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// poetry

Dancing shotgun guy
Don't you see that I'm glowing?
Quad rocket for you
- lemurboy[c9]

Page last modified Sunday, 06-Nov-2011 21:05:21 MST
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lyrics are slowly being annotated with footnotes, to aid the 1337-impaired

soda's paradise

Author: Alex Fabrikant
Sung To: Gangsta's Paradise by Coolio

// Soda's (1) Paradise, v1.0 \\ 
\\ [to "Gangsta's Paradise"] // 

As I walk through the basement in the shadow of death
I take a look at my code and realize there's no time left 'cuz
I've been hacking and debugging so long, that
Even my profs think my mind is gone
But I ain't never stood up a partner that didn't deserve it
Me be treated like a Mech-E (2) -- you know that's unheard of
You better watch where you're sniffing, and who you're spoofing
Or you and your box just might end up rooted
I really wanna sleep but I gotta hack
As I stumble to the john I see visions of X (3), fool
I'm the kinda EECS little frosh wanna be like
With my vi in the night, hacking code in the green light.

Been spending most their lives, living in Soda's paradise
Been spending most their lives, living in Soda's paradise
Keep spending most our lives, living in Soda's paradise
Keep spending most our lives, living in Soda's paradise

The project situation, they got me facin'
I can't sit on my ass, I'm in Hilfinger's (4) class
So I gotta be down with the Soda team
Too much 'net-stock trading got me chasing dreams.
I'm an educated fool with code on my mind
Got my mouse in my hand and thick glasses on my eyes
I'm a loc'd out geek set tripping banger
And my rootkit is out so don't arouse my anger, fool.
Deadline ain't nothing but an hour away
I'm still screwing with my NACHOS (5), what can I say
It's compiling now but will I live to see it run though?
The way things are going I don't know.

Tell me why are we, too blind to see
The sky outside, or the birds in the trees

Been spending most their lives, living in Soda's paradise
Been spending most their lives, living in Soda's paradise
Keep spending most our lives, living in Soda's paradise
Keep spending most our lives, living in Soda's paradise

Power's in the grades, grades are the power
I keep thinking to myself, hour after hour
Everybody's hacking, but most of them ain't looking
What's up with the abstraction - no one knows what's cooking
They say I gotta learn, but nobody's here to teach me.
If the profs don't understand this shit, how can they reach me?
I guess they can't. I guess they won't
I guess they front, that's why I know undergrads're outta luck, foo.

Tell me why are we, too blind to see
The sky outside, or the birds in the trees
Tell me why are we, too blind to see
The sky outside, or the birds in the trees

..:: footnotes ::..

  • (1) soda: uc berkeley comp. sci. building
  • (2) mech-e: abbrev. for mechanical engineer
  • (3) X: the UNIX graphical user interface, X-windows
  • (4) hilfinger: berkeley cs professor notorious for being difficult
  • (5) NACHOS: Not Another Completely Heuristic Operating System, name of an instructional operating system invented at berkeley to teach students OS design

programmer's poem

Authors: Fred Bremmer and Steve Kroese


waka waka bang splat tick tick hash
carat at back-tick dollar dollar dash
splat bang tick dollar underscore
percent splat waka waka number four
ampersand right-paren dot dot slash
curly bracket tilde pipe splat splat crash


Source: http://www.planetquake.com/que/haiku/haiku1.htm

Teleport--what's this?
Violated from behind, (1)
Camper gibs rain down.
- Pass-a-Fist, April 1998

Merry Quake Christmas!
I shout, as festive grenades
Dance like sugarplums.
- Bastage, June 1997

Dancing shotgun guy
Don't you see that I'm glowing?
Quad rocket for you
- lemurboy[c9], December 1996 

..:: footnotes ::..

  • (1) violated from behind: a curious phenomenon in quake is if two people jump into a teleport, one of the players will explode on the other end of the teleport (it's like two players were trying to occupy the same space, and the laws of physics wouldn't allow this)

complexity theory

Source: http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~satishr/to-be-or-not-with-pcp.html

There once were a tough set of problems;
Many theorists tried hard to solve 'em.
But all they e'er say
Was, "Just give me a way
To solve one and I'll have solved all of 'em." (1)

One clever young theorist said, "Gee!
I'll define a new type called PCP." (2)
So he did some contemplation,
Spent many days on calculation,
And finally said, "Damn, it's no simpler than NP!"

- Nemanja Isailovic

Ah, but a man's conjectures should exceed his proofs,
Or what's his PhD for? 
     - CS 270, Dr. Satish Rao

     Ah, but a man's grasp should exceed his reach, 
     Or what's a heaven for?
         - "Andrea del Sarto", Robert Browning

..:: footnotes ::..

  • (1) solve one and I'll have solved all of 'em: many problems can be said to belong to either one of two sets -- P or NP. problems in P can be solved in polynomial time. problems in NP can only have potential answers checked in polynomial-time; we don't know if there exist polynomial time algorithms to actually find their solutions. some NP problems are "NP-complete", meaning that all other problems in NP can be transformed into an instance of an NP-complete problem. thus, if one were to find a polynomial time algorithm for an NP-complete problem, all problems in NP could be solved in polynomial time. hence, "To solve one and I'll have solved all of 'em.".
  • (2) PCP: probabilistically checkable proof; another name for an oracle interactive proof. if we allow the prover and verifier to interact, we may be able to do better than NP languages [GMR89]. take a cs theory class for a real explanation of this.

american pie - hacker style

Author: Cathy Flint, Eric Griswold, Scott Neugroschl
Sung To: American Pie by Don McLean


Long, long, time ago, I can still remember 
How UNIX used to make me smile...
And I knew that with a login name
That I could play those unix games
And maybe hack some programs for a while.
But February made me shiver
With every program I'd deliver
Bad news on the doorstep,d
I couldn't take one more spec...
I can't remember getting smashed
When I heard about the system crash
And all the passwords got rehashed (1)
The Day That UNIX Died...
And I was singing:

Bye, bye, nroff, rogue and vi (2)
Gave my program to Phil Levy (3) but Phil Levy was high, 
The boys on the board were sayin' "fuck this, goodbye."
Singin' this'll be the day that I die...
This'll be the day that I die

Did you write the new games shell
And do you have faith in the manual?
If b:dennie (4) tells you so... 
Well, do you believe in UNIX C
Can hacking save you memory
And can you tell me why vi's so slow
Well, I know that you're in love with C
'Cause I saw your code on UNIX B (5)
You just kicked off your shoes
Man, you cleaned up every kludge! (6)
I was a lonely young computer geek
With a program due 'most every week
But I guess that I was meant to freak
The Day That UNIX Died
And I was singin:


Well, for ten weeks we've been in this class
The professor really is an ass.
But that's not how it used to be... 
When Ira Pohl (7) taught in CIS 12 
And user limits could go to hell
And there was still space on UNIX C.
And while the board was looking 'round
The Chancellor brought the budget down
The classes were adjourned 
Evaluations weren't returned 
And while Huffman (8) read a book by Pohl 
The CIS board made some prof's heads roll
And we wrote programs that weren't whole
The Day That UNIX Died 
And we were singin'...


Helter skelter in the summer swelter
I went in the lab to find some shelter
Ninety degrees and risin' faaaaaasst!!!
C stayed up for ten whole days
The hackers really were amazed
Wonderin' how long it all would last.
Well, both the forums were really great
Nobody got us all irate
We had a stroke of luck
The system was not fucked
'Cause the hackers kept their code real clean
The UNDR-shell (9) was really keen 
Do you recall what was the scene
The Day That UNIX Died
And we were singin...


Our programs were all in one place,
UNIX had run out of space
With no time left to start again...
So, Jack be nimble, Jack be quick,
Use every programming trick
'Cause UNIX may soon crash again...
And as I watched the system fill
My login process would be killed.
The system just went down
Consternation up at Crown!!!!
The hours went on into the night
And all that we could do was rite
I saw Dennie laughing with delight
The Day That UNIX Died And he was singin'...


I met a girl who sang the blues
And I asked her for some stat lab news
But she just cursed and said "grow up"
I went down through the stat lab door
Where I'd learned of UNIX years before
But the man there said that UNIX wasn't up
And in the halls the students screamed,
The majors cried and the hackers dreamed,
But not a word was spoken
The VAXes (10) all were broken 
And the three folks I admire most
The Father, Frank, and a.g.'s ghost (11)
They caught the last train for the coast
The Day That UNIX Died
And they were singin...

So bye, bye, nroff, rogue and vi
Gave my program to Phil Levy but Phil Levy was high.
The boys on the board were sayin' "fuck this, goodbye"
Singin' this'll be the day that I die...

..:: footnotes ::..

  • (1) passwords got rehashed: text string passwords should not be stored in a computer system, because if the system is compromised, a hacker could head straight for the password archive and learn all the passwords. thus, a securer system will first apply a (virtually) one-way mathematical function on a text string password, resulting in something nastily complex like 7RhT4hhG$K3fEau5Tn..uEJUq8tjEn. the system then records that complex thing -- named a "hash" -- instead of the actual text password. future logins are then verified by hashing a user's text password and comparing the result to the hash kept in memory. should a hacker acquire the list of hashes in memory, he or she would still be unable to determine the original text passwords since the hash function is one-way. (there have been some hacks for this though, like l0phtcrack.) in the song's context, the list of hashes is lost in a crash, requiring passwords to be rehashed.
  • (2) nroff, rogue, and vi: nroff - UNIX command for formatting text files and printing; now usually replaced by TeX. rogue - famous dungeons-and-dragons-like game written under BSD UNIX; rogue's screen-handling package is now an essential application library. vi - canonical UNIX text editor.
  • (3) phil levy: Phil Levy was a graduate student at UC Santa Cruz, acting as a TA in this context. He got his PhD and moved on to become a scientist at Rational. -- Darrell Long
  • (4) b:dennie:b:dennie is Dennie Van Tassel, system administrator extraordinaire. the b in b:dennie indicated user dennie on machine b. It's old networking syntax. -- Darrell Long
  • (5) UNIX B: Unix B was an open access PDP-11 running Unix. All computers at UCSC in the early days were named by letters: a, b, c, ... B was the open access machine. -- Darrell Long
  • (6) kludge: bastardization of kluge, adapted from WWII lingo. programming trick that quickly solves a particular nasty case that wasn't fully anticipated. insert kludges when code is due in 5 minutes. ad-hoc, sloppy ... poor programming practice.
  • (7) Ira Pohl: professor of Computer and Information Sciences at UC Santa Cruz; intl. authority on C/C++
  • (8) Huffman: dr. david huffman, developer of huffman coding, an ubiquitous data compression algorithm
  • (9) UNDR-shell: wtf? i have no clue
  • (10) VAX: (Virtual Address eXtension) an established line of mid-range server computers made by the Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). followed the PDP-11's in 1978. a VAX running BSD was/is a favorite among old-skoo hackers due to its large, programmer-friendly set of assembler instructions.
  • (11) a.g.'s ghost: i don't know ... autograder?

theory girl

Author: Jeremy Buhler
Sung To: Uptown Girl by Billy Joel

"Theory Girl" (Jeremy Buhler, after "Uptown Girl" by Billy Joel)
capo at 5
tambourine:  1 2 3 4 in verses & bridge; 2 4 in choruses

(INTRO:  . o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o o-o-o o-o-o-o                 
         o------ o------ o------ o-- o-- on chord roots)                    
         [E 4]   [F#m 4] [G#m 4] [A 2] [B 2]                                

[E]Theory girl [F#m] (1)
Working in an aca[G#m]demic world [A]
I bet she [B]never had a [E]systems guy [F#m]             (o---o-)
Bet her advisor never [G#m]told her why [A]               (o---o-)
I'm gonna [B]try for a...                                 (o---o o-o-)
...[E]theory girl [F#m]                                   (Theo-ry girl)
She doesn't want to code in [G#m]C or Perl [A]            (C or Per-rl)
She never [B]touches keyboard, [E]mouse, or screen [F#m]  (mouse or screen)
Because she uses an ab[G#m]stract machine [A]             (clean ma-chi-ine)
It's nice and [B]clean

  [C] And when she [Am]QUOTES
  Algo[Dm]RIthms from [G]ME-MO-RY                          
  [C] You'll find she [Am]KNOWS
  All of [Dm/B]KNUTH Volumes [E]ONE, TWO, THREE (2)
  [A] Why is the [F#m]math so tough?                (How- can-)
  [Bm]How can I                                     (I- prove-)
  [B]prove my love for a...  
...[E]theory girl [F#m]                             (Theo-ry girl)
I'll never catch her reading [G#m]Infoworld [A]     (In-fo-wor-rld) (3) 
She doesn't [B]care about the [E]marketplace [F#m]  (mar-ket-place)
Just polytime and loga[G#m]rithmic space [A]        (log n spa-ace) (4)
In any [B]base

  (BRIDGE:  . o-o-o o-o-o-o o-o-o-o o-o-o-o repeat)
  [G 4] [A 4] [A7/Bb 4] [Bm 2] [A 2]
  [G 4] [A 4] [A7/Bb 4] [B 4] 

[E] Theory girl [F#m]
I'm not the richest hacker [G#m]in the world [A]
But when I [B]sell my startup [E]company [F#m]    	(I-P-O)
I'll tell her that she means the [G#m]world to me [A]	(world to me-e) 
Then QE[B]D

  [C] And when she [Am]SHOWS me                             
  [C] And whispers [Am]THREE point one 
  [Dm/B]FOUR one five [E]NI-I-INE..."
  [A] I'll wave my [F#m]hands and bluff           (I'll- wave-) (5)
  [Bm]That should be [B]proof enough for my...    (my- hands-)

[E]Theory girl [F#m]       (QED QED)                           (1 The- 3 ory-)
She's my theory [G#m]girl  (QED Don't you [A]know I'm in [B]love?)   (1 girl-)
with a                
[E]Theory girl [F#m]       (QED QED)                           (1 The- 3 ory-)
She's my theory [G#m]girl  (QED Don't you [A]know I'm in [B]love?)   (1 girl-)

[E hold]

..:: footnotes ::..

  • (1) theory: refers to computer science theory, which is much much more like mathematics than programming.
  • (2) knuth volumes one, two, three: refers to the classic three-volume work The Art of Computer Programming, containing hundreds of cs algorithms. written by donald knuth, world renowned computer scientist. contrast with CLR, the other standard algorithms textbook which is less mathematical.
  • (3) infoworld: canonical website about the IT marketplace. www.infoworld.com
  • (4) polytime and logarithmic space: the cost of a program can be measured by the amount of memory space or execution time consumed. polytime - algorithm runs in time polynomial to the input. logspace - algorithm's running time is bounded a logarithmic function of the problem size. contrast these adjectives with "exponential", which is generally considered the worst kind of running time.
  • (5) wave my hands: handwaving means to gloss over a complex point; to support a (possibly actually valid) point with blatantly faulty logic. term originated from gestures characteristic of magicians. if a professor begins a sentence with "clearly" or "obviously", he's probably about to handwave.

cycles for nothing

Author: Matt Crawford
Sung To: Money For Nothing by Dire Straits


(i want my
 i want my
 i want my X-MP!) (1)

Now look at them yo-yo's that's
	the way you do it
You run the fortran on the X-MP
That ain't hackin' that's the way
	you do it
Cycles for nothin', gigabits for free
Now that ain't hackin' that's the way
	you do it
Lemme tell ya them guys ain't dumb
Maybe Monte Carlo on a three-quark
	system (2)
Maybe design a little neutron bomb (3)

 We gotta install microwave uplinks
 Custom fuzzballs for everyone
 We gotta link up DDS circuits (4)
 BERT and loopback tests to run (5)

See the kid professor with the blue
	jeans and the necktie
Yeah buddy that's his own hair
That kid professor got his Nobel
	prize now
That kid professor he's a millionaire

 We gotta install microwave uplinks
 Custom fuzzballs for everyone
 We gotta link up DDS circuits
 BERT and loopback tests to run

I shoulda stuck to writing in fortran
I shoulda kept that old 029 (6)
Look at that output, he got it stacked
	up to the ceilin'
I bet he ain't read one line
And in there, what's that?
	A hundred postdocs?
Bangin' on the keyboards like some
That ain't hackin' that's the way you
	do it
Cycles for nothin', gigabits for free

 We gotta install microwave uplinks
 Custom fuzzballs for everyone
 We gotta link up DDS circuits
 BERT and loopback tests to run

..:: footnotes ::..

  • (1) X-MP: type of processor used in the cray supercomputer series from 1986-1990. supercomputers use many processors running in parallel. one X-MP processor executed an instruction in 8.5 ns and has a main memory of 8 million 64-bit words.
  • (2) Monte Carlo on a three-quark system: monte carlo (MC) methods use randomness and probability statistics to approximate solutions for a variety of math problems, allowing modelling of physical systems that would otherwise be too complex to manage. for instance, solving equations governing interaction between two atoms is relatively simple, but solving the same eqs for millions of atoms in a system is impossible. MC methods sample the large system in various random configurations, and resultant data is used to characterize the system as a whole. the name monte carlo is named after the gambling-powered city in monaco, due to the roulette, a simple random generator. one of the hottest topics in nuclear physics is to describe nuclear phenomena in terms of quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of quarks and gluons, largely developed by Feynman. key to QCD is mathematical modeling of how quarks interact with each other -- however, this is computationally very expensive, and MC methods are in order. computation costs increase dramatically when moving from a two quark system to a three quark system.
  • (3) neutron bomb: nuclear weapon that maximizes damage to people but minimizes damage to buildings and equipment. blast is minimal, but it releases massive waves of neutron and gamma radiation which destroys human tissue, and also penetrates through armor or several feet of earth.
  • (4) DDS circuits: Digital Data System: a North American digital transmission method that was initially deployed in the mid-1970s.
  • (5) BERT and loopback tests: in telecommunication transmission, the bit error rate (BER) is the percentage of bits that have errors relative to the total number of bits received in a transmission. thus, the BER indicates how often a packet has to be retransmitted. BERT (bit error rate test) is a procedure measuring BER. along the same lines, a loopback test is a test in which a signal is sent from a communications device and returned (looped back) to it as a way to determine whether the device is working right or as a way to pin down a failing node in a network.
  • (6) old 029: reference to the IBM 029, a 1960s printing card punch machine. data was recorded in slips of cardboard with little holes in them.

happy birthday

Author: Rob Reid

birthday -happy > $user
!! -dear
birthday -happy > $user

a grandchild's guide to using grandpa's computer

Author: Gene Ziegler

Bits Bytes Chips Clocks
Bits in bytes on chips in box.
Bytes with bits and chips with clocks.
Chips in box on ether-docks.

Chips with bits come. Chips with bytes come.
Chips with bits and bytes and clocks come.

Look, sir. Look, sir. read the book, sir.
Let's do tricks with bits and bytes, sir.
Let's do tricks with chips and clocks, sir.

First, I'll make a quick trick bit stack.
Then I'll make a quick trick byte stack.
You can make a quick trick chip stack.
You can make a quick trick clock stack.

And here's a new trick on the scene.
Bits in bytes for your machine.
Bytes in words to fill your screen.

Now we come to ticks and tocks, sir.
Try to say this by the clock, sir.

Clocks on chips tick.
Clocks on chips tock.
Eight byte bits tick.
Eight bit bytes tock.
Clocks on chips with eight bit bytes tick.
Chips with clocks and eight byte bits tock.

Here's an easy game to play.
Here's an easy thing to say....

If a packet hits a pocket on a socket on a port,
and the bus is interrupted as a very last resort,
and the address of the memory makes your floppy disk abort
then the socket packet pocket has an error to report!

If your cursor finds a menu item followed by a dash,
and the double-clicking icon puts your window in the trash,
and your data is corrupted cause the index doesn't hash,
then your situation's hopeless, and your system's gunna crash.

You can't say this? What a shame, sir!
We'll find you another game, sir.

If the label on the cable on the table at your house
says the network is connected to the button on your mouse,
but your packets want to tunnel on another protocol,
that's repeatedly rejected by the printer down the hall,
and your screen is all distorted by the side-effects of gauss,
so your icons in the window are as wavy as a souse,
then you may as well reboot and go out with a bang,
cause as sure as I'm a poet, the sucker's gunna hang!

When the copy of your floppy's getting sloppy on the disk,
and the microcode instructions cause unnecessary risc,
then you have to flash your memory and you'll want to RAM your ROM.
quickly turn of your computer and be sure to tell your mom! 

addicted to vi

Author: Chuck Musciano

Sung To: Addicted to Love by Robert Palmer


You press the keys with no effect,
Your mode is not correct.
The screen blurs, your fingers shake;
You forgot to press escape.
Can't insert, can't delete,
Cursor keys won't repeat.
You try to quit, but can't leave,
An extra "bang" is all you need.

You think it's neat to type an "a" or an "i"--
Oh yeah?
You won't look at emacs, no you'd just rather die
You know you're gonna have to face it;
You're addicted to vi!

You edit files one at a time;
That doesn't seem too out of line?
You don't think of keys to bind--
A meta key would blow your mind.
H, J, K, L? You're not annoyed?
Expressions must be a Joy!
Just press "f", or is it "t"?
Maybe "n", or just "g"?

Oh--You think it's neat to type an "a" or an "i"--
Oh yeah?
You won't look at emacs, no you'd just rather die
You know you're gonna have to face it;
You're addicted to vi!

Might as well face it,
You're addicted to vi!
You press the keys without effect,
Your life is now a wreck.
What a waste! Such a shame!
And all you have is vi to blame.

Oh--You think it's neat to type an "a" or an "i"--
Oh yeah?
You won't look at emacs, no you'd just rather die
You know you're gonna have to face it;
You're addicted to vi!

Might as well face it,
You're addicted to vi!

find the longest path

Author: Daniel Barrett (0)
Sung To: The Longest Time by Billy Joel

Woh, oh-oh-oh
Find the Longest Path (1)
Woh oh-oh
Find the Longest Path 
If you said P is NP tonight (2)
There would still be papers left to write
I have a weakness
I'm addicted to completeness (3)
And I keep searching for the longest Path 

The algorithm I would like to see
Is of Polynomial Degree
But its elusive,
Nobody has found conclusive
Evidence that we can find the Longest Path 

I have been hard
Working for so long
I swear its right,
But he marks it wrong
Somehow I'll feel sorry when its done
GPA 2.1,
Is more than I hoped for 

Garey, Johnson, Karp and other Men (and Women) (4)
Try to make it Order n log n.
Am I a math fool
If I spend my life in Grad School
Forever following the Longest Path. 

Woh oh-oh-oh
Find the longest path
Woh oh-oh-oh
Find the longest path 

..:: footnotes ::..

  • (0) Daniel Barrett wrote this gem while he was a grad student at Johns Hopkins University on May 1, 1988, during a difficult "Algorithms II" final exam. He also recorded the song, and it's even been played at several mathematics conferences! Thanks to Daniel for sharing this with me.
  • (1) longest path: a hot problem in computer science is how to determine the longest path in a graph (by graph we mean a network of edges and vertices). NP-complete.
  • (2) P=NP: the biggest open-ended question ni computer science is whether or not P equals NP. P constitutes problems for which solutions can be calculated in polynomial time; NP constitutes problems whose solutions can be checked in polynomial time. if P == NP, it is just as easy to check a possible answer to a problem as it is to actually determine the correct answer from scratch. if P == NP, all crytographic security would be compromised, mad looting would reign the streets, humans would evolve into more advanced lifeforms, and mathematical papers would no longer need proofs -- just theorems. most people believe that P != NP.
  • (3) completeness: see complexity theory footnote 1.
  • (4) garey, johnson, karp: key players in the development of np-completeness theory and complexity theory

haikus: uc berkeley, spring 2002

Author: William Wu

haikus written based on classes i took during my spring 2002 semester at berkeley: cs170 (algorithms), ee145b (image processing), and chinese 1b (second semester chinese). probably not very funny unless you interacted with me in these courses.

James Is A Punkass

21 years old
has a master's already
thinks he's real hot shit

Ranjit Is Funny

cookies and candy
vitamins, good god, you can
never have enough

CS170 Homework

homework is too hard!
whore TAs at office hours
got answers, turn in

James Is A Punkass Redux

wears atari shirt
blinks too frequently ... takes drugs?
james is my hero

NP-Complete Street Fighting

beating wu in street
fighter, is np-complete
don't even bother


"image processing"
it's called, but it's more like a
humanities class

EE145B Lectures

mouth always open
nothing relevant comes out
notes incoherent

2nd Floor Soda

filthy chairs, keyboards
tired kids, coding all night
sexually repressed

"The Slut"

huge bust, long legs, wow ...
wait! face looks hella nasty
might have STDs

Airport Security

"pack your bags yourself?"
no, my mom packed them for me ...
"you're under arrest"

Wei Laoshi

whitest guy ever
but he speaks perfect chinese!
must've been a girl

Chinese Character Grading

missed a stroke, no points
no partial credit? damn dude!
why you so hardcore

the day mamba.cs died

Author: Paulo Soto
Sung To: American Pie by Don McLean

 A long long time ago
 I could still remember how
 Twas the servers cochise and po
 And I knew that if I had bad news
 That `root' would chase away my blues
 And maybe I could code for a while...

 But logging in made me despondent...
 NFS server mamba not responding..
 Bad news for the students
 Mars was just deluded...

 I can't remember if I cried
 Because the IRQ was stuck high
 And something fucked up deep inside
 The day, that mamba died...

 So we were singing Bye Bye Ms. American Pie
 Drove the packet to the gig switch but the IRQ was stuck high
 The good old boys logged on the console and cried
 Sayin' this is how good sysadmins die
 This is how good sysadmins die.

 Did you read the manuals of Sun
 The ones that killed off all our fun
 Is the network the computer...If Scott McNealy tells you so?
 Do you believe in UFS?
 Can fsck save your mortal soul?
 Then you can teach me to restore real...slow...

 Well I know that you went home today
 Cuz I saw you walk through skies of gray
 Your home directory's now LOST+FOUND
 Your project files nowhere around...

 I was a lonely 61A kiddie,
 I took 150 for the MIDI,
 But I knew my files were truly fried...
 The day, that mamba died.

 I started singin'
 Bye Bye Ms. American Pie
 Drove the clntcall to the portmap but the netstat -i
 Printed out things that made me want to cry
 Screaming this is how good sysadmins die
 This is how good sysadmins die...

 For 5 years we've turned stuff in late
 And moss grows fat on a backup tape
 But we used to rely on dump and restore
 We don't think we'll do it anymore
 The Jester smoked with the King and coughed
 All the users he shrugged off
 And for 2 days we still couldn't log in...
 And while the King was down stairs
 The jester put on royal airs
 And said "Dell is just a piece of shit."

 While we were up in 333
 nothing to do but watch movies
 We didn't dare mention
 We were all praying for an extension
 The day, that mamba died.

 I started singin'
 Bye Bye Ms. American Pie
 Rewound the DDS and re-ran restore -i
 And watched the kernel panic and the monitor fry
 Thinking this is how good sysadmins die
 This is how good sysadmins die...

 While the admins tried to fix it fast
 the kiddies went home from lab
 sqiuinting and pointin at the sun..

 no matter how we brought up the raid
 it just wouldn't not nicely play
 "Dell is fucked." the jester would say..
 Now the 2nd day twas sweet perfume
 no stinky students in the room
 they must have gone home to bathe
 cos they could not code today
 The network card took the field 
 but the tape drive would not yield 
 a lack of documentation was revealed

 I started singin'
 Bye Bye Ms. American Pie
 Drove the clntcall to the portmap but the netstat -i
 Printed out things that made me want to cry
 Screaming this is how good sysadmins die
 This is how good sysadmins die...

 And there we were all in one place
 Mars, and kevinm lost in space
 With no time left to restore again..
 So come tapes be nimble tapes be quick
 Tapes caused mamba once more to panic
 It made Kevin really sick
 Cuz solaris is the devil's only friend...
 And as I watched the show on /home/aa
 My hands were clenched in fists of rage
 No Unix words or magic spell
 Could bring mamba back from IRQ hell
 And the undergrads laboured into the night
 The Berkeley sacrificial rite
 I saw Satan laughing with delight
 The day.. that mamba... died...

 I met a girl with linker blues
 She asked us for some happy news
 When she smiled, the flounder, turned red..
 I went down to the second floor
 Where I'd written some code a few years before
 But the man there said the system's down today...

 And in the streets the students screamed
 The readers yawned and the professors schemed
 But no solutions were proposed
 The sources were all closed...

 The only things that I could still use
 My laptop, the wireless and the Usenet News
 Still made me want to blow a fuse
 The day, that mamba died.

 They were singing 
 Bye Bye miss American Pie 
 Drove the Dell to the edge and it didnt' survice
 And good old boys searching high and dry 
 singing "we'll document raid restores next time.."
 "we'll document raid restores next time.."

..:: footnotes ::..

  • (0) Paulo was bored one night after the major mamba.cs instructional machine crashes last semester (Spring/2k2), so this song happened. Thanks to Alex Fabrikant for informing me of this gem.

martin perl's research advice

Author: Martin Perl

Advice on doing research, given at a March 2005 Stanford talk by physics Nobel laureate Martin Perl, discoverer of the tau-lepton.

slide one slide two
You don't have to be
a fast thinker or
a fast talker
In fact,
it is best to
avoid such people.
must take account of
your personality
and temperament 
in choosing
your technical field
and your interests
in their field.	
slide three slide four
You don't have to
know everything
You can learn a subject
or a technology
when you need it.
It is often
to predict
the future
of a technology
used in
engineering or
slide five slide six
must be interested in,
even enchanged by
some of the technology or
mathematics you use.
Then the bad days are not
so bad.
You may dislike,
even dread, some of the
technology or mathematics
used in large experimental or
engineering projects, and you may
have to leave these to colleagues.
But sooner or later you will
have to do it yourself.
slide seven
You must
the art of
in science and

Thanks to Contributors Alex Fabrikant, [Pass-a-Fist], [Bastage], [lemurboy[c9]], Nemanja Isailovic, Satish Rao, Jeremy Buhler, Rob Reid, Chuck Musciano, Daniel Barrett, Paulo Soto, Matt Crawford, Darrell Long
The authors of many of the poems listed above remain unknown. If you authored any of this work, or know someone who did, please let me know! I will be glad to credit you.

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