Excuse me if I sound a bit cranky on this one, folks. Snow Crashes will do that to one.
I have been running microsoft software on my computer for some time, since it was conveniently included with the package. Quelle coincidence! Suddenly, IT happened to me too. A computer dying on you like Generalissimo Franco did, that is, one piece at a time(“Today G. Franco’s kidneys failed, today G. Franco’s lungs failed, maybe you aren’t old enough to remember the daily bulletins on the news”). This kind of disaster is “something that always happens to someone else” like a traffic accident or hemmorhoids UNTIL IT HAPPENS TO YOU.
My cyberguru Coti and I sat up with this ailing beast for almost two days, watching in despair as one program after another packed it in. At one point, prior to his arrival, I even tried chanting Sufi healing mantras to it, and I was convinced that I had healed it with my mystical powers. Alas, I was deluded.
Like so many others before, I was privileged to experience for myself the arcane labyrinth that is the dark forest of SYSINI, and follow the track of The Dark Lord in my quest to destroy his ring in the Crack of Doom or whatever.
We obviously succeeded, or I would be unable to write this piece of fluff. Exhausted, I sat down to my laptop to engage in my nightly surfing activities. The only thing which came to mind as a basis for a search was “I HATE MICROSOFT”. I might as well have been searching “e-mail”. There were that many entries. I copied and pasted the first few and then worked up a lovely image for my holy site.
The text included there is a semi-literate e-mail which has become a much-quoted classic on anti microsoft sites, as has the “blue screen of death” haiku.
I will continue to use this stuff because everyone else does. Life can be like that sometimes. Basta.
Here is the link…….
Blue Screen of Death n.
[common] This term is closely related to the older Black Screen of Death but much more common (many non-hackers have picked it up). Due to the extreme fragility and bugginess of Microsoft Windows, misbehaving applications can readily crash the OS (and the OS sometimes crashes itself spontaneously). The Blue Screen of Death, sometimes decorated with hex error codes, is what you get when this happens. (Commonly abbreviated BSOD.)
The following entry from the Salon Haiku Contest, seems to have predated popular use of the term:
Windows NT crashed.
I am the Blue Screen of Death
No one hears your screams.
— Peter Rothman
Three things are certain:
Death, taxes, and lost data.
Guess which has occurred.
— David Dixon
Everything is gone;
Your life’s work has been destroyed.
Squeeze trigger (yes/no)?
— David Carlson
More Hacker Jargon:
I found this, much to my delight and/or consternation.
Guido /gwee’do/ or /khwee’do/
Without qualification, Guido van Rossum (author of Python). Note that Guido answers to English /gwee’do/ but in Dutch it’s /khwee’do/.
nerd knob n.
[Cisco] A command in a complex piece of software which is more likely to be used by an extremely experienced user to tweak a setting of one sort or another – a setting which the average user may not even know exists. Nerd knobs tend to be toggles, turning on or off a particular, specific, narrowly defined behavior.
guru meditation n.
Amiga equivalent of `panic’ in Unix (sometimes just called a `guru’ or `guru event’). When the system crashes, a cryptic message of the form “GURU MEDITATION #XXXXXXXX.YYYYYYYY” may appear, indicating what the problem was. An Amiga guru can figure things out from the numbers. Sometimes a guru event must be followed by a Vulcan nerve pinch.
This term is (no surprise) an in-joke from the earliest days of the Amiga. An earlier product of the Amiga corporation was a device called a `Joyboard’ which was basically a plastic board built onto a joystick-like device; it was sold with a skiing game cartridge for the Atari game machine. It is said that whenever the prototype OS crashed, the system programmer responsible would calm down by concentrating on a solution while sitting cross-legged on a Joyboard trying to keep the board in balance. This position resembled that of a meditating guru. Sadly, the joke was removed fairly early on (but there’s a well-known patch to restore it in more recent versions).
Apropos of Nothing:
Here is a wee French text about one of the weapons our boys are using in Aghanistan. The Predator Drone is an unmanned aircraft equipped with “Hellfire” missiles which can be piloted from a bunker in Kansas via new virtual interfaces while it rains death on the enemies of democracy far far away. Damn.
Predator, drone armé : la guerre sur une télécommande
Le département de la défense américaine a révélé utiliser des drones (avions sans pilote) en Afghanistan. Mais désormais, ceux-ci ne serviraient plus seulement au renseignement : c’est la première fois dans l’histoire que des drones seraient utilisés comme véritable machine de guerre. Selon des sources informées, le RQ1-Predator aurait en effet été équipé avec des missiles anti-tanks Hellfire, armes puissantes habituellement utilisées à partir d’hélicoptères. Plusieurs de ces missiles auraient ainsi été tirés à partir de ces drones.
On imagine facilement la suite : des drones qui seraient capables d’aller tirer un missile sur une cible n’importe où dans le monde.
Rappelons en effet que 23 avril dernier, le RQ-4A Global Hawk, dont l’envergure est supérieure à celle d’un Boeing 737, a pu assurer un vol télécommandé de 8600 miles, de la base Air Force Edwards en Californie jusqu’à la base Edinburgh, au sud de l’Australie.
There is an organization of ex-radar technicians who meet to promote electronic warfare. They call themselves “Two Crows” because the WWII nickname for radar technicians was “Ravens”. Ho ho ho. You can find all about state of the art military hardware there if you really want to.
Here is a link to a guy who claims to have found something like a perpetual motion machine.