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Old 02 October 2012, 07:56 PM
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snopes snopes is offline
Join Date: 18 February 2000
Location: California
Posts: 109,653
Icon23 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?
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