Morning Cup O' Joe

Time you enjoy wasting isn't wasted time.

Doom As A Sysadmin Tool

"Sneaking up on my processes."

Now here’s a great interface with your operating system. Imagine literally killing processes by playing Doom.

Some of the potential benefits of using Doom as a tool for system administration:

  • The machine load is immediately apparent to the player, who can see how crowded a room is. The player can eyeball many machines from a high vantage point and go down to a room that needs maintenance.
  • There is a nice continuum for resource allocation. A user may choose to simply wound processes rather than killing them, which could naturally be translated to renicing them.
  • A new sysadmin can be given less power by providing her with a smaller weapon. A rank beginner may not be given a weapon at all and be forced to attack processes with her bare hands. It would take a foolhardy player to attack a room full of monsters, just as a newbie should not kill a bunch of important processes. A more experienced sysadmin would have time to stop a newbie who is trying to kill the wrong process. The real work could be left to those with the big guns. The truly great sysadmins could have BFGs.
  • Really crowded systems would regulate their own load because monsters occasionally kill each other. Once the population in a room goes down, the monsters will stop attacking each other.
  • Drastic action takes work. In a command line interface, all actions take approximately the same amount of effort. One can ls just as easily as rm -rf *, which is kind of unfortunate. In a cyberspace environment, the players are not omnipotent, so performing large actions takes time and effort.
  • Important processes can be instantiated as more powerful monsters.
  • They can then defend themselves against inexperienced sysadmins.
  • Sysadmins could cooperate or compete. Doom is a natural environment for player-to-player interactions. A team of players can cooperate to take care of a heavily-loaded system, or they can even take out rogue sysadmins who are killing the wrong processes.

Nice find, AG!

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January 28, 2009 - Posted by | Geeks and Gadgetry, Software | , , ,

1 Comment

  1. I need this at work.

    Seriously.

    Comment by Joe | January 28, 2009


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