1. GODZILLA is invincible and cannot be destroyed!

posted Sep 15, 2010, 6:10 PM by Jeff Ogden   [ updated Nov 7, 2010, 7:38 AM ]
There are several stories on Josh Simon's "Anecdotes" page that I recognize, but I didn't recognize this one and wondered if it was true. It still isn't clear.

In MTS, the $DESTROY command was used to destroy (remove, delete) files. However, if you had a file named GODZILLA, you couldn't actually get rid of it in one step:

#$DESTROY GODZILLA
 "GODZILLA" is invincible and cannot be destroyed!
#

To remove this file, you had to $RENAME it first.

Tom Valerio and Don Boettner both believe that this story is true.  Don also points out that $DESTROY #GODZILLA, where # is the file name character, would allow the invincible GODZILLA to be destroyed without the need to rename. And I'd guess that putting the ccid explicitly on the front of the file name would work too ($DESTROY ccid:GODZILLA).

George Helffrich, Andy Goodrich, Mike Alexander, Alan Ballard, and I don't remember this. We know that MTS c. 1996 does not operate this way. Mike Alexander searched the MTS D2.0 to D5.0 distribution "tapes" looking for the string GODZILLA and didn't find anything. Mike also looked at the source code for the $DESTROY command in these distributions and didn't see anything along these lines.

So at this point it is unclear if this is a true story or an urban legend.  Personally I'm leaning toward urban legend.

[Tom, Don, George, Andy, Mike, and I (Jeff) are or were all from UM. Alan is or was from UBC.]


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