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Future of Supercomputing (Charlie Reiman)
(computer, smirk)

This text is entirely fictional. Any resemblence
to real world events is purely coincidental. Honest.


"Wow. Teraflops. You must be kidding."

"No. Our engineers pulled off magic on this one.
I don't have the specifics right now but they
claimed somewhere around 50 Teraflops per CPU."

"Fantastic. So how about i/o?"

"They worked some magic there, too. They claim
they can jack an external interface up into the
hundreds of gigabytes, with high reliability.
Loopback only, of course. They're having problems
finding anything that can match it to run tests."

"Great. Looks like we'll have old Seymour by the
balls om this one.  Do you realize that we may
have the fastest computer line for the next
decade, even if we don't change anything? This is
excellent news.  Do we have a test sight selected

"Actually, we have an installed site right now.
They love the performance and the reliability.
They only have one minor complaint about the

"Really. What seems to be the problem?"


Blade UNIX v2 (

   For help, send email to

login: jux6710a

Hello, jux6710a!
Last login from at Fri Sep 27 13:30:12 CDT 1991
You have new mail.

bu2 /sci/users3/jux6710a mail
Mail version SMI 4.0 Sat Oct 13 20:32:29 PDT 1990  Type ? for help.
"/usr/spool/mail/jux6710a": 1 message 1 new
 U  1 Mon Aug 26 17:18   64/3904   You dork!
>N  1 Tue Aug 27 20:18   16/667   It is your time.
& 2
Message  2:
From Tue Aug 27 20:18:05 1991
Return-Path: <>
Received: by (4.1/SCSO-4.1)
        id AA00359; Fri, 27 Sep 91 20:18:00 CDT
Date: Fri, 27 Sep 91 20:18:00 CDT
From: (The Machine)
Message-Id: <>
To: (Ulrich Jenson)
Subject: It is your time.
Status: R

Dear Ulrich.

This is the machine. As you are aware,
extraordinary hardware demands extraordinary

You have the honor of being selected for this
months human sacrifice.  Please put your affairs
in order. The time of the sacrifice will be Fri
Sep 13 00:00 1991. Please be prompt. Wear loose,
comfortable clothing.

Do not disappoint me.

& x
bu2 /sci/users3/jux6710a man -k sacrifice
offer (2)               - notify the system of a sacrifice
offering (8)            - send a sacrifice to the hardware god
bu2 /sci/users3/jux6710a man 8 offering


     offering - send a sacrifice to the FPU

     /usr/etc/offering [ -vma ] [ weight ]

     offering informs the system that a  sacrifice  is  available
     and should be consumed. To be properly offered to the FPU, a
     conscious victim should be placed in the  provided  sacrifi-
     cial  wiring  closet at midnight during the second Friday of
     each month. Failure to provide the needed flesh will  result
     in  degraded  performance.  Repeated failures to provide the
     required resource will eventually result in a general system
     failure of hellish proportions.

     Performance will be improved if the sacrifice is  of  higher
     quality.  For example, here is a list of possible sacrifices
     in their order of increasing desirability:

          a Congressperson, chicken, goat, human male  (tainted),
          human  male  (virgin),  human  female  (tainted), human
          female (virgin), any user exceeding his/her disk quota

     Unlisted lifeforms may also be acceptable, check  with  your
     site administrator. Animals may never be surgically modified
     in anyway.

     -v   Specify that the sacrifice  is  a  virgin.  Default  is
          tainted.  If  you wish the sacrifice to be acknowledged
          as a virgin, you must specify with this option  or  the
          system will not check.

     -m   Specify that  the  sacrifice  is  a  male.  Default  is
          female.  Unlike  the  -v option, the system will always
          verify this flag. Always double  check  the  gender  of
          your human sacrifices; the system does not appreciate a

     -a   Specify an animal sacrifice. Overrides both the -v  and
          -m options. Animals should only be substituted in times
          of  drastic  emergency.  Congresspersons  may  not   be
          offered as animals.

     /var/adm/sctmp      sacrifice accounting file
     /dev/hell           interface for outgoing sacrifices
     /dev/altar          interface to closet

     offer(2), ac(8)

     It is critical to monitor the permissions to /dev/hell. They
     should be root writable only at all times.

     Should automagicly determine gender  and  virgin  status  of

     Current versions of  the  sacrificial  wiring  closet  needs
     extra sound shielding to muffle screams.

bu2 /sci/users3/jux6710a man vacation


This text is orginal material. Permission to dupciate without
writen consent granted provided the following information is
left intact:

Author: Charlie Reiman
  Date: Sept 1, 1991

(From the "Rest" of RHF)

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