The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition

In your Palm

Palm Computing resources at Fourmilab

Don't you just hate it when you're about to close a clandestine munitions deal with the Fire Slugs of Bogon Five and your partner raises a question about the relative applicability of Rules of Acquisition 35 and 177? You'd look like a lobeless altruist if you had to stop and ask whether Rule 35 is "Peace is good for business" or "War is good for business". (It's "Peace"; "War" is Rule 34.)

What you need at such awkward times is a compendium of the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition on your hand-held PADD or, in twenty-first century lingo, PalmPilot. Follow the instructions below to install the Rules of Acquisition as a Memo Pad document on your handheld and never again will you hesitate to cite "No good deed ever goes unpunished" by number (285). Since this reference is provided as a Memo Pad archive, you can read it using the built in PalmOS Memo Pad application; there's no need to install a document reader application.

Download and Installation Instructions

To install the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition on your handheld, proceed as follows.
  1. Download the file using the link above, saving it in a temporary directory on your hard drive.

  2. Use an Un-Zip utility to extract the ferengi.mpa file from the archive into the same temporary directory.

  3. Open the Palm Desktop application and display the Memo Pad files by clicking the "Memo" icon or selecting the "View/Memo" menu item.

  4. Use the "File/Import..." menu item to open the Import file selection box. Navigate to the temporary directory and select the ferengi.mpa Memo Pad archive file. You should now see a memo titled "Ferengi Rules of Acquisition" as an "Unfiled" item in your list of memos. If you wish, change the category from "Unfiled" to whatever you prefer: "Business" for example.

  5. HotSync. The memo will be now be installed on your handheld. Launch the Memo Pad application and verify it's there. (If you don't see it, be sure the category of memos you're displaying is the same in which you filed the Rules of Acquisition document.)

  6. You may now, if you wish, delete the archive and the ferengi.mpa file from your hard drive.

  7. Lie, scheme, deal, profit...and may the glow of latinum forever warm your lobes.

Huh?   What's this all about, anyway?

If you haven't a clue what this document's about, you've managed to evade one of the most pervasive manifestations of popular culture in the 1980's and 90's: Star Trek The Next GenerationTM and Deep Space Nine. The Ferengi are a species of short stature, large ears, sharp insectivore teeth, flexible ethics, and an unquenchable desire to accumulate capital; they are the entrepreneurs par excellence of the galaxy, although those who've done business with them may prefer the terms "swindlers", "crooks", "cheats", "double-dealers", or one of a multitude of other synonyms...much like venture capitalists of my acquaintance.

The Ferengi first appeared in a passing remark in the pilot episode of The Next Generation and in occasional episodes over the subsequent years, but came into their own in Deep Space Nine where the Rules of Acquisition first made their appearance. The distillation of centuries of Ferengi deal-making and -breaking, the Rules of Acquisition are a steadfast beacon guiding navigators on the turbulent sea of commerce toward the home port of profit.

"Worst episode, ever!"

Conversely, folks who spend too much time in The Android's Dungeon (no, I'm not going to explain that pop culture reference--that's what search engines are for!) will undoubtedly quibble about the capitalisation, punctuation, or precise phrasing of various rules, the presence or absence of rules which have appeared in various places and contexts and, more tediously still, whether this or that rule is "canon". Pop culture is not an exact science: Ferengi Rules of Acquisition have appeared in televised episodes of Deep Space Nine, the two books cited below, and novels and comic books based on The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine. Among this body of sources a variety of discrepancies exist: multiple rules given the same number, rules given different numbers in different places, etc. In this compilation I've included what I considered the best documented rules. If you must quibble, please do so out of range of my lobes or, better still, revise the list to your own satisfaction (since it's a Memo Pad document, you can edit it right on your PalmPilot) and post your version on your own Web page. And don't forget rule 59!


Click on titles to order books on-line from
Behr, Ira Stephen, and Robert Hewitt Wolfe. Legends of the Ferengi . New York: Pocket Books, 1997. ISBN 0-671-00728-9.
This is the most comprehensive printed collection of the Rules of Acquisition. Rules mentioned in episodes subsequent to its date of publication do not, of course, figure in the book. Each rule is accompanied by an anecdote illustrating its origin or application and an appropriate photograph.

Behr, Ira Stephen, and Kevin Ryan. The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition . New York: Pocket Books, 1995. ISBN 0-671-52936-6.
This pocket-size compendium dating from 1995 contains just the rules, one per page in large type, with a brief introduction and several illustrations. Several rules in the 1997 Legends of the Ferengi are absent from this book. In addition, Rule 217 is incorrectly given as 117, and the frequently confused rules 34 and 35 are interchanged compared their numbers in Legends.

Sternbach, Rick, and Michael Okuda. Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual . New York: Pocket Books, 1991. ISBN 0-671-52936-6.
This is an essential reference to the technology and terminology of Star Trek The Next GenerationTM and subsequent series. For example, ever wondered what that little information tablet crewmembers are forever handing one another is called? Flip...flip...flip...aha! Page 52 identifies it as a "Personal Access Display Device" (PADD).

STAR TREK and DEEP SPACE NINE are registered trademarks of Paramount Pictures. STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATIONTM is a trademark of Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

by John Walker
April, 2001