Linux Computers
fortune: 43 - 52 of 1023 from linux computers
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Linux Computers

Fortune: 43 - 52 of 1023 from Linux Computers

Linux Computers:  43 of 1023

        A novice asked the master: "In the east there is a great tree-structure
that men call 'Corporate Headquarters'.  It is bloated out of shape with
vice-presidents and accountants.  It issues a multitude of memos, each saying
'Go, Hence!' or 'Go, Hither!' and nobody knows what is meant.  Every year new
names are put onto the branches, but all to no avail.  How can such an
unnatural entity exist?"
        The master replies: "You perceive this immense structure and are
disturbed that it has no rational purpose.  Can you not take amusement from
its endless gyrations?  Do you not enjoy the untroubled ease of programming
beneath its sheltering branches?  Why are you bothered by its uselessness?"
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
Linux Computers:  44 of 1023

        A novice of the temple once approached the Chief Priest with a
        "Master, does Emacs have the Buddha nature?" the novice asked.
        The Chief Priest had been in the temple for many years and could be
relied upon to know these things.  He thought for several minutes before
        "I don't see why not.  It's got bloody well everything else."
        With that, the Chief Priest went to lunch.  The novice suddenly
achieved enlightenment, several years later.


His Master is kind,
Answering his FAQ quickly,
With thought and sarcasm.
Linux Computers:  45 of 1023

        A novice programmer was once assigned to code a simple financial
        The novice worked furiously for many days, but when his master
reviewed his program, he discovered that it contained a screen editor, a set
of generalized graphics routines, and artificial intelligence interface,
but not the slightest mention of anything financial.
        When the master asked about this, the novice became indignant.
"Don't be so impatient," he said, "I'll put the financial stuff in eventually."
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
Linux Computers:  46 of 1023

        A novice was trying to fix a broken lisp machine by turning the
power off and on.  Knight, seeing what the student was doing spoke sternly,
"You cannot fix a machine by just power-cycling it with no understanding
of what is going wrong."  Knight turned the machine off and on.  The
machine worked.
Linux Computers:  47 of 1023

A person who is more than casually interested in computers should be well
schooled in machine language, since it is a fundamental part of a computer.
                -- Donald Knuth
Linux Computers:  48 of 1023

        A program should be light and agile, its subroutines connected like a
strings of pearls.  The spirit and intent of the program should be retained
throughout.  There should be neither too little nor too much, neither needless
loops nor useless variables, neither lack of structure nor overwhelming
        A program should follow the 'Law of Least Astonishment'.  What is this
law?  It is simply that the program should always respond to the user in the
way that astonishes him least.
        A program, no matter how complex, should act as a single unit.  The
program should be directed by the logic within rather than by outward
        If the program fails in these requirements, it will be in a state of
disorder and confusion.  The only way to correct this is to rewrite the
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
Linux Computers:  49 of 1023

        A programmer from a very large computer company went to a software
conference and then returned to report to his manager, saying: "What sort
of programmers work for other companies?  They behaved badly and were
unconcerned with appearances. Their hair was long and unkempt and their
clothes were wrinkled and old. They crashed out hospitality suites and they
made rude noises during my presentation."
        The manager said: "I should have never sent you to the conference.
Those programmers live beyond the physical world.  They consider life absurd,
an accidental coincidence.  They come and go without knowing limitations.
Without a care, they live only for their programs.  Why should they bother
with social conventions?"
        "They are alive within the Tao."
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
Linux Computers:  50 of 1023

A programmer is a person who passes as an exacting expert on the basis of
being able to turn out, after innumerable punching, an infinite series of
incomprehensible answers calculated with micrometric precisions from vague
assumptions based on debatable figures taken from inconclusive documents
and carried out on instruments of problematical accuracy by persons of
dubious reliability and questionable mentality for the avowed purpose of
annoying and confounding a hopelessly defenseless department that was
unfortunate enough to ask for the information in the first place.
                -- IEEE Grid newsmagazine
Linux Computers:  51 of 1023

A programming language is low level when its programs require attention
to the irrelevant.
Linux Computers:  52 of 1023

A recent study has found that concentrating on difficult off-screen
objects, such as the faces of loved ones, causes eye strain in computer
scientists.  Researchers into the phenomenon cite the added concentration
needed to "make sense" of such unnatural three dimensional objects.
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