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Are you sure you want to do this? [yn] (Robert Mokry)
(original, chuckle, computers)

I am not a lawyer, but I sometimes behave like one; therefore I appear
here today in order to give the Unix(tm) community some free legal
advice on a problem which most people don't handle correctly.  Say
you're trying to connect to another computer, and just as you get to
the login prompt, you realize that you've made a mistake and have
connected to a computer that you never saw before.  At this point you
are in a very delicate legal situation.  You have used up some CPU
time from the unknown computer because it had to print the login
prompt for you.  Also, while you are trying to decide what to do, you
may be preventing legitimate users from logging in.  Now you must
carefully demonstrate that what you have done was unintentional;
otherwise you will be in DEEP LEGAL TROUBLE.

I would like to pause for a moment and ask that small group of people
at the back of the room who read too much fantasy to please stop
chanting "innocent until proven guilty."  Your naivete is very
irritating.  If you don't quiet down, these nice policemen with the
electric cattle prods will escort you to the alley behind the building
and will try to explain to you why you are wrong.

OK, that's better.  So, as I was saying, you must clearly establish
intent when confronted by that login prompt.  Now most people would
type ^D and be done with it, but that is in fact the ABSOLUTELY WORST
thing you can do.  In Unix(tm), ^D signifies end of input, but it also
signifies that you are satisfied with what you have previously typed!
Thus by typing ^D, you have openly admitted that your attempt to
access the computer was intentional, and that you are just taking a
break to celebrate your success so far.

To ensure that you are recognized as being innocent, you should type
^C to the login prompt, because as we know, ^C means that what you
have typed before was wrong.  When you type ^C, nothing will appear to
happen, but actually the computer will be notifying the appropriate
authorities.  What you should then do is slowly move your hands away
from the keyboard and wait for them to come and take you away.  And
whatever you do, don't make any sudden moves with your fingers.  As I
said, you aren't guilty if you type ^C, but the authorities like to
check anyway, just to make sure.  So you will have to explain what you
have done over and over to people who wear watches that are one hour
early during daylight savings time (and I don't even want to speculate
on what their VCRs at home are doing).  You will have to explain to
them why your computer made the wrong connection even though computers
don't make mistakes, and why the control key can't be released before
pressing the C key, and why the C in ^C is uppercase.  They will not
have a reason to find you guilty if you carefully suppress any
coughing, especially dry coughs.  Also, don't even mention your job if
it entails dull writing or driving horse-drawn carriages.  And just to
be safe, don't let them get your hackles up and don't use any
hackneyed phrases.  Once they have grudgingly accepted that you are
probably not guilty, you can ask if they will give you back your
computer and printer and half-empty can of Coke(tm) that were seized
as evidence.

Certainly ^C is a legally-correct response to a Unix(tm) computer, but
as we have seen, it may not be a very good response.  Besides
provoking suspicion by looking like two characters instead of one, ^C
may in fact be completely inappropriate if the machine that you have
mistakenly connected to isn't running Unix(tm).  Since you could have
connected to any sort of machine, you don't really know if the login
program of the machine will be able to deal with control characters
without crashing and letting you into the system.  Therefore, the law
allows you to type ^C to an unknown computer only if you know the

The best legally-correct response to the mistaken login prompt is to
press the caps lock key down and type a certain single sentence of 666
words to both the login and password prompts.  However, due to the
possibility of making a mistake when typing the sentence to the
password prompt (and thus completely nullifying its effect), most
people prefer the officially-standardized exit string, "give up, end,
stop, terminate," which was proposed after years of deliberation by a
standards committee that unfortunately does not yet have a name -- a
minor detail that the members are still working on and hope to specify

Most people prefer to go one step further, and only type the acronym
of the officially-standardized exit string to both the login and
password prompts.  And if that acronym doesn't work, feel free to try
some other acronyms.

(From the "Rest" of RHF)

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