Humor Linux Off-Topic

The Most Interesting README File Ever?

Another linux zealot at my old job gave me the heads up on this, it’s directly from gnome-cups-manager, and I thought you would all enjoy it. If you’re not aware, the readme file is for a Gnome graphical front-end for a tool used to manage print queues and adding printers/etc. The only question is what […]

Another linux zealot at my old job gave me the heads up on this, it’s directly from gnome-cups-manager, and I thought you would all enjoy it. If you’re not aware, the readme file is for a Gnome graphical front-end for a tool used to manage print queues and adding printers/etc.

The only question is what illicit substances were not consumed during the writing of this file.


Once upon a time there was a printer who lived in the woods. He was a lonely printer, because nobody knew how to configure him. He hoped and hoped for someone to play with.

One day, the wind passed by the printer’s cottage. “Whoosh,” said the wind. The printer became excited. Maybe the wind would be his friend!

“Will you be my friend?” the printer asked.

“Whoosh,” said the wind.

“What does that mean?” asked the printer.

“Whoosh,” said the wind, and with that it was gone.

The printer was confused. He spent the rest of the day thinking and jamming paper (for that is what little printers do when they are confused).

The next day a storm came. The rain came pouring down, darkening the morning sky and destroying the printer’s garden. The little printer was upset. “Why are you being so mean to me?” he asked.

“Pitter Patter, Pitter Patter,” said the rain.

“Will you be my friend?” the printer asked shyly.

“Pitter Patter, Pitter Patter,” said the rain, and then it left and the sun came out.

The printer was sad. He spent the rest of the day inside, sobbing and blinking lights cryptically (for that is what little printers do when they are sad).

Then one day, a little girl stumbled into the printer’s clearing in the woods. The printer looked at this curious sight. He didn’t know what to think.

The little girl looked up at him. “Will you be my friend?” she asked.

“Yes,” said the printer.

“What is your name?” asked the little girl.

“HP 4100TN”, replied the printer.

“My name is gnome-cups-manager” said the little girl.

The printer was happy. He spent the rest of the day playing games and printing documents, for that is what little printers do when they are happy.

Other good readme files:

DV Rack, now Adobe OnLocation CS3.

You see, DV Rack has an internal Database that puts the clips here
and this Database bloody well expects them to still be here the next time it
comes around looking for them. Pay attention because this Database has a
personality much like the deity figure in some religions (say, Pan or Loki). It
is a singularly temperamental, unforgiving, and capricious Database Deity

Carmageddon II

Carmageddon was a violent game. We mean really very violent, the kind of stuff that made politicians and respectable people the world over choke on their high- fibre breakfasts, and denounce it as morally-bankrupt soul-poison.

Scriptomatic 2.0

Now, to be honest, we Microsoft Scripting Guys were never too concerned about being one-hit wonders; after all, you can’t be a one-hit wonder unless you first have a hit. We were sure nobody would ever hear of us, and somehow that seemed better than being remembered and then just as quickly forgotten. Remember baseball’s Joltin’ Joe Charboneau? Exactly.

And DAMN it’s been a long time since I’ve updated. I’m not forgetting about the site… just the new job has been taking quite a bit of time out of my leisure activities, this website being one of them. I made quick work of the dozens of spams that got through the filter and updated WordPress.

Also another problem with working in the games business (especially Xbox 360 development) is that you can’t exactly run Linux all day long and expect to have a productive work environment. I’ve been running a mix of Windows Server 2003, 2008 and XP at home lately to reproduce some things that Microsoft could use some work on next time around.

In other news, I’ve picked up a pretty fantastic NAS device, a Synology DS108j. With an ARM 200MHz processor and gigabit ethernet, it’s fairly impressive. Topping it off with a 1TB Serial ATA hard drive and the fact that it runs a quasi-embedded version of Linux on it just makes it a fantastic product. It does feel a little sluggish at times, but otherwise I have no problems with it. I can plug in a USB drive and press a button to copy everything onto the network, and it also functions as a USB print server. The ajax-ified web interface is 100% class all the way around. Check it out on Newegg if you’re intrigued.

Last notes…. I should add a link on the front page to the contact form for problems with the site. What the hell is up with old posts getting dugg to hell and back? The 189 funny UNIX error messages article saw something around 40 thousand visitors in a 24 hour period last week… I’m glad that some of the people on digg finally enjoyed it.


Let’s hope that the next update isn’t so far out. In fact, I promise the next thing I write will be sooner rather than later. 😉

62 replies on “The Most Interesting README File Ever?”

I guess I did over shoot fanatic and hit zealot.
Anywho, I’ve followed your footsteps and left that place for a better job. Keep in touch and next time you’re in SLC I’ll have to buy you a beer.

That Gnome-cups-manager read me is very bizarre.

Don’t worry too much about Digg. They seem to drag up articles that are years old and then post them.

Good to see you haven’t completely forsaken this site as you must certainly be busy writing for Ars and working for that company in Austin.

Looking forward to your next article.

[…] The Most Interesting README File Ever? | fsckin w/ linux Once upon a time there was a printer who lived in the woods. He was a lonely printer, because nobody knew how to configure him. He hoped and hoped for someone to play with… (tags: linux gnome cups free open source software humor curious) […]

I’m rather surprised this ONE cup manager didn’t involve a story of TWO girls in it’s documentation, haha, I’m killing myself. I never used printers, they’re a damn disgrace. It’s true.

Excellent article… ha ha… 🙂

And the comment by Damian is even better.(I don’t know if that bit of news is true or not.),

And your comment about what illicit substances were NOT consumed… is just out of the world. Keep it up!

Looking forward to your next similar article.

The 4100TN is indeed a postscript printer, but in the end of the day it’s CUPS what manages the printing queue. Being able, however of working with PostScript files, would something like dd if=some-ps-file of=/dev/lpr or similar work? I’ve got nooo idea.

I have read this site since you started it but I am hoping you do still read this as I would love it if you updated everyone as to where we can catch your current writing?

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