April 10, 2006 1:30 am

Have you read Stranger in a Strange Land by the estimable Robert A. Heinlein, author also of Starship Troopers (which you may recognize as a terrible movie)? It is a classic of the science fiction genre, a pillar of the type that others build their entire foundations upon. I just purchased it today and have begun reading it. It’s odd because Heinlein coined a word grok in this book which has passed into usage in computer circles, likely because of the association between geeks and science fiction. So this is a word I’m already familiar with but am reading the real roots of in retrospect. Very odd. Also, if you look up the Oxford definition for that word, though they do have a definition, it is wrong and evidences wholly the fact that whoever wrote it has never actually come into contact with the word. I think that’s all I wanted to say about that.

In reference to purchasing books, I downloaded Delicious Library today and it is amazing. Using its barcode scanning technology, I entered sixty books (ranging from science fiction to Dilbert to textbooks) and seven movies in about fifteen minutes. Truly, it deserves the praise it gets and we should all murmur something about this being the way Mac software is supposed to be, and back in the days of System 7 it all used to be like this. The reason I started cataloging my books is because I am starting a library. Some of you will be familiar with what I am about to say; if that is the case I encourage you to skip over it. I am no longer renting books from the library. It is not because of any inveterate distrust of the library system, indeed, long have I been a friend of that particular officialdom. Rather my decision reflects the desire to own my books instead, due chiefly to the fact that my memory is so poor I can read books every three years and have it be an entirely new experience. Others of my clan blame their poor memories upon too much, eheh, “pipe-weed”, but I tend to think it is something more sinister, something more genetic. At any rate, I have this thing where I’ve read so many books that they all blur together, and so many of them were so good that I’d like to read them again but I can’t remember a sufficient quantity of unique qualities to identify them. To prevent this from happening in the future I will simply purchase every book I read. And to prevent that from becoming unmanageable, I am beginning the management process now. With the help of Delicious Library. This message brought to you by StormSilver.net, a wholly owned subsidiary of Delicious Monster.

Great, that’s the second topic out of the way. Let me bring it back around by saying that I have recently become ensconced in something so esoteric and erudite and hideously geekish that I can hardly begin to describe it. Now, stick with me here, because I’m coming to your neighborhood, I promise. Do you remember several months ago when I wrote this post about how I can’t talk to anybody else about what I love because the knowledge is so specialized? It’s like that here, I can’t really depict what I’ve spent the last week doing. Suffice it to say that it has the power to be huge, the next big thing after the regular internet wears off. It also has the potential to go absolutely nowhere and die off in the next couple of years. Time shall be the judge of that twisted sister. Why was I saying this? Oh yes. We’re back to where I started: I love this because I grok computing. Computing, programming, interneting, what have you, has been fully encompassed within the core of my being and has changed the way I think, and as expected, my identity as a whole.

I don’t know why I felt the need to tell you that. It’s not like you didn’t already know.

11 Responses to “Grok Computing”

Allie says:
April 10th, 2006 at 7:16 am

You do love programming more than anybody I know….

This library thing I find very fascinating, it’s like really having your own library, now you just need your own hand scanner, library room, and your huge leather chair and tobacco pipe…

indorphin says:
April 10th, 2006 at 12:27 pm

Dude. This prog is hot. Once I get myself a nice iSight or something it will be immensely useful. Especially when I start teaching and people borrow my stuff.

I suppose I could get a cheap barcode reader too…

Dan J. says:
April 10th, 2006 at 5:09 pm

I am very excited that I am on the inner circle as to your “internet” prowess. Friday night was good times don’t be a stranger. That and once I receive my MacBookPro, I will have to give that library program a whirl, that would be uber tight for my dvd collection.

Dan J.

Angela says:
April 10th, 2006 at 5:55 pm

I’m reading this blog from my computer at work, and I’ve received some rather entertaining advice from the website itself. It tells me that I should switch to Firefox to make the viewing process more satisfying, with slightly more confusion and contempt, naturally. I will say that I am continuously impressed and intrigued by your passion for “computing”.

Dwight says:
April 11th, 2006 at 2:30 am

bend over and I’ll show YOU grok!
my left fist is elevated and convulsing as I say this: “I will own an iFruit someday!”
as to owning books, meh, some of us started that a long time ago

Dwight says:
April 13th, 2006 at 3:29 am

help me out here, is this site offering tech support? or some other kind? http://www.slate.com/id/2139801/

Stormy says:
April 15th, 2006 at 9:27 am

Um. *coughs* Yeah.

Angela says:
April 15th, 2006 at 10:28 am

WHOA! What are you doing up at 9:27am on a Saturday? Geez, hard core.

-cary- says:
April 23rd, 2006 at 9:14 pm

Um . . . honey, I heard the government figured out why Kennedy’s head snapped the wrong way on the Zebrueder film . . . is American Gladiators on . . . oh thank God we’re free honey . . .
Yeah . . . and I am going to be up in hOmaha I think this Thursday . . . THIS ONE, coming up . . . for the weekend . . . so, hopefully you have like at least an hour, or maybe more to hang out and convince me to move out there . . . and you should call me . . . back, because I left you a message . . . and I love Starship Troopers, and know nothing about computers . . . hell, I can’t even spell Zebrueder correctly


Angela says:
April 26th, 2006 at 12:25 pm

i’m sorry.

Angela says:
May 1st, 2006 at 5:35 pm

i’m going to be those people that complain about you never posting things, then ask for some new material. so, why do you NEVER post anything?! please put up some new material!!