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[ih] What is the origin of the root account?

On 4/15/2013 3:44 PM, Larry Sheldon wrote:

> *The missing details will probably surface at ohdarkthirty some time
> soon, by which time I will have forgotten why I cared.)

I did remember something that also got us some notoriety, but this did 
not have anything to do to the problem.

Among the attributes you could set on an EXEC 8 file was a bit, which 
when set, made the file "Read Only" and the operating system would not 
write to file, for anybody.  Another bit could be set that made the file 
"write only", which seems odd until you think about it a bit.

But odder yet, you could set them both at the same time.  And we did.

There were traps set so that it was not possible to release the 
exclusive-use locks without setting both bits, and we had a tightly 
secured program that could unlock the files (for the data base) and 
assign them to a run.

Requiescas in pace o email           Two identifying characteristics
                                         of System Administrators:
Ex turpi causa non oritur actio      Infallibility, and the ability to
                                         learn from their mistakes.
                                           (Adapted from Stephen Pinker)