User talk:Pistevo/dev/null

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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 Unix programmer jargon, it may also be called the 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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