It was 3 AM and I hadn't slept in several days, I think. Hard to tell time down here, seeing as my office doesn't have any windows or clocks. The dull glow of monitors is reflecting funny colors onto my skin because of my pasty white pallor.

I had finished up my assignment for this month (even though it's only the 8th or 9th) and I had already checked out the latest dev Linux kernel to come down the pipe. I had read through Slashdot and all the comments (reading at a threshold of -1, Flat). I had read so many nodes on Everything that I can safely say that I've read at least half of them. I've perused Freshmeat and sent in some patches to programs and scripts that were posted in the last 10 hours. I had been on IRC for some...Uh...48 hours straight or so. I think some folks were beginning to wonder if I was a bot.

I was finishing writing the driver for Linux that would connect to my serial-device driven coffee pot (I can now control the coffee pot through the command-line - I even wrote a bash script for making a new pot when I log in), when I was perusing the /dev listing to figure out where to put it when I discovered /dev/god.

I don't remember if I was sober. Or if I was surprised. I had always had funny feelings about this workstation. I never encountered segmentation faults for one thing - even when I tried to write lousy code. I figured it was a bug somewhere that I created when compiling one of the kernel releases or libraries over the last few years. Something residual or similar.

It talked to me - somehow it was capable of writing directly to my tty--even with my messages off. It said:

Message from /dev/god on ??? at 3:32 am:

go home.  get some sleep.  or i'll blast your workstation into a thousand pieces!

And I thought, between sips of some unidentified caffeinated bubbly beverage, "How odd. Did the device just send me a SIGHALT? How terribly odd."

And then my body broke out into a cold weary sweat. The kind of sweat that comes from maxing out on the caffeine without eating anything. Kind of cold nervous jitters. So I locked the workstation, figuring I would show my co-workers the message on my terminal in the morning, and went home.

I slept for a bit. And came back in the next day. Ray was looking at my workstation and trying to figure out where I was. I said, "for the love of /dev/god, Ray, get away from there!"

Rescued in the name of The Nodeshell Rescue Team, and entirely ficticious--but it could happen...

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