Terry Brugger's Geek Code

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I'm almost always found in jeans (and every now and then slacks), but some days I wear a t-shirt, others I wear a polo, still others I can be found in a real dress shirt. Usually depends on what looks good or what's in the wash. If I could, I'd wear an Armani suit every day, except maybe weekends.


I'm a respectible 6'0", which more look up to than down upon (except for these kids that are fresh from High School: what are they putting in their food these days!). I've put on a couple pounds so people are no longer telling me to gain a few pounds.


'nuff said.



Computers are a large part of my existance. If nothing else, my life with them pays the bills. I do wait until I get to work to log in on weekday mornings (usually), I don't play many computer games (coding is enough for me) and all my time on computers helped keep me from going on academic probation (not that that was ever really a concern). I do have a life off-line though.


I run a couple Linux machines both at home and at work. In fact, my new position at work is specifically to port a package to Linux. I've been running it since the .99 kernel days, so this Red Hat stuff is relatively new to me, having only used it for two years. Actually though, Mandrake has become my distro of choice. I've done some IRIX administration at work as well, including admining an Onyx2 visualization server, but I gave that up with my move to my new position. I did some AIX administration back in school, just enough to see how messed up it is (Aix Isn't uniX), but I use both it and Digital UNIX fairly regularly at work. While we're on the subject, how many of you can honestly admit that the computer center called you up to tell you that you were using all the resources on their 12 processor Alpha machine and to please stop. Let me say: Threads are a wonderful thing.


Until not so long ago, I really hated Perl. This went back to a poor experience in school with an idiot professor who insisted that we use it, but also insisted that we used Perl 4 and didn't use any modules. It didn't help that all the documentation at the time was by Wall & Christensen - the man pages, the Camel book and the on-line docs all contained the same examples - if you wanted to do something just enough esqued from what they showed, you were screwed. What we ended up with was so hacked and ofuscated that I didn't think Perl was good for anything. Until I had to do some simple substitutions on a group of files. Rather than run them all though vi or learn awk and sed, I figured a little perl one liner would solve my problem, and it did. I also found that in the few interveining years, much more (useful) Perl documentation has come out. Pretty soon I was using it to simplify all sorts of tasks of growing complexity until I got assigned the project that I'm wrapping up right now creating Fortran 90 wrappers for C++ classes. Instead of parse the C++, I just matched what I wanted with regular expressions (I mean, both mechanisms can be reduced to a finite-automatia anyway, right?) and had it spit out the corresponding code. In all, it's just over a 1000 lines of Perl.


See also my answer for UNIX. Linux is definately my OS of choice. I have one Windows machine left (none of this dual-booting crap) that I use for programs that don't have Linux ports yet (Like Bryce, although hopefully that's coming now). Linux is where I get all my serious work done. Even if I'm doing it on another machine, I'm probably using a Linux box as my head. I've hacked in the kernel, without much avail - but enough to allow the exaulted Alan Cox to fix my problem. I don't even bother with c.o.l or linux-kernel anymore - the traffic is just too high.


I'm writting this in Emacs. Actually XEmacs. I don't use it for my mail or news, but only because it needs a little work in the UI department. But I do play around with elisp occasionally in order to configure my environment just right. Note that I'm not a emacs zellot (okay, so I did convert the only vi user in one of my project groups to Emacs... but does that really count?): I use vi regularly too. Depends on what I'm editing.


You're here, aren't you? If something cool is to be said here, it's that Mozilla is my browser of choice.


It's a complete waste of time. And for that actually, it's useful.

The Oracle of Usenet

Sure, I've done the Oracle thing a couple times, but it was so long ago that it fades away now into a dream. In fact, so does most of the rest of my Freshman year.


Yah, sure, I know of Kibo, what's it to you?


Just because I'm good at it doesn't mean I have to like it. Actually, I'm really loosing my edge with it lately. I really don't have a gut feel for what's going on inside these latest versions. For the record, NT 3.51 was the best OS to ever come out of Redmond. Everything else sucks.


I used OS/2 long ago - in its heyday (before NT). Numerous times in fact. The first time I couldn't get it to install, but once 2.1 came out, I was all over it. It was great, the hardware support was sorely lacking and unlike the Linux community, IBM acted rather appathetic on this point. So I went back to Windows and on to NT when I got my first dual processor system.


Long, long ago, I hated the Mac. I saw the IBMs and Tandys as being faster, cheaper, better. As the years went on, and I became a young adult, I learned tolarence towards more and more systems, including the Mac. In college, both of my roommates were die-hard M++ Mac users, and I started to appreciate them more and more. Which brings us to the present day where I have a G4/400 overclocked to 450 sitting in my office at work that I use for most of my graphics and word processing needs, happy to do anything those windows nerds can do and do it faster.


VMS is probably the last OS that I've become tolarant of. I used it once without much avail, but since that time, as network security has become a more important issue both to myself and the world, I've come to appreciate VMS's stability and security and I really hate to see it die the long agonizing death that it is. In fact, we have a few idle VMS Alpha boxes at work that I've just been dreaming of things to do with.


Political and Social Issues

I tend to be fairly libertarian when it comes to socal issues. I believe the world will be a better place if everyone just shows a little tolerance, but as long as you throw money at an issue, the money's all that going to matter.

Politics and Economic Issues

I tend to be fairly conservative when it comes to economics or politics, although I don't think the US should be the world's watchdog.


I'm really concerned with privacy issues and very interested in cryptology. But I'm really not as vocal or active as I think I should be. 1984 is my favourite book because I knew when I first read it 12 years ago that Orwell was right on the money. BTW, I don't think the NSA is evil - just cool. I'm sure they have stuff that we can't even dream of. Look at it this way though: they can't make any moves against anyone without revealing the level of technology they have. Anyway, I'm not a terrorist or anything, so I'm not worried about them. What I am worried about is someone deciding that I have a great credit rating, maybe they could just borrow it for a couple weeks. I've already had my credit card number stolen twice. Even though Visa has always taken care of it, it's still not a pleasant experience.


Well, I don't actually use finger anymore, but you can find my PGP key here. I PGP sign all my messages and am happy to recieve messages encrypted using my key. I'll sign any outgoing PGP messages that I can. I wish more of my friends and family used PGP, but I'm not going to bug them about it yet. I don't use the most recent version because PGP's become to commercialized and gone to only supporting systems that they can make money off of - the Unix support is still there but lagging. I'm going to look at GPG, sooner probably rather than later.


Star Trek

I love TNG and TOS is pretty good too (if not hokey). The movies seem to be pretty hit or miss. DS9 started out with promise, but just got too complex. Hello? I'm in it to be entertained. I shouldn't have to catch every single episode and keep a score card to know what's going on. And Vogager was interesting at first, but really went down hill like DS9. I have since disowned it as the WWF has no place creating cross-overs with Trek.

Babylon 5

B5 completely rocks. Okay, I lost track after the first season and unlike ST, I think it's okay that you have to follow every episode of B5 because it's carefully woven together like a good novel, not a piece-meal, who's killing who this week and why like it was on DS9. It seems that every single detail was carefully crafted: no nitpicker's guides here (I don't care if there really are some: they just don't have a place). I picked it up again around the end of year 4 when I worked at Micro (they had a group of devotees that watched at lunch every week), but lost it again when I moved. Now that the Sci-fi chanel is picking it up, I might see if I can't catch the whole thing this time.


It started out with a lot of promise, but became just too much paranoia and conspiracy for me. (Wow, did I really say that?) It was okay as a sub-theme, but I really liked having a completely different, thought-provoking situation each week. I understand that they've gone back to that now, but it's just kind of lost it's flavour now.

Roll playing

I used to be seriously into roll-playing, to the point that I lost a good friend over RPG differences. Okay, well there was a girl too, but since my devoted Wife is editing this in her Web Guru style, we won't get into that. I haven't really played much since and these days it just seems like a waste of my time. I still have friends that do it - and if you enjoy it, power to you. It's just not my cup of tea anymore.


With TiVo and DirectTV, I am set. It doesn't consume my life though. On the contrary: with TiVo I can watch what I want to when I want to. I can't remember life without it (and it hasn't been that long).


I love books, but I just don't have enough time to read all the wonderful volumes I have here. Maybe when I get rich and famous I tell myself.


Dilbert is funny, but I don't read it everyday (usually just on Sunday). I read Userfriendly everyday. I do understand Dilbert though, having found myself in similar situations. I must say, the best thing about working at the lab is that the managers actually have technical expertiese.


Well, this catagory is certainly dated now, isn't it? I played the whole shareware version, owned a copy of DOOM II for a while and ripped though both episodes of Dark Forces. Haven't done much FPS games in the past couple years though. I've only played Quake on friend's machines for a few minutes here or there. The whole genera seems kind of been there done that these days.

Geek Code

Well here you are. I have never memorized the whole thing, but I know the letters that are important to me and tend to just look at those when examining someone else's code.



Got my B.S. Going for a Ph.D. next.


Bought a house.

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Last modified: Sun Jun 18 14:04:04 PDT 2000