Depending on what language you use and what user you are logged in as this challenge could be dangerous so proceed with Caution! You could delete something, fork bomb yourself, or worse...
Write a program of n bytes which creates n copies of itself on disk, modifies the first byte of the first copy to an 8-bit value of your choosing, modifies the second byte of the second copy to an a bit-value of your choosing, ... , modifies the nth byte of the nth copy of the program to an 8-bit value of your choosing, and then executes all n of the modified copies synchronously starting with the first and ending with the last, the program should print "alive", then program should then exit.
Scoring: Lowest Score Wins
Score = (-1 * (Number of times "alive" is printed)) + number of bytes in your program
- Infinite loops in the program or one of its creations will disqualify an answer.
- Number of times alive is printed has to be less than 1024.
Why this interests me:
I think a lot about the relationships between biology and analogies between living things and computer programs. One of the qualities of living things is that they know how to reproduce. One of the factors of replication that make evolution possible is that the replication is not perfect. If one were to design artificial life it should have a very compact method of reproducing itself. This is why I am turning to the code golf community to see what sort of strange ideas are out there. Sorry for all the edits to this question.