by Eszter Hargittai on November 21, 2006

GOOGLEYI had lunch at the Googleplex yesterday and as a result got to add several geeky license plates to my photo collection. I wasn’t even trying hard to look for these, I was just glancing at the plates I passed walking to and from my car.

In unrelated geekiness, if you prefer to unleash your inner geek with the help of a bit more text then I recommend the quotes on this page. A couple of my favorites:

There are only two kinds of programming languages: those people always bitch about and those nobody uses. (Bjarne Stroustrup)

[The BLINK tag in HTML] was a joke, okay? If we thought it would actually be used, we wouldn’t have written it! (Mark Andreessen)

If none of that made sense then you could go watch some Jay Leno Headlines where it is by design that many of the featured items don’t make sense.



dave heasman 11.21.06 at 5:57 am

Nice quote from Stan Bootle. I met him when I worked for Univac in teh 70s. In fact Univac seemed chock-full of Bootle-alikes then. No wonder it sank. Actually the English computer industry seemed chock-full of Bootle-alikes then. No wonder it sank.


bi 11.21.06 at 9:55 am

“There are only two kinds of programming languages: those people always bitch about and those nobody uses.”

Or as the old saying goes: “All programming languages suck.”

conjAnd vbWas nnCharles nnSimonyi advNot detThe nnInventor prepOf detThat nnThing vbCalled adjHungarian nnNotation?


Eszter 11.21.06 at 10:49 am

Bi, why yes. I met him earlier this Fall, nice guy. I don’t have a good sense of how that notation is perceived.


Jake 11.21.06 at 1:39 pm

Some people like it, some people think it’s useless, some people think it’s worse than useless. It’s ok at solving one particular problem that is particularly bad in C and C++, but there are other ways of solving that problem that aren’t as aesthetically displeasing and don’t rule out other sorts of useful cleverness.

It’s also strongly associated with Microsoft.

I would guess that the general perception is between useless and worse-than-useless, but more in an overtaken-by-events way than a bad-idea kind of way.


Zack 11.21.06 at 3:01 pm

That license plate has the wrong spellings; it is called Googly.


Jon H 11.21.06 at 4:18 pm

I wonder if the person with the Ugo Boss plate knows Hugo Boss designed the uniforms of the Nazi SS…


Brian 11.21.06 at 5:00 pm

Note that the common view of it is probably more strongly shaped by Microsoft’s APIs than anything else; this is unfortunate because does a bad job of illustrating the benefits of Hungarian notation. Specifically, the original proposal was to prefix functional types before a name; what the Windows API does, instead, is usually prefix concrete data types before a name.

It’s odd that you claim it’s a particular weakness of C and C++, Jake; in many ways, more dynamic languages seem to have a bigger problem with it, since you don’t even have the benefits of compile-time datatype restrictions.


Watson Aname 11.21.06 at 6:28 pm

Brian, `benefit’ is more a mixed blessing, and any confusion is a feature of weakly typed dynamic languages though, and even then only in ones that aren’t introspective enough — nothing particularly to do with dynamic or static. I understand why some people like Hungarian notation, but personally think it papers over flaws in either development style, language design, or both. It does serve to prop up a certain type of development effort, and reduce errors while using that approach. That isn’t the same as an endorsement for the notation, or the approach.


french swede the rootless vegetable 11.21.06 at 7:33 pm

I liked the quotes from syslang; tehy were fun.

#5 zack: That license plate has the wrong spellings; it is called Googly.

‘Googly’ is also a fun word, though bowlinging is like, not my sport. [Check out the “see also: untransability” in that wikipedialy article; funny in an interesting way]

But, this post is tagged “fun & games“, so I expected sweetly, timesinkingly, creatively funny googalicious games!

Well, I have found one myself: The Gwigle game


vivian 11.21.06 at 10:28 pm

So is google hq as cool as it sounds? Good quotes. Wasted wa-a-y too much time on gwigle, and, embarrassed I didn’t already know about the calculator feature, I will slink off to mope.


Leonard 11.21.06 at 10:43 pm

My sysadmin 15 years ago had the vanity tag:


I envied that.


Kenny Easwaran 11.22.06 at 3:33 am

Speaking of games, you might try Google’s Image Labeler, where it seems some computers have often been guessing the word “googley” for all sorts of things where it wouldn’t belong (along with “accretion”, “diphosphates” (or something like that) and a few other words).


bad Jim 11.22.06 at 4:20 am

Zack may have a point. See Barney Google (With Your Goo-Goo-Googly Eyes)

The many Dijkstra quotes brought to mind the title of his most famous article, GOTO Considered Harmful. One evening in Tokyo I found myself seated next to a rather attractive young lady named Goto; I think I’ve still got her card somewhere. Perhaps Edsger needed to get out more.

(I should note that in the years I worked with microcontrollers at the machine level, I never found that insight particularly useful.)


Eszter 11.22.06 at 2:00 pm

FSRV – thanks for that pointer. I had seen Gwigle before, but enjoyed it more this time around. It’s a neat concept, although I think the focus right now is a bit too much toward geeks who are most likely to know the advanced functionalities in the first place. Nonetheless, nifty tool. BTW, you sound a LOT like a friend of mine, but I don’t think he’d identify himself as FSRV. And yeah, sorry about the disappointing classification, but it’s just a category we have as “fun & games”.

Vivian, glad you got your timesink fix met, I felt guilty for not posting anything of the sort last weekend.;)

Kenny, regarding the Google Image Labeler, I think it’s interesting and have enjoyed spending time with it. Interestingly, I thought those nonsensical words were things people developed to trick the system and get scores quickly. That said, I never understood why you’d pick such long and complicated words for it.

There is another similar game that’s been around for much longer from what I can tell: Peekaboom. It’s similarly addictive and interesting.

And yes, GHQ is very cool. I’ve been meaning to post about the food in particular so stay tuned.

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