nettimers_anonymous on Mon, 26 Jul 1999 05:04:25 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Monsterdigest: Net legends, et al.

1............. Microsoft TV Dinners
2............. January 1, 2000  Re:  Vacation Pay
3............. Bantu Tribesman Uses IBM Global Uplink 
               Network Modem to Crush Nut
4............. Postmodernist Essay Generator
5............. Invisible Heroes: The life and times of sysadmins
6............. Y2K Starts in September, NOT New Year's Eve.
7............. Hitler as Time's Man of the Century
8............ How to See Through people's Clothes
9, 10, 11, 12........... More things, yet to be properly indexed

Microsoft TV Dinners


- You must first remove the plastic cover.
- By doing so you agree to accept and honor Microsoft rights to all
  TV dinners.
- You may not give anyone else a bite of your dinner as this would
  constitute an infringement ofMicrosoft's rights.
- You may, however, let others smell and look at your dinner and are
  encouraged to tell them how good it is.

Cooking Instructions:

For MS-DOS microwave oven users:

- Insert the dinner into the oven.
- Set the oven using these keystrokes:
 - Then enter:


For Mac microwave oven users:

- Insert the dinner and press start.
- Press the OK button at the following questions:

- Are you sure you want to start the oven?
- Are you sure you want to cook the dinner?
- Are you sure you want to eat the dinner?

- The oven will set itself and cook the dinner.

For Unix microwave oven users:

- Insert the dinner
- Enter the ingredients of the dinner (found on the package label)
- Enter the weight of the dinner
- Enter the desired level of cooking
- Press start.
- The oven will calculate the time and heat and cook the diner exactly to
  your specification.
(Note! Be sure NOT to use the -o flag. Otherwise the oven will cook
everything OUTSIDE the oven, including yourself.)

Be forewarned that Microsoft dinners may crash, in which case your oven
must be restarted. This is a simple procedure:
- If you have an MS-DOS oven, remove the dinner from the oven and enter:

- This process may have to be repeated.
- In the event of further difficulty, try unplugging the oven and then
  doing a cold recook. If this doesn't work, contact your microwave oven

Many diners have reported that the dinner tray is far too big, larger than
the dinner itself, having many useless compartments, most of which are
empty. These are for future menu items. If the tray is too large to fit in
your oven you will need to upgrade your oven.

Dinners are only available from registered outlets, and only the MS Chicken
variety is currently available. If you want another variety, call MS Help
who will explain to you why you really don't want another variety. MS
Chicken is all you really need.

Microsoft has disclosed plans to discontinue all smaller versions of their
chicken dinners. Future releases will only be in the larger family
(bloated) size.

Excess chicken may be stored for future use, but must be saved only in
Microsoft approved packaging.

Microsoft promised a dessert with every dinner will be included with the
next major upgrade, Dinner-99.

Diners have permission to salivate in advance.

Dinner-97 may be incompatible with other dinners in the freezer, causing
your freezer to self-defrost. This is a feature, not a bug. Your freezer
probably should have been defrosted anyway.


 January 1, 2000
 Re:  Vacation Pay

 Dear Valued Employee:

 Our records indicate that you have not used any vacation time
 over the past 100 year(s).  As I'm sure you are aware, employees
 are granted 3 weeks of paid leave per year or pay in lieu of
 time off. One additional week is granted for every 5 years of

 Please either take 9,400 days off work or notify our office and
 your next pay check will reflect payment of $ 8,277,432.22 which
 will include all pay and interest for the past 1,200 months.


 Automated Payroll Processing



Bantu Tribesman Uses IBM Global Uplink Network Modem to Crush Nut

KABINDA, ZAIRE--In a move IBM officials are hailing as a major step in the
company's ongoing worldwide telecommunications revolution, M'wana Ndeti, a
member of Zaire's Bantu tribe, used an IBM global uplink network modem
yesterday to crush a nut. Ndeti, who spent 20 minutes trying to open the
nut by hand, easily cracked it open by smashing it repeatedly with the
powerful modem.

"I could not crush the nut by myself," said the 47-year-old Ndeti, who
added the savory nut to a thick, peanut-based soup minutes later. "With
IBM's help, I was able to break it."

Ndeti discovered the nut-breaking, 28.8 V.34 modem yesterday, when IBM was
shooting a commercial in his southwestern Zaire village. During a break in
shooting, which shows African villagers eagerly teleconferencing via
computer with Japanese schoolchildren, Ndeti snuck onto the set and took
the modem, which he believed would serve well as a "smashing" utensil.

      Just after Ndeti shattered the nut, a 200-person Southern Baptist
gospel choir, on hand for the taping of the IBM commercial, broke out into
raucous, joyous song in celebration of the tribesman's accomplishment.

      IBM officials were not surprised the longtime computer giant was
able to provide Ndeti with practical solutions to his everyday problems.

      "Our telecommunications systems offer people all over the world
global networking solutions that fit their specific needs," said Herbert
Ross, IBM's director of marketing. "Whether you're a nun cloistered in an
Italian abbey or an Aborigine in Australia's Great Sandy Desert, IBM has
the ideas to get you where you want to go today."

      According to Ndeti, of the modem's many powerful features, most
impressive was its hard plastic casing, which easily sustained several
minutes of vigorous pounding against a large stone. "I put the nut on a
rock, and I hit it with the modem," Ndeti said. "The modem did not break.
It is a good modem."

      Ndeti was so impressed with the modem that he purchased a new,
state-of-the-art IBM workstation, complete with a PowerPC 601
microprocessor, a quad-speed internal CD-ROM drive and three 16-bit
ethernet networking connectors. The tribesman has already made good use of
the computer system, fashioning a gazelle trap out of its wires, a boat
anchor out of the monitor and a crude but effective weapon from its mouse.

      "This is a good computer," said Ndeti, carving up a just-captured
gazelle with the computer's flat, sharp internal processing device. "I am
using every part of it. I will cook this gazelle on the keyboard.."

      Hours later, Ndeti capped off his delicious gazelle dinner by
smoking the computer's 200-page owner's manual.

      IBM spokespeople praised Ndeti's choice of computers.

      "We are pleased that the Bantu people are turning to IBM for their
business needs," said company CEO William Allaire. "From Kansas City to
Kinshasa, IBM is bringing the world closer together. Our cutting-edge
technology is truly creating a global village."

      The Bantu tribesmen are members of an ever-growing, international
community of users who have turned to IBM to solve their networking needs.
Jean-Claude DuMont, a goatherder from the French region of Brittany who is
working on an Indiana University Ph.D. in biology via internet, recently
looked into IBM's new computer-satellite data uplink, which offers instant
access to all library files worldwide.

      "With IBM's new uplink service, I can access any file I want, any
time I want," DuMont told fellow goatherder Pierre Valmont during a recent
walk through a rye field. "I can even find out how many points Michael
Jordan scored last night."

      Responded Valmont: "Radical."


What, you went on vacation and forgot all about that essay you had due
on Dickens/Bordieu/Spike Lee?
Let the Postmodernist Essay Generator come to your rescue:


Invisible Heroes
The life and times of sysadmins
Annalee Newitz, Special to SF Gate
Wednesday, April 7, 1999

In our techno-kingdom, the sysadmin is a geek in shining armor. She rides in
to save the day when your network is under siege. He rescues endangered code
>from your crusty old backup systems.

And yet when the systems are quiet and data is humming along without being
"munged," (sysadmin-speak for "mangled") the sysadmin is invisible.

Matt Egen, a senior systems analyst with Crowley Maritime Corporation in
Oakland, said, "In the minds of my co-workers, either I do nothing because
stuff just works, or I am a god. It's that big of a swing between the two."

To outsiders, the sysadmin does appear to work in mysterious ways. Hal
Pomeranz, Chief Architect of Operations at Corio, agreed. "Your user
community sees only the five minutes a day you spend with them, and they
wonder what it is that you're doing for the other 16 hours a day at work,"
he said.

He added, "People see software and they think, 'Oh, somebody wrote that.'
Nobody thinks, 'Hey, here's my internet connection--somebody had to network
that to make my modem respond.'"

Although some may feel underappreciated, sysadmins in San Francisco and
Silicon Valley are actually in the nation's hotbed of sysadmin economic
power. According to both Network Computing Online and the SANS Institute,
these regions boast the highest sysadmin salaries in the United States (in
1998, the national average salary for a sysadmin was $60, 991; the mean
salary for sysadmins in California and the West was $65,380). San
Francisco is also the birthplace of BayLISA, one of the nation's oldest
systems administrators' professional organizations.

So who are these people anyway? Sysadmins are professional
geeks-of-all-trades who might do anything from providing everyday tech
support and IT budget recommendations to architecting a global company
network, serving as a system-wide postmaster, or implementing the perfect

And, despite the differences in their job descriptions, sysadmins do share
one characteristic. They work endless, vampiric hours -- unseen by most
co-workers -- because they're always on call.

Jim Hickstein, BayLISA board member, confesses that one of the drawbacks
of sysadmining is that it tends to bring out the martyr in people. "Some
sysadmins will go farther than they need to in the direction of sacrifice,
coming in at 2 a.m. on a Saturday morning. Compensation for that kind of
dedication can take many forms, and I think recognition might be at the
top of the list."

If sysadmins yearn for more recognition, they also simultaneously seem to
relish their low-profile status. Bay Area sysadmins are part of an
infrastructural underground and have developed their own subculture,
complete with a pagan form of worship. Usually this techno-idolatry
focuses on various godheads of the UNIX operating system (especially
LINUX), but occasionally a heretic or two will turn to Windows NT and even
the Mac OS.

The uninitiated may ask why UNIX inspires such extreme devotion in
sysadmins, who can and will expound upon the virtues of this 30-year-old
OS for hours at a stretch. Put simply: people have been pounding on UNIX
for so long that it's as close to foolproof as you can get in terms of
network stability and security. Plus, notes Hickstein, UNIX comes with its
own sysadmin's toolkit.

If you really want to bond with sysadmins, however, you need to join them
in a meditation on the wonders of the xterm. Xterms are terminal emulators
that create windows on your screen which are designed to behave like mini
teletype machines. They provide a very simple interface that works
especially well over distances and under a wide range of conditions (such
as a server unceremoniously nuking itself).

Enthused Flynn, president of Kodachi Systems Group and also a devotee of
xterms, "If you have a PalmPilot and a modem, you can resurrect your UNIX
box from the dead. Right this instant, I have 16 windows open, using seven
virtual desktops. It's about enough for what I'm doing. I think the most
I've worked with at once is 24."

Believe it or not, there's more to being a sysadmin than rabid
technophilia.  Their skill set requires the ability to handle a lot of
human interaction too. Sysadmins often serve as battered human shields
between users and networks.

In order to deal with human and machine errors simultaneously, sysadmins
have had to develop a kind of loopy, dark humor just to survive. Hickstein
giggled, "Kill is a command for a reason. Destroying can be fun." Programs
and machines are described a la Monty Python as cartoonish beasts. Patrick
Powell, CEO of AStart Technologies, gave a talk at a BayLISA meeting
subtitled "Taming the Wild Print Spoolers."

Then there are the sysadmin war stories -- tales of grotesque network
implementations, ugly code patches at 3 a.m., or, best of all, sysadmin
self-destructs. "The worst thing I've ever seen happened at my previous
job and was done by some sysadmin who came before me," said Egen. "I had
to upgrade a client's hard drive, and when I took the cover off the box I
discovered somebody had mounted the old hard drive using rolled-up pieces
of legal paper. I was so amazed that I actually called people in my office
a block away to make them come look at it. Aside from everything else,
hard drives get very hot. Hot plus paper equals fire, and fire plus
computers equals bad."

If they share a common sense of humor, can it be said that sysadmins also
share a dress code? John Ives, a computer resource specialist at
UC-Berkeley, says that sysadmin styles vary widely from company to company
-- or even department to department at a large workplace.

But there are certain stereotypes of sysadmin regalia that have little to
do with pocket protectors and nerdy glasses. Among sysadmins in their mid-
to late-20s are thrashers and ravers, many of whom have piercings, blue
hair, and love their skateboards almost as much as they love LINUX.

Male sysadmins in their 30s and 40s might be divided into two subsets of
"guys with ponytails." Some ponytailers wear toolbelts, Leathermen and
tradeshow T-shirts, and camouflage pants; other ponytailers are the
Berkeley types who wear Birkenstocks.

Strata Chalup, a sysadmin who runs her own consulting firm called
VirtualNet in Silicon Valley, laughingly acknowledges the prevalence of
these stereotypes. She added, "A belief about female sysadmins is that
they tend to be heavy and like science fiction, but there are obviously
many women who don't fit this mold."

On a serious note, Chalup emphasizes that one of the most important
elements of being a sysadmin isn't about style but ethics. Having served
as the postmaster for several companies, she's found herself in a number
of legally and ethically sticky situations.

"I have to say no all the time when somebody sends out an email that they
think is wrong or stupid and then call up asking me to delete it from
everybody's mailboxes. That would mean I'd have to go poking in
everybody's mail. You have to say no in that situation, because a sysadmin
can be held liable for violating people's privacy."

Chalup says that if a manager or executive asks a sysadmin to break into
someone's mailbox, that the sysadmin should get a written statement from
the legal department before doing anything. "You never want people
thinking that you're going around reading their mail. They have a right to

Will techno-biz types ever come to respect the Many Ways Of The Sysadmin?
Absolutely, and here's why: sysadmins are experts at running distributed
computing systems. Given that the Internet is one whopping distributed
network, it's likely that the once-hidden sysadmin will only grow more
recognizable and indispensible to companies as they scramble to get

Meanwhile, don't forget that a real human being maintains your computer
network. You're not talking to a bunch of transistors when you address
your flame to root@, sysadmin@ or postmaster@.

And the next time you log in to the Internet or your office network, ask
yourself this: do you know where your sysadmin is right now? Maybe you


Annalee Newitz is a freelance writer and professor living in San Francisco,
currently finishing a book about monsters, psychopaths, and capitalism. She
is also the co-editor of White Trash: Race and Class in America (Routledge
Press), a correspondent for New York Press, a founding editor of Bad
Subjects, and an occasional contributor to Salon Magazine.


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> Dear friend,
> the Time magazine is organizing an e-mail election in order to find the
> "man of the century" and Hitler is in front! I don't know how you think
> about it, but I don't want to see his face on the cover of this year's
> december edition of the Time magazine. I don't think that someone who
> is responsible for the death of millions and someone who taught hatred
> in such an unbelievable way should be called the "man of the century".
> For me personally there are others like Martin Luther King or Nelson
> Mandela who deserve this name more than Hitler. Neonazi groups from all
> over the world call their members to vote via e-mail for Hitler and now
> I want to do the same, but the other way round.
> It is on you if you want to follow my call for voting against Hitler
> and it is also up to you if you want to spread this e-mail or not. It
> won't cost you anything and takes just a little time to do. At the end
> of April Hitler lead with nearly 200.000 votes. Please vote gainst him
> under:
> Thank you in advance and forward this message to as much people as you
> can.
> Take care, Eyal.
> P.S. Here are the top 20 so far:
> #Person                         %        Tally
> 1 Elvis Presley               24.96    298614
> 2 Adolf Hitler                19.65    235070
> 3 Pope John Paul II           12.57    150352
> 4 Martin Luther King          10.92    130602
> 5 Mohandas Gandhi              9.13    109233
> 6 Yitzchak Rabin               4.80     57515
> 7 Ronald Reagan                2.99     35831
> 8 Albert Einstein              1.98     23719
> 9 Winston Churchill            1.96     23476
> 10 Mother Teresa               0.92     11003
> 11 Madonna                     0.89     10699
> 12 Bill Gates                  0.63      7637
> 13 Murray N. Rothbard          0.61      7371
> 14 Franklin D. Roosevelt       0.57      6845
> 15 John Lennon                 0.49      5928
> 16 Princess Diana              0.36      4395
> 17 Nelson Mandela              0.36      4379
> 18 Milton Friedman             0.33      4038
> 19 Jesus Christ                0.29      3509
> 20 Michael Jackson             0.23      2759
> ===
> "A fanatic is one who can't change his mind
> 	and won't change the subject."
> 				(Churchill)

Date: Sun, 11 Jul 1999 19:37:33 +0900 (KST)
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Subject: You know you are having a bad day when

- You shouldn't even BE in the office
- They're redoing the kitchen so you can't get coffee
- They need an electric mega power-saw for the kitchen
- They connect the saw to the same power group as your server room
- You end up sitting in the dark, realising your instict couldn't supress a
  loud "KUT!".
- You realise all is not lost and look happily at the UPS.
- Realising your main server, which is battery-fed by your beloved UPS
  seems to be down _anyway_.
- Come to the conclusion you bought a UPS with one broken power connection,
  which seems to work fine when on wallsocket power, but not when on battery
  power. I'm so glad I could a real APC brand, with a certification and a
  slip of paper specifying which technician checked the UPS before shipping.
  (Needless to saw, the slip of paper has become unreadable by now, they must
  have used special ink)

Let the Oracle also predict the following:

- I will ship the UPS back to the vendor, without the battery to save in lots
  of stamps.
- They will conclude it works fine, if I buy a battery and ship it back.


>Hey all- I've talked to some of you about this, but not all.  Please check
>this out and reply if you have any questions.  Please take this seriously.
>I've never forwarded chain letters, or free stock schemes.  This e-mail is
>about a new company that has a completely mindblowing business model.
>Without sounding corny or salesy, I want to encourage everyone to read this
>e-mail as soon as possible, because you can make a lot of money and the
>earlier you sign up, the more you can make. This is not a joke or a trick,
>it's not play money or worthless stock. It's Cash.  It is a new, free,
>Internet membership company that I am strongly considering taking a
>position with asVice President of Advertising Sales. Since most of you know
>me well, I
>hope you'd realize I would not even consider going to work for a company
>unless I knew they had a great idea and a compelling business plan.  The
>e-mail is long,  because the concept needs explaining, but once you read
>it, you'll be stunned at how simple this is. We've all witnessed how the
>Internet is changing the rules of the game.  Well a bunch of Stanford
>Computer Science PhDs are changing the way  advertisers pay to reach
>consumers.  Throughout time, advertisers have paid  anyone who can
>aggregate a large quantity of people.  TV Networks, Radio Stations,
>Magazine and Newspaper publishers, whoever can do it.  The  consumers, who
>advertisers are paying to reach, never get a dime of that  money.  These
>guys are changing that.  They're essentially going to  "unionize"
>consumers, so that consumers get paid by the advertisers, not the
>companies who aggregate those consumers.
>This idea is so simple that it's  crazy.  But it will work and anyone can
>sign up for free and make serious  money.  Please keep reading. I know you
>think I've lost my mind, but keep  reading.
>This company is called AllAdvantage. Here's how it works.  It's completely
>free to participate.  You don't have to buy anything, you don't have to
>sell anything, you don't have to change your web usage. If you go to their
>site  and sign up, you'll have to enter you name, address, and  the member
>number  of who referred you.
>[ and then put in the  referral login DEY-989

>You'll get your own Member ID number, and you'll  soon be sent a little
>file to download, which appears as a long thin window that'll be open below
>your web browser.   In this window will be a standard  online
>advertisement, a rectangular banner like the one's you see on most  web
>sites.  You can open it or close the window whenever you'd like, but for
>every hour you have that window open, you'll get $0.50.  Up to 40 hours a
>month, so you could make $20 a month.  Nice so far, but that's just the
>They are doing a pyramid payment plan to create a model where everyone is
>getting everyone else to sign up.  Remember, it's completely free to
>participate, and you can always choose whether or not you want the window
>open.  They'll pay you 10 cents for every hour that a person you refer has
>this window open. For anyone those people refer, you get a nickel for every
>hour. For everyone they refer, you get a nickel also, and so on for 4
>levels.  This will generate big money for people who get in early.
>Let's say everyone has 10 people who joined entering their Member ID
>number. And let's also say everyone has this window open for 10 hours a
>You  could easily make over $50,000 a month!  Here's how.
>* You're on the web with this window open for 10 hours a month.  50 cents
>an  hour is $5.00
>* The ten people who were referred by you have it open for 10 hours a
>month,  that's 100 user-hours. 10 cents per hour is $10.00
>* Each of those 10 refer 10, that's 100 people, each on for 10 hours a
>month, that's 1000 user hours.  5 cents per hour is $50.00
>* Each of those 100 refer 10, that's 1000 people, each on for 10 hours a
>month, that's 10,000 user hours.  5 cents per hour is $500.00
>* Each of those 1000 refer 10, that's 10,000 people, each on for 10 hours a
>month, that's 100,000 user hours.  5 cents per hour is $5,000.00
>* Each of those 10,000 refer 10, that's 100,000 people, each on for 10
>hours  a month, that's 1,000,000 user hours.  5 cents per hour is
>That's it.  $55,565.00 per month.  Just for getting 10 people to sign up
>and  put your number in as who referred them.  And if you get more people,
>you  make more money.  There's no limit.  They're counting on the fact that
>you'll get tons of people. There are over 50 million internet users, and
>many have multiple PCs.  People who get in early, could literally retire.
>You're probably thinking that they'll have to pay out hundreds of millions
>of dollars to people, and your right, they will have to pay out hundreds of
>millions of dollars to consumers.  But don't look at it from the macro
>level.  Look at it from the micro level.
>It's so simple.  AllAdvantage is paying 80 cents for every hour a user has
>this window open.  (50 cents to the user, 10 cent to whoever
>referred them, 5 cents to the person who referred them, 5 cents to the
>person who referred  them, 5 cents to the person who referred them, and 5
>cents to the person who  referred them).  Every 20 seconds, a different ad
>rotates into the window,  so 3 ads every minute, 180 ads every hour.  If
>they can sell the 180 ads for  more than 80 cents they're instantly
>profitable, and they'll be able to sell  the ads for more. That's it.
>That's the whole thing.  If they sell $10  million in advertising, they'll
>distribute $9 million or so to the users,  and keep the rest. Everyone
>Companies who rely on advertising spend a lot of money to attract an
>audience, and build and staff a product.  AllAdvantage is just going to pay
>you as a valuable consumer and reward you for attracting an audience.  A TV
>Network might put 90% of their ad revenue into programming and operations,
>and keep 10% as profits.  This company will give 90% of their ad revenue to
>people who use them, and keep 10% for themselves.  I told you it was
>Why not?  It's completely free, and you can make a lot of money, finally
>getting paid for advertisers to reach you.   It doesn't effect or interrupt
>your time on the web, you still spend the same time surfing as you always
>have, the same way you always have, the same sites you always have.  The
>only difference is that you can have this window open below your web
>browser if you want to, and you'll get paid for it. And if you tell a lot
>of people who also sign up, you'll get paid even more.
>No matter when you sign up for this, you'll make some extra money. But the
>people who sign up earliest, will make loads of money. People are probably
>going to get very creative about how to tell as many people as quickly as
>possible. Some people may rent out e-mail lists and send it out to
>thousands of people at a time, or mention it in chat rooms or user groups.
>Others are spreading the word on college campuses and internationally. Who
>The more you sign up the more you make, and the more they make.
>It's really not.  It's kind of built on a similar premise, but it's totally
>free.  There's no scheme! You don't pay anything or sell anything or spend
>your time any differently. In a pyramid scheme the last people in, lose.
>With this, the last person in still gets cash every month. Just not as much
>as the people who get in early.  Just sign up, tell friends, and keep the
>window open if you want to.  Advertisers will pay money to be in that
>window, and you'll get a very nice share of that money. You may have seen
>similar ideas where companies are giving away stock, or other things.
>This is different..  It's real.

>OK, the race is on. Marf's Member ID number is ** DFN-649
**. Please go to
>and then when prompted put in the referral login DFN-649
and  sign up using
>my member ID number.  You'll be issued your own user. Then cut and paste
>this email, changing the URL and the member ID number to your user number,
>and e-mail it to as many people as you can think of. Or  mention this when
>you're talking to friends, or in a chat room, or where  ever!  The more
>people who sign up, the more advertising revenue AllAdvantage generates,
>and the more we all get paid. Don't ignore this because it's "too simple"
>or "too good to be true". If you have any questions, please just go to
>the site and check it out.  It's self explanatory.

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