Today's Humor Break - -you need this!! : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

The followinf four pages (well 3.5 but who's counting) of hunor have nothing to do with Y2K but a LOT to do with explaining how we got here and why here is such an interesting place to be. My bride found these a while ago and they just surfaced as we turned the compost on our desks this week. To credit the source - - Lakeland Community College Information Technology Services c 1996-1997 (website=

Unfortunately, they don't update very often!

without further ado a small compendium of computer humor:

ITS Home Page

Computer Humor! The Real Meaning of Some Computer Acronyms The Tribes of IT How to Hunt Elephants Some Interesting Computer Quotes


The Real Meaning of Some Computer Acronyms PCMCIA People Can't Memorize Computer Industry Acronyms ISDN It Still Does Nothing APPLE Arrogance Produces Profit-Losing Entity SCSI System Can't See It DOS Defunct Operating System BASIC Bill's Attempt to Seize Industry Control IBM I Blame Microsoft DEC Do Expect Cuts CD-ROM Consumer Device, Rendered Obsolete in Months OS/2 Obsolete Soon, Too WWW World-Wide Wait MACINTOSH Most Applications Crash; If Not, The Operating System Hangs


The Tribes of IT Tribal Affiliations ___________________

The typical computer department is composed of multiple groups of professionals, each group containing individuals with similar background and status. These workers exhibit a strong in-group loyalty, tend to associate only within the group, and regard themselves as superior to coworkers outside their specialty area. In other words, they exhibit all the traits of tribalism.

An information systems organization can be viewed as an amalgamation of tribes. Each tribe has distinctive attributes:

Help Desk. Help desk workers are extroverts. They make more noise and exhibit more chummy behavior than other IT tribes. Quality Assurance. QA witch doctors are professional zealots who believe that they are on a mission from the quality goddess. Programming. Highly individualistic, these mythic individuals see visions and speak in tongues. Their conversations with management are characterized by monosyllabic responses, shrugs, and incomprehensible grunts. Systems Development. A tribe of medicine men and elders. They speak often, but commit seldom. Like medicine, their advice is often bitter and rejected. Unlike medical doctors, systems developers do not take a Hippocratic Oath. Network & Operating System Support. The surgeons of IT. Like surgeons, they think that they know best. Regarded as having a real attitude problem by other tribes and outsiders. Management. Once a product of intermarriage between tribes, management now consists of 'agents' appointed by the corporate governors to preside over the unruly tribes. Unfortunately, most managers do not speak the native language and fear that learning it will alienate them from the business. Visitors to information systems departments report experiences not unlike entering an automotive repair facility -- talk to three mechanics and get three irreconcilable explanations of your bill.


How to Hunt Elephants Mathematicians hunt elephants by going to Africa, throwing out everything that is not an elephant, and catching one of whatever is left. Professors of mathematics prove the existence of at least one elephant and leave the capture of an actual elephant as an exercise for one of their graduate students.

Computer scientists hunt elephants using algorithm A:

1. Go to Africa 2. Start at the Cape of Good Hope 3. Work northward in an orderly manner, traversing the continent alternately East and West. 4. During each traverse a. Catch each animal seen b. Compare each animal caught to a known elephant c. Stop when a match is detected.

Experienced computer programmers modify Algorithm A by placing a known elephant in Cairo to ensure that the algorithm will terminate.

Assembly Language programmers prefer to execute Algorithm A on their hands and knees.

Engineers hunt elephants by going to Africa, catching gray animals at random, and stopping when any one of them weighs within plus or minus 15 percent of any previously observed elephant.

Economists don't hunt elephants, but they believe that if elephants are paid enough they will hunt themselves.

Statisticians hunt the first animal they see N times and call it an elephant.

Consultants don't hunt elephants, but they can be hired by the hour to advise those who do.

Operations research consultants can measure the correlation of hat size and bullet color to the efficiency of elephant hunting strategies, if someone else will identify the elephants.

Politicians don't hunt elephants, but they will share the elephants you catch with the people who voted for them.

When the Vice President of R&D tries to hunt elephants, his staff will try to ensure that all elephants are completely prehunted before he sees them. If the VP sees a nonprehunted elephant, the staff will (1) Compliment the vice president's keen eyesight and (2) enlarge itself to prevent any recurrence.

Senior managers set broad elephant hunting policy based on the assumption that elephants are just like field mice, but with deeper voices.

Quality assurance inspectors ignore the elephants and look for mistakes the other hunters made when they were packing the jeep.

Salespeople don't hunt elephants but spend their time selling elephants they haven't caught, for delivery two days before the season opens. Software salespeople ship the first thing they catch and write up an invoice for an elephant. Hardware salespeople catch rabbits, paint them gray and sell them as "desktop elephants."

source: "Pachydermic Personnel Prediction" by Peter Olsen in the September 1989 edition of BYTE.


Some Interesting Computer Quotes (Good thing nobody listened... ) "Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons." Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

"I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won't last out the year." The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957

"But what ... is it good for?" Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.

"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977


Copyright 1996-97 Lakeland Community College Return Home

Last updated January 7, 1998 Please direct email inquires to

-- Chuck the Night Driver (, November 11, 1998


Thanks for the humor Chuck, I always welcome a laugh :)

Here's some computer haikus a friend of mine just sent me, to add to your humor thread. (Hope I have the right html tag to format this right.)

>A file that big? > >It might be very useful. > >But now it is gone. > > - - - - - - - - - - - - > >The Web site you seek > > cannot be located but > >endless others exist > > - - - - - - - - - - - - > >Chaos reigns within. > >Reflect, repent, and reboot. > >Order shall return. > >- - - - - - - - - - - - > >ABORTED effort: > >Close all that you have. > >You ask way too much. > > - - - - - - - - - - - - > >First snow, then silence. > >This thousand dollar screen dies > >so beautifully. > > - - - - - - - - - - - - > >With searching comes loss > > and the presence of absence: > >"My Novel" not found. > >- - - - - - - - - - - - > >The Tao that is seen > >Is not the true Tao, until > >You bring fresh toner. > > - - - - - - - - - - - - > >Windows NT crashed. > >I am the Blue Screen of Death. > >No one hears your screams. > > - - - - - - - - - - - - > >Stay the patient course > > Of little worth is your ire > >The network is down > > - - - - - - - - - - - - > >A crash reduces > >your expensive computer > >to a simple stone. > > - - - - - - - - - - - - > >Yesterday it worked > >Today it is not working > >Windows is like that > > - - - - - - - - - - - - > >Three things are certain: > >Death, taxes, and lost data. > >Guess which has occurred. > > - - - - - - - - - - - - > >You step in the stream, > >but the water has moved on. > >This page is not here. > >- - - - - - - - - - - - > >Out of memory. > >We wish to hold the whole sky, > >But we never will. > > - - - - - - - - - - - - > >Having been erased, > >The document you're seeking > >Must now be retyped. > >- - - - - - - - - - - - > >Rather than a beep > > Or a rude error message, > >These words: "File not found." > > - - - - - - - - - - - - > >Serious error. > >All shortcuts have disappeared. > >Screen. Mind. Both are blank.

-- Chris (, November 11, 1998.

Here's another set of Tribes. To give you some sense of how old it is, I took it off of an 8 inch floppy disk with the Z80 machine at the end of my network!


Lost Cultures of the World - Part 17 - The Systems Tribe Following the pioneering work of Christian Scientist missionaries in the remotest parts of London, we are now able to bring you a remarkable insight into this primitive and endangered culture. Listed below are explanations of some of the strange words and tribal rituals observed by those missionaries who ecsaped uneaten to tell us of this remarkable and barbaric band of savages. IBM The great blue god and creator of the virtual universe. This particular deity is currently out of favour with the tribe elders due to nine consecutive years of drought. (IBM is also the god of water cooling). AMDAHL The great tangerine-sort-of-colour god who cast out the great blue god from heaven. Currently enjoys great popularity with the tribe. Amdahl is the god of hot air. MEMOREX A minor deity. God of calamity and destruction. HEADLESS A ritual dance performed at moments of great stress CHICKEN (drought, famine, abends etc.). Also a fertility dance. PACK Seemingly random movements of heavenly bodies around the MOVEMENTS sky. The systems tribe have spent many years trying to explain this phenomenon, but have so far found no logical cause. The latest line of thought is that they move in accordance with Data Manager's Law. OUTPUT Vast quantities of dried buffalo dung, beaten into thin sheets, then used to adorn the tribe's dwelling places. MICRIFICHE Small blue fish that live in the bottoms of coffee cups. OMEGAMON The end of all things. As predicted by Nostradamus in 325 B.C. in his book of SAS predictions. SAS A means of soothsaying similar to the casting of bones used by some of the more primitive Madagascan tribes. The SAS ritual seems to consist mainly of using random numbers to generate lots of coloured squiggly lines. The interpretation of these lines requires great wisdom. SOMETHING- Any tribe member who knows (or pretends to know) a lot OLOGY about a particular subject is called an OLOGIST. There are, for example, VTAMologists, Fullword-boundaryologists and Stapling-mcahineologists. MANUALS These are the repository of all tribal knowledge. Said to have been given to Moses SPM by the great blue god himself. These mighty tomes are written in an ancient long-forgotten language (PL/I ?) and are regularly updated by 'TNLs', which descend like manna from the heavens. LUNCHIES The principal currency unit of the tribe. There are in fact three currency units; the lunchy, the bogey and the 5890 Reference Card. Currency Conversion Table : 1 5890 Reference Card = 10,000,000 Lunchies 1 Lunchy = 415 Bogies LUNCH Extended periods of wandering in the wilderness undertaken by the more devoted members of the tribe in order to purify their souls (usually before meetings). Some lunches have been known to last for 3 years. A good supply of'lunchies' is therefore essential. FE This is probably the worst insult known to the systems tribe. This translates approximately to : 'Your grandmother wears flip-flops and uses ten gross of suppositaries a week.' DODGY A tribal word used to describe anything that is not quite 100% or pertaining to operators (EG: Dodgy trousers) VM/XA SP A mythical device used for communicating with the gods. None of the tribe have seen this device and the recent claim by a certain tribe elder to have obtained the device turned out to be a hoax. MEETINGS A clandestine gathering of the tribe elders. Much time is spent in 'meetings', though to no apparent end. HEX The traditional alarm cry of the tribe. This call may be CALCULATOR heard when a member of a hostile tribe or a missionary is seen approaching. COFFEE ? This means the coast is clear. BALDY A common term of endearment used by tribe members (EG: 'Hello, baldy') FAT NECK A rare condition caused by too many 'lunches'. BEING A kind of transcendental meditation performed by tribe SERIOUS elders. 'Being serious' requires great concentration and the practitioner will frequently cry 'don't interrupt me!' when in a trance. It is said that when a tribe member is 'being serious' he is in direct telepathic communication with the great blue god. The other tribe members will gather round and listen to his every word. This is usually a complete waste of time. TCAM A primitive form of inter-village communication, consisting of banging a big stick against a hollow tree. VTAM A more recent form of inter-village communication, in which the stick is driven by a computer. SPECIAL A group of tribal witch-doctors and bunko artists. Nobody PROJECTS seems to know what they do, or why they do it. V/8 A pre-historic dwelling place of the tangerine-sort-of-colour god. 5860 A more recent dwelling place of this god. 5880 A still more recent dwelling place of this god. 5890 The most recent and current dwelling place of this god. OPERATORS The god is attended to by another tribe. The 'Operators' are a race of simpletons who claim to communicate with the god by banging their heads against a big rock called a 'console'. It is they who collect the vast amounts of buffalo dung and beat it into sheets of 'output'. The 'Operators' are held in awe by the systems tribe. NETWORK Another sub-culture. The 'Network' tribe live in a large wigwam structure called a TP. It is they who transmit the words of the great god Amdahl to other tribes in the area by banging trees with sticks. Not much is known about this tribe as they are voracious cannibals and not many people have left the TP alive (except for those with 'fat neck'). 3725 A kind of totem-pole made of wood plastered with buffalo dung. Worshipped by the Network tribe. Legend has it that there were at one time two 3725's, one male and one female but due to the tribe's frustration at their inability to procreate, the female 3725 was chopped up. The male 3725 still remains, however. 4725 A mythical, more modern kind of 3725, rumoured to exist only in the outer reaches of the Valley of Silicon. FINANCE Pagan sub-culture who feel they are ordained by the blue god to approve/disapprove of any actions conducted by the other tribe members. If the tribe members conduct an unapproved action, they are beaten to death with a weapon called a "BUDGET". The people who are in this sub-culture often live in their caves for long periods of time and worship piles of oblong vegetables called "beans", hence their name - "The Counters of Beans". SECURITY Nothing is known about this sub-culture. It is believed to have died of loneliness after it had a single thought. It is remembered by its mystic legacy - ACF2. PLANNERS Irritating rodent like sub-human mutants whose roots are believed to be either from OPERATORS or SECURITY (?). Armed with the pretence that they know all and see all, are frequently stoned in public when they preach that what is written is not what is done. Life expectancy for these mutants was believed to be about six months. These were also believed to be the only members of the tribe that required a license to talk. USERS The purpose of all existance. Apparently, "Users" were the master tribe that dictated, plundered and coerced all of the other sub-cultures into submission for the great secret prize: RESPONSE TIME and AVAILABILITY. Often times, users would conduct great battles against the processor gods just to obtain a consistency of the secret prize and there was an occasional skirmish just for a FEATURE. It is from this group that the modern "robber-baron" evolved from. Today, all other tribes are submissive to this tribe and are the reason for such bizzare practices such as "Lunchies", "Meetings", and would account or the significant DASD disappearance in 2000 BC.

-- Hardliner (, November 12, 1998.

Sorry about the formatting. There's no telling how many times this has been moved around and translated, etc.

-- Hardliner (, November 12, 1998.

I found out the marvelous
html tags, which will reproduce any cut/paste with exact same original format :) (That's what I used above, for a direct cut/paste from an email.)

-- Chris (, November 12, 1998.

oops...hehe..forgot tags disapear without special formating. The tags are <.pre> <./pre> without the periods.

-- Chris (, November 12, 1998.

Don't know if this will work or not, but here goes:

-- Gayla Dunbar (, November 12, 1998.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ