[TUHS] was turmoil, moving to rm -rf /

David david at kdbarto.org
Wed Apr 26 01:17:27 AEST 2017

Many years ago I was at Burroughs and they wanted to do Unix (4.1c) on a new machine. Fine. We all started on the project porting from a Vax. So far so good. Then a new PM came in and said that intel was the future and we needed to use their machines for the host of the port. And an intel rep brought in their little x86 box running some version of Unix (Xenix?, I didn’t go anywhere near the thing). My boss, who was running the Unix port project did the following:
Every Friday evening he would log into the intel box as root and run “/bin/rm -rf /“ from the console. Then turn off the console and walk away.
Monday morning found the box dead and the intel rep would be called to come and ‘fix’ his box.
This went on for about 4 weeks, and finally my boss asked the intel rep what was wrong with his machine.
The rep replied that this was ‘normal’ for the hardware/software and we would just have to “get used to it”.
The PM removed the intel box a couple of days later.


> On Apr 25, 2017, at 7:19 AM, tuhs-request at minnie.tuhs.org wrote:
> From: Larry McVoy <lm at mcvoy.com>
> To: Clem Cole <clemc at ccc.com>
> Cc: Larry McVoy <lm at mcvoy.com>, TUHS main list <tuhs at minnie.tuhs.org>
> Subject: Re: [TUHS] was turmoil, moving to rm -rf /
> Message-ID: <20170425140853.GD24499 at mcvoy.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
> Whoever was the genuis that put mknod in /etc has my gratitude.
> We had other working Masscomp boxen but after I screwed up that
> badly nobody would let me near them until I fixed mine :)
> And you have to share who it was, I admitted I did it, I think 
> it's just a thing many people do..... Once :)

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