Like George Carlin words are an interest of mine, not a hobby, hobbies cost money. When my mother sent me these results from a Washington Post contest I knew I’d have to share.

The contest invited readers to take a word from the English language and by adding, removing or changing only one letter create a new word. The results are pure genius.

The following are reposted from the Washington Post. I’ve stared (*) my favorites.

Fifth Runner-Up: Foreploy*: any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of obtaining sex. (Greg Oetjen, Lorton)

Fourth Runner-Up: Fortissimoe: the musical moment produced when someone serially slaps the faces of the first-violin section. (Jean Sorensen, Herndon)

Third Runner-Up: Tatyr: a lecherous Mr. Potato Head. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

Second Runner-Up: Doltergeist: a spirit that decides to haunt someplace stupid, such as your septic tank. (David Genser, Arlington)

First Runner-Up: Giraffiti: vandalism spray-painted very, very high, such as the famous “Surrender Dorothy” on the Beltway overpass. (Robin D. Grove, Arlington)

And the winner of the two-foot-high baby bottle:

Sarchasm*: the gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the recipient who doesn’t get it. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Honorable Mentions:

Necronancy: communication with the late Ernie Bushmiller. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

Contratemps: the resentment permanent workers feel toward the fill-in workers. (Kevin Mellema, Falls Church)

Coiterie: a very very close-knit group. (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

Whitetater: a political hot potato. (Art Grinath, Takoma Park)

Impotience*: eager anticipation by men awaiting their Viagra prescription. (Meg Sullivan, Potomac)

Elepants: too-tight jeans on broad-beamed people. (Steve Fahey, Kensington)

Lollapalooka: someone who has taken one too many turns in the mosh pit. (Philip Delduke, Bethesda)

Auto-da-feh: the extermination of heretics via drowning in a vat of pus. (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

Stupfather: Woody Allen. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Reintarnation: coming back to life as a hillbilly. (Barry Blyveis, Columbia)

DIOS: the one true operating system. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Inoculatte*: to take coffee intravenously when you are running late. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

Thripp: a bug. (Bee Perrin, Washington)

Hipatitis: terminal coolness. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Writer’s tramp: a woman who practices poetic licentiousness. (Meg Sullivan, Potomac)

Goodzilla: a giant lizard that puts out forest fires by stamping on them. (Sandra Hull, Arlington)

Taterfamilias: the head of the Potato Head family. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

Guillozine: a magazine for executioners. (Barry Blyveis, Columbia)

Osteopornosis*: a degenerate disease. (Sandra Hull, Arlington)

Adulatery: cheating on one’s wife with a much younger woman who holds you in awe. (Joseph Romm, Washington)

Suckotash: a dish consisting of corn, lima beans and tofu. (Russ Beland, Springfield)

Emasculathe: a tool for castration. (Steve Fahey, Kensington)

Sata: a mythical being who brings toys to bad children. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Burglesque: a poorly planned break-in. (See: Watergate) (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

Karmageddon: It’s like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it’s like a serious bummer. (Meg Sullivan, Potomac)

Genitaliar: an image-enhancing object that can be carried in a man’s front pocket. (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

Glibido: all talk and no action. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Antifun gal: a prude. (Elden Carnahan, Laurel)

Vaseball: a game of catch played by children in the living room. (Russ Beland, Springfield)

Eunouch: the pain of castration. (Jonathan Paul, Garrett park)

Hindkerchief: really expensive toilet paper; toilet paper at Buckingham Palace. (Dave Zarrow, Herndon)

Deifenestration: to throw all talk of God out the window. (Paul Kondis, Alexandria)

Hozone: the area around 14th Street. (Stephen Dudzik, Silver Spring)

Acme: a generic skin disease. (Sandra Hull, Arlington)

Dopeler effect*: the tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly. (Greg Oetjen, Lorton)

Hindprint: indentation made by a couch potato. (Dave Zarrow, Herndon)

Intaxication*: euphoria at getting a refund from the IRS, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with. (Greg Oetjen, Lorton)

Newtspaper: the Washington Times. (Fil Feit, Annandale)

Nazigator: an overbearing member of your carpool. (Elizabeth Monte, Fairfax)

Synapple: a perfect beverage to accompany brain food. (Sandra Hull, Arlington)

Socceur: the proper spelling of the sport for the next four years, alas. (Kevin Eade, Columbia)

And Lust: an unseemly craving for this position in the column. (Dave Zarrow, Herndon)

word, fun, funny, wordplay, definition, language, english

There are some files within the home directory that are ordinarily hidden. Hidden files have names that begin with a period; hence, they have been given the nickname of dot files. Hidden files are not displayed by the ls command unless the –a option is used in the format of ls –a.

The table below lists some of the more common dot files that users should know about. This is by no means a totally comprehensive list. Additional dot files can be found in the user’s home directory; however, some searches may not find some of the files listed here. The files found are dependent upon the applications installed on the server, the utilities that are in use and the command shell that is being used. Since the default shell for Linux is the bash shell, the home directory typically contains the bash related scripts indicated below.

File

Description

.bash_history

For users of the bash shell, a file containing up to 500 of the most recent commands available for recall using the up and
down arrow keys.

.bash_logout

Script that is run by the bash shell when the user logs out of the system

.bash_profile

Initialization script that is run by the bash shell upon login in order to setup variables and aliases. When bash
is started as the default login shell, it looks for the .bash_profile file in the user’s home directory; if not found, it looks for .bash_login.
If there is no .bash_login file, it then looks for a .profile file.

.bashrc

Initialization script executed whenever the bash shell is started in some way other than a login shell. It is better to put
system-wide functions and aliases in /etc/bashrc, which will be presented later in the book.

.gtkrc

GTK initialization file. GTK+
is a multi-platform toolkit for creating graphical user interfaces, used by a
large number of applications. It is the toolkit used by the GNU
project’s GNOME desktop.

.login

The initialization script that is run whenever a user
login occurs.

.logout

The script that is automatically run whenever a user
logout occurs.

.profile

Put default system-wide environment variables in /etc/profile.

.viminfo

Initialization file for the Vim text editor that is
compatible with vi.

.wm_style

Specifys the default window manager if one is not
specified in startx

.Xdefaults & .Xresources

Initialization files for Xterm resources for the user.
Application program behavior can be changed by modifying these files.

.xinitrc

The initialization file used when running startx, which can be used to activate applications and run a particular window manager.

.xsession

This file is executed when a user logs in to an X-terminal
and is used to automatically load the window manager and applications.

Easy Linux CommandsFor more tips like this check out my book Easy Linux Commands, only $19.95 from Rampant TechPress.

Buy it now!


unix, linux, system administration, sysadmin, hidden files, config files

A nice chairAbout three months ago I started working as a remote Oracle database consultant, remote meaning I now work from home most weeks. Though I’m still fairly new to telecommuting it’s something that has always interested me.

In the few short months I’ve been working from home I’ve found that I am amazingly productive, but also that there are a few things I couldn’t do it without. Mileage will vary of course, but I wanted to write about some of the things I’ve found most helpful when working from home and one of the most important of these is a really good chair.

I’ve found being comfortable helps me work longer without loosing focus and the office chair is the most essential part of that. Working at the couch works for me for half days, but long stretches lead to neck and upper back problems. I even knew a woman at a previous job who got a pinched nerve from working with her laptop on her couch too much. When I need a change of scenery I’ll move to the couch, but I work at least half of every day from my desk chair.

I found a nice fabric covered Morrill chair at Staples but it’s essential to test-drive your own and choose the best one for you. I tried dozens of chairs before settling on this one.

I’d say plan to spend up to $350 on a good chair. It’s likely you’ll find one for less (mine was on sale for $129, regularly $179) but this is one thing you don’t want to compromise on. Height, padding, back support, arm design and tilt and swivel features should all be considered. If this seems like a lot to spend on a chair, just consider what you’re saving in gas by working from home (in my case no less than $200/month) and you’ll feel better.

You will also probably want to consider some type of floor protection for under your chair. The plastic mats are good on carpet and a version is also available to protect hardwood floors. After seeing recently what only a couple years of office use can do to even industrial carpets I was glad to have picked up a good mat.

I’ll be writing more about working from home in the near future. If you have tips or questions about working from home feel free to leave a comment.

telecommute, telework, home office, office, work

Here’s an oldie but a goodie. Think you can tell the difference between a programming language inventor and a serial killer just from a picture? Take the test and see.

Take the Programming Language Inventor or Serial Killer Quiz.

Compliments of Matt Round’s weblog. If you’re into web design check out his main page. It’s quite a bit different from your average blog.

Thanks to Don Burleson for sending this on to me.

fun, funny, quiz, programming language, programming, development

Here’s a quick description of the scp command used for securely copying files between systems on Linux and UNIX.

The scp (secure copy) command can be used to copy files or even entire directories to a remote host. scp is a replacement for the rcp (remote copy) command. While rcp provides the same functionality it is not encrypted and therefore not secure. The scp command uses SSH for data transfer, providing SSH level security.

scp takes arguments in the form of scp –options source destination. The most common option is the –r (recursive) option which is necessary if you are using scp on multiple files or on directories. The source and destination arguments can specify not only a path but optionally a username and hostname in the format of username@hostname:path. If the username is omitted scp assumes the username of the current logged in user. If the hostname is omitted scp assumes the path provided is on the current system. Typically either the source or the destination will describe a remote system; however you could use scp to move a file or files from one remote system to another.

The following example copies the file secret.dat from user tclark’s home directory to a directory named /backup/tclark on a server named backup_server logging in as user terry. As indicated below, the scp command will prompt for the password for user terry on the backup_server when the connection is attempted.

$ scp /home/tclark/secret.dat terry@backup_server:/backup/tclark
terry@backup_server's password: password
secret.dat 100% 1011 27.6KB/s 00:00

Zach has a good article about setting up ssh with key authentication which will allow you to use the scp and ssh commands without a password while still maintaining security.

Easy Linux CommandsFor more tips like this check out my book Easy Linux Commands, only $19.95 from Rampant TechPress.

Buy it now!


linux, unix, system administration, sysadmin, easy linux, scp

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