And I’m off.

I leave for Australia tomorrow. See you all next year. šŸ™‚

On that note, here’s something that I posted on my forum that I think I’ll repost here – what if operating systems were airlines?

DOS Air: Passengers walk out onto the runway, grab hold of the plane, push it until it gets in the air, hop on, then jump off when it hits the ground. They grab the plane again, push it back into the air, hop on, jump off…

Mac Airways: The cashiers, flight attendants, and pilots all look the same, talk the same, and act the same. When you ask them questions about the flight, they reply that you don’t want to know, don’t need to know, and would you please return to your seat and watch the movie.

Windows Airlines: The terminal is neat and clean, the attendants courteous, the pilots capable. The fleet of Lear jets the carrier operates is immense. Your jet takes off without a hitch, pushes above the clouds and, at 20,000 feet, explodes without warning.

OS/2 Skyways: The terminal is almost empty — only a few prospective passengers mill about. The announcer says that a flight has just departed, although no plane appears to be on the runway. Airline personnel apologize profusely to customers in hushed voices, pointing from time to time to the sleek, powerful jets outside. They tell each passenger how great the flight will be on these new jets and how much safer it will be than Windows Airlines, but they will have to wait a little longer for the technicians to finish the flight systems. Maybe until mid-1995. Maybe longer.

Fly Windows NT: Passengers carry their seats out onto the tarmac and place them in the outline of a plane. They sit down, flap their arms, and make jet swooshing sounds as if they are flying.

Unix Express: Passengers bring a piece of the airplane and a box of tools with them to the airport. They gather on the tarmac, arguing about what kind of plane they want to build. The passengers split into groups and build several different aircraft but give them all the same name. Only some passengers reach their destinations, but all of them believe they arrived.

Wings of OS/400: The airline has bought ancient DC-3s, arguably the best and safest planes that ever flew, and painted “747” on their tails to make them look as if they are fast. The flight attendants, of course, attend to your every need, though the drinks cost $15 a pop. Stupid questions cost $230 per hour, unless you have SupportLine, which requires a first class ticket and membership in the frequent flyer club. Then they cost $500, but your accounting department can call it overhead.

MVS Air Lines: The passengers all gather in the hangar, watching hundreds of technicians check the flight systems on this immense, luxury aircraft. This plane has at least 10 engines and seats over 1,000 passengers; bigger models in the fleet can have more engines than anyone can count and fly even more passengers than there are on Earth. It is claimed to cost less per passenger mile to operate these humungous planes than any other aircraft ever built, unless you personally have to pay for the ticket. All the passengers scramble aboard, as do the 200 technicians needed to keep it from crashing. The pilot takes his place up in the glass cockpit. He guns the engines, only to realize that the plane is too big to get through the hangar doors.

The best maths answers. Ever.

You’ve probably seen the following maths answer, which I found on rooijan‘s blog and posted here a few months back:

To add to that, I’ve just found these…

You just have to wonder what makes people come up with these…

In other news, I’m working on a little personal site similar to what jerith and Edd have. I’m hoping to get it up by the end of next week, but that depends if I can get jerith’s PHP menu generator working – it’s not displaying the little pictures next to pages that have been updated in the past 7 days, like it should. Since I’ve seen it work fine on jerith’s page, I can come up with two possibilities – either it’s because I’m testing it on a Windows machine (I made sure that my site will be hosted on a Linux box, by the way) or it’s because jerith uses PHP4 and the code doesn’t like PHP5, which I use. Knowing Microsoft, the former seems more likely.

And in yet other news, it seems like a lot of people I know have written off cars this year. First it was rooijan, then it was Glen – now Bushman has just joined that club…

UPDATE: rooijan just e-mailed me this…

The “your typical CTI student” post saga continues…

Remember this post that I made a few weeks ago? I printed it out this morning and put it on my mom’s computer (she’s not at all computer literate, which means that I usually have to do her word processing). I then forgot all about it, and started watching some old Stargate SG-1 episodes that I have, when all of a sudden, my printer (which is shared over the home network) fired up. This is what came out of it:

Dear Kieron

Now I must say I was really excited to receive the long awaited instructions on how to use the computer. I was really eager to get started and to tackle the challenge head-on, once and for all.

In eager anticipation, I sat down on my leather bound director’s chair and after wheeling a few times agross the floor (weeeeeeee), I managed to regain my posture and reign myself in, holding on to the computer stand to ensure that I had finally come to a safe halt. I looked at all the instruments and picked up the mouse, determined to follow the instructions to a Tee. However, try as I might to click, double click, treble click, the screen remained black. Dead as a dormouse. I tried coaxing it. It was deaf to all reasonable pleas. I tried muttering. It ignored me. I muttered louder, to no avail. The screen remained black. I picked up my instructions again and carefully perused each and every word. There was no reference to a black screen. Now what was I to do? I was just about to throw in the towel and hand-write everything for the rest of my life, when I was thrown an unexpected lifeline.

In the process of prodding the confounded machine I hit upon a soft button that acted rather like a raw nerve, which depressed right into the side of its guts. All of a sudden some ghoulish sounds of protest were heard and a red and green rectangular cum oval shapes started to flash at me! I ask you, red and green simultaneously! Now we all know that red is supposed to mean stop and green is supposed to mean go. What the heck does red and green mean together? I thought about this awhile and suddenly the solution struck me. Of course! Green means go, and red means go faster. You just have to ask any taxi driver. They know all about it. So I followed their advice and fled as fast as I could – goodness only knows what happened to the computer.

But thanks for the instructions all the same.


This is by far the most amusing thing that’s come my way in a long while…

I’ve got some other things worth mentioning, which will come in tomorrow’s post.

Bowls (n.): An old man’s drinking game.

We had a staff bowls day last Saturday. Now bowls is, as the post topic implies, an old man’s drinking game. These pensioners come to the bowling club and make a beeline for the bar in order to have their whiskey & milk (which, I’m told, is a club tradition). They then spend the best part of the day in the bar, and play bowls inbetween drinks, rather than having drinks inbetween playing bowls. Needless to say, I was witness to some rather wayward shots, while concentrating on my own game (although this was the first time I’d played, those who know me know my extremely competitive nature) and trying to ignore the old gentleman who kept on walking up and down offering us free shooters.

Now they’re trying to organise a golf day next month. That will be even more… erm, “interesting”. The last time I played a round of golf was at the mashie course in Emberton. The Umgeni steam train happened to be passing at the time… ’nuff said. That was five years ago and I haven’t touched a golf club since.

In response to the anonymous poster requesting photos of my computer – yes, I took some, but I’m having problems uploading them, so they will be posted later this week.

In the beginning…

In the beginning God created the Bit and the Byte. And from those he created the Word.

And there were two Bytes in the Word; and nothing else existed. And God separated the One from the Zero; and he saw it was good.

And God said – Let the Data be; And so it happened. And God said – Let the Data go to their proper places. And he created floppy disks and hard disks and compact disks.

And God said – Let the computers be, so there would be a place to put floppy disks and hard disks and compact disks. Thus God created computers and called them hardware.

And there was no Software yet. But God created programs; small and big… And told them – Go and multiply yourselves and fill all the Memory.

And God said – I will create the Programmer; And the Programmer will make new programs and govern over the computers and programs and Data.

And God created the Programmer; and put him at Data Center; And God showed the Programmer the Catalog Tree and said You can use all the volumes and subvolumes but DO NOT USE Windows.

And God said – It is not Good for the programmer to be alone. He took a bone from the Programmer’s body and created a creature that would look up at the Programmer; and admire the Programmer; and love the things the Programmer does; And God called the creature: the User.

And the Programmer and the User were left under the naked DOS and it was Good.

But Bill was smarter than all the other creatures of God. And Bill said to the User – Did God really tell you not to run any programs?

And the User answered – God told us that we can use every program and every piece of Data but told us not to run Windows or we will die.

And Bill said to the User – How can you talk about something you did not even try. The moment you run Windows you will become equal to God. You will be able to create anything you like by a simple click of your mouse.

And the User saw that the fruits of the Windows were nicer and easier to use. And the User saw that any knowledge was useless – since Windows could replace it.

So the User installed the Windows on his computer; and said to the Programmer that it was good.

And the Programmer immediately started to look for new drivers. And God asked him – What are you looking for? And the Programmer answered – I am looking for new drivers because I can not find them in the DOS. And God said – Who told you need drivers? Did you run Windows? And the Programmer said – It was Bill who told us to !

And God said to Bill – Because of what you did you will be hated by all the creatures. And the User will always be unhappy with you. And you will always sell Windows.

And God said to the User – Because of what you did, the Windows will disappoint you and eat up all your Resources; and you will have to use lousy programs; and you will always rely on the Programmers help.

And God said to the Programmer – Because you listened to the User you will never be happy. All your programs will have errors and you will have to fix them and fix them to the end of time.

And God threw them out of the Data Center and locked the door and secured it with a password.

Your typical CTI student.

OK, I do have something else to post before my trip…. anyway, found this on voyager42’s blog. Reminded me of some of the students we have.

“You have to open Passkey Login. Double-click the icon. That one there. The one that says ‘Passkey Login’ under it. That one. The icon, not the word. Okay, press Escape to get out of this. At the top left of the keyboard. Now try again. Click on the picture. No, double-click with the left button. No, double click. No, you have to click it twice fast. Faster. No, only use the left button. No, faster. Okay, wait a second. Try right-clicking it. With the right button. With the right button. Okay, now left-click on Open. The top one. Not the top of the screen, the top of the menu. No, the top one. Not that one. Okay, close this. Click on Cancel. Cancel. The one that says ‘Cancel’ on it. I’m pointing at it. Click on it. Now click on yes. Okay, right click the icon. The one that says ‘Passkey Login’ under it. Now move the mouse pointer over the top word on the list, ‘Open’. Now click with the left button. Okay. You have to log in. Do you know your password? Okay, good. Type your name in the first box here. Click in it first. Okay. Type your first name. Okay, click in the second box. Now type your password. Yes, it comes up as stars so I can’t see it. No, the computer knows it’s not all stars. Yes. Yes. Press Enter. Okay, did you type your password correctly? No, it’s not because it turned into stars. I’m sure. …You know what? I have to go, I’m on break.”

It’s so true…

Why Santa doesn’t exist

I received this in my e-mail. It’s worth posting.

I. There are approximately two billion children (persons under 18) in the world. However, since Santa does not visit children of Muslim, Hindu, Jewish or Buddhist religions, this reduces the workload for Christmas night to 15% of the total, or 378 million (according to the Population Reference Bureau).

At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per house hold, that comes to 108 million homes, presuming that there is at least one good child in each.

II. Santa has about 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 967.7 visits per second. This is to say that for each Christian household with a good child, Santa has around 1/1000th of a second to park the sleigh, hop out, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left for him, get back up the chimney, jump into the sleigh and get on to the next house.

Assuming that each of these 108 million stops is evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false, but will accept for the purposes of our calculations), we are now talking about 0.78 miles per household; a total trip of 75.5 million miles, not counting bathroom stops or breaks. This means Santa’s sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second — 3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second, and a conventional reindeer can run (at best) 15 miles per hour.

III. The payload of the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium sized Lego set (two pounds), the sleigh is carrying over 500 thousand tons, not counting Santa himself. On land, a conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that the “flying” reindeer could pull ten times the normal amount, the job can’t be done with eight or even nine of them— Santa would need 360,000 of them. This increases the payload, not counting the weight of the sleigh, another 54,000 tons, or roughly seven times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth (the ship, not the monarch).

IV. 600,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance — this would heat up the reindeer in the same fashion as a spacecraft re-entering the earth’s atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer would absorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy per second each. In short, they would burst into flames almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them and creating deafening sonic booms in their wake.

The entire reindeer team would be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second, or right about the time Santa reached the fifth house on his trip.

Not that it matters, however, since Santa, as a result of accellerating from a dead stop to 650 m.p.s. in .001 seconds, would be subjected to centrifugal forces of 17,500 g’s. A 250 pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of the sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force, instantly crushing his bones and organs and reducing him to a quivering blob of pink goo.

Therefore, if Santa did exist, he’s dead now.

Stalking students…

This is what happens on IRC when one of your students decides to stalk you… happened last night when I was trying to upload those photos the first time.

* Now talking on #durban
* Topic for #durban is: We(Danny) put the U in idiot
* Topic for #durban set by wizzard! at Mon May 08 13:17:16 2006
Ā«SavageĀ» Kieron
Ā«Ron2KĀ» …
Ā«SavageĀ» u work @ CTI
Ā«Ron2KĀ» Correct.
Ā«Ron2KĀ» Why?
Ā«SavageĀ» ??
Ā«wizzardĀ» and here we observe a stalker in their natural habitat. It seems we are lucky enough to see this one showing itself to its victim. Lets watch…
Ā«SavageĀ» LOL : wizzard
Ā«SavageĀ» no i know u but u dont know me
Ā«SavageĀ» well u do but u havent acknowledged me
Ā«Ron2KĀ» Stalkers… šŸ˜›
* Ron2K suspects that Savage found his blog…
* Savage raises a eye-brow
Ā«SavageĀ» back 2 the action
Ā«DannyĀ» haha
Ā«SavageĀ» Ron2k u sit next 2 a Indian guy
Ā«Ron2KĀ» Talking of which, it doesn’t want to let me update it. Stupid bloody 56K line.
Ā«SavageĀ» shame life will go on
Ā«SavageĀ» anies
* Ron2K does a /WHOIS on Savage
Ā«Ron2KĀ» * [Savage] ( james
Ā«Ron2KĀ» OK, now I know who you are.

For the record, James Varty, aka Savage, is a quiet guy who tends to keep to himself. Now we know why.