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dd considered terrifying

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If you don't feel a little twinge of fear any time you start typing an invocation of dd, you should probably not have admin access to anything at all, including your refrigerator. dd is the primal Elder Sorcery of unix. It is absolutely terrifying in the raw power that it commands, and the utter disregard it shows for safety. Its very syntax speaks of ancient times. No verbose argument flags here, not even command-line switches. dd uses its own syntax to do its own work, and no gods can help you if you mistype an "of" for an "if". dd will happily eat your hard drive without asking any questions.

It's not clear what "dd" stands for, but "disk destroyer" is a tempting hypothesis.

I find it remarkable that in all this time, nobody has thought to wrap dd in a more modern syntax, to maybe provie a little sanity checking and otherwise tame this primordial beast. But I think that's right and good. We need something to test ourselves against, some fierce foe to vanquish.

Invoking dd is always a little scary. But when it works, you feel a little more alive.

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December 2021

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