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I'm a newcomer to Unix and Linux, and I've been trying to get up to speed on everything. One of the guides I've used is the "Unix and Linux System Administration Handbook"

It's a pretty great book, and I'm enjoying reading through it, but I'm really confused by all the things that are on the cover. While this may not be a typical question for Unix & Linux Stack Exchange, I don't think it is necessarily a bad question so I'm going to go out on a limb and ask:

What do all the crazy things on the cover of this book represent?

Attached is an image of the book and a reference key. Thanks for the history lesson.


  1. Flag
  2. Flag (Finland's for Linus Torvalds?)
  3. Bird / Cake
  4. Guy in a lab coat with a baseball bat
  5. Gnome
  6. Clam
  7. Python
  8. Cowboy and two cats
  9. Penguin
  10. Gorilla
  11. Old dude on another boat sailing away and apparently flipping off this boat
  12. Two guys carved in wood with a shield
  13. Octopus / Monster
  14. Filing cabinet
  15. Clock
  16. Indian
  17. Girl with a book
  18. Computer using a canon
  19. Window frame
  20. Lady, fishing pole, and boot
  21. Apple Core
  22. Less and More
  23. Bar of Soap / Can of Spam
  24. Periscope
  25. Heart / Valentine
  26. Monster with Maracas

ps: What is the significance of the ship?

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The ship is presumably Evi's yacht, Wonderland. She makes international sailing journeys. –  Faheem Mitha Dec 5 '11 at 16:41
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1 Answer

up vote 8 down vote accepted

The artist Lisa Haney has provided an explanation on her blog. [Click through because the back cover has more...]

Some of the more colourful include:

6 Bash and Perl & Shell
9 The Linux penguin forcing the Windows gorilla to walk the plank
11 Evi Nemeth makes gesture

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