n doubt, always mount a

scratch monkey.

ESR notes: There is a version of this story, complete with reported dialogue between one of the project people and DEC field service, that has been circulating on Internet since 1986. It is hilarious and mythic, but gets some facts wrong. For example, it reports the machine as a PDP-11 and alleges that Mabel's demise occurred when DEC PMed the machine. Earlier versions of this entry were based on that story; this one has been corrected from an interview with the hapless sysop.

A corespondent adds: The details you give are somewhat consistent with the version I recall from the Digital "War Stories" notesfile, but the name "Mabel" and the swimming bit were not mentioned, IIRC. Also, there's a very detailed account that claims that three monkies died in the incident, not just one. I believe Eric Postpischil wrote the original story at DEC, so his coming back with a different version leads me to wonder whether there ever was a real Scratch Monkey incident.

[Jargon File]

Last updated: 2004-08-22

Nearby terms:

he machine in question was nearly thrown in jail at then doubt, always mount ae

Try this search on Wikipedia, OneLook, Google


Loading