If you get this, you’re a geek

It’s the second day of fall classes. I must be a little punch-drunk, what with all the obscure humor going up today, so forgive me.



  1. #1 Peter Z.
    August 29, 2006

    Yea, I saw that earlier and didn’t get it…

    I demand an explanation!!

  2. #2 eric
    August 29, 2006

    man sudo


  3. #3 Gaurav
    August 29, 2006

    Google “sudo”

  4. #4 flame821
    August 29, 2006

    Yes, please explain πŸ™‚

  5. #5 Soren Kongstad
    August 29, 2006

    In my new workplace we are a lot of geeks, but they are – gasp – microsoft geeks!

    We can laugh at the lunch table over stuff like 24 Hours Ip addresses (starting with 292), but if I showed them this cartoon tomorrow no one will understand!

    One of my coworkers was talking about how he mostly use keyboard shortcuts, to avoid damages to his shoulder, and I replied, that it was a curse with all these point and click interfaces. All you relly need is a Bourne again shell, and vi

    Oh and an explanation for the joke:

  6. #6 Diogenes
    August 29, 2006

    Explaining it wouldn’t make it funny to a non-geek, because both the content and the style is geek humor, but wikipedia for those that are curious:

  7. #7 flame821
    August 29, 2006


    Sudo (superuser do) allows a system administrator to give certain users (or groups of users) the ability to run some (or all) commands

    ahhhh, now it makes sense, thank you

  8. #8 gregonomic
    August 29, 2006

    push(@traits, “geeky”)

  9. #9 Babbler
    August 29, 2006

    I partly got it. That what happens when expiement with Linux on a vitural machine.

    There is hope for me…

  10. #10 Pete
    August 29, 2006

    What, no password authentication?
    I wouldn’t want this guy on my mac.

    But it would have been uber geeky if the guy said:

    No rule to make target `me'. Stop.
  11. #11 Doc Bill
    August 29, 2006

    And why do you call this brilliantly funny cartoon “obscure?”

    It was intelligently designed, obviously.

  12. #12 Ijon Tichy
    August 29, 2006

    the drawing sucks, but joke is great !!

  13. #13 Warren
    August 29, 2006

    OH NO!


  14. #14 sammy
    August 29, 2006

    Pete – maybe you can submit that as a patch to the toon’s original author?

    (Hee. No rule. Hee.)

  15. #15 PaulC
    August 29, 2006

    Speaking as a geek, I’m not sure it’s all that funny. “Make it yourself” really botches the whole metaphor. It should be more along the lines of “You don’t have permission to make a sandwich.” If you could make it yourself, you wouldn’t need sudo.

  16. #16 Soren Kongstad
    August 29, 2006

    Hmm thinking more about it, isn’t this a theistic joke?

    It depends on the existence of a superuser, with unrestricted priviliges?

  17. #17 60sGeek
    August 29, 2006

    Left: “make me a sandwich”
    Right: “NO”
    Left: sudo / make me a sandwich
    Right: “OK. YOU ARE A SANDWICH”.

    Suitably translated for TTX, that
    was a geek kneeslapper in the 60s!

  18. #18 CJ
    August 29, 2006

    I’m not that much of a geek but having had to use ‘terminal’ a time or two even I got this one.

  19. #19 plunge
    August 29, 2006

    make: *** No rule to make target `me’. Stop.

    And just as a note, sudo on many configurations will not require a password if you have used the command recently and already put in a password.

  20. #20 David Wintheiser
    August 29, 2006

    It should be pointed out, both for proper attribution purposes and ‘isn’t that frackin’ cool’ purposes, that the creator of the cartoon, Randall Munroe, is the same guy who did the ‘Science. It just works, bitches” cartoon that PZ linked to awhile back as well.

    My own personal favorite, though, is this one (

    Welcome to text-only Counterstrike.
    You are in a dark, outdoor map.
    > GO NORTH
    You have been pwned by a grue.

  21. #21 Heliologue
    August 29, 2006

    $ cat ~/me.txt


    echo "Geek"

    exit 0

  22. #22 JM
    August 29, 2006

    ha ha. I get it. It IS funny.

  23. #23 Carlie
    August 29, 2006

    Is that StickmanStickman? Is he writing again, or is that from the archives?

  24. #24 Comstock
    August 29, 2006

    Okay, I didn’t know what “sudo” meant when I first saw the cartoon, but now I do, and still I don’t really get it. Sudo gives someone executive privleges, right? It doesn’t force people to do things they don’t want to do. I agree with PaulC

    “Make it yourself” really botches the whole metaphor. It should be more along the lines of “You don’t have permission to make a sandwich.”

  25. #25 Gon
    August 29, 2006

    sudo gedit /home/iamageek.ouch

  26. #26 VeryGood
    August 29, 2006

    LOL! Very Funny!

    Comstock, if you try to do anything important without sudo the system says “NO”, but if you use sudo you can do whatever you want in the system, I think it’s a great joke

  27. #27 todd.
    August 29, 2006

    Would have been funnier as “sudo !!”.

  28. #28 NickM
    August 29, 2006

    I don’t know anything about web-stuff, working mostly with a baby. I took the cartoon as an expression of the way you talk to an infant. “Come back here” and “Molly, come back here” are two separate expressions to a baby, and while it wasn’t really funny it was awfully familiar.

  29. #29 George Cauldron
    August 29, 2006

    I don’t get it, which would be a cause for celebration, except I fear the reverse isn’t true — just because I don’t get it doesn’t mean I’m not a geek.

    But it is a cause for cautious optimism. πŸ™‚

  30. #30 Sebastian
    August 29, 2006

    Reminds me to work when the CEO asks for something.

  31. #31 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    August 29, 2006

    Yea, I saw that earlier and didn’t get it…

    I demand an explanation!!


  32. #32 jim
    August 29, 2006

    My favorite geek joke on a T shirt was:

    rm -rf /bin/lauden

  33. #33 JackGoff
    August 29, 2006

    [bookmarks this thread under TEH Funny]

  34. #34 Cassandra
    August 29, 2006

    Wow, I actually get that one. I’m going to go try it on my husband now. He’ll get a kick out of that. πŸ™‚

  35. #35 MartΓ­n Pereyra
    August 29, 2006

    Hey, I’m also a Microsoft geek (shame on me), but I got it.

  36. #36 Monado
    August 29, 2006

    My favourite geek joke shibboleth (if you get it, you’re a geek) is this joke:

    “If you’re not part of the solution,
    You’re part of the precipitate.”

    I guess that dates me to back when computers were steam-powered!

  37. #37 Don Culberson
    August 29, 2006

    Well… since we are celebrating our geekiness, I will go off topic and report that I received my Darwin bobblehead from the SIUC folks today and it ROCKS!! By far the highest quality bobblehead I have ever seen. I placed him on the front table during my Principles of Biology lecture. He bobbled positively when I was looking for reinforcement on some of the important points I was making. The students learned like CRAZY! It was a great morning.
    Uncle Don

  38. #38 Geeky Mom
    August 29, 2006

    Totally hilarious! BTW, blogging in bed. πŸ™‚

  39. #39 Peter Barber
    August 29, 2006

    > stop laughing


    > sudo stop laughing

    Ah… that’s better. And the coffee missed my PowerBook, thank goodness πŸ˜€ I don’t fancy taking it apart again like when I accidentally spilt Ribena all over it…

  40. #40 Gerard Harbison
    August 30, 2006

    Are you pretending to understand this PZ?

    Where’s the password request?


  41. #41 idlemind
    August 30, 2006

    Pete showed himself as the only geek true here. Except on the One True Unix it goes:

    make: don't know how to make me. Stop

    It was the GNU hackers (remember, Gnu’s Not Unix) who changed it to “No rule to make target…” — the humorless louts.

  42. #42 PZ Myers
    August 30, 2006

    I use sudo all the time — I run my own server, my laptop is unix-based. I even worked for 3 years as system administrator for a VAX 11/750, back in the late 80s, so I do have a little bit of techie geek cred.

    Is BSD unique? When I type sudo the first time, it asks a password; for the next 5 minutes, it won’t ask again (unless I override that with sudoers and the passwd_timeout parameter).

  43. #43 Lolman
    August 30, 2006

    If you understand this as a joke, you are a communist.

  44. #44 eric
    August 30, 2006

    The 5 minute timeout is standard on all *nix flavors I’ve worked on. There’s also “NOPASSWD: ALL” if you’re really lazy.

  45. #45 BlueIndependent
    August 30, 2006

    I guess I’m the only one who got a laugh out of the comic and had the premise wrong the whole time. I thought it was some play on the popularity of Sudoku puzzles, so the stick figure being told to make a sammich was thus convinced on the second go-around based on an addiction to said puzzles.

    Perhaps that was very obtuse of me to come up with that, but only glancing at it quickly, that’s what I processed. =/

  46. #46 Chris
    August 30, 2006

    > Sudo gives someone executive privleges, right? It doesn’t force people to do things they don’t want to do. I agree with PaulC

    No, that’s a misunderstanding of sudo; the joke works excellently. sudo doesn’t give your user more permissions than it had before, it makes the SUperuser DO the command you’d typed, using their uid rather than yours. At that point, it makes perfect sense to use a metaphor of the user making the sandwich changing from the unprivileged to privileged user.

    – Chris.

  47. #47 dichosa
    August 30, 2006

    I login to Maria my wife (and my Mac which is named Cooper) as root/superuser all the time when I want to get something done…. Unfortunately, Maria is always changing the password and kicking me out πŸ™‚ I play nice and get it back from time to time, but I really wish I could just load her up with a “Media Edition”, I’d love to have a remote control with a mute button. You other guy geeks know what I mean πŸ™‚

  48. #48 Jordan
    August 30, 2006

    “You other guy geeks know what I mean :)”

    No, you lost them at “my wife.”

  49. #49 mGee
    August 30, 2006

    So I’m a geek now?! When in the hell did that happen!? πŸ™‚

  50. #50 Keith Douglas
    August 30, 2006

    George Cauldron: Quite true. It doesn’t say “if and only if you get this, you’re a geek.”

    Monado: That one is amazing. I consider it one of the best science jokes ever.

    “Wife, media edition”? That sounds awfully sexist, unless of course you volunteer to become HusbandDOS and limit yourself to short filenames or something.

  51. #51 Graculus
    August 30, 2006

    Got mole problems?

    Call Avogadro: 602-21415

  52. #52 Flarn
    August 30, 2006

    Yep, I’m a geek.

  53. #53 cooper
    August 30, 2006

    Shouldn’t that be more like:

    “Configure me a sandwhich”

    “You have the stuff to make a sandwich.”

    “Make me a sandwhich.”

  54. #54 Rick @ shrimp and grits
    August 30, 2006

    $ configure me a sandwich

    checking build system type… i686-pc-linux-gnu
    checking host system type… i686-pc-linux-gnu
    checking target system type… i686-pc-linux-gnu
    checking for a BSD-compatible install… /usr/bin/install -c
    checking whether build environment is sane… HELL NO!
    error: user cannot tell computer from kitchen

  55. #55 Virge
    August 31, 2006

    Favorite geek joke:
    “There are only 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary, and those who don’t.”

  56. #56 Lynoure
    August 31, 2006

    A great example of why you do not want everyone to have sudo rights!

  57. #57 copyright
    August 31, 2006

    The cartoon is from

    Do you have permission to post it here?

  58. #58 Chris
    August 31, 2006

    @ copyright

    The page has this at the bottom:

    “This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License.
    This means you’re free to copy and share these comics (but not to sell them). ”

    So I would say that by not including the attribution he is violating the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License by posting it here. Simple remedy is to post the attribution above with the comic.

  59. #59 Chris
    August 31, 2006

    thanks. that was the best laugh I’ve had this week. 10/10

  60. #60 Carlie
    August 31, 2006

    You all know about already, right? Great place for presents of all kinds.

  61. #61 Quettaheru
    September 7, 2006

    REALLY good. I and my friends had a great time laughing at it.

  62. #62 UrbanSage
    September 11, 2006

    The SU is not Super User it is Subsitute User. And SUDO can be configured to not ask for a password. Nothing wrong with the mechanics of the joke. And it’s fun too!

  63. #63 Mushuweasel
    September 11, 2006

    That should be:

    push @{$self->{traits}}, ‘geeky’;

  64. #64 Gerard
    September 12, 2006

    You can allways make a sandwich, but you need to sudo in order to eat it.
    Oh, and take a look at this:

  65. #65 L1 mediated gene breaking
    January 31, 2007

    Hello! i am a begginer and my english is bad.

    I have a question. How can i suscribe to comments?, i know the metod for suscribe posts and new histories but i don’t know how alert me when a new comment is publicated in this blog.

    thanks and sorry for my bad english.

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