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rm -r *

27 Jun 2006

I was waiting for a friend in the lobby of the Hilton down at Union Square. Near me was a middle-aged woman speaking loudly into a pay phone.

“Yes, yes, that’s right. You’ve got it. Now, here’s what I want you to type. ‘are em’ … yes. The letter ‘r’ and the letter ’m', together. Now type a dash. Yes, like a hyphen. OK, and then another ‘r’. Yes rm space hyphen r. OK, now another space and then a star. Shift 8. Yes. Now read it back to me. [pause] OK perfect. Hit return and tell me what happens. [pause] [pause] OK. Thank you. Goodbye.”

And she hung up and walked away while the command-line geek inside of me stood paralyzed with fear. ​