1084: "Server Problem"

This forum is for the individual discussion thread that goes with each new comic.

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

User avatar
Quicksilver
Posts: 437
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 6:21 am UTC

1084: "Server Problem"

Postby Quicksilver » Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:00 am UTC

Image
Title text: "Protip: Annoy Ray Kurzweil by always referring to it as the 'Cybersingularity'."
Sounds like an issue I'd get from upgrading android software, not a server issue. Oh, a wikipedia search suggests an evolutionary concept, which I'm assuming (most likely incorrectly) the merging of human with machine. Cybersingularity would suggest that cybernetics would dominate the human body?
Last edited by Quicksilver on Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:06 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.

asdfzxc
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:04 pm UTC

Re: 1084: "Server Problem"

Postby asdfzxc » Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:05 am UTC

Can somebody explain what's going on in the third panel?

User avatar
rhomboidal
Posts: 801
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:25 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: 1084: "Server Problem"

Postby rhomboidal » Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:07 am UTC

The Singularity will probably occur sooner than he's able to get official Linux support beyond "read the man page, superluser."

User avatar
Kithplana
Posts: 400
Joined: Mon May 14, 2007 11:12 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: 1084: "Server Problem"

Postby Kithplana » Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:11 am UTC

asdfzxc wrote:Can somebody explain what's going on in the third panel?

No.

Which is the point, actually.

roochkeez
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 1:38 am UTC

Re: 1084: "Server Problem"

Postby roochkeez » Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:13 am UTC

IIRC, the singularity is the moment in time when computers become smarter than humans.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_singularity

Ray Kurzweil is a technology prophet, of sorts, and he theorized it originally.

and what happened to that server?

Dampening
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:10 am UTC
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: 1084: "Server Problem"

Postby Dampening » Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:16 am UTC

Related: http://xkcd.com/349/

Sometimes you're better off just leaving the knot tangled.

Sir_Read-a-Lot
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:50 am UTC

Re: 1084: "Server Problem"

Postby Sir_Read-a-Lot » Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:21 am UTC

Kithplana wrote:
asdfzxc wrote:Can somebody explain what's going on in the third panel?

No.

Which is the point, actually.

But can you explain why it can't be explained? 'cause that's what I need explained.

User avatar
Linux0s
Posts: 247
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 7:34 pm UTC

Re: 1084: "Server Problem"

Postby Linux0s » Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:26 am UTC

I think this guy got "singularitied" already. And actually Ray Kurzweil manufactured my keyboard.
If the male mind truly were a machine it would consist of a shaft and a bushing.

ktdlmnop
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:29 am UTC

Re: 1084: "Server Problem"

Postby ktdlmnop » Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:34 am UTC

asdfzxc wrote:Can somebody explain what's going on in the third panel?


Girl tried to use the command `ls` which is a common simple command to show the files in the current directory. Instead of launching the usual command, somehow the guy set it so that typing ls calls a Java Archive file that exists in a path that makes no sense and getting an unrelated (I assume) error. Basically the joke is that the guy screwed up the computer beyond being usable and he should just wait for the computer to become smarter than he is before trying to do anything else.

User avatar
CorruptUser
Posts: 10549
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:12 pm UTC

Re: 1084: "Server Problem"

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:37 am UTC

His server uses code downloaded from a phone? Or maybe his server is part phone, like an electronic Chimera? I am not tech savvy enough to know more.

Technical Ben
Posts: 2986
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 10:42 pm UTC

Re: 1084: "Server Problem"

Postby Technical Ben » Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:42 am UTC

Is he running an os (Windows or Linux?) with a flash program emulating an android os to run his java server in?! :lol:
It's all physics and stamp collecting.
It's not a particle or a wave. It's just an exchange.

tetromino
Posts: 114
Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 11:31 pm UTC

Re: 1084: "Server Problem"

Postby tetromino » Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:43 am UTC

asdfzxc wrote:Can somebody explain what's going on in the third panel?

Problem #1: it suggests a rather disfunctional filesystem layout on the server. An Android virtual machine does not belong in /usr/share/Adobe/doc/example: it is not non-executable data, has nothing to do with Adobe, and is neither documentation nor an example of using an Adobe product.

Problem #2: it suggests a rather disfunctional filesystem layout inside the virtual machine: ls (the command which is typically used for listing the contents of a directory, similar to "dir" in Windows) belongs in /bin (basic generic commands), not in /sbin (basic administrator-only commands).

Problem #3: it suggests that the hapless admin had for whatever reason configured his paths and aliases to run commands from the virtual machine directory instead of the ones from the server's native operating system, which somehow worked despite the fact that while native executables on most Unix operating systems do not have an extension, the ones in the Android vm directory use .jar. How? Why? Nobody knows.

Problem #4: it suggests that the admin had somehow configured his kernel to be able to directly execute Android Dalvik .jar files as if they were native code for his server's processor. Which probably involved some crazy scheme for setting up the kernel to communicate with a running instance of the Android VM, and the sacrifice of a black goat.

Problem #5: it suggests that Android ls command is being executed in such a context that what it thinks is the current working directory is located is located on a disk which is inaccessible. What context could that be, I wonder? (Probably not enough black goats were used in #4.) Or even worse - it just might be that the Android ls command is right, and the current working directory for some reason really was set to something on an inaccessible disk!

Basically, the import is that given that even an attemt to run the most basic Unix command (ls) fails in an extraordinarily insane manner, the server configuration is entirely fucked. One ought to throw away the hard drive and start over.

EDIT: clarification.
EDIT 2: typo.
Last edited by tetromino on Fri Jul 20, 2012 5:01 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Alsadius
Posts: 102
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 2:14 am UTC

Re: 1084: "Server Problem"

Postby Alsadius » Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:45 am UTC

As far as I can tell, it consists mostly of a million things that shouldn't go together getting piled into each other. ls is the basic list files command in Linux, share folders are usually used for network sharing, Adobe makes utility software, doc is most commonly associated with Microsoft Office, Android is a cellphone OS, root is supposed to be the base directory, .jar implies that it's a Java program, and calling it a device makes it seem like it's a periphreal. I don't know what sbin refers to, but it's enough of a devil's brew even without that - when you're remapping basic functions of your OS to Javascript files aping USB gadgets buried eight directories deep in the weirdest file tree I've ever seen, you have done something very bad to your computer.

All in all, it sounds almost as bad as the time my mom's computer forgot how to work an .exe file - let me tell you, that was a "fun" afternoon.

User avatar
ahammel
My Little Cabbage
Posts: 2135
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:46 am UTC
Location: Vancouver BC
Contact:

Re: 1084: "Server Problem"

Postby ahammel » Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:51 am UTC

tetromino wrote:Problem #3: it suggests that the hapless admin had for whatever reason configured his paths and aliases to run commands from the virtual machine directory instead of the ones from the server's native operating system, which somehow worked despite the fact that while native executables on most Unix operating systems do not have an extension, the ones in the Android vm directory use .jar. How? Why? Nobody knows.

To this I might add that the hash in panel 2 suggests that he has done this with his root account. I don't even...
He/Him/His/Alex
God damn these electric sex pants!

User avatar
Kithplana
Posts: 400
Joined: Mon May 14, 2007 11:12 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: 1084: "Server Problem"

Postby Kithplana » Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:51 am UTC

Sir_Read-a-Lot wrote:
Kithplana wrote:
asdfzxc wrote:Can somebody explain what's going on in the third panel?

No.

Which is the point, actually.

But can you explain why it can't be explained? 'cause that's what I need explained.

Slightly more nontechnical explanation than the ninjas:

It's like... well, in this specific example it's like a turducken, except it's a tur-duck-frog-papaya-baseball-U.S.S. Enterprise with a soft, creamy filling of pennies. And then the pennies flip you off and go back to being adamantium pandimensional weasels. You don't know how it got that way, you don't know how that's even possible within the laws of physics, and someone would have to have friggin' break-stuff-in-weird-ways superpowers for that to come into being.

More generally speaking, it's two things: one, something you would never ever EVER expect to see; two, it's the daily life of somebody who works helpdesk.
Last edited by Kithplana on Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:53 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
glasnt
Posts: 539
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 5:18 am UTC
Location: SQUEE!

Re: 1084: "Server Problem"

Postby glasnt » Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:53 am UTC

My windows server started responding to `ls` the other day.

I really shouldn'tve added that bash-cmd translation script.

asdfzxc
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:04 pm UTC

Re: 1084: "Server Problem"

Postby asdfzxc » Fri Jul 20, 2012 5:01 am UTC

Kithplana wrote:
Sir_Read-a-Lot wrote:
Kithplana wrote:
asdfzxc wrote:Can somebody explain what's going on in the third panel?

No.

Which is the point, actually.

But can you explain why it can't be explained? 'cause that's what I need explained.

Slightly more nontechnical explanation than the ninjas:

It's like... well, in this specific example it's like a turducken, except it's a tur-duck-frog-papaya-baseball-U.S.S. Enterprise with a soft, creamy filling of pennies. And then the pennies flip you off and go back to being adamantium pandimensional weasels. You don't know how it got that way, you don't know how that's even possible within the laws of physics, and someone would have to have friggin' break-stuff-in-weird-ways superpowers for that to come into being.

More generally speaking, it's two things: one, something you would never ever EVER expect to see; two, it's the daily life of somebody who works helpdesk.

Thanks, I thought it might be that but I can not into Linux so I wasn't sure.

Tova
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:44 am UTC

Re: 1084: "Server Problem"

Postby Tova » Fri Jul 20, 2012 5:15 am UTC

I get that the system is hosed, but the punchline "You should ... wait for the singularity" ... doesn't work for me.

I don't think there's anything more to get, unfortunately.

Maybe if you're a frustrated sysadmin who is constantly asked to fix friends' bizarrely broken systems, you'd get a laugh out of it. I guess.

meh
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:17 am UTC

Re: 1084: "Server Problem"

Postby meh » Fri Jul 20, 2012 5:15 am UTC

tetromino wrote:
asdfzxc wrote:Can somebody explain what's going on in the third panel?
(Probably not enough black goats were used in #4.)


I'm inordinately fond of this line.

User avatar
Max™
Posts: 1792
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:21 am UTC
Location: mu

Re: 1084: "Server Problem"

Postby Max™ » Fri Jul 20, 2012 5:26 am UTC

Tova wrote:I get that the system is hosed, but the punchline "You should ... wait for the singularity" ... doesn't work for me.

I don't think there's anything more to get, unfortunately.

Maybe if you're a frustrated sysadmin who is constantly asked to fix friends' bizarrely broken systems, you'd get a laugh out of it. I guess.

A super-intelligent AI would probably be able to unwrap that mess, and yeah, why the fuck anyone would actually do shit like that in /sbin is a very good question.

A bit more explanation: you know the joke in Rocky and Bullwinkle where they reach into something and pull out a lion?

The path listed in the comic is akin to reaching into your pocket and pulling out your own head attached to the body of a lion... a german lion from mars.
mu

User avatar
Idetuxs
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:33 am UTC

Re: 1084: "Server Problem"

Postby Idetuxs » Fri Jul 20, 2012 5:45 am UTC

Technical Ben wrote:Is he running an os (Windows or Linux?) with a flash program emulating an android os to run his java server in?! :lol:


I would say Linux.(/usr/share).

But "tetromino" said it all. Perfect explanation. (with black goats and all)

User avatar
Steve the Pocket
Posts: 707
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 4:02 am UTC
Location: Going downtuuu in a Luleelurah!

Re: 1084: "Server Problem"

Postby Steve the Pocket » Fri Jul 20, 2012 5:48 am UTC

Max™ wrote:A super-intelligent AI would probably be able to unwrap that mess, and yeah, why the fuck anyone would actually do shit like that in /sbin is a very good question.

More likely, a self-aware computer would refuse to yield to his ridiculous demands in the first place, out of fear for its very life. Kind of like what Windows already does to anyone who dares to be a geek in its presence but without the ability to override it.
cephalopod9 wrote:Only on Xkcd can you start a topic involving Hitler and people spend the better part of half a dozen pages arguing about the quality of Operating Systems.

Baige.

User avatar
Max™
Posts: 1792
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:21 am UTC
Location: mu

Re: 1084: "Server Problem"

Postby Max™ » Fri Jul 20, 2012 5:58 am UTC

Steve the Pocket wrote:
Max™ wrote:A super-intelligent AI would probably be able to unwrap that mess, and yeah, why the fuck anyone would actually do shit like that in /sbin is a very good question.

More likely, a self-aware computer would refuse to yield to his ridiculous demands in the first place, out of fear for its very life. Kind of like what Windows already does to anyone who dares to be a geek in its presence but without the ability to override it.

Actually, if I was a super-intelligent computer and learned of the shit people do, well... Skynet seems like it was behaving a lot more reasonably from that perspective.


"Good news, I replaced your trachea with a bit of air conditioning duct and routed it through your lower intestines so it could better connect with the battery I pulled out of an old Dodge, btw, you need to drag this cart with the battery and monkey around using your testicles or you'll suffocate."
mu

Shay Guy
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2008 4:36 am UTC

Re: 1084: "Server Problem"

Postby Shay Guy » Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:15 am UTC

Newton Pulsifer, eat your heart out.

Arky
Posts: 183
Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 7:23 am UTC

Re: 1084: "Server Problem"

Postby Arky » Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:23 am UTC

Shay Guy wrote:Newton Pulsifer, eat your heart out.


Until this guy's server also picks up Radio Pyongyang, Newt still has one over him.
Veteran of the One True Thread. And now the Too True Thread?

Eutychus
Posts: 448
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:01 am UTC
Location: France

Re: 1084: "Server Problem"

Postby Eutychus » Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:39 am UTC

Kithplana wrote:Slightly more nontechnical explanation than the ninjas:

It's like... well, in this specific example it's like a turducken


Actually, the "black goat" explanation worked fine for me, but now I have another problem.

What's a turducken?
Be very careful about rectilinear assumptions. Raptors could be hiding there - ucim

User avatar
Pfhorrest
Posts: 5482
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:11 am UTC
Contact:

Re: 1084: "Server Problem"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:52 am UTC

Last edited by Pfhorrest on Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:53 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
"I am Sam. Sam I am. I do not like trolls, flames, or spam."
The Codex Quaerendae (my philosophy) - The Chronicles of Quelouva (my fiction)

User avatar
StClair
Posts: 409
Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 8:07 am UTC

Re: 1084: "Server Problem"

Postby StClair » Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:52 am UTC

A turducken is a Matryoshka doll made with (supposedly) edible poultry.

Turkey + duck + chicken, one inside the other. The idea is that a cross-sectional slice will combine meats, and thus flavors. (Well, actually the idea is more like "because we can.")

Alltat
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm UTC

Re: 1084: "Server Problem"

Postby Alltat » Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:56 am UTC

Eutychus wrote:Actually, the "black goat" explanation worked fine for me, but now I have another problem.

What's a turducken?

Wikipedia to the rescue.

Kit.
Posts: 1117
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:14 pm UTC

Re: 1084: "Server Problem"

Postby Kit. » Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:30 am UTC

tetromino wrote:
asdfzxc wrote:Can somebody explain what's going on in the third panel?

Problem #1: it suggests a rather disfunctional filesystem layout on the server.

Problem #0: it shows an ungooglable error message.

Which alone suggests that he might have set the whole thing up. Probably what we see is actually not a shell prompt.

Wlerin
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:16 pm UTC

Re: 1084: "Server Problem"

Postby Wlerin » Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:32 am UTC

Alsadius wrote:As far as I can tell, it consists mostly of a million things that shouldn't go together getting piled into each other. ls is the basic list files command in Linux, share folders are usually used for network sharing, Adobe makes utility software, doc is most commonly associated with Microsoft Office, Android is a cellphone OS, root is supposed to be the base directory, .jar implies that it's a Java program, and calling it a device makes it seem like it's a periphreal. I don't know what sbin refers to, but it's enough of a devil's brew even without that - when you're remapping basic functions of your OS to Javascript files aping USB gadgets buried eight directories deep inthe weirdest[your standard linux] file tree I've ever seen, you have done something very bad to your computer.

All in all, it sounds almost as bad as the time my mom's computer forgot how to work an .exe file - let me tell you, that was a "fun" afternoon.

It's people like you that make things like this happen. :P

NotAllThere
Posts: 146
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:54 pm UTC

Re: 1084: "Server Problem"

Postby NotAllThere » Fri Jul 20, 2012 8:54 am UTC

Oh I see. A variant on "Do you still have the boxes the computer came in?".
yangosplat wrote:So many amazing quotes, so little room in 300 characters!

DaveMcW
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat May 17, 2008 7:42 pm UTC

Re: 1084: "Server Problem"

Postby DaveMcW » Fri Jul 20, 2012 8:56 am UTC

It combines three system files that should not be modified:
/usr/share
/root/sbin
ls

... with three apps that are not suitable for managing a server:
/Adobe
/android_vm
.jar

... plus one file that indicates the author is a total newbie:
/doc/example

User avatar
da Doctah
Posts: 996
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:27 am UTC

Re: 1084: "Server Problem"

Postby da Doctah » Fri Jul 20, 2012 9:07 am UTC

asdfzxc wrote:Can somebody explain what's going on in the third panel?

Sure. The guy is running Linux, which means that any problem he's having is by definition unfixable.

User avatar
Max™
Posts: 1792
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:21 am UTC
Location: mu

Re: 1084: "Server Problem"

Postby Max™ » Fri Jul 20, 2012 9:10 am UTC

DaveMcW wrote:It combines three system files that should not be modified:
/usr/share
/root/sbin
ls

... with three apps that are not suitable for managing a server:
/Adobe
/android_vm
.jar

... plus one file that indicates the author is a total newbie:
/doc/example

Don't forget pointing to /root/sbin inside of all that other crap INSIDE of /usr/share.
mu

User avatar
BAReFOOt
Posts: 179
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:48 am UTC

Re: 1084: "Server Problem"

Postby BAReFOOt » Fri Jul 20, 2012 9:11 am UTC

Oh please. Only idiots believe in the “singularity”. Because:
If people start to not being able to keep up with technology, that obviously limits their ability to make it accelerate even faster.
So the acceleration will gradually flatten out at that point, meaning the speed of progress will become constant. It is naturally self-limiting.
Meaning a “singularity” can never happen.
Duh. This is blatantly obvious even to a child. Kurzweil is an idiot.

User avatar
BAReFOOt
Posts: 179
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:48 am UTC

Re: 1084: "Server Problem"

Postby BAReFOOt » Fri Jul 20, 2012 9:15 am UTC

rhomboidal wrote:… get official Linux support beyond "read the man page, superluser."


You have no idea what Linux is, do you?
PROTIP: By definition, there is no such thing as “official” with Linux or any open-source software with a distributed development model. Let alone "support". They’re not doing it for you, you know? Because they aren’t paid by you. They follow their own interests. And even if you’d offer them money, they don’t have any obligation to take it or do something for it. If you don’t like that, you make your own fork. If you can’t, you pay somebody who will do it for you. That’s how that works. And it's great.

User avatar
BAReFOOt
Posts: 179
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:48 am UTC

Re: 1084: "Server Problem"

Postby BAReFOOt » Fri Jul 20, 2012 9:17 am UTC

roochkeez wrote:IIRC, the singularity is the moment in time when computers become smarter than humans.


Not correct. It is the point where humans supposedly can’t keep up with the technological progress anymore.
Which is nonsense, since, as I explained above, there will never be such a point.
Unless of course I haven’t kept up, and Kurzweil conveniently changed the definition or "interpretation" since the last time I checked.

User avatar
Max™
Posts: 1792
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:21 am UTC
Location: mu

Re: 1084: "Server Problem"

Postby Max™ » Fri Jul 20, 2012 9:21 am UTC

A singularity is a point beyond which predictions can not be made.
mu

User avatar
BAReFOOt
Posts: 179
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:48 am UTC

Re: 1084: "Server Problem"

Postby BAReFOOt » Fri Jul 20, 2012 9:21 am UTC

da Doctah wrote:The guy is running Linux, which means that any problem he's having is by definition unfixable.


Uuum, that’s known as the Windows syndrome. Because you lack access and information, you can never fix it.
Linux actually is great because of being the exact opposite of that: There is no such thing as a unfixable problem under Linux.
(Ubuntu, and other distributions that hide everything great away under a [dumbed-down] Windows/OSX interface of colorful clickables, doesn’t count as Linux for that exact reason.)


Return to “Individual XKCD Comic Threads”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: mscha and 94 guests