Software & Programmers Truths

More Fun Stuff

  1. Hofstadter's - Law of computer projects
  2. écrivain - être un grand écrivain
  3. Spelling - poetic checker
  4. Haiku - Japanese philosophy for error messages
  5. Ode - to Life before the Computer
  6. Gender - Computer gender
  7. Monkey - C++ Monkey
  8. Computer Problems - The socket packet pocket
  9. Keyboard - sneak Preview of Microsoft's new keyboard for Windows 3000
  10. Etch-a-Sketch - IT support
  11. Computer Contractor - described in "C"
  12. Write in C - new lyrics for Let it Be
  13. Where - am I ?
  14. Those Funny people - at Microsoft
  15. Operating systems - if Operating Systems were airlines
  16. Windows 3000 - Source code revealed

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Hofstadter's Law

Any computer project will take twice as long as you think it will even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law.

(Douglas Hofstadter).

être un grand écrivain

Quand on lui demandait ce que signifiait pour lui "être un grand écrivain",
il répondait : - "C'est quelqu'un qui est lu par des milliers de gens, mais pas seulement ça, c'est quelqu'un dont les écrits font réagir les gens, en les lisant, ils sont émus, ils pleurent, ils crient, ils se révoltent parfois"
Maintenant son but est atteint.
Il est programmeur chez Microsoft.
Il rédige les messages d'erreur.

To translate this click on Babelfish and select French to English

Spelling Checker

Eye halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea.
It plainly marquees four my revue
Miss steaks eye in knot sea.

Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait a weigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
Its rare lea ever wrong.

Eve have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
Its letter perfect all the weigh
My chequer tolled me sew.



Tokyo, Japan, May 20 - Sony has announced its own computer operating system now available on its hot new portable PC called the Vaio. Instead of producing the cryptic error messages characteristic of Microsoft's Windows and DOS Systems, Sony's chairman Asai Tawara said, "We intend to capture the high ground by putting a human, Japanese face on what has been, until now, an operating system that reflects Western cultural hegemony.For example, we have replaced the impersonal and unhelpful Microsoft error messages with our own Japanese haiku poetry."

The haiku messages are just as informative as Microsoft's and cause a thoughtful pause sufficient allow the user to put aside the impulse to put a fist through the monitor screen. The chairman went on to give examples of the error messages:

A file that big?
It might be very useful.
But now it is gone.

You seek a Web site.
It cannot be located.
Countless more exist.

Chaos reigns within.
Stop, reflect, and reboot.
Order shall return.

ABORTED effort:
Close all that you have worked on.
You ask way too much.

Yesterday it worked.
Today it is not working.
Windows is like that.

First snow, then silence.
This thousand dollar screen dies
So beautifully.

With searching comes loss.
The presence of absence.
"June Sales.doc" not found.

Windows NT crashed.
The Blue Screen of Death.
No one hears your screams.

Stay the patient course.
Of little worth is your ire.
The network is down.

Three things are certain:
Death, taxes, and lost data.
Guess which has occurred.

You step in the stream
But the water has moved on.
Page not found.

Out of memory.
We wish to hold the whole sky. i
But we never will.

Having been erased,
The document you are seeking
Must now be retyped.

Serious error.
All shortcuts have disappeared.
Screen. Mind. Both are blank.

An Ode to Life Before the Computer Age

A computer was something on TV
From a Science Fiction show of note,
A window was something you hated to clean
And ram was the father of a goat.

Meg was the name of my girlfriend
And gig was a job for the nights
Now they all mean different things
And that really mega bytes.

An application was for employment
A program was a TV show
A cursor used profanity
A keyboard was a piano.

A Memory was something that you lost with age
A CD was a bank account
And if you had a 3 1/2-in. floppy You hoped nobody found out.

Compress was something you did to the garbage
Not something you did to a file
And if you unzipped anything in public
You'd be in jail for a while.

Log on was adding wood to the fire
Hard drive was a long trip on the road
A mouse pad was where a mouse lived
And a backup happened to your commode.

Cut you did with a pocket knife
Paste you did with glue
A web was a spider's home
And a virus was the flu.

I guess I'll stick to my pad and paper
And the memory in my head.
I hear nobody's been killed in a computer crash
But when it happens they wish they were dead!

Computer Gender

A language instructor was explaining to her class that French nouns, unlike their English counterparts, are grammatically designated as masculine or feminine. Things like "chalk" or "pencil," she described, would have a gender association. For example: House is feminine-"la" maison. In English, of course, words are of neutral gender.

Puzzled, one student raised his hand and asked, "What gender is a computer?"

The teacher wasn't certain which it was, and so divided the class into two groups and asked them to decide if a computer should be masculine or feminine. One group was composed of the women in the class, and the other of men. Both groups were asked to give four reasons for their recommendation.

The men decided that computers should definitely be referred to in the feminine gender (la) because:
1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic.
2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else.
3. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long-term memory for later retrieval.
4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheque on accessories for it.

The group of women, however, concluded that computers should be referred to in the masculine (le) gender because:
1. In order to get their attention, you have to turn them on.
2. They have a lot of data but are still clueless.
3. They are supposed to help you solve your problems, but half the time they ARE the problem.
4. As soon as you commit to one, you realise that, if you had waited a little longer, you could have had a better model.

The C++ Monkey

A tourist walked into a pet shop and was looking at the animals on display.

While he was there, another customer walked in and said to the shop keeper, "I'll have a C monkey please".
The shopkeeper nodded, went over to a cage at the side of the shop and took out a monkey. He fit a collar and leash, handed it to the customer, saying, "That'll be £5000."

The customer paid and walked out with his monkey. Startled, the tourist went over to the shopkeeper and said, "That was a very expensive monkey. Most of them are only a few hundred pounds. Why did it cost so much?"
The shopkeeper answered, "Ah, that monkey can program in C - very fast, tight code, no bugs, well worth the money."

The tourist looked at the monkey in another cage. "That one's even more expensive - £10,000! What does it do?"
"Oh, that one's a C++ monkey; it can manage object-oriented programming, Visual C++, even some Java. All the really useful stuff," said the shopkeeper.

The tourist looked around for a little longer and saw a third monkey in a cage of its own. The price tag around its neck read £50,000. He gasped to the shopkeeper, "That one costs more than all the others put together! What on earth does it do?"
The shopkeeper replied, "Well, I haven't actually seen it do anything, but it says it's an engineer."

Computer Problems

If a packet hits a pocket on a socket on a port,
and the bus is interrupted at a very last resort,
and the access of the memory makes your floppy disk abort,
then the socket packet pocket has an error to report.

If your cursor finds a menu item followed by a dash,
and the double-clicking icon puts your window in the trash,
and your data is corrupted 'cause the index doesn't hash,
then your situation's hopeless and your system's gonna crash!

If the label on the cable on the table at your house
says the network is connected to the button on your mouse,
but your packets want to tunnel to another protocol,
that's repeatedly rejected by the printer down the hall,
and your screen is all distorted by the side-effects of gauss,
so your icons in the window are as wavy as a souse,
then you may as well reboot the thing and go out with a bang,
'cause sure as I'm a poet, the sucker's gonna hang!

When the copy of your floppy's getting sloppy in the disk,
and the macro code instructions cause unnecessary risk,
then you'll have to flash the memory and you'll want to RAM your ROM
then quickly turn off the computer and be sure to tell your Mom!


Sneak preview of Microsoft's new keyboard
for Windows 3000 / XPS


MEMO: To all employees
SUBJECT: Increased productivity

Management has determined that there is no longer any need for network or software applications support.(See below)

The goal is to remove all computers from the desktop by December 31, 1999. Instead, everyone will be provided with an Etch-A-Sketch. There are many sound reasons for doing this:
1. No Y2K problems
2. No technical glitches keeping work from being done.
3. No more wasted time reading and writing emails.

Frequently Asked Questions for Etch-A-Sketch Tech Support :

Q: My Etch-A-Sketch has all of these funny little lines all over the screen.
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I turn my Etch-A-Sketch off?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: What's the shortcut for Undo?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I create a New Document window?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I set the background and foreground to the same colour?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: What is the proper procedure for rebooting my Etch-A-Sketch?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I delete a document on my Etch-A-Sketch?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I save my Etch-A-Sketch document?
A: Don't shake it.

Describe a computer contractor in "C"

struct ComputerContractor {

double   salary;
long   lunches;
float   jobs;
char   unstable;
void   work;
int   hiring_him_again;
const   pain_in_the_backside;
unsigned   agreement;
short   fuse;
volatile   personality;
static   progress;

/* and there are no unions in sight */

Write your code in C

(sung to The Beatles "Let it Be")

When I find my code in tons of trouble,
Friends and colleagues come to me,
Speaking words of wisdom: "Write in C."

As the deadline fast approaches,
And bugs are all that I can see,
Somewhere, someone whispers"
"Write in C."

Write in C, write in C,
Write in C, write in C.
LISP is dead and buried, Write in C.

I used to write a lot of FORTRAN,
for science it worked flawlessly.
Try using it for graphics! Write in C.

If you've just spent nearly 30 hours
Debugging some assembly,
Soon you will be glad to
Write in C.

Write in C, write in C,
Write In C, yeah, write in C.
Only wimps use BASIC.
Write in C.

Write in C, write in C,
Write in C, oh, write in C.
Pascal won't quite cut it.
Write in C.

{ Guitar Solo }

Write in C, write in C,
Write in C, yeah, write in C.
Don't even mention COBOL.
Write in C.

And when the screen is fuzzy,
And the edior is bugging me.
I'm sick of ones and zeroes.
Write in C.

A thousand people people swear that T.P.
Seven is the one for me.
I hate the word PROCEDURE,
Write in C.

Write in C, write in C,
Write in C, yeah, write in C.
PL1 is 80's,
Write in C.

Write in C, write in C,
Write in C, yeah, write in C.
The government loves ADA,
Write in C.

Where am I?

A helicopter was flying around above Seattle when an electrical malfunction disabled all of the aircraft's electronic navigation and communications equipment. Due to the clouds and haze, the pilot could not determine the helicopter's position and course to steer to the airport.

The pilot saw a tall building, flew toward it, circled, drew a handwritten sign, and held it in the helicopter's window. The pilot's sign said 'WHERE AM I?' in large letters.

People in the tall building quickly responded to the aircraft, drew a large sign, and held it in a building window. Their sign said 'YOU ARE IN A HELICOPTER.'

The pilot smiled, waved, looked at his map, determined the course to steer to SEATAC airport, and landed safely.

After they were on the ground, the copilot asked the pilot how the 'YOU ARE IN A HELICOPTER' sign helped determine their position.

The pilot responded 'I knew that had to be the MICROSOFT building because they gave me a technically correct, but completely useless answer.'

Those Funny People at Microsoft
By David Ives - The Canberra Times

The People at Microsoft really are amazing. After all the rubbish they have had to tolerate - such as investigations by the US Justice Department and really critical articles in The Canberra Times - the guys and girls at Redmond still have a sense of humour. These one-liners came out of Microsoft and all I can say is: Thanks people. Although, on second thoughts, they probably don't know I've got them. And, on third thoughts, they probably don't give a stuff.

Buy a Pentium 586/2GHz so you can reboot faster.

2 + 2 = 5 for extremely large values of 2.

Computers make very fast, very accurate, mistakes.

Computers are not intelligent. They only think they are.

My software never has bugs. It just develops random features.

The information went data way

The definition of an Upgrade: Take old bugs out, put new ones in.

The name is Baud...James Baud.

C: \> Bad command or file name! Go stand in the corner.

Bad command. Bad, bad command! Sit! Stay! Staaay..

Why doesn't DOS ever say EXCELLENT command or filename!

As a computer, I find your faith in technology amusing.

Southern DOS: Y'all reckon? (Yep/Nope)

File not found. Should I fake it? (Y/N)

Ethernet (n): something used to catch the etherbunny.

An error? Impossible! My modem is error correcting

CONGRESS.sys. Corrupted: Re-boot Washington D.C. (Y/N)?

Does fuzzy logic tickle?

A computers attention span is as long as its power cord.

11th commandment:- Covet not thy neighbours Pentium

24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case - coincidence?

Disinformation is not as good as datinformation.

Windows: Just another pane in the glass.

SENILE.COM found...Out Of Memory...

Whos General Failure & whys he reading my disk?

Ultimate office automation: networked coffee.

RAM disk is not an installation procedure.

Shell to DOS. Come in DOS, do you copy?
Shell to DOS ...

All computers wait at the same speed.

DEFINITION: Computer - a device designed to speed and automate errors.

Smash forehead on keyboard to continue.

Enter any 11-digit prime number to continue.

ASCII stupid question, get a stupid ANSI!

E-mail returned to sender - insufficient voltage.

Help! Im modeming ... and I cant hang up!!!

Error: Keyboard not attached. Press Fl to continue.

640K ought to be enough for anybody. Bill Gates.


Hidden DOS secret: add BUGS=OFF to your CONFlG.SYS

Press any key - no, no, no, NOT THAT ONE!

Press any key to continue or any other key to quit.

Excuse me for butting in, but Im interruptdriven.

REALITY.SYS corrupted: Reboot universe? (Y/N/Q)

Sped up my XT; ran it on 220v! Works greO?--7/8

Error reading FAT record: Try the SKINNY one? (Y/N)

Read my chips: No new upgrades!

Hit any user to continue.

2400 Baud makes you want to get out and push!!

I hit the CTRL key but Im still not in control!

Will the information superhighway have any rest stops?

Disk Full - Press Fl to belch.

Back-up not found.- (A)bort (R)etry (T)hrowup

Back-up not found: (A)bort (R)etry (P)anic (R)etry, (T)ake down entire network?

Back-up not found: (A)bort, (R)etry, (G)et a beer?

If debugging is the process of removing bugs, then programming must be the process of putting them in.

Programmers dont die, they just GOSUB without RETURN.

Programmer: a red-eyed, mumbling mammal capable of conversing with inanimate objects.

Real programmers don't document.

If it was hard to write, it should be hard to understand.

Beware of programmers who carry screwdrivers.

Relax, its only ONES and ZEROS!

If Operating Systems were Airlines

DOS Air: Passengers walk out onto the runway, grab hold of the plane, push it until it gets in the air, hop on, then jump off when it hits the ground. They grab the plane again, push it back into the air, hop on, jump off...

Mac Airways: The cashiers, flight attendants, and pilots all look the same, talk the same, and act the same. When you ask them questions about the flight, they reply that you don't want to know, don't need to know, and would you please return to your seat and watch the movie.

Windows Airlines: The terminal is neat and clean, the attendants courteous, the pilots capable. The fleet of Lear jets the carrier operates is immense. Your jet takes off without a hitch, pushes above the clouds and, at 20,000 feet, explodes without warning.

OS/2 Skyways: Everything looks very comfortable but a little bit plain. The pilots and the carrier are experts, sometimes the flight attendants are a little bit ragged but routined. There are fewer passangers so you have more places to sit. The films are good, but sometimes they are not the newest stuff. There is only first -class and you won't to have pay more for it. All together you have a nice flight and you safely arrive at your destination. Only the few Windows-Airline-Survivors in the departure-hall singing "Tomorrow we own the sky alone" are a little bit disturbing.

Fly Windows NT: Passengers carry their seats out onto the tarmac and place them in the outline of a plane. They sit down, flap their arms, and make jet swooshing sounds as if they are flying.

Unix Express: Passengers bring a piece of the airplane and a box of tools with them to the airport. They gather on the tarmac, arguing about what kind of plane they want to build. The passengers split into groups and build several different aircraft but give them all the same name. Only some passengers reach their destinations, but _all_ of them believe they arrived.

AIR GEOS: The airline has a diverse fleet of commuter, mid-range and even supersonic aircraft, the terminals are open and clean, with lots of complimentary services for the passangers. The rates are the lowest in the business, but still the terminals are empty because they have not had a single arr/dep for years.

Windows 3000 Source Code revealed !

/* TOP SECRET Microsoft(c) Code
Project: Chicago+(tm)
Projected release-date: Summer 2000 or 2001 or 2002 or 2003 maybe*

#include "win31.h"
#include "win95.h"
#include "win98.h"
#include "evenmore.h"
#include "oldstuff.h"
#include "billrulz.h"
#define INSTALL = HARD
char make_prog_look_big[1600000];
void main()

while(!CRASHED) {
if (first_time_installation)


if (still_not_crashed);




if (detect_cache())
if (fast_cpu())


set_mouse(speed, very_slow);
set_mouse(action, jumpy);
set_mouse(reaction, sometimes);

/* printf("Welcome to Windows 3.11"); */
/* printf("Welcome to Windows 95"); */
/* printf("Welcome to Windows 98"); */
printf("Welcome to Windows 2000");
if (system_ok())
system_memory = open("a:\swp0001.swp", O_CREATE);