From: [email protected]
Newsgroups: alt.folklore.college
Subject: Don't forget to log out!
Date: 6 Oct 92 17:36:38 GMT

I know this story was posted once last year but I can tell it much better and I have finally gotten around to posting it.

I go to Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Indiana and spend a great deal of time in the Computing Center just screwing around, wasting time. I sat down to log into a terminal one afternoon to log in and noticed that someone had forgotten to log off. After a quick check, I discovered that it was the person who at the time was sitting across from me. I thought that it was sort of silly for him to be logged in to his own terminal and the one across from him but this individual was well known to be short on clues. His name is Omar and is from Texas but his family is from Pakistan. He talks really funny too, sort of like he has peanut butter in his mouth.

Well, I thought that this was too good of an opportunity to pass up. After some discussion with others in the room, we decided that I would kill the process he was currently in, effectively logging HIM out. The action of his screen suddenly going blank elicited the response of Haaaaaay!, Ted, what happened. (Ted was my roommate and a computing center manager.) Well, every time that Omar logged in, I would log him back out. He was Very upset over this. What's worse is that after about 3 or 4 times, another friend (Mike) who happened to have a walkman, went over to Omar and said "You know, I've noticed that every time I push play on my walkman, your terminal logs you out." Lo and behold, Mike pushed play and I logged Omar out. Omar, being an electrical engineering major should have seen through this immediately but as I said, he is a little short on clues. Mike proceeded to make a big deal about it and demonstrated the heretofore unknown "walkman effect" to everyone who entered the room. This was almost more than poor Omar could handle. He decided to call his father, a physics professor at University of Texas, and ask him if this was possible (for electromagnetic interference from a walkman to log out a VT220). Much to everyone's surprise, his father thought it was possible and instructed Omar to run some tests. (Either Omar's father is as clueless as he is or thinks he is a moron.)

Two days later, Omar borrowed Mike's walkman to run the tests. Mike was doing homework in the computer center and was present for the test. Everyone in the room thought they knew what was about to happen. They thought that since I was not there logging him out and that since Omar wasn't logged in twice, the test wouldn't work. Omar stepped up to the terminal, pushed play and...........his terminal went blank. Everyone present was utterly shocked. How could it be? That was until they looked up and noticed Ted grinning. Omar had indeed forgotten to log out again and Ted had control of the process.

To this day, Omar doesn't know what caused the mysterious "walkman effect."

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