Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sunday Unix And Linux Humor: Vi, Emacs And The Balloon

Hey there,

Hope you're having (or are about to have) a great Sunday. If you live in the U.S.A., you're probably temporarily disoriented because of daylight savings time. I've never been a fan of the give-one-hour take-on-hour-back system, but it was actually necessary a long long time ago (See the original rationale on Wikipedia's Daylight Savings Time Page - The first paragraph alone is enough to make anyone question why we still practice this tradition). Nowadays it just seems like I'm either waking up too late or too early twice a year ;)

I also seem to have offended a few folks yesterday with my meandering religious-philosophical greeting. By way of explanation, the ending, where I wrote "There's always apathy and, quite frankly, at this point I've stopped giving a shit how your day is going ;)" I was working under the assumption that the winky emoticon (as much as I hate it ;) would be enough to let everyone know (by way of symbolic inflection) that I was just kidding. It wasn't the finest line of "goofy" I've ever written, but everything on that line after the word "apathy" was a direct play on that word's meaning (for which Random House Dictionary's primary definition is: absence or suppression of passion, emotion, or excitement). If that sort of stuff offends you, I apologize in advance. If you continue to read this blog, it'll probably happen again. Sorry :)

Today's Linux/Unix humor comes in two forms. One is a straight up joke and the other is an excerpt from an email back-and-forth regarding the Emacs/Vi aspects of a Learning-Unix book (Harley Hahn's Unix Unbound) that's good for a quick laugh. We picked the balloon joke up at and we got the Emacs/Vi bit at Both sites are worth visiting, if only for the fact that they each contain even more decent quality jokes and funnies.

Enjoy, laugh and be merry. Life is short. ...where does the time go? Oh, yeah; we're saving daylight. Which means, that you've officially read this post one hour earlier than your clock may lead you to believe (unless you're like me and have an old fashioned clock that doesn't adjust automatically, and you're also as lazy as me and you just compensate in your head until DST reverts ;)



Subject: Re: The UNIX-Haters' Handbook? (was Re: Who are the most obnoxious computer groupies?)

Matthew Crosby wrote:
>In article ,
>Loren Petrich wrote:
>> In my experience, vi is the absolute worst full-screen
>>(character-mode GUI) text editor I have *ever* used.
>> [ and so on in the anti-vi mode ... ]
>vi has the fastest, most efficient keybindings around.
> [ and so on in the pro-vi mode ... ]

Harley Hahn's book _Unix Unbound_ (which I recommend, BTW,
to anyone learning Unix) has chapters on vi and emacs. The
vi chapter contains the following paragraph:

HINT: If you are learning vi and you become temporarily
discouraged, take a break and try a little emacs. emacs
will seem so complex and impossible that you will feel a
lot better about using vi.

While the emacs chapter contains this one:

HINT: If you are learning emacs and you become temporarily
discouraged, take a break and try a little vi. vi
will seem so complex and impossible that you will feel a
lot better about using emacs.

Says it all really, doesn't it? :-)

UNIX Humor - balloon

A man is flying in a hot air balloon and realizes he is
lost. He reduces height and spots a man down below. He
lowers the balloon further and shouts: "Excuse me, can
you tell me where I am?" - The man below says: "yes
you're in a hot air balloon, hovering 30 feet above this

"You must work in Information Technology" says the
balloonist. - "I do" replies the man. "How did you know.
" - "Well" says the balloonist, "everything you have
told me is technically correct, but it's no use to

The man below says "you must work in Management." - "I
do" replies the balloonist, "but how did you know?" -
"Well", says the man, "you don't know where you are, or
where you're going, but you expect me to be able to help
. You're in the same position you were before we met,
but now it's my fault."

, Mike

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