[TUHS] Happy birthday, Morris Worm!

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Fri Nov 17 01:54:05 AEST 2017

On Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 8:56 PM, Erik E. Fair <fair-tuhs at netbsd.org> wrote:

> Sorry, "psl" is Peter S. Langston, so:
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empire_(1972_video_game)
> http://www.langston.com
> 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.
>         Erik

Indeed - this is a solid bit of UNIX history.    We should put a PSL Games
Tape into Warren's library.

And Empire was more additive then Adventure when it came out :-)
 Fortunately, I only got mildly sucked in.   If I recall, Ward Cunningham,
Steve Glaser and Charlie Perkins were pretty heavily caught up.
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