The reasoning behind this name is the concept of pointing at someone, not a single digit salute.
Finger will typically return information like this:
bash-2.05a$ finger apl Login: apl Name: Anthony Lawrence Directory: /Users/apl Shell: /bin/bash On since Thu Sep 4 18:26 (EDT) on console, idle 15:07 (messages off) No Plan.
If I created a ".plan" file in my home directory, finger would display that too:
bash-2.05a$ finger apl Login: apl Name: Anthony Lawrence Directory: /Users/apl Shell: /bin/bash On since Thu Sep 4 18:26 (EDT) on console, idle 15:09 (messages off) Plan: Semi-vacation day today, but will work on some projects.
There's also a "fingerd" network program that could be used to get the same information about users on another computer, but most sites disable that now for security reasons. Note that disabling that does NOT disable finger locally.
From time to time, finger has been used to return other information to remote users; "fingerable" Coke machines were quite the rage at one time. There may even be some extant: Australia's only Internet connected drink machine(link dead, sorry) is apparently one.
Here's a list bsy's List of Internet Accessible Coke Machines that's not being updated anymore so it is probably very inaccurate.
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