User talk:Pistevo/dev/null

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*''Source'': [[w:/dev/null|Wikipedia article: /dev/null]]
*'''Source''': [[w:/dev/null|Wikipedia article: /dev/null]]

Revision as of 03:42, December 22, 2006

What is /dev/null?

In Unix-like operating systems, /dev/null or the null device is a special file that discards all data written to it, and provides no data to any process that reads from it (it returns EOF).

In [[w:Unix|Unix] [[w:programmer|programmer] jargon, it may also be called the [[w:bit_bucket|bit bucket] or black hole. The null device is typically used for disposing of unwanted output streams of a process, or as a convenient empty file for input streams. This is usually done by redirection.

So why use it in a signature?

This entity is a common inspiration for technical jargon expressions, metaphors and technical jokes by Unix programmers, e.g.:

  • "please send complaints to /dev/null" (i.e. "don't bother to send any complaints")
  • "my mail got archived in /dev/null" (i.e. "my mail got deleted")
  • A famous advertisement for the Titanium PowerBook G4 read [The Titanium Powerbook G4] Sends other UNIX boxes to /dev/null.
  • A warning to users that the system's /dev/null is already 98% full.
  • The April Fool's, 1995 issue of the German magazine c't reported on an enhanced /dev/null chip that would efficiently dispose of the incoming data by converting it to flicker on an internal glowing LED.


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