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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.