Wednesday Aug 20, 2008

It Could Be Worse

Over the last four years as I've been doing this blog, I've had a few people complain that the simple math question you have to answer when posting a comment is annoying.

Well it could be worse.

(taken from Worst Captchas of All Time).


Sunday Jun 15, 2008

Create Your Own O'Reilly Book Covers

Yesterday, I stumbled across the O'Reilly book cover maker web site and thought I'd have a go.

A long long time ago, in a land far far away (and before I joined Sun if you were wondering), I had a manager I did not get on with. I'm sure the feeling was reciprocated. When it came time for my yearly review, the draft copy contained the phrase, "does not suffer fools gladly". "Ah," I replied, "so you admit they are fools then?" I was glared at, but I did notice that the final version used a different wording.

When you are in a situation like that, I've always found it best to move on, but in tribute to that manager, I present my sample O'Reilly cover. Click on it to see a larger version. I would have liked to have made the title "Suffering Fools Gladly", but it wasn't smart enough to reduce the font size so it all still nicely fit.

Hopefully that manager has retired by now, and is no longer inflicting their managerial skills (or lack thereof) on poor suffering employees.


Saturday Mar 29, 2008

Walrus Dancing

Another Michael Jackson fan. I was waiting for the moon walk but it didn't happen.

(Via - scroll down for other interesting posts).


Wednesday Jan 16, 2008

Sun Service Hiring Clones?

I just went to read Jonathan's latest blog entry about our acquiring MySQL AB and what do I see but this picture about half way down.

Did I miss the memo? Is there a new policy that we have to hire identical twins nowadays in Sun Service? And they have to dress the same. Or a new cloning project in Sun Labs that I don't know about.

Or maybe it's just unfortunate Photoshop editing.



Thursday Jan 03, 2008

At Last the 1948 Show And Do Not Adjust Your Set

Continuing the tradition (if three years in a row can be called a tradition), I gave myself a DVD for Christmas. Four of them actually.

Back in June, when I read a book by Stephen Leacock, I mentioned that the story Self-Made Men was very similar to the Four Yorkshiremen sketch by Monty Python. I received a comment saying that the sketch actually pre-dates Python, and was first presented as part of At Last The 1948 Show.

I'd never seen that TV series, so when I was browsing and came across it on DVD, I just had to see what I'd been missing. While I was there, I also got the two DVD set for Do Not Adjust Your Set.

Note these are new, but remaindered, hence much cheaper than what Amazon is selling them for new.

Between these two shows, you have most of the people who went on to create Monty Python, so it was going to be interesting to see them in their formative years.

So far I've watched the first three episodes of At Last the 1948 Show. It's 1967, so the shows are in black and white, and at times the sound quality just goes out the window. But if you can get past that and just watch the content, then there are some very funny sketches. Duncan was also watching and tended to enjoy the physical comedy more. But that's okay. He's nine. Most of the jokes were going right over his head.

One of the interesting giveaways with each of these DVD sets is a poster showing the Comedy Family Tree. It strongly suggests that most comedy shows can show that their roots came from both of these early shows.

And the Four Yorkshiremen sketch was there, but with Marty Feldman and Tim Brooke-Taylor instead or Michael Palin and Terry Jones. Apart from that, the sketches were almost identical.



Tuesday Nov 06, 2007

Humorous Bugs

I remember that when I first moved from Australia to the Bay Area, a half wit filed a bug against the calculator program that I'd written, with the summary line of "calctool blows chunks".

I wasn't so thick skinned in those days, and I initially took it personally. But then a few weeks later, I met the bug submitter for the first time and saw what a complete tosspot he was, and started to view it differently. I could see the humor in it.

Earlier this evening, while I was googling, looking for web pages describing how to use two dimensional Javascript arrays, I accidentally stumbled over a pointer to a couple of funny Mozilla bugs. After reading a few of the comments on these bugs, I found others. Here are some of them.

  • 95849: Lack of Sex is interfering with my ability to triage bugs.

  • 122411: Mozilla does not have a kitchen sink.

  • 226482: Where did the kitchensink go ?

  • 330884: When different users on one system choose to save or not save passwords for sites, any other user can see sites they not only saved passwords for but can also see what other users have been saving/never saving passwords for.

  • 360323: Firefox development conflicting with my environment.

This is great. Where else can dozens of nerds find a legitimate place such as this for attempting humor. It's also clear that some of these people have way too much time on their hands.

I'm sure there are a few lurking in the GNOME bug database as well. If it would stay up long enough, I'd try to find them.

And now we got a brand new bug database for OpenSolaris. Bug numbers are still in the low triple digits. Maybe it's time to file some worthy funny entries there.




Friday Aug 10, 2007

Real Estate - What They Really Meant

I was looking through the real estate ads in our local paper last night. We aren't thinking of moving, but it's always nice to get an idea of how the market is going in our area.

There was some wonderful phrases of Real-Estate-speak to describe some of the properties. You've seen them before. "Good fixer-upper", which means that the house is really close to being condemned, but so far, the council haven't forced the issue.

Here's some other examples for the paper from last night. I've also included what they really meant.

  • Dramatic terraced gardens - the house is on a very steep hill.

  • Tenant occupied. No staging - the owners are not getting out just because you want to look at their house, and you'll just have to lump it if you don't like the way they live.

  • Cute home - it's a tad on the small side.

  • Here's a buyer chance to remodel - see "Good fixer-upper".

  • So many possibilities - needs work.

Maybe we should adopt some similar ones to describe software and hardware products.

Nah, it'll never work.



Wednesday Aug 08, 2007

Picture Of The Day

I was reading through an old Smithsonian magazine last night, and in the middle I found a large multi-page advertisment for a new magazine called GEO.

One of the pictures they included was the one above, which I've poorly scanned in (staple and all).

WARNING: this picture is the Full Monty. If you are offended by this sort of thing or haven't taken your heart pills yet, don't look at it. As this appeared as the centerfold in the Smithsonian, it's probably not going to offend, but I just thought I better get that warning in.

It's just crying out to be one of those competitions where you have to supply the caption. If you want to comment, keep 'em clean!

If there are any worldly folks out there who can tell me what they are really doing, I'd very much like to know.



Thursday Jun 21, 2007

Dear Miriam - Letter of the Day

As seen on Popurls this morning.


Friday Jun 15, 2007

Pure Fiction

The irony is overwhelming.

I've just been sorting out one of my old Usenet news folders for Rec.arts.books. It contains all the postings I found of interest between 1992 and 1999. Time to remove the dead stuff. I came across this post.

Subject: Yahoo! PURE FICTION wins another award!
From: David Bradwell 
Date: 08/23/1996 01:31 PM
Newsgroups: alt.books.purefiction, misc.writing, rec.arts.books,

Hi everybody,

Everybody here is rather chuffed at the moment! As well as being listed in the 
Internet Magazine top 20, Pure Fiction is now officially cool! We've just 
been recognised by Project Cool as one of the coolest sites on the Web. If you 
want to see what the fuss is about, point your browser at

Bestselling novels and how to write them ... and plenty more to come!

Best wishes and thanks to all those who have helped!


How the mighty have fallen. You think they could at least change the company name.


Friday Jun 08, 2007

All the News That's Fit To Print

Every now and then on our internal bloggers alias, you'll see a post asking "how can I get more hits for my blog". Invariantly, you see a reply saying something like "mention Paris Hilton".

Now personally I consider this a load of old bollocks (not to be confused with /dev/bollocks or it's Web 2.0 equivalent). I could mention Paris Hilton until I'm blue in the face, and it's not going to affect my blog hit count. Of course if I was Paris Hilton and had my own blog, that would be a different story.

What I did wonder though was whether posting about some of the "top" new stories would have an effect. So I've picked three items below from top news sources and added in some of my own poignant commentary.

I'll now sit back and watch the hits come rolling in.



Wednesday May 30, 2007

Top Ten Ways You Know You're 50

My 8 year old son gave me a birthday card today, with the title above. Here's what else it said:

  1. You take long elevator rides just to hear the music.

  2. Joggers pass you, and you're driving!

  3. You just love RV shows!

  4. You wonder why everyone else is starting to mumble.

  5. You start looking around for a checkers partner.

  6. Gravity is your worst enemy.

  7. You wonder why everything is in such small type.

  8. All of a sudden, everyone else seems to be getting taller.

  9. You begin every other sentence with "Nowadays..."

And last but not least...

  1. You find cards that make fun of being 50 tasteless and insensitive!

I suppose only relating to two out of the ten is good (heavily to #4 and partially to #5). Hopefully that means I'm still young at heart. As another "50 image" I found says, "I'm not 50! I'm 18 with 32 years experience."

Unlike the caption says on the back of the card, I did not fall asleep at #7.

And finally, a big thank you to my two aunties in England who still send me a birthday card each year. That's a lot of birthday cards!



Tuesday Oct 17, 2006


I've been slowly working my way through a load of old Smithsonian magazines that I got at a library booksale a few months ago. Last night, it was the one from January 1995, and contained an article by James J. Kilpatrick entitled "Mrs. Malaprop's manged proses set a president."

As many of you know, Mrs Malaprop was one of the characters in Richard Sheridan's comedy The Rivals. She is famous for using the wrong words and coming up with some ridiculous malapropisms.

As I've been known to mangle the odd sentence in my time (as the t-shirt goes "it's uncredible how well I am at grammar"), I've always got a kick out of a funny badly written sentence or two. I can remember a couple of my favorites from when I was a teenager:

"The doorball rang. I came down the stairs and opened the front door in my pajamas."

"A large hole has been found in the main street through Watford. Police are looking into it."

As well as the Wikipedia entry, it's nice to see there are now other places on the web that are collecting up these literary gems [link 1] [link 2].



Wednesday Sep 20, 2006

Better Mathematic Jokes

Forget those mathematical jokes I pointed out previously. Here's some better ones that should really put a smile to your face [link].

And some more, for those of you who are really into this [link].


Monday Sep 18, 2006

For All You Programmers Out There

Who are working long hours on your current project... [link]





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