Posted on April 26th, 2006 13 comments
My name is Henry the Adequate, and I am a superhero computer guy.
As I’m sure you are all aware, I am a computer programming guru and master leet haxxzor. Such is my fame and great typing skills that I have become an integral part of the Free and Open Source communities. Linus himself calls me for advice - things like “Should I go with a monolithic kernel?”, “How should we handle binary drivers?”, and “Will you stop pretending that you know me - I’ll sue, dammit!” Developers and project leaders come to me for assistance all the time, and leet chick haxxzors swoon at my feet like professional swooners who are really good at swooning.
Of all the problems that I am called upon by my less-guru-like bretheren to solve the most common is that of finance. How does one go about fundraising for one of those things? Here, in no particular order, are the suggestions I generally offer, and you will find no pie drives, or chook raffles, or prostitution rackets herein, because I am a class act and stuff.
- Take control of the blimp at some major sporting event, using those rad cracking skills and the wireless capabilities of a PSP, and broadcast your message for all to see. Remember, only use l33t speak to weed out the morons and plebes.
- Crash the blimp in some spectacular and ultimately fatal fashion, which is bound to get you on the news - possibly worldwide - if you do it right. It will also get you free room and board for a very long time.
- Become a polygamist and send all of your wives and/or husbands to work in the mines or (**shudder**) retail.
- Challenge the Defence mainframe to a game of Global Thermonuclear War. Sell your story to the highest bidder, if there is anybody left to bid…
- Get a whole heap of guys to program for free. Wait. That will never work.
- Write buggy, insecure code, because this is what the people want, and if you give the people what they want they will beat a path to your door. Remember, billions of Windows users can’t be wrong.
- Treat your users like criminals for the reasons stated above, and also because it works for Sony.
- Advertise on TV. Your lack of financial success to date is all because you have failed to worship at the altar of television. Don’t worry about paying for the ads - just hack into the network’s computers and give yourself a credit. I recommend advertising during Baywatch reruns, because that’s your target demographic right there, and also because it gives you an excuse to tape the show - you know, to check up on your ads.
- Get a breast enlargement so then you can sell advertising space on ebay. It doesn’t matter if you’re a guy - this will still work.
- Speaking of ebay - sell copies of your Free Sofware on CD for $500. Those morons will pay anything for anything.
- Try prostitution. Ok, I lied. Sorry, no refunds.
I could go on with brilliant ideas like these forever, because of my superheroic brain, but I won’t, because I don’t want to; and also because I need to save some for Part Two.
Oh, yeah, one last thing - really long article titles are great.
Posted on April 25th, 2006 4 comments
My name is Henry the Adequate, and I am a superhero.
Today I am using my super haxxxzor skills of l33tness to scan the internet for clues. This is easy for me, because I have a huge brain just brimming with super powered computer knowledge, but you should probably not try it at home - otherwise those nasty viroid internet monsters will leap out of the screen and devour you.
Soon I am hot on the trail of the anonymous robotic creatures that have been pursuing me. Sometimes I wonder if they have a connection with The Robot League of Chaos, but that is clearly impossible, since The Robot League were part of that multiverse thingy, which got sort of accidentally destroyed, somehow. Anyway, there is no time to dwell on the past for I have discovered a link to some kind of suspicious mechanoid site. I click.
Ah ha! Now I have them, those vile…. What the hell is that woman doing with that thing?… OH… Ah…. Holy cow. I am shaken. I am… Holy cow. I send an email to Jesus:
It appears the evil robot hoardes are attempting to mate with human females. How can I fight this new threat, oh Lord!”
As usual Jesus is right on the ball, and I have my reply moments later. “Use the force, Henry, you moron.” Of course! I leap to my feet and, using all of the force of my superheroic muscles, send the computer monitor hurling into the wall where it explodes in a most satisfying shower of glass. Yes, that does feel much better. As usual Jesus is right on the money.
The internet cafe guy gives me some kind of strange look as I stomp out to continue the hunt elsewhere, my boots crunching crunchingly on shards of the smashed computer monitor. I am uncertain what his problem is, but cannot stop to find out - there is superhero work to be done.
Posted on April 13th, 2006 5 comments
My name is Henry the Adequate, and I am a superhero.
Today we are going to talk about “the Internet”. I am going to call “the Internet” TI, because apparently abbreviating adds legitimacy and, let’s face it, TI needs all the help it can get.
TI was invented because one day, back in the seventies, or possibly earlier, because I am not really into “research” and stuff like that… TI was invented because one day, back in the seventies, Queen Elizabeth Version 2.0 announced that she would very much like to be able to send email. So, a bunch of really clever boffins got together and dreamed up this system whereby Her Majesty’s wish might be fulfilled. Wasn’t that nice of them.
But they did not stop there. No. Because there were some guys who thought that TI could be used for other stuff too. Some American dudes figured that it could probably be used to kill people, somehow, and they created a whole new thing called an ARMY, which stands for “A Really Mean” something-or-other, and is mostly devoted to destruction, and death, and also pillaging, but only if there’s time. It is a little known fact that the US did, in fact, invent war, and television, and they really only did so as part of a brilliant plan to use The Internet for killing people.
But, anyway, this history stuff is terribly tedious, not to mention difficult.
The Internet today is so much more than email. There’s a whole lot of other stuff, mostly centered around the acquisition of porn. So here, in no particular order, are the things you can do on TI.
- Email: Naturally, what’s good enough for HRH has got to be good enough for the rest of us. The primary function of email today is SPAM, which stands for “Super-Precious Amazing Mail”. Those fascist bastards at the Department of Homeland Security have decreed that in order to access Email, some form of email software, or possibly a web browser (see below), will be required. The best email program available today is called PINE, which stands for “pine” because I am too lazy to go and look it up.
- FTP: FTP stands for “For Transferring Porn” and, as the name suggests, it was originally developed to fascilitate the transfer of pornographic material between university computers. That is still its primary function, although these days the porn is mostly uploaded to “web servers”, which we will get to later.
- WWW: A long time ago there was this guy called Tim Brooke-Taylor, who invented the world wide web while sitting on the toilet one day, but now we are getting into that boring history stuff again and I can just hear readers clicking over to something else - anything else. Sorry. What I was trying to say is, The World Wide Web was invented so that people who are not computer geeks can download porn. In order to use the Web you are going to need some kind of “Web Browser” (Damn those Department of Homeland Security fascist bastards). The best web browser available today is Mozilla Firefox, mostly because you can extend it with special plugins, such as “Titty Search”, “Save Porn in Folder”, “Flasherblock”, and “Flog This”.
- File Sharing: Those clever internet boffins are always busy trying to develop more efficient methods of downloading porn. File sharing came about because the World Wide Web was suddenly being overrun by “News” sites, commercial sites, “weblogs” (see below), personal homepages, technical and computer related resources, information sites, and all sorts of other stuff, such that it was becoming increasingly difficult to find good quality porn.
- Weblogs: Dear diary. I will wear pink today, and the high heels. Isn’t it great how neat I am. Wow, I am such a good writer. This stuff should be on the internet. Heyyyyy….
- Warez: Special sites where you can discuss with other users what you’re going to be wearing today, and even download some photos of them to add to your amateur porn library. Well they have some kind of stuff to download. I don’t really understand this warez stuff and how it relates to wardrobe choice.
- Instant Messaging: IM was invented because email is too slow. The first really successful Instant Messaging program was called ICQ, which stands for “InterCortical Quiver” for some reason. Nobody knows why. Anyway, ICQ was invented by the CIA so their agents could instantly send each other links to great porn.
Those clever internet boffins are now furiously at work on Web2.0, which promises to bring new and exiting ways to access pornographic material online. I can hardly wait.
Posted on April 4th, 2006 28 comments
It has come to my attention that some moron is spreading lies and deceitful stuff about operating systems. There have even been rumours attributing this to myself. I, Henry the Adequate, superhero, cannot allow my good name to be sullied by such badness.
So, just to set the record straight, here is the definitive Operating System FAQ.
How can I protect my Windows computer from Viruses, spyware, adware, malware?
Take a large, evil looking axe. Apply liberally. Spread remains of computer over hot coals and bake for two days. Microwave the Windows CD for several hours.
How can I protect my Linux computer from Viruses, spyware, adware, malware?
Make sure there are no Windows computers withing a five mile radius. If there are, use the technique described above. A massive fire will also do the trick.
Is Linux ready for the desktop?
Linux is something called “software”. Your desk is a solid, usually wooden, object. I recommend some kind of varnish.
Is Windows ready for the desktop?
You’re just not getting this concept, are you. Perhaps if you had a superheroic brain…
Can Microsoft be trusted?
What is a micro-soft?
What about Trusted Computing?
You can trust me, I’m a superhero.
Which is better, vi or Emacs?
Boy, you really do need some help with computer stuff. vi is just Roman for 6. What that might have to do with some kind of electronic burger is beyond even my magnificent brain.
What is the best Linux news site?
What is the best Windows news site?
Should I buy a Mac?
No. Buy some healthy food instead.
Which is the best Linux distribution?
I think the best way to get Linux is on a CD of some kind. Sure, there are other distribution methods, but I don’t know - call me a traditionalist - there’s just something about opening a huge box and finding that tiny silver sliver of plastic. Magnificent.
Which is the best version of Windows?
It doesn’t matter. They all go equally well in the microwave.
Should I say GNU/Linux, or just Linux?
It’s spelled “new”, dummy.
Which BSD distribution is best?
I think you mean BSOD, and it is always a very bad thing.
Should I use KDE, or GNOME?
Gnomes are evil little creatures. If you are infested with them I recommend some kind of fire. I don’t know what a KDE is, but I’m pretty sure it has nothing to do with Gnomes, or computers. Who wrote these questions anyway?
Tell me about The Hurd.
It is something that happens when you have been drinking too much.
The /home partition is getting full. How do I free up some space?
Toss out your mother in law.
Should I try VMS?
That’s not really something you volunteer for. Some women, and their husbands, suffer through it every month and anyway, what does that have to do with operating systems?
What happened to those Weapons of Mass Destruction?
Um… I left them in my other jacket.
Posted on February 27th, 2006 12 comments
How to tell if your computer is broken:
This method works every time. First, find a very tall building. Throw your PC from the top of the building, and observe the result. If the computer appears to remain intact, then it was indeed broken. If, however, it shatters into a million pieces then you have proof positive that it was in perfect working order.
This is a secret method previously known only to true computer gurus, such as myself, and the witchfinder general.
Posted on February 14th, 2006 3 comments
My name is Henry the Adequate, and I am a virus hunting superhero.
clickety click click. click click clickety.
clickclickclickclick clickety click clicky. click. click. double-click.
Ah, ha! I nailed that nasty virus thingy! No semi-random sequence of ones and noughts can stand against the might of my magnificent brain, for I am Henry the Adequate, superhero, expert computer guy, and all round neato mcgeato! Yes, those virus-writing supervillains did not reckon on the brilliant hacking skills of Henry the Adequate! Nor did they count on my stunningly clever use of excessive quantities of exclamation points!! “There, that should do it,” I announce grandly.
“Thank you, Mister Hero. What’s this message?”
“Oh, don’t worry about that. Just hit the reset button, like this.” I restart the computer.
“So how much do I owe you?” I can see that the computer-owning-person, who will for the moment remain descriptionless on account of me being lazy, is really really grateful for all my help.
“Oh, no, I don’t work here - was just passing by and thought you looked like you could use some assistance,” I explain reassuringly. The descriptionless one looks a bit uncertain at this point. “But I must be off now, for evil is afoot.” I head for the computer store exit, to continue my tireless patrolling where I am needed most - out on the streets of this city, where the nasty and the ruthless prey on the innocent and the ruthful, and old ladies are not safe to cross the street without heroic intervention.
“Hey, what does Operating System Not Found mean?” But I am too busy to respond, for badness does not sleep, and neither does Henry the Adequate, superhero.
Well, sometimes I sleep.
Posted on February 8th, 2006 8 comments
There is a little man inside your computer. He runs around and puts ones and noughts in tiny boxes. That’s how computers work.
Posted on January 1st, 2006 7 comments
It is very easy for your computer to get a virus, so make sure you wear one of those surgical masks at all time while using it. They are also apparently very susceptible to worms, so once a month, or whenver it seems to be using a lot of electricity, just shove a worming tablet into the floppy drive, give it a good shake, then reboot three or four times in order to spread the medicine through the system.
Another thing that can really help keep your computer healthy is heat. As we all know, high temperatures kill many bacteria, so unplug all case fans, turn the system on, then use a hair dryer to blow as much hot air as possible through it. You will be amazed at the difference it makes.
Trust me, I’m a superhero.
Posted on December 28th, 2005 15 comments
[WARNING: This story contains dangerous material. Under no circumstances should its advice be taken literally, or at all.]
My name is Henry the Adequate, and I am a superhero.
Recently I have seen several very interesting articles on software utilities of use to sysadmins, such as this one, and this one. However the author(s) miss the mark in several very important areas, which is no surprise, since they are not superheroes like me. So, it’s Henry the Adequate to the rescue.
rm - I have tried a lot of disk space/compression utilities, but none match the power and flexibility of rm. Why with a simple “rm -rf /” one can achieve 100% compression. (warning: Do not try this at home - only trained administrators such as myself should attempt to harness the incredible power that is “rm -rf /”)
glxgears - This is the best game ever, because it plays itself, and I just have to watch - sometimes for hours. As a busy sysadmin I don’t get time to actually play games, so this is the next best thing.
Mozilla Firefox - With Firefox you can add functionality with so-called “extensions”. Install enough extensions in this browser and you can guarantee memory leaks, high cpu usage, and random browser crashes. This is excellent if you get paid per callout, or are just bored. Install Firefox and ten or twenty extensions on every user’s computer, and watch the dollars roll in. You might even be able to increase the size of your department.
Bash - I was going to put bash here, since sometimes that is the best way to deal with a certain class of user, however when I typed “bash Fred” the response was “No such file or directory”, which is damn stupid if you ask me. Firstly, I know where Fred lives, so don’t need to look him up in the telephone directory. Secondly what’s with the “file” business? If I’m going to bash somebody it will be with a large hammer of some kind, or a club. I would have no intention of giving them a manicure.
Norton Antivirus - All computers need a virus scanner, and anybody who tells you otherwise is a nasty haxzour trying to steal all of your sauerkraut. Please refer here for an example of how to deal with such an individual.
/dev/null - Ok, so this is not a piece of software, but a device, however /dev/null definitely deserves a place here because it provides a source of unlimited storage. For example typing “mv ~ /dev/null” will free up a whole lot of space on your home partition. And the good thing is you can just keep putting stuff in /dev/null and it will never fill up. (warning: Do not try this at home - only trained administrators such as myself should attempt to harness the incredible power that is /dev/null)
The Gimp - This is a fantastic image editor. You can use The Gimp to make money. Just don’t get caught.
Ted’s Famous Spyware CD - This is an excellent resource for spyware, and remember spyware is an extremely vital tool for any administrator needing an excuse to spend money on new hardware. Just stick Ted’s CD in the drive, and let autorun take care of the rest. Before you know it you’ll have some of the best spyware and adware in the business silently installed on every computer on your network. Watch the system slow to 286 speed. Watch the Pointy Haired Boss authorize massive expenditure to replace the “ancient” systems you bought last year. Watch the PHB protest loudly as he is dragged away by the cops for operating a counterfeit ring. See the sysadmin buy the “old” hardware for next to nothing and make a tidy profit on ebay.
Wipe - To remove evidence of aforementioned activities.
Posted on December 23rd, 2005 12 comments
My name is Henry the Adequate, and I am a superhero.
This is the second in my series of articles aimed at those who wish to become a computer guru like me. Today I will guide you step by step through the process of purchasing a computer.
First, some ground rules, which I will be calling “The Three Laws of Henry” until I think of a better name.
- Henry is always right.
- The customer is always right, except where it conflicts with rule one.
- A robot must protect itself except where doing so conflicts with rules one or two.
Ok, so the third rule I stole from some writer guy, but at least I changed the wording a bit.
Step One - Going to the shop
I recommend some form of transportation device, unless you live right next door to the shop. Even then it might be a good idea to take the car in case you don’t have enough cash (more on that later).
Steer clear of those nasty online stores, because the web is a dangerous place full of giant spiders and lunatic crackers who will steal your credit card number and your favourite teddy. I miss my teddy.
Step Two - Choosing a Computer
The best way to choose a computer is some form of random selection process. This is because of the following rules which I have cleverly named “Some More Laws of Henry”.
- All computers are crap.
- All salespersons lie.
- All cats are grey after midnight.
However, and this is the tricky bit, most of the time the salesdroid will try to sell you a computer with Microsoft Windows on it. This is because of rule two above, and also because they are grovelling minions of the evil empire, hell bent on enslaving the population via their nefarious schemes and plottings and viruses and worms and spyware and region coding.
many people think that region coding is just a way of restricting where DVDs can be played. But the truth is much more sinister and bizarre, and will be discussed in my upcoming article “The Evils of Region Coding”.
But, anyway, the important thing is that you must not give in to the criminally insane salesdude. Those Windows computers may be all shiny and enticing, but they will suck the soul from your brain, or kidney, or whever it usually lives, and send it screaming to the deepest of hells. Instead you must beat the salesperson about the head a few times with whichever laptop is closest while at the same time chanting “Linux, Linux, Linux, Linux”.
After you have done this for about ten minutes [s]he will get the message and bring forth the only linux computer in the place. You should randomly select that one.
Step Three - Buying the Computer
Point at the computer you have selected, then announce loudly and proudly, “I will buy that computer, and I will pay whatever you want for it.”
Step Four - Paying for the Computer
This is the easy part. Reach for wallet/purse, extract cash/credit card/cheque book, pay the evil salesdroid.
Now don’t get me wrong, it can get a little complicated. Perhaps you have no money, or would very much like to keep the money you do have. Perhaps you are a mindless imbercile who is incapable of operating a wallet. I don’t know. Whatever. The point is that there may be some reason you are unable or unwilling to pay actual money for your new computer. The temptation may be great, but under no circumstances offer sexual favours in return for the computer - not even if you really want to. Instead follow these steps precisely.
- Explain that you will return soon with cash.
- Wait in car until the store has closed for the night, or possibly until the lights change, depending on your attention span.
- Reverse car at extreme acceleration into the store front.
- Collect your new computer.
- Remove car from store.
- Using your embedded flamethrower burn the store to the ground, because that is fun.
Step Five - The End
So, there you have it - your very own brand new personal computer.