Another interesting article by
Alex Handy of SD Times on:
Obfuscated C competition returns
Below is a snippet and the whole article is very interesting. This was always an interesting topic at Sun Microsystems when the winning code examples were announced.
"When Landon Curt “Chongo” Noll was trying to fix a bug in an early BSD version of Finger on March 23, 1984, it was a moment of enlightenment. He and cohort Larry Bassel (who had been trying to fix a bug in the Bourne shell) were chewing the fat between bug-squishing sessions at National Semiconductor when the pair compared their woes, surmising that they couldn't write more confusing and difficult code if they had tried.
And with that, the International Obfuscated C Code Competition was born. The pair put out a call on Usenet asking for C coders to submit their own confounding programs within a preset size limit. The goal of the competition was to write C code that compiled to a functional application, but upon closer inspection of the source code, the connections between the functionality and the code itself should not have been obvious."