's nearly
 exclusive diet of Pop Tarts, pizza, and Jolt cola was a contributory
 factor in the group psychosis.

 Officials at Microsoft Corporation could not be reached for comment.

 from the usual sources over the internet (Rez) 3/19/97

            W A R N I N G !
 A special circuit in this machine called a "critical detector" senses
 the operator's emotional state in term of how desperate he or she is
 to use the machine.  The "critical detector" then creates a
 malfunction proportional to the desperation of the operator.
 Threatening the machine with violence only aggravates the situation.
 Likewise, attempts to use another machine may cause it to also
 malfunction - they belong to the same union.  Keep cool and say nice
 things to the machine.  Nothing else seems to work.

 from the usual sources over the internet (Chrome) 3/12/97

P.S.: Remember, a tachyon is just a sub-atomic particle devoid of
      good taste, and it refuses to obey the posted speed-limit, too!
*      This message transmitted on 100% re-cycled electrons            *

 from the usual sources over the internet (Nola) 3/11/97

 Subject: [JOKE]  How to Install Software

 "How To Install Software -- A 12-Step Program" by Dave Barry
 (from his new  book "Dave Barry In Cyberspace")

  1. Examine the software packaging until you find a little printed
     box that  explains what kind of computer system you need to run
     the software.

 It should look something like this:

 3546 MB RAM
 432323 MB ROM
 05948737 MB RPM

 NOTE: This software will not work on your computer.

  2. Open the software packaging and remove the manual. This will
     contain  detailed instructions on installing, operating, and
     troubleshooting the  software. Throw it away.

  3. Find the actual software, which should be in the form of
     either a  3.5-inch floppy diskette or a CD-ROM, located
     inside a sealed envelope  that says:


         By breaking this seal, the user hereinafter agrees to
 abide by all the  terms and conditions of the following agreement
 that nobody ever reads,  as well as the Geneva Convention and the
 U.N. Charter and the Secret   Membership Oath of the Benevolent
 Protective Order of the Elks and such  other terms and
 conditions, real and imaginary, as the Software Company  shall
 deem necessary and appropriate, including the right to come to
 the  user's home and examine the user's hard drive, as well as
 the user's  underwear drawer if we feel like it, take it or leave
 it, until death do  us part, one nation indivisible by the dawn's
 early light,... finders  keepers, losers weepers, ...

  4. Hand the software to a child aged 3 through 12 and say, "(Name
     of  child), please install this on my computer."

  5. If you have no child age 3 through 12, insert the software in
     the  appropriate drive, type "SETUP" and press the Enter key.

  6. Turn the computer on, you idiot.

  7. Once again type "SETUP" and press the Enter key.

  8. You will hear grinding and whirring noises for a while, after
     which the  following message should appear on your screen:

        The Installation Program will now examine your system to
 see what would be the best way to render it inoperable. Is it OK with you?
 Choose one,  and be honest:

                         +---------+     +----------+
                         |   YES   |     |   SURE   |
                         +---------+     +----------+

  9. After you make your selection, you will hear grinding and
     whirring for  a very long time while the installation program
     does who knows what in  there.  Some installation programs can
     actually alter molecular  structures, so that when they're done,
     your computer has been transformed   into an entirely new device,
     such as a food processor.

        At the very least, the installation program will create
 many new   directories, sub-directories, and sub-sub-directories
 on your hard drive  and fill them with thousands of mysterious
 files with names like  "puree.exe," "fester.dat," and "doo.wha.."

 10. When the installation program is finished, your screen should
     display  the following message:


        The installation program cannot think of anything else to
 do to your  computer and has grown bored. You may now attempt to
 run your software.  If you experience any problems, electrical
 shocks, insomnia, shortness of  breath, nasal discharge, or
 intestinal parasites, you should immediately

 11. At this point your computer system should become less
     functional than  the federal government, refusing to respond even
     when struck with  furniture.

 12. Call the toll-free Tech Support Hotline # listed on the
     package and  wait on the line for a representative, who will
     explain to you, in a  clear, step-by-step manner, how to adopt a
     child aged 3 through 12.

 from the usual sources over the internet (Rez) 3/09/97
Posted by Bill Wilson over in the Comedy Conference....
        Reason #173 to fear technology...

         o      o     o    o     o        o>    o
        .|.    \|.   \|/   //    X     \      |    <|    <|>
         /\     >\   /<    >\   /<     >\    /<     >\    /<

        Mr. Asciihead learns the Macarena

 from the usual sources over the internet (Rez) 2/23/97
 Real Men by Scott Adams
 I get about 100 e-mail messages a day from readers of my comic
 strip "Dilbert."  Most are from disgruntled office workers,
 psychopaths, stalkers, comic-strip fans -- that sort of person.
 But a growing number are from women who write to say they think
 Dilbert is sexy.  Some say they've already married a Dilbert and
 couldn't be happier.
 If you're not familiar with Dilbert, he's an electrical engineer
 who spends most of his time with his computer.  He's a nice guy
 but not exactly Kevin Costner.
 Okay, Dilbert is polite, honest, employed and educated.  And he
 stays home. These are good traits, but they don't exactly explain
 the incredible sex appeal.  So what's the attraction?
 I think it's a Darwinian thing.  We're attracted to the people
 who have the best ability to survive and thrive.  In the old days
 it was important to be able to run down an antelope and kill it
 with a single blow to the forehead.

 But that skill is becoming less important every year.

 Now all that matters is if you can install your own Ethernet card
 without having to call tech support and confess your inadequacies
 to a stranger whose best career option is to work in tech
 support.  It's obvious that the world has three distinct classes
 of people, each with its own evolutionary destiny:

 1) Knowledgeable computer users who will evolve into godlike non-
 corporeal beings who rule the universe (except for those who work
 in tech support);
 2) Computer owners who try to pass as knowledgeable but secretly
 use hand calculators to add totals to their Excel spreadsheets.
 This group will gravitate toward jobs as high school principals
 and operators of pet crematoriums. Eventually they will become
 extinct;  and
 3) Non-computer users who will grow tails, sit in zoos and fling
 dung at tourists.

 Obviously, if you're a woman and you're trying to decide which
 evolutionary track you want your offspring to take, you don't
 want to put them on the luge ride to the dung-flinging Olympics.
 You want a real man. You want a knowledgeable computer user with
 evolution potential.
 And women prefer men who listen.  Computer users are excellent
 listeners because they can look at you for long periods of time
 without saying anything.  Granted, early in a relationship it's
 better if the guy actually talks.  But men use up all the stories
 they'll ever have after six months.  If a woman marries a guy
 who's in, let's say, retail sales, she'll get repeat stories
 starting in the seventh month and lasting forever. Marry an
 engineer and she gets a great listener for the next 70 years.
 Plus with the ozone layer evaporating, it's a good strategy to
 mate with somebody who has an indoor hobby.  Outdoorsy men are
 applying suntan lotion with SPF 10,000 and yet by the age of 30
 they still look like dried chili peppers in pants.  Compare that
 with the healthy glow of a man who spends 12 hours a day in front
 of a video screen.
 If you doubt the sexiness of male PC users, consider their hair.
 They tend to have either: (1) male pattern baldness -- a sign of
 elevated testosterone -- or (2)  unkempt jungle hair -- the kind
 you see only on people who just finished a frenzied bout of
 lovemaking.  If this were a trial I think we could reach a
 verdict on the strong circumstantial evidence alone.
 I realize there are a lot of skeptics out there.  They'll delight
 in pointing out the number of computer users who wear wrist
 braces and suggest it isn't the repetitive use of the keyboard
 that causes the problem.  That's okay.  Someday those skeptics
 will be flinging dung at tourists.  Then who'll be laughing?
 (Answer to rhetorical question: everybody but the tourists.)
 Henry Kissinger said power is the ultimate aphrodisiac..  And
 Bill Clinton said that knowledge is power.  Therefore, logically,
 according to the U.S. government, knowledge of computers is the
 ultimate aphrodisiac.  You could argue with me -- I'm just a
 cartoonist -- but it's hard to argue with the government.
 Remember, they run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms,
 so they must know a thing or two about satisfying urges.
 In less enlightened times, the best way to impress women was to
 own a hot car.  But women wised up and realized it was better to
 buy their own hot cars so they wouldn't have to ride around with
 Technology has replaced hot cars as the new symbol of robust
 manhood.  Men know that unless they get a digital line to the
 Internet no woman is going to look at them twice.
 It's getting worse.  Soon anyone who's not on the World Wide Web
 will qualify for a government subsidy for the home-pageless.  And
 nobody likes a man who takes money from the government, except
 maybe Marilyn Monroe, which is why the CIA killed her.  And if
 you think that's stupid, I've got 100 words to go.
 Finally, there's the issue of mood lighting.  Nothing looks
 sexier than a man in boxer shorts illuminated only by a 15-inch
 SVGA monitor.  If we agree that this is every woman's dream
 scenario, then I think we can also agree that it's best if the
 guy knows how to use the computer.  Otherwise, he'll just look
 like a loser sitting in front of a PC in his underwear.
 In summary, it's not that I think non-PC users are less
 attractive.  It's just that I'm sure they won't read this

 from the usual sources over the internet (Rez) 2/21/97

 Subject: What's wrong with your sexlife?

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

 from the usual sources over the internet (Rez) 2/17/97

 If IBM had invented sushi, would they sell it as "raw, dead fish"?
 Or, would a company that calls a hard disk a "fixed file" or "DASD"
 call sushi something like "PLAF", or "Post-Living Aquatic Foodstuff".

 from the usual sources over the internet (Rez) 2/12/97

 Subject: Dave Barry's Help Desk

 I'm wondering if anybody can help me with a problem I'm having on
 my computer at work. I recently upgraded to Windows 95 from Windows
 3.1416, and I've noticed that when I running WordWanker Version (which I upgraded from in conjunction with FaxBuddy!
 Version, everything works fine for about the first 25
 minutes, but then if I try to type a subordinating conjunction
 followed by any form of the verb foment, the keyboard locks up
 permanently and the hard drive makes a whimpering sound and all
 current data is erased, including data in computers several cubicles
 away. I have tried everything, including reformatting my hard
 drive and exorcism. Please help!

 I had exactly the same problem, and after a lot of trial and error I
 found out that if you click on the Windows Control Panel, then on
 Command Center, then on Reset Variables, then on Establish New
 Parameters, then on Define Standards, then on Modify Criteria, then
 on Effectuate Paradigms, then on the little icon that says Do Not Ever
 Click On This Little Icon, then go down to the box that says Enter
 New Value, and type in 2038, you will still have the same problem.
 This is why I started using heroin.

   ...Dave Barry

 from unusual sources (Michael Finley) 1/15/97

 Reasoning and Rationalizing: A Cautionary Tale


 When I was a kid and computers were thought of as giant blinking mainframes
 housed at the Pentagon, or Univac, a popular question was, "Will computers
 ever think like people?"

 Today we finally know the answer, arrived at after hundreds of thousands of
 laboratory man-hours, light years of punch tape, and untold septillions of
 MIPS.  The answer is, "God, let's hope not."

 I say this not because I'm worried about machines encroaching upon the sphere
 of human intellect.  It's just that there are neighbordhoods on that sphere
 that you wouldn't advise some unsuspecting putty-complexioned appliance to

 I'm thinking especially of the vast human propensity for rationalization --
 logical statements in service to illogical objectives. Rather than point a
 finger at unfortunates with truly serious problems I offer my own story,
 illustrating in a modest way the kind of thinking we wouldn't want computers
 to approximate.

 As regards rationalizing buying computer stuff, I am as good an example of a
 bad example as you will find.  You name it, I have rationalized buying it.  In
 truth, my copywriting shop would be unconductable without computers.  In the
 event of a permanent electricity crisis, my family and I would have to retrain
 for one of the career opportunities of the 1990s, like digging for canned

 So, with one eye on my present needs and the other on the low-tech future, I
 have established a period museum of high-tech gizmos -- computers, printers,
 laptop, mouse, FAX, answering machine, printer buffer, surge protectors,
 lasers, expansion boards, modems, switchboxes, telephones, extra disk drives,
 cables, and a million diskettes of software, downloads, backups and junk.
 Somewhere at the core of this Gordian knot of technology, I am there, drawing
 breath in quick gulps, but exulting to the end in my technological

 To others I'm afraid I look like the final panel in one of those ironic pulp
 science fiction stories of the 1950s, in which the narrow-focused nerd is
 punished for eternity by getting exactly what he wanted, Midas-like, absorbed
 by his own riches.

 I did not come to this pass by ingenuously weighing my needs and real intents,
 back when all this started.  A callow youth, I was ready in those days to bear
 any burden in my ambition to communicate with the world.  I figured my job
 wasn't to increase productivity, but to get the job done honestly and well.
 Type three drafts of a novel?  No problem!  Type a fourth draft!  OK!  Type a
 fifth draft?  Oh, all right.  A sixth? Oh....

 So long as one doesn't know about computers, ordinary writing is bearable.
 When, after writing two multi-draft books, personal computers did hit the
 market, I was an early convert.  I used to read Radio Shack brochures and
 marvel at the neat new machines for sale. I turned to my bride one day and
 said, "Red, I have to have one of these things.

 "Why?", she asked.

 "Why?"  I was incredulous. "Amore, think of the productivity it will give my
 work," I explained.  Instead of endlessly doing drafts, I can finish three
 projects in the time one now takes."  (Note: The first critical translation
 computer rationalizers make is from laziness to productivity.)

 The die was cast.  I shelled out a hard-earned $2,700 for my first micro, a
 dual drive, 64K Franklin Ace 1200 with a 10 cps daisywheel printer.  For weeks
 I reveled in its editability, its ability to print out consecutive drafts
 without smudges, without White-Out, without tears.  I was ecstatic.  For a
 week or so. But I was soon aware that I was not quite done with my raids on
 productivity hardware.  "Red," I said, "enamoradita, we need a modem."


 "Why?" I asked incredulously, again.  "Darling, a computer without a modem is
 like an unfinished symphony.  Without an open channel to the world of
 information, I'm little more than a brain kept alive in a petrie dish. I'm not
 connecting, I'm not reaching out.  I want arms, my darling, and legs."  I
 didn't even tell her how lousy the spreadsheet that came bundled with the
 Franklin was. I was saving that for later.

 So I spent more money, bought a 300 bps modem.  Then learned that the world of
 data that was out there charged by the minute like a taxicab.  "Jewel, there's
 a brochure I'd like to show you, from the swell people at Compuserve.  Using
 this service, I'll never have to visit the library again.  We can sell our
 encyclopedias.  Just think of the parking and gas costs we'll be saving.  Our
 car will probably last another month because of this.  We're talking the big
 one, sweets. Productivity City."

 Had to buy a printer buffer, of course -- that endless waiting till the
 printer was finished was undermining the enormous productivity gains I had
 made.  Eventually upgraded from the Ace to an IBM XT-compatible. "Honey, this
 thing's got 10 times as much memory, and costs 65% what the other cost,
 counting inflation, and not counting all the new software I'll also have to
 buy.  I'd be pretty stupid if I didn't go for this now, instead of waiting
 till prices go up next year."

 Got rid of the impact printer -- too slow, too noisy, a real productivity-
 killer.  Bought a 24-pin daisywheel.  This time Red wanted a change.  "That
 thing sounds like you're running a veal packing plant down there," she said.
 Bought a laser printer instead.  "The image quality is so stupendous," I told
 Red, "clients will say, omigod this is beautiful, and I can raise my rates
 again."  I slapped the paper tray playfully.  "This baby is like money in the
 bank," I said.

 There was still room for a FAX machine, squeezed between the answering machine
 and my new laptop.  "Gotta get the laptop," I told Red.  "I'm so busy being
 productive, why, the way things are going I'll never be able to take a
 vacation.  This way I can take the laptop out to the cabin, you and the kids
 can have fun, and I'll be productive."

 Here is a brief list of excellent reasons for buying hardware or software.
 Try them out on your spouse today.

 1. Saves steps. Instead of having to shut down XyWrite and booting up Lotus,
 you buy Framework III or Smart, and it's all there in one program.  The beauty
 of step-saving as a rationale is that, if your spouse won't let you do it the
 software route, you can try hardware.  "You're right, honey, what was I
 thinking.  I'll just get the 2 megabyte memory upgrade instead and run XyWrite
 as a TSR program.  What a fool I've been."

 2. Pays for itself.  You can even use Lotus to create complex-looking
 amortization and depreciation schedules, showing in columnular fashion how
 increased business and accelerated tax savings will return every dime you

 3. Maintains parity with competition.  This is great if your spouse hasn't
 much confidence in you to begin with. "Honey, technology is my edge. Lose
 that, and what do I have to offer?  Not great for your own self-esteem, but
 a trump card in a tight game.

 4. Takes business to 'higher level'.  This one is great for stimulating the
 Lady Macbeth in all of us.  Also known as the "An-Invisible-
 Man-can-rule-the-world! Ahahaha!" gambit.  Chained the Kaypro and dBase II
 you'll never grow beyond simple data entry. But equipped with a blazing new
 Mac SE and Postscript printer, you'll be transformed from an implementer to an

 5. Prices may never be this low again.  That's a good one! Practice before a
 mirror so you can keep a straight face. Throw in something about growing
 Japanese semiconductor market share and you're in like flint.

 6. Let's make a deal.  Tie your computer purchase (and its productivity and
 therefore income enhancements) to something your spouse wants. "Tell you what.
 First $100 I make with the new machine, we go shopping for that Hoover you've
 had your heart set on."

 7. Give me 80 megabytes or give me death.  This ploy recognizes that the two
 most effective motivators are irrational -- fear and guilt.  You work hard for
 a living -- why add to that terrible burden, and possibly shortening your life
 expectancy, quite possibly dying alone, face mashed against a cold keyboard,
 by denying you a few easily-affordable, productivity-enhancing tools?

 I know what you're thinking -- this guy is buying everything in sight, he must
 print his own checks, I wish I had a nickel for every $100 he's blowing on
 hardware.  Wrong -- despite my enormous gains in productivity, I still have
 hardly any money whatsoever.  So when I call some mail order company and order
 a switchbox or a mouse, I put it on my credit card.  That way, it will be
 weeks before the bill comes, and I'll have a head start on boosting my
 productivity a little bit more, and maybe someone will send me some money.
 And you don't have that heavy "I-just-bought-something-expensive" feeling.
 All you did was order the damn thing.  You don't buy things till you pay for

 Here's another technique I picked up.  Package arrives by UPS.  You open it
 up, maybe you say, "Gee, I wonder what this could be."  Inside is a new
 motherboard to upgrade your XT to a 386.  Spouse gives you that forlorn
 weary-of-the-war look. You slap your forehead.  "Oh, I know what this is,
 it's that 30-day trial deal, whereby you get to use it for a month, then
 you send it back.  Hey, it'll be fun operating at 22 mh for 30 days."

 Let's say spouse isn't 100% convinced by all this.  "You're not going to keep
 it then?"

 "Shoot, no.  I'm just taking this company for a ride, baby. Oh, I suppose, if
 in the course of testing the thing I found that it enabled me to make
 staggering gains in productivity, then I might consider keeping it.  But if
 that's so, then it pays for itself, right?  Otherwise, it's no trouble at all
 to undo these eight screws at the back of the CPU box, disconnect every cable
 and wire, remove all the expansion boards, unsnap the motherboard, replace the
 new hard disk 60 mg hard disk I also ordered for 30 days' trial with the old
 one, pop the board back into the box, screw the pathetic old computer back
 together, and send the new one back to those poor saps.  It's a win/win
 situation all the way."

 Spouse bought that, I'll bet. Support is important, especially when money is
 tight and margins are thin.  My Red is a wonderful woman.  Occasionally I look
 up from peeling apart the styrofoam surrounding some new acquisition and there
 she'll be, holding the five little ones in her arms, and everyone's crying
 quite a great deal, and some Woody Guthrie song playing on the radio.  But
 even then I get those feelings of support from her.  (I know two of those
 little ones, I think the other three are rentals.)

 Support, particularly unthinking support, is especially important when the
 subject is too technical to explain.  Once Red wanted to know why it was worth
 $500 to upgrade from 4.77 mz to 12 mz chip speed.  "Let's say you're writing
 an article at 4.77 mz," she said.  "How will a faster chip speed help you
 finish the article any faster? How will it get you paid any faster?"

 Now, I could have sat her down, smiled benignly, and said "Red, Red, Red, Red,
 Red," and told her all the complicated reasons, arithmetic included, why an
 increase in CPU speed enhances productivity, which creates an incremental
 momentum that courses throughout the entire business enterprise, with the
 benefits trickling directly down to our household finances. A rising tide
 lifts all ships, rhododendron.

 But I'd already tried that once before.  Instead I just say, "Sweetheart, it
 has nothing to do with CPU speed.  It has to do with maintaining parity with
 the competition.  What was it Poor Richard said, 'For want of a nail, the war
 was lost?'  You save a little here, balk at a few pennies investment there,
 and one day you wake up and everyone else has gone on ahead, and left you
 behind, in the past, wallowing in obsolescence. Is that what you want, for us
 to go down in flames because we weren't forward-thinking enough to make a tiny
 investment in our future?  Because if it is, I'll return this board right now,
 and get a refund, and we'll all of us -- you, me, the kids -- go shopping for
 metal detectors right now."

 Sometimes she gets this faraway look in her eyes, and says I've changed.
 Where is the romantic, sensitive soul who wanted to write novels under trees,
 for whom a crust of bread and ballpoint pen were sufficient unto heaven?

 Forget that, I say.  That's individualism, I say.  I let the whole litany fly.
 That's the Sixties talking, a loser's game, Old World craftsmanship,
 endangered species, Mustache Petes.  "With my machines," I declare, "I can
 duplicate anything, a thousand times.  The 21st Century is dawning, and my
 swivel chair is pointed toward the means of production.  Behold my works and

 I wasn't going to tell her just yet, but my mind's on fire with a big idea.
 "We're going national, corazon.  I'm licensing my copywriting approach in a
 seventeen-city rollout starting August 1. Clients around the country can go to
 a Michael Finley copy agency and know they are getting treated exactly the
 same.  Now doesn't that make the fellow with the pumpernikel look pathetic?
 I'm calling the chain 'Hack in the Box.[TM]'  What do you think?"

 And so on, excelsior, scaling the heights of Mount Progress.

 A final word.  The purpose of rationalizing computer purchases is never to be
 right, nor even to persuade.  It is simply to get your own way, for the short-
 term, for the quick fix of a new, very important, one-time extraordinary
 expense.  Throw in a philosophical quotation to buttress this argument -- if
 nothing else it deflects resentment away from oneself. "'In the long term,'
 Keynes said, 'we are dead.'"

 If every technique I have offered here comes to naught, if you throw your best
 arguments into the fray and they crash and burn, there is one last-ditch
 recourse, to be used only when all other attempts fail.

 Tell the truth.  Put all your cards on the table.  Admit that you have a
 problem, and that you are no longer in control of your life, that you are
 powerless in the face of junk mail and hand-wringing sales clerks.  And get
 down on your knees and beg for this final indulgence today, and promise, upon
 the graves of your ancestors, that you will seek out and avail yourself of
 professional help, and the lovingkindness of a higher power...


 Until then, productivity gains will be significant.  And honey -- you're the

 mailer from ArgoTech Business Systems, 2815 McGaw Avenue, Irvine, CA 92614

 The Lighter Side of the World of Computing
 Asynch: A place to wash your hands before touching your computer.
 Error Message: Short, baffling remark used to place blame on users
                for a program's shortcomings.
 Hardware: Collective term for any computer-related item that can be
           kicked or battered.
 Help: The feature that assists in generating more questions.
 Interim Release: A programmer's feeble attempt at repentance.
 Printer: A device consisting of a case, jammed paper tray and a
          blinking error code.
 Reference Manual: Object that raises the monitor to eye level.

 You must be too serious about computing ....
 ...If you can type your 10 favorite Web sites by heart.
 ...If you are engaged to someone you have never actually met; except
    through Email.
 ...If a great new program you were told about turns out to be on a TV.
 ...If you use more than 20 passwords.
 ...If you think of housekeeping as cleaning up your hard disk.

 Information Week - October 28, 1996 - Front End - Editor: Rory J. Thompson


 The computer industry cranks out new words faster than a speeding Netscape.
 Here are some of the latest:

 Dilberted:  To be exploited and oppressed by the boss.
 Beepilepsy:  The brief seizure some folks suffer when their beepers go
 off--especially in vibrator mode.  Characterized by physical spasms, goofy
 facial expressions, and speech interruption in mid-sentence.
 World Wide Wait:  The real meaning of WWW.
 Under Mouse Arrest:  Getting busted for violating an online service's rules.
 Glazing:  During a boring meeting, dozing with one's eyes open.

 by Jeff Sweat

 Information Week - October 21, 1996 - Front End - Editor: Rory J. Thompson

 Saucy Saver

 Still haven't had enough of the macarena dance craze?  "Hey, Macaroni," a
 screen saver from software developer Rhode Island Soft Systems, Inc.  in
 Woonsocket, spoofs the hand-waving Macarena with dancing noodles and parody

 Available for both Windows 95 and Windows 3.1, "Hey, Macaroni" can be
 downloaded free from http://www.risoftsystems.com.  If you get it, you'll
 be in good company; the software maker says 250,000 people have already
 downloaded the program and estimates another 250,000 copies were passed

 Now, try going back to work without hearing that darned song in your
 head all day.                                                  R.J.T.

 Information Week - August 19, 1996, issue 593
 Front End - Editor: Karyl Scott
       Contributors: Bruce Caldwell, Marianne K. McGee, Stephanie Stahl,
                     Rory J. Thompson, Clinton Wilder

 Just Click on 'Absolve'

 High-tech confessions apparently are not kosher with some leaders of the
 Catholic Church.  Earlier this month, the German Conference of Bishops
 renounced 'Confession By Computer", a $52 PC software program from the
 Cologne-based Lazarus Society that lets users choose from 200 sins that they
 can confess to.  The disc also gives advice on how to reach priests and
 ministers on the Internet.

 Although the disc includes a disclaimer that a silicon-based confession is no
 substitute for the real thing, the bishops charged that the product could be
 misleading.  Huffed a conference spokeswoman: "You cannot have sins forgiven
 by the push of a button."

 Network World - June 17, 1996, volume 13, number 25

 Name Calling - by Chris Nerney

 There have been numerous domain name disputes in recent years involving
 large corporations alleging trademark infringement.  Some of the better
 know cases include:

 PETA and Mike Doughney

 Doughney published a satirical Webpage called People Eating Tasty Animals.
 People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals demanded that he turn over the
 domain name peta.com.  Doughney refused, but the InterNIC put the domain
 name on hold after PETA complained.  The name is in limbo.

 from the usual sources over the internet (REZ) 5/20/96

Subject: [JOKE]  Super-Duper-Hyper-Ethernet


SAN FRANCISCO, CA., Jan 7, 2010  -- Xerox today announced Hyper-Ethernet,
its fourth-generation local area network. In addition to its ability to
transmit text, data and images, Hyper-Ethernet enables the transmission of
people. "People transmission over Hyper-Ethernet," according to Michael
Liddle, V.P. of Office Systems, "will greatly reduce elevator congestion and
eliminate the need for video conferencing." Order taking for Hyper-Ethernet
will begin next month. Installation will start in Los Angeles in the Third

In a related announcement, Wang Labs, headquartered in Hoboken, New Jersey,
announced Super-Hyper Wangnet, its twelfth generation local area network.
According to Freddie Wang, President of Wang Labs, "Super-Hyper Wangnet will
not only transmit people over the Wangnet, but will also transmit furniture
and buildings over the interconnect and utility bands. These additional
capabilities of Super-Hyper Wangnet are vital to the emerging office of the
future." Order taking for Super-Hyper Wangnet will begin next month.
Installation has already occurred worldwide.

IBM Corporation, which has been rumored to be about to announce a local
area network since 1980, was not available for comment.

                 Digital Responds to Hyper-Ethernet

TEWKSBURY, MA, April 1, 2010 -- Digital Equipment announced today its
new DECNet Phase XVIII Architecture. In response to recent Xerox and
Wang improvements to Ethernet that provide people- and facility-
transportation across inter-node links, DEC's latest DECNet provides
these capabilities as well as providing for the creation of virtual
facilities and even countries. These capabilities are provided by
breakthroughs in communications technology that actually uses the
Ether as a communications medium. Through the use of a new dedicated
NANO-PDP-11/E99 gateway processor system, ETHERGATE, DECNet users can
access anywhere in the Ethereal Plane.

This development obsoletes teleconferencing, since meeting groups can
create their own common conference rooms and cafeterias, thus resolving
space, travel, and dining problems.  There may be a few bugs left, as
some of the dissenting DECNet Review Group members have not been seen
since the last meeting held in such a virtual conference facility.

This breakthrough was brought about by a team of the Distributed Systems
Software and Hardware engineering teams in an effort to improve on their
Tewksbury, Massachusetts, facility.  In a compromise decision, Distributed
Systems will maintain an ETHERGATE in TWOOO but it will connect directly
to their new home somewhere in the Shire of their newly defined Middle
Earth reality.  Despite some difficulties, the scenery, windows, tax
breaks, pool, and racquetball courts made the relocation go quite smoothly.
Engineering Network topology will not change, as all forwarding will be
done by the TWOOO Ethereal Plane Router residing in the crater at the
former building site.

Utility packages such as Ethereal Person Transfer (EPT) and Ethereal
Facility Transfer (EFT) provide appropriate capabilities for casual
users. Sophisticated users can create ($CREATE), access ($OPEN) and
delete ($NUKE) ethereal entities transparently from high level
languages using the Ethereal Management System (EMS) package and the
Ethereal Access Protocol (EAP). An ETHERTRIEVE utility for easy
interactive use will be available shortly.

DECNet Phase XVIII follows on the success of the Phase XVI ability to
access  everyone's  Digital  Professional  Wristwatch computer system.
The lead to the current Phase XVII architecture, which has routing
capabilities that allow direct communications with the entire Earth
population's Atari home video games.

Distributed Systems architects are hard at work on the next phase of
DECNet that will include multi-plane existence network management
(using the NIECE protocol) and galaxy level routing using 64K-bit

Digital will continue to support its Gateway products into the Prime
Material Plane. These products include an IBM ANA (Acronym-based
Network Architecture) Gateway, the TOLKIEN product that allows control
of all ring based networks, and our Mega-broad-jump-band hardware
which leaps past Wang's products in the hype-weary business marketplace.

 Network World - March 25, 1996, volume 13, number 13

 ABEND (n) 1: abnormal end to a computer process
           2: the on-line fountain of 'Net wit and high-tech humor found
              on Network World Fusion (www.nwfusion.com).

 Things you don't want the systems administrator to say:

 - Uh-oh ...
 - That's SOOOOO bizarre.
 - What do you mean that wasn't a copy?
 - I cleaned up the root partition and now there's LOTS of free space.
 - Do you really need your home directory to do any work?
 - We prefer not to change the root password.  It's a nice, easy one.

 Network World - March 18, 1996, volume 13, number 12

 ABEND (n) 1: abnormal end to a computer process
           2: the on-line fountain of 'Net wit and high-tech humor found
              on Network World Fusion (www.nwfusion.com).

 Ways The Internet Could Get Worse.

 - Rigorous user screening process abolished by America Online.
 - Dan Quayle appointed head of the "bandwidth expansion tiger team".
 - Free netcom account with purchase of Big Mac.
 - Supreme Court rules "MAKE MONEY FAST" posts protected by First Amendment.
 - Three words:  Gallagher Home Page.

 Network World - March 11, 1996, volume 13, number 11

 ABEND (n) 1: abnormal end to a computer process
           2: the on-line fountain of 'Net wit and high-tech humor found
              on Network World Fusion (www.nwfusion.com).

 Good Thing Nobody Listened...
 "640K ought to be enough for anybody."
    Bill Gates, Chairman of Microsoft, 1981
 "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
    Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943
 "I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won't last out the year"
    Editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957
 "But what ... is it good for?"
    Engineer in the advanced computing division of IBM,
    commenting on the microchip, 1968
 "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."
    Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977
 "Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons."
    Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949

 These and other farsighted comments from the past can be found at

 from the usual sources over the internet (REZ) 2/24/96

Subject: Notice from the Net

*** Attention ***

It's that time again!

As many of you know, each leap year the internet must be shut
down for 24 hours in order to allow us to clean it.  The cleaning
process, which eliminates dead email and inactive ftp, www and
gopher sites, allows for a better-working and faster internet.

This year, the cleaning process will take place from 12:01 a.m.
GMT on Feb. 29 until 12:01 a.m. GMT on March 1.  During that 24-
hour period, five powerful internet-crawling robots situated
around the world will search the internet and delete any data
that they find.

In order to protect your valuable data from deletion we ask that
you do the following:

1.  Disconnect all terminals and local area networks from their
internet connections.

2.  Shut down all internet servers, or disconnect them from the

3.  Disconnect all disks and hardrives from any connections to
the internet.

4.  Refrain from connecting any computer to the internet in any

We understand the inconvenience that this may cause some internet
users, and we apologize.  However, we are certain that any
inconveniences will be more than made up for by the increased
speed and efficiency of the internet, once it has been cleared of
electronic flotsam and jetsam.

We thank you for your cooperation.

Kim Dereksen
Interconnected Network Maintenance staff
Main branch, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Sysops and others:  Since the last internet cleaning, the number
of internet users has grown dramatically.  Please assist us in
alerting the public of the upcoming internet cleaning by posting
this message where your users will be able to read it.  Please
pass this message on to other sysops and internet users as well.
Thank you.

 Network World - October 16, 1995, volume 12, number 42

 ABEND - the column that spares no expense to bring you the sage
 insights of Internet users and other high-tech wits.

 Programming codes we could really use
 (WOB-L, the Banyan users' important mailing list)

 DCBP:  Detonate Chair on Bad Password
 DPC:  Double Precision Crash
 EF:  Emulate Fireworks
 EOS:  Erase Operating System
 FSE:  Fake Serious Error
 GME:  Generate Meaningless Error
 HAL:  Murder Operator
 HCF:  Halkt and Catch Fire
 IBLU:  Ignore Basic Laws of Universe
 IML:  Invoke Murphy's Law
 JUM:  Jerr at User's Mistake
 KFP:  Kindle Fire in Printer
 OI:  Vey
 SARTRE:  (Statement has no purpose)
 SD:  Self Destruct
 SSAN:  Stop, and See if Anyone Notices

 Network World - October 2, 1995, volume 12, number 40

 ABEND - the column that spares no expense to bring you the sage
 insights of Internet users and other high-tech wits.

 Win95 overhyped?  (rec.humor.funny)

 "Seen on a sign held up by a derelict:
 Will uninstall Windows 95 for food!

 Network World - September 4, 1995, volume 12, number 36

 ABEND - the column that spares no expense to bring you the sage
 insights of Internet users and other high-tech wits.

 The All-Microsoft, All-the-Time Win95 Abend column
 (with the help of rec.humor.funny)

 Other songs they could've picked:  (Trevor Inkpen)

 For those with only 8M bytes of RAM:  "(I can't get no) Satisfaction"
 For those with 486s:  "Time is on my Side"
 For those with existing non-plug-and-play hardware:
                       "19th Nervous Breakdown"
 For Win95 support staff:  "Sympathy for the Devil"
 After two months on the support line:  "Emotional Rescue"
 For everybody who buys Win95:  "You Can't Always Get What You Want"
                      - - - - - -
 Shakespeare on Win95 (Jeff Makos)

 "Now is the Windows of our disk content" - Richard v.3.0.
                      - - - - - -

 Network World - April 17, 1995, volume 12, number 16

 ABEND - the column that spares no expense to bring you the sage
 insights of Internet users and other high-tech wits.
 (They are still trying to work out the bugs in the Telepathy API.)

 Auntie Em to the computer room!   (from Amy Ward)

 Friday, we had a tornado drill.  We're underneath a parking garage
 (funny how corporations just love putting nerds in a basement), and
 there's a PA announcement repeating iteslf ad nauseam:  "This is a
 tornado drill.  Please move quickly away from any and all windows."
 Somebody yells out:  "Quick, get to a DOS prompt."

 letter to the editor - InfoWorld - March 27, 1995, volume 17, issue 13

 I'd like to point out the three things the industry publications are
 writing about for 1997.

 1) Intel P7 (a.k.a. HP PA).  This alone isn't bad, but it's going to run
 2) Microsoft Nile and
 3) Microsoft Memphis.

 All are due to ship in 1997.  I can't wait.  I like the code name Memphis,
 it makes me think of Elvis.  Then I think, what do Elvis and Microsoft
 products have in common?  We hear a lot about the two of them, but they
 never seem to show up anywhere.  And if they do, it always turns out to
 be some cheap overweight impostor.

 Steven G. Lemay

 Newsgroups: rec.humor.funny
Subject: Computer Nightmares
Keywords: chuckle, original, computers, true
Approved: funny@clarinet.com
Date: Mon, 2 Jan 95 19:30:04 EST
Lines: 236

Support, Santa Cruz Style or Where Do These People Come From?
by Jeff Liebermann 07/09/94
(All these really happened to me since 1983.)

1.  "My hard disk won't boot".  I suggest they take the floppy
out of drive A:.  Later when I arrive, they have successfully
removed the floppy drive from the machine (with the floppy disk
still inside).

2.  "My dog goes nuts when I run Windows.  No problem with any
DOS programs".  Her monitor had a cracked flyback transformer.
When the multisync monitor switched scan rates upon entering
Windows, the high frequency audio produced by the broken flyback
was heard by the dog.

3.  "Michaelangelo virus ate my hard disk, but I have a tape
backup.  Can you help me restore the system".  No problem.
When I arrive, I find the data on the tape was 18 months old and
that she had never run a backup.  "I thought you just shoved
in the tape and it sucked up the data".

4.  "How do I get on the national data information super highway?".
I ask if he has accounts on any bbs's.  He has Netcom, Compuserve,
and others.  I tell him he's already on the highway.
"Is that all there is?"  I hangup.

5.  "What's the fastest way to move 500MBytes of data daily
from Santa Cruz to Los Angeles?".  Answer: FedEx.

6.  How many RJ45 connector does it take to build 8ea 10baseT cables?
Answer: 45.  I put the first 16 connectors on with one end backward.
I then chopped off the good ends.  Chopping off the other 8 connectors
and effectively starting over consumed another 16 connectors.  The
2nd try resulted in one end being mirror-imaged.  Chopping of 8 more
connectors I finally got them wired correctly.  Then I tested them
for continuity and found 5 bad crimps.  Total=45.

7.  "What kind of hard disk do you have?"  Well... It's black
with a little red light ... (groan).

8.  Most common support call.  "I lost my CMOS setup.  How many
heads, cylinders, and sectors does a _______ drive have?".

9.  "I move the mouse in any direction and the cursor only moves
an inch or so on the screen and stops".
Take the foam shipping ring out from around the mouse ball.

10. "My systems on fire.  What do I do?".
Ummmmm.  Turn it off? "(Click)"

11. Most hated support call:  "I'm not sure if we need a computer
system.  Can you give me the relative advantages of Unix, DOS,
Windows, Novell, MacIntosh, Sun, etc...?".

12. Favorite software support call:  "I just installed Word 6.0
for Windows.  It's really big and slow.  How much will it cost
to upgrade my machine?"

13. "My floppy drive won't read disks".  I suggest they clean out
the dust from the drive.  "I can't".  Huh?  "The dust won't move".
I find that they were using spray glue near the machine and that
all the dust was glued in place.

14. How to impress a new customer:  I walk into the computer room
and knock the fire extinguisher off the wall which immediately
sprays everything with dust.

15. "My printer stopped working".  Turn it upside down and shake
out the staples and paper clips.  Works every time.

16. "Can you teach me how to use a computer?".
I answer: No.  I just fix the machines, I don't use them.

17. The company motto:  "If this stuff worked, you wouldn't need me".

18. From one of my smarter clients:
"Why is something broken every time you're here?"

19. "I'm trying to install a 2nd IDE drive.  Support told me to
take out ALL the jumpers".  How many did you take out?  "12".
(What they meant were the two easily accessible jumpers).

20.  I call a manufacturer to order a manual on some junk I picked up
surplus.  The receptionist asks my name and company.  She notes
that I'm not in their database and could she have my address and phone
numbers.  No problem.  I'm then transfered to the customer service
department which notes that I'm not in the database and asks for the
same information.  The customer service person transfers me to the
the parts department which notes that I'm not in the database etc...
Since the manual will take a few days to arrive, I ask for tech
support who notes that I'm not in the database etc...  The manual
arrived promptly followed by 4 identical envelopes of promotional
literature with exactly the same name and address.

21.  Question LEAST likely to be answered correctly by support:
"What is the current version of your software/hardware/firmware?"

22.  Pacific Telephone Support Dept (Dial 611 for repair service),
now asks you to punch in your phone number, and then warns you that
you will be asked to verbally recite the same number when the
service operator answers.  I wonder what happens if they're different?

23.  Email from a friend: "CanYouFixTheSpaceBarOnMyKeyboard?"

24.  Fax back information service for additional information from
one vendor requesting just one item returns a copy of their catalog
page plus 10 pages of promotional garbage.

25.  Email autoreply from support@_______.com
Thank you for your support request.
(drivel deleted)
Please refer to support request number:
	Error: cannot create /u/something/filename
(4 lines of garbage deleted)
in future correspondence.  Your request will be processed
in the order received.
(more garbage with Out of space on hd(1,41) mixed in.)

26.  Conversation with support at a certain controller manufacturer.
"I can't answer that, please call your dealer".
	"I am the dealer."
"Then call your distributor"
	"He said for me to call you"
"Then have the customer call us"

27.  Modems and payphones don't mix.  I hotwired my laptop into the
mouthpiece of a payphone and proceeded to do system maintenance on
a customers machine.  The sheriff arrived shortly and proceeded to
interrogate me.  Someone called complaining that I was using a computer
to steal money from the payphone.

28.  Having my system page me when it does an unscheduled reboot
was a good idea.  Having all my customers machines do the same
was a mess after a power failure and 100+ pages.

29.  "My hard disk has a virus!".  How can you tell, I ask?
"When I type DIR, it says  VIRUS    and some date stuff".
(Hint:  Never name the directory for virus scanning software VIRUS).

30.  Some monitor manufacturers suggest using alchohol to clean the
screen.  They forget to mention that the monitor should be off.  (Boom).

31.  I told a customer to take his machine to a gas station and
have them blow the dust out.  The gas station hands him a 150psi
air nozzle that belches rusty water and oil.  I got to clean up
the mess for free.  He also mangled the floppy heads with the
high pressure.

32.  Oxymoron candidate:  Disk Protector.  That's the cardboard
disk they shove in the floppy drive for shipping.  More drives
have been mangled by shoving in the wrong shape, backwards, or bent
than have ever been protected by them.  Use a floppy disk instead.

33.  What's the difference between a Van DeGraf static generator
and a belt driven vacuum cleaner?  Answer: Not much.  Don't use
a vacuum to clean your computer.

34.  After the cleaning service crashed the computer for the 4th
time by plugging the floor sweeper into the UPS, I decided to take
action.  I suggested they install "child proof" plastic plugs in
any outlets deemed worthy of protection.  The order went though the
chain of confusion, and I was soon blessed with 1000 child proof
plugs hot stampled with "Protected".  I gave instructions to
install about 10 of them on the protected outlets.  However, the
maintenance person assigned to the task knew nothing and proceeded
to plaster every outlet in the building with the plugs.  Mutiny
was averted by spending all night removing the monsters.  Three
years later, they are still appearing.

35.  Hint:  Do not allow long hair black cats to sleep atop laser
printers and tape drives.  The black hair is almost invisible in
black pattens, gears, and rollers.

36.  Forensic filth analysis is a new part of computer repair.  I
now carry a microscope and some chemicals which are used to determine
the exact nature of the filth I remove from keyboards, mice, computers,
light pens.  While nobody pays me to do this, it definately adds
to the entertainment value.

37.  Why do customers think that I maintain a document and device
driver library for every conceivable board ever made?

38.  From a hard disk drive manufacturer:  "The drive stopped working.
I poped the little plug and noticed it was awful dry inside.
I added some oil but it didn't help".

39.  Which arrow key?  There are 17 arrows on the keyboard.

40.  Favorite error message:  "Out of paper on drive D:"
This was produced by a timeout error on a slow WORM drive and
a defective AT/IO card.

41.  At one time, I was into antique furniture.  When I purchased
my first computer (IBM 4.77 PC), I decided that it deserved a suitable
antique table.  I ask the local antique dealer: "Do you have an
antique computer desk?".  He looks at me with a strange look and
says: "They didn't have computers when this stuff was made".

42.  When 3.5" floppies first appeared, some users were confused
with the operation of the write protect window.  One user wanted
to be doubly sure that the disk would be safe from his mistakes.
He correctly opened the window and just to be sure, covered it
with one of the magic write protect tabs from a 5.25" floppy.

43.  Favorite Windoze game: "Guess what this icon does?"

44.  A video store installed the computer on top of the cash
drawer.  Every time the cash drawer would open, the hard disk
would get a good bouncing.  I decided that this was technically
disgusting, and moved the machine.  The next morning, the drive
wouldn't spin up (stiction).  Solution:  Put it back on top of
the cash drawer and let it bounce.

45.  The curse of the mad labeler.  Some of the clone cards I
see have stick on METALIZED labels that a quite good at shorting
traces.  I've fixed a few by just removing the stick-on short.
A variation on this effect is the tendency for some distributors
to put stick-on labels on TOP of their 486 chips.  Then they
smear on some silicon grease and bury the mess under a heat
sink and fan.  The air gap produced between the chip and heat
sink severely degrade its cooling value.

Selected by Maddi Hausmann Sojourner.  MAIL your joke to funny@clarinet.com.
Attribute the joke's source if at all possible.  A Daemon will auto-reply.

Remember: PLEASE spell check and proofread your jokes.  You think I have
time to hand-correct everybody's postings?

 Techno Vision - by Charles Wang
 quoted in - Information Week - September 12, 1994

 Your Mileage is In, Mr. Muskrat.

 Two information technology managers are talking.
 "Did you know that muskrats can fly?" asks the first.
 "No way," counters the second.  "Those big, ugly rodents can't get off
 the ground."
 "It's true," says the first.
 "Give me a break," pleads the skeptical manager.  "How do you know?"
 "Well," says the first manager.  "The CEO insisted they could."
 "Oh," says the second manager slowly.  "Well, sure, muskrats can
 fly-but very low to the ground."

 Tower Of Technobabble.

      Technologists live in the Tower of Technobababble.  We talk about
 SQL (structured query language, pronounced "sequel"), client-server
 computing, GUIs (graphical user interfaces, pronounced "gooeys"), neural
 networks, LANs (local area networks), WANs (wide area networks),
 polymorphism (the ability of two objects to respond differently to the
 same command), Windows, OS/2, and Unix.
      If you don't have an information technology background, these words
 sound like total gibberish.  For instance, GUI is what happens when you
 put a kid together with a hot fudge sundae.  SQL is the second time
 around for a movie.  No one likes to do Windows.  Unix are the neutered
 slaves in old gladiator movies.  And the client-server is the world's
 oldest profession.

 Brain-Dead Users - ComputerWorld - May 2, 1994, vol 28, no. 18
 (submitted by Laurie Holmes,
 Senior Programmer at Ellis County Data Center, Hays, Kansas)

 Once, I went up to a user who had blown her autoexec.bat, and asked
 her for the diskettes on which she had been backing up her 60MB hard
 drive.  She handed over one diskette.  "Where," I asked, "are the
 rest?"  She told me she found out that if she kept pressing Enter in
 response to the message asking for another diskette, the system would
 just pack the data tighter onto the current diskette.

 from unusual sources (don't remember) 12/31/92

           Subject: "Purity" test for programmers -- long
                     From: hayes@psunuce.bitnet
                     Keywords: computers, funny

 (From NutWorks, the former Bitnet humour group)
 Submitted-by: claudio@amsoft.imp.com (Claudio Nieder, Uster, Switzerland)

  THE HACKER TEST - Version 1.0

  Preface:  06.16.89

  This test was conceived and written by Felix Lee, John Hayes and Angela
  Thomas at the end of the spring semester, 1989.  It has gone through
  many revisions prior to this initial release, and will undoubtedly go
  through many more.

  (Herewith a compendium of fact and folklore about computer hackerdom,
   cunningly disguised as a test.)

  Scoring - Count 1 for each item that you have done, or each
            question that you can answer correctly.

  If you score is between:                    You are

             0x000 and 0x010       ->         Computer Illiterate
             0x011 and 0x040       ->         a User
             0x041 and 0x080       ->         an Operator
             0x081 and 0x0C0       ->         a Nerd
             0x0C1 and 0x100       ->         a Hacker
             0x101 and 0x180       ->         a Guru
             0x181 and 0x200       ->         a Wizard

  Note: If you don't understand the scoring, stop here.

  And now for the questions...

  0001 Have you ever used a computer?
  0002 ... for more than 4 hours continuously?
  0003 ... more than 8 hours?
  0004 ... more than 16 hours?
  0005 ... more than 32 hours?

  0006 Have you ever patched paper tape?

  0007 Have you ever missed a class while programming?
  0008 ... Missed an examination?
  0009 ... Missed a wedding?
  0010 ... Missed your own wedding?

  0011 Have you ever programmed while intoxicated?
  0012 ... Did it make sense the next day?

  0013 Have you ever written a flight simulator?

  0014 Have you ever voided the warranty on your equipment?

  0015 Ever change the value of 4?
  0016 ... Unintentionally?
  0017 ... In a language other than Fortran?

  0018 Do you use DWIM to make life interesting?

  0019 Have you named a computer?

  0020 Do you complain when a "feature" you use gets fixed?

  0021 Do you eat slime-molds?

  0022 Do you know how many days old you are?

  0023 Have you ever wanted to download pizza?

  0024 Have you ever invented a computer joke?
  0025 ... Did someone not 'get' it?

  0026 Can you recite Jabberwocky?
  0027 ... Backwards?

  0028 Have you seen "Donald Duck in Mathemagic Land"?

  0029 Have you seen "Tron"?

  0030 Have you seen "Wargames"?

  0031 Do you know what ASCII stands for?
  0032 ... EBCDIC?

  0033 Can you read and write ASCII in hex or octal?
  0034 Do you know the names of all the ASCII control codes?

  0035 Can you read and write EBCDIC in hex?

  0036 Can you convert from EBCDIC to ASCII and vice versa?

  0037 Do you know what characters are the same in both ASCII and EBCDIC?

  0038 Do you know maxint on your system?

  0039 Ever define your own numerical type to get better precision?

  0040 Can you name powers of two up to 2**16 in arbitrary order?
  0041 ... up to 2**32?
  0042 ... up to 2**64?

  0043 Can you read a punched card, looking at the holes?
  0044 ... feeling the holes?

  0045 Have you ever patched binary code?
  0046 ... While the program was running?

  0047 Have you ever used program overlays?

  0048 Have you met any IBM vice-president?
  0049 Do you know Dennis, Bill, or Ken?

  0050 Have you ever taken a picture of a CRT?
  0051 Have you ever played a videotape on your CRT?

  0052 Have you ever digitized a picture?

  0053 Did you ever forget to mount a scratch monkey?

  0054 Have you ever optimized an idle loop?

  0055 Did you ever optimize a bubble sort?

  0056 Does your terminal/computer talk to you?

  0057 Have you ever talked into an acoustic modem?
  0058 ... Did it answer?

  0059 Can you whistle 300 baud?
  0060 ... 1200 baud?

  0061 Can you whistle a telephone number?

  0062 Have you witnessed a disk crash?
  0063 Have you made a disk drive "walk"?

  0064 Can you build a puffer train?
  0065 ... Do you know what it is?

  0066 Can you play music on your line printer?
  0067 ... Your disk drive?
  0068 ... Your tape drive?

  0069 Do you have a Snoopy calendar?
  0070 ... Is it out-of-date?

  0071 Do you have a line printer picture of...
  0072 ... the Mona Lisa?
  0073 ... the Enterprise?
  0074 ... Einstein?
  0075 ... Oliver?
  0076 Have you ever made a line printer picture?

  0077 Do you know what the following stand for?
  0078 ... DASD
  0079 ... Emacs
  0080 ... ITS
  0081 ... RSTS/E
  0082 ... SNA
  0083 ... Spool
  0084 ... TCP/IP

       Have you ever used
  0085 ... TPU?
  0086 ... TECO?
  0087 ... Emacs?
  0088 ... ed?
  0089 ... vi?
  0090 ... Xedit (in VM/CMS)?
  0091 ... SOS?
  0092 ... EDT?
  0093 ... Wordstar?

  0094 Have you ever written a CLIST?

       Have you ever programmed in
  0095 ... the X windowing system?
  0096 ... CICS?

  0097 Have you ever received a Fax or a photocopy of a floppy?

  0098 Have you ever shown a novice the "any" key?
  0099 ... Was it the power switch?

       Have you ever attended
  0100 ... Usenix?
  0101 ... DECUS?
  0102 ... SHARE?
  0103 ... SIGGRAPH?
  0104 ... NetCon?

  0105 Have you ever participated in a standards group?

  0106 Have you ever debugged machine code over the telephone?

  0107 Have you ever seen voice mail?
  0108 ... Can you read it?

  0109 Do you solve word puzzles with an on-line dictionary?

  0110 Have you ever taken a Turing test?
  0111 ... Did you fail?

  0112 Ever drop a card deck?
  0113 ... Did you successfully put it back together?
  0114 ... Without looking?

  0115 Have you ever used IPCS?

  0116 Have you ever received a case of beer with your computer?

  0117 Does your computer come in 'designer' colors?

  0118 Ever interrupted a UPS?

  0119 Ever mask an NMI?

  0120 Have you ever set off a Halon system?
  0121 ... Intentionally?
  0122 ... Do you still work there?

  0123 Have you ever hit the emergency power switch?
  0124 ... Intentionally?

  0125 Do you have any defunct documentation?
  0126 ... Do you still read it?

  0127 Ever reverse-engineer or decompile a program?
  0128 ... Did you find bugs in it?

  0129 Ever help the person behind the counter with their terminal/computer?

  0130 Ever tried rack mounting your telephone?

  0131 Ever thrown a computer from more than two stories high?

  0132 Ever patched a bug the vendor does not acknowledge?

  0133 Ever fix a hardware problem in software?
  0134 ... Vice versa?

  0135 Ever belong to a user/support group?

  0136 Ever been mentioned in Computer Recreations?

  0137 Ever had your activities mentioned in the newspaper?
  0138 ... Did you get away with it?

  0139 Ever engage a drum brake while the drum was spinning?

  0140 Ever write comments in a non-native language?

  0141 Ever physically destroy equipment from software?

  0142 Ever tried to improve your score on the Hacker Test?

  0143 Do you take listings with you to lunch?
  0144 ... To bed?

  0145 Ever patch a microcode bug?
  0146 ... around a microcode bug?

  0147 Can you program a Turing machine?

  0148 Can you convert postfix to prefix in your head?

  0149 Can you convert hex to octal in your head?

  0150 Do you know how to use a Kleene star?

  0151 Have you ever starved while dining with philosophers?

  0152 Have you solved the halting problem?
  0153 ... Correctly?

  0154 Ever deadlock trying eating spaghetti?

  0155 Ever written a self-reproducing program?

  0156 Ever swapped out the swapper?

  0157 Can you read a state diagram?
  0158 ... Do you need one?

  0159 Ever create an unkillable program?
  0160 ... Intentionally?

  0161 Ever been asked for a cookie?

  0162 Ever speed up a system by removing a jumper?

       * Do you know...

  0163 Do you know who wrote Rogue?
  0164 ... Rogomatic?

  0165 Do you know Gray code?

  0166 Do you know what HCF means?
  0167 ... Ever use it?
  0168 ... Intentionally?

  0169 Do you know what a lace card is?
  0170 ... Ever make one?

  0171 Do you know the end of the epoch?
  0172 ... Have you celebrated the end of an epoch?
  0173 ... Did you have to rewrite code?

  0174 Do you know the difference between DTE and DCE?

  0175 Do you know the RS-232C pinout?
  0176 ... Can you wire a connector without looking?

       * Do you have...

  0177 Do you have a copy of Dec Wars?
  0178 Do you have the Canonical Collection of Lightbulb Jokes?
  0179 Do you have a copy of the Hacker's dictionary?
  0180 ... Did you contribute to it?

  0181 Do you have a flowchart template?
  0182 ... Is it unused?

  0183 Do you have your own fortune-cookie file?

  0184 Do you have the Anarchist's Cookbook?
  0185 ... Ever make anything from it?

  0186 Do you own a modem?
  0187 ... a terminal?
  0188 ... a toy computer?
  0189 ... a personal computer?
  0190 ... a minicomputer?
  0191 ... a mainframe?
  0192 ... a supercomputer?
  0193 ... a hypercube?
  0194 ... a printer?
  0195 ... a laser printer?
  0196 ... a tape drive?
  0197 ... an outmoded peripheral device?

  0198 Do you have a programmable calculator?
  0199 ... Is it RPN?

  0200 Have you ever owned more than 1 computer?
  0201 ... 4 computers?
  0202 ... 16 computers?

  0203 Do you have a SLIP line?
  0204 ... a T1 line?

  0205 Do you have a separate phone line for your terminal/computer?
  0206 ... Is it legal?

  0207 Do you have core memory?
  0208 ... drum storage?
  0209 ... bubble memory?

  0210 Do you use more than 16 megabytes of disk space?
  0211 ... 256 megabytes?
  0212 ... 1 gigabyte?
  0213 ... 16 gigabytes?
  0214 ... 256 gigabytes?
  0215 ... 1 terabyte?

  0216 Do you have an optical disk/disk drive?

  0217 Do you have a personal magnetic tape library?
  0218 ... Is it unlabelled?

  0219 Do you own more than 16 floppy disks?
  0220 ... 64 floppy disks?
  0221 ... 256 floppy disks?
  0222 ... 1024 floppy disks?

  0223 Do you have any 8-inch disks?

  0224 Do you have an internal stack?

  0225 Do you have a clock interrupt?

  0226 Do you own volumes 1 to 3 of _The Art of Computer Programming_?
  0227 ... Have you done all the exercises?
  0228 ... Do you have a MIX simulator?
  0229 ... Can you name the unwritten volumes?

  0230 Can you quote from _The Mythical Man-month_?
  0231 ... Did you participate in the OS/360 project?

  0232 Do you have a TTL handbook?

  0233 Do you have printouts more than three years old?

       * Career

  0234 Do you have a job?
  0235 ... Have you ever had a job?
  0236 ... Was it computer-related?

  0237 Do you work irregular hours?

  0238 Have you ever been a system administrator?

  0239 Do you have more megabytes than megabucks?

  0240 Have you ever downgraded your job to upgrade your processing power?

  0241 Is your job secure?
  0242 ... Do you have code to prove it?

  0243 Have you ever had a security clearance?

       * Games

  0244 Have you ever played Pong?

       Have you ever played
  0246 ... Spacewar?
  0247 ... Star Trek?
  0248 ... Wumpus?
  0249 ... Lunar Lander?
  0250 ... Empire?

       Have you ever beaten
  0251 ... Moria 4.8?
  0252 ... Rogue 3.6?
  0253 ... Rogue 5.3?
  0254 ... Larn?
  0255 ... Hack 1.0.3?
  0256 ... Nethack 2.4?

  0257 Can you get a better score on Rogue than Rogomatic?

  0258 Have you ever solved Adventure?
  0259 ... Zork?

  0260 Have you ever written any redcode?

  0261 Have you ever written an adventure program?
  0262 ... a real-time game?
  0263 ... a multi-player game?
  0264 ... a networked game?

  0265 Can you out-doctor Eliza?

       * Hardware

  0266 Have you ever used a light pen?
  0267 ... did you build it?

       Have you ever used
  0268 ... a teletype?
  0269 ... a paper tape?
  0270 ... a decwriter?
  0271 ... a card reader/punch?
  0272 ... a SOL?

       Have you ever built
  0273 ... an Altair?
  0274 ... a Heath/Zenith computer?

       Do you know how to use
  0275 ... an oscilliscope?
  0276 ... a voltmeter?
  0277 ... a frequency counter?
  0278 ... a logic probe?
  0279 ... a wirewrap tool?
  0280 ... a soldering iron?
  0281 ... a logic analyzer?

  0282 Have you ever designed an LSI chip?
  0283 ... has it been fabricated?

  0284 Have you ever etched a printed circuit board?

       * Historical

  0285 Have you ever toggled in boot code on the front panel?
  0286 ... from memory?

  0287 Can you program an Eniac?

  0288 Ever seen a 90 column card?

       * IBM

  0289 Do you recite IBM part numbers in your sleep?
  0290 Do you know what IBM part number 7320154 is?

  0291 Do you understand 3270 data streams?

  0292 Do you know what the VM privilege classes are?

  0293 Have you IPLed an IBM off the tape drive?
  0294 ... off a card reader?

  0295 Can you sing something from the IBM Songbook?

       * Languages

  0296 Do you know more than 4 programming languages?
  0297 ... 8 languages?
  0298 ... 16 languages?
  0299 ... 32 languages?

  0300 Have you ever designed a programming language?

  0301 Do you know what Basic stands for?
  0302 ... Pascal?

  0303 Can you program in Basic?
  0304 ... Do you admit it?

  0305 Can you program in Cobol?
  0306 ... Do you deny it?

  0307 Do you know Pascal?
  0308 ... Modula-2?
  0309 ... Oberon?
  0310 ... More that two Wirth languages?
  0311 ... Can you recite a Nicklaus Wirth joke?

  0312 Do you know Algol-60?
  0313 ... Algol-W?
  0314 ... Algol-68?
  0315 ... Do you understand the Algol-68 report?
  0316 ... Do you like two-level grammars?

  0317 Can you program in assembler on 2 different machines?
  0318 ... on 4 different machines?
  0319 ... on 8 different machines?

       Do you know
  0320 ... APL?
  0321 ... Ada?
  0322 ... BCPL?
  0323 ... C++?
  0324 ... C?
  0325 ... Comal?
  0326 ... Eiffel?
  0327 ... Forth?
  0328 ... Fortran?
  0329 ... Hypertalk?
  0330 ... Icon?
  0331 ... Lisp?
  0332 ... Logo?
  0333 ... MIIS?
  0334 ... MUMPS?
  0335 ... PL/I?
  0336 ... Pilot?
  0337 ... Plato?
  0338 ... Prolog?
  0339 ... RPG?
  0340 ... Rexx (or ARexx)?
  0341 ... SETL?
  0342 ... Smalltalk?
  0343 ... Snobol?
  0344 ... VHDL?
  0345 ... any assembly language?

  0346 Can you talk VT-100?
  0347 ... Postscript?
  0348 ... SMTP?
  0349 ... UUCP?
  0350 ... English?

       * Micros

  0351 Ever copy a copy-protected disk?
  0352 Ever create a copy-protection scheme?

  0353 Have you ever made a "flippy" disk?

  0354 Have you ever recovered data from a damaged disk?

  0355 Ever boot a naked floppy?

       * Networking

  0356 Have you ever been logged in to two different timezones at once?

  0357 Have you memorized the UUCP map for your country?
  0358 ... For any country?

  0359 Have you ever found a sendmail bug?
  0360 ... Was it a security hole?

  0361 Have you memorized the HOSTS.TXT table?
  0362 ... Are you up to date?

  0363 Can you name all the top-level nameservers and their addresses?

  0364 Do you know RFC-822 by heart?
  0365 ... Can you recite all the errors in it?

  0366 Have you written a Sendmail configuration file?
  0367 ... Does it work?
  0368 ... Do you mumble "defocus" in your sleep?

  0369 Do you know the max packet lifetime?

       * Operating systems

       Can you use
  0370 ... BSD Unix?
  0371 ... non-BSD Unix?
  0372 ... AIX
  0373 ... VM/CMS?
  0374 ... VMS?
  0375 ... MVS?
  0376 ... VSE?
  0377 ... RSTS/E?
  0378 ... CP/M?
  0379 ... COS?
  0380 ... NOS?
  0381 ... CP-67?
  0382 ... RT-11?
  0383 ... MS-DOS?
  0384 ... Finder?
  0385 ... PRODOS?
  0386 ... more than one OS for the TRS-80?
  0387 ... Tops-10?
  0388 ... Tops-20?
  0389 ... OS-9?
  0390 ... OS/2?
  0391 ... AOS/VS?
  0392 ... Multics?
  0393 ... ITS?
  0394 ... Vulcan?

  0395 Have you ever paged or swapped off a tape drive?
  0396 ... Off a card reader/punch?
  0397 ... Off a teletype?
  0398 ... Off a networked (non-local) disk?

  0399 Have you ever found an operating system bug?
  0400 ... Did you exploit it?
  0401 ... Did you report it?
  0402 ... Was your report ignored?

  0403 Have you ever crashed a machine?
  0404 ... Intentionally?

       * People

  0405 Do you know any people?
  0406 ... more than one?
  0407 ... more than two?

       * Personal

  0408 Are your shoelaces untied?

  0409 Do you interface well with strangers?

  0410 Are you able to recite phone numbers for half-a-dozen computer systems
          but unable to recite your own?

  0411 Do you log in before breakfast?

  0412 Do you consume more than LD-50 caffeine a day?

  0413 Do you answer either-or questions with "yes"?

  0414 Do you own an up-to-date copy of any operating system manual?
  0415 ... *every* operating system manual?

  0416 Do other people have difficulty using your customized environment?

  0417 Do you dream in any programming languages?

  0418 Do you have difficulty focusing on three-dimensional objects?

  0419 Do you ignore mice?

  0420 Do you despise the CAPS LOCK key?

  0421 Do you believe menus belong in restaurants?

  0422 Do you have a Mandelbrot hanging on your wall?

  0423 Have you ever decorated with magnetic tape or punched cards?
  0424 Do you have a disk platter or a naked floppy hanging in your home?

  0425 Have you ever seen the dawn?
  0426 ... Twice in a row?

  0427 Do you use "fubar" in daily conversation?
  0428 ... "bletch"?

  0429 Do you use the "P convention"?

  0430 Do you automatically respond to any user question with RTFM?
  0431 ... Do you know what it means?

  0432 Do you think garbage collection means memory management?

  0433 Do you have problems allocating horizontal space in your room/office?

  0434 Do you read Scientific American in bars to pick up women?

  0435 Is your license plate computer-related?

  0436 Have you ever taken the Purity test?

  0437 Ever have an out-of-CPU experience?

  0438 Have you ever set up a blind date over the computer?

  0439 Do you talk to the person next to you via computer?

       * Programming

  0440 Can you write a Fortran compiler?
  0441 ... In TECO?

  0442 Can you read a machine dump?
  0443 Can you disassemble code in your head?

       Have you ever written
  0444 ... a compiler?
  0445 ... an operating system?
  0446 ... a device driver?
  0447 ... a text processor?
  0448 ... a display hack?
  0449 ... a database system?
  0450 ... an expert system?
  0451 ... an edge detector?
  0452 ... a real-time control system?
  0453 ... an accounting package?
  0454 ... a virus?
  0455 ... a prophylactic?

  0456 Have you ever written a biorhythm program?
  0457 ... Did you sell the output?
  0458 ... Was the output arbitrarily invented?

  0459 Have you ever computed pi to more than a thousand decimal places?
  0460 ... the number e?

  0461 Ever find a prime number of more than a hundred digits?

  0462 Have you ever written self-modifying code?
  0463 ... Are you proud of it?

  0464 Did you ever write a program that ran correctly the first time?
  0465 ... Was it longer than 20 lines?
  0466 ... 100 lines?
  0467 ... Was it in assembly language?
  0468 ... Did it work the second time?

  0469 Can you solve the Towers of Hanoi recursively?
  0470 ... Non-recursively?
  0471 ... Using the Troff text formatter?

  0472 Ever submit an entry to the Obfuscated C code contest?
  0473 ... Did it win?
  0474 ... Did your entry inspire a new rule?

  0475 Do you know Duff's device?

  0476 Do you know Jensen's device?

  0477 Ever spend ten minutes trying to find a single-character error?
  0478 ... More than an hour?
  0479 ... More than a day?
  0480 ... More than a week?
  0481 ... Did the first person you show it to find it immediately?

       * Unix

  0482 Can you use Berkeley Unix?
  0483 .. Non-Berkeley Unix?

  0484 Can you distinguish between sections 4 and 5 of the Unix manual?

  0485 Can you find TERMIO in the System V release 2 documentation?

  0486 Have you ever mounted a tape as a Unix file system?

  0487 Have you ever built Minix?

  0488 Can you answer "quiz function ed-command" correctly?
  0489 ... How about "quiz ed-command function"?

       * Usenet

  0490 Do you read news?
  0491 ... More than 32 newsgroups?
  0492 ... More than 256 newsgroups?
  0493 ... All the newsgroups?

  0494 Have you ever posted an article?
  0495 ... Do you post regularly?

  0496 Have you ever posted a flame?
  0497 ... Ever flame a cross-posting?
  0498 ... Ever flame a flame?
  0499 ... Do you flame regularly?

  0500 Ever have your program posted to a source newsgroup?

  0501 Ever forge a posting?
  0502 Ever form a new newsgroup?
  0503 ... Does it still exist?

  0504 Do you remember
  0505 ... mod.ber?
  0506 ... the Stupid People's Court?
  0507 ... Bandy-grams?

       * Phreaking

  0508 Have you ever built a black box?

  0509 Can you name all of the 'colors' of boxes?
  0510 ... and their associated functions?

  0511 Does your touch tone phone have 16 DTMF buttons on it?

  0512 Did the breakup of MaBell create more opportunities for you?

  If you have any comments of suggestions regarding the HACKER TEST,
  Please send then to: hayes@psunuce.bitnet
                    or jwh100@psuvm.bitnet / jwh100@psuvmxa.bitnet
                    or jwh100@psuvm.psu.edu / jwh100@psuvmxa.psu.edu
                    or ...!psuvax1!psuvm.bitnet!jwh100

 from other unusual sources (Pamela Lane) 3/29/93

 TITLE: Disclaimer to be Used When Purchasing Software by Check


 This check is fully warranted against physical defects and poor
 workmanship in its stationery. If the check is physically damaged,
 return it to me and I will replace or repair it at my discretion.
 No other warranty of any kind is made, neither express nor implied
 including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of
 Merchantability, Suitability for Purpose, and Validity of Currency.
 Any and all risk concerning the actual value of this check is
 assumed by you, the recipient. Even though I or my agents may have
 assured you of its worth, either verbally or in written
 communication, we may have had our fingers crossed, so don't come
 whimpering back to me if it bounces.

 The money, if any, represented by this instrument remains my
 property. You are licensed to use it, however you are not allowed
 to copy the original check except for your personal records, nor
 are you permitted to give the money itself to anyone else. Neither
 may you allow any other person to use the money. Remember, you may
 have it in your possession, but it still belongs to me, and I'm
 going to call on you from time to time just to keep tabs on it.

 This agreement supersedes all others between us, including the
 equally ridiculous one you have undoubtedly pasted on the back of
 your packaging, or concealed somewhere in the middle of it. The
 location of your version of this or any other covenant between us
 is irrelevant to its inapplicability here. Only this one pertains,
 and I really mean it. In fact, this one supersedes yours even
 though yours may say that it supersedes mine. Why, even if yours
 said it would supersede mine even if mine said it would supersede
 yours even if yours said... Oh well. You get the idea.

 You may decline this agreement by returning the uncashed check to
 me within twenty-four hours. If you attempt to cash it, however,
 you have implicitly accepted these terms. You may also implicitly
 accept these terms by:

 1) Calling my bank to inquire about the status of my account;

 2) Thanking me at the conclusion of our business transaction;

 3) Going to bed at the end of this or any other day; or

 4) Using any toilet or rest room.

 Please be advised that I have adopted a strict rubber-glue policy.
 Any nasty thing that your lawyers say bounces off of me and sticks
 back to you. Be further advised that you agree to pay my legal
 expenses if I decide to sue you for violating this agreement or for
 any other reason that might strike my fancy. Violations will be
 punishable by fine, imprisonment, death, any two of the above, or
 all three.

 Thank you and have a nice day!

  |                             End of Bulletin                              |


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