The other night I was coding in Octave. I required to calculate a factorial and I had no clue of the function name used to do it… so I guessed:

I typed “fact” … and got:

octave:1> fact

Richard Stallman knows of an unfixed bug in TeX.

Well, this was the daily WTF for me. So I asked for help:

octave:2> help fact

`fact’ is a function from the file /usr/local/octave-3.6.1/share/octave/3.6.1/m/miscellaneous/fact.m— Command: fact

— Function File: T = fact()

Display an amazing and random fact about the world’s greatest

hacker.…bla bla bla…

Mmmmm, *“Display an amazing and random fact about the world’s greatest hacker?”*

So I tried again:

octave:3> fact

Richard Stallman does not own a mobile phone because he can fashion a crude convex dish and shout into it at the exact resonant frequency of the ozone, causing a voice to seemingly come from the sky above his intended recipient.

That was really funny, so I did it again, and again:

octave:4> fact

kill -9 invokes Richard Stallman’s rage against a process.

octave:5> fact

The NOOP was created to give Richard Stallman some time to comb his beard.

octave:6> fact

Richard Stallman gets 9 bits to the byte.

octave:7> fact

Richard Stallman’s left and right hands are named “(” and “)”

octave:8> fact

Richard Stallman user GNU tar to compress air.

octave:9> fact

Richard Stallman wrote his own library and lives in it.

octave:10> fact

Richard Stallman’s DNA includes debugging symbols. But he doesn’t need them.

octave:11> fact

Richard Stallman doesn’t code; he dares the computer to not do his bidding.

octave:12> fact

Richard Stallman’s anti-virus programs cures HIV.

octave:13> fact

In an average living room there are 1,242 objects Richard Stallman could use to write an OS, including the room itself.

At this point I remembered where I have heard this kind of short phrases before: It’s a Richard Stallman geek version of the famous Chuck Norris Jokes!

I kept trying for a while and got:

octave:14> fact

Richard Stallman found Waldo using grep in /dev/null

octave:15> fact

Richard Stallman doesn’t like neither PCs-Intel nor Burger King… He prefers e-Macs…

octave:16> fact

Richard Stallman was coded by himself in lisp with Emacs.

octave:17> fact

There is no Windows in Richard Stallman’s house… only Doors…

octave:18> fact

Richard Stallman’s compiler is afraid to report errors.

The lisp reference and the last one where really hilarious…

By the way, factorial is calculated in Octave with “factorial” function, for example:

octave:19> factorial(5)

ans = 120

And what I really needed was to calculate nCk or n choose k, which is calculated using “nchoosek”:

octave:20> nchoosek(4, 2)

ans = 6

Enjoy the nice Stallman’s Octave Easter Egg