Have you ever accidentally dropped something out of your pocket while the toilet is flushing? That’s R-M-*.
Those three little characters are more dangerous than they might look: they very nearly spelled the end of Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and Mr. Potato Head. R-M-* erases Linux and Unix drives, and in 01999, someone accidentally ran this command on the machine that held the files for the soon-to-be-released Toy Story 2.
In this animated video, Pixar producer Galyn Susman and former CTO Oren Jacob tell the story of how they nearly lost their movie, and finally managed to recover it:
Luckily, this story has a happy ending – but it’s a scary glimpse at how little stands between us and the digital dark age!
More from Digital Dark Age —
Explore over two decades of long-term thinking
- Climate Change