PC Purim Party

An Easter Egg in computerese is a hidden message, feature, picture, etc. stuck in by a programmer to identify the team that worked on the project, or just for fun.

easter bunny 88 (photo credit: )
easter bunny 88
(photo credit: )
OK. If I recall, we were talking about... Hey, wait a second! What are you doing reading this, today? It's Purim - that means you should be out partying or something! Oh, I get it. You're one of those people who can't go 10 minutes without checking their e-mail and pine for their PCs when they're on the road (but of course, then you get to use your laptop). Well, I hear you - I'm in the same boat! But just because we're proud to wear the label "techie," it doesn't mean we have to miss out on the Purim fun. In fact, computers can be a barrel of laughs, if you know how to tickle their funnybones. There are so many funny computer stories and anecdotes out there, it's a wonder some headliner comedian/comedienne hasn't come up with a related routine. Something like - "Did you hear the one about the computer programmer who gets shipwrecked on a desert island with an attractive female? Of course, being a nerdy programmer, it takes him some time to screw up the courage to talk to her - and what do you think he asks for when she asks him 'Is there anything that you really miss? Something that all men and women need? Something that it would be really nice to have right now?' He says, 'Yeah - an Internet connection.'" You'll find that joke and plenty of other cyber-classics at http://www.comedy-zone.net/jokes/laugh/computers. A lot of the jokes on this site sound like you've heard them before - because a lot of them are Polish, Jewish, blonde, lawyer, etc. jokes that have been reworked for the computer era. A more original source of computer humor consists of the silly things customers say to tech personnel, salespeople, systems administrators, etc. Some of these sites - like the BOFH (Bastard Operator from Hell) sites (for example, http://www.dcruickshank.f2s.com/gcu/bofh.html), which describe the suffering of computer service workers dealing with dumb users, require a little tech knowledge or experience in order to "get it." But not all computer humor is that esoteric - there are plenty of dumb users who don't get even more basic information, like how to use a keyboard (Tech support: "Is the caps-lock light on?" Customer: "I'm not a computer person."). There are dozens of such bon mots at the Computer Stupidities site (http://rinkworks.com/stupid/). There are more such funny stories at http://www.short-funny-stories.com/funny-stories/d-funny-computer-stories and http://web.inter.nl.net/users/pwilkins. More light humor is available in the form of the Dictionary of Computing at http://www.toxiccustard.com/computing. There are some more real life examples at http://www.liats.com/safe-mode.html, where the site's author discusses his experiences behind the counter at a computer store. And the Tech Tales site (http://www.techtales.com/techroom.html) gives more computer laughter and tears than you'll be able to handle, and with illustrations. Computer humor isn't all cerebral - you've got slapstick, action, and laughs galore. If you got stuck with Purim duty at the office while your workmates got the day off, keep the Purim spirit going for a long time to come by installing one of the 250 gag applications at http://www.sidor.ru/sick. The "Norton Comunder" looks just like Norton Commander, except that it "deletes" all files. There are programs to flip the screen, "jump" the OK button, change the recycle bin into a toilet seat, or install a rat on your desktop that issues a "shutdown" order when you try to kill it. You should use these programs only on people who can really take a joke - those who can't may take your feeble attempts at humor the wrong way, and get a little hot under the collar. There are lots more of these programs at http://www.rjlsoftware.com/software/entertainment and http://members.aol.com/lbpi1273/programs.html. Computers often inspire admiration, fear and even a tendency to pray ("Come on, PLEASE work!"). There have been, over the years, all sorts of cults - the most famous (and profitable) being the Cult of the Dead Cow (http://www.cultdeadcow.com). This is the home of the true believers - the ones who believe that computers contain not only a spark of electricity, but of the Divine (unless it's all a big scam to sell T-shirts). How serious are they? Well, one member developed an automated prayer program (http://www.philtered.net/~adam/app/prayterm.html) that will generate "an individualized prayer every 30 seconds." Also listed among the religions of the computer world is the Cult of the Flaky Hardware (http://www.x-omega.com/cotfh/), which believes in the development of a "single universal technotheological belief system" based on people's superstitions about computers - like, "If it begins acting up and I bang on the thing three times in a row it always works right." The high priest of this cult takes pains to remind us that it's all in good fun - but what was that hard drive sacrifice I saw him making all about? If you'd rather stick with your own kind when it comes to matters of the spirit, check out the "My Computer is Jewish" stuff at http://scheinerman.net/judaism/humor/computer.html ("I thought I bought a Mac, but I think they gave me a Max. Oy vey!"). While not very Jewish, the Easter Egg Archive (http://www.eeggs.com) is a fun way to pass some time. An Easter Egg in computerese is a hidden message, feature, picture, etc. stuck in by a programmer to identify the team that worked on the project, or just for fun. The eggs included are for a wide range of computer software and hardware - but also for movies, music, and even coffee machines. Yep, if you've got a Mr. Coffee at home, check out the egg at http://www.eeggs.com/items/22073.html. You see the name of the project manager - and the name of his kids! There you go - even if you're stuck in the office today, you and your colleagues will have a ton of fun at coffee break time. Ds@newzgeek.com