Weekly Stickies


  • UNIX load is measured in vaston(s).
  • The oldest hard drive in dustpuppy has 4.94 years of total power-on time, with 302 power cycles, and 0 read errors.
  • %grapes is what I name Perl hashes when I can’t think of a meaningful name for them.
  • How does one correctly pronounce “Admin?” I’ve always pronounced it with emphasis on the first syllable. But the Jargon File has the emphasis on the second.

  • I’m much happier now! I finally got vim for windows instead of Notepad!
  • There’s a hole in my shirt. My bag of Hershey candies smells like puke. Okay, it’s from the Milk Chocolate. I can’t stand Hershey’s Milk Chocolate.
  • I’ll never understand the corporate mindset. Legitimate tech sites like Slashdot and O’Reilly Media are blocked as being Political and Sales sites, respectively, yet dilbert.com is just fine…
  • The mouse pad that they gave me (against my will) is shedding.
  • “text” in a low level programming context always referes to compiled, executable machine instructions – not flat ASCII/Unicode text files!
  • I actually told my boss that I would ‘cons up’ a script for him today. CONS is a LISP instruction to build a balanced tree using any two or more objects. When the hell did I start using LISP jargon? I don’t even code in LISP! I code in C, Java or assembler for x86 and SPARC. And Perl, Bourne shell, BASH, and KSH.
  • All UNIX admins will become intimately familiar with fsck(8) and the idiosyncrasies of their distro’s particular version of it. Nevertheless they will curse any time they have to use it.
  • F3 66 6C E5 81 81 81 00
  • Benefits of being instantly recognizable in a debugger (who wouldn’t recognize the infamous ‘óflå….’?) and terminating with , making it a valid C string.
  • Uhh… a method that catches a specific exception and then throws a generic one, minus the helpful details. WTF?
  • Someone stole my can of coke this morning.
  • When Ohm’s law is broken, a resistor becomes a light (and heat and frequently smoke)-emitting resistor!
  • Order Kung Pao Chicken some time.
  • alt.sysadmin.recovery:
    • A Cad Inversely Stormy
    • A Cratered Vinyl Mossy
    • A Deviancy Errs Mostly
  • Scanning a string with SCASB and REPNE is actually slower than an iterative jump-conditional byte compare on CPUs newer than i386.
  • Find a suitable replacement for the most excellent thumbwheel control from SGI’s ViewKit Motif extension.
  • WOOHOO!!! Genuine Nissin Cup Noodle imported from Canada! Beef flavour – infinitely better than the Maruchan Instant Lunch.
  • Learn INTERCAL
  • Filling a cup with coffee and discovering that it’s cold as ice water is 10x worse than discovering that it’s boiling hot.
  • PoM Episode Scavenger Hunt Items:
  • (For each, list the episode name and the character who had the item.)
  1. A butterscotch lolly.
  2. A “big paper horse with candy guts” named Bob.
  3. A wombat’s brain in a jar.
  4. A bus driver’s ID.
  5. A kazoo.
  6. A magazine about explosives.
  7. A trophy fish.
  8. An old tin coffee cup.
  9. A bottle of grape soda.
  10. A suffed bear who wants to be a “dental technician.”
  11. A robot. (Bonus – there’re two different instances of this.)
  12. A smoothie maker.
  13. A feather in his cap (note: FEATHER not LEAF).
  14. A guava berry milkshake.
  15. A collection of fur-dwelling parasites.
  16. A pile of hockey pucks.
  17. A fake bamboo golf club.
  18. A real golf putter.
  19. A pretty pink bow.
  • Does anyone have a horse that needs washing? A lady here owns a livestock washing facility called “Horse Wash.”
  • http://catb.org/jargon/html/H/happily.html
  • This entry speaks volumes about how I relate to human networks.
  • Heh. That was dumb. I just asked our source control system to retrieve every version of every file that has ever been created for any project. I canceled it but I would imagine it would have taken weeks for it to retrieve all 270GB of source code.
  • “The best way to learn is to make a bunch of mystics.” – my Indian cow-orker’s pronunciation of “mistake.”
  • There’s a directory in our source tree called Good SQL. It’s empty. Guess there’s no good SQL in our source. 🙂
  • Famous Amos cookies are amazing, especially when dipped in coffee. And even office coffee tastes better after having cookie bits in it.
  • The American standard mm/dd/yyyy date format is such lossage. The U.S. Military and NATO date formats (dd MMM(M) yyyy | yyyymmdd) make much more sense.
  • HAKMEM ITEM 154 (Gosper):
  • The myth that any given programming language is machine independent is easily exploded by computing the sum of powers of 2.
  • · If the result loops with period = 1 with sign +, you are on a sign-magnitude machine.
  • · If the result loops with period = 1 at -1, you are on a twos-complement machine.
  • · If the result loops with period > 1, including the beginning, you are on a ones-complement machine.
  • · If the result loops with period > 1, not including the beginning, your machine isn’t binary — the pattern should tell you the base.
  • · If you run out of memory, you are on a string or Bignum system.
  • · If arithmetic overflow is a fatal error, some fascist pig with a read-only mind is trying to enforce machine independence. But the very ability to trap overflow is machine dependent.
  • By this strategy, consider the universe, or, more precisely, algebra:
  • let X = the sum of many powers of two = …111111
    now add X to itself; X + X = …111110
    thus, 2X = X – 1 so X = -1
    therefore algebra is run on a machine (the universe) which is twos-complement.
  • Lol – “The Client does NOT want a logo image. The logo is attached…” WTF? Here’s the logo I don’t want shown on my website…
  • We may be half a world away and be separated by language, culture, and religion but I’ve just learned that my counterpart in India loves coffee just as much as I do.

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  1. #1 by Phillip on August 7, 2010 - 10:47 AM

    Your cow-orker is right. Mystics ARE the best way to learn.

    I am really curious with the regards to the resister story.

    My mouse pad doesn’t shed. It just gunky buildup on it that then transfers to the pads on my mouse and makes movement really jerky and erratic. Acetone fixes it quite nicely though.

    Have you looked at the ingredient list for Maruchan ramen lately? 3 or 4 of the things are flavor enhancers like MSG, hydrolyzed yeast extract, and a couple other things. That could explain why last time I had their ramen I couldn’t actually taste what flavor it was.

    • #2 by Joshua on August 7, 2010 - 11:12 AM

      Yeah but I don’t know how to make mystics, let alone a bunch of them!

      Well if too much voltage is applied, a resistor tends to fail quite spectacularly. It’s sort of neat to watch, actually.

      The mouse pad in question is from four business names ago and is thinner than aluminum foil. It doesn’t gum up the mouse ’cause the mouse is optical and doesn’t need a pad anyway. But the cleaning staff keeps returning it to its rightful place no matter what I try to do to get rid of it.

      And I never bothered to look at the Maruchan ingredient listing. All I know is that Maruchan is tasty but Nissin is damn good!

      • #3 by Phillip on August 9, 2010 - 2:46 PM

        I’ve seen tons of things glow bright red then pop. I’ve also applied voltage to a gate the wrong way and got a pop, sizzle, and industrial burning smell. Never killed a resistor though.

        My mouse happens to be a Logitech MX Revolution and it’s VERY finicky about the surface. And there’s the obvious problem with the cleaning crew; you’re not hiding the pad well enough. That or they have a supply of them somewhere.

  2. #4 by Joshua on August 7, 2010 - 11:14 AM

    There is a tiny (~2.5mm) insect somehow inside the gap between the outer screen and liquid crystal pad of my monitor. He takes up about 2 pixels on my screen. He’s running laps right now and I’ve been chasing him with the mouse pointer for fun.

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