March 21st, 2004

running, bomb tech

Walking, sleep, and dreams

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I worked from 8:30 to 4:30 yesterday, and spent most of the late afternoon and early evening recovering. After visiting Trader Joe's and picking up some chocolate, I was almost ready to crash, but stayed up a little too late on IM.

While asleep, I dreamed that this apartment complex's pool area had turned into a large computer-driven simulation of the Earth, much like Biosphere II. I ran a projection on it based on current trends, and it hit an ice age. I was freaking out, but then there were two people there more senior than me (project manager/teacher types) who grabbed hold of me and calmed me down, and then I went into the simulation, inadvertently passed gas, and then realized that I hadn't included carbon dioxide in my simulation! I (well, actually, I think it was Naomi, but it was I-in-the-dream) got all hyper and stuff, and when I ran the simulation again, modeling Death Valley, it was at 1,000,000-something degrees.
running, bomb tech

Back from the salt mines

Worked my shift, came home. I sat next to the Chatty Lady, which was a good thing as we were both incredibly bored, and on BTS Replacement, one of the most boring surveys on earth that hardly anyone either qualifies to complete or wants to complete.

By dint of making up little sheets with times written down so I could cross off the time that had already passed and see how much time there was remaining, diligent gossiping, and random writing, I made it through the shift. I didn't get told that I was going to hell, and I only got cussed at the once. No bad Do Not Call List morons (someone is only a Do Not Call List moron if they will not listen to/believe the fact that phone research can call any bloody where they please, pretty much, except cellphones, where we apologize & hang up) and ... not much else. People were at church or leaving for same.

Another day, another $8.50 + $0.50 weekend bonus an hour.
teddyborg, geeky

Computers for the Computer Illiterate

The chatty lady sitting next to me at work today is functionally computer illiterate. She can use the work computer after much training, but otherwise, they're a very huge mystery to her.

So I explained computers to her. She said that I'm the first computer person who's ever told her that computers are stupid, but she can believe it. Here, I rehash and expand on my lecture...



Computers are stupid. Computers are so stupid that if you gave one legs and told it to walk off a cliff, it would, assuming it knew how to use the legs, because you'd have to tell it that too. How well a computer behaves depends on how good the instructions it has are. The people who write instructions for computers are computer people. Computer people are often very bad at talking with normal human beings. Therefore, a computer that is given instructions by a computer person is not likely to be good at talking to normal human beings. And when the normal human being asks a computer person about it, the computer person is going to explain it using fancy computer person words, and the normal person is just going to look at them like they're an alien.

Furthermore, most computer programs are not written by one computer person. Oh, no. Most computer programs are written by committee. And almost every different program is written by a different committee. Sometimes the committees talk to each other to make sure that the instructions will get along when they're put on the same computer together. A lot of the time they don't. A lot of the committees assume that only computer people will ever be using the program, so the computer people using the program will know how to talk to the program, so they don't bother to make the program react nicely when someone who isn't a computer person tries to talk to the program.


So there you have it. Computers are stupid, and are told what to do by committees of aliens.
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running, bomb tech

Why Nerds are Unpopular

Why Nerds are Unpopular.

This article has a lot of good points, a lot of very good points. I am happy in that after my freshman year of high school, I was able to join/organize a tribe that did fairly well to keep me sane. At that point, I'd apprenticed myself to the craft of writing, a masterless apprentice taking it where she could get it. Our nerd group was led by a smart kid who had devoted his considerable intelligence to becoming popular, but chose by preference to hang with the geeks and gamers. We rallied around him. He was, of course, That Idiot Shawn.

I think I was one of the happiest of the group, because I had a continuing project outside of school that I was working on, and I was respected for my intelligence in my classes. Most of my classes were either classes where I could work hard and be respected for my efforts, ones that I could skate through while devoting my energy to other causes, or ones where I had simply "checked out". I did not devote my energy to doing well in school, not after the seventh grade. I was not interested, and did not want to be near there with a ten foot pole. Assign me to read a large adult history book on any given time period? No problem. Give me an adult-oriented introduction to electronics class? Wonderful! Have me acting? Bring it on? Art class? Yes. I skipped math to go to art class. I ate up comparative world religions. I read ahead in English, wrote a pastiche of "The Gift of the Magi" because I wanted to a few days before writing something based on the story was assigned, and translated Shakespeare to my Honors English classmates. I debugged the beginning programs of the five or so other students sitting close to me, and was a model efficient secretary for that same teacher as Teacher's Aide. I was good. I should have been released to the work world at that point with a GED or something.

I was not a typical nerd, because I didn't buy into the whole high school thing. I knew what I wanted to do and I did it with passion and flair, but when something did not interest me, I did not grant it my attention just because it was assigned and therefore important.
teddyborg, geeky

Computery goodness!

Well, Neo now has the brand-new NIC installed, and is sporting Windows XP. I still need to rummage around and find that extra cat5 cable that I didn't need to buy specifically but actually is what I needed for this, or go out and buy a replacement.

The other box has been officially dubbed Lord Mark, and we're contemplating putting a number of different operating systems on him. Perhaps four, actually. *ponders* Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows XP, and a Linux? Grunt, Gorge, Howl, and Killer. Killer's got to be the Linux. *snork* At any rate, we've figured out his problem -- he needs a brain transplant. That is to say, his hard drive is toast.

Poll #266558 Lord Mark's operating systems

What should the Windows 98 OS on Lord Mark be named?

Gorge
6(15.0%)
Grunt
21(52.5%)
Howl
13(32.5%)
Something else (explain in comments)
0(0.0%)

What should the Windows 2000 OS on Lord Mark be named?

Gorge
13(32.5%)
Grunt
14(35.0%)
Howl
13(32.5%)
Something else (explain in comments)
0(0.0%)

What should the Windows XP OS on Lord Mark be named?

Gorge
22(55.0%)
Grunt
5(12.5%)
Howl
13(32.5%)
Something else (explain in comments)
0(0.0%)

What should the Linux OS on Lord Mark be named?

Killer
39(95.1%)
Something else (explain in comments)
2(4.9%)


Right now, Neo can only be on the network when my door is open and no one's tearing through the living room, because the cable is at just the right height to trip someone and send havoc crashing through the network (probably wrecking the switch and Tigereye's ethernet card because of the cables being yanked). *sigh*

I forsee a trip to Fry's Electronics very, very soon, like tomorrow afternoon.
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