[TUHS] Happy birthday, Morris Worm!

Erik E. Fair fair-tuhs at netbsd.org
Thu Nov 16 11:56:07 AEST 2017

Sorry, "psl" is Peter S. Langston, so:



That Wikipedia entry should describe it as a "computer game" (or "simulation") rather than as a "video game", given the common understanding of those phrases. PSL's "empire" was a multiplayer game similar (sort of) to the board game "Risk" and the "graphics" were ASCII-maps.

I played that game at some length after leaving UCB - it was "guaranteed to drop your GPA two points" (addictive as hell). Another way to parboil your brain with it was to set the "update interval" to 5 seconds (a.k.a. a "flash" game) and have a several hour (instead of the more typical several month) gaming session with like-minded crazies ... I mean, "players" ... in a terminal room.

I recall one such evening up at LBL with Craig Leres and Jef Poskanzer, among others ...

Anyway, the Dave Pare mentioned in the Wikipedia entry is the same one who worked on decompiling the Morris worm, with the aforementioned tools he'd developed (he liked playing empire and wanted to fix bugs and extend the game, but psl was only supplying binaries ...).

It's funny where tools come from sometimes.


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