[TUHS] ching in Unix

Noel Hunt noel.hunt at gmail.com
Mon Mar 29 07:56:16 AEST 2021

>From the manual entry:

                  Using an algorithm suggested by S. C. Johnson, the Unix
          cle simply reads a question from the standard input (up to
          an EOF) and hashes the individual characters in combination
          with other indicia which happen to be lying around the sys-
          tem.  The resulting value is used as the seed of a random
          number generator which drives a simulated coin-toss divina-
          tion.  The answer appears on the standard output.

I was always convinced that the presence of the word 'indicia' indicated
intended) that Dennis Ritchie had his hand in it. Who in the Unix world
writes,  would even be able to write, a manual entry like that.

On Sun, Mar 28, 2021 at 5:37 PM <scj at yaccman.com> wrote:

> I probably wrote the first version of Ching.   You could type a question
> as an argument and it would hash the question and use it to simulate
> yarrow sticks.  I used a small book for the "prophecies", and at some
> point realized that it was probably some kind of copyright violation so
> I dropped it.  It's quite possible that others tinkered with it as well,
> that being the way the world worked then.
> ---
> On 2021-01-28 13:45, Warren Toomey wrote:
> > https://ewe2.ninja/stuff/computers/ching/
> >
> > Interesting story!
> >
> > Cheers, Warren
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