Seth's favorite quotes

"Move New York to the Moon"


"There is no sleep, only Zuul"

-Blair Seidler

Seth's Tips for System Hackers #532

Never configure a kernel with kernel profiling without first doing a make clean.

``I am the terror which hacks in the night!''

(With apologies to DarkWing Duck)

Night crept over northern Camboglanna slowly at Midsummer. Like a predatory beast stalking her prey, darkness crawled in on her vast, starry underbelly, taking the last tardy light of day by surprise and tearing it into a thousand bloody tatters.

Child of Saturn
The Green Lion Trilogy
Teresa Edgerton

"I used to dream of slaying monsters," he went on. "And I used to fear that the days of adventures were all past. I longed for magic and mystery and fabulous beasts. But it never occurred to me before: If my wish came true, and I went out and killed all the dragons and griffons that there were, I would be destroying the very thing I longed for.

"I don't say," he added, "that I would like things to be as they were in the old days: monsters roaming around freely, terrorizing people and carrying maidens and little children off to be eaten. But it seems . . . it seems there ought to be some sort of middle ground between utter chaos and a world that is safe and colorless and dull, without even the possibility of peril, or wonder, or surprises.

"I don't know," he said, "that I want to live in a world without griffons."

The Work of the Sun
The Green Lion Trilogy
Teresa Edgerton

    * Yes Indoody,
        Lord and master!
    * Metal moron,                            * Duty, duty
        And disaster!                             Brave shark-biter
    * Beep again,                             * What reward
        I'll work faster!                         Could taste better?

            (Sah'ot)                                  (Hikahi)
            Startide Rising                           Startide Rising
            David Brin                                David Brin

He stroked the scratchy paper pages, and for the first time thought he understood why some oldtimers still preferred such volumes to modern books. The words were here, now and always, not whispering ghosts of electronic wisdom, sage but fleeting like moonbeams. What the volume lacked in subtlety, it made up for in solidity.

David Brin

The Dragon Never Sleeps
[WarAvocat VII Gemina Jo Klass]

The Dragon Never Sleeps
Glen Cook

"Are you going to kill me?" said the child to the Dragon

"Kill you?" The Dragon smiled at him. "Certainly not until we have been introduced."

Tales for Opening Night,
Nia d'Eleth

The Door into Shadow
Diane Duane

Knowledge = power = energy = matter = mass; a good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows how to read.

The three rules of Librarians of Time and Space are: 1) Silence; 2) Books must be returned no later than the last date shown; and 3) Do not interfere with the nature of causality.

Guards! Guards!
Terry Pratchett

"[...] a machine that was powerful enough to accelerate particles to the grand unification energy would have to be as big as the Solar System--and would be unlikely to be funded in the present economic climate."

A Brief History of Time
Stephen Hawking

"You gave me a name," said the slime mold. "The other fungi never would. They all look down on me. They're not sure if I'm a fungus or a protist. `We are all fruiting bodies of the Great Spiritual Mycelium,' hah! They are none of them willing to practice what they preach. Just because I lack dividing cell walls . . . Why, I'm as multinucleate as the rest of them and a lot less sessile!"

Demon Pig
Karen Brush

Somehow, "I'm sorry" doesn't seem to cover being eaten by a dragon because you reached the ancient age of twenty-one.

Fortress of Frost and Fire
Mercedes Lackey
RU Emerson

I had to believe this to see it. The New Jersey National Guard invades New York to stand guard over a waterfront warehouse full of skateboarding dragons.

Have you ever noticed that when really stupid things happen in New York, New Jersey always seems to get the blame?

Dragons on the Town
Thorarinn Gunnarsson

Papa-san says that I have too much love to keep to myself, and that I have to give it to everyone around me. That sounds good to me, because one thing I've carried with me from my previous life is that people are good, and that you have to give them a chance, and that even if they get mad and throw things at you, you have to come back and give them another chance and eventually they will give you fish.

And love.

Aren't they the same thing?

Like Fish to a Cat
Richard Lawson

The code that does "exec"s wouldn't know an NFS file system if one came up and bit it in the ass

- Guy Harris

"This is what separates us system programmers from the application programmers: we can ruin an entire machine and then recover it, they can only ruin their own files and then get someone else to restore them"

- Geoff Collyer

Assume that X.400/X.500 requires the use of flying pigs as a transport mechanism and requires users to enter a complete genealogical description of each pig (in morse code) as the addressing mechanism. What an AWFUL kludge that would be. No wonder all right thinking netters prefer RFC822.

- Albert Langer

Every now and then when your code gets complicated and the bugs start closing in, the only real cure is to load up on heinous chemicals and then hack like a bastard from midnight to dawn. To relax, as it were, in the womb of the machine. Just bring up the kernel debugger and leave it on, bury yourself in old printouts and conjure on with the music at top volume, and at least a pound of Oreos.

- Ramon Caceres
(with apologies to Hunter S. Thompson)

No, no information is transmitted from one shoe recipient to the other upon examination of the received shoe.

- Doug Gwyn

As I said above, the rest of the world might applaud if the US significantly reduced its arms exports - to everyone - but it tends not to understand the logic behind placing controls on the export of Kleenex because it has been discovered that international terrorists are unusually susceptible to colds.

- John Mainwaring

What's the best way to accelerate a Macintosh?
At 9.8 meters per second squared.

- Alan Marc Gallatin

I pull X-terminals out of offices, not X-wings out of bogs

- Unknown

"This terminal is no more. It has ceased to be. It's expired and gone to meet its maker. This is a late terminal. It's a stiff. Bereft of life, it rests in peace. If you hadn't nailed it to the bench, it would be pushing up the daisies. It's run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. This is an X-Terminal!"

- Unknown

A program which passes a string literal to a routine which modifies the memory its argument points to is *broken*. On some machines it will "work"; on others it will coredump. It is permitted to do anything or nothing, including reformatting the disk, subjecting the user to scratchy Barry Manilow records played backwards, or dropping a tacnuke on Dallas. Attempting to modify the memory that makes up a string literal puts the program into the twilight zone of undefined behavior.

der Mouse

Yes, sometimes Perl looks like line-noise to the uninitiated, but to the seasoned Perl programmer, it looks like checksummed line-noise with a mission in life.

Learning Perl
Randal L. Schwartz