Geek Role Models and Heroes

Two things fired my original interests in computers; the Amiga 500 and Superman III. A cool machine that gave a less than knowledgeable hobbyist the ability to tinker around and a movie where a knowledgeable hacker kicks Superman's ass. Those were my computer geek beginnings.

As a freshman and sophomore in college I was enamored with hackers (or crackers as some would prefer it) as they were potrayed in the media. However after meeting a few and hanging out more online I realized that most of them were mere script kiddies in real life. After a while, after reading about how well Netscape engineers were treated and enjoying their kickass browser (this was in the Netscape Navigator 3 days) I began to set my sights on being one day good enough to work at Netscape. After a while I began to change my mind not only because Netscape Navigator was slowly being eclipsed by Internet Explorer but also because many described Netscape as a bunch of hackers patching together whatever worked not as software engineers designing and implementing a grand architecture.

For a while I fixated on figures from academic settings including teaching assistants, research professors and programming context participants but the closer I got to them or actually participated (I was a TA, took part in a programming contest and did research while in school which eventually got published) the more I felt that these people weren't really as cool as I thought. Partly a case of the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence and part distaste at the politics of academia.

In my junior year at college I began to take an interest in distributed computing and component technologies. I began to look starry eyed at COM+/DCOM and CORBA developers which eventually lead me to consider working at Microsoft to be the coolest thing ever. Interviewing for an internship that year and not even making it to the second round interviews simply made me even further convinced at the technical expertise it would take to be a Microsoft developer. In my senior year I began to take a serious interest in systems programming and eventually hacked on the Linux kernel which eventually lead to my current reverence for kernel hackers.

Besides the Linux kernel hackers, one other group of people have wowed me with their technical ability and the impact they've had on the world. Happy 4th Birthday, Google.

Sorry for the introspective navel gazing. I recently received an email from someone at Google about job openings and it brought up a number of memories which I needed to write down to clear my thoughts.


Speed Stacks: The Sport For Fast Hands

This video of Emily introduced me to the "sport" of speed stacking. No doubt, she is really fast at what she does but I really doubt this should be called a sport.

Barber Shop: A Movie Review

I saw the Barbershop this week with the girlfriend (Yes, we're back together for those keeping track) and was surprised at how good the movie was. It was funny, not preachy, not ghetto (or is that "urban") and definitely worth buying on DVD whenever it is released. I noticed that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are up in arms because the movie states opinions from black people which run counter to their self serving and racially seperatist agenda. I counted about four or five such opinions on watching the movie
  1. African Americans don't want/need reparations. Black people have affirmative action and welfare (something I can't remember) already which should be good enough. Also pride shouldn't let black people resort to taking the white man's handouts like beggars.

  2. Rosa Parks was probably just tired when she refused to stand up and didn't really mean to make a stand on principle. Also the only thing that seperated Rosa parks from all the other black people who tried to sit the front of buses and got smacked down or jailed is that she had NAACP connections.

  3. Martin Luther King Jr. day should be "Get Your Freak On" day because MLK Jr. was a ho (i.e. sexually promiscous).

  4. Rodney King deserved an ass whupping for driving drunk and resisting arrest.
  5. OJ did it.

  6. Fuck Jesse Jackson.


Ricers Unite

I came across Beaterz, a ricer bashing site via Slashdot yesterday. There are truly some gems (i.e. tastelessly modified cars) on this site. My favorites were #