The Night Watch, a humor column by James Mickens on the horrors of system programming, well worth reading:

"What is despair? I have known it—hear my song. Despair is when you’re debugging a kernel driver and you look at a memory dump and you see that a pointer has a value of 7. THERE IS NO HARDWARE ARCHITECTURE THAT IS ALIGNED ON 7. Furthermore, 7 IS TOO SMALL AND ONLY EVIL CODE WOULD TRY TO ACCESS SMALL NUMBER MEMORY. "