Lee in the CC

I had lost and won some minor bets with Lee. It was time for a major coup. There was an RS/6000 installed at our Computer Center, and practically everyone had an account in it. So did Lee. (And so did Pavithra, but Jani told me to keep quiet about it, and besides, that’s another story.) Lee was probably a bit irritated that I interfered with his talk sessions, and I was feeling too bored. We struck upon a bet. The deal was again a challenge on my computer abilities. I had to sneak into his ID within 15 days. The stakes were the crux of it. If I won, I’d get to photograph him with his arms around Pavithra (he didn’t mind. Why would he?), and if he won…? Shom picked just the wrong time to walk by. If I lost, Lee would get to photograph me without anything on, with Shom holding my… (you get what I mean). The stakes were steep – for both of us.

But there was a catch. For, you see, I’d accepted the bet for the simple reason that I’d already sneaked into his ID! Well before he’d logged in for the first time, I knew it would prove useful and took a copy of his SUID shell. He could change his passwords all he wanted (once he used ‘iaminvincibleandinvulnerable’ and another time, ‘andreking’ – and was trapped by my trojan horse). But to give an appearance of realism, I waited 13 days – undaunted by his jibes saying that I was giving up.

I’m not sure he ever found out it was preplanned. Sorry, Lee!

On the morning of the 14th day, I gathered a bunch of guys (and Lee, of course) and asked Lee to log in into his account. He was greeted with a message – my message – saying that a mail was being sent to Pavithra explaining the complete details of the bet. Lee was understandably horrified. Not only had he lost the bet, but the matter was being conveyed to the concerned party in the most disastrous way possible! (Actually, I’d sent a far more toned down version of the mail that he saw). He bunked classes, waited for her to come to the CC, got her to log in, and deleted the mail before she could see it!

To date, he hasn’t taken the photo, but we’re still optimistic.

August 1995