Fortune

April 5, 2011

We have today another in our occasional series of re-implementations of Unix V7 commands. The fortune command prints a random aphorism on the user’s terminal; many people put the fortune command in their login script so they get a new aphorism every time they login. Here’s the man page:


NAME

fortune

SYNOPSIS

fortune [ file ]

DESCRIPTION

Fortune prints a one-line aphorism chosen at random. If a file is specified, the sayings are taken from that file; otherwise they are selected from /usr/games/lib/fortunes.

FILES

/usr/games/lib/fortunes - sayings

The fortunes are stored in a file, one fortune per line. The original Unix V7 fortunes file, available from http://minnie.tuhs.org/cgi-bin/utree.pl?file=V7/usr/games/lib/fortunes, is reproduced at the end of the exercise.

Your task is to implement the Unix V7 fortune program. When you are finished, you are welcome to read or run a suggested solution, or to post your own solution or discuss the exercise in the comments below.

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