Tag Archive for "geek"

Rhetorical Flourish

My first computer was a 1990 i386 with 2MB of memory and an 80MB hard drive, scrounged from the offices of a local shipping company. Complete with serial mouse, IBM Model M keyboard, and 15″ color VGA monitor, it was my parents’ hope for making me into a competent writer, but it better succeeded in making me a PC gamer. This ancient machine, 17 years old, is incredibly outdated in the physical basis of every technological detail, except one: its hard disk.

This is the introductory paragraph for a rather lightweight article about hard drives. It’s also a great example of a writer saying something obviously stupid purely because it suited the rhetorical framework that they had chosen to use.

Yes, the hard drive does still take the basic form that it did 17 years ago. But when kept to the same level of required similarity, so does the memory, the CPU, the motherboard, the case, the power supply, and the keyboard. Indeed, the only two major physical design changes I can think of when it comes to the common PC is the replacement of ball mice with optical mice, and the rise of the flat-screen LCD monitor.

Don’t you just hate it when reality gets in the way of a good line?

IT Geek Culture

Are there any IT sites with more than a few servers that don’t have at least one named after a Simpsons character? I’m writing up the servers at my current job and the names are a wonderfully typical cross-section of geek culture. Here’s a list of some of the names along with what I believe the reference is to (corrections welcome):

BASIL – Fawlty Towers
BLUESTEEL – Zoolander
BORAT – Ali G/Borat
CORLEONE – The Godfather
CYBERTRON – Transformers
DRGONZO – Hunter S Thompson
MAGGIE – The Simpsons
PEDRO – Napoleon Dynamite
RAOUL – The Addams Family
RATCHET – Transformers rather than the Ratchet & Clank video game
REN – Ren & Stimpy
RIVENDELL – Lord of the Rings
SHELOB – Lord of the Rings
SHOCKWAVE – Transformers rather than The Shockwave Rider
STARSCREAM – Transformers
STIMPY – Ren & Stimpy
VERBAL – The Usual Suspects

Notable omissions:

  • Star Wars
  • Star Trek
  • Buffy/Angel/etc

(I did consider whether there were any confidentiality or security implications of posting this and I couldn’t think of any.)