back to article Sysadmins get Quake tools

Managing a network just got a whole lot more fun - Aussie boffins have created a version of Quake which finally lets you deal with network problems with a shotgun. Researchers at Swinburne University, Melbourne, have mapped network services and events onto a Quake Arena, allowing budding BOFHs to utilise skills honed over hours …


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  1. Rick

    The BOFH would love this

    The BOFH would love this

  2. b166er


    should be fun picking off hackers too ;p

    This is the kind of innovation that deserves the highest praise, what a perfect incentive to monitor your network. You could invite all your support team in for competitions to see who has the l33t35t 5k1115

  3. Col

    ``Hey, it's Unix! I know this!'

    As first seen in the visionary Jurassic Park way back in 93

  4. Robert Moore

    I need this.

    I have never started drooling at the thought of a piece of software before.

    Downloading now.

  5. Dave Morris


    Ahh, so now the sys admins can finally get some work done. Until now, they could only get work done when the problem was bad enough to prevent the FPS game from connecting to the server properly, or some problem caused latency to spike. Even then, the problem solving had to be quick and get direct to whatever was impeding the connection, only fixing any other issues as a side effect.

  6. David

    For fun and profit...

    1. Download L3DGEWorld

    2. Shoot the troublesome Windows® Server (or the PFY's desktop)

    3. PROFIT!! (of if you're a dyed in the wool BOFH, fun.)

  7. Laurent_Z
    Thumb Down

    "even the idea of using extreme violence to manage system processes is nothing new"

    Shame on you, Bill.

    A Doom (FPS) reference here at the Register, for this article?

    I have been a faithfull Reg reader for a number of years, and when I think about "using extreme violence to manage system processes ", the first thing I think about is the BOFH, not the game Doom !

    I hope this week-end in the elevator has made you think about proper references.

  8. Daniel B.

    Life imitating art

    I distinctly remember the BOFH wiring his own version of Doom into a thin PC network, where shooting users dead would trigger an SNMP Reboot on said users' PC. ;)

    That said, it looks like someone in that project must have been reading Neuromancer : )

  9. Pooka


    I wonder if I can sell this one to the bosses....

    Should make the job a little more bearable!

  10. William Hart


    Does this feel like something designed by Simon, BOFH with the able assistance of the PFY?

  11. Anonymous Coward

    So the boss walks into control center...

    and sees me playing this modded Quake. I just have time to register his snide remark "I feel pink slip time coming up" as my amygdala kicks in and my mouth automatically voices the elegant reply "The major advantage of such systems, regardless of their base code, is the ability to see massive amounts of information at a glance, ensuring that everything is ticking over and quickly zooming in on areas of concern."

    Unfortunately, boss isn't fazed.

    "Or you could use rrdtool. Security will help you pack."

  12. wibbilus maximus

    I want's it!!!

    Gimme, gimme, gimme!!!!!!!

  13. Andrew
    Thumb Down

    Having watched the video...

    You'd need a pretty strong stomach to put up with bouncing, spinning, rotating, scaling, colour changing, morphing 3d objects for any length of time.

  14. Brian Miller

    And Curses is deficient how....?

    Let me guess: this is really an outgrowth of having a few of yesteryear's high-end gamers graphics cards lying about and wanting to put them to use. Yes, you can have ludicrous fun with 3D images. No, it doesn't mean that you have something radically new and useful.

  15. Aditya Krishnan
    Thumb Up


    "After I took the screenshot of myself being attacked by csh, csh was shot by friendly fire from behind, possibly by tcsh or xv, and my session was abruptly terminated."

    Brilliant, simply brilliant. Another step closer to Neuromancer.

  16. Kevin B

    Quake, bah! Old humbug- Doom was there first.

    Ermmmm. In the good old days (about 1996) there was a Linux / Unix - Doom interface which allowed us as root to kill processes by shooting them. It was hard as bunnies to get working but when it did it made our oh so boring lives much more fun. Quake interface??? Old hat if you ask me....

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another video

    I found this a better view of the system than the link in the article:

  18. Daniel Snowden

    Hardly news

    Dennis Chao (University of New Mexico) created a Doom version back in 99

  19. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    Little fishies!

    OK, I need to configure this to show my servers as goldfish, then I can have them bobbing about happily with the bounce option, or going belly up with the roll option when they crash, and then going green the longer they stay belly up without the correct maintenance action.....

  20. Peter Gold badge

    This actually has other uses

    You know the way people "walk" through data in SP movies? Johnny Mnemonic, Matrix etc. (less the Minority Report, that was more an early version iPod Touch GUI)?

    If you think about it, a massive, interoperable world like Second Life has the potential to become just that if one could enter a 'portal' and then browse (or come up with some process to transfer between systems, thus presenrving the neutrality and diversity of the Net which is a sort of resilience in itself. All you need is a model to represent interconnects, systems files etc - we have planets, streets, tunnels - whatever. Once you have the protocol defined you can leave it open how the item is actually represented so you have a default which can be changed, and you could pull stunts like teleporting etc (shortcuts).

    Just musing...

  21. This post has been deleted by its author

  22. E

    You missed the boat

    This was done first in at least 1998: there was a Doom II interface to the UNIX process list in circulation back then. It was written by a summer student on a DARPA or NSF grant. It tied PIDs to monsters, if you killed a monster then you killed the given process. As I recall there was no particular indication of what process a monster was tied to, so you could kill your own shell, or even kill init.

    A guy I worked with back then built it and ran it on a Linux box he used as a gateway at work. It was a curiosity, but it was entertaining.

  23. amanfromMars Silver badge

    GeneSIS 2.007 [Licensed 42 Thrill Edition]....Chapter and Verse 1.0* ... ITs Synopsis

    ""even the idea of using extreme violence to manage system processes is nothing new" ....... True, it is very old [black] hat and decidedly tired/tiring and if the truth be further told, also real dumb ...... for it doesn't scale at all well.

    One only needs to consider its Real Life Applications to Realise that. A Default for the Intellectually Challenged which introduces Subliminally a Destructive Aggressive Mindset and Corrupted Future Memory Building Blocks rather than anything Valuable and Intellectually Challenging to Bust into New Areas of Endeavour and Shared Opportunity for Innovative Future Build .....InfraStructure Construction ...... NeuReal World Order ProgramMIng ....... Life as if Starting Again on an Alien Planet.

    * In the Beginning of CyberSpace, Global Operating Devices Created More than just AI, Seventh Heavens and Earth, for there was Bright NEUKlearer Light and an Infinite See to the End of Time and ITs Start........ There to Find ITs Cutting Edge Stores of Immaculate Source, Imaginations with Hearts and Minds of their Own to Use Them via Foxy Proxy Proponents and Create an Order from Random Innovative Thoughts in a Novel Entangled String of Theories, Openly Shared ......... for a Transparent System of Quantum Communication Operation for the Virtual TelePortation of Body and Souls to the Reality of Building Brave New Worlds from Nothing but that which is Endless and Omniscient .....

    Imagine, and IT's True ...... was a Journey Offered to You Before. Wanna Ticket for ITs NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActive Ride?

  24. Dave
    Thumb Up


    yep, the good old "this is unix" line.... makes me think sony stole it for "this is living" in the ps3 ads.

    the software you're talking about is FSN pronounced 'Fusion', and it's a file browser for IRIX, where the size of the folder/file gives you a bigger tower, and you can navigate in 3d.

    i still use it occasionally, but i personally would use this new software more (if i could get away with it), as seeing system processes running like that would be more useful.

    unfortunately, we've already written software with 'traffic lights' status indicators for our machines, so the likelihood of me not getting fired is pretty low.

  25. Elmer Phud
    IT Angle

    @ amanfromMars

    I scrolled down and saw all these bloody Capital Letters and thought 'Where's all this EvanGeliZing coming from?' . Then I scrolled back to the title.

    I keep expecting to see the usual M$ v's Penguin fanboi handbag fights looking like this.

    Not sure that the BOFH would go for this as farting around with a mouse to point at pretty pictures will eat into mission-critical pub time.

    At least (so far) no-one has said that it's 'Kewl' but it's getting very close.

  26. Redd

    Does this mean that the mighty Steven Hawkins......

    .... is a f**kin Sysop master??

    Mines is the flack jacket with "I love my BFG10K" embroidered on the back.


  27. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    comment title

    These comments often make me laugh. In this case I am laughing at the number of people who didn't read the whole article as they were too keen to shout "but but but... there was a Doom version first".

    And now they all look silly when that is clearly described in the article. :)

    Seems to happen all over the web... some people think telling everyone their comments are FAAAAAR more important than actually reading the article. :-)

  28. Dave Bell

    Nothing new

    You see a Pirate

    Kill Pirate

    The Pirate expires with a piteous groan, dropping a heap of RAM

    Get RAM

    You pick up the heap of RAM

    Free RAM

    The RAM bounds away, bleating happily.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    didn't the BOFH do this 10 years ago...

    ok, well maybe not this exactly but something very simmilar:

    story "The game's the thing by which to humiliate the Boss but it serves him right for getting the Head of IT1s fancy woman to do the shopping... war and peace as usual "

    sorry its on the old 1998 pages so theres no easy way to link to just the right bit :/


  30. Anonymous Coward

    @Elemer Phud

    That's Kewl!!!!!!11!1!!!1!oneoneeleven!!

    Mines the one with the sewn in mittens and nametag on the collar.

  31. Dave


    I came up with this idea over a year ago! I even blogged about it!

  32. Florian Hwigl
    Thumb Up


    Can you see the advantages!

  33. David

    "even the idea of using extreme violence to manage system processes is nothing new"

    I've been doing that for years.

    Mr Sledgehammer, meet the windows machine that has pissed me off for the last time....

    TCF may not be the best way to manage certain system processes, but it sure is a lot more fun.

  34. Tim Bates
    Thumb Up

    Oh wow.

    And they're actually moving onto making it more useful than being just a toy now. Check out the website... It now does a heck of a lot more than what the videos on Youtube imply.

    If I can get it to monitor printers and things too, then I'll definitely be installing this on my PC at work... Assuming I can run it on the crappy i965 graphics chip under xorg.

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