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Author Topic:   How certain is materialism/physicalism as a description of ultimate reality?
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Message 28 of 143 (917798)
04-16-2024 8:21 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by Taq
04-16-2024 11:46 AM

... joke about software engineers ...
Line from the 1933 film, Female (it makes the rounds on Turner Classics), where the female boss is trying to seduce an engineer working for her but he's not playing along:
"I always thought engineer was a profession, not an affliction!"
Then there's that cruel remark you always get when telling the origin story of the PHOENIX ROM BIOS which enabled the production of IBM PC clones.
Short form of the story:
The IBM PC had a ROM BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) that controlled its start-up and loading of the operating system (PC-DOS or CP/M) from disk -- that process is known as boot-strapping or simply "booting up".
IBM distributed the ROM BIOS code listing with their PCs, but if you were to try to use any of that code to create your own ROM BIOS then your company would get sued out of existence for copyright infringement. You needed a ROM BIOS that did everything the true-blue IBM ROM BIOS did but without being based in any way on IBM's code.
The solution was to have engineers use the IBM code listing to write a specification for what the ROM BIOS had to do. Those engineers, having seen that code, are now tainted and can no longer be used. Instead, you needed to hire programmers who had never had any exposure to the original IBM code who would then write new code based on that specification.
Those new programmers were referred to as "virgin programmers" since they were "pure" (ie, untainted by exposure to the device being recreated).
The cutting remark when you mention "virgin programmer" is to the effect: "Is there any other kind?"
That story is reenacted in the first season of the TV show, Halt and Catch Fire.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by Taq, posted 04-16-2024 11:46 AM Taq has not replied

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