One morning in the fall of 2000, i woke up to a message from my ugrad advisor Andy van Dam with the subject “I love you.” I remember scratching my head and wondering if Andy had fallen off of his rocker. [Mind you, Andy is not one to profess his love to anything or anyone, and certainly not in email. His typical message reads: “Pls c me. Tx avd”]
The message appeared blank, with only the subject line (gotta love pine on Solaris boxes) and so i slowly crafted an email to Andy asking if he was OK and if there was anything i needed to do. His response email was a collection of foul words, only making me more concerned about his state of well-being.
As i was crafting a response of confusion, i received four more “I love you” emails. I quickly figured out that a virus was on the loose and i rolled onto the floor laughing imagining everyone in Andy’s addressbook receiving a message that was so-not-Andy. Executives at Microsoft, former students, heads of companies. Apparently, he was apologizing for that one months later. Still, it brought me great joy to get at least one emotional message from him, virus or not.