Is there anyone out there who remembers the "wow" command? This is my recollection:

Back in the days- oh, probably around or before BSD 4.3 (circa 1984-88 or so)- you could type in "wow" at the command line, and the system (Vax 11/780) would respond:

<beep>I'm excited too!

This was not an alias or any such temporary setting, as far as I can recall, but an honest-to-goodness UNIX command. I'm pretty sure, because I checked at the time.

But my recollection could be totally faulty, I'll admit. I have never since seen it- almost certainly since Sun Solaris.

I was inspired to ask by this discussion of man's Easter Egg: Why does man print "gimme gimme gimme" at 00:30?

I miss the "wow" command. Yeah, I could make an alias or shell script but I'd have to do that every time I get into a new Linux/Unix system. Sigh.

  • Do you not copy your login scripts to new machines?
    – Panki
    Jan 10, 2019 at 14:50
  • As far as I can tell, there’s no trace of this in the Unix history repo; do you remember where you saw this? (As in, where the Vax was.) Jan 10, 2019 at 17:14
  • @Panki it depends. If I switch from Solaris to Linux, in a new job for example, a lot of my config will need to be reworked and I (historically) may have started from scratch. At the same time, as an Admin I may be logged in under a different user- some service account, perhaps, or even root.
    – Mike S
    Jan 10, 2019 at 22:02
  • 1
    @StephenKitt This was at the University of Illinois, in the Department of Computer Science (the host was a.cs.uiuc.edu). My profile picture was taken in 1986 or so less than 1/2 mile from there, in back of Papa Del's pizza on Wright Street across from the TAM building (I was on break as a dishwasher and a friend stopped by and snapped my photo).
    – Mike S
    Jan 10, 2019 at 22:05


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