Welcome to soda.csua.berkeley.edu, Now Go Home!

or When Geeks Collide

words by Shannon Appelcline
pictures by Eric van Bezooijen

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is a work in progress. The text is relatively complete, but it is undergoing editing. Quotes, indices, and pictures are to be added as well. Please email any comments to Shannon Appelcline.

Additional thanks to Partha Banerjee, Jon Blow, Van A. Boughner, David Bushong, Nevin Cheung, David Chia, Alan Coopersmith,Paul Dubois, Tom Holub, Ed James, Donald Kubasak, Ahm Lee, Mike "No Relation" Lee, Julie S. Lin, Scott MacFiggen, Peter Mardahl, Mel Nicholson,David Paschich, David Petrou, Kurt Pires, Aaron Smith, John Salomon, Gary Tse, Rand Wacker, Nick Weaver, and Yermom.

Some documents shake the universe to its very core, sending out shockwaves across the galaxies that will resonate forever. Some documents irrevocably change the perceptions of their readers, replacing closely-held worldviews with dangerous and exciting new vistas. Failing that, some documents at least are worth the paper or magnetic media that encode their existence, thanks to the usefulness of their content.

This is not one of them.

So, you've logged onto wall just in time to hear that yermom's philbiff is fubar, and so you never got the elevatorP, and SPARKY'S is a no go. Rather than saying, "What the hell?" and logging off, you finally have another option. Now you too can learn the secret language of the computer science geeks. This encyclopedia explains the culture and history behind the hidden terminology of the CSUA. By spending mere minutes a day, you too can become a member of the CSUA clique, able to spout vahmifqy and think about the brain at a minute's notice. Join the club now*.

* secret decoder ring and replica Luna, Luna sign not included. Offer is for a limited time only. Act now.

All entries are listed in alphabetical order. Translation from the original hexadecimal by Phillip "Edward" Nunez. Thanks Phillip!

!psb -- invocation to prevent Partha Banerjee from winning an election. Frequently used even when he is not running--just to be sure. Pronounced bang-pee-ess-bee or not-pee-ess-bee.

There is always Partha, and there will always be Partha. --Alan Coopersmith

#t -- symbol meaning "true." Or, lazy and affirmative geek answer to a predicate.

It's cool to use computer phrases as part of everyday speech. When you network with other geeks, you can input computer phrases and thus make it sound like you have mega-CPUage available. To be super trendy, you can even replace common words like "true" with equivalent computer symbols like "#t." Hell, that even saves you two letters of typing, and computer geeks are notably lazy.

#t originates in scheme, that most holy computer language which all Berkeley computer geeks bow down before in their first programming class.

343 Soda Hall -- current CSUA office, located behind the outer Soda Hall Security Barrier.

Although slightly smaller than the old combined 238/238A Evans office, 343 Soda Hall is much holier for actually being within the Temple of Computers that is Soda Hall.

And there's cooler crap in 343 Soda Hall than there ever was in 238E.

It should be noted that the outer Soda Hall Security Barrier is much less fascist than the old Evans Hall Security Barrier. Undergrads are required to jump through fewer hoops in order to get card keys, and they usually aren't flaming.

343 Soda Hall is also notable for having room to expand. A secret entrance, currently covered by an obligatory bookcase, leads into the playroom of HKN. When the time is right, the CSUA Bat Squad will make an assault upon HKN, and it will be ours!

Adam Glass Memorial Beer Bash -- party to celebrate the end of the semester.

Sometimes geeks drink, honest. And sometimes it's not just girly drinks. The semiannual Adam Glass Memorial Beer Bash is named after the legendary Adam Glass, the rebellious anti-establishment geek who joined the great Satan, Microsoft.

Ahmify -- to capitalize and spell phonetically. Also, a program which does the same.

Ahmify derives its names from Ahm Lee, or Amy Lee, a young lady whose walls once shared the characteristics of ahmify. She is better now--mostly.

Anagrams -- Favorite activity of bored geeks on soda, requiring no social interaction. Names of soda users, or alternatively their logins, are most frequently anagrammed.

Among the coolest are:

Angband -- ASCII-based dungeon game, heavily influenced by J.R.R Tolkien. Based on moria and a close cousin of nethack.

Anonymous Remailer -- means to send death threats, sexual innuendo, heavy breathing, and random flames without getting caught. A method to send genuine anonymous messages out too.

Sometimes it seems that the CSUA exists solely to argue. What better way to spend the time while waiting for kewl-phil-program-2.7.2 to compile than to send out flame mail on a random CSUA argument? It seems that in recent years the arguments have decreased, no doubt due to the increased speed of compilers, but in the halcyon days of the CSUA there were some doozies.

One such battle was fought over the anonymous remailer on soda.berkeley.edu: the remailer was a means to send email messages without having a name associated with them. There are many good reasons for confidentiality, but it can definitely make some people uncomfortable. Thus was the holy anonymous remailer flamewar begun. The main argument concerned the CPU load that the remailer placed on soda, but the main issue was truly the desireability of an anonymous remailer, and how it might reflect on the CSUA. In the end, after many assaults, the anonymous remailer moved on.

Anti-analysts -- CSUA members with an uncanny ability to predict exactly what the stock market won't do.

babe@csua -- title given to rare CSUA geek with dating life.

There are some rules to follow when writing romantic letters on the internet. The most important is this: you should never type "mail *." You should especially not do this if your current directory happens to contain a file which has the precise same name as a mailing list at your current site. You should especially, especially not do this if your coworkers will think said letter is hilarious and pass it around until everyone has seen it. Even if you were just the innocent recipient of the letter, you might end up with the title babe@csua.

Barbeque -- Unusual social gatherings for CSUA geeks.

Sit down; you're not going to believe this one. Sometimes computer geeks get together for social gatherings. But wait, there's more. Sometimes they even cook. Sure, we're just talking about hunks of meat burning over an open flame, but, I mean, we're discussing about computer geeks here.

On occasion, about once a semester or so, the CSUA has been known to host barbeques. The problems of headcrash and memoryleak are suddenly replaced by sunstroke and storm. Computer geeks gather for free food and, as often as not, flee quickly afterward. Sometimes volleyballP is called out. Always, fire extinguishers are kept on hand.

bchoi -- AI experiment gone awry.

In the beginning, there was the achoi, and it was good. But, it was buggy, and its AI routines were poor. So, it had to be replaced, and thus was the bchoi born. But, it was no better, and it extended its tendrils across soda, and eventually it too had to be terminated. There was no choice.

Bridge Club -- group of bridge players who once ruled the e238 office; also known as deputy librarians.

Geeks should play netrek, and nethack, and MUDs; those are thoroughly geekish activities. However, there are certain activities that geeks should never engage in, and if they do, feathers will fly: prime amongst these is bridge. We're talking about the card game here, not a type of router.

There was a time, in the year 1991, when bridge-playing geeks fell down upon the promised land of e238. They took possession of the land and ate all the grain and killed all the cattle, and it was as if a plague of locusts had descended. There was much wailing and grief, and the spectre of the flamewar spirit even fell upon the sanctuary of ucb.org.csua. Those of the bridge took upon themselves the name of Deputy Librarians, and so in clothing themselves in the skin of sheep hoped to trick the shepherd. And, for a time, they did.

Eventually they faded away, and e238 was restored to the chosen people, but the bridge players had left their mark, and forever more, when the people least expected it, they would find the Mark of Bridge upon their office in the form of cards, left carelessly behind shelves and under books. Only when e238 was left behind would the CSUA finally be free.

Really, they were just some guys, you know, and just having some fun, and just being social, and just helping to make the CSUA into a fun, social, guys organization. But they should have played netrek.

Calculus of Fuzzy If-Then Rules -- rarified math and cool-sounding statement occasionally spouted by CSUA members.

Related to fuzzy logic; if you have to ask you don't know.

CEA -- Center for Extreme ultra-violet Astrophysics. Or, location for CSUAers to wall.

Once upon a time, there was just the Space Science Labs (SSL), but based on the strength of a satellite, the Extreme Ultra Violet Explorer (EUVE), the Center for Extreme ultra-violet Astrophysics (CEA) was spawned. Proving, if nothing else, that Bureaucrats Like Abbreviations Heartily (BLAH).

Many were the CSUAers that worked at CEA through the years. They laid cables; they monitored the satellite; they administered systems; and they walled. There were even some CSUAers that were were brought into the holy fold through the CEA connection.

An ancient philosopher once said, "Eventually all things must reenter the atmosphere and burn up due to the friction of particles hitting at extreme speeds." This is the expected fate of the EUVE in 1999, so as the years went by, the project ramped down, and that organization which was once like brother and sister to the CSUA became more distant, like a brother or sister living far away who never calls or writes and doesn't even bother to send a box of stale candies at Christmas. So goes life; the stale-candy-from-CEA era of the CSUA's life is gone.

chessP -- invocation to summon geeks to appropriately intellectual game. Usually carried out on line, but occasionally used to summon geeks to the CSUA office.

chessP works best to summon geeks to on-line chess games on FIPS or yahoo.

Playing chess in the office was usually just a strategy to avoid programming assignments. However, certain legends tell of the lucky charms chess set which was on occasion used by those who actually played chess in person. Seeing this now-lost CSUA artifact was sufficient incentive to face other geeks in person.

Control-return -- invocation to shut down Apollos, including soda mark I.

This unique feature of older versions of DomainOS (only available on console) allowed system administrators the benefit of a two-fingered reboot--clearly proving their superiority over msdos operating systems which required an entire extra finger. Unfortunately, the DomainOS method was undocumented and extremely easy for a quick typist to accidently key. The known record is three shutdowns in a single evening.

Cows -- Bovines. Also, ASCII representation of the same, frequently walled on soda.

Even now philosophers ask, which came first, the cow or the wall? The answer to this question may never be known, but it seems likely that the first ASCII cow walled on soda was the following, sent by da passage:

              > _,<
     / |     ||
    *  ||W--'||
       ~~    ~~

Many cows followed:

      Cow tipping:

      Step 1.              Step 2.
       /-------\/             O--------O_
      / |     ||             /| ::     |_)
     *  ||w---||            * O--------O
        ~~    ~~

                      \  |  /
                     -- (__) --
                    - - (Oo)\_______
                   - -- (  )\       )\/\
                    ---  -- ||----w |
                       / |  ||     ||

                               MAD Cow
            |_        _|

             Yummy Cow!

Walking the cows on wall eventually led to stampedes. Records of ASCII storms and cow wars abound, when the soda wall was udderly inundated by pictures of all types.

The programs cowsay and cowthink allow geeks to make their cows more vocal or thoughtful, as they see fit.

Crushed -- completed or finished, usually in an entirely satisfactory manner.

CSUA Membership Form -- form required to join the CSUA and, more importantly, get a soda account. Some completed forms have achieved the status of Holy CSUA Artifacts.

Geeks often think they're funny. Hell, the author of this document probably think he's funny. Their humor is usually inflicted on others whenever possible, and such is the case with the CSUA account form.

At various times, the CSUA account form has asked would-be CSUAers to "draw yermom", "slap marco" (only a recommendation, not required), "record your number of years at Berkeley in hexadecimal", and "report your xtrek kill ratio."

CSUA Bat (or CSUA Baseball Bat) -- holy CSUA artifact and the symbol of office for the Vice President. A black Louisville slugger, well-worn and loved. Mysteriously, the numbers 4 and 2 adorn the bottom of the bat.

First donated to the CSUA by Shelley Louie, the CSUA bat has become a sign of the CSUA's supremacy over the XCF. It has been stolen many times by that nefarious XCF, but always has been recovered. On one notable occasion, floor tiles were stolen from the XCF in a (failed) attempt to ransom the CSUA bat.Numerous dents on the bat are attributed to Phizzball games.

Particularly useful for obsoleting CRTs, gaining votes at politburo meetings, emphasizing points at general meetings, and hitting Evans to relieve stress (the last being its original purpose, according to rumors).

CSUA Chauffeur -- unelected CSUA office, the main responsiblity of which is to drive CSUA members to foodP, particularly SPARKY'S.

Doug Orleans was the first CSUA member to hold this office.

CSUA Graffiti Book -- holy CSUA artifact. An oversized 300-page book containing the occasional history of the CSUA

The CSUA Graffiti Book was brought into existence by Ken Arnold on January 24, 1979. It was then intended as a hardware log for the Computer Club's equipment, which at the time apparently consisted of CRTs, teletypes, stone knives, and bear hides. The Book was quickly appropriated by the librarian and has since become an eclectic records of historical events. The CSUA Graffiti Book has been lost many times, but always seems to return when it is needed most.

Famous entries in the graffiti book include: "gravity sucks", complete with picture of car in ditch; drawings of numerous office layouts; accounts of various CSUA battles including the 1991 Soda War and the ucb.erotica.sensual hoopla; and Tawei Liao "setting the record straight."

Cypherpunks -- radical hacker organization whose rallying cry is, "Cryptography wants to be free."

Computer geeks rarely involve themselves with politics. You can't code it; you can't debug it; and you can't compile it. Still, on occasion, this rule is broken, especially when politics takes the first step and involves itself first with computer geeks.

Such was the case with the cypherpunks, an Internet group opposed to the restrictions placed on cryptography by the U.S. government. For a time soda.berkeley.edu was a sort of rallying point for cypherpunks. But, not all CSUA members were totally happy about being rallied around.

Great battles were fought over how much trouble the CSUA could get into due to soda being used as a distribution point for strong cryptography. But, as so often happens, CSUA members eventually saw something else shiny and wandered off, ceasing their persecution of the cypherpunks. The tempest was revealed to be only a tide in a teapot.

Cypherpunks can still be found at ftp://ftp.csua.berkeley.edu/pub/cypherpunks

Dating -- strange social activity usually not undertaken by computer geeks.

Yes, Virginia, there is dating on soda. Now, don't get all excited. Most CSUA females have taken refuge under masculine or gender-neutral login names, and you shouldn't bug them, but on occasion you might chance to meet a female in the hallowed halls of Soda. Really, honest-to-god, female geeks do exist.

For more information, send email to babe@csua.berkeley.edu.

Ding! -- invocation to increment soda's clock by an hour.

Records show that various versions of soda have had problems updating their clock on the hour. The walling of "DING!" seems to repair this bug. Two main invocations of the "DING!" invocation are known; the second is mysteriously also known as the CSUA bat or the dingbat.

D::::::::::::DDD     I:::::::::I  N::::N        N:::N    GG:::::::GG     !:::!
D:::::::::::::::DD   I:::::::::I  N:::::N       N:::N   G:::::::::::G   !:::::!
DDD:::::DDDDD:::::D  IIII:::IIII  N::::::N      N:::N  G::::GGGGGG::G  !:::::::!
  D:::::D    D:::::D    I:::I     N:::::::N     N:::N  G:::G      G::G !:::::::!
  D:::::D     D:::::D   I:::I     N:::N::::N    N:::N  G:::G      GGGG !:::::::!
  D:::::D     D:::::D   I:::I     N:::NN::::N   N:::N  G:::G           !:::::::!
  D:::::D     D:::::D   I:::I     N:::N N::::N  N:::N  G:::G            !:::::!
  D:::::D     D:::::D   I:::I     N:::N  N::::N N:::N  G:::G    GGGGGG  !:::::!
  D:::::D     D:::::D   I:::I     N:::N   N::::NN:::N  G:::G    G::::G   !:::!
  D:::::D     D:::::D   I:::I     N:::N    N::::N:::N  G:::G    GGG::G   !:::!
  D:::::D    D:::::D    I:::I     N:::N     N:::::::N  G:::G      G::G    !!!
DDD:::::DDDDD:::::D  IIII:::IIII  N:::N      N::::::N  G::::GGGGGG::G
D:::::::::::::::DD   I:::::::::I  N:::N       N:::::N   G:::::::::::G     !!!
D::::::::::::DDD     I:::::::::I  N:::N        N::::N    GG:::::::GG     !:::!

                   -.                       .-
               _..-'(                       )`-.._
            ./'. '||\\.       (\_/)       .//||` .`\.
         ./'.|'.'||||\\|..    ). .(     ..|//||||`.`|.`\.
      ./'..|'.|| |||||\`````` '`"'` ''''''/||||| ||.`|..`\.
    ./'.||'.|||| ||||||||||||.  D  .|||||||||||| ||||.`||.`\.
   /'|||'.|||||| ||||||||||||{  I  }|||||||||||| ||||||.`|||`\
  '.|||'.||||||| ||||||||||||{  N  }|||||||||||| |||||||.`|||.`
 '.||| ||||||||| |/'   ``\||``  G  ''||/''   `\| ||||||||| |||.`
 |/' \./'     `\./         \!|\   /|!/         \./'     `\./ `\|
 V    V         V          }' `\ /' `{          V         V    V
 `    `         `               V               '         '    '

Doosh! -- exclamation of satisfaction, particular in relation to netrek. Or, a login shell on soda.csua.berkeley.edu.

According to ancient legends, it was "freeman", called Buen Enrico in the lands beyond the islands of netrek, who originated the famous "doosh" exclamation. He had sound effects of all types; doosh was an exclamation of particular happiness, used when destroying a loaded carrier or a star base.

In the days since "freeman", doosh has been widely adopted. Sometimes it has echoed loudly off of the walls of e260, much to the displeasure of students trying to use that facility for class work rather than for its rightful purpose of netrek.

The doosh login shell (or the Dynix Object-Oriented SHell, named for the then soda OS) postdates the exclamation. It combines all of the best features of tcsh and also occasionally DOOSH!es, at the user's command--^D to doosh, but set ignoreeof, please.

Doosher -- a netrek player.

E238 -- most holy CSUA office from 1986 to 1994, located behind the Evans Hall Security Perimeter. A connected suite of two rooms, the inner sanctuary of which usually contained soda.csua.berkeley.edu.

The CSUA has known many homes in its score years of existence. They include:

As can be seen, e238 remains most holy due to the fact that it was the home of the CSUA for eight years, an entire undergraduate generation.

E260 -- also the WNEB, Workstations Not in Evans Basement. A cluster of Sun Workstations intended for students in certain c60 and other computer classes.

e260 was one of two clusters of computers in Evans which were the lifeblood of young computer science undergraduates. Sure, the computers were slow as molasses, and sure they spent more time swapping memory about than actually running programs, but nonetheless they were X terminals, and so they ran griljor and xconq and netrek and were thus very cool.

e260 was notably cursed because it was located on the second floor of Evans Halls and so was (slightly) secured behind the Evans Security Perimeter. Fortunately, computer science undergraduates are extremely resourceful.

However, e260 also had its blessings, the greatest being the frequent absence of WEB Trolls, resulting in less interruption of important work: namely gaming.

e260 is immediately across the hall from the equally notable and more holy e238.

elevatorP -- incantation to summon the elevator to the basement of Evans. Also, a means to subvert the security measures of Evans. Largely obsolete. Usually initiated from the tvi920c in the WEB print room.

In ye olden days, the public computers at Berkeley were grouped in two locations--in the WEB, located in the basement of Evans, and in E260, located on the second floor of Evans. The WEB was easilly accessible, but E260 was in an area of Evans which was locked in the evenings. Fortunately, the elevators on the south side of the building could be used to subvert the lackluster security measures; unfortunately, the elevators could not be called from the basement. elevatorP was initiated by students in the WEB to call out to their brethren in E260, and so summon elevators down to the WEB. Could also be used to gain access to the former CSUA office in E238.

Work was done at various times on a hardware device which could be used to automatically summon elevators down to the WEB. Unfortunately, it exceeded the technical expertise, or at least the attention span, of CSUA members, and so was never completed.

Evans Magic Door -- a door which could be used to subvert Evans security by applying a hard yank. The "Get into Evans free card."

Evans security attempted to keep scummy undergraduates from the bounty of e260 and the sacred warmth of the e238 womb. Fortunately, there were many ways to subvert it.

Ex-comm -- ancient name for the politburo. Short for Executive Committee.

faces -- program to identify senders of email.

Once upon a time there was a program called faces, which allowed for small black and white bitmaps to be associated with computer users. It was originally intended for email, but was perverted to also allow faces to be associated with "who" lists and other system commands.

Being a sufficiently geeky program, the users of soda fell upon it at once. Numerous soda users created their own faces, and soon one could run xfaces on soda and see iconographic representations of all the users walling on soda.

Though usages of faces has fallen off, the database still exists at /csua/share/faces, and the program at /usr/X11/bin/xfaces.

FBI Raid -- raid conducted on the e238 CSUA office to crack down on software piracy.

April 1, 1993 marked a notable event in the history of the CSUA. On that day, due to a case of mistaken identy, the CSUA office in e238 was raided. The CSUA Vice-President was arrested and several items taken from the office.

Though soda was the target of the raid, it was not taken due to a mistake on the part of the FBI raiders. Dan Wallach heroically backed up the system lest the raiders realize their mistake, but fortunately they never returned. The following letter was posted to ucb.org.csua at the time:

Fencing Club -- saber-rattling bunch of CS students nearly foiled by the UC police. Their motto: "don't take a fence."

Picking up fences and hauling them across campus is very funny. Explaining to UC police that you weren't doing so is even funnier. Still funnier is getting a chain-link fence, dragging it through the Evans Security Perimeter, and then using it to block off the office of a beloved lecturer. Even the beloved lecturer will agree it's as funny as anything, while plaintively asking that said chain-link fence please be removed.

Figlet -- program for creating ASCII representations of words; usually used to emphasize points in wall or on the motd.

figlet is easy to run:

soda% echo "figlet" | figlet

      __ _       _      _
     / _(_) __ _| | ___| |_
    | |_| |/ _` | |/ _ \ __|
    |  _| | (_| | |  __/ |_
    |_| |_|\__, |_|\___|\__|

It was first used to give walls that extra emphasis, in the day of ASCII wars and cow stampedes. A particular nuisance to those who wish to keep their walling subtle.

First -- incantation to restart wall on soda.csua.berkeley.edu

Upon examing the wall_logs on soda.csua.berkeley.edu, one sees, at least in historical times, that the incantation "first!" nearly always marked the first wall after the reboot of a machine. Thus, a modern archaeologist is forced to conclude that this phrase was necessary to the wal_logs beginning again.

Firsts also appear on occasion at 4am, to help restart wall when the previous days wall_logs are rotated away.

foodP -- incantation to summon computer geeks for lunch (occasionally) or dinner (frequently). Almost never used for breakfast, as 5am-1pm is prime computer-geek sleeping time.

foodP is a specific predicate which is used to note whether a user is interested in eating or not. Some versions of foodP allow for more complex recording of hunger, such as "satiated", "hungry", "starving", and "weak."

Fu -- innate skill and understanding, often related to a specific subject. Traditionally, "Your fu is weak. You must train harder if you hope to defeat the Manchurians."

Fu is often either strong or weak, as in, "Grasshopper, you may not snatch this pebble out of my hand, for your fu is too weak.

Garply -- occasionally password and otherwise nonsensical term. The fifth word in the foo, bar, baz sequence.

Said to have originated at the Stan Ford on the Evil River, the garply was brought to Berkeley by Saint Harvey, where it was immediately adopted; there was much rejoicing.

Go Stick Your Head in a Pig -- CSUA insult, meaning, "Shut up," or, "You're being stupid." Originated by famous member Douglas Adams in the following song:

Of course, ASCII art was generated to go with this insult:

           _n_  ______
         _/o  \/      \@  _________
        O_             )=(  ____I_ \______
          \___/\______/   \ \     \_____ I
                II  II     II           II

gorb@chev -- occasional root password.

Gravity Tester -- holy CSUA artifact. A leaden-weight with attached screw. Heavy. Goes "Thump!" when dropped.

Nothing is known about the origins of the Gravity Tester; it predates the summer 1990 rebirth of the CSUA. The main purpose of the Gravity Tester is to ensure that gravity is working. A failure is marked by the Gravity Tester not dropping to the ground.

The Gravity Tester should never, never, never be dropped off the roof of Evans. Really.

Griljor -- multi-player networked graphical computer game written at Berkeley

Computer geeks get bored. It's inevitable. Whatever classes they're taking aren't challenging enough, so they find something else to do. By writing code, they even convince themselves that they're actually doing work. Such was the genesis of Griljor, a computer game written at Berkeley.

As you've no doubt already determined, Griljor stands for Grape Juice, Orange Juice, and Milk: the three beverages that were being drunk at the moment that Griljor was conceived, by the three original authors, way back in the fall of 1989.

In Griljor, one got to run about a fanciful environment, pick up fanciful weapons, and blow up fanciful opponents. Everything was done with 32x32 pixmaps, including ones representing such luminaries as Saint Harvey. A web page for the game can still be found online, with promises of a new 2.0 version of the game soon.

Alas, Griljor never became one of the great temptations of the CSUA student. It was primarily played at UCB, and so not opened up to the net as whole. Eventually the authors graduated, but at Berkeley the Griljor torch is still carried on.

Hacking -- favorite activity of computer geeks, often considered more fulfilling then dating, and almost always more successful. In its primary definition: the writing or modification of computer code. In its secondary definition: breaking into machines.

Computer geeks are expected to write and modify computer code. It's not particularly interesting, except in in the rare cases when the hacker uses variable names like genesis_torpedo or ninety-nine_bottles_of_beer_on_the_wall, and even then the interest is usually limited to other hacking geeks. Breaking into computer systems, however, is a whole other kettle of cooked goose.

Computer geeks often help "stress-test computer systems" and "explore machines for unknown security inadequacies." In other words, they hack. It's almost a rite of passage, one that helps them learn more about the systems that they may some day administer; hopefully good and honest CSUA members aren't malicious in their hacking.

The following .sig was unearthed from ancient CSUA archives. Its precise place in history is unknown, but it clearly refers to the notorious Hydra Project hacking group, active at Berkeley in the late eighties, in the wake of the Morris Worm.

> cat beroot
% /usr/lib/.beroot                | Hydra Project -- Athena team
/usr/lib/.beroot: file not found. | "Patch all you want -- we'll hack more!"

"Patch all you want -- we'll hack more!" is a trademark of Hydra Project. 
"Eek!" is a registered trademark of Hydra Project. "UNIX" is a registered 
trademark of AT&T.

Somehow, despite their history of hacking, or perhaps because of it, grown-up CSUA members are notably intolerant of hackers, even when they're good and honest and aren't malicious. CSUA members have helped to track hackers through phone lines, into modem banks, and back to their homes. At various time the UC police and teachers have been sent to deal with hackers who made the mistake to hack into either the OCF or the CSUA machines.

We can only presume the the CSUAers were acting as agents of evolution. Hackers with weak fu are crushed; those with strong fu become officers.

We interrupt this entry for a special message from Project Hydra: you cut off one of our heads and we but come back more strong. The hackers shall never rest and you peruse the rest of this document only because it humors us to allow you do so. Hydra leader out.

Happy Fun Ball -- strange object of even stranger humor to CSUAers. Usually mentioned as part of the statement, "Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball!" Good advice.

Headcrash -- horrendous disaster. Also, in the form of the headcrashed cory disk, a Holy CSUA Artifact.

There hangs upon the wall of the CSUA office a headcrashed disk, the remnants of what was once cory.berkeley.edu. Cory crashed the night before a c60a project was due. It serves as a reminder: backup, backup, backup. Various CSUAers have taken this rule very seriously, resulting in marathon 24-hour soda backup sessions and emergency backups in case of FBI Raid.

hh's cat -- mythical cat. Or, a program to concatenate files.

Back in the old days of soda Mark I, computers were much more intelligent. They could think for themselves and take actions. Thus it was that soda.berkeley.edu one day decided to chown /bin/cat to Eric Hollander. So is a geek legend born.

Hosers -- those who hose. Typically, annoying computer users.

The origin of the word hosers is unknown, though many stories each claim to be the gospel. One says it comes from the movie Strange Brew. Another states it comes from hosier, which is a really old term meaning something about cutting other people's ears off. A third story claims that it comes from old Crays being "hosed" when their coolant hoses were accidently removed.

Whatever the origin, hosers hose, and geeks battle against them.

I_SUCK -- Environmental variable for EMACS.

Real geeks don't use smileys. Some are even militant in this belief. Thus, for a time, one had to enter the environmental variable I_SUCK in order to be able to type smileys into EMACS on soda. Fortunately, the restriction is no longer present :-).

I Partied with Nick Weaver -- Statement of fact. And, proof that even geeks party sometimes.

If You Have to Ask You Don't Know -- If you have to ask you don't know.

Term coined by the CSUA Chaffeur as an accidental misstatement of the phrase, "If you have to ask, you don't want to know." Some truths are so obvious that once they are stated they can never be forgotten.

jail@csua -- mailing alias for rare computer geeks who leave behind geekish activities long enough to get arrested.

Believe it or not, some CSUA geeks end up the clink. During San Francisco protests or FBI raids, it has happened. So, next time you consider telling that geek next to you, "yermom can go stick her head in hh's cat," realize that he might just be the next member of jail@csua.

Kick the Can -- physical game occasionally played by bored geeks.

Kick the Can can be a fun game, especially if you're really trying to avoid a programming assignment late one night in e260. However, playful geek should be very careful of where exactly he kicks his can. If said can where flattened, theoretically, and it were to be kicked under a door, theoretically, and the room beyond had a motion sensor, theoretically, cops might be summoned. All theoretical, of course

L1-A -- magic shutdown key for Suns in WEB and e260. Comparable to the Apollos' Control-Return.

Computer geeks are notable for their practical jokes, especially if they can gain some benefit from them. So a piece of lore came to be passed on to netrek newbies: "press L1-A to go into hyperspace."

Lag! -- slowdown of network communications, due to network congestion, madly swapping workstations, or many other factors. Also, a curse to express disatisfaction at the same.

Lag! was most frequently used as a curse by netrek players playing from the constantly overwhelmed machines in e260 or in the WEB. It would cause the netrek screen to blink slowly as updates came to a halt. A typical sequence would run something like this: "Blink. Blink. Blink. Damn, I'm dead!"

Last -- incantation to reboot soda.csua.berkeley.edu.

Upon examing the wall_logs on soda.csua.berkeley.edu, one sees, at least in historical times, that the incantation "last!" nearly always preceded the reboot of the machine. Thus, a modern archaeologist is forced to conclude that this phrase was necessary to halt soda.csua.berkeley.edu.

The task was apparently a strenuous one, for on occasion a dozen geeks or more would be forced to wall "last!" numerous times before soda actually halted.

Latin -- language of choice for CSUA members, if you don't really have anything to say.

Life Points -- although anathema to most geeks, some still manage to have lives. Life points measure just how much.

/csua/pub/life recounts the lives of CSUA geeks, as scary as that sounds. There are 5 main points, which are awarded for: significant other (G), car (C), housing (H), computer running reasonable multi-tasking OS (U), and job (J). There is also a secret sixth life point. There is one main rule, and that is the out of county rule. If it's out of county (be it SO, car, or whatnot), you don't get the point.

Only if one has all 5+1 points upon graduation does one win. Otherwise, one is a complete loser in the game of life.

The Life God provides arbitration in the game of life, answering such questions as: does CEA count for J (barely); does Microsoft Windows count for U (serious questions only, please); do coops count for H (co-ops count not; they make dorms look nice in comparison); and hey life god, do I look like a bitch (no response).

The following motd fragment comments on the game of life:

8/23    Update your life scores, you twinks!
        \_ Not unless life-god gets a clue and quits classifying co-op rooms
           as dorms.  Maggot.           -john
                \_ Dear Maggot Infested Peon:
                        Nowhere was it said that a co-op was a dorm.
                        Rather, the life god sayeth: "CO-OPS count not.
                        They make the dorms look nice."  Perchance we shall
                        allow you to return to the hallowed halls of life
                        when you have mastered the difficult art of clue.
                        The life god requests that you not reproduce at
                        this time.
                        \_ Good thing I have the life god's mother hogtied
                           in my closet to prove my points.  -john
                            \_ That's gotta be worth at least a G, if not C.
                \_ What about those 4 to a room co-op rooms? Dorms like
                   mighty nice compared to them
        \_  There's a lot of graduates in the wrong section of the life file,
        \_ I lost so who the fuck cares.

Lock Collection -- holy CSUA artifacts. A set of locks rumored to have once adorned the secret north door of Evans hall.

Little is recorded regarding how the Lock Collection might have come into existence, but according to quiet whispers, the north door of Evans might once have been a secret entrance to the hallowed lands of E260 and the CSUA office in E238. It has been suggested that, perhaps, if the lock on the north door went missing, it would have been easier for computer students to attain the computers of the second floor Evans, but archaelogical evidence is too scant to verify this. In all likelihood, the CSUA Lock Collection is actually composed of discarded locks and has no relation to this theory.

Luna Luna Sign -- holy CSUA artifact. A rectangular blue-on-yellow sign bearing the words "Luna Luna" and an arrow. Also, as "lunaluna", an occasional root password.

The origins of the Luna Luna sign are lost of the mists of history. The first confirmed sighting is recorded in the CSUA Graffiti Book on December 22, 1990, but evidence suggests it was a holy artifact even then. Ancient legends hint that the Luna Luna may have once been indentured to a bastion of evil capitalism, from which it was liberated.

lwall -- account for Larry Wall. Also, remote soda walling service, using the same account

The lwall account allows users to wall on soda without the trouble of actually logging on to the machine. It was of greater importance in Apollo 3500 days when logging on to soda with a real shell was an ordeal in itself. Originally created to allow simple wallings of elevatorP from the web, it has since been co-opted by those unfortunate persons who have been banished from soda.

MotD -- Message of the Day. Forum for broadcasting short but important messages to users. Or, forum for long and pointless arguments.

There is a file called /etc/motd on UNIX machines that is typically seen by all users when they log in. In the early days of soda, some administrator had a bright idea and typed "chmod 777 /etc/motd." This allowed all users to modify the message of the day. Soon users were posting their own announcements and on occasion holding conversations through the motd.

The motd has not been without its... quirks. Posting is totally anonymous. Some postings are forged. Some are simply not signed. Some include the complete contents of the Eye of Argon. Controversial posts are sometimes deleted. Wars have been fought over motd length, particular in the days of 2400 baud.

Years ago the motd was divided into public and private sections so that official system postings could be free of these issues. The public motd remains to this day a source of debate, discussion, and humor.

Included is a portion of a typical motd:

2/14    Help free us from danh. Supporters should come to the general meeting
        and vote with him for danh's choice for the new VP. --politburo
        \_ can i be richard's manager, like that Mouth Of The South
                                            \_ Mouth of Sauron, you mean
           guy or The Million Dollar Man?  I really miss pro wrestling.
           Who was that guy who had the pretty manager Jessica?
           And do you remember when Cyndi Lauper made the stunning
           career move of joining the World Wrestling Federation?
           I don't know anyone who bought her new album last year
           though. - danh
        \_ What about those of us who've been denied of our
           inalienable right of suffrage - choice
        \_ Let's make sure the next vp is 100% qualification-free!
2/13    Help danh get his account back. Help us in our
        struggle. --ali
        \_ what can WE do? --lars
                \_ Well! YOU can come to the General Meeting on THURSDAY
                   and vote with danh for his choice for the NEW VP!
                   Do your part and help save lives! --politburo
                   \_ i think i'm doing something else during the
                      politburo meeting, like (insert your disgusting
                      addition to the motd here) - danh

2/11    Why 2 IRCBots?
        \_ ah, I guess I shouldn't have told this guy how to get a
           soda acct.
                \_ Stop bagging on this guy.  IRC is ok sometimes. --dickylee
                        \_ Not really, but if we're going to bag on someone,
                                we should bag on a REAL jerk, like theodore.
                                \_ or jwang
                                        \_ MAKE.ENEMIES.FAST

tchen     5710  42.2  0.9 1012  452 rA S N      105:26 irc -bl ranma RanmaSRV
tchen    18817  16.3  0.8  916  396 pm S N       12:53 irc -bl 1 RanmaSlve
tchen     6018   1.4  0.9  900  424 qQ S          3:54 irc
          \_ i dunno, join irc and keybomb him and find out.

MUD -- addictive adventure-type computer game.

"There shall come a time when the three seals of the anti-UNIX are broken open, and they shall be called the MUD, the Nethack, and the Netrek, and they shall lead the people of the UNIX god into temptation, and this shall lead to much wailing, and to gnashing of teeth, and to rending of clothes, and the people shall flunk out of Berkeley, and so shall be forever denied the UNIX god, and so they shall be damned forever to the desert of network." So it is written in the Holy Bible of the Computer Science Geek at Berkeley.

In ye days of old there were young programmers at Aberstywyth University; like many young programmers, they were bored, and so they hacked. Their hacking would change the lives of thousands. What they created was AberMUD, or the Aberstywyth Multi-User Dungeon. People could log on to it from all over the world and participate in a shared world experience that primarily involved running around as fast as one could type, killing monsters, taking treasures, and dumping them down a bottomless pit. (A rather strange economic system, one must admit.) By accumulating enough points, one could eventually become a god.

MUDs weren't just about collecting treasures and throwing them away. They were also about sex. Guys (usually garbed in some mythical and fanciful name) could seek out girls (usually guys garbed in some mythical and fanciful name) and engage in the highly erotic act of TYPING FOUR-LETTER WORDS. Fuck, yeah, baby.

Unfortunately, AberMUD was insufficient for the whole cybersexual experience, and so a new MUD arose, called TinyMUD. In this new avatar of MUDism, people tended to stand around and talk, not even pretending to be interesting in gaming before sex.

From another development line arose LPMud. LPMud instead expanded upon the adventuring aspect of MUDs. Wizards programmed new areas into the MUDs, and the worlds constantly expanded.

Legends also tell of Phillip Nunez's infamous PennMUD, unfortuantely never completed.

For a time MUDs were one of the most active areas of game development upon the net, and thus one of the most active areas of corruption for CSUA members. They are now slowly being replaced by more graphical web games.

Nethack -- addictive ASCII computer game based vaguely upon Dungeons & Dragons.

Nethack is the second of the three great temptations for the Computer Science Geek at Berkeley. It is probably the least addictive, for it does not offer the temptation of the real-time-live-interaction-with-other-geeks, but still it is greatly dangerous.

Nethack is an ASCII-based dungeon program where one roams around (trespasses), collects treasures (robs), and kills monsters (genocides to attain ethnic purity). The ultimate objective is to complete quests for one's (pagan) god, and eventually attain (steal) the Amulet of Yendor.

The temptations of Nethack are twofold. First, the generation of the monsters, treasures, and dungeon levels is random. This means that the game constantly changes, and an awesome find always can be just around the next corner. Second, it maintains a high score list of deaths (frequently) and victories (very occasionally). This means that geeks can compete against each other, trying to prove whose nethack fu is better. On occasion, soda has been home to nethack races, with various geeks running powerful characters through the dungeon, each hoping to achieve victory first.

At one time, a special OCF version of nethack was under construction. It included the new OCF Hacker character type and numerous new monsters, such as the deadly Web Troll. As is often the case, the geeks working on OCFhack "saw something shiny and it was all over"--the project was never completed.

Nethack is just one member of a large family of ASCII-based dungeon games, called "roguelike." Rogue and hack were its predecessors. Other notable members of the family are moria, angband, ularn, and omega. Angband, which is stongly based on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, was a source of considerable temptation for CSUA geeks at one time.

soda% nethack -s 3

 No  Points     Name                                                   Hp [max]
  1    4664573  morph-T died on the Plane of Air.  Killed by the
                invisible Wizard of Yendor.                             - [340]
  2     454737  schoen-V died in Gehennom on level 29.  Killed by a
                hezrou.                                                 - [144]
  3     405378  Alecto-V died in The Dungeons of Doom on level 28
                [max 29].  Killed by a minotaur.                        - [145]

Netrek -- addictive graphic space-battle game.

Netrek is the third of the three great temptations for the Computer Science Geek at Berkeley. Though it does not involve virtual sex and though it does not involve murdering for the honor of your god, netrek is probably still the most addictive of the three CS temptations.

Netrek does everything on a much grander scale than most other networked games. You get to blow up starships full of people, then bomb out entire planets, all in the hope of genociding whole races of space-faring creatures. It all makes killing a sewer rat in the first room of the Dungeon of Despayre (TM) a little silly.

In netrek, players strive to gain points in order to attain ranks; only the best can actually become Admirals. Conventional wisdom states: GPA + netrek ratio is a constant.

There is an entire subculture of terms and history related to netrek: t-mode scumming, the multiple resignations of Duck Dodgers, and much more.

OCF -- the Open Computing Facility. Brother organization to the CSUA.

The OCF was formed in 1989, as a successor to the UCF, on the strength of a donation of workstations from Apollo Computers. These twenty or so workstations were used to form a truly public-access cluster in the WEB, minus one Apollo 4500 which became soda mark one. The machines in the OCF have traditionally been named after disasters: volcano, maelstrom, typhoon, headcrash, and flaming-sheep being a few examples. The organization has had a rocky history, with eviction from the WEB threatened many times. Eventually it was forced to move to Barrows Hall, where it now resides.

Throughout history, the OCF and the CSUA have had interweaving histories. General Managers and Site Managers of the OCF have held office in the CSUA. CSUA members have used skills learned there to help administer the OCF and vice-versa. Much of the history and culture listed in this document is just as applicable to the OCF as it is to the Computer Science Undergraduate Association.

Oscar's -- favorite geek hamburger hangout, notable for its proximity to Evans and Soda Halls.

On the corner of Shattuck and Hearst sits what is affectionately known as a "hole in the wall": Oscar's, a burger and lotto ticket joint where they seriously ask you, "Would you like fries with your grease?"

Oscar's is most notable for being the clandestine meeting place where the future of the OCF was decided, meaning that the powers that be gathered before every election to determine who would be the next General Manager and Site Manager of that cluster of machines. On occasion Oscar's served the same purpose for the CSUA. So is democracy demonstrated to our students.

Recently, Oscar's was the site of the 1998 CSUA Alumni Reunion, and the "restaurant" was filled with over a score geeks, one pathetic sot even using a laptop and ricochet to log in to soda and wall. The cook and cashier were notably less than thrilled by the massing of geekitude.

PhilOS -- suite of important UNIX programs written by the Richard Stallman of Berkeley, Phillip "Edward" Nunez

Phillip "Edward" Nunez was a young prodigy at Berkeley. After transferring from PennState, where his work on PennMUD was unappreciated, Phil began work on PhilOS at Berkeley. Though numerous pieces of the Operating System have been completed, the full OS is not yet done.

philbiff proves that you too can get mail from anyone, and in a wide variety of handsome colors. philcompress offers the only 100% compression algorithm. philspell is a speling (sic) chekker (sic). philsh offers a viable replacement to sh. philter filters obnoxious walls. philwall offers an AI system that prevents obnoxious walls from being sent.

Phil's c60b midterm, written entirely in red crayon, was once a holy CSUA artifact, but has since disappeared.

Please Do Not Use These Facilities to Dye Your Hair -- sign curtailing use of CSUA office.

Please Don't Throw Knives -- another facist sign curtailing use of CSUA office. Note that juggling knives is not verboten.

Poetry -- prose with feet. Miraculously, a minor obsession of CSUA members.

Sometimes geeks get lyrical. Seriously. These lyrics usually relate to the wonders of Zinc, and are in the form of haikus:

Sometimes the haikus are about other issues:

Other types of poetry sometimes appear:

Politburo -- the executive committee formed by the officers in the CSUA.

Komrade! Let it be known that, in the era of Glasnost, the Ex-comm of the CSUA was renamed by the will of the people! That is how the Ex-comm was become the politbyuro, or politburo in the weak tongue of the American demons! All praise the people's will! All praise the mighty politburo!

Predicate -- function resulting in either true (#t) or false (nil) response.

Scheme, the most holy computer language of computer undergraduates at Berkeley, canonified by Saint Harvey, included "predicates": functions which returned true or false values. Old versions of Lisp marked these predicates by names which ended in a P. chessP, elevatorP, foodP, and volleyP are a few notable examples.

RICE, This is -- humorous statement of contempt. Spoken in full as "Fuck [subject], This is RICE."

A statement related to the the music group RICE, once spoken by the minions of danh.

Risk Tournament -- rare geek activity involving a get-together in which no computers at all are involved. Unless, of course, some pathetic geek brings his laptop.

Once, Risk Tournaments were the bread and butter of the CSUA, running at least once a semester. Geeks gathered together to prove their endurance--showing that they could play Risk for 12-24 hours straight, well into the wee hours of the morning. One should not scoff at this activity, for it is excellent training for programming in the computer industry.

In the end, when most others had dozed off, one geek would emerge victorious, proving his superiority at pushing little pieces of plastic across an out-dated map of the world. Others would bow down before him (perhaps fainting from lack of sleep), and he would be showered with wonderful prizes.

And so it would be until the next tournament.

Alas, Risk Tournaments have been much less frequent in recent years.

Robert's Rules of Order -- organized method of running meetings. Frequently requested but rarely used. To date, no one has actually see a copy of these rules.

Rootcow -- soda.csua.berkeley.edu program which allows any user to abuse root at any time. Cows are, of course, involved.

Abusing root is a common activity for CSUA vice presidents and other staff members; indeed, it is considered by many to be a prime requisite of these positions. However, some considered it highly unfair that only such a limited set of people could abuse the root account, and so rootcow was created, at the insistence of one of the Legion of Super Erics on soda.

rootcow is a setuid root program:

    -rwsr-xr-x  2 root  contrib  648 Sep  3 16:37   /usr/local/csua/bin/rootcow

Whenever it is used, it sends the following message to the soda wall, replaced with your own name and the current date:

    Boredcast Message from 'root': Thu Nov 26 16:51:42 1998

    / appel           \
    \ is abusing root /
            \   ^__^
             \  (oo)\_______
                (__)\       )\/\
                    ||----w |
                    ||     ||

rshoot -- Remote Shoot. Program to explode the CRTs of remote users.

Sometimes, remote users can be damned annoying. They rsh in to your workstation and use your CPU. They log on to wall and say stupid, stupid things. They make fun of yermom. Now, at last, there is a solution.

Rshoot finally allows you to get rid of those hard-to-scrub-out users by exploding their CRTs. Even if they survive the shower of exploded glass, plastic, and vacuum, they have no way to log back in, and so the network remains sparkling clean.

How much would you pay for this useful utility? Wait, there's more. Ask your rshoot victim to artfully arrange his monitor in front of various types of food matter, and you'll see that rshoot slices, it dices, it even makes Julian Fries! Order now!

Offer only available for a limited time. No guarantee is extended that rshoot will actually explode monitors. Past performance is not a promise of future returns. LCDs, teletypes, and certain other output devices are proof against the rshoot protocol.

Ruling Soda with an Iron Fist -- statement of fascism. Usually, " rules soda with an iron fist."

Originally used during the days of the danh wars, as "jsl rules soda with an iron fist." A variant was later used as a wall .copyright, during the approximately five minutes in which self-modifying .copyrights were kewl:

alias wl "/usr/local/bin/wallnew -c \!* ; echo '--' > .copyright ; \
WHO | tail -4 | head -1 | awk '{print "\$1"}' | perl -pn -e 'chop ; ' \
>> .copyright ; echo ' rules soda with a razor wit' >> .copyright ; \
cat .copyright | sed s/'choice rules soda with a razor wit'/'choice \
is a prisoner in his own mind'/ > .foo; mv .foo .copyright"

Secret Cabal of Daves -- there is no Secret Cabal of Daves.

Sheep -- ovines. Or, a source of considerable humor for computer geeks.

Sheep are funny. Not as funny as cows, granted. They don't look great as ASCII pictures. No one's ever said, "Don't have a sheep, man." Still, sheep are funny. They are especially funny to players of Warcraft. In that game, you can attack sheep. They make funny sounds when they're killed. They leave cute little bloody spots behind. Even better, you can light them on fire. Sheep are funny.

Silver City Donuts Bar and Restaurant -- substitute for SPARKY's in case of lost geeks.

Soda -- the main machine of the CSUA. Also, the name of the computer science building at Berkeley.

The building of a separate building just for computer science was first discussed back in the late eighties, long before the present building became a reality. Certain students were privy to those early meetings, and so they learned the sacred word: that Soda Hall would be the name of this new building, in honor of the elixir that is lifeblood to the computer science programmer. (Some suggest that Soda Hall was actually named for Chet Soda of the Soda Foundation, but this seems unlikely.) Taking this knowledge, members of the CSUA decided to name their new Apollo 4500 soda.berkeley.edu. Unsuspecting network administrators granted the application, unaware of the repercussions it would have. So soda.berkeley.edu, now soda.csua.berkeley.edu, was born.

Both cory.berkeley.edu and evans.berkeley.edu are controlled by the evil Berkeley administration. soda.berkeley.edu, which still points to the machine now known as soda.csua.berkeley.edu, owns the distinction of being the only machine named for a campus building that is controlled by undergraduates.

Soda is the center of the CSUA culture, home to the infamous motd and the even more infamous wall.

Though soda was named for a computer science building that was not then built, CSUA Vice Presidents have since attempted to arrange thematic clusters of machines around it. The earliest suggestion was that all CSUA machines should be named after halves of mixed drinks. So, scotch appeared, then rum, coke, and a variety of others. Other VPs have extended the theme to include all edibles, such as hamburger and french-fries. One notable suggestion in the early days of machine expansion was that each machine in the cluster of CSUA machines should only be thematically connected to the last one. Thus, the first machines would have been: soda, scotch, tape, worm, and hole.

Soda go Amiis -- statement of Soda's flakiness, primarily related to older incarnations.

SPARKY'S -- invocation to summon geeks to faraway San Francisco foodP.

In San Francisco there is a restaurant named SPARKY'S. It serves burgers and other fast food, much like certain Berkeley restaurants. There is often a long wait, much like certain Berkeley restaurants. The waitresses smoke pot while waiting, much like certain Berkeley restaurants.

Still, there is something about SPARKY'S that makes it worth the trip to The City, usually well after midnight.

Spotted Foobar -- rare and legendary beast said to live in the steam tunnels beneath Evans. Also, heraldric representative of the CSUA.

In the steam tunnels beneath Evans, accessible only by certain grates, there dwells a terrible monster: the spotted foobar. Intelligent CS students make offerings to the spotted foobar. This takes the form of pennies. Woe to he whose offering is not accepted by the spotted foobar.

The Spotted Foobar is spoken of in several sayings, among them "Beware the spotted foobar" and "Save the spotted foobar."

Squish -- to terminate with extreme prejudice. Usually used in reference to users--bad users.

Taos Mountain Software -- software contracting firm that sells out system administrators.

There is an evolutionary chain at Berkeley that looks something like this: OCF - CSUA - CEA - Taos. It is primarily followed by those who become system administrators, despite the lack of training for the same at Berkeley. The only thing more notable than the number of CSUAers who join Taos is the number who soon move on.

Think about the Brain -- incantation used to ensure the booting of computers, particularly servers.

This incantation was first used to aid the booting of the original soda, mark I. In its Domain/OS incarnation, soda was notably random in its booting, and so the use of this incantation was quite important.

Thornitiburo -- politburo made up of Katharine Nester, Matthew Thorn, Daryl Tong, Peter Norby, and Dan Holliman. Served in Spring 1996 and then resigned en masse following the sensational ucb.erotica.sensual affair.

The entire ucb.erotica.sensual affair is somewhat sordid but nonetheless worth recording due to the important effect it had on the CSUA at the time. It began with the creation of a moderated newsgroup by ikiru-of-the-many-names for the purpose of posting sensual erotica--just what every computer geek desires when faced with the lack of dating.

As a joke, unapproved posts were made to the group by blojo and/or AHM. They did not foresee that sensual erotica might not be funny at all; the many-named one filed a protest with the Office of Student Conduct at Berkeley (OSC).

Due to the rampant bureaucratia that weighs down the OSC, the politburo was forbidden to discuss the matter. Thus, when the politburo turned off the accounts of AHM and blojo, it was unwilling to offer any reason. This led to a considerable rift arising between the politburo and the proletariat, and the eventual mass resignation of the politburo as a result.

Only Dan Holliman, the librarian, remained. For a day he was the emperor of the CSUA, master of all he surveyed. As is written in the holy CSUA Graffiti Book, "For a brief period of time, Dan was ruler of the CSUA." Dan then proceded to appoint a new slate of officers and returned to his humble position as Librarian. But, he remained vigilant, lest he ever be called upon again.

Three Evans Route -- Secret path through the Evans Security Perimeter.

The administration tried very hard to maintain the Evans Security Barrier, manning the area with campus police and fixing the occasional mysteriously missing lock; one must given them credit for that. However, no one ever said they were very bright in their efforts. Take a case-in-point, the Three Evans Route.

Locked glass doors can be used to prevent student scum from entering the upper reaches of Evans without barring them from the twin nirvana of WEB and vending machines; no question about it. But, what if there were a room, say 3 Evans, which had two entrances, one on either side of these magic glass doors? If there were such a theoretical bone-headed design, it would be very simple to slip past the Perimeter, without having to wait for a doosher to notice the call of elevatorP.

Purely theoretical, and in any case the administration remembered to lock the outer Three Evans doors on occasion.

Twink Points -- points used to measure the foolishness of CSUA members, at least as determined by one man.

As the motd and the wall began to fall before the tides of silliness and twinkishness, one man rose up above them all, to try and make the soda a better place, to try and bring new order to a world of chaos. He was Twink Arbiter (tm).

Through a complex formula the Twink Arbiter granted Twink Points for statements that he considered stupid and in turn amortized them as time passed without twinkish statements.

At last count there were only a handful of people with non-amortized Twink Points, either due to a general increase in the intelligence of the CSUA community or due to boredom on the part of the Twink Arbiter.

On soda, ~tom/pub/twinks records the latest scores.

UCF -- the Undergraduate Computing Facility, long dead, but not forgotten.

The UCF was an ancient computer facility on Berkeley, dedicated to bringing computing power to the masses. It was located in the Basement of Evans, then called B50, and at its creation consisted of an onyx and a vax 730.

However, in 1986 the first rumblings of the WEB were heard, and as a result the B50 computer facilities were taken away. The UCF machines were moved to Cory Hall, where they became the XCF. In addition, the purpose of the machines was moved away from general usage (thought to equal game playing) and instead oriented toward projects. One of the XCFers joked, "We are changing our name to avoid our creditors."

This movement of machines was alternatively called a theft, a borrowing, and a liberation. It fractured the UCF; the anti-XCF members formed the OCF and a rivalry was spawned that has lasted through the years. Remarkably, 12 years later, founding members of the OCF still spit whenever the XCF is mentioned.

Unlink -- derogatory name for UCLink.

Once upon a time there was the OCF, and the University mocked and derided it mightly, for it believed that undergraduates had no need to access the internet, and the University, in the form of its evil minions, even threatened to remove the OCF many times.

But, the student revolutionaries were right, and the conservative and constrained University regime was wrong, and finally the University bowed before the undeniable flux of history and created its own OCF: UCLink.

But, they did a poor job of it, not allowing users access to irc (not electronic communication), lynx (not an information retrieval propgram), and much more. Eventually UCLink was replaced by UCLink2, then 3, and so on, and it solved many of its problems, but not before raising considerable ire.

Much of that ire is condensed in the famous Lirpa Sloof FAQ posting of 4/1/95. A copy of this may still be available on soda at ~jon/pub/unlink.

vahmifqy -- standard password for shared account. Or, a random exclamation meaning nothing.

In ye olden days--when spiders ruled computer science at Berkeley, when men were men, and when web trolls were web trolls--initial passwords on c60a accounts were set to strings of eight letters, with consonants and vowels arranged in such a manner that they formed natural-sounding words. Thus was vahmifqy born, amidst sound and fury signifying nothing. Since, it has spread far and wide, and whispers even hint that it may be writ upon the walls of computer science institutes far from Berkeley. Join with the vahmifqy and you too may know its power.

volleyballP -- incantation to summon geeks to unusual physical activity.

Upon the building of soda hall, computer geeks suddenly found them selves with simple and convenient access to a volleyball court. Surprisingly, they took this opportunity and began to engage in occasional games of volleyball, preceded by the volleyballP predicate.

Certain stories tell of Murray, the volleyball-playing dog.

Wall -- write all. A system administration utility used solely for broadcasting important announcements to users. Or, on soda.csua.berkeley.edu, a program for discussion and conversation amidst the members of the CSUA, forming the heart of the CSUA virtual community. Wall is unique for usually having n different conversations, where n is equal to the number of users actively walling at the time.

soda.berkeley.edu was originally a small machine with but a few users. Thus, it was not inappropriate for them to communicate via wall. Early walls were typically limited to calls of elevatorP, foodP, and SPARKY'S.

As soda grew, usage of wall continued. Soon it had become a common forum for communication of all types. At one time, wall_logs were also posted to the Evans Hall bulletin board.

Numerous wars have been fought over wall, in the motd, at the politburo, and in general meetings. Does wall scare off new users through its often harsh and brutal honesty? Should wall be turned on by default for new users? Should there be age controls on wall?

These many battles eventually led to the creations of wallall, a wall replacement program. It has at various times allowed users to turn off beeps, allowed users to put copyrights at the end of their messages, and allowed users to put an "adult" flag on their messages. The current wallall utility does not force all users to receive its messages as the more common wall program does.

Over time, the wall community on soda has aged, and is currently composed of more alumni than actual UC Berkeley students. This is the cause of some concern.

Type "wallall -yes" at a soda prompt to enter the wall community and help change these statistics.

Warlord of the West -- Unique internet personality and wannabe B1FF. Uniquely Berkeleyan.

In its younger days, the internet spawned great personlities, among them B1FF (WH0 SUMTIMEZ G0T T0 UZE HIZ BR0THERS K0MPUTER DUDEZ!!!!!) and Kibo (BATF Cinton Waco Ruby Ridge). One of B1FF's successors was the Warlord of the West, who even spawned his own newsgroup, alt.fan.warlord, a place for posting god-awful ASCII signatures. finger warlord@soda.csua.berkeley.edu for the old alt.fan.warlord FAQ.

|                                  _________ "Stay AWAY from the CLOCK!"    |
|                                 /_       _\                         -Rudy |
|                                 \         / "Eat my shorts!" -Bart        |
|      warlord@soda.berkeley.edu   \\ ]XV // "... bitch." -John Candy       |
|  \,,,,,,,,, ______________________\\   //_____ "Want some candy, little   |
|   #########|_______________________     ______>   boy?" -Pee Wee Herman   |
|  /`````````                        \   / "I see your schwartz is as big   |
|   War Lord of the West Fan          \ /     as mine." -Dark Vader         |
|          Club and                    V  "Bring in the LOGIC PROBE." -The  |
|               Fan Club                      evil dude in TRON.            |
|                                         "Time to die." -I forgot who      |

WEB -- Workstations in Evans Basement. A cluster of Sun Workstations intended for students in certain c60 and other computer classes. Technically, the OCF was also located in the WEB for a time, raising the question, "Where is the music, in the breath or the flute?"

WEB was one of two clusters of computers in Evans which were the lifeblood of young computer science undergraduates. Sure, the computers were slow as molasses, and sure they spent more time swapping memory about than actually running programs, but nonetheless they were X terminals, and so they ran griljor and xconq and netrek and were thus very cool.

The WEB was notable for its 5am cleaning, which let to the nightly insomniac exodus to e260.

WEB Trolls -- monsters who guard the WEB.

Once there was a facility named the WEB which contained the best and the brightest of computers available to undergraduates at Berkeley (which wasn't saying a lot). These computers were guarded by a threefold security system.

First, there were video cameras.

Second, there were alarms which detected computers being removed. Actually, they detected special circular disks within the computers being removed. These handy circular disks could be removed from computers and placed in the backpacks of friendly WEB denizens.

Third, there were WEB Trolls. Sitting within a booth at the entrance to the WEB these monsters protected students from numerous dangers. The prime dangers that the WEB Trolls crushed seemed to be soda, games before 11pm, and excessive fun.

E260 was often preferred to the WEB because the WEB Trolls visited it infrequently.

webster -- account used to access Webster's dictionary; now defunct.

Once users could log in to the webster account to directly access the webster command on soda. The program can still be accessed via /csua/bin/webster.

The webster account is particularly notable for the flamewar that it caused regarding which was more important: an account name for a user or a computer program; the computer program won. The account is now gone.

Wizwar -- cool beer and pretzels game involving stealing treasures in order to wear the big-wizard-hat.

Wizwar was once a favorite among members of the CSUA. At various times, CSUAers have proposed writing Xwizwar, a multi-player networked computer game. One late-night hacking session in e260 even failed to produce it. Nonetheless, wizwar has remained an obsession of CSUAers.

To prove that CSUA geeks are easily distracted by anything shiny, note the following card from wizwar which is often walled on soda and is always considered amusing:

        ATTACK                     L.O.S.
                    LARGE ROCK

        You may throw it. Does two points
          physical damage.  Once thrown,
          it may be picked up and thrown
               again by any player.

XCF -- the eXperimental (or eXclusive) Computing Facility. An evil organization of hackers that is diametrically opposed to the CSUA.

The XCF is an organization that has long existed at Berkeley, since its foundation in 1986. The rivalry between the CSUA and the XCF dates back to days when computer science students at Berkeley were lucky to get accesses to abacuses and card readers to do their work on; the XCF's cluster of DECs was thus coveted by the proletariat. The destruction of the UCF in 1986 was also a factor. The XCF/CSUA rivalry has been most strongly expressed in the continual thefts of the CSUA Bat. Originally located in Cory, the XCF is now banished to just beyond the west door of Soda Hall.

XCF Floor Tiles -- unholy CSUA artifacts. Floor tiles borrowed from the old, raised XCF office in Cory Hall.

In its previous incarnation, the XCF, antithesis and nemesis of the CSUA, was built upon a raised platform filled with floor tiles. In retaliation for a theft of the CSUA bat, a crack commando of CSUA hitmen, aided by the infamous XCF traitor, broke into the XCF and liberated six floor tiles. Ironically, the CSUA Bat was hidden under some of the XCF Floor Tiles that were not liberated, and so remained in XCF hands for the time. It was not recovered until the XCF was demolished shortly thereafter. Rumor states that the XCF tiles are still located in a closet somewhere in Evans Halls.

xterm -title "NUKULAR B1FF!!!!!" -- security hole on old versions of soda.berkeley.edu. Tangentally related to blojo.securityhole@ocf.berkeley.edu.

It's amazing what you can do when a program is setuid root, even if it's only setuid to allow writing to the UTMP. Hell, theoretically you could use it to pop open a root shell, if you rewrote the code. Of course, you'd want to be subtle, so ever hoser on soda wouldn't receive a get-into-root-free card. What to do, what to do?

Xterm Escape Sequences -- command sequences that can be used to affect the attributes of an xterm window.

Xterms are very customizable. You can modify their fonts, change their colors, replace their titles, and lots more. The real cool thing is that you can do this with special escape sequences that can be input directly into the XTerm shells. Say, by typing them in, or, maybe, by walling them.

Smart geeks on soda figured this out many years ago, and soon walls became filled with Xterm escape sequences. Anyone watching the walls in an xterm might see their xterm title changed to "NUKULAR B1FF!!!!!", their font changed to an unreadable dingbat, or something even more clever and amusing.

It was soon determined that walling xterm escape sequences violated the central soda policy: "Don't be a Hozer!"

Yermom -- random CSUA insult. Frequently a curt interjection. Occasionally a longer insult in some way centering around yermom. (Yeah, that's yermom, buddy; you, the guy reading this.)

Crude humor is funny; especially if you're talking to someone electronically, so that they can't hit you in the face.

Somehow, "yermom" has become the traditional insult of the CSUA. Not that CSUAers don't love their mothers, mind you, but still, it's funny to insult them. Not as funny as cows, but funnier than sheep; yermom could explain this all better, because I explained it to her last night.

Zen -- former CSUA server. An old HP machine.

Zen was originally a news server at Berkeley until it was replaced by pasteur. At that time the machine was donated to the CSUA and rechristened zen, after the lovable computer from Blake's 7. Other names suggested for the machine at the time were evans, megaflop, and picomip.

When the first Apollo 3500 came into Berkeley in September 1988 it was named new_zen or Zen II. Thankfully, with the revelation of the Soda Hall building plan, it quickly became soda.berkeley.edu.

Zuul -- an invocation to offer humorous contempt for a subject. Spoken as, "There is no [topic], there is only Zuul."

Originated in the movie Ghostbusters, a perennial geek favorite, as "There is no Dana, only Zuul." As far as is known, neither Dana nor Zuul has ever been a member of the CSUA.