I've been working at this computer camp for a number of weeks now.
The first week, i decided to take one of the boxes and install linux on it, so that i could infectintroduce some of the campers to what it's like to use a *n?x system. The distribution i used and circumstances surrounding the install process are not relevant at this time, but could fill an entire other node.

Anyway, a number of the campers were interested, and i set them up with shell accounts and introduced them to Bash, GNOME and the GNU environment. They were mostly more or less impressed with it, and over the rest of the week we often wound up with a couple people at once using the linux box over the network using X and telnet. I was happy. Two or three of the campers seemed trustable enough, and seemed to have enough of a grasp on things, that i gave them the root password.

There was one thing i did in the process of demonstrating linux's multi-user functionality (write, finger, protected memory, etc) that i did not realize the significance of until later. I connected a telnet session on a windows box to the linux box, then signed on the linux box as root. I showed them how root could ps aux to see all running processes, pick out from the list the process of the bash shell being used by the telnet connection from the windows box, and kill -9 its PID. The shell would be terminated, and the connection would drop, and the telnet window on the windows machine would disappear, hence demonstrating the almighty power of root.


The last day of that week, while most of the campers were playing bad network games, i wandered past the linux box, happened to glance by me, and was amazed. The two campers with root had set up some kind of warped dueling system. The purpose was that each person would attempt to telnet to the box, su to root, ps aux, figure out the PID of the other person's connection, and kill -9 them off the box. Whoever killed the other first won that round. So you'd see these two people, cursors tensely hovering over the Remote System ... menu item in windows Telnet, then both clicking simultaneously and furiously typing for about six seconds.. and then one would bang enter, the other's Telnet window would disappear, and the defeated party would recoil from the monitor in despair.

They did this for about half an hour.

It was pretty cool.

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