Date: Sun 21 Dec 86 15:12:15-PST
From: Tom Galloway <>
Subject: Unix convention dweebs
The Setting: Ken Thompson is up at a podium. The audience consists of stereotyped compunerds, most wearing IJCAI '85 "Geeks On Parade" plastic pen protectors, with portable unix boxes hanging from their belts.

Geek #1: In version 2.3 of Berkeley, what was the trapdoor password installed by Erik Fair?

Thompson: What? I'm sorry, you'll have to give me a list of bugs from that's been awhile.

Geek #1: That was the one where you could send letter bombs made up of control characters to people and crash them (giggles nasally)

Thompson: Oh, right, that one...I'm sorry, I just don't remember the password...come to think of it, what trapdoor password. Wait a minute...

Geek #2: How many unix boxes are there at Bell Labs' Holmdel branch? It's to settle a bet.

Thompson: Oh, about 43,548.

Geek #2: Does that count the thirty-seven that were bought from Tandy this morning?

Thompson: (looking bewildered) They bought unix boxes from Tandy?! (Geeks in audience all mutter affirmatively). Oh. Then I guess there 43,785 now. (Geek #2 looks pleased).

Geek #3: (wears a t-shirt with "UNIX is a tradmark of AT&T" on it) Have you ever made it past level 6 in Rogue? How do you do it?

Thompson: (looking shocked, and muttering under his breath that he never should have attended something billed as "Club Usenix" no matter how much they paid him). Say WHAT? Don't you people have lives outside of computers?

All Geeks: HELL NO!

Thompson: (looking like Victor Frankenstein who suddenly realizes that he's created a monster) How about outside of Unix?

Geek in the back of the room: (yelling) There is no operating system but Unix and Thompson is its prophet! (general agreement from audience).

Thompson: (stunned) You there (points at geek who is wearing a "Nuke the GNUs" t-shirt), you look to be almost 35? Have you ever seen the sun? (Geek shakes head). Ever kissed a girl? Wait, what am I you know the difference between girls and boys? (Geek shakes head). Geez, you people...Why don't you go out there and get a LIFE or something. Be daring...don't logon to Usenet for a month or two. Interact with people, not bits...continues on in this vein while:

Geeks: muttering, getting restless, suddenly from the center of the crowd, a cry comes up: KILL -9 THE HERETIC!!!. The rest of the geeks start to chant it, while advancing on Thompson with their mouse cables extending in the style of the Thugee assassins.

Thompson, realizing that he's in trouble, reacts quickly. He reaches into his pocket, and pulls out a huge horseshoe magnet and yells out: First one within 15 feet gets his source license revoked. And their data scrambled!

The geeks mill about nervously. Thompson dashes offstage.

Curtain falls.