Literary Documentation

A conversation with a friend on Facebook late last night led to a discussion on taking quotes from literature and rewriting them slightly so that they would fit into technical documentation.  Obviously, it being late at night some of these attempts were more successful than others.

My initial attempts:

“Marley was dead, as was the document management system.”

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the time the backup failed.”

“To be or not to be, that is the question.  In the case of this server, the answer was “not to be”.”

“Oh no, not again”

“It’s pretty much fucked” — from the opening of the book I’m reading at the moment.


Rob “SQLDBAWithBeard” Sewell (blog|@SQLDBAWithBeard) suggested putting this into a blog post to open it out to a wider audience.

My friends on FB have already suggested these, some of which I don’t get…

From PP, we have:

“Alas, poor $hostname!  I knew him, Horatio: a server of infinite RAM, of most excellent drive space.”

“It wasn’t doing a thing that managers could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the AD together”

“And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” – one for all code everywhere

“You don’t have to run forever, you just have to run!”

“Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it yet.” – every project ever

From IH:

“Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the ticket logging system manual…”

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that faulty Array Controllers reduce grown men to tears”

“All backups are equal, but some backups are more equal than others.”

From FC:

“The primroses were overclocked.”

From MH:

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.  This section covers NTP server troubleshooting.”

“Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.  Remember the importance of regular server maintenance.”

“VRML was dead, to begin with.  There is no doubt whatever about that.  The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner.”

From SR:

“Once more unto the data breach, dear friends”

From TB:

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single server in sole possession of a dataset must be in want of a mirror.”

“Call me Sendmail.  Some years ago – never mind how long precisely – having little or no convention in my config files, and nothing particular to interest others, I thought I would send mail about a little and be the communicatory part of the world wide web.”

“Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, this git history must show.”

From RM:

“…whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the substrings and cursors of outrageous fortune…”

“The storms of the day before, and of the day before that, and the floods of the previous week had finally abated.  We got our ISO27001 certification.”

From ND:

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.  Another out by one error”

“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in BIOS”

From MS:

“You can run but you can’t terminate gracefully”

From DS:

“2b OR (not 2b) = -1”


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One Response to Literary Documentation

  1. In a room there lived a server. Not a nasty dirty room without air-conditioning full of discarded computer parts, nor yet a small tiny cupboard packed full of wires and tin. It was a data centre and that means pristine

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