snopes.com

snopes.com (http://message.snopes.com/index.php)
-   Computers (http://message.snopes.com/forumdisplay.php?f=5)
-   -   MIT computer wants a cookie (http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=82463)

snopes 02 October 2012 07:56 PM

MIT computer wants a cookie
 
Comment: Actually, this one isn't new as I heard it back in the mid-70's
and have always wondered about it. It seems the computer at MIT had
developed a taste for cookies. It would randomly print "I want a cookie"
during a print run. It started with student runs but progressed to
university business including the payroll. It became annoying when a
paycheck would read "Pay to the order of I want a cookie". Supposedly,
this program had included in its code a command to change its location
within the memory so they could only track where it had been not where it
was in order to eliminate it. Finally, in desperation, the university sent
out a plea for help to the person who could fix it to do so and there
would be no consequences. The next day, a graduate student sat at a
terminal and waited for the inevitable "I want a cookie" at which point he
replied O-R-E-O. The computer replied "Yum yum BURP!" and stopped asking
for a cookie.

Is there any way you can verify this tale or is it just that: a tall tale?

Beachlife! 02 October 2012 08:08 PM

In the mid-70s computers had so little memory that there was no place for such a program to hide. Computers of the time just didn't work the way they do now.

overyonder 02 October 2012 08:11 PM

From The Jargon Lexicon

Quote:

cookie monster /n./

[from the children's TV program "Sesame Street"] Any of a family of early (1970s) hacks reported on TOPS-10, ITS, Multics, and elsewhere that would lock up either the victim's terminal (on a time-sharing machine) or the console (on a batch mainframe), repeatedly demanding "I WANT A COOKIE". The required responses ranged in complexity from "COOKIE" through "HAVE A COOKIE" and upward. Folklorist Jan Brunvand (see FOAF) has described these programs as urban legends (implying they probably never existed) but they existed, all right, in several different versions. See also wabbit. Interestingly, the term 'cookie monster' appears to be a retcon; the original term was cookie bear.
OY

overyonder 02 October 2012 08:13 PM

More here

OY

overyonder 02 October 2012 08:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beachlife! (Post 1668958)
In the mid-70s computers had so little memory that there was no place for such a program to hide. Computers of the time just didn't work the way they do now.

Go see the listing I posted above. It's very small.

OY

snopes 02 October 2012 08:14 PM

Quote:

The Multics "cookie" program was patterned not after Sesame Street's cookie monster (who had barely gotten onto the air by 1970) but after an annoying cartoon "cookie bear" featured in a heavily-run cereal commercial of the late 1960s.

The idea for the program was born during a Senior House bull session in 1970. Seth Stein, an MIT freshman from Providence, volunteered a story about an IBM computer operator at Brown who liked to tease his users by locking out their terminals and manually sending them messages asking for a cookie until they typed "cookie." "Say," I immediately thought, "this concept cries out for automation!"

The programming itself was relatively simple, and was done during a vacation week on a 2741 that SIPB had recently installed into the dorm for student use.
http://www.multicians.org/cookie.html

Quote:

A virus is nothing more than a computer program. Although most viruses are written with malicious intent, some viruses simply display a message or a cartoon. One example of such a virus is the Cookie Monster virus, which was common about ten years ago. The Cookie Monster virus displayed a picture of Cookie Monster at random times, along with a message that said something like “Give me a cookie.” If you typed the word “COOKIE,” the picture would go away for a while. You could remove the virus completely by typing “OREO.”
http://www.techrepublic.com/article/...attack/5031931

snopes 02 October 2012 08:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by overyonder (Post 1668964)
Go see the listing I posted above. It's very small.

The length of the source code isn't necessarily proportional to the amount of memory a program takes up when executed.

overyonder 02 October 2012 08:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by snopes (Post 1668968)
The length of the source code isn't necessarily proportional to the amount of memory a program takes up when executed.

Agreed. The listing above doesn't make any additional memory allocations, pretty safe to say that it's still gonna run small.

OY

Beachlife! 02 October 2012 08:29 PM

The source code example given was something someone would run from a terminal as a prank. It wasn't randomly executed or written into memory.

overyonder 02 October 2012 08:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beachlife! (Post 1668974)
The source code example given was something someone would run from a terminal as a prank. It wasn't randomly executed or written into memory.

That's correct. It's not a "virus" as we understand them to be today, ie it won't propagate itself. It's a prank. [And I never made the statement that it was, either].

As far as printing "I want a cookie" on a check, that part, I have my doubts.

OY

Lainie 02 October 2012 08:48 PM

I don't remember a "Cookie Bear" cereal commercial. There was a recurring "Cookie Bear" sketch on Andy Williams' variety show, and I've seen it cited as the origin of the 1970s cookie hack.

snopes 02 October 2012 08:57 PM

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/cVmt_-2uueM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

JoeBentley 06 October 2012 01:37 AM

When the computer starts offering you cake, that's when you worry.

Lainie 06 October 2012 02:04 AM

My brother J and I loved the Cookie Bear sketch. We used to act it out, with him as the Bear and and me as Andy Williams (mostly because my room was downstairs, so we could use my door).


All times are GMT. The time now is 07:37 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.