Pyramid OSx Easter Egg - Danger, Will Robinson, Cosmic Storm Approaching!

$ strings /vmunix | grep Robinson

A 1994 article from comp.sys.pyramid has details:
In <6494@his.UUCP> plupp@ite.his.se (Jonas Blaberg) writes:
| Having a party yesterday, drinking Guinness and digging into some kernels,
| we found this weird line in the kernel of our old, sweet Pyramid:
| "Danger, Will Robinson, cosmic storm approaching!"
| So, who is Will Robinson, and what the heck is a cosmic storm, and when
| is this message shown to a user? Is there any preferred action to take
| when the cosmic storm is approaching?

The name Will Robinson comes from a 1960's sci fi television series
in the US, "Lost in Space". For those who have never seen the show,
it tells the adventures of the Space Family Robinson, would-be space
colonists whose flying saucer gets lost on the way to Alpha Centauri.
They face continual challenges in their quest for survival, such as
cosmic storms (i.e., radiation) or the guardians of the time continuum.
Reruns of "Lost in Space" always seem to be on somewhere, so it remains
a common cultural referent for those of us who grew up here.

See ftp://gandalf.rutgers.edu/pub/sfl/lost-in-space.guide if you
STILL want to know more about the TV series.

Back to the "Will Robinson" message...

The actual string is in a routine called gdtimeout() which gets called
if OSx or DC/OSx decides that an IOP disk/tape/ethernet controller has
crashed. It indicates that the system is attempting to bring the IOP
to a quiescent state, prior to dumping IOP registers on the console for
the benefit of someone attempting to debug the problem.

It was conceivable that the pre-dump procedures could hang the system,
so I imagine that the "Will Robinson" message was present to warn
of IOP trouble in case the register printout could not be executed.
However, you will never see the message printed on your console
unless some internal diagnostics have been deliberately activated.

So, there's nothing you can actually do if you ever see the message.
Perhaps it should say instead:
"Danger, Will Robinson, cosmic storm approaching! Remain calm!"

Romain Kang
romain@pyramid.com
--
``!!x09 dimaryP a fo edisni deppart m'I !pleH''
``oNhwre eenraa sab dsab iegnt arppdei n aAV X117/05!!''

User Rating:
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Contributed By: Anonymous on 07-24-2002
Reviewed By: Webmaster
Special Requirements: BSD strings
Please correct this Egg if you see errors.

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