A dangerous game that is claiming many of today's youth

A dangerous game that is claiming many of today's youth

Joined: August 2nd, 2001, 4:29 pm

September 4th, 2002, 5:26 pm #1

Seattle, WA - Two hours worth of work lost on a term paper or coding project is a nightmare that most students like to avoid, but many students are tempting fate just for fun. A new, dangerous game is sweeping college campuses and it is causing more harm to academic records than unlimited bandwidth ever did. It's called "Blue Screen Chicken" (BSC) or "DELL Duel" by the participants. It's a face-to-face showdown of wills over who will flinch and save first.

The game is usually played at college computer labs. Students decide on several programs, usually between 8 and 10, that use large amounts of resources or that are particularly crash prone (Netscape 4.7 with a Java applet loaded, ICQ and MS Money are common choices). These programs are loaded into memory before starting work on their projects. Now the race is on. The students must continue working on their project without any safety net until someone chickens out and saves, prints or does anything else to preserve their work. A crash by either competitor ends the game in a draw.

"I noticed the computer started slowing down. The mouse got sluggish. I was torn between saving my hour and a half of work and beating Goldman," said Ryan Hendricks a self-proclaimed BSC addict. "When I ALT-Tabbed back to Word from Photoshop, It took a full 10 seconds for the screen to re-draw. I wasn't gonna give in, but the for some unknown reason I decided to listen to some tunes and started RealPlayer. Blue screen for me and another victory for Goldman."

For many students losing a game of BSC means late nights, missed deadlines and lower grades. Professors report that "losing a game of BSC" has become the top excuse students give for late projects surpassing "There was 2 for 1 on pitchers at Shooter's last night."

Many computer lab monitors have expressed concern over the competitions. "To the students, it's all fun and games, aside from their potential minor loss of a paper. But WE'RE the ones that have to go uninstall all those buggy programs. That ticks me off," said lab assistant Dan Yaeger. "I mean, this is just work-study. I shouldn't actually have to DO anything."

Fran Kessler, a Mac user is the champion of BSC on her campus. "Well, I never lose. My box never crashes so I never have to worry about losing my term papers.

For some the standard DELL Duel isn't enough. These thrill seekers engage in extreme versions of the game where the competition is held during a lightning storm, or only hours before the project is due. One BSC player compared playing the game to other extreme sports such as mountain biking and snowboarding, "I don't have any athletic ability, but that doesn't mean I can't play with fire."


Doc's personal note.

Kids, nobody wins in death defying games of chicken!

Friends don't let friends do Windows!
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Joined: November 30th, 2001, 2:27 am

September 4th, 2002, 7:26 pm #2

... but would depend on the house rules

I don't think running WinXP on my near-never-crashing computer versus someone running Win98 would be too fair for the other sucker *uh, person, I meant person*.
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Joined: March 21st, 2002, 5:55 pm

September 4th, 2002, 8:04 pm #3

Seattle, WA - Two hours worth of work lost on a term paper or coding project is a nightmare that most students like to avoid, but many students are tempting fate just for fun. A new, dangerous game is sweeping college campuses and it is causing more harm to academic records than unlimited bandwidth ever did. It's called "Blue Screen Chicken" (BSC) or "DELL Duel" by the participants. It's a face-to-face showdown of wills over who will flinch and save first.

The game is usually played at college computer labs. Students decide on several programs, usually between 8 and 10, that use large amounts of resources or that are particularly crash prone (Netscape 4.7 with a Java applet loaded, ICQ and MS Money are common choices). These programs are loaded into memory before starting work on their projects. Now the race is on. The students must continue working on their project without any safety net until someone chickens out and saves, prints or does anything else to preserve their work. A crash by either competitor ends the game in a draw.

"I noticed the computer started slowing down. The mouse got sluggish. I was torn between saving my hour and a half of work and beating Goldman," said Ryan Hendricks a self-proclaimed BSC addict. "When I ALT-Tabbed back to Word from Photoshop, It took a full 10 seconds for the screen to re-draw. I wasn't gonna give in, but the for some unknown reason I decided to listen to some tunes and started RealPlayer. Blue screen for me and another victory for Goldman."

For many students losing a game of BSC means late nights, missed deadlines and lower grades. Professors report that "losing a game of BSC" has become the top excuse students give for late projects surpassing "There was 2 for 1 on pitchers at Shooter's last night."

Many computer lab monitors have expressed concern over the competitions. "To the students, it's all fun and games, aside from their potential minor loss of a paper. But WE'RE the ones that have to go uninstall all those buggy programs. That ticks me off," said lab assistant Dan Yaeger. "I mean, this is just work-study. I shouldn't actually have to DO anything."

Fran Kessler, a Mac user is the champion of BSC on her campus. "Well, I never lose. My box never crashes so I never have to worry about losing my term papers.

For some the standard DELL Duel isn't enough. These thrill seekers engage in extreme versions of the game where the competition is held during a lightning storm, or only hours before the project is due. One BSC player compared playing the game to other extreme sports such as mountain biking and snowboarding, "I don't have any athletic ability, but that doesn't mean I can't play with fire."


Doc's personal note.

Kids, nobody wins in death defying games of chicken!

Friends don't let friends do Windows!
Heh, what do you expect from a bunch of computer labs in any major college? When you have chimpanzee's beating on a machine all day with apparently NO local machine security (how else would they have even been ABLE to install anything) then you get things like this.

Don't blame the OS or the PC makers for people not knowing how to monitor and supervise their labs. I can guarentee a MAC will crash just as much as a PC (added just for you Doc, since there is a hidden message in there about how bad PC's are it seems) if you have a monkey using it, but then again since MAC's are made for a monkey to use (very, very simple) then again they might not crash at all..
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Joined: August 2nd, 2001, 4:29 pm

September 4th, 2002, 8:50 pm #4

Now that they are Unix cored, fixing them can be worse then fixing Windows boxes. Albeit, they crash even less now with new Unix based foundations.

Nothing worse then a Kernel Panic!!

As for macs being unstable... I know somebody who uses a Powermac 8500 as a mail server. The machine is on a UPS system incase the power goes out. That machine has not been rebooted in about 4 or 5 years. It has yet to crash. We would do some maintenance, but, so far, none seems to need to be done. It just keeps chugging slowly away, aging, but, still doing it's job. The OS has not even been updated. The box is also 100% Microsoft free, which seems to be the number 1 cause of instablity on Macs... Causes lots of corrupted pref files and extension conflicts, which is usually the cause for why Macs get sick.

It's not the peecees I have problems with. It's Windows. I will never ever be able to forget the very first clumsy release, the damage that it did, and how it pretty much left scars that for me will never go away. A spiffy new P4 might be nice, just so long as all things Windows was stripped away and some nice version of Linux or BSD was installed on it.
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Cyrene
Cyrene

September 4th, 2002, 10:32 pm #5

Seattle, WA - Two hours worth of work lost on a term paper or coding project is a nightmare that most students like to avoid, but many students are tempting fate just for fun. A new, dangerous game is sweeping college campuses and it is causing more harm to academic records than unlimited bandwidth ever did. It's called "Blue Screen Chicken" (BSC) or "DELL Duel" by the participants. It's a face-to-face showdown of wills over who will flinch and save first.

The game is usually played at college computer labs. Students decide on several programs, usually between 8 and 10, that use large amounts of resources or that are particularly crash prone (Netscape 4.7 with a Java applet loaded, ICQ and MS Money are common choices). These programs are loaded into memory before starting work on their projects. Now the race is on. The students must continue working on their project without any safety net until someone chickens out and saves, prints or does anything else to preserve their work. A crash by either competitor ends the game in a draw.

"I noticed the computer started slowing down. The mouse got sluggish. I was torn between saving my hour and a half of work and beating Goldman," said Ryan Hendricks a self-proclaimed BSC addict. "When I ALT-Tabbed back to Word from Photoshop, It took a full 10 seconds for the screen to re-draw. I wasn't gonna give in, but the for some unknown reason I decided to listen to some tunes and started RealPlayer. Blue screen for me and another victory for Goldman."

For many students losing a game of BSC means late nights, missed deadlines and lower grades. Professors report that "losing a game of BSC" has become the top excuse students give for late projects surpassing "There was 2 for 1 on pitchers at Shooter's last night."

Many computer lab monitors have expressed concern over the competitions. "To the students, it's all fun and games, aside from their potential minor loss of a paper. But WE'RE the ones that have to go uninstall all those buggy programs. That ticks me off," said lab assistant Dan Yaeger. "I mean, this is just work-study. I shouldn't actually have to DO anything."

Fran Kessler, a Mac user is the champion of BSC on her campus. "Well, I never lose. My box never crashes so I never have to worry about losing my term papers.

For some the standard DELL Duel isn't enough. These thrill seekers engage in extreme versions of the game where the competition is held during a lightning storm, or only hours before the project is due. One BSC player compared playing the game to other extreme sports such as mountain biking and snowboarding, "I don't have any athletic ability, but that doesn't mean I can't play with fire."


Doc's personal note.

Kids, nobody wins in death defying games of chicken!

Friends don't let friends do Windows!
i'm curious...

--cy
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Lissa
Lissa

September 4th, 2002, 10:52 pm #6

Now that they are Unix cored, fixing them can be worse then fixing Windows boxes. Albeit, they crash even less now with new Unix based foundations.

Nothing worse then a Kernel Panic!!

As for macs being unstable... I know somebody who uses a Powermac 8500 as a mail server. The machine is on a UPS system incase the power goes out. That machine has not been rebooted in about 4 or 5 years. It has yet to crash. We would do some maintenance, but, so far, none seems to need to be done. It just keeps chugging slowly away, aging, but, still doing it's job. The OS has not even been updated. The box is also 100% Microsoft free, which seems to be the number 1 cause of instablity on Macs... Causes lots of corrupted pref files and extension conflicts, which is usually the cause for why Macs get sick.

It's not the peecees I have problems with. It's Windows. I will never ever be able to forget the very first clumsy release, the damage that it did, and how it pretty much left scars that for me will never go away. A spiffy new P4 might be nice, just so long as all things Windows was stripped away and some nice version of Linux or BSD was installed on it.
Our Exchange server has only been taken down because of Anti-Virus grabbing one of the EDB files along with a couple of hardware issues. The only time we restarted was because of install of IE 6 (which requires a reboot in WinNT).

And I've been working here for a year and 3 months come 9/11 (yeah, my 3 month review was 9/11/01)...
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Joined: March 21st, 2002, 5:55 pm

September 5th, 2002, 12:32 pm #7

Now that they are Unix cored, fixing them can be worse then fixing Windows boxes. Albeit, they crash even less now with new Unix based foundations.

Nothing worse then a Kernel Panic!!

As for macs being unstable... I know somebody who uses a Powermac 8500 as a mail server. The machine is on a UPS system incase the power goes out. That machine has not been rebooted in about 4 or 5 years. It has yet to crash. We would do some maintenance, but, so far, none seems to need to be done. It just keeps chugging slowly away, aging, but, still doing it's job. The OS has not even been updated. The box is also 100% Microsoft free, which seems to be the number 1 cause of instablity on Macs... Causes lots of corrupted pref files and extension conflicts, which is usually the cause for why Macs get sick.

It's not the peecees I have problems with. It's Windows. I will never ever be able to forget the very first clumsy release, the damage that it did, and how it pretty much left scars that for me will never go away. A spiffy new P4 might be nice, just so long as all things Windows was stripped away and some nice version of Linux or BSD was installed on it.
Windows has come a fair bit since the 3.1 release many moons ago. I support machines from Win 95 to Win XP at work so I get a good dosage almost daily on the stability of the different versions of WIndows and I agree, in it's earlier incarnations Windows was/is pretty poor.

With this having been said, I urge you to NOT use what you experienced years ago to be the ONLY basis of your judgement on "peecees" and WIndows. I have Windows XP running at my work and home PC's and have yet to have any issues with them that wasn't caused by some poor programming in a second/third party software I loaded on my machine and even in that case I was running software developed for Win 95/98 on a XP box and XP was actually able to prevent at least two crashes on the machine from where the old software tried to do something stupid like directly access a memory area (the software was developed with FAT 16 in mind which Win 2K and XP does not have at all).

I don't have a problem with MAC's or PC's, they both have their places, but using an experience you had with an extremely early version of a software as the sole distinguishing factor isn't quite fair, IMHO. Of course if you're happy with what you have then fine, but comparing Windows in general with Mac's based on old software is like saying you'd rather walk everywhere because you didn't like the old Model T you drove once when you could buy a Ferrari instead.
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Joined: August 2nd, 2001, 4:29 pm

September 5th, 2002, 5:10 pm #8

Back in the 80s I developed a real dislike of M$.

In the simplest of terms, it was for unsavory business practices. They caused a lot of folks a lot of hurt, even back then. Competitors were quite litterally, eaten alive, and, many promising new technologies were swallowed. Instead of moving forward, because of some of M$ practices, we moved backward. Because of bass ackwards coding, certain things, things like hardware interupts and IRQs and all those silly device drivers are still in use. None of those things are needed really. Device drivers are still here because of M$ refusing to allow standardization unless it is their own. The very fact that that M$ uses non industry standards for so many things is what causes so many headaches in the first place.

As for losing technology, I doubt you have ever heard of it, but, before Real Player and their streaming technology, there was a company named Transient Audio. They had a very crude form of music streaming already in the works. Microsoft hounded them endlessly, harassed them, even tried to actually STEAL their technological secrets. Finally, Transient Audio was killed in a hostile takeover. And the technology was not even used. Do you realize where we might be today if such technology had happened, say, a full year or two before Real Networks finally got moving? Transient already had streaming audio capabilities going before there was even a world wide web.

That's my beef. I like moving forward. I like to embrace new technology, not to have it squashed down by some blundering dunderhead. I have the same beef with John C. Dvorak. Let's see John... You said the mouse was a frivolous stupid useless device.... I bet you use one now! CD-ROMS were impractical usless devices that Apple put out for some funny thing called "multi-media" (Just for historical note. The LC 520 was the worlds first computer with a CD-ROM built in... It was not welcomed as well as expected) It will never catch on. Only a passing fad. It's an expensive gizmo that Apple uses to justify keeping it's prices high. Well, I can bet dollars to donuts that old Mr. Dvorak is using a CD-ROM today.

I personally don't like fixing my computer or having down time. I just want it to work. I don't want to constantly have to download patches, and this, and that, and spend endless hours of upkeep just to keep it working. I just want it to work. Period. Part of the reason I still really don't like Linux boxes. I understand the shade tree mechanic view point though. Some people might have fun fussing over every detail in the system, and, that's fine if you like it.

And, to be honest, right now, I aint to happy about the direction Apple is heading either. Unix is all fine and dandy... If you are a computer science Ph.D. The average dopey home user though is not going to be to happy when there is a full core meltdown. Or a panicked kernel. Or God knows what else. Unix is nice, but, when something does go wrong in that old dinosaur, the shit really hits the fan... Enough to earn frequent flier miles.

I always have, and, always will believe in rule number one for computing. Keep it simple stupid.

And, if someday in the future, by some odd chance, M$ repented of bad business practices, and, became the people's champion for simple effective computing, and, Apple became a nightmare, I would probably jump ship first chance I got.
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Lissa
Lissa

September 5th, 2002, 11:22 pm #9

It is not MS that you should fault. You should fault the real people behind it, the originators of O/Ses like Unix and the manufacturers of computer hardware.

O/Ses over all are at fault because when the first O/Ses were created, they didn't know how to directly talk to the hardware, that was something that drivers were created to do. This is why when you look at any CPU out there, the hardware manufacturers talk about a ring structure. Before Intel really came on the PC scene, everyone designed their O/Ses around a 3 ring structure with Ring 3 being the applications, Ring 2 being the O/S, Ring 1 being the Drivers, and Ring 0 being the hardware. It was semi-stable, but still crashable. Then Intel came on the scene and said, "hey, why do we need Ring 2 and Ring 1? Just combine it into Ring 0 and everything is good." This is where the crashing of an O/S really came from, Intel forcing the O/S developers to use their Ring model.

Now, I won't argue that MS is the happy, shiny company that has no wrongs, but, I will say that MS is defnitely NOT the reason we still use device drivers. You can firmly place the blame of using device drivers on the CPU manufacturers (Intel, Motorola, and others).
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KingOfPain
KingOfPain

September 5th, 2002, 11:51 pm #10

Back in the 80s I developed a real dislike of M$.

In the simplest of terms, it was for unsavory business practices. They caused a lot of folks a lot of hurt, even back then. Competitors were quite litterally, eaten alive, and, many promising new technologies were swallowed. Instead of moving forward, because of some of M$ practices, we moved backward. Because of bass ackwards coding, certain things, things like hardware interupts and IRQs and all those silly device drivers are still in use. None of those things are needed really. Device drivers are still here because of M$ refusing to allow standardization unless it is their own. The very fact that that M$ uses non industry standards for so many things is what causes so many headaches in the first place.

As for losing technology, I doubt you have ever heard of it, but, before Real Player and their streaming technology, there was a company named Transient Audio. They had a very crude form of music streaming already in the works. Microsoft hounded them endlessly, harassed them, even tried to actually STEAL their technological secrets. Finally, Transient Audio was killed in a hostile takeover. And the technology was not even used. Do you realize where we might be today if such technology had happened, say, a full year or two before Real Networks finally got moving? Transient already had streaming audio capabilities going before there was even a world wide web.

That's my beef. I like moving forward. I like to embrace new technology, not to have it squashed down by some blundering dunderhead. I have the same beef with John C. Dvorak. Let's see John... You said the mouse was a frivolous stupid useless device.... I bet you use one now! CD-ROMS were impractical usless devices that Apple put out for some funny thing called "multi-media" (Just for historical note. The LC 520 was the worlds first computer with a CD-ROM built in... It was not welcomed as well as expected) It will never catch on. Only a passing fad. It's an expensive gizmo that Apple uses to justify keeping it's prices high. Well, I can bet dollars to donuts that old Mr. Dvorak is using a CD-ROM today.

I personally don't like fixing my computer or having down time. I just want it to work. I don't want to constantly have to download patches, and this, and that, and spend endless hours of upkeep just to keep it working. I just want it to work. Period. Part of the reason I still really don't like Linux boxes. I understand the shade tree mechanic view point though. Some people might have fun fussing over every detail in the system, and, that's fine if you like it.

And, to be honest, right now, I aint to happy about the direction Apple is heading either. Unix is all fine and dandy... If you are a computer science Ph.D. The average dopey home user though is not going to be to happy when there is a full core meltdown. Or a panicked kernel. Or God knows what else. Unix is nice, but, when something does go wrong in that old dinosaur, the shit really hits the fan... Enough to earn frequent flier miles.

I always have, and, always will believe in rule number one for computing. Keep it simple stupid.

And, if someday in the future, by some odd chance, M$ repented of bad business practices, and, became the people's champion for simple effective computing, and, Apple became a nightmare, I would probably jump ship first chance I got.
In 1991 Commodore sold the CDTV, the first computer with built in CD-ROM, basically a Amiga 500 with CD-ROM.

but some might argue that it wasn't a computer ;p

KoP
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