back to article Getting a pizza the action, AS/400 style

Monday has shuffled into view once more and brought with it another Register reader confession in the form of our regular Who, Me? column. "Charles," for that is most definitely not his name, is the culprit this week in a cautionary tale of why displaying some sort of confirmation text is probably a good idea. Our story takes …

  1. LDS Silver badge
    Devil

    "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

    No, that's not how *nix works, it has to let users wondering about what happened "magically", you have to trust the system, admins and developers. Confirmations are for lusers. Then you get 56 pizzas - at least they should not have had pepperoni, I hope....

    1. Joe W Silver badge

      Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

      Exactly. I read somewhere that "it [unix] came with a set of distgustingly dangerous utilities that meant nothing but could render a system useless within seconds".

      Play with

      # fire

      get burnt....

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

        I read somewhere that "it [unix] came with a set of distgustingly dangerous utilities that meant nothing but could render a system useless within seconds".

        Aren't they called users?

        1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

          Ah users, the people who like to report "Its not working Urgent!!!!" with no detail as to what the issue is.

      2. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

        The dangerous commands comment should, obviously, carry a caveat of if you are running commands that you do not know what they do as a privileged user, you should have your privilege revoked immediatly.

        I don't know how Unix got dragged in here, but ever since Unix edition 2 or 3 in the 1970s, you've had the concept of ordinary users and privileged users, so there has been no excuse to do day-to-day user tasks with a privileged account.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

          More properly, you should never have had the privilege in the first place.

          1. TeeCee Gold badge
            Facepalm

            Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

            I was just wondering who the hell runs a '400 allowing users access to the command line, let alone the ability to actually run something on it?

            The most completely bulletproof security model of any O/S ever produced[1] and somebody, somewhere never bothered to implement it.

            [1] If done correctly, users have access to menus, menus have access to applications, applications have access to data. Even if a user can get a command line it won't do anything for them.

    2. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

      And this is why I have $? as part of my shell prompt. Knowing the return code (roughly similar to errorlevel for you DOS-junkies) is incredibly useful.

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

        I havent used DOS in years, but yes for Command Prompt/Powershell errorlevel is very useful.

      2. hmv Silver badge

        Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

        As compensation for being a proper sysadmin for many years and avoiding tweaking my shell environment too much to cause problems in broken environments, I've since gone overboard in tweaking things. My shell prompt now shows a green ✓ or a red ✗ depending on $?

    3. jake Silver badge

      Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

      Who said anything about *nix?

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

        Well, OS/400 was POSIX-branded, eventually. I think with V4R3 in 1998. And it eventually included most of the non-POSIX parts of the Single UNIX Specification, too. And it has PASE, which is basically AIX-under-i.

        But, yeah, OS/400 is about the least-UNIXy UNIX-compatible OS ever.

        Personally, even though I'm a longtime UNIX1 developer, I have a certain fondness for OS/400. It's so bizarre and awkward for anyone not coming from an S/38 background, particularly in its early days and on underpowered machines like the B-series. Using it was ergodic, like playing a programming RPG. And there's something very satisfying about filling in a bunch of options on one of the big scrolling menus in PDM, whacking the rock-solid Enter key on your hulking 5250, and going off for lunch because you know it'll be an hour before it's finished compiling.

        Developing in UNIX is like flying. Developing in OS/400 was like hiking up a mountain. Either way you achieve some altitude, but it's a very different experience.

        1And Windows, and OS/2, and a bit of IBM z, and some VAX, and ...

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

          "Developing in UNIX is like flying. Developing in OS/400 was like hiking up a mountain. Either way you achieve some altitude, but it's a very different experience."

          When I'm flying I prefer to go well over the top of the mountain, or to go around it completely ... Come to think of it, maybe your analogy is more apt than intended :-)

          In the time frame of TOA, un*x/POSIX wasn't an option on the AS/400 (outside of Armonk, perhaps ... and maybe Murray Hill ... the BSD world was working on it, of course).

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

          OS/400 was best.OS.ever - it was adding all that Unix/POSIX shite that "corrupted its purity". If only IBM would open-source V4R4 or V5R3. All the pizza comments underneath suggest most of the commenters have limited experience of an actual AS/400, or were irredeemably corrupted by prior experience to a Unix OS. So far as the flying/hiking metaphor goes, IMHO its more like Unix is waving a primitive handgun in a crowded room (you're bound to hit something, but the consequences are unpredictable) versus OS/400 being a decent sniper rifle whose trigger sometimes but rarely jams, in which case you wait/hope for the PTF. It takes longer to code stuff in OS/400 based languages, but if you can get it to compile, it'll work for decades. Soltis for president. :-)

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

            Not even close. un*x is more like a 400+ piece mechanic's tool kit, OS/400 is like the kit you cobbled together out of your Dad's cast-offs to fix your bike when you were a kid.

            Worse, OS/400 apparently corrupts people's brains to the point where they no longer understand how important pizza is.

    4. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

      The mantra with many operating systems is "If it completes silently, it worked".

      This has never seemed a problem to me, at least not until you get a command that fails silently.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

        That's not how humans function. We are designed to seek confirmation feed back. You ask for something, the other person says OK. They don't just hand it to you. If the computer screen doesn't say it's doing something, that implies it is not doing anything.

        I've often suspected that computer human interfaces (UI) are designed by people who aren't very good with people. Then tested on people who like computers, ( which is why they do testing of them) not people.

        If you really want to test an idea for a UI design ask a retired double-glazing salesman, a politician or a con man ( pretty much the same thing tbh) - they understand, intuitively, how people function or they fail at the job.

        1. heyrick Silver badge

          Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

          "You ask for something, the other person says OK. They don't just hand it to you."

          I do.

          You want inane conversation, get a parrot...

          1. LDS Silver badge
            Joke

            Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

            I hope you never fly a plane.... or anything alike....

          2. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

            This is not standard human interaction. It's why SciFi robots say "I obey" as if they could do anything other- the writers give them human characteristics.

            1. heyrick Silver badge

              Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

              "It's why SciFi robots say "I obey" as if they could do anything other"

              I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't to do that.

              1. Terry 6 Silver badge

                Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

                True, though not a true robot. True robots have arms legs bodies heads etc.

                And even HAL answered, just not in the affirmative. But he did answer..

        2. thosrtanner

          Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

          Some of the worst User Interfaces I've come across have been designed by software engineers, who haven't bothered to think about what the user is trying to do, they've bothered about how to reflect how you talk to the underlying system.

          We had one screen where '1' meant switched off and '0' meant switched on. Check boxes? The words enabled or disabled? Hahaha. Everybody got confused by this. To the point when someone needed to add some more entries to the screen, and he made the new entries expect '1' for enabled.

          It was an utter disaster.

          1. MarkET

            Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

            A bit like Windows Group Policy settings such as "Enable auto-disabling of non-work related stuff except when enabled by local policy override" etc.

          2. brotherelf
            FAIL

            Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

            Oh good lard, the pretty new variant of "slider" toggles labeled with on/off where the slider isn't in a way to make it completely non-obvious whether they designate state or action.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

              I hate those 'cookie opt-outs' where the text is ambiguous and changes as you toggle the slider, so you're never really sure if you have opted in or out

              (yes, I automatically dump the cookies on my personal machine but on my work machine it's a manual job)

              1. Terry 6 Silver badge

                Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

                An excellent example of the design, but not the motivation, which is cynical, not incompetent.

        3. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

          Computers like feedback too, or your browser session would still be running on udp.

        4. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

          >That's not how humans function. We are designed to seek confirmation feed back.

          Unix is designed to allow you to string simple commands together.

          That's tricky if the output of '2+2' = "The answer is 4 and 4 is the answer, 3 is not the answer unless the answer continues to 4, 5 is right out. "

        5. Getmo

          Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

          What's sad / odd about that if you read some of Joel Spolsky's blog, is how easy some basic user testing can be.

          "Hallway testing" is like you describe, grab 5 people walking down the hallway, and *gently encourage them to come test your software. Usually you'll discover any glaring problems with how your average person expects the software to work (user model) vs. how it actually works (program model) within the first 2 or 3 people.

          *gentle encouragement = candy, cattle prod, or chloroform, depending on how bad the software is to start with.

          1. Mike 16 Silver badge

            how your average person expects the software to work

            I once had the privilege of working with a fellow who had a talent for doing "the unusual". Got used to running new code past him, and trying to stifle my urge to ask "Why did you do _that_?", because if one person felt a particular action "made sense", then there may be more, and maybe I should consider not "What I expect them to do", but "What they might do"

            1. Terry 6 Silver badge

              Re: how your average person expects the software to work

              Always. The spec designer has built in expectations ( assumptions) about what people want/need/expect/will do.

              The people who write the interface will carry their own assumptions.

              Possibly the testers have a shared understanding because ( see previous post) they were dragooned from a shared hallway or were recruited from the general public by a market research agency who generally get people many of whom are interested in that product. Especially if the "incentive" pay and the venue convenience aren't that great. it's amazing how often market researcher companies actually make getting on to do the research difficult - a big disincentive to the disinterested users.

              I'd suggest the best testing would be done by the sort of user who thinks the screen is the computer and the big square box is just there to rest the computer on and connect things to.

              1. Martin an gof Silver badge

                Re: how your average person expects the software to work

                the sort of user who thinks... the big square box is just there to rest the computer on and connect things to.

                That may have been true years ago when 'normal' people started having to use computers at work, and what they thought of as the computer was actually a VT52 terminal or similar. These days I find that even otherwise tech un-savvy people have absorbed some terminology (invariably not-quite-correctly) and the box is now either the 'CPU' or the 'hard drive' which connects to the 'monitor' - which is never as good as the one on their colleague's table and what does it take to get an upgrade around here? Once you realise that 'my hard drive isn't working' probably actually means the cleaners have unplugged it again things get a lot easier.

                Of course, it's all being subverted these days, with all-in-ones such as the iMac meaning that (in a way) the monitor really is the computer.

                M.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: how your average person expects the software to work

              The developer's moto -

              "Well, it works fine on my computer!"

              To be fair, it was only the developers I had to deal with directly said this, developers from other companies were more helpful.

              Felt like putting up a sign on the inside of the door - "Warning! You are about to enter the real world".

              One example that comes to mind, before you downvote me is that we sold a system that you could import user photos for IDs. Considering every digital camera I've seen saves in JPG format, why would you set the file type to BMP?

            3. Getmo

              Re: how your average person expects the software to work

              Different forum topic, but also on testing, somebody mentioned they had a guy in the shop like that.

              "WHY would you even try that?!?"

              "Because the software lets me."

              So simple and beautiful, it's almost poetry...

          2. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

            Not if you are in a building full of techies.

            1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
              Headmaster

              Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

              In such cases ask the cleaner, the canteen staff or if you're really desperate, someone from the C-suite or a corner office...

              1. Terry 6 Silver badge

                Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

                With caution. Vulnerable hourly paid staff may know which way the wind's blowing and want to be agreeable to whatever half-crazed inhuman piece of confusion the development team puts in front of them.

                "Yes I really like the way the instruction says <move the slider switch to toggle on or off> with all the switches on the first page going to the left to be off and on the second page they go left to be on."

                (And tbh I'm not sure I've exaggerated this).

        6. swm Silver badge

          Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

          When we were hot patching a real-time processor we would type in the code and then type in the branch to the code. Either we got a line feed (everything OK) or computer bootloaded (everything not OK).

        7. Stuart Castle Silver badge

          Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

          Depends on the human. Many people I know that use Unix don't give you feedback if asked to do something, unless they have problems. That has likely influenced the design of Unix itself, which, if a command doesn't have a visible effect, doesn't often given any feedback unless it's reporting an error.

        8. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

          That's not how humans function

          And we know all humans are identical, so there's that sorted.

          1. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

            The fact that there are some exceptions does not, in the slightest, negate the point. People for the most part expect a response. Designing for the general user means you need to work to that standard.

            And if, as a designer, you are not within that standard group you need to either find out how that group responds or gtfo of that line of work.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

              "Need." You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.

              1. Terry 6 Silver badge

                Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

                Variously

                to have to have something,

                a requirement, necessary duty, or obligation:

                It is a requirement that a UI fits the expected behaviours held by the vast majority of users.

                A developer has an obligation to meet the expected behaviours of those users ( unless there is a very good reason why not).

                Obligation is rather subjective.

                1. jake Silver badge

                  Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

                  A supposed "need" on your part does not, in any way shape or form, equal a requirement on my part.

                  Put another way, I am not obliged to cater to your so-called "needs".

                  1. Terry 6 Silver badge

                    Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

                    It's not all about you. (Nor even about me for that matter).

                    There's an aggressiveness about your assertions that is quite surprising - as if you are defending something.

                    However.

                    This is about what suits the vast generality of users.

                    What you do with your software ( if you create programmes at any level) is your business - up to the point where you want the ordinary member of the public to use it.

                    And then you need to match to ordinary human behaviour (needs) unless you are specifically designing for users who are different.

                    So, what you call "so called " needs are so called because the users do actually need that stuff.

                    And I use the terms "software" and "UI" quite generally - since I spent a great deal of time a few years ago working on a redraft with a professional who'd designed and drafted a really important data sharing application that was almost unusable - because she'd filled it full of jargon terms that either meant nothing to most users, or worse, meant something different. And then made completing it convoluted and confusing.

      2. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

        The mantra with many operating systems is "If it completes silently, it worked"

        In the long-ago world of 24-line terminals, the last thing you want is to scroll valuable history off the top of the screen to accommodate the output from some chatty utility.

        $ cd ~

        We are now in your home directory.

        Have a nice day!

        $

        Remember the hatred for the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation doors with Real People Personalities.

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

          Doesn't 'cd ~' change the prompt (assuming you have the path displayed in the prompt of course)?

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

            No, the ~ represents a shortcut to your home directory. Try echo ~ then su to some other user and echo ~ again. So basically, cd ~ switches you to the home directory of the current login, regardless of where in the directory structure you issue the command.

            A sometimes useful option for admins is cd ~username, which changes to username's home directory from anywhere in the directory structure.

          2. ovation1357 Bronze badge

            Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

            On many older UNIX systems (and even on some Linux ones) the 'PS1' environment variable for the prompt is not set up by default to show you anything except a $ or # depending on whether you're a regular user or root.

            I'm not sure how C Shell handles this but certainly with Bourne/Korn or Bash and derivatives it's PS1.

            So as the other reply mentions cd ~ itself only takes you home - whether or not your prompt changes very specific to each environment include UNIX flavour, system defaults and user preferences.

    5. SVV Silver badge

      ONU

      OS/400sNotUnix

      Although it does have a unix command line that isn't really unix. When IBM renamed their systems about 20 years ago, OS/390 became z/OS as the mainframes were rebranded as z series. Because the AS/400 became the i series, the operating system OS/400 should really have been renamed i/OS. Instead it's apparently called IBM i. Although nobody who uses it actually calls it that. If you aren't starting to get confused, then you might like this operating system. Otherwise, you can join everyone else who finds it's uppercase vowel free tribute to mainframe job control languages of decades past CMPLTLY FCKNG RRTTNG.

      1. Martin Gregorie Silver badge

        Re: ONU

        Actually, once I got past OS/400's major stupid design feature (9 character names and no extensions), it turned out to be a decent OS. What's not to like about the powerful command language and the full-screen prompting (a nicely formatted screen with boxes for entering command arguments, all boxes labelled with name, type of argument, and defaults that works for user-written stuff as well as standard utilities) and predictable command names once you've got your head round the abbreviation scheme that 9 character names requires, e.g. once you know that CRTRPGPGM (short for "create RPG program") runs the RPG compiler its easy to guess that CRTPLIPGM is the PL/1 compiler and CRTCBLPGM is the COBOL compiler. Don't know its parameters? Just type CRTCBLPGM and hit the 'screen prompt' key and there are all the arguments, named and summarised ready to fill in before hitting the 'Do it' key.

        ICL's VME/B did the same thing, only better because it used nice meaningful names for commands, with a naming scheme that let you guess names with a good chance of being right, an additional short-form that was equally easy to understand and with an online command lookup system. For instance, to delete a file you used the 'deletefile' command or 'xf' for short. 'x' was always the abbreviation for 'delete', 'f' was always short for 'file' and 'n' for 'new', so you didn't have to be a genius to work out that "newfile(workspace)" would create a new file called workspace and that nf(workspace) would do the same thing. It also provided full-screen prompts for command parameters and these features worked for user-written code as well as for system commands.

        Naming consistency is the only thing lacking in UNIX/Linux systems, but at least these have help prompts for most commands as well as manpages and the very useful 'apropos' command for looking up command names.

        Bog help those condemned to use other OSen that lack these useful productivity aids.

        1. Steve Kerr

          Re: ONU

          Got dumped with OS/400 once when I was helping configure one (without knowing anything it) by someone who promptly went on holiday for the next 2 weeks leaving me as the "expert" after being given an introduction into it using the words "This is the login/password, I'm off on holiday now, bye".

          Cupboard full of manuals and people asking me about x, y, z.

          Once I got into the steep learning curve of logging in and then "now, what", actually came to like the command verb syntax. I reckon if you thought about what you wanted to do, you could work out the command 95% of the time without looking it up, and the command prompting was excellent.

          Very weird operating system though.

      2. LDS Silver badge

        Re: ONU

        Yeah, GNU too but they all follow the same design principles...

      3. Andy Landy

        Re: ONU

        uppercase vowel free

        historically yes, though IBM eventually made amends of a sort by introducing the "EIEIO" instruction to PowerPC :)

        1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: ONU

          historically yes, though IBM eventually made amends of a sort by introducing the "EIEIO" instruction to PowerPC :)

          If it failed, did it buy the farm?

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ONU

        I think it *was* called i/OS for a few years, from the time it was rebranded as eServer i Series in the 2000s to the consolidated Power Systems line (AIX and OS/400 on a common hardware platform, yay!) in 2008.

        Thankfully, nobody got confused between the AS/400 operating system and those gimmicky smart phone OSes.

      5. Crusty

        Re: ONU

        My first IT job was installing OS/400 on the machines that wrote the compilers for IBM... C, C++, COBOL, RPG. It was in the days of OS/400 V2R1.1.

        I knew a little DOS, that was about it. CL was DevOPS before devops and you can do database magic with a few lines of RPG.

        There was nothing like it in the time if you needed to develop a database application.

        Linux and MySQL were years away. These machines powered every department store, car lot and town finance department.

        Today I use Linux but OS/400 is an architecture that was purpose built, yes, but far before it's time.

        Soltis was a genius . . . read the books.

  2. MrMerrymaker Bronze badge

    He didn't resign out of shame?

    I guess he kneaded the dough...

    1. jake Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: He didn't resign out of shame?

      This crusty old hacker thinks your comment was cheesy and in need of a beer.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: He didn't resign out of shame?

      I'm surprised he wasn't given his marching orders and wood-fired...

    3. Korev Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: He didn't resign out of shame?

      These puns deliver today...

      1. Bill Gray
        Coat

        Re: He didn't resign out of shame?

        Certainly some saucy puns here. Absolutely topping, they are. I'm glad people are thinking outside the box.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: He didn't resign out of shame?

        Yeah, but Tom didn't help reduce the pile because Tom ate 0.

  3. Chris G Silver badge

    56!

    That tower of pizza was probably unstable.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: 56!

      It was totally stable when the problem was divided between multiple servers.

    2. terrythetech
      Mushroom

      Re: 56!

      56 factorial is 7.109985878×10⁷⁴ according to my calculator app. That is one almighty big tower of pizza, it probably distorts the space time continuum which would almost certainly make it unstable.

      1. ibmalone Silver badge

        Re: 56!

        It could have been worse. Asking for everyone's order from the takeaway menu was going fine until we got to Graham's number.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: 56!

          Could have been much worse: the system returns -1 as an error code and the pizza place come round and take away your pizza

          1. Chris 239

            Re: 56!

            Or it orders 255 or 655365 pizzas!

  4. tip pc Silver badge

    So the pizza shop got 56 separate faxes all the same.

    It should have at least added the users name and number to the order.

    56 faxes for the same pizza to the same place should have looked suspicious.

    The pizza shop sjouke have at least phoned to confirm.

    1. JoeCool

      Re: So the pizza shop got 56 separate faxes all the same.

      A few duplicates 2,3,4,5 ... would be suspicous. 56 is clearly intentional.

  5. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    Pineapple good. Pepperoni bad.

    A thin crust, Canadian bacon & pineapple is yummy. Anything with pepperoni on it isn't fit to feed the dog.

    If you think otherwise then you are an Abomination Unto Nuggin & should be spanked with rancid sourkraut as punishment.

    *Blows an exuberent, boisterous, feisty raspberry like a Frenchman atop the castle wall*

    =-D

    1. simonlb

      Re: Pineapple good. Pepperoni bad.

      Putting pineapple on a pizza is like putting anchovies on ice cream - a perverse level of sickness that no one ever needs to experience. And remember, just because you can do something does not mean that you should. Ever.

      Pepperoni on the other hand.....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Pineapple good. Pepperoni bad.

        "Putting pineapple on a pizza is like putting anchovies on ice cream"

        In my house, pizza should have ham, pineapple and peach slices, ever since I discovered this in Argentina 16 years ago. Be careful when ordering in a language you don't speak very well:- when we ordered a similar pizza from another shop in a different city, we got one with something we were pretty sure was leeks, along with thousand island dressing and glace cherries as well as the ham and pineapple....

        1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: Pineapple good. Pepperoni bad.

          This reminds me of the first time I had Sweet and Sour Pork in the Netherlands (many years ago).

          It seems their version of it translates as pieces of pork, battered, fried and served with a tinned fruit salad. Suffice it to say it never got ordered again, lesson learned.

      2. Tom 38 Silver badge
        Alert

        Re: Pineapple good. Pepperoni bad.

        If we're going down the "pineapple on pizza is an unholy abomination unto Italians", remember that there is no such thing as "pepperoni" in Italy. Closest thing by spelling is peperoni, which are sweet bell peppers and peperoncini, which are hot chilli peppers. For something close to the American pepperoni, you'd want salsiccia piccante, which literally means spicy sausage, and there are many fine varieties.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Pineapple good. Pepperoni bad.

          "peperoncini, which are hot chilli peppers"

          For very, very small values of "hot".

          Pepperoni is New York/New Jersey Italian immigrants making dry sausage with the ingredients they had available, but to Grandma's recipe. They probably didn't think much of the end result, either, but as a dry-cured sausage it was meat preserved for lean times. Which was the point. As is usually the case, the recipe was modified over time, and now there are some very edible varietals. None of these are mass-produced, though, and you are highly unlikely to find an edible version on a pizza in Europe. Or in Blighty, for that matter.

      3. HildyJ Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Pineapple good. Pepperoni bad.

        I'd try anchovies on ice cream before pineapple on pizza.

        Do you realize that in the states it is easier to find pineapple topping than anchovy topping? Oh the humanity!

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: Pineapple good. Pepperoni bad.

      If your sauerkraut has gone rancid, you've done something very, very wrong and are already being punished quite enough ...

    3. Chris G Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Pineapple good. Pepperoni bad.

      Pineapple on a pizza is an aberration and an abomination,it is against both the laws of nature and civilised behaviour. It is akin to putting sultanas into an otherwise decent curry, in such directions lies the route to hell and damnation.

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: Pineapple good. Pepperoni bad.

        Is this a bad time to mention my favourite restaurant in Tabor, Czech Republic, to which I return as often as possible for their sweet pizza (nutella, pineapple, kiwi fruit, banana, apple)?

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Pineapple good. Pepperoni bad.

          Nutella? That stuff's a crime against humanity.

          1. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: Pineapple good. Pepperoni bad.

            And a con. It's a way of cheapening chocolate spread by adding nut paste.

    4. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Pineapple good. Pepperoni bad.

      Thin crust is suitable only for repurposing the pizza as a frisbee.

      I prefer to make my own using premade dough (don't have the time to do it properly) because I can stretch the dough square out then fold it over itself twice to have a proper inch thick base.

      Then a light pasting of tomato and basil pasta sauce (not that horrid orange stuff that seems to blight too many a pizza). Keep it simple... A thin layer of mozzarella and a slightly thicker layer of cheddar and fuck all else. No burger bits, no pig bits, no shrooms, no fruit, no vomit, no cream, and definitely nothing that came out of the ocean or a horror movie (they're much of a muchness if you ask me).

      Oven, fifteen minutes, job done when the cheese has melted and the dough is "somewhat dry on the outside".

      1. Chris 239

        Re: Pineapple good. Pepperoni bad.

        I like thin, thick and deep pan but thin is the original genuine article first created in Italy and still the best IMO. The reason thick ones are popular in the UK (and I'm guessing the US) is that the thin ones here are mostly limp floppy things that fail to satisfy (oh er!). Proper thin ones are not floppy, they have bite and a bit of crunch.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Pineapple good. Pepperoni bad.

          "the original genuine article first created in Italy"

          Objection. Assumes facts not in evidence.

      2. Shadow Systems Silver badge

        At Heyrick, re: thin crust.

        I'm diabetic & am not allowed to have a regular nor thick crust pizza as the carbs end up shooting my blood sugar level into the stratosphere.

        A thin crust pizza still spikes my BSL, but not nearly as bad as what I get if I have a pizza with a thicker crust.

        Would I like a thicker crust? Sure. Can I have one without putting my arse in the hospital in a coma? Nope. =-(

    5. WereWoof

      Re: Pineapple good. Pepperoni bad.

      Once, In North Shields I had a donner kebab topped pizza, It was . . . interesting,

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: Pineapple good. Pepperoni bad.

        Even better is a doner calzone!

      2. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: Pineapple good. Pepperoni bad.

        "interesting2 depends on the origin/s of the contents, doner ranges in quality from CMOT Dibbler unnamed and unknown animal/anatomy to some of the excellent doner I get from a local Morroccan kebabista, though I can't recommend any doner when it's cold form the night before, for a morning after hangover breakfast.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Pineapple good. Pepperoni bad.

        "Once, In North Shields I had a donner kebab topped pizza, It was . . . interesting,"

        How exactly did they mount the rotisserie in the pizza?

        ... I'll get my coat...

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Pineapple good. Pepperoni bad.

          >Once, In North Shields I had a donner kebab topped pizza

          I had that inGlasgow, in a health food shop

  6. bofh1961

    Savagery?

    Pineapple on a pizza is the sign of true greatness.

    1. Chloe Cresswell

      Re: Savagery?

      Surely the cheese is the sign of grateness...

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Savagery?

        You don't grate proper mozzarella, you shred it.

        1. Ben Bonsall

          Re: Savagery?

          You aren't supposed to use the wet mozzarella on pizza, it should be the grated dryer stuff. The wet stuff takes too long to melt compared to the cooking time of the rest of the ingredients...

          The wet stuff is for eating raw. Preferably with a sprinking of fresh basil. But straight out of the packet is fine.

          (could be a lie, I was told it by a Neapolitan though, so you never know.)

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Savagery?

            "The wet stuff takes too long to melt compared to the cooking time of the rest of the ingredients..."

            Sounds like your pizza oven isn't hot enough. Mine runs around 900F (480C) on the deck, and around 1200F (650C) in the dome. Cooks a pie in under 90 seconds.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Savagery?

              What's the pie cooking time got to do with baking a pizza? Or are you talking about those Chicago deep dish abominations?

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: Savagery?

                Here in the US, a pizza is sometimes called a pizza-pie regardless of style. Theories abound as to the name's origin, but they all seem to suggest it's NY/NJ Italian-American dialect. Myself, I suspect it's probably an alliteration thing from the early days of mass-market advertising.

                1. ICPurvis47 Bronze badge
                  Holmes

                  Re: Savagery?

                  When I was a kid, Mad Magazine was always referring to Pizza Pie, but being a Londoner, I wasn't familiar with the dish. It was not until I went to Uni that I was confronted with this abomination, but I soon grew to like it. Many years (and pizzas) later, we were on holiday in Italy, and neither of us spoke Italian. We fetched up at a small pizzeria in Chiavenna, on the way up to the Splügen pass into Switzerland. We asked (in fractured Italienglish with much arm waving, etc.) for two pizzas, one ham and one mushroom. What we got was two perfect ham and mushroom pizzas.

                2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                  Re: Savagery?

                  Myself, I suspect it's probably an alliteration thing from the early days of mass-market "advertising."

                  Does the term pre-date the Dean Martin singing That's Amore?

                  1. jake Silver badge
                    Pint

                    Re: Savagery?

                    The first modern pizzeria in the US opened in 1905.[0]

                    The Harry Warren/Jack Brooks song is from 1953 (Dean Martin just sang it; they did the hard work). Clearly it was a compound word in the common vernacular by that point.

                    My OED says the first reference to "pizza-pie" that it could find is 1939. I've seen references on the internet for the root of the word dating back to 1918. See here.

                    My gut feeling is that, as with many food-culture derived words, we'll be arguing the actual origins (over pizza and beer, natch!) for a long time ... Unless someone comes up with an old, yellowed bit of paper with an authenticated publication date, of course.

                    This round's on me :-)

                    [0] Lombardi's, in NYC. Corner of Spring & Mott Streets. Interesting in that it's supposedly the oldest such joint in the US, but a mediocre pie IMO. That's not to say it's bad, it's not, but it's not worth traveling 40 miles for, either. Eat at your local independent and save a buck ... unless you've never had NYC-style pizza from a coal-fired oven, which makes it worth the experience if nothing else.

                    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

                      Re: Savagery?

                      I always assumed "pizza pie" was, like "avocado pear" a way of making a new food comprehensible in a new market.

            2. Ben Bonsall

              Re: Savagery?

              charcoal fired and ~450C on the stone, not sure about the air temperature to be honest as the air thermometer doesn't go high enough, but the stone is measured with one of those laser things.

              Takes maybe 90 seconds- 2 minutes, the dryer mozzarella is melted and nicely browned in that time, and pulls extremely well, but the wet stuff is gooey and browning round the corners but certainly not stringy.

              We normally make 5-6 20cm pizzas in a row as the last one is cooked by the time the first one is finished...

              Also, cooks bacon from raw to crispy in 90 seconds.

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: Savagery?

                To clarify, my "fresh" mozz for pizza is two days old ... I make it, then wrap it in one layer of cheese cloth and hang it in the walk-in for two days before using it. Drops the weight by about 25%, but retains the fresh taste and creamy mouth feel. You can do this at home in a standard fridge (stick a pan under it or you'll make a mess!). It'll keep for a couple days after hanging, if well wrapped.

                Another method is to tear the cheese into roughly equal sized pieces and wrap in paper towels to remove the excess liquid. If your towels lend some flavo(u)r to the cheese, switch brands of towel. Or you can use large coffee filters, which are flavo(u)rless if stored properly (this gets spendy!). It takes about two hours to drop the same 25% as hanging, changing the paper a couple times.

                If you are in a hurry, you can achieve similar results by placing about 6 pounds of #3 steel shot[0] into a large ziplock[1] and use that as a weight over the top layer of towels. The shot conforms to the cheese, giving it a more natural look and fairly uniform dryness level in the end result. You could probably use anything for weight (10" cast iron skillet comes to mind) if you don't mind a flattened look and non-uniform dryness. This takes about 20 minutes, changing the paper at the ten minute mark, to again drop the 25%.

                I just fed the twelve adults who live on the Ranch lunch (featuring chivo243's variation on the theme ... Recommended). The three versions of fresh mozz were acceptable to all, with the hung in the fridge method getting the slight nod. Nothing was soggy. The store-bought dry mozz made especially for pizza came in a distant 4th, but was still quite edible.

                Conclusion: Dry out your fresh mozzarella for best results!

                [0] Any size shot will probably work, I had this on hand.

                [1] I first put the shot into a 10 pound shot bag, and then put that into the ziplock.

              2. jake Silver badge

                Re: Savagery?

                "Also, cooks bacon from raw to crispy in 90 seconds."

                Proper bacon is not "raw", it is cured and edible as-is, without cooking.

          2. Arthur the cat Silver badge

            Re: Savagery?

            You aren't supposed to use the wet mozzarella on pizza, it should be the grated dryer stuff.

            According to the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana:

            The buffalo mozzarella (chopped in slices) or the fior di latte (chopped into strips) have to be spread uniformly on the pizza.

            The grated cheese (if used) has to be spread on the pizza with a circular and uniform movement of the hand.

            1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

              Re: Savagery?

              Clockwise or Anticlockwise?

              1. Zarno Bronze badge

                Re: Savagery?

                Depends if it's the Aussie or UK/US office.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: Savagery?

      True greatness is the combination of thin slices of proper country ham and pineapple on pizza.

      1. aregross
        Thumb Up

        Re: Savagery?

        Ham, Pineapple and BBQ Sauce!

      2. LovesTha

        Re: Savagery?

        And an egg.

        And bacon.

    3. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Savagery?

      And adds 1 to your 5 a day.

      Throw in a pack of Jaffa Cakes and the tomato topping of the pizza and you're 50% of the way there.

    4. VeganVegan

      Re: Savagery?

      https://twitter.com/hashtag/nohawaipizza

    5. John 110

      Re: Savagery?

      @bofh1961

      "Pineapple on a pizza is the sign of true greatness."

      or that you're pregnant...

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Savagery?

      I believe that two (or more) consenting adults can do what they like, as long as they are not hurting anyone else it's not my problem.

      Works for sexual orientation, religion and pizza toppings. I don't actually like pepperoni, but I wouldn't stop any one else eating it, and certainly not because some stranger on the internet didn't like it.

  7. Daniel Bower

    Never mind the actual pizza

    When is 'Charles' going to lob an IP infringement bomb at Just Eat et al?..

  8. chivo243 Silver badge
    Pint

    A real pizza

    Has pizza sauce (with oregano, basil, black pepper, garlic) Italian sausage, made in Chicago, crispy bacon, fresh tomato slices and fresh jalapeño slices and shredded mozzarella cheese on a thin crust. Hit it with some fresh ground Parmesan when it comes out of the oven...

    Now I've done it, gone and made myself really hungry before lunch!

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: A real pizza

      "Italian sausage, made in Chicago"

      Why would I want to pay to have sausage shipped all the way from Chicago to Sonoma when I can make it at home cheaper and tastier?

      The rest of your recipe sounds like it'd hit the spot, though ... Maybe lunch tomorow.

      1. Bluto Nash

        Re: A real pizza

        Got a decent recipe for Italian sausage? I've been looking for one...

    2. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: A real pizza

      A few years ago, in Venice, in quite a smart restaurant, I had pizza with chips on top. It was a menu item. So I chose it. Mostly so that from then on if anyone challenges the idea I can prove that authentic Italian Pizza can have a chip topping. :-)

      1. fozzy73

        Re: A real pizza

        You get it there only because so many tourists order it. No Italian restaurant worthy of it's name in a non turistic area would offer such an aberration as a pizza with chips or with pineapple....

        there are ecceptions. which as I said aren't worthy of their name.

      2. KarMann Bronze badge
        WTF?

        Re: A real pizza

        Are we talking American chips a.k.a. crisps, or British chips a.k.a. fries?

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: A real pizza

          "British chips a.k.a. fries?"

          British chips are not what USAians call fries. Fries are skinny, chips are fat. USAians might call them steak cut fries (I think)

          1. Steve the Cynic

            Re: A real pizza

            "USAians might call them steak cut fries (I think)"

            Pretty much, although that made me think of a restaurant I went to one time in Manhattan, Rothman's on 53rd Street, near the St Regis (where I was staying). I ordered a big slab of dead cow with "steak fries". What I got was indeed a big slab of dead cow, with what looked like a baked potato (and not a small one, either) sliced in four lengthways.

            When I queried this oddity, the waiter confirmed that it was, really, their version of "steak fries".

            Good steak, though.

          2. jake Silver badge

            Re: A real pizza

            Steak fries are wedges of a large potato, cut longitudinally. Take a half kilo Russet and cut it into eight equal pieces, skins left on. They are often oven baked, sometimes twice-cooked (see below). Nice with a steak, thus the name.

            Most of the GreatUnwashed think of generic "fries" as the garbage they sell at fast so-called "food" joints the world over. Greasy salt bombs. Narsty.

            The rest of us think of fries as pretty much the same thing you get down at your local chippy in size and shape, except we double cook them.

            Start with Russets, leave the skins on (unless you're a wimp, in which case you can peel them). For best results, cut the night before and leave to soak in cold water until time to cook. Dry them and put into 325F (165C) oil until they just start showing a hint of colo(u)r, about 6-8 minutes. Remove, and set on a rack to drain as you continue cooking the rest of your spuds. Once this round is done, raise the heat to 375F (190C) and cook 'em again, this time until GB&D, about 2-3 minutes (play with it until YOU like the results!). Shake off excess oil, remove to a rack to continue draining, salt immediately, and enjoy.

            I use a large dutch oven for this, cast iron works better than anything else. Find the setting on your range that will hold the oil at temperature. Don't try to chase the heat while cooking! Leave it at the setting above. Put the spuds in and let 'em cook. The oil will cool a bit, but don't worry about it. Wait until the oil comes back up to temp before putting in the next batch. Lather, rinse, repeat. Do it all over again for the second pass through the oil. Use enough oil so the spuds have a lot of room to move around, do NOT crowd the pot. Also, do not over-fill the pot with oil, remember that the spuds will displace the oil and the steam boiling out will create bubbels, which will further raise the level. I generally suggest not starting with more than half a pot of oil.

            I use peanut oil or canola oil. Any high smoke-point oil will work. If you don't overheat the oil, you can reuse it. Once it's cool, run it through a filter to remove the bits. I use standard cone-shaped coffee filters that I first soak in water (the water wets the fibers, keeping the oil from doing the same and slowing down the drainage ... another tech-tip from my Grandfather). Store in the bottle you bought it in. It'll last longer in the fridge. I can usually manage several uses before it starts breaking down.

            1. Cederic Silver badge

              Re: A real pizza

              Hmm.

              Rather than soak, just liberally wash the cut chips. The intent is to clear the starch. I tend to cut them into a bowl of water, swirl it, drain it, refill, swirl again.

              For triple cooked chips, blanch the chips. For double-cooked chips, skip that step.

              Initial fry, 3-6 minutes (depending how many chips you're making - 5-6 minutes for 1kg of raw potato) at 130C. Don't use canola oil, it's tasteless. Don't use peanut oil, it's an abomination. Use goose fat.

              When the initial fry is complete the potatoes will be soft and have very little colour. This is good, it means they're cooking properly. Let them cool down.

              Now they need 5-8 minutes (again, depending on weight) at 180C. You'll know they're ready, they'll have dark brown crisp edges, golden surfaces and that ideal blend of outer crunch with inner soft goodness.

              Season to suit, serve with whatever the fuck you like, it'll be awesome anyway.

            2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: A real pizza

              "The rest of us think of fries as pretty much the same thing you get down at your local chippy in size and shape, except we double cook them."

              Any chippy or restaurant will double cook chips. Not only does it make a better chip, but the first cook part is done before opening so that the second cook results in a quicker process and fresh cooked straight on the plate/in the tray/wrapped for takeaway.

              You're wrong on the oil though. Beef dripping is the ONLY way to go when frying chips!

              1. Cederic Silver badge

                Re: A real pizza

                Look, I'll grant that beef dripping is a valid and fine choice, but it's not the ONLY way to go.

                In one word: Lard.

                1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                  Re: A real pizza

                  Ok, ok, I'll accept that lard can be used as a last resort if there's no beef dripping available. All forms of vegetable oil are only for those in absolute dire straits though which I'm sure all true chip connoisseurs can agree on.

              2. Terry 6 Silver badge

                Re: A real pizza

                Was with you up to the cow fat part.

            3. Glenturret Single Malt

              Re: A real pizza

              I come to a skidding halt in the first line. Russets are apples.

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: A real pizza

                Russeting is a skin condition of some apple and pear varietals. Because of this, many different apple cultivars have russet as a part of their name. It's more a description appended to a name than an actual name, though.

                Russet Potatoes are widely grown world-wide, primarily for the mass-production of fries/chips/crisps, but they also makes a good all-around potato for home use. See http://www.pvmi.org/ for more than you ever wanted to know about potatoes.

                Hopefully you didn't flat-spot anything unnecessarily.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A real pizza

      "Italian sausage, made in Chicago" - Um, no. By definition it's "Chicago sausage", which sounds infinitely less appetizing.

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: A real pizza

        By definition it's "Chicago sausage", which sounds infinitely less appetizing.

        Since there's far less poured concrete infrastructure work these days, they've got to get rid of the bodies somehow.

    4. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: A real pizza

      I'd advise you against travel to Naples, I don't think they'd take kindly to that sort of talk.

      At least you chose a thin crust. None of that "deep pan" rubbish (if you're cooking it in a pan, you've already gone wrong).

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: A real pizza

        What the fuck does Naples have to do with it?

        Or have you bought into the bullshit that Naples was the first place that someone put food on top of a slab of dough and cooked it in an oven? Native Americans were doing that very thing over 4,000 years ago. So were the Egyptian pyramid builders.

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: A real pizza

          Well, other people may well have stuck stuff on top of a slab of dough beforehand, but it wasn't a pizza, because the word pizza comes from Naples. If it's not a pizza, it's not a pizza. It might be a Pissaladière, or a foccacia, or whatever, but it's not a pizza, because that's not what it's called. For instance, something made from batter in a pan, with "barbecue sauce" and American "cheese" on it might call itself a pizza, in the same way I might call myself President of Earth. It doesn't make it a frickin' pizza.

          I'm no purist myself (and I expect many Italians aren't either), so I'll quite happily eat a pizza that has "non standard" toppings on it (a Margherita pizza for example, should have only puréed tomato, buffalo mozzarella and basil on it), but a proper pizza consists of a thin piece of bread dough (properly made from OO pasta flour if you are really a purist), tomato sauce, mozzarella, and a small number of toppings, baked quickly in a hot oven (preferably a wood-fired oven with a clay floor).

          Other sauces, or cheese that isn't mozzarella (other than additional cheese, as in a Quattro Formaggio), non-bread bases (Pizza Hut apparently use a batter), etc. mean it is not a pizza, but something else. This is no judgement on whether it is going to be edible or not.

          When it comes down to it, though, I'll defer to Neapolitans about what they deem to be the defining dish of their city. After all, their city has almost certainly been around for a couple of thousand years longer than yours.

        2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: A real pizza

          Or have you bought into the bullshit that Naples was the first place that someone put food on top of a slab of dough and cooked it in an oven? Native Americans were doing that very thing over 4,000 years ago. So were the Egyptian pyramid builders.

          I'll just reiterate, that this isn't about who put a topping on bread first, but who invented the pizza, which isn't just defined as toppings on bread.

          I'll also point out that Native Americans didn't have bread made from wheat (they cultivated maize instead); I don't think a tortilla quite qualifies as a pizza base, no mater how much a foodie youtube "influencer" might try to convince you it does, and also remind you that Naples has been around as a settlement since the neolithic (the name Naples comes from the name of the Greek settlement Neapolis in the second millennium BC), although they haven't had tomatoes to cook with for quite that long. Consumption of bread there would have been contemporary with that in ancient Egypt, but once again, bread isn't pizza.

    5. Sandtitz Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: A real pizza

      "Italian sausage, made in Chicago"

      Only if they're by Abe Froman - The Sausage King of Chicago!

    6. LovesTha

      Re: A real pizza

      Yes, that is one of the great pizzas.

      It is not the only.

  9. Blofeld's Cat Silver badge
    Happy

    All the sugar, twice the caffeine ...

    "... energy boosting beverages ...

    IIRC Most of the projects I worked on in the early '90s were fuelled by pepperoni pizza and Jolt Cola.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: All the sugar, twice the caffeine ...

      Starting in the mid 1980s, most of Silly Con Valley was built on Pizza (any variety, as long as someone else was paying) and either Jolt or DrPepper, with a few Sprite holdouts. Coke and Pepsi didn't even get an honorable mention.

    2. swm Silver badge

      Re: All the sugar, twice the caffeine ...

      "IIRC Most of the projects I worked on in the early '90s were fuelled by pepperoni pizza and Jolt Cola."

      In the late '60s it was Hostess Cupcakes and Twinkies.

  10. trevorde

    WORST. PIZZA. EVER.

    Ordered a pizza in 1999, during the early days of the internet. Entered my credit card details, clicked submit and waited... I suspect that it just faxed an order to the local pizza shop. Anyway, my Thai yellow chicken curry pizza (goes well with beer!) arrived after 45 mins. The most amazing thing was not that the pizza combination was awful but that it arrived at all.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: WORST. PIZZA. EVER.

      Early days? In 1999 the Internet was thirty years old ...

      1. PerlyKing Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: In 1999 the Internet was thirty years old

        Yeah, no. Not according to Vint Cerf, Jon Postel et al. There were networks such as ARPANET, but not the Internet.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: In 1999 the Internet was thirty years old

          Perhaps you believe that The Grand Canyon didn't exist before the U.S. Congress officially established Grand Canyon National Park in 1919?

          We called the ARPANET "the internet" at least by 1970, mainly because it had become an internet ... By 1974, the word "Internet" was even ratified in the RFCs ... See Cerf & Kahn's take on the subject in RFC-675 ... and note that the research (read "bullshit sessions") that resulted in RFC-675 started several years earlier. The name was already embedded in the collective psyche by then.

          Even if you take 1974 as "the date", it was still 25 years old by 1999, which is well over half the age that it is now.

          Regardless, 1999 was hardly the "early days", now was it?

          1. swm Silver badge

            Re: In 1999 the Internet was thirty years old

            In 1968 in Urbana Illinois I was at a meeting on the design of the ARPANET. I believe that the first packets were exchanged within a year or two of that date.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: In 1999 the Internet was thirty years old

              "I believe that the first packets were exchanged within a year or two of that date."

              Here's a picture of the specific page of the log:

              https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e4/First-arpanet-imp-log.jpg

          2. PerlyKing Silver badge

            Re: In 1999 the Internet was thirty years old

            Alright, maybe I was being a bit picky :-)

            My main point was that you would have had a lot more trouble ordering pizza via your computer in 1969 than in 1999. Networking had been around for a while, but the Internet as we know it today was if not in its early days at least in its early years, and still mostly a time-wasting toy. Maybe some things never change :-D

    2. Little Mouse

      Re: WORST. PIZZA. EVER.

      It can't have been worse than the "seafood" pizza that I ordered once in Perth (Scotland).

      Smoked haddock & crabsticks. On a pizza. Mmmmmm.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: WORST. PIZZA. EVER.

        Worst Pizza I've ever had was 25 years ago. Iin Edinburgh In an Italian restaurant. During the festival. Took 40 minutes to arrive. Topping was unrecognisable. Base was burnt. Waiter not interested. I marched into the kitchen and dumped it onto the pass, burnt side up. That got results.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: WORST. PIZZA. EVER.

          My worst pizza ever, both of us could even not eat, was in Paris, next to the Opera.

          After entering the "Pizza" restaurant, I noticed every customer was apparently a tourist like us ...

          Red flag !

          As of today, I still suspect the Bolognese Pizza was dressed with dog or cat food. That bad ...

          1. Wellyboot Silver badge

            Re: WORST. PIZZA. EVER.

            In the Arc/Opera/Louvre triangle, anything in plain sight will be a bit too touristy (and most not giving a gallic shrug for q.o.s), there are some good places hidden in alleys & frequented by locals if you can find them.

            South bank - 7th Arr. had some nice places when out in town with the crew a decade or so ago.

        2. PerlyKing Silver badge

          Re: WORST. PIZZA. EVER.

          The worst pizza I ever had was also in Edinburgh, more like 30 years ago. I have no idea what the toppings were, but it was folded in half, battered and deep-fried.

          1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: WORST. PIZZA. EVER.

            I'm sold!

            Sounds better than a normal pizza, which i only keep in the freezer for emergencies

      2. Sam not the Viking
        Joke

        Re: WORST. PIZZA. EVER.

        "Do you deliver......"

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: WORST. PIZZA. EVER.

          One liver and bacon pizza then please!

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: WORST. PIZZA. EVER.

        Gah! I thought I'd had the worst pizza ever as a teenager on Lanzarote - all I remember were the strawberries & bananas - but your seafood pizza does sound *much* worse!

      4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: WORST. PIZZA. EVER.

        "Smoked haddock & crabsticks. On a pizza. Mmmmmm."

        Did they fold it over into a calzone, batter it and deep fry it too?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: WORST. PIZZA. EVER.

      My worst pizza was in London. Them listing it as an appetizer should have been the clue. It turned out to be a cracker drizzled (not uniformly spread) with tomato paste and a piece of Canadian bacon, for £6. Best meal I had while in London - Pizza Hut pizza.

      Yes, I *am* an American, how can you tell?

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: WORST. PIZZA. EVER.

        For you puzzled Brits: "Canadian Bacon" is a Yank term for a lean cut of back bacon, most often the tenderloin. It is usually wet cured & smoked, and is more like a city ham than actual bacon. The term is almost never used north of the 49th parallel. It is an excellent pizza topping, if you can find a properly made version. (Hint: National brands aren't properly made.)

        I wouldn't feed Pizza Hut pizza to my hogs. Narsty, narsty stuff. Barely half a step above that abomination known as Domino's.

        1. aqk
          IT Angle

          Re: WORST. PIZZA? PIZZA HUT!

          I used to have NIGHTMARES after every time eating at a US PizzaHut!

          Nightmares of drinking copious gallons of cold water! I could not get enough! My wife wondered why I was moaning so much in bed.

          I finally figured out that it was THE SALT that PizzaHut dumps into its pizza! Unbelievable! Probably just so that the customers would buy more 3% American beer! UGH!

          WOW! Maybe Pizza Hut ran an AS/400? ...And the RPG-II made the pizza-dough recipes...?

  11. TheProf Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Sales

    The clerk "admitted to typing pizza and pressing enter, but it didn't do anything, so he tried it 55 more times."

    55 more times? How bored do you have to be to type PIZZA into a terminal that many times having received no response from the previous time?

    1. not.known@this.address Silver badge

      Re: Sales

      Who enters a command 56 times? Once is enough!

      Pizza (select text) Ctrl-C Ctrl-V Return Ctrl-V Return Ctrl-V Return Ctrl-V Return Ctrl-V Return Ctrl-V Return Ctrl-V Return Ctrl-V Return Ctrl-V Return Ctrl-V Return Ctrl-V Return Ctrl-V Return Ctrl-V Return Ctrl-V Return Ctrl-V Return Ctrl-V Return Ctrl-V Return Ctrl-V Return Ctrl-V Return Ctrl-V Return

      Or (for those of us who learned to use a computer, not just Windows)

      Pizza Return Up arrow Return Up arrow Return Up arrow Return Up arrow Return Up arrow Return Up arrow Return Up arrow Return Up arrow Return Up arrow Return Up arrow Return Up arrow Return Up arrow Return Up arrow Return Up arrow Return Up arrow Return Up arrow Return Up arrow Return

      Other toppings are available, including pineapple.

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Sales

        for those of us who learned to use a computer

        Ctrl+V works in Powershell, but that's relatively recent. Up arrow (for your command history) has been there since DOS.

        1. Ken Shabby
          Boffin

          Re: Sales

          Other command line editors are available

          set -o emacs

          Ah, thats better...

          1. Grouchy Bloke

            Re: Sales

            This was an AS/400 though.

            So it's F9 all the way.

      2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: Sales

        its not so much how as why.

        i'd try twice.

        then try it with a /? at the end (which would work if id written it)

        then either give up or look for the code behind it

      3. jake Silver badge

        Re: Sales

        That's an awful lot of unnecessary typing. Script it.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: Sales

          while true

          pizza

          done

  12. Dave Pickles
    Coat

    Apropos of nothing...

    The volume of a circular dough-based foodstuff of radius z and thickness a is pi*z*z*a.

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Apropos of nothing...

      awesome.

      "its funny cos its true" has never been truer ,

  13. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Orbital pizza

    There's a Questionable Content where one of the character's dad sends her a device from his space station with just a note saying "have fun"

    So they press it a couple times and finally call him and ask. It's a device for requesting pizza delivered straight from orbit.

    Of course they discover a ton of pizzas impacted on the roof from all the button presses.

    Ah here it is: https://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3047

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: Orbital pizza

      It's a device for requesting pizza delivered straight from orbit.

      You forgot to mention it's cooked by the re-entry heat.

    2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: Orbital pizza

      Ah, the delightful Hannelore! Haven't seen her much lately - I was hoping the new "discovered herself" version would be involved in the current storyline (I think Hanners and Millefeuille would get on gloriously!)

  14. Alan W. Rateliff, II
    Mushroom

    Presented without comment

    The clerk "admitted to typing pizza and pressing enter, but it didn't do anything, so he tried it 55 more times."

  15. MJI Silver badge

    I found an interesting thing about Sainsbury Pizzas

    £2.50 small £3.50 big (I think anyway £1 different)

    Someone said only 4 inch bigger, not worth it

    I saw twice the area well worth it.

    (10/2)**2 * Pi = 78

    (14/2)**2 * Pi = 154

    14 inch pizza is twice the size of 10 inch pizza

    Not even the staff realised.

    1. Beafy

      Re: I found an interesting thing about Sainsbury Pizzas

      Even better if the (occasionally) inedible border is still the same width.

  16. spireite
    Joke

    Where was the server........

    Presumably, the company was based in Hawaii

  17. Glennda37

    I heard once the reason a Dell Equalogic now asks you to type "yespleasedeleteallmydata" is because the reset command never used to warn you it wasn't the restart command... And once Equallogic had to help a customer rebuild/restore their array because it got reset instead of restarted...

  18. David Given
    Pint

    Ahead of its time?

    Don Hopkins was ordering pizza back in 1989! On Sun workstations! With Postscript! And spinnable pizza previews!

    https://medium.com/@donhopkins/the-story-of-sun-microsystems-pizzatool-2a7992b4c797

    (Icon: what else do you drink with pizza?)

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Ahead of its time?

      That was in 1990 ...

      As a side note, Tony & Alba's still exists. You can still order over the Internet. They make good food, at a good price. But then, if you live within delivery distance you probably already know this ... Well worth patronizing if you ever visit near any of their locations. Highly recommended.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    First Pizza

    Mine was I think at Ray's pizza in Teheran, early 70's. Quality! I believe they moved to LA after the revolution so some Reg reader will probably know them.

  20. bazza Silver badge

    And What’s Wrong with Pineapple?

    Unless you’re actually Italian in Italy of course...

  21. aqk
    Facepalm

    Ah...! The AS/400

    I worked with one of these 20 years ago. I suppose I was probably the "Systems Programmer" for it.

    At one point the RPG-II programmers were having difficulty "transitioning from RPG-II to RPG-3. or was it 4? I forget.

    So I suggested to the "Director" that we upgrade or at least "transition" to COBOL.

    Nope! That would be... uh, a long leaning curve. They would have have all sorts of training courses.

    Sheesh! So in a week or two, I learned RPG-3 (or was it 4?) and wrote a coupla programs for HTML integration - we had our own web-server running some Lotus-crap called "Domino" which I had to maintain, in spite of me secretly running Apache and IIS on my static IS Win2000 system.

    HEY! Maybe Domino was the Pizza? I never thought of that!

    Finally the CEO let me go, and, a 11 months later the company folded. Goodbye AS-400 system, Domino, RPG and the whole kit'n'kaboodle.

    The president then retired to his luxurious home in the Florida keys.

    The programmers? They got out of computer programming and became the 2000s' decade version of Uber drivers.

    It was the second worse job I had in my life. You really don't wish to hear about the first- a COBOL programmer in the late 1960s! lol.

  22. Gustavo Fring

    Actually

    It should have showna pie chart gradually (5 secs) decreasing in size and then say pixxa ordered. Much like those bar charts in movies where the money goes from one account to the other. I'm sure Elon missed a trick with that on PAYPAL

  23. Colin Bain

    Classic IT "Service"

    Ah yes, IT always thinks that users are idiots, but fail to program with this in mind. And when it goes wrong, close down the system so that only IT can do it.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020