Sunday, February 04, 2007

R.I.P. fixie, b0x0r rant

My first real racing bike, a 1986 Club Fuji, was stolen out of the garage last evening. Sometimes I'll leave the garage door open for Lynne, especially during the day and when it won't be open for too long. Silly reasoning of course, I know. I leave it in a spot where there's some room, but unfortunately this spot is very visible from the alley. I don't ride it very much here in Minneapolis, but it was my daily commuter in Portland. It looked like a piece of junk, but I kept it around in its various incarnations (racing bike, flat bar road bike, single speed, fixed) for nostalgic reasons mainly, except in Portland where I really did rely on it. So if you see a red fixie with a yellow head tube and brazed-on cantilever studs, let me know!
__So working in the geek industry, I head a lot of geek slang thrown around. I guess it makes people feel l33t to talk in an exclusive language. But one term gets under my skin: the word box, when used to refer to a computer. That's not too annoying in itself, given the virtualization of computers: it provides a useful way to differentiate the physical hardware (the actual "box" that contains the hardware) from virtual computers/servers, multiple operating systems, etc. But it started to become so cool in geek circles to refer to a computer as a "box" that the original meaning became lost. Thus for some reason it really annoys me to hear someone saying they're logging on to a "Windows box" or "the Linux box" when they're just logging on to a blade in a rack or a virtual server, or even a computer that's only running one OS when there's no need to differentiate the computer hardware from the OS it's running. I suppose it's largely because of the kind of geeks that use the term: generally people who use it in a self-congratulatory kind of way, a way of showing off one's fledgling geekiness. Very annoying.