This is why divinity students don't take CompSci

It's the early 1980s, and students at this university are still running their programs on a mainframe, reports a grad student pilot fish working in the computer center.

"All jobs were identified by a three-character user ID and a three-character job name on a line of Job Control Language at the beginning of the program," says fish.

"To check on the status of a submitted job, you would use the three character name and a LOCATE command. To check the status of a queue, you would QUERY.

"Being easily amused at 3 a.m., some of us liked to get theological answers from the computer. LOCATE GOD was usually answered with GOD not found. QUERY GOD returned GOD illegal.

"One night -- actually very early one morning -- when showing someone this trick, we got an unexpected and somewhat more disturbing response: LOCATE GOD returned GOD awaits execution.

"After that, we stopped playing with GOD."

Sharky's always easy to locate -- I'm at sharky@computerworld.com. So send me your true tale of IT life, and you'll score a sharp Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

Get your daily dose of out-takes from the IT Theater of the Absurd delivered directly to your Inbox. Subscribe now to the Daily Shark Newsletter.

To express your thoughts on Computerworld content, visit Computerworld's Facebook page, LinkedIn page and Twitter stream.
Windows 10 annoyances and solutions
Shop Tech Products at Amazon
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.