A History Lesson With Booze ®

The Elk Cloner

In 1982, a 15-year-old computer geek named Rich Skrenta unleashed the world's first personal-computer virus: "The Elk Cloner."

Play
Pause
0:00 0:00
By Daniel White (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vph075JwIkw) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Daniel White (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vph075JwIkw) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The History Lesson

Back in 1982, most 15-year-old geeks got their kicks inventing D&D characters.Rich Skrenta… invented the computer virus. Skrenta was a computer whiz — and a shameless prankster. His favorite gag? He’d give his high school buddies floppy discs with a really cool video game —which he’d program to crash right at the best part.

Soon his pals got so fed up they wouldn’t accept discs from him anymore. So he had to figure out how to sneak digital booby traps onto their computers. That’s when Skrenta’s teenage brain gave birth to the scourge hackers now call a “boot sector” virus. He named his Frankenstein monster “Elk Cloner.” Skrenta put the Cloner virus on his school’s Apple IIe. Every time a student inserted a floppy disc that disc would get infected, too. The disc would then infect other computers.
He did manage to survive the onslaught of wedgies that probably ensued. In fact, he went on to co-found projects like the news website Topix and the Open Directory Project which helps make Google work. Meanwhile, jerks everywhere took the “Elk Cloner” concept and ran wild with it. Virus protection now costs the world around $40 billion dollars a year.

The Booze

The Elk Cloner

RECIPE created for the DPD by Miles Thomas of Branzino restaurant in Seattle, WA:
Ingredients:
– 2 oz Absolut vodka
– 1 1/2 oz fresh squeezed grapefruit juice cubes
– 1 oz white grape juice
– 1/2 oz Damiana
– 1 dash “Scrappy Bitters” Orange
Instructions:
Combine all ingredients over ice in a shaker, and shake until frosty. Serve on the rocks or up in a martini glass. Garnish with a stick of RAM.

Episode: