[TUHS] UNIX: A History and a Memoir by Brian W. Kernighan is now out

Jon Forrest nobozo at gmail.com
Tue Oct 29 08:09:53 AEST 2019

On 10/28/19 2:41 PM, Mary Ann Horton wrote:

> Without telling the actual stories here, one involves a monkey picture 
> pasted onto a Bell Labs badge, the other is about an MTS who was late to 
> a meeting because she was grepping her apartment for her keys. I've told 
> these stories often, and they get a good laugh.

I don't know what happened at Bell Labs but I can tell a similar story
about what happened at Ford Aerospace, which was a very early commercial
Unix user (e.g. PWB in 1978).

Ford had secure entry points into the buildings, where you would go into
a pod that's similar to what you go though in airports these days.
While you were in the pod, you were supposed to show your badge
to a camera which was being monitored by a security person sitting
nearby. Most of these security people were humorless and seemed to
enjoy this task.

One of the people in my group was real joker. So, one day he decided
to paste a piece of a brown paper bag over his picture on his badge.
Along with this, he put a brown paper bag over his head, and went
into the security pod. The reaction of the security person was classic.
It took him a little while to overcome the fact that the badge matched
what he was seeing, and that he needed to investigate further.


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