the unfrozen caveman hacker show.
© 2004 Jamie Zawinski <jwz@jwz.org>


Now I'm just a caveman, and your modern technology upsets and frightens me, but I've noticed that it's pretty common for people to understand what it means when someone says^H^H^H^H types caret-H like that there. People here in the future seem to get what that means; it's part of the l33t language like emoticons* are, right?

But the thing that occurred to me just now is that most of you probably don't realize that that used to actually happen! I used to occasionally get mail from a n00b** that was formatted like that; it would go something like

Most people who understand what ^H means must have some sense that it is somehow the same as "backspace", right? Well, what would happen is, someone is typing on a dumb terminal*** that wasn't configured right, and as they typed backspace, that character would go up to the server, not be interpreted as "delete the previous character", and would be dutifully echoed back to the tty****. The tty would then itself interpret that as "delete the previous character on the screen." So the person typing thought the characters were gone, but oh no no no.

It was comedy gold, I tell you.

These days I tend to <STRIKE> because it's less typing more stylish.



[ up ]