On The Subject Of Practical Jokes On The Computer, I Pulled The Following One.

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on the subject of practical jokes on the computer, i pulled the following
one. when i was in college at new mexico tech (located in socorro, which
is spanish for help!), i was a programmer for several departments. as a
result, i was setting up some user interfaces. the machine was a dec 20
(with tops20) and there was a central terminal room with about thirty adm 3s
(now, there is a terminal) in it. anyway, when this 20 went down in a
controled manner it would send out a warning "dec 20 going down", then
three dots at one second intervals, then a "p", then go down. when it came
up, it would send out a message "dec 20 coming up", then three dots at
one second intervals, then a "p", then the login header. anyway, the
victum sat down to use a statistical package (it is so much fun to play with
people whose use canned stat packages). after he had been on for ten
minutes, he received the dec 20 going down sequence and then his terminal
went dead. so he waited (about five minutes). however, all during this
time, everyone around him was typing away merrily. finally he asked if
the system had gone down. everyone said no. then he asked the operator.
again no. then the system manager. he finally brought back the user
servant (someone paid to answer user's questions) back to the terminal.
they played with the switches, then the user servant scratched his head
and said "beats me". about this time, the message "dec system 20
reengaged" appeared on his terminal, then the three dots, then the "p",
then the message "automatic login in effect, status at crash resumed"
and he was right where he left off! the program that caused this then
deleted (and expunged) itself. to this day, i don't think he knows what
happened to him.