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It just, like, showed up in my mailbox, and it had CrackMonkey all over it.
And that stuff's tough to scrape off, let me tell you.
--Rick Moen

Crackmonkey logo Copyright © Rev. Patty Morin, CrankMonkey

  1. What is CrackMonkey?
  2. How do I post messages?
  3. D00d! H0w D00 1 uN$ub$cr1b3?!!!!!!!!!??????!!!!!!???????!?!?!?!?!!!!
  4. What sort of music should I listen to while reading CrackMonkey?
  5. What does that feel like?
  6. How do I set up my own Top-Level Domain (TLD)?
  7. Are bogus TLDs real?
  8. How do I win at rock-paper-scissors?
  9. What is CrackMonkey's stance on Werner Von Braun?
  10. What about the Wolf Urine project?
  11. Is it true that CrackMonkey is a puppet of the SuSE war machine?
  12. So who was this Penguin Computing?
  13. How Do Women Perceive The OSM Group?
  14. I notice a lot of what appears to be German on CrackMonkey. Is this due to your employment at SuSE?
  15. But wait--I don't understand! You just said you worked for SuSE!
  16. What's all this about "Linux's coming-out party" being LinuxWorld Expo?
  17. I hear that the list is automated through Majordomo.
  18. If CrackMonkey were a chef, what kind would that be?
  19. What about Zardoz?
  20. Why does Rick Moen hate internal modems so much?
  21. Are the Dutch to be feared?
  22. My boyfriend and I want to purchase one CalTrain pass which we share to visit each other during the month of September. However, we're stumped about what to do. If he uses the CalTrain pass to get from San Francisco to Sunnyvale (where I live) and return to San Francisco in the morning, he'll still have the pass with him in San Francisco when I try to get from Sunnyvale to San Francisco to visit him. What should we do?
  23. Who is the greatest programmer of them all?
  24. What will life be like in the future?
  25. How can one become "cool"?
  26. How do I hack into pillsbury dough cannisters?
  27. Why do you put malicious code on your site?
  28. How do I get a room full of cats stoned?
  29. What is this TNICNAZ thing?
  30. So wait, what is TNICNAZ again?
  31. What is the difference between the older and newer models of Sony robot dog?
  32. Why isn't pico installed on crackmonkey.org?
  33. Help! I'm trapped in an Italian restaurant and need to do many arithmetic calculations!
  34. I can't help but notice that JerkCity seems to be full of Esperantists. Are they related to Crackmonkey?
  35. How do black boxes survive plane crashes?
  36. Why do rasisins suck?
  37. What would Brian Behlendorf do?
  38. So is San Francisco rent down to reasonable levels yet?
  39. If gifs are so cool, how come they aren't used for pr0n?
  40. What's this MAPS vs. ORBS battle that went on in the summer of 2000?
  41. What is it like to be a programmer?
  42. So why does the list suck sometimes?
  43. So why does the list subject tag have exclamation points in it?
  44. And on the subject of the list, why the hell can't Windows users post?
  45. Ha ha! I hacked my proprietary mailer, so now it says that it's mutt! I showed you!
  46. But I use Linux/BSD at work ad I am really smart and hack kernel code and should be let in!
  47. Hang on a moment, were those actually useful questions with relevant answers?
  48. Where the hell did the list go?
  49. Oh great, how am I supposed to get in the FAQ now?

1. What is CrackMonkey?

It is a monkey that is smoking crack, you silly person.

2. How do I post messages?

Wildly and with abandon. You should post your messages in English, MockDeutsch, or Esperanto if possible. Barring that, it's not unheard of for CrackMonkey posts to be in Latin or Greek. Bear in mind, however, that your words will be blasted into space as part of the SETI project.

3. D00d! H0w D00 1 uN$ub$cr1b3?!!!!!!!!!??????!!!!!!???????!?!?!?!?!!!!

Simply write the word "unsubscribe" on the back of a hundred dollar bill and send it to:

CrackMonkey Unsubscription Service
1 St Francis Place #5209
San Francisco, CA 94107

and we will be happy to send you the appropriate forms. Once you receive the forms, you will be able to order an authorization key for downloading the special CrackMonkey unsubscription software. Once your key arrives in the mail, simply go to the crackmonkey unsubscription web page and fill in your key along with appropriate personal information.

In addition to the disclaimer that your home address and e-mail will be given to targeted advertising groups across the nation, there are some limitations to the availability of the CrackMonkey unsubscription software. First, the software contains encryption, so it cannot be downloaded by someone living outside of the continental US (our sophisticated server will check your address for proof of this). Second, the software contains certain algorithms that are patented under US patent law, so it cannot be downloaded by someone living in the United States (our sophisticated server will check your address for proof of this).

Once you have received the software, simply refer to the extensive 300-page manual (available in hardcover or trade paperback from CrackMonkey publishing, Inc. for the affordable sum of $400 plus shipping and handling charges and kickbacks for the courier service). You should be able to unsubscribe from any crackmonkey mailing list version 2.3 or prior (note: a patch for the current 4.3 crackmonkey list is in the works, and should be available by Christmas 1999! On a similar note, the new 5.0 crackmonkey list should be in operation by October 1999!).

In addition to unsubscribing you from the mailing list, you will also receive (as our gift to you for a mere additional $4.99) a strontium-plated CrackMonkey yoyo, complete with 30-page instruction booklet and lead-lined asbestos oven mitt! Note that this is not commonly available in the United States due to federal regulations, but it is possible through the crackmonkey rider in the latest CDA bill!

4. What sort of music should I listen to while reading CrackMonkey?

In these days of free nude teen warez linux chat, it's often difficult to find good theremin music at the corner record store. So if you're weary from praying at the altar of Rick Moen, I suggest you step over to the Wherehouse or some comparable music vendor and buy the soundtrack to The Day The Earth Stood Still.

The [soundtrack] was a soaring milestone that anticipated the era of electronic music with its unheard-of instrumentation for electric violin, electric bass, two high and low electric theremins (whose otherworldly squeal had enhanced Miklos Rozsa's scores for The Lost Weekend and Spellbound), four pianos, four harps, and what Herrmann called "a very strange section of about 30-odd brass." To this odd ensemble, Herrman later recalled, Twentieth Century Fox music head Alfred Newman cheerfully donated one hot water bottle...just "in case." --from the liner notes

So turn on the evening news, hit mute, and play the soundtrack! It's great! Marvel as Clinton speaks the words of Klaatu! Feel the tension as the chia pet ads reverberate with the spooky anxiety of the theremin! Mayor Willie Brown is an evil overlord robot!!

5. What does that feel like?

Listening to the soundtrack of Fear And Loathing in Las Vegas while watching the spanish-language channel is of a similar appeal to watching CNN or channel 2 news while listening to the soundtrack to The Day The Earth Stood Still. It is like listening to the soundtrack to Dark City while ACTUALLY WATCHING DARK CITY. It's like watching Dr. Who on a black&white set and doing aerobics while listening to sound effects CDs. It's like swimming in peanut butter and playing the theremin while watching the gong show! It's like playing a hundred copies of Tannhauser on a hundred different record players while reading Stevens' Unix Network Programming and eating Folgers crystals straight out of the jar!

6. How do I set up my own Top-Level Domain (TLD)?

  • Replace your named.ca with a db.root file listing all TLDs (available from AlterNIC)
  • Edit db.root -- take AlterNIC's bogus TLDs out and put your bogus TLDs in.
  • Set up your TLDs like any other DNS domains.
  • Get other people to do the same thing -- offer to recognize their bogus TLDs if they recognize yours.
  • Spread DNS anarchy. Confuse corporations and governments. Keep people who don't know DNS from mailing you or seeing your web site -- get less mail from morons.
  • Form a Usenet-like non-organization to exchange bogus TLD information. Have flame wars.
  • (Alternate answer from Rick Moen: invade a country to take over its 2-letter ISO country code.)

7. Are bogus TLDs real?

They're real in the sense that you can configure BIND to recognize them, and they work. (Last I knew.) They're just not real in the sense that most people can look up hosts in them using their ordinary name servers (which point to the root name servers, which are controlled by the Man.)

DNS is a consensus reality, and if you really want to establish a TLD secret clubhouse you can. You can even set up a web site that is only accessible to people who recognize your TLD, not to people who use your IP address. Doing that actually makes you cooler than everyone else.

If you put something on such an 31337 web site that is so breathtakingly excellent that all the little users bug their sysadmins and ISPs to recognize your TLD so they can see your content, well, there you are. You win!

Perhaps I'll rewrite Richard Stallman's Join us Now and Share the Software in the style of South Park's Chef -- and perhaps I'll set things up so that if you want to hear me play Join Me Now, Woman, and Share the Sweet Lovin' Software on my bass, you have to point your web browser at:


Or perhaps I won't. After all, I have a domain or two registered with the fascist pig system anyway, I've sold out.

8. How do I win at rock-paper-scissors?

Consider the following dialogue regarding the ROSHAMBO Rampage game of rock-paper-scissors:

Mr. Bad

OK, so CrackMonkey and I did a virtual ROSHAMBO over the vi vs. emacs issue.


Yes indeed. Your clunky, overcomplicated choice of EMACS scissors fell quite easily under the rock-solid stability of my rock of vi!

Mr. Bad

But NOBODY EXPECTS scissors. Everybody expects ROCK, because dumb people always do rock, because they think that rocks are really bad-ass and a sure-fire win every time. I mean, if you were in a big fight, you'd want a ROCK, not a piece of paper, right? Dumb people are very literal.

So then half-smart people go with paper, to mop up the floor with dumb rock people. Half-smart people look completely PSYCHIC when they play ROSHAMBO, because they use the innocuous piece of paper to defeat rock. Dumb people are amazed!

So my strategy is to use SCISSORS to strike down the wiliness of paper people. I am usually supreme! Those who think they've mastered ROSHAMBO with the crafty paper technique are DUMBFOUNDED by scissors coming out of nowhere to defeat them!

I guess I need to rethink my strategy. I think my failure was that I overestimated you, CrackMonkey. But I won't make that mistake again!


Always judge a man by the cunning nature of his opponents, I say! Your clever and involved thought process was just far too linear! Your thinking stopped once you felt you had reached the pinnacle of ROSHAMBO logic! What you failed to notice was that ROSHAMBO may be mapped onto a torus!

I was able to use a seemingly idiotic ploy to sneak unawares into the ROSHAMBOspace of your attack, and crush you before you were even able to find your .emacs file! Your clever and elaborate plan hinged (quite literally) on the idea that more is better!

So, you may find that scissors are The Right Thing, and you may deploy them regularly in your ROSHAMBO attacks. Just keep in mind that the ability to Do One Thing And Do It Well can often quite easily surround The Right Thing and strangle it in its absinthe-haunted sleep!

Mr. Bad

Only too true! I need to cut through the machinations of the Roshambo samurai to find the simplicity of the lotus!

You are truly a roshambo master, CrackMonkey!


You have learned well today, grashopper! You would like to learn dim-mak dreaded deathtouch, but first I must show you bonsai tree!

Mr. Bad

OK, now what really dumbfounds me is that you had this in the comment during the game:

"The overwhelming complexity of your EMACSen scissors will soon fall prey to the unavoidable simplicity and robust nature of the vi rock."

The thing is (for people who haven't played this game), you put the comment in BEFORE you know the outcome. So, I guess I am just really impressed with CrackMonkey for having the unmitigated gall to taunt me before he knew he had won. Extremely risky!

At first I thought it was SOOO risky that I was sure you had cheated. But I've gone back and forth testing the roshambo system for holes, and I can't seem to find any. So, I am doubly-trebly amazed. You are the Man de la Mancha, CrackMonkey.

Shortly after this conversation took place, the following linear strategy was proposed:


Oh, please. The way to win is simple: pretend to be deep in strategy. Make your opponent sweat. Mumble stuff about "the zone" (cf worldrps.com). Then: choose completely at random.

The last is surprisingly hard for most people. Try it on the Roshambot. If you can do it, though, two important things will happen: you will win more often than not, and your opponents will fear you, even when they win.

9. What is CrackMonkey's stance on Werner Von Braun?

The Discovery Channel once did a story on Werver Von Braun. According to this documentary, Von Braun and his family were but frightened puppets of the Nazi regime, and the use of slave labor in the secret underground V2 factories was at the command of Himmler.

We can only thank the Norwegian Ski Team that good red-blooded American grunts found Von Braun in time to fill him full of steak and Camel Lites! Otherwise, we would never have been able to stuff John Glenn into a Wagner death machine and send him hurtling into the krautsphere.

Of course, only Lee Detweiler and his team of expatriated Canadistas truly know the full implications of the dormant viral particles brought back in the only recently unclassified phaser banks built into the mercury rocket!

10. What about the Wolf Urine project?

We recently intercepted the following communiqués (that's French for "communists"):


...and the response...


11. Is it true that CrackMonkey is a puppet of the SuSE war machine?

While it is true that I currently (January 1999) work for SuSE, I think you'll find the following information helpful, if not informative.

As you may well have noticed lately, I have indeed entered the krautsphere. I have forsaken my ties with Penguin Computing and am now working for the american arm of suse.de (otherwise known as suse.com, com being short for "communist" which is the german word for america).

In the krautsphere, all machines are named after communists, terrorists, and vaguely left-of-center economists. Consider the following excerpt from the zone file for SuSE's internal network:

## Communists Network
; techincal section
tosh ; management

This is an example of what Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is all about: the domino effect. In Star Trek, the Dominion is a strange totalitarian force that seems to absorb planets as they recognize the futility of resistance and the potential benefits of joining the union.

And so, as in Star Trek, so too does the domino effect happen in DNS maintenance. As each new machine is brought into the network, it is infected with the red menace. Sooner or later you'll install SuSE and hear the start up sounds of the internationale being played on the theremin!

As this message demonstrates, SuSE is a friend to the working class, and will lift you in times of trouble.

12. So who was this Penguin Computing?

Irony is so two years ago.

From: Penguin Speak: Building a Server That Doesn't Crash
By Sam Ockman, January 26, 1999

[...] Currently, I'm running a company of my own, that relies almost exclusively on the internet for sales and support.[...]

~ $ ping www.penguincomputing.com
ping: unknown host www.penguincomputing.com

As I make decisions in my company, I'll be sharing [...] everything I learn with you so you can learn from all my mistakes.

~ $ whois penguincomputing.com
   3848 Harvest Drive
   Redwood City, CA 94061


   Administrative Contact, Technical Contact, Zone Contact:
      Ockman, Samuel Isaac (SIO10) ockman@CS.STANFORD.EDU
      650-368-0334 (FAX) 610-565-6994
   Billing Contact:
      Ockman, Samuel Isaac (SIO10) ockman@CS.STANFORD.EDU
      650-368-0334 (FAX) 610-565-6994

   Record last updated on 23-Jul-98.
   Database last updated on 27-Jan-99 06:45:33 EST.

   Domain servers in listed order:


[...] A proper computer running a real Operating System (such as Linux) should never crash.

~ $ /usr/sbin/traceroute
traceroute to (, 30 hops max, 40 byte packets
1 mordred.imat.COM ( 2.071 ms 1.697 ms 2.007 ms
2 dsl1-bvi2.mv.best.net ( 9.381 ms 9.68 ms 10.264 ms
3 core1-fe4-1-0-4.mv.best.net ( 12.079 ms 10.179 ms 11.08 ms
4 core1-hssi4-0.mae-west.best.net ( 14.061 ms 12.356 ms 13.159 ms
5 px-abovenet-10mbps.mae-west.best.net ( 23.57 ms 12.535 ms 13.026 ms
6 100tx-f6-1.mae-west.he.net ( 16.455 ms 24.095 ms 16.496 ms
7 ds3-h2-0.paix.he.net ( 15.914 ms 15.327 ms 49.862 ms
8 gw.pa.via.net ( 15.891 ms 19.025 ms 14.683 ms
9 ds3-p1.gw.mtv.via.net ( 44.7 ms * 45.245 ms
10 * * *
11 * * *

[...] we're content for you to visit our Web site, http://www.penguincomputing.com, and simply model your own system after one of ours.

After you have Linux installed, but before making the jump to putting your company's web pages on the server, you'll want to make sure that the system will work under heavy load.

~ $ /usr/sbin/traceroute
traceroute to (, 30 hops max, 40 byte packets
1 mordred.imat.COM ( 1.882 ms 1.56 ms 1.48 ms
2 dsl1-bvi2.mv.best.net ( 9.381 ms 8.964 ms 9.994 ms
3 core1-fe4-1-0-4.mv.best.net ( 12.152 ms 10.567 ms 12.862 ms
4 core1-hssi4-0.mae-west.best.net ( 11.429 ms 12.984 ms 13.709 ms
5 px-abovenet-10mbps.mae-west.best.net ( 16.711 ms 16.907 ms 14.051 ms
6 100tx-f6-1.mae-west.he.net ( 13.311 ms 13.969 ms 44.684 ms
7 ds3-h2-0.paix.he.net ( 20.917 ms 31.916 ms 28.178 ms
8 gw.pa.via.net ( 15.171 ms 20.084 ms 16.546 ms
9 ds3-p1.gw.mtv.via.net ( 36.389 ms 39.812 ms 38.857 ms
10 ds3-p1.gw.mtv.via.net ( 37.65 ms 33.439 ms 36.2 ms
11 * * *
12 * * *

[...] The result: you'll be able to sleep a lot easier, and be able to slowly shake your head with disdain when someone tells you "all computers crash."

13. How Do Women Perceive The OSM Group?

From: Chameleon

I found this on the Web under "OSM" Admiral's log/dayrunner something-or-other, honest! I don't know, it kind of rambles and doesn't make much sense, but I thought at least Nick might find it interesting.

That's Chameleon with a Vengeance to You.

Tues. Dec. 15

Went to BALUG meeting. Wore stonewashed denim jacket so that any VCs there would see that I dont always wear a suit and I know how to dress to fit in with LUG community. Also I find that its easier to get real UNIX/Linux experts more comfortable in talking to me if I'm wearing stonwashed denim.

No VCs there as far as I could tell but the table I was sitting at was totally captivated by everything I said. Talked a lot about Jim Gray being one of the biggest programmers ever and how MICROS~1 pays him not to program and how he confirmed to me over a year and a half ago that what MICROS~1 really is afraid of is that Linux will come up with a world class GUI. Also talked a lot about my background in advising the Secretary of Defense and McDonnell Douglas about Linux and working with a highly maneuverable unmanned vehicle at China Lake. I noticed there were some Chinese or someother Asian people sitting to my right so I also mentioned how I received a pin from a Chinese four-star General. I could see that they respected me for that. I also talked about the OSM Group's involvement in Linux--a lot of people there were surprized to learn that I was the one responsible for popularizing the term "open source software"--and I hinted about my new startup that I'm going to be CEO of, how we're always looking for highly cogent people and top UNIX programming talent. All the people that I talked to were very impressed by my knowledge of Linux and the industry and my leadership in business development and that I can see that the critical window of opportunity for Linux is six months. Speaker from Mozilla.org talked about having a 50% solution today is better than 99% solution next year the competitive dynamic. => That's a good one need to use that.

Was surprised that that company I used to do consulting for (only because of tax purposes for all intents and purposes I was senior level management) that I almost became CEO of got an award. It doesnt mean anything it's just because their current president pays some of those LUG officer types to do business with him and they'll do anything to keep their business. I'm used to it by now that it's always only the high-lvel people like VCs who really appreciate me and that I often have ideas that make a lot of the Linux crowd uncomfortable and they think I'm the Republican of Linux Land, also it's often the midlevel managers at companies who just want to throw me out. But as Steve Jobs or was it Bill Gates' newest biography said, visionaries like me with great ideas need to get used to making a lot of enemies along the way.

Planted Katrin at that other table and she said they were all acting like jerks, mostly something about how I invented fire or something. Those idiots, they're all so small, they're just kids, they don't realize that they're totally replaceable that the other ones who weren't there really like me and that I know the real huge Unix and IT guys and real marketing executives who are much bigger than any of them plus those idiots are the main reason standing between them becoming a $100 million dollar company. Even Kristen says so and she used to do M&As. Plus I have all their resumes. I decided I have more time for Kathrine now since business is going a little slower for now and I also read in Bill Gates' biography that its' important not only to be admired by women but also that letting a woman love you is important in getting to the top getting to the top.

At the end I did manage to give an older gentleman I met, I could tell even before talking to him that he's technically capable, a real UNIX expert because of his age and he seems to know more than just an average Linux hacker, I gave him my contact information. Think he might be interested in working for OSM in the future, after we change our name and get funding from John Doerr. Made some other useful contacts, there are alot of Linux people out there who don't know business like I do and who could be part of something big with me, I'll just keep networking because I know most of everyone I meet likes me, those small companies of Linux amateurs shouldn't bother me, and this is really going to be big. I'm just going to keep going to LUG meetings and networking, because it's the LUGs and the trade shows that are really key right now. Need to save this journal entry because it's going to be important someday.

14. I notice a lot of what appears to be German on CrackMonkey. Is this due to your employment at SuSE?

Err... Look at the pretty monkey! Look! Over there! Uhh.. Here, read this seemingly related paragraph about German!

In my quest to begin learning German, I pulled out an old audio tape produced by Lufthansa, made some coffee, and sat down for a language lesson. For five minutes I heard the phrase "dehnen und entspannen" repeated over and over again... with an instrumental version of The Girl from Ipanema playing in the background. Side B contained an English version, so I flipped it over and quickly realized that this tape was created to help travelers perform fitness excercises in their airplane seats. Stretch and Relax. Stretch and Relax. Stretch and Relax. I'm plenty relaxed now. I just need to get on the plane.
- Jim Gleason

Of course, all this is irrelevant, as I no longer work for SuSE.

15. But wait--I don't understand! You just said you worked for SuSE!

As Rick Moen would say, "Understanding is a three-edged sword."

16. What's all this about "Linux's coming-out party" being LinuxWorld Expo?

"This is Linux's coming-out party" -- Mark Jarvis of Oracle, in his keynote
"This is Linux's coming-out party" -- Linus Torvalds, in his keynote
"What, is it gay?" -- Rick Moen, during Linus's keynote

You may have heard talk that Linux was "outed" by the radically queer activist *BSDs, who felt that Linux was doing a disservice to other gay operating systems by acting as if it is "shameful" or "wrong" for an OS to be gay. There was talk that Linux wasn't providing a strong gay role model to younger gay operating systems.

This is distinctly untrue. The *BSDs have been very supportive of Linux during this difficult time, providing Linux with pamphlets and other resources as well as an open socket at the other end of the Ethernet cable when Linux was going through some kernel panics late at night trying to deal with these confusing new emotions. True, they were particularly emphatic in encouraging Linux to "come out," but there was no threat or force involved.

Linux first started understanding that it was a "different" OS a few months ago. It spoke to friends about having strange feelings and attractions and expressed doubts that it may be a bi or bi-curious OS. Soon, after some real heart-to-hearts with its best friend, Rick Moen, Linux understood that it was only fear that made it hold on to society's expectations of what an OS was supposed to be, and that the only ideals it had to be true to were its own. Linux understood that, yes, it was gay, and yes, it was proud.

The hardest hurdle, as usual, was coming out its father. Linus blamed himself, of course -- as a single parent to a very young OS, he felt that perhaps he had done Linux wrong by raising it largely in the company of strange, bearded men with loose morals. Linux pointed out that it was gay on the inside -- you can't make an OS gay. And who cares, anyway? It was happy to be a gay OS, to be free and proud. There was no blame to be given. Linus remained unsure and suggested therapy or debugging.

But after a difficult first few steps, Linus joined PFLAGOS (Parents and Friends of Lesbian and Gay Operating Systems). He's come around 180 degrees, supporting Linux every step of the way. As he said at a recent All The Kernels of the Rainbow Rally, "I just want to say that I... >sob<... I love my big gay operating system!"

Since then, Linux has been on a roll! True, some vendors have backed down in their support of Linux out of fear of retaliative boycotts by the Christian Right, but in general the community has rallied to Linux's side. I think Linux put it best in its keynote speech at Linux World Expo (excerpted with permission):

I am free to be me -- to love who I want, to express myself how I want. This is my coming-out party. And today we send a message to the world. We're saying that it doesn't matter if an operating system is gay or straight, lesbian, bisexual, or even transgendered. What matters is what's under the hood. We have so much to be proud of today.

17. I hear that the list is automated through Majordomo.

Allow me to answer in the form of another silly email:

----- Forwarded message from Majordomo@zork.net -----

evangelo@pigdog.org has been added to crackmonkey.
No action is required on your part.

----- End forwarded message -----

The devil it isn't! I am compelled by the very appearance of this beef-log toting scoundrel to take every action within my means! To think that Majordomo could be so careless as to brush off the importance of this addition is mind-boggling!

Why, back in the day, we'd take action every time someone subscribed, and that wasn't just for schitzophrenic ganks like Evangelo who drink water from METAL CANS, either! We'd take action even in the event of a subscription by Rick Moen!

Zambozay! My brain must've been eatin' a sandwich if I ever thought that no action was required on my part!

18. If CrackMonkey were a chef, what kind would that be?

Master Chef! I mean, I cannot begin to explain to you just how cool this guy is! He makes your mom look like she bakes stale cookies, I mean, this guy is God in the kitchen! If cooking were a sport, he'd have so many gold medals he wouldn't need to worry about where to find a cookie cutter. He is such a good cook that his restaurant had to close down because there were too many people coming in! If he were a fish, he would still be a cook, because nobody could possibly let him be anything else. If you're having a party, pick up the phone and call this guy! I don't care what the long distance charges are, just call him up and have him come over and cook! This man once made an omelette that was so good, the guy who ate it gorged himself because he just had to have another! This man should be considered worth his weight in flour when he's in the kitchen, just because he's so cool. If he were a car, he'd be a car with an oven in it. He could fry an egg on a sidewalk no matter what the temperature is. I mean, this guy is such a raddabitchen' chef that you do not want to mess with his food, because one bite and you're going to be so hooked that you'll have to go and get your stomach pumped in five minutes or else you're gonna be hooked for life, man! This guy is just so damn cool! If you feel like messin' with him, you just go an' forget it, man!

19. What about Zardoz?

January 8, 1999

Dear Zed,

As the recent result of studies of millions of professionals, you have been selected as a potentially qualified candidate for inclusion in the 1999 edition of International Who's Who. Specifically, Zed, our researchers gather information form numerous available sources including professional associations and societies, trade organizations, newspaper and magazines, professional reference publications, the voice of Zardoz, and anonymous referrals from existing members.

As a highly respected professional in your field, exterminator, we believe your achievements merit very serious consideration for inclusion.

Terrence J. Leifheir

(800) ASK-4-WHO * (910) 455-6446 * Fax: (910) 455-1937 * 414 Bell Fork Road
* PO Box 3002 * Jacksonville, NC 28541-3002 * www.internationalwhoswho.com

20. Why does Rick Moen hate internal modems so much?

Basically, Rick Moen is well known for his evangelisation on the part of the external modem whilst internal modems (and now winmodems) dominate the marketplace. The worry is that this is a decidedly biased opinion based upon a vested commercial interest. From what I understand Rick intends to exploit the fixed base of internal modems and his camapign of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt to start a company selling "modem converters". These devices are rumoured to come in three varieties, one of which is fully compatible with all winmodems;

The basic model

A module plugged into the incoming telephone line intercepts and interprets the signals and sends them to a small box containing LEDs that permit visual recognition of the modem state. This box is anticipated to be the size of an external modem and should cost about the same as the price difference between an internal and external modem.

The intermediate model

In this model the internal modem is removed from the computer case and plugged into an expansion slot in an external unit. This unit is then connected to the computer via a serial port. The unit has LEDs and requires external power. It will also feature an "off" switch. The unit case will be of similar dimensions to an external modem.

The advanced model

This model is rumoured to be completely compatible with winmodems. Details are scarce but the adapter kit looks suspiciously like a USR Courier external modem, a "roaster" module and a "grinder" module. For promotional purposes a free mug may also be included or, at the purchaser's option, a tee-shirt with the slogan "My external modem is not a piece of crud".

21. Are the Dutch to be feared?

Mr. Bad comments thusly on the following intercepted communiqué (again, that's French for "communist"):

Jij kan FL. 100.000 Nederlandse guldens of meer verdienen in de komende 90 dagen. En dat alles door e-mailtjes te versturen. Lijkt je dat onmogelijk?? Lees dan maar verder.

" Bekend van t.v. "

GAAAH! The DUTCH! Up to their nefarious schemes again! Damn them!

We had thought that $$$MAKE MONEY FAST$$$ spam was BENEATH their treacherous minds. But here is the proof that we were wrong! Blast! Apparently the twisted mind of a Dutchman can reach such heights of badness that it eventually COMES OUT THE OTHER SIDE, to incredible DEPTHS of perniciousness! Forming a continuous MOEBIUS STRIP OF EVIL!

It is a FATAL MISTAKE to underestimate the horrible threat of the Dutch! Or, apparently, to OVERESTIMATE it! You have to estimate it RIGHT ON THE BUTTON, like EXACTAMUNDO and stuff, or REALLY BAD DUTCH THINGS WILL FOLLOW!


22. My boyfriend and I want to purchase one CalTrain pass which we share to visit each other during the month of September. However, we're stumped about what to do. If he uses the CalTrain pass to get from San Francisco to Sunnyvale (where I live) and return to San Francisco in the morning, he'll still have the pass with him in San Francisco when I try to get from Sunnyvale to San Francisco to visit him. What should we do?

What you need to do is get a canoe, a fox, a chicken, and some grain. You leave the fox and the grain in San Francisco and take the chicken on a canoe ride to Sunnyvale. Then you canoe back alone to pick up the grain or the fox (either way, it doesn't matter). You then go to Sunnyvale with the grain or the fox (whichever you picked up) and then swap it for the chicken.

Now, you take the chicken back to San Francisco and swap it for whatever you left there the last time you were there. You then leave the chicken in San Francisco while you take your canoe ride to Sunnyvale. You drop off your cargo (so now the fox and the grain are alone in Sunnyvale) and then paddle back alone to pick up the chicken. Take the chicken to Sunnyvale, and then you're done! Trust me; I've done this before! It works!

Everybody wins!

[Pokey's Time Canoe]

23. Who is the greatest programmer of them all?

Dan Bernstein is my hero. Yes-siree. He maketh his own RFCs, like the following "RFCEPLF" file from his anonftpd package:

Network Working Group                                       D. Bernstein
Request For Comments: NNNN                                            IR
Category: Experimental                                         3 April 1996

Easily Parsed LIST Format (EPLF)

Status of this memo

This memo defines an experimental protocol for the Internet community. This memo does not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Discussion and suggestions for improvement are requested. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

1. Introduction

The File Transfer Protocol (FTP) supports two commands that list files: NLST and LIST. The NLST response is easy to parse but provides very little information. The LIST response provides more information but is not in a standard format.

This document defines Easily Parsed LIST Format (EPLF), a format for the LIST response that is usable by humans yet easy for programs to handle. With EPLF it is straightforward for an indexing program to automatically traverse an FTP area, for a mirroring program to avoid downloading the same file twice, or for a browser to display dates in the user's native language.


Thus, Bernstein's anonftpd program returns for the top of my public ftp tree the following listing in a format "usable by humans yet easy for programs to handle":

bash-2.02$ ftp hugin.imat.com
Connected to hugin.imat.com.
220 Hi there! This is anonftpd.
Name (hugin.imat.com:rick): ftp
230 Hi. No need to log in; I'm an anonymous ftp server.
Remote system type is UNIX.
Using binary mode to transfer files.
ftp> ls -al
200 Okay.
550 Sorry, I don't see that file.
ftp> ls
200 Okay.
150 I'm looking through the directory. Trying to connect...
+i2049.272529,m828767793,/, dilbert
+i2049.92292,m913679268,/, hardware
+i2049.438415,m936303078,/, humour
+i2049.35000,m936325119,/, jordan
+i2049.475274,m925115000,/, linux
+i2049.409717,m912031777,/, mic
+i2049.180377,m927313939,/, rick-moen-soundfiles
+i2049.110726,m888032899,/, skeptic
+i2049.80060,m898254277,/, palmpilot
+i2049.217287,m915579507,/, redhat
+i2049.395466,m924891704,/, sjsu
+i2049.188496,m937380996,/, pub
226 Finished transferring 441 bytes.

You see? A mere babe in arms could handle this Easily Parsed LIST Format (EPLP), not to mention a program. No more need to trouble yourself with that pesky Enlish-language output with dates and filesizes 'n' stuff.

And Dan Bernstein is, after all, the world's greatest programmer, which is why he's been able to bring so much enjoyment into my life through the joys of qmail.

Deirdre says: "There are no two ways about it, Rick Moen. You're simply going to have to apply... The Chef."

Netvurk Vurkeeng Gruoop                                       D. Bernsteeen
Reqooest Fur Cumments: NNNN                                                IR
Cetegury: Ixpereementel                                          3 Epreel 1996

Ieseely Persed LIST Furmet (IPLF)

Stetoos ooff thees memu

Thees memu deffeenes un ixpereementel prutucul fur zee Internet cummooneety. Thees memu dues nut speceeffy un Internet stunderd ooff uny keend. Deescoossiun und sooggesshuns fur imprufement ere-a reqooested. Bork Bork Bork! Deestribooshun ooff thees memu is unleemited. Bork Bork Bork!

1. Intrudoocshun

Zee Feele-a Trunsffer Prutucul (FTP) sooppurts tvu cummunds thet leest feeles: NLST und LIST. Zee NLST respunse-a is iesy tu perse-a boot prufeedes fery leettle-a inffurmeshun. Zee LIST respunse-a prufeedes mure-a inffurmeshun boot is nut in a stunderd furmet. Bork Bork Bork!

Thees ducooment deffeenes Ieseely Persed LIST Furmet (IPLF), a furmet fur zee LIST respunse-a thet is useble-a by hoomuns yet iesy fur prugrems tu hundle-a. Veet IPLF it is streeeghtffurverd fur un indexeeng prugrem tu ootumeteecelly treferse-a un FTP erea, fur a murrureeng prugrem tu efueed doonluedeeng zee seme-a feele-a tveece-a, oor fur a brooser tu deespley detes in zee user's neteefe-a lungooege-a. Bork Bork Bork!

That's much better, isn't it?

(Well, back to wu-ftpd-academ, I guess.)

24. What will life be like in the future?

Taken from a journal entry written in the Year of Bodo 124:

Just the other day I was remarking to Bodina how great the new statue of Bodo in the town square looks. I salute it every time I pass by in my Bodomobile. Early this morning the Bodomat broke down, but the Bodobots had it repaired in thirty seconds, so it wasn't a big deal.

I quit my job at Bodo Enterprises so that I could pursue a more lucrative career path at Bododyne Electronics on Bodo Ave. I have already dyed my hair with the new Bodogel(TM) that changes color with my mood. Right now it is Bodo Pink (at least, that's what the L.L. Bodo catalogue calls it).

25. How can one become "cool"?

  • Answer all Perl questions on mailing lists with the one-liner:
    # apt-get install python
  • When you mention any skill, append the cool -fu ending.
  • Get pants with big pockets. Go to Las Vegas and play the nickel slots until your pockets are full of nickels. Go through the airport metal detector.
  • Start your own top-level domain.
  • Reply to all mssages on mailing lists that mention MP3 files with the one-liner:
    # apt-get install vorbis-tools
  • Smoke cigars and boast how happy you are that the cigar trend is over and those silly yuppies aren't driving the prices up any more. Suppress the urge to vomit.
  • Write haikus that replace some syllables of words with apostrophes to make the syllable count come out right. Write haikus that do one thing in Perl, and something else when you reverse them and run them with Python.
  • Build a theremin.

26. How do I hack into pillsbury dough cannisters?

H4y phr33kz!! H3r3z h0w 2 h4ck d0uGh KaNNizt3rz!!

  • Set the cannister on the countertop
  • Look for words "open here" - sometimes if you luck out this can be done without a password!!
  • If no labels is found looks for legend "open other end" this will set you on the correct homepath. NOTE: if you find this you must of course open THE OTHER END!
  • Its unlikely you are being filmed but just in case you'd better be wearing sunglasses and a frightwig.
  • try hitting the cannister sharply ONCE ONLY on the counter, striking the middle against the counter edge. If you do this a second time dough will fly everyplace and you'll get nailed!
  • Once a crack appears you should be able to unroll the dough cannister counterclockwise to reveal a doughy surprise
  • swallow ALL of the dough immediately and G3T Th3 PhuKK 0wt!!! d00d!!
I have hacked hella mega amounts of dough this way.

27. Why do you put malicious code on your site?

How can mere code be "malicious"? By the same token this would make Legacy MICROS~1 Windows 95 positively genocidal.

The code itself is quite polite, and asks for the requested operation through fully published methods. However, it would seem that many computer users have shown malicious intent.

We at Crackmonkey have yet to see it perform the published function, despite our tests. We intend to file a bug report with MICROS~1.

28. How do I get a room full of cats stoned?

Why don't you ask Deirdre? I hear she knows the answer, and it's a veritable laugh riot.

29. What is this TNICNAZ thing?

Because you are all wicked, wicked people, you have totally forgotten that....


But being incredibly fast on your feet, you are jumping up from your keyboard, downing a few more amphetamines, and rushing out the door right now.

Dude! You rule!

Extreme cracksingeification. Dubious pigdoggery. Total guinnessitude. Thrill to the spectacle of the guardian spirits of the Donmarti tribe, teaching people how to be cool. Gasp in horror as you observe Rick Moen clone #354 running Xanadu in INTERCAL on his Palm Pilot. SEE the Dread Pirate Deirdre skewering people with her Knitting Needles of Doom for using the term "API".

And like, you know, that sort of thing.

30. So wait, what is TNICNAZ again?

Don't let anybody kid you.
It's all about...


Arrogant Bastard Ale. Alimony Ale. Battery Acid Stout with Insanity Sauce Seasoning. Effete Belgian ales. English bitters that make your toe hairs curl and slowly snake up your leg.

Guinness, Guinness, and more Guinness! Living on the ragged edge of Zeitgeist!

My GOD, this is making me thirsty. But screw all that. The overall, cosmic, pulpit-thumping point is:


Be among the few, the proud, the unshaven and unwashed. The slightly tipsy. The countless legions of Rick Moen clones and FORTH-grinding George Perry clones. Be there, or just be.

You know: Zeitgeist. Corner of Duboce & Valencia in San Francisco. 9 PM or such. Tea will not be served.

31. What is the difference between the older and newer models of Sony robot dog?

Some people have mentioned the ERS-110 that went out on June 1st. This is the ERS-111, which comes in two colors. It also has a shorter tail that allows it a different variety of expressions that we did not see with ERS-110, and shorter ears, allowing them to be full of expression. And of course, butt-loaded memory sticks.

32. Why isn't pico installed on crackmonkey.org?

I believe Gandhi said it best:

If you use pico in a professional setting, first they will talk about you. Then they will laugh at you. Then they will fire you, and then you lose.

33. Help! I'm trapped in an Italian restaurant and need to do many arithmetic calculations!

Fortunately for you, we here at the International Crackmonkey Syndicate have intercepted information that may be useful in your case:

Acting on a suggestion from my friend Beth, I just marked a log scale onto each of a pair of pieces of spaghetti, and then managed to use them to verify that 2*2=4, 2*3=6, 2*4=8, 2*5=10, 3*2=6, 3*3=9, 4*2=8, 5*2=10, and many other exciting multiplication facts.

OK, so my pasta slide rule is only accurate to one place right now -- but it will get better when I use a finer-point Sharpie.

If you don't have a slide rule handy to copy your log scales from, use your favorite log table and mark the value d at a distance log(d)*(standard spaghetti length) starting from the left end along your spaghetti strand, for d between 1 and 10. (That's log base 10, although of course you could make a spaghetti slide rule for calculations in some other base, if you prefer.)

For instance, if you want to make a slide rule suitable for binary multiplication and division, just mark the value d at a distance ld(d)*(standard spaghetti length) for d between 1 and 2. Very convenient, although remember that keeping track of place value is your responsibility, and eating your slide rule is not recommended.

34. I can't help but notice that JerkCity seems to be full of Esperantists. Are they related to Crackmonkey?

As some may have noticed in the Pigdog Jerkcity interview, there is an episode of Jerkcity that is in Esperanto.

To this, we at Crackmonkey say:


35. How do black boxes survive plane crashes?

Observe the following piece of advice from Mr. Bad:

I've hated those little things ever since I got a job at a software company doing black box testing.

Basically, we had to fly up in an airplane with a whole shitload of the little buggers, and then set the whole damn bird on fire and go crashing into the ocean and die, scattering debris across the ocean floor for miles. Those black boxes that were recoverable by dive crews were obviously fit for service and installed on passenger jetliners.

I'm telling you, folks, it may sound like fun, but eventually it takes a toll. If you're offered a job doing black box testing, RUN (don't walk) RUN in the other direction!

36. Why do rasisins suck?

  • They stick together in huge globs like hibernating termites.
  • They are supposed to be "nature's candy," but they don't have any cool gimmick like a whistle built in or being cigarette-shaped or super-sour flavor or any of the things that you actually want candy for.
  • If you don't keep the box firmly closed, they will climb out and sing annoying Motown tunes on your kitchen table.
  • They leave brown jellyish schmoo everywhere that looks like old chewing-tobacco spit.
  • They are shaped like tiny black testicles.

Raisins are itty-bitty dried fruit horrors. I say that you should avoid them at all costs.

Plus, think about this. They take perfectly good GRAPES, and instead of making Beaujolais, what do they do? They mummify them, and turn them into little fiber bombs that rip through your lower colon like sharp gravel.

Stay away from them or you could end up badly damaged.

I heard when they exhume corpses, and open the caskets, that there is a little pile of raisins just sitting there, right where the bowels rotted away. Even the worms wont touch raisins.

37. What would Brian Behlendorf do?

Mr. Bad

When Brian Behlendorf traveled through time
To the year 3010
He fought the evil infobot king
And made a computer out of duct tape

Mr. Bad


When Brian Behlendorf went to Userland
To fight the crabby proprietary software developers
He used his magic fire breath
And saved the beautiful Linux Bunnies!


begin Brian Behlendorf quotation:
> As is all of above.net, due to above.net blocking ORBS' scans.
> That's the big reason I don't use ORBS anymore.

When Brian Behlendorf challenged the ORBS
To defend the powerful wizards of BUGTRAQ
He wielded a mighty procmail script
And armored himself with Reply-To: headers

Mr. Bad

>>>>> "BB" == Brian Behlendorf writes:
BB> http://metalab.unc.edu/mdma-release/mdma.html

When Brian Behlendorf lived in the 90s
Mighty, strong and brave,
He invented the Innurnet and Ecstasy
So we could have big raves!

Mr. Bad

(30 Aug 2000) - A hard drive on one of Hyperreal's machines failed this morning around 5AM PDT, knocking out service to bbs.hyperreal.org, music.hyperreal.org, www.erowid.org, and www.burningman.com, among others. Consequently, some of the web services on Hyperreal will not be working properly for a while. Brian Behlendorf is working on restoring service as fast as he can. Sorry for the outage.

What would Brian Behlendorf do
If the hyperreal hard drive crashed?
He'd smash that fucker with his Thunder Hammer
To show it who was boss!

When Brian Behlendorf went to the colo facility
And found the servers inoperative
He marshalled the forces of the Free Software community
To develop even more fault-tolerant filesystems!

What would Brian Behlendorf do
If the SF Raves calendar were wiped clean?
He'd restore the bastard from backup tapes
And re-key in all the party details at super-speed.

When Brian Behlendorf went to Black Rock
And burningman.com went off-line
He used his magic Playa breath
To get it back just fine!

What would Brian Behlendorf do
If erowid.org went down?
He'd personally instruct each and every person who needed it face-to-face
In the uses and abuses of psychoactive chemicals.

Brian Behlendorf

Recreate the castle from the Hobbit and invite a gaggle of my favorite Russians over for some house music.

Mr. Bad

What would Brian Behlendorf do
When Flash is all you see?
He'd make an Open Source downloadable interactive animation alternative
And set net.artists free!

38. So is San Francisco rent down to reasonable levels yet?

No, but office space is opening up right and left, making it likely that we'll all have to live in cubicles in the year 2002. For those of you who want to get started early, here's Mr. Bad's explanation of how this will work.

Man, I was walking around on Potrero Hill where they had all these big lofts for sale that weren't selling at all. And I started thinking: this area started out being warehouses and light factories and shit like that. And then that totally collapsed, probably because of something I did, and in came artists, thugs, losers, musicians, and the insane, to live in the shell of the warehouses illegally and poop in the back alley.

And, then, like, these people got legitimized by some live-work legislation in the 80s that let them keep living in these hovels and still keep up their horrible stunted business interests like growing quasi-legal hallucinogenic plants or hair-farmer guitar bands or sculpting or organ harvesting or foot-fetish video production. And so they could afford from these efforts to go buy toilets and running water and electricity.

And for some reason I still don't quite get these places also became the homes where people were starting home software companies -- probably because making software was slightly less dangerous than making methamphetamines. And so these grubby people with hand-me-down Macs that fell off the back of a truck took some pir8ted copies of Photoshop shit point oh and made crappo slow CD-ROM games and "cyberotica" and such and then other better-dressed people came in and made these hopeless little ventures into BUSINESS businesses, and took out the spermy loft beds and black-light posters and broken-down Ford hillbilly trucks and put in instead foosball tables and seismic reinforcements and water coolers.

And then there were like all these people who were working in places they didn't live, and like coming through the Moebius strip of time it was a business area again, and people were getting rich. And yet those rich people wanted to live by their weird rugby-shirt companies and they wanted to have that "urban" feel and that "skirting the zoning laws" feel that comes from living in a live-work space and not actually working there. Sensing this, a group of rich Irish developer bastardos -- never ones to let a dishonest buck sneak by them -- paid the last of the remaining hooligans who hadn't been shipped off to Vacaville to burn down each others' decrepit and unpicturesque warehouse homes.

And in the place of those squat hovels they, the Irish bastardos, built like these weird Disney-esque pretend warehouses, with shiny corrugated metal sides and earth-tone-colored stucco walls and security gates and covered parking. And like Ben Franklin said, break a deal, spin the wheel: here were residents residenting in business areas, again, albeit desperately faux. But still! Mapping onto the torus of time and urban planning, it's quite weird. People living in pretend businesses pretending to be people pretending not to have businesses in old business buildings. The weird thing is that by statute they were supposed to be doing business there, to qualify as live-work!

But the MOST weird part is that at this point the economy of San Francisco is at full fever pitch, sweating and bug-eyed and tossing around on the bed and spitting up blood. And these loft house executive living spaces were taking up valuable real estate that could be used instead for cramming some more H1-B refugees into tiny boxes and making them code ASP horrors to sell premium nut butters over the Innurnet. So, like, the businesses started buying up the Lidsville-style fake-factory loft homes and using them as illegal office space, without even putting in foosball tables.

So these buildings are half filled with businesses pretending to be residents, and the other half filled with residents pretending to have a business, in these weird Carnival-of-the-Damned structures meant to recall the days when people who weren't supposed to be living in old businesses were living there and having illegitimate businesses on the side. Living space, legislation, liability and LIES -- this is what makes San Francisco great!

And what was really knocking me out, though, was thinking that these latest places made near or since The Crash are going to go to shit, and the developers are going to go bankrupt, because there just aren't as many rich out-of-state bastards flowing into town anymore who would have the ignorant gall to live in these sardine-factory monstrosities, and "start-up" is just the dirtiest word in this town since "Dan White," so the whole things are going to go to shit, and they'll continue to be empty and empty and then get sold around and down the river to increasingly unsavory ghouls of the debt-ridden commercial real estate market until eventually the buildings become half concrete-storage-rooms for Mafia assassinations and the other half waypoint dormitories for shipped-in Laotian illegal day laborers who have lip tattoos and are locked to their bunk-beds each night by their coyotes.

And also... and THEN... there'll come thugs, artists, hooligans, no-goods, accordionists, space cases and weirdos, living on sleeping bags in the spaces between the bags of concrete or helping to lock down the Laotians in exchange for a bunk bed and two daily bowls of rice... And then one day the concrete will be gone and Willie Brown will be missing, or there'll be a raid and the Laotians will be deported, and the thugs and such will make a deal with the landlord to do some security guarding and pull weeds and maybe kick back some of the cash from whoring out that 15-year-old runaway, and then it'll all be back to the same again, but different and more bad.

Crappo! What a city.

39. If gifs are so cool, how come they aren't used for pr0n?

I once saw a gif in the road in front of me one day. True story. I swerved to my right to avoid it and hit the damn curb. As I was cursing my bad luck I looked in the rearview mirror to see the guy behind me flatten the poor gif. So I end up with a large scratch on my alloy wheels, and the gif ends up compressed anyway. The guy behind me was forced to pay his $5000 fine, though, and lived the remainder of his short life in relative harmony.

40. What's this MAPS vs. ORBS battle that went on in the summer of 2000?

Our post-ironic agents did a search on

blocked ORBS

and got this: http://trekslash.mb.ca/story/ravment.txt

"Kirk pushed him back down onto the couch. Then without permission or warning, he brought his lips on Spock's. It was not a gentle kiss. As his restless hands firmly held Spock's shoulders down, Kirk devoured the Vulcan's mouth. He sucked the soft lips, then let his hungry tongue explore the insides of Spock's. Over and over and over."

See, the MAPS RBL is like Spock, cold and logical but capable of heights of passion when approached with manly confidence. And ORBS is like Kirk, a man who knows what he wants but whose lust is only kept in check by his career ambitions. When they meet, a fire is sure to start.

Kirk(R) and Spock(R) are Registered Trademarks of Paramount Pictures Corporation.

41. What is it like to be a programmer?

Big-company software development is in many ways a lot like a good extended solid drunk. It all begins with grins and laughter and free rounds for everybody. The four-beer tongues fly loose and lecherous, and everyone's got big crazy plans that seem like easy money to everyone in the joint.

After a while, the punks turn angry, and the sugars spurn them to take offense at every little quip and turn. Nobody likes a mean drunk, so the place divides up into gangs, and the turf battles begin.

It's at about this stage that the latecomers show up. Alfred Brooks theorized that adding more programmers to a late project makes it later. He said it was because getting one new developer up to speed took away an experienced one. I say it's because all these stragglers get into clumsy fistfights with the bastards who dumped all the work on 'em.

They spend the first few beers getting caught up with the rabble, but after that they are consumed with hate. "Look what those fuckers dumped on me! How can you expect me to play nice with this bunch of pricks?"

As the deadline grows near, things enter the maudlin stage. The sugars are all burned off, and there doesn't seem to be much hope past closing time, which is getting closer by the minute. It's at about this point that the pasty vassals who were hired to keep you in line offer their sympathetic ear.

"Just bring that up at the next status meeting, and I'm sure it'll be resolved," they murmur soothingly as they polish a glass with a dishtowel. "I'm sure QA will be able to handle it."

But closing time does eventually come. And those selfsame vassals, silently ordered by a knowing nod from the manager, will just chuck all this human waste out onto the chewing gum, urine, and motor oil like so many winos.

42. So why does the list suck sometimes?

Keep in mind that the collective synergies which maximize open-source portals and syndicate granular solutions tend to utilize frictionless metrics. In other words, if we apply a combined variant of the Metcalfe and Moore laws to disintermediated collaborative applications (e.g. "Crackmonkey"), we can observe the behavior of emergent ubiquitous distributed value systems:

   S  |
   u  |
   b  |   Value-add threshold*
   s  |  ......................................
   c  |           + + + + + + + + + +
   r  |          +                   + 
   i  |        +                      + 
   b  |      +                         +
   e  |    +  Ad hominem attack rate    +            
   r  |  +                               +
   s  |
                  Killfile capacity

(* theoretical)

I hope this clears things up for everyone, thanks.

43. So why does the list subject tag have exclamation points in it?

The CEO of Brooklyn, one Ruben I Safir, has a poorly-written spam-filter system about which he claims "I need it to work as it is for my Kids in Wisconcin...". The system cannot distinguish between mail sent directly, and mail sent via a mailing list. Thus, whenever one posts to a list that Mr. Safir happens to be on, one runs the risk of receiving one of these messages:

Your Mail has not been delivered. As part of my spam control messages with ! in the subject, and other common spam like stuff, is rejected. This is not personal. Please just resend without ! in the subject. Thanks


Since he has refused to shut the filter off, the list has been engineered so that all messages from it will trip his filter. Originally, he was threatened with removal, but this approach works much better, as fixing the filter will automatically allow him to read the list without requiring human intervention.

44. And on the subject of the list, why the hell can't Windows users post?

The CrackMonkey list is a privately-run forum, using the MonkeyMaster's own personal private resources. As such, it simply has a dress code. Meet the dress code, and you get to come in and participate. Do this via whatever means are at your disposal; but if you cannot do it or are unwilling, you simply will not be able to post.

No shirt, no shoes: no service.

45. Ha ha! I hacked my proprietary mailer, so now it says that it's mutt! I showed you!

Welcome aboard. Your action shows a degree of technical experience as well as a willingness to go out of your way to post to the list. A dance club wouldn't care what you're wearing underneath, so long as you fit in with the theme of the place.

46. But I use Linux/BSD at work ad I am really smart and hack kernel code and should be let in!

I don't care if you wear a tuxedo to church; you're not getting thorugh the door in blue jeans.

47. Hang on a moment, were those actually useful questions with relevant answers?

Don't get too used to it, kid.

48. Where the hell did the list go?

I killed it.

49. Oh great, how am I supposed to get in the FAQ now?

You can't.

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