RE: Netnews Flame O' The Day

Joe Barrera (
Mon, 12 May 1997 12:30:10 -0700

That's no flame. *This* is a flame:

02-May-90 18:18 Jamie Zawinski A Most Bodacious Flame
From: Jamie Zawinski <jwz@teak.Berkeley.EDU>
------- Forwarded Message

Date: 2 May 90 17:23:34 GMT
From: (Johnny Zweig)
Subject: /etc/termcap
To: alt.peeves

In my opinion as a scientist as well as a software engineer, there is no
fucking reason in the world anyone should have to know /etc/termcap even
EXISTS, let alone have to fuck around with setting the right environment
variables so that it is possible to vi a file. Some dipshit airhead
bitch asshole has further fucked up my life by seeing to it that most
termcaps have the idea that "xterm" is an 80 by 65 line display. For
of us who use the X fucking WINDOWS system to display fucking WINDOWS on
fucking workstations, 80x65 makes as much sense as reclining bucket
on a bicycle -- they are too fucking big to fit enough of them on the
screen. This idiot should be killed twice.

It seems like figuring out what the hell kind of terminal I am using is
as hard as, say, launching nuclear missiles to within 10 yards of their
targets, landing men on the moon or, say, Tetris.

Why the fuck hasn't this bullshit been straightened out after 30 fucking
years of sweat blood and tears on the part of people trying to write
software that doesn't give its users the fucking heebie-jeebies? And the
first person who says "all you have to do is type ``eval resize''" gets
a big sock in the nose for being a dipshit motherfucker who missed the
point. This stuff ought to be handled eleven levels of software below
the level at which a user types a command -- the goddamned HARDWARE
to be able to figure out what the fuck kind of terminal it is and if it
can't it should put a message on my console saying "you are using shitty
stupid hardware and are fucked; give up and get a real job".

-Johnny Terminal

------- End of Forwarded Message

- Joe

Joseph S. Barrera III (
Phone, Office: (415) 778-8227; Cellular: (415) 601-3719; Home: (415)

the trees are fake, the air is dead
the birds are stuffed with poison lead
and the ground is much too clean
and if it's only me that's scared
strap me to the electric chair
ring the moon like a broken bell