I have been writing a new program, having a ball doing it, and it has brought to consciousness something which I have not thought about for years: There is a bit of Dr. Henry Frankenstein in me. I love to create things which do stuff autonomously and, when I create these things, bigger is definitely better.
My current creation has lots of parts, including:
- A daemon (I love that word, all the more since daemon’s are useful and not evil at all) which runs all the time and wakes up once a minute to see if anything interesting has happened and decide whether it should do something.
- A script which watches for people to click special links in email messages. It leaves a “note” for the daemon, telling it that a human being received the email and did something. Cool; my program is making humans do things!
- A script which watches for secret messages sent from another program on another computer. This script also leaves notes for the daemon, telling it that the other computer is set up and running and ready to do a human being’s bidding.
The daemon gets to do all sorts of fun things, including summoning new (virtual) computers into existance and turning them loose on the world. In the end, the daemon even gets to kill off the computers. The daemon spends real money (hopefully, this part does not get out of control!) with a real multi-national company. And as the daemon works, it attracts the attention of people at four different companies, all of which are very interested in what this little beastie is doing.
Not bad for a creation which only exists in the virtual world inside a computer. If you see me walking around with a smug smile on my face, now you know why.