Zone38 Presents...
Letters to the World

30-Mar-2002

More amusing search requests

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 12:15 am

I was just shuffling through my latest server logs and came across two search requests which sound, to paraphrase Dave Barry, like they would make good names for techno groups: “Better Than Vocalwriter” and “Musical Bitmaps”.

Also in the logs were two bizarre searches which sounded as if they came about through some variation of Googlewhacking: “cordless phone etymology” and “dual p3-500 chess”…

28-Mar-2002

::slaps head::

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 12:17 pm

OK, I just corrected a stupid bug on the Proofreader’s Hall of Shame style sheet. Suffice it to say, I forgot to put # signs before the color codes used for text and background colors. Strangely, it only caused problems with Macintosh versions of IE, but nonetheless…how’d you like to see white text on a white background when browsing a page? Didn’t think so.

27-Mar-2002

The worst user manuals

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 9:00 pm

Ever had one of those instruction manuals where, no matter how long and how hard you stare at it, you just can’t get it to make any sense? Well, there’s actually a contest for such things; go figure. My personal favorites, incidentally, are the “Terrorable Hexahedron”– just remember to “rofate those 3 necesary sows of the 4 pre-arrsnged sows for several furns (without worrying abont the sotcting direction)”!– and the badly-cropped knife illustration. [Edited 2002-06-24: page was moved on TecStandards’ site, link updated to reflect that.]

Blog name change

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 8:16 pm

I decided that it was time to change my blog’s name to something less bland and clichéd than “Rants and Raves”. So, without further ado: it’s now “Letters to the World” — yes, inspired by that Emily Dickinson poem.

25-Mar-2002

Silly rabbit…

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 7:06 pm

Silly rabbit– cursors are for kids!

Tales of computer ineptitude

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 1:03 am

I guess I should blog this before I completely forget about it…

My dad mentioned to me that one of his employees had the urge several days ago to burn some incense in her house [not in her office, as I had originally reported; I stand corrected]. Unfortunately, there wasn’t exactly anything in the room that was really suitable for burning incense, so the employee in question created a makeshift incense burner using one of the little slots in her computer. Let’s just say that it wasn’t long before the computer refused to even boot up, thanks to what appears to be a broken power supply…

This, of course, is the same employee who installed a print cartridge only to find that the paper still came out blank afterwards. Turns out she forgot to remove the little bit of adhesive tape that’s used to protect the nozzle…

21-Mar-2002

Still another babelfish bug

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 5:24 pm

OK, this is getting ridiculous. Try translating “signore” out of Italian through Babelfish and you’ll soon find that it means “getlteman”. Shouldn’t that be gentleman? Oops…

One more babeling…

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 1:48 pm

Oh, and one last Babelfish amusement, also courtesy of Travholt: “Live and let die” into French and back results in “Live and leave the matrix”!

More multibabel fun

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 1:11 pm

And you thought the “White Christmas” translation below was amusing? Here’s the actual trace of a MultiBabel translation of “rink”:

Original English Text: rink
Translated to French: patinoire
Translated back to English: skating rink
Translated to German: Eisbahn
Translated back to English: Ice-skating rink
Translated to Italian: rink Ghiaccio-ice-skating
Translated back to English: rink Ghiaccio-ice-skating
Translated to Portuguese: rink queghiaccio-ice-skating
Translated back to English: rink queghiaccio-hoists-skating
Translated to Spanish: pista queghiaccio-alzar-queghiaccio-hoists-skating
Translated back to English: track queghiaccio-to raise-queghiaccio-hoists-skating

And even more bizarre:

Original English Text: rink works
Translated to French: la patinoire travaille
Translated back to English: the skating rink works
Translated to German: die Eisbahn arbeitet
Translated back to English: the ice-skating rink operates
Translated to Italian: il rink ghiaccio-ice-skating funziona
Translated back to English: rink the ice-ice-skating works
Translated to Portuguese: rink gelo-gelo-ice-ice-skating trabalha
Translated back to English: rink ice-ice-hoist-hoists-skating works
Translated to Spanish: trabajos hielo-hielo-alzar-alzar-ice-ice-hoist-hoists-skating de la pista
Translated back to English: works ice-ice-raise-raise-hoist-hoist-hoist-hoists-skating of the track

Thanks to Travholt, who of course is a regular visitor to Works Ice-Ice-Raise-Raise-Hoist-Hoist-Hoist-Hoists-Skating of the Track, for discovering this bizarre Systran bug.

MultiBabel

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 12:34 pm

Too lazy to manually translate things back and forth using Babelfish? Try the MultiBabel interface for your mistranslation amusements.

Speaking of which, here’s a potential classic: “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know”, after being run through all of Babelfish’s languages, becomes “The dream of the native white man, the right has taste of this, the one that practitioner to know”. Talk about a total shift in meaning…

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