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R a N d O m A c C e S s H u M o R RAH! RAH!

Volume 0 Number 0 September 1992

A rag-tag collection of fugitive humor, some of which
is vaguely related to the BBS/Online System world.

Editor: Dave Bealer

Copyright 1992 Dave Bealer, All Rights Reserved

Random Access Humor is an irregular production of:

VaporWare Communications
32768 Infinite Loop
Sillycon Valley, CA. 80486-DX2
USA, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way

WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! WARNING!
The "look and feel" of Random Access Humor has been specifically
earmarked, spindled and polygraphed. Anyone who attempts to copy
this look and feel without express written consent of the publisher
will be fed to rabid radioactive hamsters by our Security Director,
Vinnie "The Knife" Calamari.


TABLE OF INCONTINENCE:
Editorial - Champagne Withdrawal...................................01
What About VaporWare Communications?...............................02
The Model T of Personal Computing..................................03
Welcome to the FidoNet Olympics....................................04
A Tale of Three Systems............................................06
The Price of Encouragement.........................................06
RAH Writing Style..................................................07
Taglines Seen Around the Nets......................................07
Masthead - Submission Information.................................A-1

Random Access Humor Page 1 September 1992

Editorial - Champagne Withdrawal
by Dave Bealer

Did you ever notice how a simple little idea can sometimes get out of
hand? Well, the newsletter you are now reading is the direct result
of such an occurrence. A few months back I started putting together
a series of articles which I planned to contribute to the FidoNews.
These were allegedly humorous articles, and I had grand visions of
becoming the Dave Barry or Mike Royko of the online world. Yeah,
right! As Cary Grant said to Leslie Caron in FATHER GOOSE, "You know
what fat chance means, lady?"

Although one of my articles has since been published in FidoNews, it
turns out that TPTB over there are not interested in putting humor in
FidoNews on a regular basis. That's too bad, since it really needs
*something* to lighten it up a bit. There just have to be others in
the online world who want to laugh, nay, who need to laugh. So as I
sat and stewed about what to do with my unwanted articles, I answered
a netmail message from Scott White, a sysop from Southern Virginia,
complimenting me on the FidoNews article. In my response I semi-
jokingly mentioned that I was considering starting a humor related
electronic newsletter, and asked if he would be at all interested in
carrying such a thing on his board. To my surprise, the answer was
an enthusiastic, "Yes!" Further, he offered to distribute it on the
other networks to which he belongs provided the newsletter was not
FidoNet specific.

Hmm. There's an interesting concept. Having spent my entire BBS
life in FidoNet, I sometimes forget that those "othernets" exist.
The article series I am working on is *not* FidoNet specific, with
the exception of the one article which finally did make it into
FidoNews. Although FidoNet is the biggest single network I know of,
all those other networks *do* add up to a multitude of users, many
of whom are also looking for a good laugh.

So here it is. The article series with the working title of "Random
Access" has become the Random Access Humor newsletter, or RAH to save
a couple of bytes. This format turns out to be a much bigger canvas
on which to create, and that's all the better. The only problem is,
I can't do this on my own, not for long at any rate. To succeed,
this newsletter must have contributions from you, the readers. Read
and enjoy, but please send in the computer humor you find funny. If
need be, make something up. Information on contributing material to
RAH is located on the last page of this issue. Help keep this from
becoming the Dave Bealer Newsletter, written, produced, directed by
and starring Dave Bealer.

Now on to the interesting bits...why is this volume zero and number
zero? I am a mainframe systems programmer by profession, and we
heavy metal folks learn early in life to start counting from zero
instead of one. I have yet to decide whether we'll go completely
loopy and use the hexadecimal system to number these puppies. That
decision must be made before we get to issue #10(0A).

Welcome aboard for the launching of Random Access Humor. By the way,
does anyone know the best way to get champagne and glass fragments
out of a keyboard?
Random Access Humor Page 2 September 1992

What About VaporWare Communications?
by Dave Bealer

So what about the outfit that is putting this all together?
VaporWare Communications is an operating division of a public
company called VaporWare Corporation, with headquarters in
California. In this debut issue of RAH we will summarize the
structure of the company and list the principal officers. Future
issues may contain short biographies of some of the officers.

VaporWare Corporation
32768 Infinite Loop
Sillycon Valley, CA. 80486-DX2

Stock Market Ticker Symbol: SUKR

Principal Officers:

Luther Lecks
President, Chief Egomaniac Officer

Dorian Debacle, M.B.A.
Vice President, Operations

Gabriel Escargot
Vice President, Customer Service

Kung Pao Har Hoo, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc. F.A.C.S, C.P.A.,
S.P.C.A., Y.M.C.A., L.E.D., Q.E.D., op. cit., et al.
Vice President, Research & Development

Pav Bhaji, M.Tax.(Avoidance)
Vice President, Finance

Carlos Goebbels
Vice President, Political Correctness

Vinnie "The Knife" Calamari
Director of Security

Madeline Token
Secretary, Serving Wench

Major Operating Divisions:

VaporWare Communications
Random Access Humor, other silly stuff.

VaporSoft
PC Software Product Announcements.

Industrial Smoke and Mirrors
Computer and Communications Hardware.

Random Access Humor Page 3 September 1992

Things have been going rather well for VaporSoft lately, and
VaporWare Communications is triumphant with this, their introduction
of Random Access Humor. The only recent problem here on Infinite
Loop has been a nagging shortage of eye of newt, which has severely
impeded the R&D department of Industrial Smoke and Mirrors.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The Model T of Personal Computing
by Dave Bealer

Way back in 1981 the IBM Corporation changed the course of
computing history by releasing the IBM PC. This machine was
ludicrously underpowered, at least by today's standards. It was even
more ludicrously overpriced, by anyone's standards. This overpriced,
underpowered machine was readily embraced by purchasing executives in
many industries, most of whom hadn't pulled off a really good prank
since their fraternity days.

The raging success of IBM's blue elephant meant, of course, that
it would be followed by improved versions, like the IBM Convertible
and the PC Jr. The first advancement came when a spacious 10MB hard
disk was somehow shoe-horned into a full height slot and the IBM XT
was born. IBM claimed that "XT" stood for "eXtended Technology," but
those of us who have used this class of machine know better.

This writer's first computer was an XT clone, purchased in 1986, a
full 5 years after the revolution started. This machine was outdated
when it was purchased, since IBM had released the AT class machine a
full two years before, and upstart Compaq had already beaten IBM to
the punch with the first machine based on Intel's 80386 chip. IBM
was not happy with the course of events and was secretly working on
its plan to stuff all of the PC industry worms into a proprietary can
called PS/2. Fortunately for users everywhere, this campaign was run
by the same folks who masterminded the introduction of the Edsel.

My original XT boasted a 20 MB hard disk in a half-height slot, a
12 inch amber monitor run from a monochrome text card, and a single
360K floppy disk drive. The CPU ran at a blazing 4.77 MHz, and came
with the infamous ERSO BIOS, which had been coded on several fortune
cookie slips at a Dim Sum restaurant in Hong Kong. Unfortunately the
slips got mixed up on the way back to the office and serial
communications became a real crap shoot, complete with dice loaded in
the house's favor.

This machine wasn't much, but it was all I could afford at the
time. The vendor of this dream machine shall remain nameless, since
they have somehow managed to survive and are still selling PCs,
albeit from large, well lit "superstores," rather than by mailorder.

The motherboard was eventually replaced with a 10 MHz "Turbo"
model containing a mostly working BIOS, and the hard disk was
upgraded to a 65 MB model. This assemblage of parts was the first
platform for my BBS. Apparently not all of the serial port problems
were due to the original rogue BIOS, since file transfers were still
dicey despite all the upgrades. One puzzling phenomenon I was never
able to explain was the fact that occasionally when the monitor was
powered off, the XT system unit would shut down as well. If I

Random Access Humor Page 4 September 1992

toggled the power switch on the system unit, everything came up
alright. Maybe the poor thing was tired. Always a trooper despite
the problems, it never complained.

Sentimental readers will be happy to know that this veteran
warrior is still in service, although the BBS has been moved to a
stable AT chassis. Lately I have given serious consideration to
selling this faithful, if eccentric, old machine. Anyone out there
interested in a 10 MHz flower pot?
---------------------------------------------------------------------
(Editor's Note: The following article originally appeared in FidoNews
Vol. 9, No. 32, dated August 10, 1992.)

Welcome to the FidoNet Olympics
by Dave Bealer

The echoes are kind of quiet these days. Maybe everyone is glued
to the Olympics Triplecast. For those of us who aren't, why not have
our own Olympics on FidoNet? Here is a summary of suggested events:

}} Local BBS Events {{

>> 14.4K Protocol Negotiation <<
The winner is the first user who can stay awake during the entire
protocol negotiation sequence between a V.32bis modem and a tin can.

>> 110-step Registration Hurdles <<
The gold medal goes to the user who completes the "simple"
registration procedure in the shortest time. Contestants are advised
not to wear glasses or contacts while competing in this event, as
they might interfere with the online laser retina scan.

>> Modern Hexadecimalon <<
Competitors attempt to break 16 different FidoNet policies and/or
draconian local sysop rules in a single logon session.

>> Download Ratio Balance Beam <<
Users attempt daring massive downloads without (hopefully) losing
their download privileges.

>> Door Exercises <<
The gold goes to the user who can enter and play the most door games
in a 45 minute logon session.

>> Echolocation <<
The winner is the user who can find the echo he is looking for in the
fewest BBS accesses.

}} Echomail Events {{

>> Verbal Gymnastics <<
You won't believe how these competitors can twist and turn the
English language into almost unrecognizable shapes.

Random Access Humor Page 5 September 1992

>> Greco-Roman Thread Wrestling <<
Wrestling for control over the direction an echo conference thread
will take. Moderators are ineligible for this event.

>> Marathon Messaging <<
Contestants enter 75 messages in a single echo in one session. Each
message must have a minimum of three lines and at least one line must
be original (not quoted). The one who enters the 75 messages in the
shortest time wins. Penalties will be assessed for each message
which actually pertains to the topic of the echo. The use of offline
readers is prohibited.

>> Power Quoting <<
The winner will have made the longest continual quotation with the
shortest vaguely pertinent reply. The current world record is 382
lines of quotes with a five word reply.

>> Tagline Topping <<
Medals are awarded in the following categories: Annoying, Childish,
Funny, Gross and Stupid. There is also a special all-around medal
for the tagline which best combines all five attributes.

>> Volley Message <<
The gold medal goes to the first pair of correspondents who nest
their quotes so deeply that the leading initials force the message
text off the screen entirely.

>> Platform Diving <<
Each contestant ascends to the soapbox and attempts to make insulting
comments about everyone and everything in FidoNet. Timing is
critical, as the competitor must dive off the platform before his/her
access to the net is revoked.

>> Heavyweight Ego Lifting <<
In this event the posturing which precedes the lift can be more
important than the lift itself.

>> Full Contact Flaming <<
What would a FidoNet Olympics be without its symbol, the flame?

}} Sysop Events {{

>> 5 MB Packet Toss <<
The gold medal goes to the Sysop whose system can dearchive, toss,
sort, link and julienne a 5 MB mail packet in the shortest time.

>> Echo Looping <<
The winner is the Sysop who can cause the most dupe-loops in the most
different echoes in one day of operation.

>> Synchronized Polling <<
The winning Sysop pair will be the one whose systems synchronize
their polls to each other the longest (without getting through).

Random Access Humor Page 6 September 1992

After the events are over everyone will be hanging out at the Olympic
Village BBS, chatting online about the competitors who failed their
drug tests. Best of all we won't have parted with $125 for the
privilege.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
A Tale of Three Systems
by Dave Bealer

Every year high technology has a greater impact on politics. Here
is some information about the systems being operated on behalf of
three folks running for office somewhere.

The Ross For Boss BBS
(214) BIG-EARS (9600 baud) 255 lines
This board is for fans of the Texas billionaire who never really said
he would run for President, then never really said he wouldn't. This
is the board that started it all, the first serious Presidential
Campaign BBS. It almost didn't get started in the first place,
having been set up by former EDS technicians. Fortunately a passing
fifth grader was able to assist them at a critical juncture, and
history was made.

The $3 Bill BBS
(501) HIE-TECH (300 baud) 1 line
This board is used by the supporters of the apparent successor to
Jimmy Carter. This board makes use the most sophisticated computer
equipment available in the state of Arkansas, a Commodore 64.

George & Barbara's BBS
(202) FAT-CATS (14400 baud) 1000 points of light
A popular forum for open-minded debate on absolute control over other
people's bodies. George likes to host occasional conferences on the
"Technology Thing," and Barbara chats online about the latest State
function etiquette for losing dinner on your host. Sysop: Millie
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The Price of Encouragement
by Dave Bealer

Some of you may have wondered why an apparently sensible person
like Scott White would encourage a total loon like myself to start
a project like this and, worse yet, continue with it. We may never
know the answer to that, unless Scott decides to tell us himself. I
have taken the liberty of concocting a suitable punishment for him,
however. Scott has been appointed the Acting Deputy Assistant Editor
for RAH. There are no official duties attached to this position as
yet. That's the best part of the punishment. Scott gets to wait
apprehensively, wondering just how bad this can get.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
FYI: This issue of RAH is supposed to require an educational grade
level of 14.6 for easy comprehension, according to Critic V2.0, a
shareware style checker. Doesn't that make you feel smarter?
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Sound Byte:

I have a friend who is thinking of becoming a poet...he's
contemplating a life of rhyme.

Random Access Humor Page 7 September 1992

RAH Writing Style
by Dave Bealer

Since RAH is steeped in the online world, it follows that RAH
should support the style of writing generally found in online
messages. This does not include the semi-literate, mostly obscene
trash found in conferences such as the FidoNet FLAME echo. It *does*
include some of the basic online writing conventions. I just used
one, did you see it? The asterisks around "*does*" in the previous
sentence indicate that the word is being emphasized, but the writer
IS NOT SHOUTING. Remember that the use of all caps in an online
message indicates that the writer is shouting. Shouting is
considered rude in the online world, just like in real life.

Another important facet of online writing is the use of acronyms
for common phrases, which tends to save bytes in writing that is
being shipped around the country or world at someone's expense. Here
is a brief list of a few common online writing acronyms:

BTW By the way
IMHO In my humble opinion
OTOH On the other hand
ROFL Rolling on floor, laughing
TPTB The powers that be

There are many more. A final online custom which needs mentioning is
the practice of placing action statements in between "<>" signs, for
example: , , . These
action indicators can be used to good effect, and humor, so they are
welcome here. Like everything, they are best used in moderation.

One online custom which will not be welcome in the pages of RAH is
the practice of including smiley faces { 🙂 } or variations on that
theme. I use these myself in messages, but they have no place in the
semi-serious writing being published in RAH. Remember, writing humor
can be a very serious business. Besides, humorists are not supposed
to laugh at their own jokes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
--- Taglines Seen Around the Nets:

Where are we going? And why are we in this handbasket?

Friends don't let friends use Windoze.

OS/2=0

Dedicated to the brave men who go down to the chips in C.

Mercifully free of the ravages of intelligence.

I haven't lost my mind...it's backed up on tape somewhere.

Calm down! It's only zeros and ones.

If guns are outlawed, how will we shoot the liberals?

Random Access Humor Page A-1 September 1992

Random Access Humor Masthead:

Editor: Dave Bealer

Acting Deputy Assistant Editor: Scott White

Contact: The Puffin's Nest BBS
FidoNet: 1:261/1129
Internet: f1129.n261.z1.fidonet.org
BBS: (410) 437-3463 (1200-2400/MNP5)

Regular Mail: (Only if you have no other way to reach us!)
Random Access Humor
Infinite Loop Communications
P.O. Box 595
Pasadena, MD. 21122 USA

Random Access Humor (RAH) is published monthly by Dave Bealer as a
disservice to the online community. Although the publisher's BBS may
be a part of one or more networks at any time, RAH is not affiliated
with any BBS network or online service. RAH is a compilation of
individual articles contributed by their authors. The contribution
of articles to this compilation does not diminish the rights of the
authors.

Random Access Humor is Copyright 1992 Dave Bealer. All Rights
Reserved. Duplication and/or distribution is permitted for non-
commercial purposes only. For any other use, contact the publisher.
RAH may only be distributed in unaltered form. Online systems whose
users cannot access the original binary archive file may offer it for
viewing or download in text format, but the text MAY NOT be modified.
Many of the brands and products mentioned in RAH are trademarks of
their respective owners.

Copies of the current issue of RAH may be obtained by manual download
or Wazoo/EMSI File Request from The Puffin's Nest BBS (FREQ: RAH), or
from various sites in several BBS networks. Back issues of RAH may
be obtained by download or file request from The Puffin's Nest BBS.

Article contributions to RAH are always welcome. All submissions
must be made electronically. File attach your article to a netmail
message to Dave Bealer at 1:261/1129. E-mail may also be sent via
Internet to: [email protected]

Tagline and filler submissions may be made via e-mail. Article
submissions should be made via file. Submitted files must be plain
ASCII text files in normal MS-DOS file format: artname.RAH; where
artname is a descriptive file name and RAH is the mandatory
extension. Your text should be less than 70 columns across for
widest readability. If your article does not conform to these simple
specs, it may get lost or trashed. Also note that such imaginative
names as RAH.RAH might get overlaid by the blatherings of similarly
minded contributors. If your hardware is incapable of producing file
names in the proper format, you may send your article as one or more
e-mail messages. It may not be possible to make private responses to
any submissions or correspondence received.
Random Access Humor Page A-2 September 1992

The editors reserve the right to publish or not to publish any
submission as/when they see fit. The editors also reserve the right
to "edit", or modify any submission prior to publication. This last
right will rarely be used, typically only to correct spelling or
grammar misteaks that are not funny. RAH is a PG rated publication,
so keep it (mostly) clean.

RAH can accept only the following types of material for publication:
1) Any material in the public domain.
2) Material for which you own the copyright. If you wrote it
yourself, you are automatically the copyright holder.
3) Authorized agents for a copyright holder (typically an
organization) may submit material on behalf of that holder.

In writing jargon, RAH is deemed to be given "One Time Rights" to
anything submitted for publication unless otherwise noted in the
message accompanying the contribution. You still own the material,
and RAH will make no use of the material other than publishing it
electronically in the usual manner. If you want your copyright
notice to appear in your article, place it as desired in the text
you submit. Previously published articles may be submitted, but
proper acknowledgement must be included: periodical name, date of
previous publication.

RAH Distribution System:
(sites bearing the designation will accept your
contributions and forward them to the editors.)

The Puffin's Nest Pasadena, MD. Sysop: Dave Bealer
FidoNet> 1:261/1129 (410) 437-3463 2400 (MNP5)
(RAH Publication Site) (V.32bis modem on order!)
Complete Writers Guidelines: FReq: RAHWRITE
Complete Distributor Info: FReq: RAHDIST

RAH Gateway Systems:

My House -=FBBS=- Cheasapeake, VA. Sysop: Scott White
FidoNet> 1:275/6 (804) 424-0394 14400 (V.32bis)
RaceNet> 73:108/1 4X4Net> 44:2600/6 SportsNet> 73:108/6
RecoveryNet> 12:2600/6 Flynet> 196:30/0 PetNet> 73:108/6
InterSports> 103:1032/0

Pooh's Corner Fells Point, MD. Sysop: Mark Truelove
FidoNet> 1:261/1131 (410) 327-9263 14400 (V.32bis)
RBBSnet> 8:936/206 FilNet> 33:410/0 CandyNet> 42:1031/1


RAH Official Distribution Sites:

Automation Central San Jose, CA. Sysop: Radi Shourbaji
FidoNet> 1:143/110 (408) 435-2886 14400 (V.32bis)

Wit-Tech Baltimore, MD. Sysop: Doug Wittich
FidoNet> 1:261/1082 (410) 256-0170 14400 (V.32bis)


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