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This article was posted to the Usenet group alt.hackers in 1995; any technical information is probably outdated.

Re: Backwards Message Hack

Article: 7393 of alt.hackers
From: (Peter Seebach)
Newsgroups: alt.hackers
Subject: Re: Backwards Message Hack
Date: 17 Feb 1995 03:13:02 GMT
Organization: Solutions Online
Lines: 45
Approved: Uh-huh!
Message-ID: 3i147u$
Keywords: slimy lawyers....
Status: RO

In article <3hp115$>
(John William Chambless) writes:
>obPatheticHack: writing a finger daemon that:

>1. logs all finger requests, with who was fingered, and from where

Hmph.  This seems silly.

>2. returns a snotty message if the request is a "finger

That's silly; finger is the best way to see if any of your
friends at <x> are around.

>3. returns a REALLY snotty message if it's "finger

What, you never noticed that super-users have the funniest plans?

>4. does a normal finger if they're fingering a specific user

>5. does a "", logs that info, AND
>   sends it back to the fingerer.

This sounds incredibly dangerous.  Finger-loops, and anyway, what makes
you think you can get through a smart firewall?

Remind me to hack my fingerd to be clever enough to send snotty messages
to fingerd's.

ObHack:  Have you ever noticed that 'ls -C' frequently leaves an awfully
wide space on the right hand column?  After some research, I established
that ls was assuming that, if the longest item it had was, say, 7 columns,
that it would need 9 chars per column, for the 2 spaces + names.  So, it
would print... 8 columns on an 80-character screen.

Problem is, it could fit 9 on - the last column doesn't need space after it.

So, I wrote a small utility which slurps arbitrary input and displays it in
columns, but doesn't display this bug.  It's not fast (~15 seconds for
web2, on a Sparc LX), but it's fast enough for most uses, and leaves me
with the feeling that my output will always be correct.  I think.

Peter Seebach -  --
C/Unix proto-wizard -- C/Unix questions? Send mail for help.
I'm broke!  Send me gifts.  Not tax-deductible.

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