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1997 04

From: dark.xs4all.nl (dark.xs4all.nl)
Subject: Re: That damn light
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1997/04/01

>knowfear.athenet.net writes:
>>Hey, I was just wondering about something that I'm sure everyone wonders about once in a while. When you use your floppy disk drive, the light comes up and shows that it's active. That light always stays on about 5 seconds after it is done copying or reading. Why does that damn light stay on there????
[Accurate description snipped]

Hey, this is r.h.o.d!

The light stays on so that the drive has some light to read by.

From: Paul (zymurge_ululating_antihistamine.mindspring.com)
Subject: Re: That damn light
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1997/04/02

marko.smtplink.pulse.com wrote:
> zymurge_ululating_anthistamine.mindspring.com wrote:
>> "Mike Acord" <knowfear.athenet.net> wrote:
>> Why does that damn light stay on there????
>> Hmmmmm. It depends. Is that a 5.25", or a 3.5" floppy drive you're using?
>Why limit the choices like that? It might be an 8" drive.

Had the electric light been invented when those were in use? I don't think so.

From: Russ Ault (russ.hal-pc.org)
Subject: Re: That damn light
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1997/04/07

Mike Acord wrote:
>Why does that damn light stay on there????

This feature was added to disk drives back when they were much larger and were frequently referred to as "washing machines" due to their overall size and their habit of making odd rumbling sounds. It was feared that neophytes and visiting suits could mistake them for *actual* washing machines, and might try to take out the washed laundry when they heard the machine stop. Since the disks in those days didn't have a hygenic plastic sealed-for-your-protection envelope like later 8" disks had, this would have meant that fingerprints on the media would result...which is still generally recognized as a bad thing. The little red light (which was later also supplied in green and amber, but *never* in purple) was added to serve two purposes; on the outside, it often convinced the luser that the machine was, in fact, still working, and that it was merely pausing between spin and rinse for a few moments. It was believed that this would afford the DP Priest in charge of the facility with enough time to regain control of the situation and shepherd the visitor out of the room before anything Bad was done. Of course, that was not expected to be protection enough, so the light also shined on the *inside*; the theory being that if the vistor opened the lid, the media (which seldom bore much of a resemblance to laundry, wet or otherwise) would be *clearly* visible as being the only thing in the case, and the vistor would presumably then *not* begin blindly groping under the large circular thing that they would have assumed had to be a lint filter or splash guard hiding the laundry beneath it. Since the average attention span of a suit had been established as 1.7963 seconds, 5 seconds of lights-on time was deemed more than sufficient to get the vast majority of them bored and cause them to turn their attention to something else in any event. (For marketing types, however, it was later discovered that they would sit and raptly wait for *anything* shiny to repeat its performance, and sometimes could not be persuaded to go away unless the entire system was shut down and *all* the little lights were turned off for several hours. This is one of the reasons why it is now generally accepted that the only thing *worse* than a marketing type that doesn't know which end of a 3.5" floppy goes into the slot first...is one that does.)

From: David Sewell (dsew.packrat.aml.arizona.edu)
Subject: The Oracle and the Year 2000 Problem
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1997/04/04

OK. I'm getting real nervous about this.

No, it's not the Year 2000 problem per se, but something similar. It's the Digest 1000 problem. By my calculations, we're going to reach Digest 1000 by later this year (California's Admission Day, to be precise), and all hell is going to break loose.

The Oracle archiving & searching stuff that hangs off of the Oracle page at <http://www.pcnet.com/~stenor/oracle/index.html> consists of a couple of Perl scripts that I munged together with superglue and chewing gum. There's probably a dozen places in the code where I assume a 3-digit numeral for the Oracle digest. And I don't know what's going to happen when the programs try to deal with Digest 1000. Maybe they'll regress to Digest 0. Maybe they'll dump core. Maybe they'll spew thousands of lines of random lines from the database into everyone's Web browsers.

And what about Steve K's code? He's an infinitely better programmer than I am, but he's the keeper of the Sacred Code that must run to tens of thousands of lines by now, quite possibly in some early K-R dialect of C that no one understands any more. Who's to say that a 4-digit Digest number wouldn't trigger catastrophe there, too?

So I have a suggestion: after 999, can we just start over? Turn the meter back to 000? Wipe out all the old Digests?

We'd free up a lot of disk space, and avoid the millennial frenzy of people speculating on whether Digest 1000 would herald the end of the world, etc. (In fact I worry about Indiana U's liability in the event of cult suicides connected with the 999/1000 turnover.)

You really *don't* want to make me revisit that spaghetti Perl code, now, do you?

(back from sabbatical)

From: Erik Mooney (emooney.attila.stevens-tech.edu)
Subject: Re: The Oracle and the Year 2000 Problem
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1997/04/04

>No, it's not the Year 2000 problem per se, but something similar. It's the Digest 1000 problem. By my calculations, we're going to reach Digest 1000 by later this year (California's Admission Day, to be precise), and all hell is going to break loose.

Simple.. start using letters instead of numbers. The next digest after 999 will be 00A, then 00B, on up to 00Z, then 01A, 01B,... , 0ZZ, 10A, 10B, etc. Just like they do with license-plate numbers. This should be good for 36*36*26 = 33,696 digests or 648 years at one Digest per week.

From: Matthew Wingate (Matthew.Wingate.Colorado.EDU)
Subject: Re: The Oracle and the Year 2000 Problem
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1997/04/04

You mean the digests don't get incremented like the vote distribution? i.e. 1000 = a00, 2000=b00, 27000=A00, etc. Here's a better idea, though. Instead of indexing the digests by number, why not by color (red, green, mauve), mood/dwarves (happy, grumpy, dopey), or weather (stormy, sunny, partly cloudy with a 20% chance of showers in the foothills this evening).

Hmmm, what do they make non-dairy creamer out of, do you think?

From: Paul (zymurge.mindspring.com)
Subject: Re: The Oracle and the Year 2000 Problem
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1997/04/04

dsew.packrat.aml.arizona.edu (David Sewell) [yawn] said:
>OK. I'm getting real nervous about this.
>No, it's not the Year 2000 problem per se, but something similar. It's the Digest 1000 problem. By my calculations, we're going to reach Digest 1000 by later this year (California's Admission Day, to be precise), and all hell is going to break loose.

Well *DUH*! If you'd had the sense that God had, you'd have named all the digested wisdom after people instead of numbers, and since there are lots more names than there are numbers, you would never have run into this problem, now would you?

"And now, a reading from the Oracularities according to Saint Zymurge." Hey, I kinda like the sound of that.

From: Richard Wilson (Richard.molerat.demon.co.uk)
Subject: Re: The Oracle and the Year 2000 Problem
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1997/04/05

dsew.packrat.aml.arizona.edu "David Sewell" writes:
> OK. I'm getting real nervous about this.
> No, it's not the Year 2000 problem per se, but something similar. It's the Digest 1000 problem. By my calculations, we're going to reach Digest 1000 by later this year (California's Admission Day, to be precise), and all hell is going to break loose.

You have cause for trepidation. I refer you to Nostradamus's prophesies, century VII, quatrain 33: "When the comet passes, the antichrist very soon annihilates the three ere they can become four. Venus rises in the house of Mars, Bill falls in the house of Greg, and the priests pick some real stinkers like 896-01. Wasps, flies, eagles and small irritating furry things."

Incidentally, Nostradamus's "Hister" is usually translated as Hitler, but if you sort of squint at it, it could just as easily be Kinzler, couldn't it?

Staying incidental for a while longer, many seers have come up with Hale-Bopp references in the past. For instance, Thomas the Rhymer predicted "It'll be a richt bricht moonlicht nicht tonicht", and who can forget Mother Shipton's "Take this mixture with some fruit juice, lie down in a darkened room and call me in the morning if you haven't metamorphosed"?

Richard Wilson

still trying to think of a way to work in a Spice Girls reference

From: davis.wehi.edu.au (davis.wehi.edu.au)
Subject: Re: The Oracle and the Year 2000 Problem
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1997/04/08

dsew.packrat.aml.arizona.edu (David "Couldn't plan sunburn in a nudist colony" Sewell) writes:
>I'll have to rename all those files to NNNN-NNNN form, and then re-index the whole thing, since the search engine needs to know the new filenames.
> I know, I should have planned ahead...

I'm going to remind you of this, oh, around Digest 9996....


From: Tom Harrington (tph.shell.rmii.com)
Subject: Re: Prophecies of ages
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1997/04/07

ben.light.co.za wrote:
: You are sincerely invited to visit our non-commercial web site entitled "Prophecies of the Ages", Based on quotes from major world religions and famous seers. This brief but unsolicited invitation is being sent to you, once only,

To ME? Really? Hey everyone, this message was sent to me. You can't have it.

: with the hope of increased harmony among people.

Oh, come on, the Oracle's priesthood couldn't carry a tune in a bucket.

From: Mark Rouleau (mrouleau.frontiernet.net)
Subject: Re: 901-03 wrong Lehrer?
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1997/04/26

In article <336183a0.11145319.news.ic.net>, cierhart.ic.net (Otis Viles) wrote:
>>(Tom Lehrer, btw, has a lot of fun with G&S, aping their songs in several of his own tunes. "The Elements" is perhaps his best known: it is merely a recitation of the Periodic Table of Elements (up to 105 or so) set to the tune of "Modern Major General.")
>Hmm ... 2 songs, I believe, both from "An Evening (Wasted) With Tom Lehrer". The first is "The Elements," as you mentioned, and the 2nd is a snippet of "Clementine."

That's what I said: several. One, Several, Many, Lots. (For those who've taken advanced mathematics: More Lots, Lots n'lots, A Gajillion.)

Scientists say there is no number greater than a gajillion. To them I say: a gajillion AND ONE.

From: Tom "Tom" Harrington (tph.rmi.net)
You need to study up on general numerical relativity. It's a bit hard to explain, but a gajillion and one is... a gajillion. And two times a gajillion is also a gajillion. It's sort of like the question posed early in modern physics classes: If you're in a car moving at the speed of light, and you turn on the headlights, how fast is the light moving in the headlight beams? The obvious answer, twice the speed of light, is wrong. In fact, it's moving at the speed of light, since nothing can move faster.

As you approach a gajillion, you experience something known as numerical dilation. As a result, you can never get TO a gajillion, but only *very* close. In fact it's not being AT a gajillion that's impossible, it's just that counting to a gajillion would take an infinite amount of energy, and since even small children do not (despite appearances) have infinite energy, it is therefore impossible. [One postdoctoral mathematics student, Bruce MacBruce, did claim to have counted to a gajillion, at the University of Wollamaloo in Australia, but he was later found to have consumed a nearly-infinite amount of Foster's lager just before the event, and was subsequently unable to repeat his achievement. Others have also been unable to verify his claim, although in fairness they were drinking Coors light [1] rather than Foster's, and the resulting frequent bathroom trips may have skewed the results.]

All of this was explained by Einstein [2], although the results were regrettably never published.

I hope this clears things up.

[1] A note to non-Americans: Coors light is the ultimate implementation of WYSIWYP beverage technology: What You See Is What You Pee. The contents of the glass are for the most part indistinguishable from the soon-appearing contents of the toilet. Alleged "beers" like Coors are the reason why so many non-Americans make rude jokes about our beer and ale.

[2] Although Einstein was, like MacBruce, Australian, and was also known to tip pints in quantities unknown here in the civilized world, most of his theories have proved sound. Any doubters were silenced when he successfully split a beer atom with only a hammer and chisel.

From: Paul (zymurge.mindspring.com)
Look, I hate to pee on your bonfire here, but you seem to be confusing a "gajillion" with a "bazillion." A gajillion is approximately equal to a shitload, and we all know that for really large loads of shit, we would refer to a "shitload and a half."

From: Tom "Tom" Harrington (tph.rmi.net)
No, no, that's not it. The 'shitload' is the metric equivalent of a gajillion. They're conceptually similar, but really, a gagillion is equal to about 3.27 kiloshitloads. Really large loads of shit are measured in megashitloads. At least, that's what the ISO standard says.

Okay, we know that there is the number "one." Then when we have two, we have a "couple." Three to four (or sometimes five) is called "a few," and more than that, but still countable withing five seconds is called "several." After that we have a "bunch," then hundreds, thousands, millions, billions, trillions, quadrillions, quintillions, and so on, until we get to a gajillion.

Or in the metric, it'd be nanoshitloads, microshitloads, millishitloads, shitloads, kiloshitloads, megashitloads, and terashitloads. Oh, and you forgot to include "sextillions". Or doesn't your ISP let you post words like that?

Now although nobody could possibly count to a gajillion, I think we can all agree that if you had a gajillion of anything, you could also be said to have a shitload of that something.

Err... 3.27 kiloshitloads. Approximately.

I think the problem here is that you have apparently confused the "shitload" with the "buttload". A buttload is a lot, but not so much as a hell-of-a-lot. A hell-of-a-lot is about equal to 12.5 buttloads. Actually, the only significant difference between the buttload and the shitload is timing.

And if you have a shitload of something, you could of course have a shitload and a half, which would be approximately one and a half gajillion. Since we know that a gajillion and one is more than two (indeed more than a hundred, by many estimates), we can safely say that half a gajillion is at least one, and therefore, a gajillion and a half is at least a gajillion and one, and therefore, the number exists. Q.E.D.

From: Al Corvino (remove.me.to.email.corvino.rohan.sdsu.edu)
Subject: Re: Why?
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1997/04/11

Paul (zymurge_ululating_antihistamine.mindspring.com) wrote:
: remove.me.to.email.corvino.rohan.sdsu.edu (Al Corvino) [yawn] went on and on ad nauseam:

I did? Gosh and I thought I kept it short.... Guess I'll have to join that support group for people who don't know when to shut up, OnandonAnon. I hear the meetings take forever though....

From: Paul (zymurge_ululating_antihistamine.mindspring.com)
Subject: Re: Why?
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1997/04/25

Richard.molerat.demon.co.uk (Richard Wilson) wrote:
> zymurge_ululating_anthistamine.mindspring.com "Paul" writes:
>> Oooooooooooh!!!! That just DOES IT!
>> remove.me.to.email.corvino.rohan.sdsu.edu (Al Corvino) wrote:
>> [snip]
>> [snip]
>> Get it? He didn't write nuthin, cause he's a blithering idiot.
>Oh, is *that* what it is? I thought you were giving him a vasectomy.

Hmmm. I've done a little HTML coding, but I wouldn't quite call myself a URL-ogist.

From: Matthew Wingate (Matthew.Wingate.Colorado.EDU)
Subject: Re: The Chronicles of Zadoc the Priest
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1997/04/09

Here's what the big guy has to say on the matter...

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:
> O omniscient Oracle, will Richard accept my undigested Zadocularity into his esteemed website?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:
} Come on, you didn't really fall into that trap? I mean, it's far too obvious. Look at the facts: a Priest of the Oracle sets up a website (when we all know the Oracle prefers email) and collects there those lesser supplications, which have been deemed unworthy of further discussion. So not only is this priest moonlighting, he's also blaspheming and degrading the authority of his Oracle. Now what happens? Well, you'd normally expect Me (the Oracle) to exhibit my usual patience, and ZOT the guy into replacing Zadoc at the Oracular stables, where the Oracular Dung needs shovelling (that's why you never see Zadoc selecting an oracularity). Instead, the guy gets promoted, and no longer has to call himself 'Richard "Richard"'.
} Does this reek of conspiracy to you? Or have you lost your sense of smell completely?
} The truth of the matter is simple. Knowing that Heresy is rampant in My (our) world, I instructed my priests to set up My own private heretical website. Anyone who visits it is noted by a CGI script My humble (but oftimes useful) slave has prepared. Whenever you submit a question, your name is checked against the list. If it appears, your question gets sent to an aol address.
}As you can guess, this has already hapened^H^Hnned 2 u. AOL rulez. Why can't i Find eny nud gifs on the intrenet worldwideweb? Anyway i dont know the anser to yor question aask somebody elss. AOLAOLAOLAOLAOLAOL

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