What's Your Computing Cocktail Party Fact?

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Inspired by Lucas' comment...

"Someone will always know something that you don't know, because everyone has a different perspective."

I think that's why I love computers, you'll never know everything there is to know and in any moment someone can appear in your life and tell you something you never heard before.

...what's your computing / programming cocktail party fact? Meaning, what's a cool conversation starter or bit of trivia that you know about programming or computer science? Here's mine:

Linux, in addition to being one of the world's most popular operating systems, is also a brand of detergent in Switzerland!

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Admiral Grace Hopper used to hand out lengths of wire just under 1 ft (30 cm). She called these nanoseconds, because it was the distance that light (or radio) can travel in 1 ns. They were visual aids that help to demonstrate the answer to questions like: why does satellite communication take so long? why is it important for CPUs to become smaller to be faster?

 

I've always enjoyed that the version numbers for TeX approach Pi. Current stable release is 3.14159265.

No, I'm not generally a hit at parties.

 

Lol my fact was about laundry detergent so I'm not one to judge.

 

usr (as in /usr/local/bin/...) doesn't stand for 'user'. It's short for 'universal system resources'.

 

Not true, it originally did stand for user. It was generally the mount point with the most storage capacity, etc.
See for example tldp.org/LDP/Linux-Filesystem-Hier...

 

Argh. That will teach me for picking up my cocktail party trivia from twitter.

 

Debugging was initially really removing bugs from relays. And the Debugger went through to pick bugs, which were stuck in them.
Also the term β€žPatchβ€œ originates from punch cards, where they fixed a mistake by putting a patch over the punched hole.

 
 

And the Python language is named after Monty Python! They've really had quite the impact on computer science, haven't they?

 

Oh yes, I knew it and I forgot to mention on my post that they even inspired a language!
That reminds me one of them used to appear in Compaq commercials during the 80s.
Search for "John Cleese Compaq" on youtube, there are a few ads he made

 
 

Oh my god.

Moreover, although the Ubuntu OS is partly free and open source software, Ubuntu Cola should not be confused with open-source cola such as OpenCola.

 

The first documented computer bug was an actual bug.

Note that before that the term bug was already used to describe issues with systems. But they were not actual documented computer bugs.

 
 

HP, Microsoft and Apple were all started in garages.

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Andrew profile image
Got a Ph.D. looking for dark matter, but not finding any. Now I code full-time. Je parle un peu français. dogs > cats