Subject: errno(2) codes

From: Naim Abdullah
Subject: errno(2) codes
Date: 16 Sep 86 05:45:44 GMT

The following was sent to me by a friend who was working at HP during the summer. I am posting it here for the people who missed the USENIX conference and who don't get the HP newsgroups.

At the USENIX Association conference in Atlanta recently a contest was held to invent the most humorous/bizarre/etc UN*X error message of the errno(2) ‘EERROR’ type. This contest had been tried at an earlier European Users Group meeting, where the winning entry was:

ENOTOBACCO Read on an empty pipe

You get the idea. A partial [alphabetized] list of ‘top(?)’ entries from Atlanta [and from several readers of hp.unix] follows; if your pun/wierdness tolerance is low, you may want to abandon ship:

EBEFOREI Invalid syntax
ECHERNOBYL Core dumped
ECRAY Program exited before being run
EDINGDONG The daemon is dead
EFLAT System needs tuning
EGEEK Program written by inept Frat member
EIEIO Here-a-bug, there-a-bug, …
EIUD Missing period
ELECTROLUX Your code could stand to be cleaned up
EMILYPOST Wrong fork
END.ARMS.CONTROL Silo overflow
ENOHORSE Mount failed
ENONSEQUETOR C program not derived from main(){printf("Hello, world");}
EWATERGATE Extended tape gap
EWOK Aliens sighted
EWOK Your code appears to have been stir-fried
EWOULDBNICE The feature you want has not been implemented yet

And finally, a sort-of “period piece”:

EMR.ED A host is a host,
From coast to coast
And nobody talks to a host that's close,
Unless the host that isn't close
Is busy, hung, or dead.

I would also like this new signal to be supported:

SIGNUKE Nuclear event occurred (cannot be caught or ignored :-)

Original email

Paul Hardy who was at the conference remembered these entries:

EEEEK Mouse on floor
EIEBGENER Wrong operating system
ENODICE Error in rand
ECREAT Missing vowel

The top 300 entries can be found in this conference trip report (p. 66) by Nick Stoughon.