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Know your System Administrator

(A field guide)

There are four major species of Unix sysad:

  1. The TECHNICAL THUG. Usually a systems programmer who has been forced into system administration; writes scripts in a polyglot of the Bourne shell, sed, C, awk, perl, and APL.
  2. The ADMINISTRATIVE FASCIST. Usually a retentive drone (or rarely, a harridan ex-secretary) who has been forced into system administration.
  3. The MANIAC. Usually an aging cracker who discovered that neither the Mossad nor Cuba are willing to pay a living wage for computer espionage. Fell into system administration; occasionally approaches major competitors with indesp schemes.
  4. The IDIOT. Usually a cretin, morphodite, or old COBOL programmer selected to be the system administrator by a committee of cretins, morphodites, and old COBOL programmers.

HOW TO IDENTIFY YOUR SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR

SITUATION: Low disk space

SITUATION: Excessive CPU usage

SITUATION: New account creation

SITUATION: Root disk fails

SITUATION: Poor network response

SITUATION: User questions

SITUATION: Stupid user questions

SITUATION: Process accounting management

SITUATION: Religious war, BSD vs. System V

SITUATION: Religious war, System V vs. AIX

SITUATION: Balky printer daemons.

SITUATION: OS upgrade.

SITUATION: Balky mail.

SITUATION: Users want phone list application.

Typical root .cshrc file:

Hobbies, technical:

Hobbies, nontechnical:

1992 Presidential Election:

1996 Presidential Election:

Compound System Administrators:

—Stephan Zielinski

—Submitted by Durval Menezes

This joke is also available in plain text.

Other humor in the GNU Humor Collection.

Disclaimer

The joke on this page was obtained from the FSF's email archives of the GNU Project.

The Free Software Foundation claims no copyright on this joke.

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