Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

09 Feb 2006, 21:04 p.m.

Error Messages From The Bard

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2006 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

A zillion years ago, back when Leonard was one of the editors of Segfault (a geek humor site with user-submitted content), I wrote and he published this bit:

If Shakespeare Wrote Error Messages

What a piece of work is man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god: the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals; and yet your login is incorrect, try again, you quintessence of dust.

'Tis nothing to you, for there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so, except for that bad command or file name.

Brevity is the soul of wit; too many arguments.

A little more than kin, and less than kind, and even less memory.

The fs type is out of joint. Oh cursed spite, that ever I was born to set it right!

What is the matter that you read, my lord?
Read error, file not found.

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are in your kernel, but it's still too big.

Your process hath shuffled off this mortal coil.

Oh, what a noble drive here is o'erthrown!

'Sblood, do you think I am easier to be played upon than a pipe? OK, maybe not that pipe.

I'll lug the guts into the neighbor room, or just dump them in your root directory.

Something is busy in the state of your mount point.

Revenge should have no bounds. As for floating points, I'll make an exception.

Oh, what a rogue and peasant slave am I, to this server what reset my connection!

Fie, thy grief is a fault to heaven, a fault against the dead, a fault to nature, and a fault of segmentation.

Dost thou hear me, old friend? Can you play The Murder of Gonzago?
Memory access error.

Your login flies up, your password remains below; to logins without passwords authentication never goes.

Something wicked this way comes -- oh good, permission denied.

Bus error: the rest is silence.

As he did command, I did repel your packets and denied you access to me.

And flights of angels sing thy process to its rest!

Someone wrote me once, telling me that he actually used "Your login flies up, your password remains below; to logins without passwords authentication never goes" as an error message in a live system. I wonder whether it's still out there.