The Canonical List of

"You Know You've Been Hacking Too Long When..."


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You know you've been hacking too long when... want an elevator to the basement and begin looking for the "0" key, because 0 is less than 1. are afraid to hit the snooze bar on your alarm clock too many times because you think that the clock's subroutine is mallocing memory each time it goes to print the free memory on the front, and soon it would run out. look for your toothbrush by trying to do a '/toothbrush' command. write your code as follows:

	(define Shit_lang
	  (lambda (crap)
	    (if (eq? crap ())
		(display "the shit is over")
	       (if (eq? crap never-ending)
		   (delete! all)
		 (shit_lang (- crap 1)))))))
in a program which takes up 38 pages (of similar stuff) after 28 hours of work. are trying to recall something and hear in your head: "Parity error at address..."'re writing a homework assignment, and get to the end of the line in the middle of a sentence, tack on a '\', and continue writing on the next line. pick up a rootbeer and read the label as "High Res", not Hires. try to sleep, and think, "telnet". have two books, one on top of another, and think: "No problem. I'll just click on its title bar to raise the other book to the front." hear a professor lecturing, and think that any question will crash his/her lecture interpreter. hit the wrong key on the elevator keypad and you feel frustrated when you see that it has no "Undo" key. think of the lyrics to "Jump! Jump!" by Kris Kross and wonder if they can be assembled... start typing semi-colons at the end of sentences instead of full stops; see something written on the blackboard and think: "Why don't I just log on and download it?" think you can't wake up in the morning because you forgot to push a return address on the stack the night before. wake up with a woman and you think that she is a PDP-11 and you try to figure out how to boot her. think your girlfriend is a VAX, and can't figure out where to put the floppy. plan a hectic day as follows: "My load average seems to be a bit too high, my scheduler might die any moment, and I'm running out of swap space... I'd better kill off some low-priority user processes." are reading a book and look for the space bar to get to the next page. are working on two SPARC stations, and get confused as to why attempting to move the mouse off one screen doesn't move it onto the other. are watching TV and look for the "Info" key in the remote control to find out the name of the program. want to grep a book. want to grep a videocassette. want to 'grep toothbrush /dev/gym_bag'. want to 'grep keys /dev/pockets'. want to 'grep homework /dev/backpack'.

...your children do something they shouldn't, you tell them to stop, and they do it just once more, and you react by thinking: "Well, they prefetched the instruction and are executing it in the delay slot..."

...after fooling around all day with routers and other junk, you pick up the phone and start dialing an IP number.

...the bell rings ending class while the professor is in the middle of a sentence, and you think, "How in the world is he going to carry that continuation back to his office?" watch the temperature display on The Weather Network say that it is -0 degrees outside, and you catch yourself wondering if it is sign-magnitude or 1's-complement. get in an elevator and double-press the button for the floor you want. go to the movies and it takes 5 minutes to get used to the flicker (damn low refresh rate...) go to the movies and catch yourself wondering what the color depth of the screen image is. see a flock of birds, and you sit there and try to figure out the algorithms that determine their movement.

...not only do you check your e-mail more often than your paper mail, but you remember your network address faster than your postal one.

...your S.O. kisses you on the neck and the first thing you think is "Uh, oh, priority interrupt!" go to balance your checkbook and discover that you're doing the math in octal.

...your computers have a higher street value than your car. your universe, "round numbers" are powers of 2, not 10.

...more than once, you have woken up recalling a dream in FORTRAN. wonder if you could comment out the code that caused your girlfriend to get pregnant, but then you realize: you do not have the source to your girlfriend, and even if you did, how would you go about recompiling her, anyway?

...your alarm clock goes off, and you think it is spawning new alarm clock processes and you have to kill them quickly so it doesn't fill up the process table and prevent you from doing anything about it. The only problem is, there is a monitor process that you can't kill, and every time you kill off one of the ring_alarm(x) processes, it waits 9 minutes and spawns another one. wish you could 'sleep 24000 &'. try to bring a window to the front of something, then you realize that the "something" is a post-it (tm) on your screen. art class, you make a mistake in a drawing and look frantically for the "Undo" button on the paper.'ve been low-level debugging ethernets for a week and when you see two people at a table trying to pick up the same jar of butter you wonder if they are using the correct CSMA/CD algorithm to avoid a re-collision.