Scrawl of the wild

Who says programmers don’t have a sense of humour? Here’s a few hidden gems from Linux-land …

How about this from a Gimp ./configure;

[...]
checking for perl... /usr/bin/perl
checking for perl version >= 5.004_04... yes
checking for vsnprintf... yes
checking for intelligent life... not found  
checking for _exit... yes
[...]

And speaking of Gimp, have you noticed this template option …?

gimp-tp

Honesty is often the best policy. Run a man xorg.conf command to see the manual and you’ll find this:

VIDEOADAPTOR SECTION
Nobody wants to say how this works. Maybe nobody knows ...

Compiling movie editor Cinelerra can be time-consuming:

kal@linux-9a:~/cinelerra-2.1> ./configure 
*** Nasm is required. Download it from nasm.sourceforge.net
*** Yasm is required. Download it from www.tortall.net/projects/yasm/
Giving up and going to a movie.

fbtv is a program for watching TV on your Linux box. It’s man page carries this warning:

NB! Please note that your monitor may or may not be able to handle such a "custom" resolution. And that misuse of the aforementioned fbset utility can toast your monitor. It is a lot easier to pull smoke out of electronic components than to put it back in.

Which reminds me of the definition of “magic smoke” from the venerable Free Online Dictionary of Computing:

Magic smoke: A substance trapped inside integrated circuit packages that enables them to function ... Its existence is demonstrated by what happens when a chip burns up -- the magic smoke gets let out, so it doesn't work any more.

Of course you can call your server anything, and there are quite a few microsoft.com’s around. As you’ll discover if you try a whois microsoft.com. Here’s a selection …

Server Name: MICROSOFT.COM.ZZZ.IS.0WNED.AND.HAX0RED.BY.SUB7.NET 
IP Address: 207.44.240.96 Registrar:
TUCOWS DOMAINS INC.
Whois Server: whois.tucows.com
Referral URL: http://domainhelp.opensrs.net

Server Name: MICROSOFT.COM.WILL.BE.SLAPPED.IN.THE.FACE.BY.MY. BLUE.VEINED.SPANNER.NET
IP Address: 216.127.80.46
Registrar: ASCIO TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
Whois Server: whois.ascio.com Referral
URL: http://www.ascio.com

Server Name: MICROSOFT.COM.SOFTWARE.IS.NOT.USED.AT.REG.RU
Registrar: MELBOURNE IT, LTD. D/B/A INTERNET NAMES WORLDWIDE
Whois Server: whois.melbourneit.com
Referral URL: http://www.melbourneit.com

Server Name: MICROSOFT.COM.SHOULD.GIVE.UP.BECAUSE.LINUXISGOD.COM
IP Address: 65.160.248.13
Registrar: GKG.NET, INC. Whois
Server: whois.gkg.net Referral
URL: http://www.gkg.net

Server Name: MICROSOFT.COM.IS.A.STEAMING.HEAP.OF.FUCKING-BULLSHIT.NET
IP Address: 63.99.165.11
Registrar: 1 & 1 INTERNET AG
Whois Server: whois.schlund.info
Referral URL: http://1and1.com

Server Name: MICROSOFT.COM.FILLS.ME.WITH.BELLIGERENCE.NET
IP Address: 130.58.82.232
Registrar: CPS-DATENSYSTEME GMBH
Whois Server: whois.cps-datensysteme.de
Referral URL: http://www.cps-datensysteme.de

This Enlightenment Window Manager compile is interesting …

[...] checking for mass_quantities_of_bass_ale in -lFridge... no 
Warning: No ales were found in your refrigerator. We suggest
that you rectify this situation immediately.
checking for life_signs in -lKenny... no Oh my god, they killed Kenny! You bastards!

KVIrc compiles can get a little scientific:

############################################ 
### Working out the final configuration ### ############################################
checking whether to enable support for font anti-aliasing... yes
checking whether to use new pics... yes
checking for the validity of Maxwell's laws on this machine... ok
checking if e=mc²... yes, enabling quantum mechanics
checking if this machine passes the Turing Test... no, building without AI :-(
checking if we can safely swap on /dev/fd0... yes
checking if we can blame it on Njård... yes
checking if we finally can compile the plugins... yes
checking if we finally have to compile the KDE support... yes

While this Hermes build got rather philosophical:

If two people are in a room ... 

checking for long... yes
checking size of long... 4
checking for int... yes
checking size of int... 4
checking for char... yes
checking size of char... 1
checking for short... yes
checking size of short... 2

... and five walk out ...

checking whether byte ordering is bigendian... no
checking for money... none left :(
checking for assembler support... Linux i686, assembler routines enabled!
configure: creating ./config.status
config.status: creating Makefile
config.status: creating src/Makefile
config.status: creating src/hrconfig.h
config.status: executing depfiles commands

... how many have to walk in for the room to be empty ?

Turn on your -O6 now!
Welcome to Hermes 1.3.2!

gstreamer takes a dig at other operating systems:

configure: WARNING: Sissy ! By asking to not build the tests 
known to fail, you hereby waive your right to customer support.
If you do not agree with this EULA, please press Ctrl-C before
the next line is printed. By allowing the next line to be printed,
you expressly acknowledge your acceptance of this EULA.

Some source code covers every possibility. This gem’s from drivers/usb/printer.c:

static char *usblp_messages[] = { "ok", "out of paper", "off-line", "on fire" };

And you probably never want to see this kernel message (from arch/i386/kernel/cpu/mcheck/p5.c):

printk(KERN_EMERG "CPU#%d: Possible thermal failure (CPU on fire ?).\n", );

A user tampering with a boot disk was told:

you do not exist - go away please

While a would-be Debian kernel hacker got this:

I have no root and I want to scream

Now this is what I call a useful crash message:

*** ECORE ERROR: Ecore Magic Check Failed!!! 
*** IN FUNCTION: ecore_timer_del()
Input handle is wrong type
Expected: f7d713f4 - Ecore_Timer (Timer)
Supplied: 00000000 - <UNKNOWN>
*** NAUGHTY PROGRAMMER!!! *** SPANK SPANK SPANK!!!
*** Now go fix your code. Tut tut tut!

Nmap is an awesome free security scanner. It’s extremely powerful and you can’t say you weren’t warned after this concluding message in the application build;

[...] 
checking if struct ip has ip_sum member... yes
configure: creating ./config.status
config.status: creating Makefile config.status: creating nsock_config.h

( ) /\ _ (
\ | ( \ ( \.( ) _____
\ \ \ ` ` ) \ ( ___ / _ \
(_` \+ . x ( .\ \/ \____ -----------/ (o) \_
- .- \+ ; ( O \____
) \_____________ ` \ /
(__ +- .( -'.- <. - _ VVVVVVV VV V\ \/
(_____ ._._: <_ - <- _ (-- _AAAAAAA__A_/ |
. /./.+- . .- / +-- - . \______________//_ \_
(__ ' /x / x _/ ( \___' \
, x / ( ' . / . / | |
' (__/ | |
NMAP IS A POWERFUL TOOL -- USE CAREFULLY AND RESPONSIBLY

But the last word goes to the CD ripper/player Grip. In it’s FAQ you’ll find;

Q: I was listening to a CD in Grip and it sounded horrible! What's up? 
A: Perhaps you are listening to country music...

Welcome (back)!

dancing-tuxThis blog’s earliest incarnation was in a column I wrote for New Zealand PC World way back in September 2001. Called Learning to Love the Penguin, that column came about after I spent a month using nothing but Linux. It was a revelation, and since then I’ve used little else.

PC World’s then editor, Chris Keall, eventually succumbed to my badgering and the first proper Tux Love column appeared in the magazine in June 2003. It ran in the print edition till July 2005 then morphed into a blog on the magazine’s website which continued … well, almost up until today. After more than 400 entries, it fell, like NZ PC World itself, under the Fairfax axe in June 2013.

By then Tux Love had become something of a habit for this writer, so — to mangle a metaphor — the penguin has risen from the ashes. Welcome (back)!