Very Nerdy Moment

30 Apr 2005Steve Schwarz

The other night I was flipping through the channels on TV before bed (it’s hard to go right to sleep when you get home at 10:30 PM from agility class) and came across Wayne’s World 2. Now the fact that I watched some of this movie is scary to begin with; but it gets worse…

At one point Garth’s nerd-girl love interest approaches him at the Aurora, IL Waynestock festival that Garth and Wayne organized. She is wearing the requisite big glasses and has the same frazzled hair style as Garth. To further enhance her nerdliness she is clasping a book in her arms with only one word showing: “UNIX”. Of course when Garth sees her he says something like “Is that a UNIX book?” with an elated gleam in his eyes. As the film cuts away you are sure it is true nerd love.

Now, as a software developer (and a Unix developer on top of it), of course I noticed the book was a Unix book. But even worse, and I’m almost afraid to mention it, seeing only one word of the title I immediately recognized the book as Richard Stevens’ Unix Network Programming. Stevens’ book is the “bible” for Unix network programmers; over the years I’ve owned two copies.

So I was terrified that I was one of only a few very nerdy people in the world who identified that book in the movie. Then I realized I could Google for waynes+world+2+unix+network+programming and what do you know? I got 61,800 hits! With my self image intact I could go to sleep with a calm mind… :^)

Of course what does it mean to use Google to validate your world view? I’ll leave that for a future article…

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