Posts about lore

Control Characters

Have you ever wondered about the Unix terminal control characters: Ctl-C to interrupt a program, or Ctl-D to close the terminal? Do you know what Ctl-L does? Why does your computer beep if you press Ctl-G, but not other control keys?

The answer is that by holding down the Control key and typing a letter, you're sending a “control character” to the computer.

But what are these control characters, and why is there a seemingly random association between letters of the alphabet, and functions of the terminal?

Read more…

Emacs dunnet solved

This post was originally published at on 8 March 2006, and then updated at on 26 November 2006

I found this in a slashdot post while trawling for my own net handle... a cheat for the Emacs game dunnet:

get shovel, look shovel, e, e, dig, look, get cpu, look cpu, se, get
food, se, look bear, drop food, look, get key, sw, get bracelet, ne, nw,
nw, ne, ne, ne, e, look bins, w, w, put cpu in computer, type, toukmond,
robert, ls, uncompress paper.o.Z, exit, look paper, type, ftp gamma,
anonymous, toukmond, binary, send lamp.o, send shovel.o, send key.o, send
bracelet.o, send paper.o, quit, rlogin gamma, worms, get lamp, get
shovel, get key, get bracelet, get paper, e, n, e, drop shovel, drop key,
drop bracelet, drop paper, get weight, d, drop weight, nw, u, get
statuette, look statuette, get floppy, se, d, nw, ne, drop floppy, w, s,
e, turn dial clockwise, turn dial clockwise, turn dial clockwise, turn
dial counterclockwise, turn dial counterclockwise, turn dial
counterclockwise, w, n, e, get life, get shovel, get key, get bracelet,
get paper, get floppy, d, nw, u, se, d, nw, nw, s, s, s, s, put diamond
in chute, put bracelet in chute, s, get gold, e, e, s, d, look urinal,
put gold in urinal, flush, n, sleep, d, sw, e, u, dig, look, get
platinum, d, w, ne, u, s, put platinum in urinal, flush, n, d, sw, w, d,
e, get towel, look towel, d, s, s, s, look pc, put floppy in pc, reset, ,
dir, type foo.txt => xxx (combination), exit, n, n, n, n, n, u, look box,
put key in box, u, u, ne, ne, get axe, d, n, w, xxx (combination), cut
cable, exit, get key, e, n, get lamp, get license, get silver, w, put
silver in mail, n, n, e, e, e, e, e, get coins, get egg (in rooms 60 to
78), w, w, w, w, w, s, s, put egg in mail, put coins in mail, n, n, n, n,
e, e, e, e, e, look bus, in, s, s, s, w, w, w, w, w, nw, out, n, get
bone, e, e, get nitric, press switch, n, get glycerine, w, look bone, get
jar, get ruby, s, w, s, in, se, out, e, e, e, e, n, n, put nitric in jar,
put glycerine in jar, drop jar, in, n, n, put ruby in disposal, d, get
amethyst, u, put amethyst in disposal, d, ne, sw, u, u, w, w, s, w, s,
se, s, e, s, w, type, rlogin endgame, drop license, drop bone, drop key,
get diamond, get gold, get platinum, get amethyst, n, n, n, n, get bill,
n, get mona, s, drop bill, drop mona, drop diamond, drop gold, drop
platinum, drop amethyst, s, s, s, s, get silver, get egg, get coins, get
ruby, get bracelet, n, n, n, n, n, drop silver, drop egg, drop coins,
drop ruby, drop bracelet, n, quit

So I'll have to play again, and make a map too... 'cause it's the geek thing to do.

UPDATE: 20081126 - Finding the egg

As noted in the cheats above, the egg is in a random spot between rooms 60-78 (inclusive). Here are two stategies (besides peeking at the dunnet.el code) for finding the egg:

  1. In the pokey Unix environment (in-game) do directory listings of all the rooms between Main and Fourth St, intersecting between Maple and Sycamore Ave. If the room contains the egg, it'll be listed as egg.o in the Unix environment. Note where it is, then go and fetch it.
  2. Head along Main St looking for the egg, then up and down First, Second, Third... &c. until you find it.

Another idea to try (theoretical, but interesting, from TimHorse' comment below):

  • Login to pokey as the wizard, then type echo $dun-room-objects to find out where ALL of the objects are, find the egg (item 18, see $dun-objects) then have a look at $dun-rooms...

More ideas to try as the wizard in pokey (from some tips at the Dunnet author's hints page):

  • dun-current-room=tloc to go directly to the room containing the egg
  • dun-items='(append 18 dun-items), to add the egg to your inventory directly (a truely moby hack)

I'm actually motivated to play this game on the train tonight...

I still haven't made a map, maybe one day. It should be fairly simple to use the code as a starting point, but the up/down could be tricky to map.