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It's funny.  Laugh.

Need a Way to Use 225m of Blue Duct Tape? 212

pc-0x90 writes "In Canada, when engineers finish their undergraduate degree, they attend a ceremony referred to as Kipling. Alongside the formal ceremony are the kipling pranks. This year, the Software Engineers at McMaster University designed a life sized Pac-Man board, thus answering the question of whether or not software engineering is in fact engineering."
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Need a Way to Use 225m of Blue Duct Tape?

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  • Life sized? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SN74S181 ( 581549 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @08:17AM (#5715717)
    What is the scale of PacMan in real life??
    • Re:Life sized? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by echucker ( 570962 )
      According to those particular engineers, "life-sized" simply meant a convenient scale. In this case, it was the floor tiles, which appear to be roughly 12 by 18 inches.
  • by donscarletti ( 569232 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @08:18AM (#5715719)
    What I really wanted to see was the space distorters making it possible to wrap around to the other side after crossing the outer border.
  • I was hoping for something more 3-D, but it is still cool. Who get's to play the ghosts? They can put some red bull cans where the super-dots are and have alot of fun, well maybe not alot of fun, but at least some.
  • Gotta love the 80's teenage radicle Pac Man.
  • by mikeophile ( 647318 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @08:27AM (#5715735)
    "Computer games don't affect kids, I mean if Pac Man affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in darkened rooms, munching pills and listening to repetitive music."
    • Re:Obligatory Quote (Score:5, Informative)

      by meowsqueak ( 599208 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @08:40AM (#5715758)
      It's common courtesy to acknowledge the source of a quote, rather than try and pass it off as your own - in this case Kristian Wilson, Nintendo, Inc, 1989.

      The main point about this quote is that it was made some time before the 'raves' of the 1990's became popular, and in hindsight is therefore interesting and somewhat amusing. Although I suspect Wilson realised the irony at the time.

      • I didn't try to pass it off as my own. I just couldn't find an attribution in the eight seconds of google it took to find it. Thanks for the info.
        • Although you didn't attribute the source, the fact that you titled the post "Obligatory post" made it completely obvious (to anyone with > 2 brain cells) that you weren't trying to pass it off as your own.

          • Crap.. obligatory POST?!? I meant, "Obligatory post^H^H^H^HQuote". Dammit, almost did it again. I would like to claim that this will cause me to "use the preview next time", but I know it won't.

      • London, Docklands, before -90, "raves".


        The style of the music was called "Acid"


        I would've understood the sarcasm of that joke in -89, so Kristian Wilson could surely have come up with it then also.

      • " It's common courtesy to acknowledge the source of a quote, rather than try and pass it off as your own - in this case Kristian Wilson, Nintendo, Inc, 1989."


        In his defence he did put quotations around it, even if he never attributed to "unknown". I don't think many people put quotes around their own work.

      • I'm pretty sure that this is one of those quotes that's been debunked as not being true. Unfortuantely, so many people quote it that when I search I can't find any pages refuting it. Of course, no guarantee they'd be correct anyway.

      • The main point about this quote is that it was made some time before the 'raves' of the 1990's became popular

        The Ecstasy 'Summer of Love' was in the UK in 1988, wasn't it?

  • by more fool you ( 549433 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @08:29AM (#5715738) Journal
    until they figure out how to make pacman appear on the left hand side of the maze after disappearing from the right hand side.
  • Slashdotted (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Yo Grark ( 465041 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @08:31AM (#5715742)
    "thus answering the question of whether or not software engineering is in fact engineering."

    Well it certainly answered whether a Canadian University could withstand a slashdotting after 2 posts :/

    Yo Grark
    Canadian Bred with American Buttering
  • mirror (Score:4, Informative)

    by RobertTaylor ( 444958 ) <roberttaylor1234@NoSpam.gmail.com> on Saturday April 12, 2003 @08:32AM (#5715743) Homepage Journal
    mirror for the page at the authors other site here [0x90.org]
    • Re:mirror (Score:3, Funny)

      by quantaman ( 517394 )
      This wasn't supposed to support the brunt of slashdot, as I was assured that cas could handle it. Come back tomorrow.

      Well one mirror down... Any more volunteers?
  • by Chewster ( 66541 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @08:34AM (#5715746)
    There's only 3 ghosts!! Kids today... they don't pay attention to details.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 12, 2003 @08:34AM (#5715747)
    Note that they asked the security guard for permission... and they likely cleaned up after themselves too... sheesh...
  • by king_penguin_05 ( 582695 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @08:37AM (#5715751)
    They know exactly how much tape they used, but they don't know how many people were there making it.
  • Hrmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by Jade E. 2 ( 313290 ) <slashdot AT perlstorm DOT net> on Saturday April 12, 2003 @08:39AM (#5715753) Homepage
    With that much duct tape, you think they'd be able to piece together a server that wouldn't be slashdotted so fast...
  • Q: What do you get when you take roughly 20 Software Engineers, 225 meters of blue duct tape, 240 beer coasters, 4 America Online CDs and far too much free time?

    A: A labotomy? :)
  • by Chris Z. Wintrowski ( 442269 ) <wintrowski@NOspAm.yahoo.com> on Saturday April 12, 2003 @08:40AM (#5715756) Homepage
    "...This year, the Software Engineers at McMaster University designed a life sized Pac-Man board, thus answering the question of whether or not software engineering is in fact engineering."


    I fail to see how the design of a massive Pac-Man board is, in any way, related to the *art* of designing good software.

    • I fail to see how the design of a massive Pac-Man board is, in any way, related to the *art* of designing good software.

      1: Attention to detail

      2: Humor

      3: Problem solving

      Are these enough reasons?
    • "thus answering the question of whether or not software engineering is in fact engineering."

      I fail to see how the design of a massive Pac-Man board is, in any way, related to the *art* of designing good software.

      It answered the question. The answer was 'No'.

  • wait .. (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    .. 20 Software Engineers .. and far too much free time?

    which software engineer has far too much free time? the fired ones?

  • by termos ( 634980 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @08:41AM (#5715760) Homepage
    Since the original webpage got slashdottet I set up a "mirror", it's on a 100mbps connection. (not much when we have a slashdot effect in the picture)
    http://skall.no/~termos/pacman/ [skall.no]
  • they brought up the question whether or not Pac-man is in fact software.
  • Are these '1337' software engineers not capable of running a webserver that doesn't get slashdotted so fast!?
  • Robotics? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Arc04 ( 601196 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @08:46AM (#5715768)
    They should now team up with the Robotics students to make a pacman robot that follows the maze and 'eats' the 'pills'.

    Now THAT would be *very* cool!!!
    • I'm sure most of the students would eat the 'pills' themselves... I went to a comp & netwroking colllege in Toronto here, and by the 6th week of school, half of the students I started with were pretty much addicted to e.
  • Kipling? (Score:2, Informative)

    by djRobbieB ( 208620 )
    We referred to it as the Iron Ring ceremony at Queen's.
    • Re:Kipling? (Score:5, Informative)

      by legolas ( 125275 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @09:01AM (#5715783) Homepage
      I believe it's called the Iron Ring ceremony [ironring.ca] everywhere. Shorely someone is confused, as Rudyard Kipling was the author of the ceremony.

      Also, this Computer and Software Engineering seems to be part of McMaster's engineering department [mcmaster.ca], as opposed to a misnamed Computer Science degree.

      -legolas
      • I'm starting to sound like a broken record here....
        McMaster has a day called Kipling.

        Early Kipling morning graduating classes leave there mark on the school in the form of a prank. Some last longers then other (I.E. The hanging car lasted about a week, while the cement desk is still in use).

        During the afternoon they have there Iron Ring Ceremony, followed by the Kipling socail event.

        Relevant links:
        Kipling 2003 [mcmaster.ca]
        MES brief kipling write up [mcmaster.ca]

        mcs
        sfwr eng & scty III
        • You're right... you are sounding like a broken record. :)

          The story said "a ceremony referred to as Kipling", not "a pre/post iron ring ceremony social activity referred to as Kipling".

          Anyways, Dalhousie [www.dal.ca] is boring, and all we get is a post-iron ring exam crunch. :/ It doesn't help that somebody decided that 6 courses per term is a resonable work load.

          -legolas
      • Calling it the Iron Ring ceremony is more accurate than calling it "The Kipling". However when I went through the ceremony, I believe the formal name for it was "The Ritual of the Calling of the Engineer".
    • Re:Kipling? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Jucius Maximus ( 229128 ) <m4encxb2sw&snkmail,com> on Saturday April 12, 2003 @12:46PM (#5716318) Journal
      I at another Ontario University in ENGG. We also refer to it as the iron ring although, as others have pointed out, Rudyard Kipling (author of 'The Jungle Book') was the author of 'The Calling Of The Engineer'.
  • some one could figure a way to turn this into something like one of those big chess boards you see in some public parks. They brought chess to the pc why not bring pac man into the physical world?
  • by Keebler71 ( 520908 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @09:01AM (#5715782) Journal
    If only I had know that to be respected by Slashdot as an "engineer" all I needed was some some tape! Would have saved me a lot of time and effort.
  • by michaeli ( 568894 ) <e_chiasson AT hotmail DOT com> on Saturday April 12, 2003 @09:14AM (#5715795)

    Woooh!!! Ok, gotta get over my excitement -- it's not everyday that I find an article relating to something that took place in a building no more than 300m away from my bedroom. I go to McMaster and have actually walked on said Pac-Man board.

    Generally the Kipling pranks here at Mac are rather well-done (cars are a common theme -- putting them on roofs, hanging them on sides of buildings, etc.) but this year things were slightly lackluster, if you will. I may have just not been out before some got taken down, who knows. That said, the Pac-Man board is still around (I've been in my room for a few days, so I don't know for sure) and still looks impressive.

    There was a comment questioning the "life-sizedness" of the board, and being 6'1", 200lbs. I can say I fit most comfortably in the maze. The dots may have been slightly insubstantial for consumption (they were only the labels off beer, not the actual product itself... damn Engineers probably drank it all before hand, come to think of it) and the aliens/ghosts (please, no flames from those who know Pac-Man far better than I and who think I'm an idiot for not knowing at the very least what those things are called) weren't so large as to be intimidating. Other than that the "life-sized" label fits very well (they didn't just follow the pattern of the floor tiles, as this post [slashdot.org] suggested -- it's all measured out on their own scale).

    I'm going to have to run over to the Computer department after I finish studying for this exam and observe the smoulding hulk of server that I'm sure now exists :). Wheee, what a fun day already, and all because of slashdot!

    Adam, I don't know if you read slashdot, but my compliments on the good work. That and nice pics.

    • by wadiwood ( 601205 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @09:46AM (#5715837) Journal
      The best prank we computer scientists ever did was invite a stripper to the lecture. The stupidest thing we did was let the engineers (those guys that go to engineering school, mechanical, civil, chemical, electrical etc) know that we had invited the stripper.

      lecture was eventually held in tutorial room out the back, and lecturer was unexpectedly lecherous - yuk.

      Best prank engineers did was hang a roadworthy(?) volkswagon underneath the footbridge and over the river.

      Best prank I ever contributed to was the kidnap and ransom of a local politician (with his consent). Raised $40 from the parliament house to keep him, and $300 from the uni bar to give him back.
    • They're ghosts.

      Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Clyde, if memory serves me right.

      No flames, just edification.

      ::Colz Grigor

  • OK granted I wasn't the MOST involved in social activities, but when I graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Waterloo (1-2 hours away from McMaster, in Southern Ontario) 7 years ago, I never HEARD of any "Kipling" ceremony.

    We had the IRS (Iron Ring Stag), and the Iron Ring Ceremony, and of course graduation, but that's all *I* recall...
    • IRS is the Waterloo thing, at McMaster we have Kipling-- named after R. Kipling (jungle book fame) who also came up with the Iron symbolism/ceremony for the Canadian Engineering.

      You call yours IRS, we calls ours Kipling, and I'm sure UofT calls there some 'kewl'-ly spelt word.
  • by 2nesser ( 538763 ) <2nesser@cogeco . c a> on Saturday April 12, 2003 @09:34AM (#5715811) Homepage

    was by far the best this year. Not only was there the pac man board in the student centre, but the SFWR Graveyard was great too (although, politically, with everything going on in the world, I think some of the crazy artsies may have been offended - or mistook the prank for a political stance, meh).

    The Graveyard [mcmaster.ca] was everything that a Software Engineer lays dead to the world after 4 years. For example the ablility to pick up women [mcmaster.ca], Hit by bus error [mcmaster.ca], Deadlock because "Has X waiting for Y [mcmaster.ca]" was buried right beside "Has Y waiting for X", and from all the exams we have no chance in ever passing we bury our anal viginity [mcmaster.ca].

    Good-bye www.eng.mcmaster.ca Slashdot now has a hold of you, fair well.

  • by yuvtob ( 533399 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @09:45AM (#5715833)
    This McMaster University sounds like a cheap-deep-fried-fast degree-granting institution.
    "Would you like a McMaster or a McBSc with that ?

    Don't read this sig
  • look at all of those unused condoms.
  • Mirror! (Score:2, Interesting)

    Those images are HUGE!

    Here's a recompressed mirror [80.225.28.245]. It should be there until 16:40 GMT.
    Or maybe not. Do your worst :)
  • Nah... (Score:5, Funny)

    by ottffssent ( 18387 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @10:03AM (#5715869)
    If they were real engineers, there'd be teleporters on either side of the board:)

    Great job guys! Looks awesome.

  • Young man (trying to sound literate): "So, do you like Kipling?"
    Young woman (suddenly coy): "Goodness, I don't know; I've never kippled before..."

    Well, I thought it was funny.
  • the real prank... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 12, 2003 @10:10AM (#5715883)
    Maybe the real prank was DOSsing their school's webserver by getting a link posted on /.
  • That is not duct tape, duct tape is silver-grey! Ever seen Macgyver use blue and pink tape?
  • Flawed logic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lightspawn ( 155347 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @10:35AM (#5715938) Homepage
    The Software Engineers at McMaster University designed a life sized Pac-Man board, thus answering the question of whether or not software engineering is in fact engineering."

    That's like saying "The president played the saxophone, thus answering the question of whether or not politics is in fact music".
  • by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @10:56AM (#5715985) Journal
    wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka



    Lameness filter encountered.
    Your comment violated the "postercomment" compression filter. Try less whitespace and/or less repetition. Comment aborted.

  • by angry4F03 ( 665472 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @11:14AM (#5716053)
    These guys slashdotted the CAS server! Now I can't download the notes for Dr. Leduc's 4F03 exam on Monday! WE'RE ALL GONNA FAIL! Start running Shabbir! ------------- Adam
    • by pc-0x90 ( 547757 )
      Adam, the server didn't melt.. the admins blocked all external access. Either come into school, or ssh into another server (maybe one that starts with an m) and you can access it that way (either tunnel your x connection or use lynx) .. I've accessed the 4F03 notes the same way already today.
  • HOlding the server together while it was getting slashdotted.
  • Red Green has got to be a sponsor for this.
  • Ah, McMaster, how I miss thee. I heard through the grapevine that the pranks were pretty good this year. My year the Kipling pranks were poorly organized and thus sucked. Nice work guys.

    Looks like they set that up in the new student centre that I paid for for 5 years but never got to see. Enjoy it.

    Off for my morning coffee, in my Kipling mug in honour of it's new found fame.

    Cheers,

    James, Chem Eng '96
  • by Emb ( 204343 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @11:30AM (#5716100)
    Kipling pranks at McMaster are occassionally creative, but I've seen more stupidity than creativity in the past few years. I admit up front my bias at being a Comp Sci graduate and resenting the forced merger with the Computer and Software engineers and coming under the evil shadow of their malevolent dictator.

    That aside, Kipling has oft been at the root of distruction and vandalism. HOG and Kipling can be seen spraypainted on many signs, buildings, and sidewalks all over campus from Kiplings past. One year they actual released chickens in the middle of the Engineering building while the nursing students had set up their projects in the main hall for educating students on health issues, causing great stress to both the nursing students and the chickens. Laugh if you want, but I don't find the ruination of someone's school project and the injury of innocent animals entertaining - nor do I see that it shows any creativity or skill. The car on the roof of the library awning, while interesting, was also dangerous to passers by and damaged property. Silly Engineers.

    I believe my favorite prank, because it was both harmless and amusing, was when they chalked every sidewalk on the campus to have road symbols, including dividing and passing lines, stop lines at intersections, etc.
    • by Mr Bill ( 21249 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @12:32PM (#5716278)
      What about the time they made an aquarium out of the arch behind University Hall! They put panes of glass on either side of the arch, sealed the edges, filled it with water and threw in a bunch of goldfish.

      This proved quite a poser for the janitorial staff, since they didn't know how to remove this without killing the fish...

      I think the main reason the pranks got more destructive in the past years is because the University wouldn't let them have their fun. I remember the engineers spent half the night painting the shuttle busses that travel across campus every day. They used water soluble paints to be non-destructive, but the University had the cleaning staff in at 6:00 AM to wash the busses clean, so no one saw the prank. They should have just let them have their fun for the day...
  • That is the craziest way to recreate a pac-man game.

    Now I really want to see an animated version. How about getting a video game, connecting it to a video projection system aimed at the floor?

    Even crazier, add a motion detection system that would generate input based on people moving across the floor.
  • by tstoneman ( 589372 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @12:39PM (#5716295)
    Hmmmm, let's see graduating 2003....

    If they entered university at 19, then they must be about 23, which means they were born around 1980 +- 1 year.

    Pacman was long gone by the time they could reach the joystick!

    I bet none of them ever played the original Pacman or even understood how big of a fad it was!!!

    I remember taking my mom's silver quarters that she had been saving (remember when quarters were made out of real silver?!?), not understanding the value of them, and using them to play video games like Pacman.

    "That's Incredible" would have segments on kids getting the highest scores ever, playing it the longest, etc. I got the crappy version of Pacman for the Atari 2600 (at first disappointed, but it was better than nothing, so I accepted it). I watched the terrible Pacman cartoon on ABC. I think they also had a Q-bert cartoon as well.

    Ahhh, the good old days.
    • I watched the terrible Pacman cartoon on ABC. I think they also had a Q-bert cartoon as well.

      Yup, they did... and about the same time, there was a "Supercade" cartoon that borrowed from a number of popular games.

      I recently TiVoed a few eps of Pacman from one of the ABC-owned networks, which was doing a "cartoon flashback" type of thing. (They also showed Smurfs, Shirt Tales, and others. But still no Kidd Video.)

    • I had the nelsonic pacman watch [vonl.com] with the joystick. It came with 4 different colored joysticks, mainly because they were easy to break. This used 2 LCDs on top of each other - one for the time, and one for the game. The gameplay was good - much better than the timex version [vonl.com] that had a smaller screen. Plus, the nelsonic version had 2 game play modes- fixed walls, and randomly moving walls. But, only the timex had the real pacman music theme that was so catchy at the time.
  • They go to all that trouble to replicate the game's board, then they make up some gay swirly packman design.
    • Re:Idiots... (Score:2, Informative)

      by Emb ( 204343 )
      I think the Mac Engineers might not like you insulting their sacred fireball. That "gay swirly" thing is the logo for McMaster Engineering. http://www.eng.mcmaster.ca/
  • ...shouldn't they be doing something more important? Like defeating international terrorism?

I've never been canoeing before, but I imagine there must be just a few simple heuristics you have to remember... Yes, don't fall out, and don't hit rocks.

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