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The fork bomb tattoo,

The fork bomb tattoo

Last modified: 2021-08-02 22:01:38.077493+05:30

This is from an old blog post titled "The first tattoo", and dated "1st January 2010". I definitely hoped that there would be more tattoos coming up, and hence the orginal title. But it turned out that deciding the second one was not going to be as easy as the first :-|

The tattoo is a "Fork bomb" written by Jaromil. Please read his writeup about the significance of this particular version.

The ASCII fork-bomb

But why?

If you did read about the "fork bomb", you'll see that its intent is not particularly good. Then why tattoo it, admire it, and adore it, like its something?

In modern UNIX systems, the default configuration makes sure you are protected from silly attacks like the fork bomb (wait, does it really?). While it could potentially create damage, today, the fork-bomb is just an annoying prank that an admin has to deal with once in a while on a shared machine. And, most people consider it as juvenile deviance.

A prank is no fun if it is not clever. And, the cleverness of this "ASCII shell fork-bomb" is its conciseness. The elegance of the implementation is its beauty. To the uninitiated, it just looks like a jumble of random symbols. But, to a trained Jedi eye, its a fraternal statement. Its a statement that acknowledges our breed :P

Still dont get the "why"?

The thing about the force is; you dont get it until you get it, but once you get it, you still cannot explain how you got it. Yeah, I know that kind of went around. But thats how it is. I conduct regular "therapy sessions" to explain the "why" behind things of this nature. You could subscribe to one of those and (hopefully) get enlightened.

By the way, these "therapy sessions" are chargeable (beer at one of my favourite places, on your tab).