What Big Brother Is Not


Big Brother is not a method for spying on other people and their work. Big Brother uses ps to sample the process table on a given machine at regular, user-specified intervals. Anyone can write a script which regularly logs the output of ps to a file. Big Brother adds the functionality of a dbm database, a client-server topology and a menued front-end to remove some of the drudgery from keeping these types of statistics.

As it is simply the output of ps which is being logged, there is also no way of determining the exact program or command a user may be executing. Big Brother makes no attempt to determine this information using the command name and the username. Hence a typical UNIX command such as ls could be renamed to dir and what would show up in the output would be dir.

Any use of this package by the Computation Center is only for the purpose of collecting usage statistics. The data are destroyed on a regular basis. Anyone else using this package bears full responsibility for how the data is collected and used. The Computation Center is in no way liable for an misuse or abuse of this package by others.