Sniffy The Rat Papers Volume 1.0

Introduction

On October 1993, I first heard of Sniffy the Rat. I was younger at the time, and still had an interest in what made hackers tick. I was still a bit stupid, and generally looking for trouble. Sniffy was reputed, among my circle of friends, to be one of the best (and only) Novell and Unix hacks that Vancouver ever produced. I heard of him because of his exploits in the Vancouver School Board not 5 years earlier, and the work he did on their VAX system which tabulates marks. I was young and stupid at the time, as I have said. I posted a message to a rather rough and tumble message base saying I had found a new way to send junk down the wire on a Novell 2.11 server. The reply is still with me to this day. I had mentioned (to the entire group... hubris hubris...) that I was a hot shot and that I would soon have every password in my school blah blah blah. Sniffy posted to me the first time in response. His letter was short, as is the response of anybody who answers 50+ email messages a day.

You are nothing new. Its good that you found that one, but the real fun is in the scripts. Take a look for your school's Communist Manifesto, and look for stuff on Novell Netware Aware apps.
-str

A couple lines of text, but containing so much! Incidentally, the Communist Manifesto is the Novell Netware manual(s). Its a joke on the 'Big Red Book.' My correspondence with Sniffy carried on from the formative years of my exploration in the world of networks to three months ago when he left town for university. Sniffy is gone, and out of the city (or I would not be writing this.) About 3 months before Sniffy left town, he contacted me by phone for the first time. I would like to stress the importance of this. His anonymity was somthing almost sacred to me (as he was one of my first gurus) and I had never expected such an honour as to speak with him. Sniffy called at 8 o'clock in the evening to find me at a family 'affair.' I managed to get out of it, and sat excitedly in my basement as a droning basso voice (that sounded younger than I had expected) told me that he needed to leave something behind, and wished me to write something. He had logged in to Odyssey BBS a couple of times, and had been impressed with the results of his tutelage (literally, 2 years of it.) He then asked me to document some of his best work, but I refused. It took me 3 months to accept his kind offer. He could not write prose or poetry worth a damn (although his FORTRAN was extensive and all the same useless.) It was agreed that we would converse for half an hour to an hour for a number of weeks, and that I was to record the sessions for later composition. Sniffy insisted that I burn the three copies of the tapes, but for posterity's sake I have hidden one of the recordings in a time capsule somewhere in Burnaby as part of my Rhesus I effort. Sniffy would not be disappointed. After many months of pondering over his conversation (which is littered with jargon that I will need more than a CNE to understand) I have decided to go ahead with his wish. My 9 best conversations with Sniffy the Rat will be presented in trimonthly supplements. I hope that you will learn from his wisdom, and understand why he did what he did.