Today's stories [7.20.08]
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I work at the support hotline for a fairly large Unix vendor. Customer
calls are intercepted by a group of receptionists, who determine the
general nature of each caller's problem or question and then place it on
an electronic queue. The receptionists attach a "headline" to each call,
so that the support analysts can decide whether a particular call is in
their area of expertise. Unfortunately, the receptionists are not
generally familiar with Unix.
Spelling errors can happen.
"The cron log file has exceeded 250 mega bite"
"Air message on consol"
Sometimes there is strange imagery involved. Picture this:
"Cannot get into the library"
"Runaway process boards"
"Terminals need to be brightened up"
...you can ignore this problem until they're suicidal.
"Question about braking when dialing in from a modem"
...calling from your car phone?
"Does not see the boot"
...check the end of your foot.
"Terminal has no cusor and making a high pitch wine"
...mmmm, just LOVE that high pitch wine!
"Cannot get into Telnet"
...yeah, telnet is pretty boring.
"Constant memory vaults"
...you're using too many JUMP instructions.
"X's and O's on terminal"
...how cute, it's just telling you it loves you.
"Terminal density is gone - cannot see screen"
...someone call a physicist -- their system is losing its mass!
"Bust fault and reset of system"
...can the hardware guy install a bra?
There is some hardware we just don't support.
"Install wife terminal"
"Has a PC that knocks down all terminals"
"Foot disk needs to be reformatted"
...contact your chiropractor.
"Actuary on printer is out"
...are they at an insurance company?
This is clearly NOT a software problem.
"Trouble with electrical smell on system"
This one came up a few weeks after Gorbachev had his trouble:
"When logging on, getting overthrow signal"
"Warning regent table overthrow"
Here's a stumper.
"EGA controller error grade andy controller, bell doesn't work"
Users may get a little fed up.
"Is it possible to communicate with a Unix machine?"
"Too much paper during printing"
Sometimes, you just have to wonder...
"Getting a parody error"
"If terminal is off, can't get prompt back"
"Having ahard disfailure"
"Question about configuration of Woodperfect"
"Set off a background process accidentally and wants to kill"
...I, too, would kill after making such a mistake.
"Questions on fox based software"
...those animals really do understand relational databases!
"Problem logging onto root, gets Chinese characters"
...oh, your console is upside-down.
"Each time he accesses a dose you have to reset the terminal"
...wow, man, the screen is breathing...
"Kill process logs users off system"
...it does tend to do that.
"Question on repetitioning the disc"
...we have here a signed statement: you should increase swap.
"Q how to do PCP over x dot 25"
...please, don't network under the influence.
...and down is up, right, sir?
Matsushita Electric is promoting a new Japanese PC targeted
at the Internet. Panasonic has developed a complete Japanese
Web browser, and to make the system "user-friendly", licensed
the cartoon character "Woody Woodpecker" as the "Internet
guide." Panasonic eventually planned on a world version of the
A huge marketing campaign was to have introduced the product in
Japan last week. The day before the ads were to be released,
Panasonic suddenly pulled back and delayed the product launch
The reason: the ads featured the slogan "Touch Woody - The Internet
Pecker." An American staff member at the internal product launch
explained to the stunned and embarrassed Japanese what "touch woody"
and "pecker" meant in American slang.
-From EE Times, October 8, 1996
I saw in the paper the other day that there's a serious shortage of
men in Washington DC. I commented on this fact to my wife and told her
I might just go there. I added that the article said that men could
earn $50 a nite easily as a gigolo.
She smiled and said, "And exactly how do you intend to live on $200 a
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