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Case 170

The Purple Beggar

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A certain monk of the Clan of Iron Bones approached host master Yishi-Shing, saying: “A thousand pardons, master, but ever since last week’s operating system upgrade I have not been able to bring up our backup disk array.”

Yishi-Shing asked, “What have you tried, other than pestering me?”

The monk said: “I have contacted the disk vendor—they say our new system is not supported. I have pored through their documentation—it is next to useless. I have scoured the web for others in my situation—none can be found. I have begged for help in online forums—not a single reply have I received.”

Yishi-Shing said: “Show me this ‘begging for help’.”

The monk opened his laptop and indicated his many polite pleas for assistance. Indeed, all were unanswered.

Yishi-Shing shook his head. “Then we have our answer.”

The master took the laptop from the monk’s hands and cross-posted the following to a dozen message boards:

**WARNING** Thundering Elephant’s 24-terabyte disk arrays CANNOT be mounted under Petulant Penguin kernel 89! No workaround is possible! AVOID THIS SETUP!!!

Yishi-Shing then closed the laptop and walked away, humming.

- - -

That evening the master summoned the monk and asked him what news.

The monk opened his laptop. “Five separate posters have each called me a blithering idiot and offered a simple solution to my problem, which they claim to have tested on their own systems.”

Yishi-Shing nodded. “My walk once took me past a beggar whose sign read, You do not DARE throw coins at ME! His body was purple with bruises but his bowl was always full.”

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