Friday, February 23, 2007

It cannae take the pedantry, Captain...

Further to the recently-started series on pedantry, Damian's slashdotty open-source geekness is being questioned in the comments here.

And from such a low bar. I spit on his claim to geekdom. Here's why.

I work with a load of techies. A few weeks ago, talking shop in the pub after work, someone pointed out that a new programmer (Dave) needed a password to a particular internal system.

As it wasn't one that needed a lot of security, it had to just be something that he would be able to remember easily for the sake of convenience. The sort of situation where you make '1066' the password (or in my case 20/01/53). *sob*

The conversation went like this:

Me: What could we give him as a password? What's he into?

Other: I dunno. He's a geek. How about something from Star Trek?

Me: OK. The Starship Enterprise must have had some number associated with it. But no-one is enough of a geek to know that off-hand, are they?

Other: Dave is. He'll know the answer straight away. But it's not a workable way of giving him a password.

Me: Why not?

Other: Try it. You'll see.


The next day:

Me: Dave, we've set you up with a password. I'm not going to say it out loud, because you'll know it. It's the registry number of the Starship Enterprise.

Dave: I'll need more information than that.

Me: (triumphant) I knew you wouldn't know it.

Dave: (indignant) Of course I know it. But you haven't told me which series you're talking about...

Still think you're a geek, Damian?


Unity said...

Nah, Paulie, not nearly geeky enough.

Now if you'd have told him you'd used the Starfleet Registry code for something like the Lantree, Saratoga or Stargazer, and he knew the code without having to look it up, then you'd have a real geek on your hands.

PooterGeek said...

You confuse "nerd" with "geek".

The former head of Systems at the Human Genome Mapping Project Resource Centre looks like Gandalf, used computers when they were programmed with punch cards, and operated one of the first VAX/VMS machines in Britain. He was also responsible for one of the most robustly spam-free email services in the World.

He's retired now. Today, he emailed me a detailed schematic for an Einstein refrigerator because he thought I might be interested. (As it happens, I mentioned this design back here.)

To this day he hasn't seen a single Star Wars film.

f0ul said...

I would agree that this isn't geekness but Nerdness!

Still very funny though! :)

Neuromancer said...

Well A lot of real Nerds look down on Trekkies.

A real nerd would of course use somthing like whats the name they realy should have used for the ISS (international Space Station)

And a good programmer would not use an obvious pw like the enterprises reg no.