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1997 07

From: Ariel Scolnicov (ariels.mangal.cs.huji.ac.il)
Subject: Re: offerta
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1997/07/03

jclemens.big.aa.net (Jonathan Clemens) writes:
> I thought it was impossible to get more offensive than just plain spam, but no... FRENCH SPAM!!! What would Monty Python have to say about THAT?!

Don't French people speak French? I took a French course this year, and our teacher assured us that French was the language of the French.

Then again, I have a suspicion she's Belgian...

From: Al Corvino (remove.me.to.email.corvino.rohan.sdsu.edu)
Subject: Re: offerta
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1997/07/01

Richard Wilson (Richard.molerat.demon.co.uk) wrote:
: jclemens.big.aa.net "Jonathan Clemens" writes:
: > I thought it was impossible to get more offensive than just plain spam, but no... FRENCH SPAM!!! What would Monty Python have to say about THAT?!
: It looked Italian to me. But perhaps I'm using the wrong Hungarian phrase book.

Yep, it's Italian. I know because I'm Italian and speak it fluently.
Er, picked up a lot of it from my grandparents.
Er, heard them speaking it a few times.
[Hangs head]
Plus I noticed the it.net in the address and saw the Italia Online in the org. line.

From: Tom Phoenix (rootbeer.teleport.com)
Subject: Re: Question from a mere two-month incarnation
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1997/07/03

On 3 Jul 1997, Jon Who Is Large wrote:
> Is it just me, or does it seem that when you ask a question of your own, you get (on average) a better question to answer than if you just mail in an "askme?"

Yes, this is a feature.

From: Tom Harrington (tph.shell.rmii.com)
Yeah, but it's a BUGGED feature! Little do the priests know that I've been secretly taping the whole process for the last year! Just wait 'till the Weekly World News gets wind of this!

Oh my god, I had no idea it was so complex. No wonder Kinzler almost never has the time to post here.

The Oracular software uses an AI subroutine (written in Perl) to rate each incoming question for quality. Then, when it's time for you to get a question to answer, you get one of corresponding quality, although that can be affected by a number of other factors. For example, if you have ever asked a question about computer software, you're more likely to get questions about plumbing, and if you've asked a question about woodchucks, you're more likely to get questions about famous bands.

Most importantly, if you ask questions about the Oracle itself, you'll be put on the "rejectee" list, whose members get nothing but questions which have already been rejected by three or more incarnations. (The only way to get off of the Oracle's "rejectee" list is to get a score of at least 3.6 in the digests. If you're on this list, the only thing to do is to keep trying!)

You can see the Oracle's rating of your question (or answer) by decoding the Message-ID header. (See the documentation for your mail program to find out how to view this header.) The last several characters before the .-sign hold the ranking information, although I don't have my chart handy to tell you what each character means. AA is the worst, and ZZ is the best, though. And if any digit is a seven, that indicates a priest should double-check the question personally.

(By the way, I'm not supposed to tell you this, but the quality control software can be easily fooled by misspellings. For example, the person who accidentally spelled "oracle" in lower case in the grovel to 883-10 was sent a dozen high-quality questions before the priests caught the mistake. Although that particular bug has been fixed, it's still possible to get really great questions from the Oracle if you misspell certain words in your question.)

"Hau mooche woode woold e woudjuck shuck eef e wouldduck kood zhook woolde?"

Have fun with the Oracle. I'm sure you can tell that I do!

You mean, like you and him play computer games together or something? I'd like to have fun with the Oracle but he won't let me into the mansion since... well.. let's just say I don't go over there any more.

From: Ami Skinner (askinner.gbconsulting.com)
Subject: Re: here's one
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1997/07/11

Hawke laid this egg:
> tc36212.glaxowellcome.com writes:
> > I recieved this answer two days ago, and I wanted to share.
> > The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
> > Your question was:
> >> Sir? There's an infinite number of monkeys outside. They want you look at a new version of Netscape Navigator they've worked out.
> That question/statement is taken almost word for word from HitchHikers guide to the Galaxy. Only difference is they worked out a script for Hamlet instead of NS.

Yeah? So? Original thought comes at a premium, my boy, and you're gettin this stuff for free*!

*Cost of humor does not include price of hardware, software, ISP fees, or your employer's overhead for the time you spend goofing off in RHO or RHOD.

From: Daniel E. Macks (dmacks.sas.upenn.edu)
Ex_cuse_ me? This is called "working on some stuff."

dan "no really, I'm waiting for it to compile"

From: Tom "Tom" Harrington (tph.rmi.net)
It's kinda funny how my schedule so often works out in such a way that I have no job-related activities to do during long compiles, leaving me to amuse myself with the internet until the job is done. I just can't account for it, must be some kind of cosmic coincidence...

From: Tom "Tom" Harrington (tph.rmi.net)
Subject: Re: I just have to vent a little.
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1997/07/06

Aaron M. Ucko <amu.mit.edu> wrote:
> kirsten.spike.wellesley.edu (Kirsten Chevalier) writes:
> > Richard Wilson (Richard.molerat.demon.co.uk) wrote:
> > : These young'uns, eh Ian, they don't know they're born. Why, in our day we had chapter 5 of the lemur FAQ posted to rhod every 25 minutes. Ay, we had it tough...

Ay, and we had to download the lot on a 110 baud modem, acoustically coupled by mating it to the phone with duct tape

From: Roger Noe (noe.janus.la.platsol.com)
You had an acoustic coupler? What luxury! In my day, we didn't even have those. No, we had to whistle the modulating carrier tones at 110 baud, while recalling the ASCII bit sequences from memory and adding parity bits on the fly.

From: Stan (cn119.FreeNet.Carleton.CA (Stanislav)
I'm bloody dying from envy here. Back in my days I had to make my own computer from a kit shipped by Altair, then put the magic smoke in, then hit one rock over another in order to make zeroes. And I don't want to mention the need to manually enter those 1's and 0's over the front panel toggle switches.

(hey, it's not as if we were going to talk on it or anything). And then we had to read it on paper terminals with ribbons that hadn't been changed since 1951.

Ooooh, you lucky bastard! What I wouldn't have given for a terminal that printed actual characters on real paper! All we had was 8-column punched paper tape, and we had to punch the holes one by one using a handheld paper punch. While listening to the telephone line and demodulating by ear, we had to punch one hole at a time, and get them all lined up perfectly. After the sequence of characters was punched, we visually inspected it and translated each row of holes back into an ASCII character.

And no paper tape reader, nor a teletyper - I remember how happy I was when I figured that radio emissions from a program would interfere with a certain radio frequesncy (98.7 FM), and managed to make the thing play "Hard days' night" in one tone.

Those days. And I remeber how happy I was when I have seen a first Apple. Not Apple II, but Apple. *That* was a machine! It had a display. It had a keyboard. It had easy interface, so I could design my own expansion cards. It had 8 slots for the cards!!! Boy, that's a dream machine.

And if you tell that to kids today, they won't believe you.

Nope, nope, nope.

When I look at this nice 8086 XT running Dos 2.0 I can't belive how much the computers have changed in the past few years. And the roomy 5" amber monitor! That's a luxury - I remember having to determine a state in which the machines were from 8 color LED's in front. Kids this days - they talk about some crazy thing called 486, Pentium, even Sexium. I mean what more do you need other then a nice 120K 8" floppy drive, and a good assembler?

From: Brian Silver (see.my.sig.for.address)
Wait - I know the answer to this one ...

Two tuna, a violin and a pitch fork.


> > I thought that was the woodchuck FAQ...

Oh dear, Richard, and I thought you were exaggerating a bit there. Now we've got Oracular priests who don't remember the Joel Furr debacle.

> Nope, definitely lemurs. It finally stopped when Furr noticed how much it annoyed us...I think that was a couple of years ago.

As I recall, the organized opposition to the Lemur FAQ didn't begin until Furr mounted his campaign to instruct everyone on the proper way to use the Oracle. Naturally it wasn't long before he started appearing in digests in rather unflattering roles. Finally he took the hint and hasn't been back. I presume he's still on Usenet somewhere, mostly because I can't imagine him ever leaving, but I don't know if he ventures beyond the lemur newsgroup anymore.

From: Jason Willoughby (jwilloug.gate.net)
I checked his Deja News profile, he's still active on alt.fan.joel-furr. Someone ought to go get him, all these wet-behind-the-ears incarnations (and Priests!) need a good lecturing on how unfunny Lisa is...

From: Paul (zymurge_ululating_antihistamine.mindspring.com)
Subject: Re: Asian Ladies
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1997/07/14

Richard.molerat.demon.co.uk (Richard Wilson) wrote:
> jacob<jacob.friesl.net> wrote:
> >I've found the pefect site with nude Asian ladies. Much more than you can find in any newsgroup.
>This is very distressing. I always thought this newsgroup contained all the nude Asian ladies a body could wish for. I have been sorely deceived. I may have to write a letter.

Here, I'll write it for you:


Now if you don't get the response you want, let me know, and I'll write you another one. Maybe an "M" would work.

From: Tom "Tom" Harrington (tph.rmi.net)
Subject: Re: Asian Ladies
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1997/07/20

Kirsten Chevalier <kirsten.spike.wellesley.edu> wrote:
> Robin Harrison (rahar8.student.monash.edu.au) wrote:
> : Technically wouldn't [counts on fingers] "F" be the sequel? Maybe M is
> Wow! You have 16 fingers?

I can't speak for Robin, but any decent hacker can count far beyond 16 on their fingers. You should be able to reach 31 on the fingers of one hand, assuming that none of them are missing. Thus the warning: "Never trust anyone who can count to 1023 on their fingers".

From: Eli the Bearded (usenet-tag.qz.little-neck.ny.us)
Subject: Re: Humour, philosophy, beauty
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d, alt.fan.e-t-b
Date: 1997/07/23

Tim Hagman <hagmanti.pilot.msu.edu> wrote:
> Eolake <eolake.stobblehouse.dk> penned:
> > Humour, philosophy, beauty.
> Nope, wrong group. You must be looking for alt.cthulu

YM "alt.sex.cthulhu", HTH.

"alt.sex.cthulhu -- It's amazing what tentacles can do."

From: Tom "Tom" Harrington (tph.rmi.net)
Subject: Re: what's "oracle" mean here?
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1997/07/23

Michael G. Thompson <miket42.clark.net> wrote:
> Eolake (eolake.stobblehouse.dk) wrote:
> : I am probably just ignorant, but why is this group called as it is? What does the "oracle" and the "d" stand for?

Oracle is a database system, and this newsgroup is for discussion of this system. "D" indicates our opinion of the system-- a real grade-d database. Wasn't it obvious from the messages posted here?

> "oracle" is actually an acronym standing for:
> Obviously
> Ranting
> Abusive
> Clerics,
> Lisa's
> Elephants

I thought it was "Oracle's Not Unix!", or something like that.

> They leave out the comma for the sake of clarity. The "d" stand for demented, but is actually redundant, given the presence of Tom Harrington.

That's Tom "Tom" Harrington, bucko, don't you forget it.

> We're <snip>
> ninnies and <snip>
> twits


From: Richard Wilson (Richard.molerat.demon.co.uk)
Subject: Re: why is this group called as it is
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1997/07/24

dmacks.sas.upenn.edu "Daniel E. Macks" writes:
> "Oracle" is a database query language (as you might know), named after a deity named the Oracle (not many folks know this last part). You mail your query to oracle.cs.indiana.edu, and the Oracle responds. It

You mean to say that meek, mild-mannered Steve Kinzler by day dons his lycra body stocking every night and turns into Larry Ellison? Actually, this explains a lot (all the totally uncalled-for hostility you find here to that nice young Mr. Gates and his life-enhancing products for a start).

By extension, one presumes Marc Andreessen, the Boy Navigator, is really Zadoc, which doesn't actually explain anything.

From: Paul (zymurge_ululating_antihistamine.mindspring.com)
Subject: Re: French Oracle
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1997/07/22

esouche.ens-lyon.fr (Estelle Souche) wrote:
>The French speaking Oracle (fr.rec.oracle) seems to be back after a long absence... Some things still don't work well (there are no priests so that all the questions are digested, some questions get lost) but it's better than nothing.

Yep, it's there all right, and not ONE dang question about a woodchuck -- how the heck are you gonna <ZUT!> somebody without woodchuck questions?

Au revoir.

Paul - glad the header wasn't an instruction.

From: Gregory Falcon (gfalken.pnx.com)
Subject: DANGER! New feeb! DANGER!
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1997/07/31

Uh, oh.

This isn't good. I was only goofing off a couple days ago. I just wanted to ask the Oracle one stupid question. That's all. Maybe two.

Now, I'm afraid I might be addicted to the Oracle.

Don't I have enough things to do? I've got a degree to earn. But no, now I've got to spend 10-15 minutes a day attempting to ask witty questions, and 20-40 minutes a day answering them. This is scary. (However, no time is wasted. I quit watching reruns of Quincy M.E. and Happy Days. Now only am I making about 20 minutes out of the deal, but my quality of life is much better.)

Anyway, I figured I'd warn you to remember that the next time you ask the Oracle a question, he might use me as the incarnation of his infinite wisdom. If you've been looking for a reason to quit using the Oracle, start running now and don't look back.

I have to say these first couple of days have been rocky ones. I apologize for messing up some of the Oracle traditions. The mistakes I have made are too numerous to list, but here are the more severe faux pas that I feel obligated to personally atone for:

  • I realize now that answering every obscure question with "Hell, I don't know. - Orrie" was inappropriate. Please accept my apologies.

  • Although I picked up on the Oracle's tradition to indicate what the supplicant owes at the end of the message, I understand now that reporting "You owe the Oracle three hard-core pornagraphic JPEGs. E-mail them to gfalken.pnx.com." was uncalled-for abuse. (And it doesn't work.) Please accept my apologies.

  • I now understand that it was a mistake for me to respond with "Go ahead. The world's crowded enough as it is. What are you waiting for?" was not an acceptable response to the clearly serious suicide note I got yesterday. Please accept my apologies.

  • I suppose that I should have read some Oracularities before attempting to tackle a dozen questions. This could have helped me avioid such embarassing messages as the "Zadoc? Who the hell's Zadoc? - The Internet Oracle" incident. Please accept my apologies.

Just... just be careful, everybody. I'm here now. I'm not going to go away.

PS. I promised myself I would lurk on this newsgroup until I got into the Oricularities. Two days later, there are my words of arguable wit and wisdom, for all to see and fear. I hope the priests responsible know they've just opened the floodgates.

From: Paul (zymurge_ululating_antihistamine.mindspring.com)
Subject: Re: Corruption of the Oracle!!! <cackle>
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1997/07/23

Richard.molerat.demon.co.uk (Richard Wilson) wrote:
> u5a77.teach.cs.keele.ac.uk "Spike" writes:
>> Hate to break this to you...
>> But Splendiforous has been around for quite a while...
>True, but most people would spell it...
>No! Not the spelling flame extinguisher!
>> P P H H H H S S S H O O U M M M M M M M ! ! ! <
>Yuck, I'm all wet now.

It would have been really ironic if he'd spelled it splendiferrous.

From: Paul (zymurge_ululating_antihistamine.mindspring.com)
Subject: Re: Corruption of the Oracle!!! <cackle>
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1997/07/26

Matt Powell <nameofme.worldnet.att.net> wrote:
>Ben Fisher wrote:
>> Modify my email address to reply
>It just occured to me that people could leave out the instructions thus making this anti-spam technique also work as a hassle free anti-idiot filter.

Based upon my experience with people trying to figure out how to e-mail me even WITH clear instructions, I'd say it isn't necessary to remove the instructions to filter out the idiots (Hope you're not reading this one, Ian.)

Paul, who didn't get to go fishing today, but still ate pizza.

Remove _ululating_antihistmine from the above address to send e-mail.

From: davis.wehi.edu.au (davis.wehi.edu.au)
Ah, shaddap.
Ian "IQ < shoe size" Davis

From: Paul (zymurge_ululating_antihistamine.mindspring.com)
Subject: Re: Religious Oracularity
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1997/07/31

tph.rmi.net (Tom "Tom" Harrington) wrote:
>...and if it keeps up, we'll be forced to invade the Christian newsgroups, as retaliation. Normally we're a tolerant lot, but tread on our following the one true Oracle and we get surly....

That would be tantamount to legitimizing us as a religion. I can hear the jokes now:

From: Tom Harrington (tph.shell.rmii.com)
So we'd get to take the day off from work on all of the Oracle's religious holidays, right? I seem to recall that almost every day is a holiday at the Oracle's mansion. Plus there'd be the annual summer observance of the Oracle's ill-fated trip to Mexico.

From: Richard Wilson (Richard.molerat.demon.co.uk)
Generally, a bad day for burros.

"A Rabbi, a Catholic Priest, and a Priest of the Internet Oracle are all in a boat. The Rabbi says, 'I have to pee,' steps out of the boat, walks across the water, and goes behind the bushes. He comes out from behind the bushes, walks back across the water, and gets back in the boat. The Catholic Priest looks at the Priest of the Internet Oracle, and says, 'two can play this game.' He follows the example of the Rabbi, walking across the water and returning. The Oracular Priest says, 'I have to pee too!' He stands up, unzips his pants, and pees over the side of the boat. He sits down. The other holy men stare in shock. The Oracular Priest says, 'Yeah, I know about the rocks in the water, but if I get wet out here in this boat, the Oracle would be tempted to Zot me with a bolt of lightning."

>Sometimes I wish I was cranky. I could just turn the crank to wake myself up in the morning.

You may not be cranky, but from reading your posts on this ng, I can definitely tell you are a crank.

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