Re: Another problem with usage charges

Phil R. Karn (thumper!
3 May 88 23:10:20 GMT

The discussion of refunding aborted FTPs reminds me of a common trick among
the Cornell RJE terminal operations staff back during my undergrad hacking

The system (IBM OS/360, batch oriented) charged for each line actually
printed. However, since line printers jam from time to time, the RJE
operator could command the system to restart a print job from the
beginning, canceling the charges for the copy already printed. But it
became common practice among those operators whose funny-money accounts
were running low to add several pages of unneeded garbage to their job
output. When the useful stuff had all been printed, they would restart
the job and then kill it, thus costing them NOTHING for the output they
did print.

Clearly any FTP refund scheme would invite exactly the same sort of

On the other hand, I would like to repeat a quote I saw on the net almost
10 years ago. I wish I could remember who said it. It seems relevant to
the subject at hand:

"There may be no such thing as a free lunch, but sometimes it costs more
to collect money than to give away food".


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