The missing 800 million

The missing 800 million

I had finished eating my dholl-puree and was crumpling the wrapping paper to throw it into the bin when I noticed some printed characters. I smoothed back the paper and looked closer. Right at the bottom, in the left hand corner, was the following : IP Now, to most people this might mean nothing, but to any computer programmer the symbols “IP” followed by a string of numbers are highly meaningful. IP means ‘Internet Protocol’ and the numbers indicate the unique address of a computer on the Internet.

I looked at the dholl-puree seller and shook my head in disapproval. Instead of spotless white paper, that guy was using computer stationery for wrapping his dholl-purees! “Must have picked it outside some office,” I thought, and I had a good mind to tell him that he should be more mindful of his clients’ health.

But my irritation soon gave way to curiosity. That string of numbers kept floating in front of my eyes and I was burning to know what computer they were referring to. Apart from the IP address of Harper & Dayle (the company where I was working), I knew of no other IP address. And it was this IP address, precisely, that I was using from home to access my mail from the office computer. (I was using a File Transfer Program, or FTP, for this purpose.)

As soon as I arrived home, I switched on my computer, logged on to the Internet and clicked on the FTP icon. I got the usual log in prompt that asked for an IP address, and with my eyes glued on the dholl-puree wrapper, I carefully entered the string of nine numbers and pressed ‘Enter’.

Immediately, the following message appeared on the screen: “You are now logged on to the Republic Mercantile Bank” and just beneath was another message: “Please enter Username”.




Filed under English Short Stories

3 responses to “The missing 800 million

  1. lol, very interesting story…
    initially a profit of 800 millions 😛
    n then, a loss of 12,000… sad ending

    but i enjoyed it very much 🙂

  2. Anooj

    Dear Sir, (actually I’m addressing as sir since I’ve built respect for you within me after having reading this article)

    Well, I don’t know how and where should I start my chat with you….

    Let me introduce myself; I am a student of HSC and on reading your profile, I became quite delighted, on knowing that you are someone from the computing, science since I intend to go forward in the field of computer science or some sort of computer engineering.

    Today (22nd Oct 2007) is the eve of my GP exam, and it was somewhat some sort of shear luck when I was googling for some notes for my final preparation when I landed in your blog…. On reading more from your profile, I became somehow happy that atleast on the Internet I’ve found a Mauritian.

    Then, I went on navigating through your blog and searching for interesting stuffs…(Since I love programming stuff, I thought for one moment that perhaps I may find some computing/programming notes on you blog.)

    It was only when I was about to close your page when suddenly my eyes came across a topic namely ‘The missing 800 million’. I, at that time, found it curious that what a lecturer can write about such a topic like this.

    Then after having downloaded your article on this topic; I wanted to know what had you cooked inside the pdf file that I downloaded.

    Just after I had opened the pdf file, I found lots of lines to read (texts)… Then I felt somewhat discouraged because I was expecting something more exiciting.

    But, some few seconds later, I told myself, lets have a glance about what you have written. As I continued to read, each word after word, phrase after phrase, I felt like I was being hynotised from what I was reading at that time. I felt so eager to read your article (I thought at first you were teaching how to hack- and let me tell you that I am very keen on possessing the knowledge you have) that even though I had received an SMS at that time, I did not even cared because I wanted to finish my reading at any cost…


    About your Language :

    Being someone more younger to you, what I can deduce from you body language you use; Its amazing; Hats Off To You.

    Your article :

    Its fantastic (Its fantastics because its for the first time that I’ve read something as a whole; otherwise I have never complete any readings…)

    I hope we can make nice friend together despite the gap of our age. Feel free to mail me on ( and yes, please don’t send me the trojan horse that you sent the manager. LOL!!)

  3. Nawshine

    Really interesting and gripping story.
    I’m happy that you didnt get the 800 million after all. If it really happened you would have been sun tanning somewhere in the pacific ocean with lucinda(i think you would have left her long back though) and we would not get the opportunity to read your nice stories.

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