Friday, July 03, 2009


I have found an idea to post things on Fridays. I am going to find a something geeky funny on line and explain it so that other people can appreciate the geeky and funniness. My first post is from The Daily WTF and is called The Program Accelerator. Please take a minute to read it over… you are probably wondering why this is funny right about now or more importantly wondering why she is trying to copy information from a program.

First thing I want to explain is ./a.out. Computers and humans speak different languages. I write a program using code that then goes through an assembler to form the binary data that tells the computer what to do. I have the option of telling the assembler what I want the name to be but if I don't there is no reason for my assembler to not do its job if I don't and a.out
is the default name for assembly output. Lost yet? I am going to get to control-c at the end so if you want to skip over this it's ok. Every time the article mentions a.out he puts a "./" in front of it. The "." at the beginning represents the current working directory. File names can get long and confusing. Instead of making the user type it out every time they want to run a program or work inside the current directory the operating system default of a directory named "." is whatever directory you are typing the command in at the command prompt. Every time the user types ./a.out it they are telling the operating system "try to execute the file name a.out inside the file I am currently inside"

Next the article mentions "cat'd" and I can see people worrying about strange things being done to cats with a computer but I assure you no cats were hurt in the writing of this post. cat is short for concatenate which basically means link things together. When you type cat and then a file name on a command prompt the command will display the contents of the file you specified. cat'd is the action of performing a cat command on a file.

Finally the moment you have all been waiting for what is Control-C doing that makes this joke so funny? At a command prompt the keyboard shortcuts are very different Control-Z will not perform an Undo action like most of your word processors these days it will tell the command that you are running to go into the background (this is kind of like pausing). Control-C on the other hand means stop the program entirely no if, ands, or buts about it. So the reason why the student's % prompt kept coming up quicker after she typed Control-C is because she was ending the program quite prematurely. Thus she got her command prompt "%" back and her output was not fully created.

Well I know a joke isn't funny if it has to be explained but I wanted to see if this would be something fun. If there were other confusing terms or concepts that you would like defined leave a comment about it!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

WTFnesday 2

Today on WTFnesday there are two submissions. The first comes from texts from last night a website I happened upon through's LOTD. It's goal is "to create a site that was revealing in nature while concealing the identity of everyone involved. This is why we only ask for an area code to accompany your text messages." What you can do is submit your funny texts and they will post and people will vote on how they feel about it. For example, "(334): The only thing I've had to eat today was the half eaten sausage biscuit I found on my chest when I woke up this morning." Or "(518): Anthony wouldn't know good sex if it sat on his face", or even "(407): i went to disney world today with my friends, met snow white, then saw her later at a bar. she is naked next to me in her bed, passwed out. when you wish upon a star..."(that one is currently second place best night of all time). But the one I found to be most WTF like was this little beauty:

(212): i want you now
(916): you need to stop dating girls with the same name as your mother...or stop drinking so much...I don't want to see this

Read it twice if you aren't laughing yet. There have been plenty of times that I have sent my love similar such messages and I cannot imagine the horror I would have if I accidentally sent such a message to my mother. I am going to chalk it up to the fact that I have use Love and Mom instead of their names in my cell phone book because they do have similar names … but enough about Freud. My second submission is Google making me go WTF today while changing the way my Gmail page looks. Let me explain, Gmail has a wonderful feature called Labels. Instead of folders you mark an item of interest with a label and later on you can find all of the messages associated with that subject matter by simply clicking on the label. (Breanne has 1, it is "wedding". I love her ... 65ish more days! ) I have 40+ and they are used quite frequently. I was super excited when Google decided to experiment and let me put my label on the right side of the web page because I don't like have to scroll down to my frequent label "work" (damn alphabetization). Today they changed the functionality of labels and took away an experimental feature for the first time and it happens to be the one I really was using. Come on! They couldn't have removed "Mail Goggles" or "Old Snakey" they had to remove "Right-side Labels" [sigh] Oh well this way not exactly a deal breaker for me so I will go one using Gmail just slightly annoyed again whenever I have to reach in the bowels of my list of labels.

It is interesting to me as a computer person. I have the ability to change it back myself but I won't. Even though at any time Gmail can change a feature and I don't think I could stop using its features and it doesn't upset me in the least. Microsoft on the other hand adds a "Ribbon" to all of their programs and I feel it is too gimmicky and it upsets me when I can't change a feature I don't like even though I won't. Just the fact that there is the ability to change Gmail to the way I like it I feel better about the product… hmmm… interesting…