April 24, 2012

"MIT hackers have long considered 'Tetris on the Green Building' to be the Holy Grail of hacks..."

"... as the side of the building is a wonderful grid for the game."

18 comments:

SteveR said...

Even so, they'll go down waiting for a damn straight piece..

EDH said...

From the video, they forgot a P.A. system to play the signature noises.

Probably the simplest system to implement.

Now, that's not thinking.

bagoh20 said...

We sent a bunch of guys to the freaking moon starting 43 years ago with a pocket calculator as a computer. We strapped them to a giant burning stick and sent them 240,000 miles through a vacuum full of radiation and landed them on a rock. They walked around, played golf and drove a dune buggy. Then they blew themselves back into space just right so that they would fall all the way back to earth and burn through the atmosphere at thousands of miles per hour and land softly in the ocean. Then did it a few more times just for kicks.

But hey guys, "thanks for playing."

bagoh20 said...

I even hate that tag line when I use it, but I can't delete because the first part is so beautiful. It's like I lit a bag of crap on my own front porch, and rang the door bell. I hope you all have learned something here from my sacrifice.

Revenant said...

Give the MIT student body the $109 billion the government blew on the moon shot and we'd have a Mars colony by 2020. :)

JLScott said...

What is your point?

Why not criticize the building? I mean have you ever seen the Great Pyramid?

edutcher said...

Now that's a CS II final.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

If they were going to go with an older game they should have picked something more challenging. How about "Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of Lounge Lizards"? Now that would have been impressive.

At any rate, I guess Tetris on the Green Building is better than Call of Duty in the dining hall.

Triangle Man said...

They used a "joystick attached to a podium". A podium, or a lectern? Checkmate brainiacs.

mariner said...

bagoh20,
I even hate that tag line when I use it, but I can't delete because the first part is so beautiful. It's like I lit a bag of crap on my own front porch, and rang the door bell. I hope you all have learned something here from my sacrifice.
Does that mean you'll be changing your screen name?

Just wonderin'. ;)

Contrarian Catalogue said...

I've played Tetris before, and nothing in that building looks like anything like the real pieces.

bagoh20 said...

"What is your point?"

This is incredibly simple. I'm not real smart, but I know I could do this with a few purchases on Amazon. This is the MIT nerds! It's like a 7th grade project in shop class with a bigger scale, which they didn't have to make.

And I bet that with $109 billion we would only get a Facebook hookup for multi-player mode.

I just don't get what they are proud of. I guess this is a nerd version of a toga party.

Rabel said...

Bago,

I think you're missing the point of the "hack", which is that it was done on the sly and sprung on the admin as a suprise. It's the "under their noses" aspect which makes it a quality hack, not the technical challenge.

Like this:


Ninja Nerds

ndspinelli said...

I again implore we create a Hookers for Hackers foundation. Getting these geeks laid will help solve this problem. Maybe the "retired" SS guys could start it.

RonF said...

Oh - you mean Building 31! Had to look at the picture on the link to see what building you meant.

Students and faculty at the Institute refer to almost all buildings on campus that do not have people living, eating or shopping in them by number, not name. The main entrance to the Institute at 77 Mass. Ave. in Cambridge is in Building 7. Stand there one day and ask everyone walking in over the course of an hour what the name of the building is. If more than 5 can tell you I'll give you $100.

RonF said...

bagoh20, Rabel is almost certainly correct. The essence of a hack is generally a combination of two factors. One is the "how did they do that", the technology required to do it, which you rightly state is not so huge in this case. However, the second factor is the subterfuge required to overcome security, etc. and pull it off.

For example, a classic hack was when during the middle of The Game (Hahvuhd vs. Yale) a black weather balloon lettered "MIT" inflated in the middle of the field and then floated up into the air. Inflating a weather balloon by remote control is not a big deal. Getting it set up in the middle of the Hahvuhd Stadium playing field was.

RWF '74.

RonF said...

I guess the Holy Grail of hacks changes over time. During my day the President of the Institute was named Howard Johnson. Those of you of a certain age may remember a chain of fast food restaurants in the east named "Howard Johnson's" that had distinctive orange roofs. The holy grail then - never realized, IIRC - was to cover the Great Dome with an orange tarp (orange paint would have been destructive, which is not acceptable as a hack). The MIT security force was constantly on the lookout for that one.

Zach said...

I just don't get what they are proud of. I guess this is a nerd version of a toga party.

Well, yes. It's something creative and whimsical that you do because it's neat and because you can.