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    Bad Habit (or "you might be a nerd if...")  echo $newRAM;
    added Wed November 19 2003 at 8:24 PM
    0 comments
    I've already told a bit about my obssesive compulsive tendencies. The better you know me, the more that you know that this often means that I pick up new habits rather easily. Good habits, bad habits, downright strange habits. Anything that "may be habit-forming" *is* habit forming. This is a big reason why I don't do drugs. I can't afford that kind of addiction.

    This habit-forming tendency can manifest itself in some strange ways. For example, how many people can say that they have a bad habit of debugging computer programs? Betcha haven't heard that one too many times, eh?

    I accidentally left my manufacturing book in the computer lab when I left my numerical methods/programming class to go to work. So after work, I went to retrieve it. The lab that I left it in is a pretty low-traffic lab, so I didn't really worry about somebody stealing it. I worried a little bit about somebody deciding to be "nice" and take it to the lost and found (this is BYU, after all). I got up there, and whaddaya know... it was sitting right where I left it. So of course, I grab it and run, right? I mean, I'm starving here (still am, but now I've got this bad habit that I gotta write down what I'm thinking or else I'll forget it). No, I didn't. I decided to check out what some of the guys are working on. I wander over and chat with one of my pseudo-friends. He's a guy in a couple of my classes that I can never remember his name, but we chat occasionally. He knows my name, but that's a whole different RandOMnesS entry.

    I digress (see what happens when I'm hungry?)... I chatted for a minute about what he was working on, why he was there so late, yadda yadda yadda. I turned around, and the guy behind him was somebody that I recognized (there is, after all, a finite number of people in the engineering department, so a lot of them I know by face) and he was working on the lab that I turned in today. He mentioned that he was having a problem with the lab... just a little bug. Well, what was called a "little bug" turned out to take about 30 minutes to get rid of, as we went through and debugged the program step by step. I had no reason to be there... I was done with the lab. I just couldn't leave until the program ran without a hitch. It probably took me almost as long to write mine from scratch as it took to debug his (that's the way it usually works: a well-written program will write itself, but one bug always runs into another and they multiply and replenish. Darn cockroaches).

    I wouldn't feel too bad if this were the first occasion. No, last weekend, my roommate was working on a huge project. He's a CS major, so of course said project is a program. He writes in C++. I don't even know C++. Yet there I was, for hours and hours. Right by his side as we worked out multiple bugs (it was a *huge* program, so multiple bugs was rather expected). I had other projects I could've (and definitely should've) been working on. But I was hooked. I couldn't let it rest. It wasn't even my responsibility, but I had to put it to rest. Of course, I only helped him with a fraction of his debugging unlike this evening where I pretty much single-handedly played the Orkin Man.

    You might be a nerd if... you're addicted to debugging programs.