Master Foo

Master Foo and the Script Kiddie

A stranger from the land of Woot came to Master Foo as he was eating the morning meal with his students.

“I hear y00 are very l33t,” he said. “Pl33z teach m3 all y00 know.”

Master Foo’s students looked at each other, confused by the stranger’s barbarous language. Master Foo just smiled and replied: “You wish to learn the Way of Unix?”

“I want to b3 a wizard hax0r,” the stranger replied, “and 0wn ever3one’s b0xen.”

“I do not teach that Way,” replied Master Foo.

The stranger grew agitated. “D00d, y00 r nothing but a p0ser,” he said. “If y00 n00 anything, y00 wud t33ch m3.”

“There is a path,” said Master Foo, “that might bring you to wisdom.” The master scribbled an IP address on a piece of paper. “Cracking this box should pose you little difficulty, as its guardians are incompetent. Return and tell me what you find.”

The stranger bowed and left. Master Foo finished his meal.

Days passed, then months. The stranger was forgotten.

Years later, the stranger from the land of Woot returned.

“Damn you!” he said, “I cracked that box, and it was easy like you said. But I got busted by the FBI and thrown in jail.”

“Good,” said Master Foo. “You are ready for the next lesson.” He scribbled an IP address on another piece of paper and handed it to the stranger.

“Are you crazy?” the stranger yelled. “After what I’ve been through, I’m never going to break into a computer again!”

Master Foo smiled. “Here,” he said, “is the beginning of wisdom.”

On hearing this, the stranger was enlightened.

Master Foo and the End User

On another occasion when Master Foo gave public instruction, an end user, having heard tales of the Master’s wisdom, came to him for guidance.

He bowed three times to Master Foo. “I wish to learn the Great Way of Unix,” he said “but the command line confuses me.”

Some of the onlooking neophytes began to mock the end user, calling him “clueless” and saying that the Way of Unix is only for those of discipline and intelligence.

The Master held up a hand for silence, and called the most obstreperous of the neophytes who had mocked forward, to where he and the end user sat.

“Tell me,” he asked the neophyte, “of the code you have written and the works of design you have uttered.”

The neophyte began to stammer out a reply, but fell silent.

Master Foo turned to the end-user. “Tell me,” he inquired, “why do you seek the Way?”

“I am discontent with the software I see around me,” the end user replied. “It neither performs reliably nor pleases the eye and hand. Having heard that the Unix way, though difficult, is superior, I seek to cast aside all snares and delusions.”

“And what do you do in the world,” asked Master Foo, “that you must strive with software?”

“I am a builder,” the end user replied, “Many of the houses of this town were made under my chop.”

Master Foo turned back to the neophyte. “The housecat may mock the tiger,” said the master, “but doing so will not make his purr into a roar.”

Upon hearing this, the neophyte was enlightened.

Master Foo meditates here to enlighten all.

Is this some sort of Bruce Leech story?