The world is full of unsung heroes - people doing vital things that get too little recognition. Does that sound like the role of the system administrator? We thought so. You, yes, you, deserve credit, lots of it, for keeping the networks that organizations depend on running and secure, with all the connected systems patched and up-to-date. You are the go-to person when no one can figure out how to coax a printer back to life or get a scanner in the next room to recognize a command.
In fact, if we could, we would give you the day off, or at least come right to your office, pat you on the back, proclaim your importance to anyone within earshot, and maybe even take you to a favorite restaurant for lunch! However, we suspect that’s not practical, since “you” means a whole lot of individual superheroes. So instead, we offer some amusement and opportunities to waste a little time (everyone else on the network is!).
Try some of these simple suggestions:
- Grab your blaster and try making a telnet connection to towel.blinkenlights.nl . Yep, it’s a galaxy far away...
- How about a sing-along experience? Open CMD. Tracert -64 Bad.Horse
- Try Dwarf Fortress: freeware fun in a text-based world. Endorsed by the Museum of Modern Art.
- Then there is the bsd-games package with texty activities like Hunt the Wumpus, NetTrek, and Adventure – dozens in total. Who knew anyone at Berkeley knew how to have so much fun?
- Check out infocom-like classics such as Zork (fun-loving geniuses at MIT get the credit this time).
- Or, there’s always Nethack – rooted in the 1980s but still being developed in open source versions!
For some operating system-specific amusement we might suggest the following bits of furtive fun for talented time-wasting.
For Linux, among other options, there is Ninvaders; again, a classic, descended from the arcade game Space Invaders, which in turn was likely inspired by the first computer game, created on an early DEC mini-computer in 1962.
Windows people can have fun, too (really!), especially with a role-play-game (RPG) like
Aardwolf. Access Telnet, then go to Start > Run > and type CMD, enter. Then type: Select Telnet aardmud.org and try on a different role!
MacOS. Let’s face it, Cupertino, California has always been about fun. Using the built-in Terminal application (often found in your dock) you can say goodbye, for now, to all that silly GUI business and get back to basics – like games. From Terminal, type `emacs-q --no-splash -f tetris (yes, it is still addictive). Enjoy.
iOS? Well, sort of. You should be able to download Mobile Terminal, which lets you get a
genuine command line on your glitzy Apple device. From there, it’s a relatively simple matter to get to Tetris or any other old favorites, just like with MacOS.
How about you discontented Windows-types, fiddling with the React OS (an open source,
Windows-like OS). The good news is you can ‘probably’ run the same amusing programs as on Windows. But, as they say, your results may vary. Aardwolf anyone?
With any luck, most of these suggestions should be pretty easy to get working; and we hope it is a nice break from your important work as a system administrator. When you do “get back” from this break, don’t forget about your security tasks.
We at Remme strive to make life a little more fun with this list – and much easier with Keyhub, our certificate management solution. It’s not a game but we guarantee you will feel like a winner!