And it happened: the end finally came. After going on co-op two semesters in a row, the end finally had to come: the death of my WPI UNIX account. It was a sad day, but I decided to have fun with it. I stayed logged on, and saw a bit of the dark-side of the UNIX system. A bit of life from beyond the grave.

It started like any other day:

Digital UNIX (reno.WPI.EDU) (ttyt9)

login: jbonci
Last login: Tue Jan 23 05:07:08 from (my ip here)

Digital UNIX V4.0G (Rev. 1530); Mon Jan 8 16:16:21 EST 2001 Tru64 UNIX V4.0G (Rev. 1530)

CCC Station - Authorized Use Only

Mail all questions or problems to the address or use the help command to view the CCC Helpdesk web at

Please use the aup command to view the Acceptable Use Policy of the WPI network.

Ahh yes. MOTD! How I will miss you. To Tru64, and those who came before you, it will be sad when we part. Those bits of wisdom every login, the short administration messages; they shall never be forgotten.

jbonci@reno jbonci - 14:08:00> u
aiche amanda andreav anshul balisttj berezkin bobbfett brianb cdarmetk cdarmetk
cra cra cshoemak cwai dgelinas dgelinas eqnox ering falcor falcor falcor gbabey
harley helpdesk hienn jacorn jayachan jbonci jessm jim jmodel jpan khoffman liz
marka mato mikep mizar mzhq nanchen noodles nouf nra pasha pesch pgill rae rskib
a russell seths seths shardy snj starla stephc sying theashia tpouliot vishal wh
obey worsham worsham worsham worsham worsham zeppelin

(u is aliased to users) There I am, among the proud users of the system... jbonci... for the last time as a living, executing UID.

jbonci@reno jbonci - 16:52:35> u
aiche amanda anshul balisttj berezkin bobbfett cdn cra cshoemak cwai dgelinas dw
fritz eqnox falcor falcor falcor gbabey helpdesk jacorn jayachan jbonci jessm ji
m jmodel jnick kerrylee liz longj marka nouf nra orion orion pgill rae russell s
hardy sjohnson sjohnson sjohnson staceyl starla yangj

(jbonci has been nuked by this time). Ahh, users, you remember me. There is much sorrow in my heart, yet you uplift my spirits in this time of darkness.

jbonci@reno jbonci - 17:35:41> ls
. not found
jbonci@reno jbonci - 17:35:43> ls -al
. not found

O gracious home directory, you are ruined! Your large luxurious quotas were once filled with programs and web pages... now it is reduced to this.

jbonci@reno jbonci - 17:35:46> whoami
Intruder alert.

But whoami, you just knew me. How can you blow the whistle on such a friend. I am leaving soon; I know I am no longer welcome here. Allow me to say my goodbyes.

jbonci@reno jbonci - 17:39:17> pine
Who are you? (Unable to look up login name)

Oh pine, sweet pine, surely there must be some mail for me. A note from a friend, or a note from an anonymous mailing list. Something, please, oh gracious pine. Comfort me now...

jbonci@reno jbonci - 17:43:22> ps aux | grep jbonci
1905 11633 0.0 0.1 1.85M 360K ttyt9 S + 17:43:29 0:00.01 grep jbonci

Alas, I do not even own my own login process. All of it, stripped from me... Despair. On borrowed time, I see, and a lost process.

jbonci@reno jbonci - 17:43:32> u
acfox aiche amanda anshul ataheri balisttj berezkin bobbfett cdn cra cshoemak cw
ai dgelinas dwfritz eqnox falcor falcor falcor garydb gbabey glor jacorn jayacha
n jbonci jessemba jessm jim jmodel jnick kaska kerrylee liz lthomps mamante mark
a matin motoxer nra orion orion orion pcooper pgill rae russell serg shardy shiv
ani sjohnson sjohnson sjohnson spho starla yangj

Ahh users, your comfort is well received again in my final days, for I am among the logged in, if not the living.

jbonci@reno jbonci - 17:48:51> f jbonci
There is no user jbonci at WPI; check your spelling.

Then the circle is complete. Death has come over this over this old hallowed user.

jbonci@reno jbonci - 17:51:33> rlogin reno
You don't exist, go away!

Am I but I spectre in the system? Surely I exist, for I am before you now! How can you deny what your system calls have given you? Your man pages may not mention me, and I may be without a name, but surely, I exist dear rlogin.

jbonci@reno jbonci - 17:51:40> top -s 0

load averages: 4.34, 4.12, 3.93
17:54:31 218 processes: 4 running, 2 waiting, 56 sleeping, 152 idle, 1 stopped, 3 zombie
CPU states: 66.1% user, 0.0% nice, 33.8% system, 0.0% idle Memory: Real: 176M/367M act/tot Virtual: 185M/628M use/tot Free: 39M

21080 ksalamon 50 0 12M 1777K run 11:24 20.10% emacs
25261 1905     50 0 3584K 729K run 0:03 20.00% top (...)

1905, a number from my past. I knew it well, but now, no longer. I shall leave this place now, knowing that my bits may remain in memory for some time. It knew my programs, my scripts, my errors... It knew my aliases, my X settings, my pine prefs. It knew me, so close, and now it is gone... Nslookup me some time, and we'll get together. Maybe we'll share an RPC call again, but never so intimately as we were. I depart from this system, into the next, as so it is completed, my final days.

Note: The actual event did happen. Those are real error messages.

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