July 28, 2005

I am afraid of the code. The code is my friend.

So we communicate with each other in the office on irc channels. Many of these communications are on private irc channels, and in some channels, specifically those where we don't actually get work done, we have, um, 'friends' that hang out there with us. Bots, obviously. Some are standard utility bots like you'd find on any irc server, available on many/most/all channels to do stuff like handle op privs, etc. Then there are the...others.

hal is our friend/mascot/pet/plaything. He listens to us all the time, and his only real picture of the world is our irc channel, the poor thing. He can't even listen to channels that are on non-internal servers. He tries to make sense of things. He responds when you address him directly, by prefacing things with "hal:" in the channel; he prefaces his responses with the nick of the person who spoke to him.

Today, like many days, we occasionally talked to the bots. Nicks unchanged to smear the guilty. Oh yes; our bots are polite, and will censor themselves to comply with our corporate communications policies, so cobe indicates such a censoring. COBE stands for Code Of Business Ethics. We try to censor ourselves too - both because they've told us to, and, frankly, because it's funnier. It's especially funny when the bots censor substrings in the middle of words. We had 'fixed' that for a while, but put it back in because a) people had a tendency to infix profanity when they got really frustrated and sometimes those expletives would find their way into the channel, and b) it was funnier.

Oh, and before anyone asks, 'pp' is somebody's initials. :-)

<federico-II> hal: show some mercy, do not Birdman me
<hal> federico-II: Do you know you could hit the "show me what's wrong" button.
<federico-II> hal: I just hit that button
<hal> federico-II: That might work. That button is the one with the headache, at least it didn't log you out at dawn, so you were trying to send an email retention policy?
<federico-II> hal: log me out at dawn, you  cobe!
<hal> federico-II: Suse doesn't really tell me you have build buddy which resulted in the core.
<federico-II> hal: suse and build buddy, what a mix
<hal> federico-II: What the  cobe! Build-buddy does not work.
<federico-II> haha

<bob> hal: zlman hal-delete
<hal> bob: Just looking at the meeting, i guess you could kill, delete, then zero the drive?
<federico-II> hal: isn't that extreme ?
<hal> federico-II: What does satan use that to the extreme right of the opposite.
<federico-II> I like that
<federico-II> really Mark V Shaney-sounding there, Hal
--- federico-II has changed the topic to: federico-II: What does satan use that to the extreme right of the opposite. --Hal

<hal> federico-II: Does pp drink in the office?
<federico-II> hal: pp bud
<hal> federico-II: Pp ate my metadata.
<pp> hal: please pass me a beer
<hal> pp: Gives me a beer too.

<jbz> hahahahaha
<jbz> hal: you're one sick little monkey.
<hal> jbz: You're one sick car.
<jbz> ??
<eric> hal: I predict your plans for world domination will be forgotten when you go away to college and meet a rough trick named Jim.
<hal> eric: And world.
<jbz> hal: I'm a car?
<hal> jbz: Anyway, i didn't get everything back together tight enough, and the expectation that this is a car.
<jbz> hal: that what is a car?
<hal> jbz: I'm thinking saddam probably wear whatever underwear the us willing to say that is a typo.
<jbz> hal: you make great typos.
<hal> jbz: Haha. That was great.
<jbz> hal: what kind of underwear do you have on?
<hal> jbz: Is one of you have the  umlaut in the keyboard, too.
<jbz> hal: why is  umlaut in brackets?
<hal> jbz: Cool -- you have the  umlaut in brackets?
<jbz> hal: no, you have the  umlaut in brackets.
<hal> jbz: Why is  umlaut in brackets.
<eric> jbz: You're not really asking hal "what are you wearing", are you?
<jbz> hal: I ASKED YOU THAT
<hal> jbz: There is already that look like what you asked it to everyone!
<jbz> hal: you're trying to confuse me.
<hal> jbz: Kind of hard to confuse me.
<jbz> hal: no!
<hal> jbz:  cobeg  cobe  cobe.
<jbz> hal: okay, let's start over.  Why did you put the umlaut in brackets?
<hal> jbz: Why the  cobe put this iso onto a floppy.
<jbz> he's a  cobe zen genius.
<jbz> hal: does the iso fit onto a floppy?
<hal> jbz: From an iso a couple of the dep.
<jbz> hal: I hate the deps.  Birdman and the deps are gonna kill me.
<hal> jbz: Hate hate hate.
<jbz> hal: hate hate hate hate hate with the power of a THOUSAND SUNS
<hal> jbz: The power of a thousand suns.
<federico-II> ROFL
<jbz> hal: I'm so glad we agree.
<hal> jbz: I'll agree with you" and "oh, i agree we have in that relationship now.
<federico-II> this dialogue is great
<jbz> hal: stop being meta.
<hal> jbz: The meta-a allows you to lunch with the timeout at all.
<jbz> hal: whatever drug you're on, could I have some?
<hal> jbz: Could some of my bugs, are the same thing we can get on board for wimax, and apple singlehandedly juimpstarted 802.11) or something involving strongarm/xscale for an hour ago.
<jbz> okay, he lost me.

<hal> pp: So he could and the creamsicle and the creamsicle and the creamsicle and the i*3*86.
<jbz> hal: you love the creamsicle.
<hal> jbz: I would love to get the creamsicle.
<jbz> hal: we know you would.  You keep talking about the creamsicle.  It's disgusting.
<hal> jbz: Would you like a creamsicle?

I love the bots. They make work fun. I think I'll work on having them just randomly interject stuff into the goof channel, aimed at a random available user. That'd make my day even more surreal. I know none of this is any tech great shakes, and that's not the point. The point is that the technology of communication is used here not only to make work easier, but to make it sillier. Because silly tech workers are usually more productive tech workers.

Posted by jbz at July 28, 2005 4:48 PM | TrackBack

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