On 15 Nov 2021, at 17:11, Grant Taylor via COFF <coff(a)minnie.tuhs.org> wrote:
I've run across them again recently while reading
old Unix texts. I've been aware of them for years, but I've never actually used
them for anything beyond kicking the tires. So I figured that I'd inquire of the
hive mind that is TUHS / COFF.
The only time I ever used it was back in the early ‘90s when on a SunOS system (dirac, for
friends) it was used to allow graduate students access to the grading database (i.e. a
text file) which was within a directory normally only accessible to teaching staff. The
directory was group writable to a special “marking group” to which the various graduate
students were added each term.
We’d "newgrp grades” and type the password we had been given to be able to edit the
file and add the grades for the assessments we had marked (for food money).
I eventually became root on the machine and found my “su -“ screen to be a faster solution
to accessing the file (sorry Franco, should you ever read this).