2nd November 1989Date: Thu, 02 Nov 89 20:41:56 +0000
You can sense when it's just about to happen -- a strange tingling at the back of your neck, a weightless feeling in your abdominal region, the way everything suddenly goes into slow motion. Then it happens: your terminal - that erstwhile cube of phosphorescent hypnotic beauty -- bursts into motion, sprouting limbs of varicosed intricacy, it leaps from the table. A flurry of snapping umbilical leads signifying its rapid departure and only a wiff of charred plastic remains.
Turning with infinite slowness you see it jumping up and down, making frustrated attempts at opening the door. Violent, insane movements as it thrashes at the knob, flailing urgently for release. Horror grips you as it stops its frantic attempts at escape and even though its facing the other way, you know its entire awareness is suddenly trained on your presence.
Then, slow, measured footsteps as the terminal backs towards you. You're paralysed, completely unable to respond. You're not even breathing and you realise that this is what real fear is. Its tiny knarled feet scratch the floor in a twisted path of clicks and thuds leading inexorably to your shuddering form. With a heart-stopping twist it faces its antagonist and you prepare for what must be the final moment of truth. Reaching out its hideous talons it grasps hold of your trousers just below the knee and tugs them weakly. "Dadda?" says the terminal, in a pleading, innocent tone.
With a sigh of resignation you kick it mercilessly across the room and a dextrous flourish produces the 12-bore you'd had tucked just behind your comfy swivel-chair. Without pausing, the gun is leveled and the terminal is reduced to an expanding cloud of vapour.
Cheese, you say to yourself, and get back to fixing that bug in DetachTerminal(2M) you've been working on for SunOS 15.0.5. These Meta-System Calls are really getting you down and you'd just as soon be writing some nice Daemon ... but then again, after what happened to the last guy working on MakeDaemonInteractive(2M), you'd quite possibly rather be in Bora Bora.