StATS: Some UNIX humor (March 22, 2007)

The website has a lot of computer humor. Here's one that caught my eye because I am taking a class in Bioinformatics and am learning a lot about UNIX.


better !pout !cry
better watchout
lpr why
santa claus <north pole >town

cat /etc/passwd >list
ncheck list
ncheck list
cat list | grep naughty >nogiftlist
cat list | grep nice >giftlist
santa claus <north pole >town

who | grep sleeping
who | grep awake
who | grep bad || good
for (goodness sake) { be good }

I've included links to some Wikpedia entries that document the particular Unix features that this joke highlights. Wikipedia also has a list of common Unix commands. Note that the underlined hyperlinks make some of the symbols harder to read (sorry!). You can find this joke at

Another fun Unix joke is at

This page was written by Steve Simon while working at Children's Mercy Hospital. Although I do not hold the copyright for this material, I am reproducing it here as a service, as it is no longer available on the Children's Mercy Hospital website. Need more information? I have a page with general help resources. You can also browse for pages similar to this one at Category: Statistical computing.