********* Fortune Cookie Data File *********

(Provided on-line to some internal British Aerospace, Stevenage users by Jane Williams when she worked there, one appearing each day at log-on)
(Edited in this edition by me)

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In the Beginning was the Word. And the Word was "Aardvark".


Brain fried -- memory dumped

Computer related verse

If Operating Systems Were Beers [Updated 26th November 2002]

Computer Dafinitions

"FORTRAN, 'the infantile disorder', is hopelessly inadequate: it is too clumsy, too risky, and too expensive to use" - Prof. Edgar Dijkstra

"The use of COBOL cripples the mind; its teaching should be regarded as a criminal offence" - Prof. Edgar Dijkstra

"APL: a mistake carried through to perfection" - Prof. Edgar Dijkstra

"Do not allow ADA to be used in applications where reliability is critical.... an unreliable programming language is a greater risk to our environment than cars, pesticides, or nuclear power" - Prof. Tony Hoare.

Variables won't; constants aren't.

The Laws

Law 1 of Computer Programming: Any given program, when running, is obsolete.

Law 2 of Computer Programming: Any given program costs more and takes longer.

Law 3 of Computer Programming: If a program is useful, it will have to be changed.

Law 4 of Computer Programming: If a program is useless, it will have to be documented.

Law 5 of Computer Programming: Any given program will expand to fill all available memory.

Law 6 of Computer Programming: The value of a program is proportional to the weight of its output.

Law 7 of Computer Programming: Program complexity grows until it exceeds the capability of the programmer who must maintain it.

To see the 43rd law of computing, click here

Arnold's Laws of Documentation:
1) If it should exist, it doesn't.
2) If it does exist, it's out of date.
3) Only documentation for useless programs transcends the first two laws.

Light bulbs

How many hardware engineers does it take to change a lightbulb?
None: "We'll fix it in software."
How many software engineers does it take to change a lightbulb?
None: "We'll document it in the manual."
How many tech writers does it take to change a lightbulb?
None: "The user can work it out."

Q: How many Pentium designers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: 1.9999876599982, but that's close enough for non-technical people.

Q: How many Pentium chips does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Three. One to insert the lightbulb and one to hold the ladder.

Q: How many Help Desk personnel does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Your query has been entered into database and assigned problem number 39762. An engineer will carry out a light-bulb replacement procedure once funding is available (and he finds your desk). Please quote this number for any further light-bulb related enquiries.

Q: How many Microsoft engineers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None - Bill Gates redefines the broken light-bulb as a new standard.

Q: How many Microsoft staff does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Eight. One to change the bulb and seven to collect $2 for any other bulb changed anywhere in the world.

Q: How many OCR programs does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Fine, horses many oranges the quick fox!

Q: How many Microsoft executives does it take to change a light bulb?
A: We can see no need for uninstallation and have therefore made no provision for light bulbs to be removed.

Q: How many Microsoft help desk staff does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Four.
One to ask "What is the registration number of the light bulb?"
One to ask "Have you tried rebooting it?"
Another to ask "Have you tried re-installing it?"
And a fourth to say "It must be your hardware, the light bulb in our office works fine."

Never test for an error condition you don't know how to handle.

A doctor, an architect, and a computer scientist were arguing about whose profession was the oldest. In the course of their arguments, they got all the way back to the Garden of Eden, whereupon the doctor said, "The medical profession is clearly the oldest, because Eve was made from Adam's rib, as the story goes, and that was a simply incredible surgical feat."
The architect did not agree. He said, "But if you look at the Garden itself, in the beginning there was chaos and void, and out of that, the Garden and the world were created. So God must have been an architect."
The computer scientist, who had listened to all of this said, "Yes, but where do you think the chaos came from?"

Niklaus Wirth has lamented that, whereas Europeans pronounce his name correctly (Ni-klows Virt), Americans invariably mangle it into (Nick-les Worth). Which is to say that Europeans call him by name, but Americans call him by value.

Those who can't write, write manuals.

Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later!

There's always one more bug.

You must realise that the computer has it in for you. The irrefutable proof of this is that the computer always does what you tell it to do.

As the trials of life continue to take their toll, remember that there is always a future in Computer Maintenance.

This fortune cookie program is out of order. For those in desperate need, please use the program "Windows". This program generates random characters, and, given enough time, will undoubtedly come up with something profound.

The Programmers' Cheer:

I must have slipped a disk - my pack hurts.

It works better if you plug it in.

Experience is directly proportional to computer time wasted.

Look upon my works, ye Users, and despair!

f all else fails, buy the system manager a coffee.

No-one is fired here - slaves are only sold.

If we had computers with artificial intelligence, how long do you think they would stay working for this company?


Don't die of ignorance - read the manual.

i don' feale welll calll the sysstum mangler

HANDY TIPS 1.1 - Never trust a contractor.

HANDY TIPS 1.2 - Computers always lie.

Computers are not intelligent ..... they just think they are.

Those that can - do. Those that can't - simulate!

Old programmers never die, they just branch to a new address.

As of next week all passwords will be entered in morse code.

Line printer paper is strongest at the perforations.

Computer programmers do it byte by byte.

On a clear disk you can seek forever.

70% of the computers on the preferred list work (marginally) better when they are plugged in.

Jobs involving "comms." will be delayed for inordinate amounts of time because :-
a) Misunderstanding of the precise protocol required.
b) Lack of suitable international agreement on protocol.
c) Both ends comply 100% with protocol but the "other" device still sends crud.
d) Comms. jobs by definition take longer.

A program is a device for showing up hardware faults.
Hardware is the equipment used to show up software faults.

Change passwords (and underwear) frequently.

Here I am, brain the size of a planet, and all I get used for is printing fortune cookies.

Project teams detest weekly progress reporting because it so vividly manifests their lack of progress.

The attention span of a computer is only as long as its power cable.

"......NOW there is a God !" [variously attributed to the first ALPHA and to Bill Gates. Java is being programmed to act as referee, and is tipped to win][Just in case of doubt, these attributions are not serious!]

I woz a programmer but now my job's been executed!

I woz a programmer but I slipped a disc!

I wanted to be a programmer but they couldn't F4'ed me!

I wanted to be a programmer but the work woz too basic!

Q: Why did Intel call the 586 "Pentium"?
A: They asked it to add 100 to 486 and got 585.89998!

To be able to use the system HELP you need to know 90% of the answer already.


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Do it ...

Electrical Engineers do it with less resistance.
Hackers do it with all sorts of characters.
Hackers do it with fewer instructions.
Hackers do it with bugs.
AI hackers do it with robots.
Statisticians do it with 95% confidence.
Doctors take two aspirin and do it in the morning.
Bankers do it with interest (penalty for early withdrawal).
Landrover (& Jeep) owners do it on all fours!

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Lemming: a suicidal mouse

DEATH: nature's way of telling you to slow down.

INHERITANCE: a Dead giveaway.

FLORIST: a Petal pusher.

ADULT: One old enough to know better.

ACCORDION: Bagpipe with pleats.

Mad: Affected with a high degree of intellectual independence.

Positive: Mistaken at the top of one's voice.

Shortcut: the longest distance between two points.

Acquaintance: A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to.

Admiration: Our polite recognition of another's resemblance to ourselves.

Afternoon: That part of the day we spend worrying about how we wasted the morning.

Conscience: the inner voice that warns us somebody is looking.

Conversation: A vocal competition in which the one who is catching his breath is called the listener.

Fairy Tale: A horror story to prepare children for the newspapers.

Truthful: Dumb and illiterate.

Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man -- who has no gills.

Brain: The apparatus with which we think that we think.

Antonym: The opposite of the word you're trying to think of.

Baby : an alimentary canal with a loud voice at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.

Justice: A decision in your favour.

Lie: A very poor substitute for the truth, but the only one discovered to date.

Majority: That quality that distinguishes a crime from a law.

Menu: A list of dishes which the restaurant has just run out of

Democracy: four wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.

Frobnicate, v.: To manipulate or adjust, to tweak. Derived from FROBNITZ. Usually abbreviated to FROB. See TWEAK and TWIDDLE. Usage: FROB, TWIDDLE, and TWEAK sometimes connote points along a continuum. FROB connotes aimless manipulation; TWIDDLE connotes gross manipulation, often a coarse search for a proper setting; TWEAK connotes fine-tuning. If someone is turning a knob on an oscilloscope, then if he's carefully adjusting it he is probably tweaking it; if he is just turning it but looking at the screen he is probably twiddling it; but if he's just doing it because turning a knob is fun, he's frobbing it.

Collaboration: A literary partnership based on the false assumption that the other fellow can spell.

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Ahead lies certain doom - proceed with caution.

Don't tell any big lies today. Small ones can be just as effective!

This will be a memorable month -- no matter how hard you try to forget.

Afternoon very favourable for romance. Try a single person for a change.

Beware of low-flying butterflies.

You may be recognized soon. Hide.

Stay away from flying saucers today.

Do not sleep in a eucalyptus tree tonight.

Excellent day to have a rotten day.

You are wise, witty, and wonderful, but you spend too much time reading this sort of trash.

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Comments on life

You are never alone with schizophrenia.

A plan never survives the first 30 seconds.

The important things are always simple.

The simple things are always hard.

If it's stupid but works, it ain't stupid.

How come wrong numbers are never busy...?

You are only young once, but you can stay immature indefinitely.

Pure drivel tends to drive out ordinary drivel.

To be intoxicated is to feel sophisticated, but not to be able to say it!

One way to stop a runaway horse is to bet on it!.

Whatever you set out to do, something else must be done first.

Every solution breeds new problems.

Left to themselves things go from bad to worse.

In any collection of data the item most obviously correct is the mistake &
a) No one you ask for help will spot it.
b) Everyone who stops by with unsought advice will see it immediately.

Once a job is fouled up, any attempt to improve it only makes it worse.

The other line always moves faster.

Anything can be made to work if you fiddle with it enough.

It's easier to advise others than to actually do it yourself.

A lie in time saves nine.

A truly wise person never plays leapfrog with a Unicorn.

Adam and Eve had many advantages, but the principal one was that they escaped teething.

Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.

Bedfellows make strange politicians.

It is impossible for an optimist to be pleasantly surprised.

No matter what goes wrong, there is always somebody who knew it would.

Complex problems have simple, easy-to-understand wrong answers.

FLUGG'S LAW: When you need to knock on wood is when you realise the world's made of plastic.

LYNCH'S LAW: When the going gets tough, everyone leaves.

COLE'S LAW: Thinly sliced cabbage.

THE EXTENDED MURPHY'S LAW: If a series of events can go wrong, it will do so in the worst possible sequence.

If anything can't go wrong, it will.

SILVERMAN'S PARADOX:- If Murphy's Law can go wrong, it will.

Money cannot buy happiness, but it can make you awfully comfortable while you're being miserable.

You can make it foolproof, but you can't make it damnfoolproof.

One who laughs last probably doesn't understand the joke.

Polite conversation is seldom either.

There are no rules of architecture for castles in the sky.

The probability of someone watching you is proportional to the stupidity of your action.

In an organisation, each person rises to the level of his own incompetence.[The Peter Principle]

It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious.

O'Toole's commentary on Murphy's Law: "Murphy was an optimist."

Any time things appear to be going better, you have overlooked something.

If you explain so clearly that nobody can misunderstand, somebody will.

1. Things will get worse before they get better.
2. Who said things would get better?

In order for a woman to be considered half as good as a man, she has to do everything twice as well. Fortunately this is not difficult.

Build a system that even a fool can use, and only a fool will want to use it.

You cannot successfully determine beforehand which side of the bread to butter.

There's never time to do it right, but there's always time to do it again.

The first myth of management is that it exists.

The man who smiles when things go wrong,
Has thought of someone to blame it on.

You always find something in the last place you look.

Technology is dominated by two types of people:
Those who understand what they do not manage.
Those who manage what they do not understand.

An expert is a person who avoids the small errors while sweeping on to the grand fallacy.

Expert: "X" is the unknown quantity; "spurt" is a drip under pressure.

Wasting time is an important part of living.

A closed mouth gathers no foot.

In any organisation there will always be one person who knows what is going on. This person must be fired.

Only adults have difficulty with childproof caps.

Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped.

What is worth doing is worth the trouble of asking somebody to do.

History has the relation to truth that theology has to religion -- i.e. none to speak of.

It is bad luck to be superstitious.

If A = B and B = C, then A = C, except where void or prohibited by law.

The shortest distance between two points is under construction.

Blessed are they who Go Around in Circles, for they Shall be Known as Wheels.

The chance of forgetting something is directly proportional to... to... uh...

God isn't dead, he just couldn't find a parking place.

Predestination was doomed from the start.

What makes us so bitter against people who outwit us is that they think themselves cleverer than we are.

People who have no faults are terrible; there is no way of taking advantage of them.

If we do not change our direction we are likely to end up where we are headed.

Second hand car owners know how hard it is to drive a bargain.

A neurotic builds castles in the air.
A psychotic lives in them.
A psychiatrist charges the rent.

The chance of the bread falling butter side down is proportional to the cost of the carpet.

Sudden prayers make God jump.

90% of everything is crap.

No one can keep a secret.

FLASH! Intelligence of mankind decreasing. Details at ... uh, when the little hand is on the ....

Every silver lining has a cloud.

Fools are incredibly devious - after all, nothing's ever foolproof.

The universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we CAN imagine (Haldane's Law).

When a distinguished, but elderly, scientist says something is possible he is almost certainly correct. When he says it is not he is almost certainly wrong. (Clarke's Law).

God must love fools, he made so many of them.

Being early's not so clever, look what happened to the early worm !

If you spread the peas out on your plate, it looks as if you ate more.

You can get by on charm for about 15 minutes, after that you'd better know something.

The light at the end of the tunnel may be an oncoming train.

You can't win.
You can't draw.
You can't even leave the game.

It's not the cold girl who gets the fur coat.

Find a good tune on the radio and it's followed by the news - in French.

Buy something today and tomorrow someone could have got it for you cheaper.

When an employee leaves of their own accord, the replacement will know less, do less and cost more (management take note !).

It's hard to argue with someone when they're right.

Pre-emptive revenge is the sweetest.

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If at first you don't succeed........cheat!

SMILE! It makes people think you're up to something!

Always remember that your equipment was made by the lowest bidder.

Know the opposition, its not always the enemy.

When in doubt use industrial strength deterence.

DON'T LAUGH - it could happen to you.

Do not believe in miracles .... Rely on them.

If you can't convince them, confuse them.

If it jams force it; if it breaks then it probably needed replacing anyway.

Always remember to pillage BEFORE you burn.

Be patient with those who are slower than you, for they make you look better.

Don't count your bridges before you burn them.

Neither a burrower nor a lentil bee.

Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves.

When all else fails, read the instructions.

Don't worry if it doesn't work right. If everything did, you'd be out of a job.

Never put off till tomorrow what you can avoid all together.

You worry too much about your job. Stop it. You are not paid enough to worry.

If at first you don't succeed, give up, no use being a damn fool.

Don't believe everything you hear or anything you say.

Drive defensively. Buy a tank.

The world is coming to an end! Repent and return those library books!

When you do not know what you are doing, do it neatly.

A piece of advice for worms - Get up late!

1st Rule of acquisition: Never ignore opportunity.

74th Rule of acquisition: Be nice to your enemies occasionally - it confuses them no end.

Be alert! The world needs lerts!

Save trees - eat a beaver.

To avoid that run down feeling: look both ways before crossing the road.

The best time to read the instructions is BEFORE you try and put it together.

Never stick your knife in your toaster.

Never try to outstubborn a cat.

Never eat yellow snow.

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Infertility is hereditary.
If your parents didn't have any children, neither will you.

Is boat-building a displacement activity?

Humpty Dumpty was pushed!

I don't lie, I just make creative estimates.

Q: What's the difference between ignorance and apathy?
A: I don't know and I don't care.

The answer to your question is very simple: I don't know.

Anyone who tries to get between me and my work has a good chance of succeeding.

If only I could get that wonderful feeling of accomplishment ...... without having to accomplish anything!

How may I assist you Lord and Master? (the things I say for a quiet life!)

Consultants are like rhinoceroses - they have very thick skin and they charge a lot.

Did you hear about the Driving instructor who drove his car into the river?
He wanted to show his pupils how to dip their lights!

How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb?
ONLY ONE - But it must really want to change!

I drink to make other people more interesting.

All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy.

XEROX never comes up with anything original.

It's really quite a simple choice .... Life, Death or carry on working here.

Due to circumstances beyond our control, the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off.

April 1. This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four.

As the axe entered the forest, the trees said, "The handle is one of us."

I like work; it fascinates me; I can sit and look at it for hours.

That must be wonderful! I don't understand it at all.

The wages of sin is death - but the wages here are even worse.

Vidi, vici, veni! --- Don Juan

Whenever I feel like exercise, I lie down until the feeling passes.

I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

Do not read this entry under penalty of law. Violators will be prosecuted.

According to the latest official figures, 43% of all statistics are totally worthless.

Caution: breathing may be hazardous to your health.

I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous.

Tomorrow will be cancelled due to lack of interest.

Gravity is a myth, the Earth sucks.

"Who cares if it doesn't do anything? It was made with our new Triple-Iso-Bifurcated-Krypton-Gate-MOS process..."

"There are three possibilities: Pioneer's solar panel has turned away from the sun; there's a large meteor blocking transmission; or someone loaded Star Trek 3.2 into our video processor."

It's Fabulous! We haven't seen anything like it in the last half an hour!

Dyslexia rules KO

Procrastination rules OK - when we get round to it.

Indecision rules OK - maybe.

Nothing is faster than the speed of light... To prove this to yourself, try opening the refrigerator door before the light comes on.

Do molecular biologists wear designer genes?

There's no future in time travel

Time flies like an arrow! Fruit flies like a banana!

But in our enthusiasm, we could not resist a radical overhaul of the system, in which all of its major weaknesses have been exposed, analysed, and replaced with new weaknesses.

Easiest Colour to Solve on a Rubik's Cube: Black. Simply remove all the little coloured stickers on the cube, and each of side of the cube will now be the original colour of the plastic underneath -- black. According to the instructions, this means the puzzle is solved.

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.

Draft beer, not people.

"An event has occurred which is not necessarily to Japan's advantage"
-- Emperor Hirohito (after Hiroshima)

God made the world in six days, and was arrested on the seventh.

Please ignore previous line.

A sine curve goes off to infinity or at least the end of the blackboard.

Celebrate Hannibal Day this year. Take an elephant to lunch.

"The meat is rotten, but the booze is holding out."
Computer Translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak"

All my friends and I are crazy. That's the only thing that keeps us sane.

Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum --
I think that I think, therefore I think that I am.
Non cogito ergo non sum -- I am a manager, therefore...

Nil carborundum illegitimae
rough translation: Don't let the b***ards grind you down.

Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.

How many hippos have you seen with hats and dark glasses?
Proves how good the disguise is.

Did you hear about the herbalist who made a mint out of parsley?

Why are elephants wrinkled? Ever try ironing one?

Heard about the Irish firing squad? They formed a circle.

Philosophy of the indecisive: I think, therefore I might be.

New tax form (simplified version):
1) How much do you earn?

Chemistry research tells us that the yeast in bread also makes alcohol. So let's drink a little toast.

I don't care what your name is, nobody walks on the water while I'm fishing!

At the first sign of trouble, he leapt onto his horse and raced off in all directions.

The verb 'to not to be': I ain't, you ain't, we ain't,.....

Sorry, I can't continue this fascinating conversation any longer, I've got some important paint to watch dry.

"Ohh, now you've hit something - what's that ? The flashing blue light blinded you ?.....Yes officer she/he (delete according to prejudices) was just explaining."

To BE is to DO - Aristotle
To DO is to BE - Sartre
DO BE DO BE DO - Sinatra

Q. How many writers does it take to change a light bulb?
A. Only one - but there must be an exciting twist at the end.

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Famous last words

"Trust me, I know what I'm doing."

It wasn't me !!

They couldn't hit a barn door from th....

"Trust me, I'm a doctor."

"No, really, it's so simple I don't see how even he could get it wrong."

A final word

Hi there! This is just a note from me, to you, to tell you, the person reading this note, that I can't think up any more famous quotes, jokes, nor bizarre stories, so you may as well go home.

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