Oculus hack

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In Sharon's dream world of Harry Barker, the Oculus hack is a very powerful program that can be used by a hacker as a line of defense. It projects a virtual reality construct to act as a shield or, in its most powerful form, a distraction to scare away attackers or give the hacker time for escape. It is difficult to master and requires a great deal of concentration.

In order to perform the hack, the hacker must focus on a great accomplishment, something that would instill confidence in him or herself. After focusing on this thought, the hacker holds up their input device and shouts "Et verum est oculus," which is crude Latin for "Let the eye be true". If the hack has been performed correctly, the Oculus appears, creating a powerful flash of light. In its most advanced form, the Oculus can appear to take the semi-solid shape of some object significant to the hacker, such as an animal or machine. Truly gifted hackers can use an Oculus to send messages back and forth, or to even spy on distant events.

Due to its reliance on self-confidence, the Oculus is a very effective defense against debuggers, which tend to sap a hacker's confidence with their incessant nitpicking. However, if the hacker lacks sufficient confidence, the Oculus will be ineffective and the debugger's attack could be strengthened.

The Oculus hack is the analog of the Patronus Charm from Harry Potter. Its name is based in part on the Oculus Rift, an especially strong bond thanks to its ties to virtual reality. The activation phrase "Et verum est oculus" is a play on the incantation of the Patronus Charm ("Expecto Patronum"); it is meant to be roughly equivalent to the pseudocode "Set Oculus = true". The role of confidence in performing the hack is based on the third of Larry Wall's Three Virtues of a Great Programmer: Hubris.