Vanity FAQs

Ron Resnick (
Wed, 20 May 1998 06:03:12 -0400

It turns out Adam Rifkin (yeah, *this* Adam Rifkin, not
*that* Adam Rifkin) isn't the only person who seems
to feel the need for his very own FAQ.

for vanity FAQ of Andrew Tanenbaum (yeah, *that* Andrew Tanenbaum).

Quite informative & entertaining.

Parts I rather liked:

> How much email do you get?
> Too much. Much as I might like to, I really cannot help
> undergraduates all over the world with their homework or
> help graduate students choose thesis topics, or write tenure
> letters for assistant professors I have never heard of
> or give product recommendations, or tell you how to set up your
> network or help you find references to
> interesting papers or help you find a job or engage in a discussion
> about your favorite topic or ... Nevertheless, I
> am constantly being asked to do all these things, and in great volume.

> Which editor do you use for producing books?
> I use the elle editor (a stripped down emacs clone, but very fast).
> I am probably the only elle user in the world,
> but I still like it. I have a mouse, but don't have a mouse driver
> for MINIX and have never felt the need to write
> one. Typing "rm x y z" is a lot faster than clicking five times
> and then having to convince the system that you
> really, truly, mean it and this is not a mistake and that you
> are consenting adult over 18 and that you completely
> understand the consequences and you still want to do it.

> What's wrong with LaTeX?
> Nothing, but real authors use troff.

> What do you think of Linux?
> I have never used it. People tell me that if you like lots of
> bells and whistles, it is a nice system. I would like to
> take this opportunity to thank Linus for producing it. Before there
> was Linux there was MINIX, which had a
> 40,000-person newsgroup, most of whom were sending me email every
> day. I was going crazy with the endless
> stream of new features people were sending me. I kept refusing
> them all because I wanted to keep MINIX small
> enough for my students to understand in one semeseter. My consistent
> refusal to add all these new features is
> what inspired Linus to write Linux.

and my favourite:

> What do you think of MS-DOS?
> It is better than Windows. At least it has a command line interface,
> albeit a pretty feeble one.