Great writer

There was once a young man who, in his youth, professed a desire to become a “great” writer.

When asked to define “great” he said “I want to write stuff that the whole world will read, stuff that people will react to on a truly emotional level, stuff that will make them scream, cry, wail, howl in pain, desperation, and anger!”

He now works for Microsoft writing error messages.

The mystery of childbirth

A boy is writing a paper on childbirth and asks his parents, “How was I born?”

His mother awkwardly answers, “The stork brought you.”

“Oh,” says the boy. “Well, how were you and Daddy born?”

“Oh, the stork brought us, too, and Grandpa and Grandma.”

The boy begins his paper, “This report has been very difficult to write due to the fact that there hasn’t been a natural childbirth in my family for three generations.”

In plain English

The man told his doctor that he wasn’t able to do all the things around the house that he used to do. When the examination was complete, he said, “Now, Doc, I can take it. Tell me in plain English what is wrong with me.”

“Well, in plain English,” the doctor replied, “you’re just lazy.”

“Okay,” said the man. “Now give me the medical term so I can tell my wife.”

Leftover change

A bus driver on his route sees a van from the zoo stranded on the side of the road. The zoo worker offers the bus driver $100 to help him deliver two dozen penguins. The bus driver agrees and loads the penguins on the bus.

An hour later, the zoo worker gets his van fixed and heads to the zoo. On the road, he sees the bus driver and the penguins driving in the opposite direction. He catches up to the bus and pulls them over.

The zoo worker yells, “I gave you a $100 to take the penguins to the zoo for me. Why are you still driving them around?”

“Calm down,” the bus driver says, “I took the penguins to the zoo. We had change left over, so now I’m taking them to the movies.”

Programmer smoking

A guy is standing on the corner of the street smoking one cigarette after another. A lady walking by notices him and says
“Hey, don’t you know that those things can kill you? I mean, didn’t you see the giant warning on the box?!”
“That’s OK” says the guy, puffing casually “I’m a computer programmer”
“So? What’s that got to do with anything?”
“We don’t care about warnings. We only care about errors.”

Young programmer

A young Programmer and his Project Manager board a train headed through the mountains on its way to Wichita. They can find no place to sit except for two seats right across the aisle from a young woman and her grandmother. After a while, it is obvious that the young woman and the young programmer are interested in each other, because they are giving each other looks. Soon the train passes into a tunnel and it is pitch black. There is a sound of a kiss followed by the sound of a slap.

When the train emerges from the tunnel, the four sit there without saying a word. The grandmother is thinking to herself, “It was very brash for that young man to kiss my granddaughter, but I’m glad she slapped him.”

The Project manager is sitting there thinking, “I didn’t know the young tech was brave enough to kiss the girl, but I sure wish she hadn’t missed him when she slapped me!”

The young woman was sitting and thinking, “I’m glad the guy kissed me, but I wish my grandmother had not slapped him!”

The young programmer sat there with a satisfied smile on his face. He thought to himself, “Life is good. How often does a guy have the chance to kiss a beautiful girl and slap his Project manager all at the same time!”

Programming languages are like cars

Assembler: A formula I race car. Very fast but difficult to drive and maintain.
FORTRAN II: A Model T Ford. Once it was the king of the road.
FORTRAN IV: A Model A Ford.
FORTRAN 77: a six-cylinder Ford Fairlane with standard transmission and no seat belts.
COBOL: A delivery van. It’s bulky and ugly but it does the work.
BASIC: A second-hand Rambler with a rebuilt engine and patched upholstery. Your dad bought it for you to learn to drive. You’ll ditch it as soon as you can afford a new one.
PL/I: A Cadillac convertible with automatic transmission, a two-tone paint job, white-wall tires, chrome exhaust pipes, and fuzzy dice hanging in the windshield.
C++: A black Firebird, the all macho car. Comes with optional seatbelt (lint) and optional fuzz buster (escape to assembler).
ALGOL 60: An Austin Mini. Boy that’s a small car.
ALGOL 68: An Aston Martin. An impressive car but not just anyone can drive it.
Pascal: A Volkswagon Beetle. It’s small but sturdy. Was once popular with intellectual types.
LISP: An electric car. It’s simple but slow. Seat belts are not available.
PROLOG/LUCID: Prototype concept cars.
FORTH: A go-cart.
LOGO: A kiddie’s replica of a Rolls Royce. Comes with a real engine and a working horn.
APL: A double-decker bus. It takes rows and columns of passengers to the same place all at the same time but it drives only in reverse and is instrumented in Greek.
Ada: An army-green Mercedes-Benz staff car. Power steering, power brakes, and automatic transmission are standard. No other colors or options are available. If it’s good enough for generals, it’s good enough for you.
Java: All-terrain very slow vehicle.

Hot air balloon

A man flying in a hot air balloon suddenly realizes he’s lost. He reduces height and spots a man down below. He lowers the balloon further and shouts to get directions, “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 field.”

“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 of no use to anyone.” The man below replies, “You must work in management.”

“I do” replies the balloonist, “But how’d you know?”

“Well”, says the man, “you don’t know where you are, or where you’re going, 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.”

Infinite loop

A mathematician, a physicist, an engineer, and a programmer were discussing the theorem that all odd numbers are prime.

Mathematician: 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is not prime. The theorem is false.

Physicist: 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is not, 11 is…. The theorem is true, within experimental error.

Engineer: 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is prime, 11 is prime…. The theorem is true.

Programmer: 3 is prime, 3 is prime, 3 is prime….

How to catch an elephant in Africa

* MATHEMATICIANS hunt elephants by going to Africa, throwing out everything that is not an elephant, and catching one of whatever is left.
* EXPERIENCED MATHEMATICIANS will attempt to prove the existence of at least one unique elephant before proceeding to step 1 as a subordinate exercise.
* PROFESSORS OF MATHEMATICS will prove the existence of at least one unique elephant and then leave the detection and capture of an actual elephant as an exercise for their graduate students.
* COMPUTER SCIENTISTS hunt elephants by exercising Algorithm A:
1. Go to Africa.
2. Start at the Cape of Good Hope.
3. Work northward in an orderly manner, traversing the continent alternately east and west.
4. During each traverse pass,
1. Catch each animal seen.
2. Compare each animal caught to a known elephant.
3. Stop when a match is detected.
* EXPERIENCED COMPUTER PROGRAMMERS modify Algorithm A by placing a known elephant in Cairo to ensure that the algorithm will terminate.
* ASSEMBLY LANGUAGE PROGRAMMERS prefer to execute Algorithm A on their hands and knees.
* ENGINEERS hunt elephants by going to Africa, catching gray animals at random, and stopping when any one of them weighs within plus or minus 15 percent of any previously observed elephant.
* ECONOMISTS don’t hunt elephants, but they believe that if elephants are paid enough, they will hunt themselves.
* STATISTICIANS hunt the first animal they see N times and call it an elephant.
* CONSULTANTS don’t hunt elephants, and many have never hunted anything at all, but they can be hired by the hour to advise those people who do.
* OPERATIONS RESEARCH CONSULTANTS can also measure the correlation of hat size and bullet color to the efficiency of elephant-hunting strategies, if someone else will only identify the elephants.
* POLITICIANS don’t hunt elephants, but they will share the elephants you catch with the people who voted for them.
* LAWYERS don’t hunt elephants, but they do follow the herds around arguing about who owns the droppings.
* SOFTWARE LAWYERS will claim that they own an entire herd based on the look and feel of one dropping.
* VICE PRESIDENTS OF ENGINEERING, RESEARCH, AND DEVELOPMENT try hard to hunt elephants, but their staffs are designed to prevent it. When the vice president does get to hunt elephants, the staff will try to ensure that all possible elephants are completely prehunted before the vice president sees them. If the vice president does happen to see a elephant, the staff will:
* compliment the vice president’s keen eyesight and
* enlarge itself to prevent any recurrence.
* SENIOR MANAGERS set broad elephant-hunting policy based on the assumption that elephants are just like field mice, but with deeper voices.
* QUALITY ASSURANCE INSPECTORS ignore the elephants and look for mistakes the other hunters made when they were packing the jeep.
* SALES PEOPLE don’t hunt elephants but spend their time selling elephants they haven’t caught, for delivery two days before the season opens.
* SOFTWARE SALES PEOPLE ship the first thing they catch and write up an invoice for an elephant.
* HARDWARE SALES PEOPLE catch rabbits, paint them gray, and sell them as desktop elephants.

Drug dealers vs. software developers

Drug dealers:

  • Refer to their clients as “users”.
  • “The first one’s free!”
  • Have important South-East Asian connections (to help move the stuff).
  • Strange jargon: “Stick”, “Rock”, “Dime bag,” “E”.
  • Realize that there’s tons of cash in the 14- to 25-year-old market.
  • Job is assisted by industry’s producing newer, more potent mixes.
  • Often seen in the company of pimps and hustlers.
  • Their product causes unhealthy addictions.
  • Do your job well, and you can sleep with sexy movie stars who depend on you.
  • Software developers:

  • Refer to their clients as “users”.
  • “Download a free trial version…”
  • Have important South-East Asian connections (to help debug the code).
  • Strange jargon: “SCSI”, “ISDN”, “Java”, “RTFM”
  • Realize that there’s tons of cash in the 14- to 25-year-old market.
  • Job is assisted by industry’s producing newer, faster machines.
  • Often seen in the company of marketing people and venture capitalists.
  • Their product causes unhealthy addictions – DOOM. Quake. SimCity. Duke Nukem 3D.
  • Damn! Damn! DAMN!!!
  • Hot air balloon

    A man flying in a hot air balloon suddenly realizes he’s lost. He reduces height and spots a man down below. He lowers the balloon further and shouts to get directions, “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 field.”

    “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 of no use to anyone.” The man below replies, “You must work in management.”

    “I do” replies the balloonist, “But how’d you know?”

    “Well”, says the man, “you don’t know where you are, or where you’re going, 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.”