Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Bull and the Hiker

Frontal, Broccoli, and Comfort: the first passwords Jacqui, Lisa, and I were assigned at Waterloo and – in those careless days – our loudly-proclaimed nicknames. In 1983, in labs overlooking the Red Room, stately housing for the University mainframes, we wrote late-night Pascal programs such as “The Bull and the Hiker.” If your hiker went lurching away from the bull at every turn, he’d never make sanctuary. If he strove resolutely for the tree, he’d be safe. And if, instead of code, you waved a bleary red nano-flag and typed “Fuck you” onto your screen, you’d receive a prim little programmed reprimand.

Image: Collage by K. Bischoping.

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