30+ Reasons Why All Programmers Are Schizophrenics

Priority Mental Health

A few days back, I was lazily browsing the net – when suddenly I discovered that I have Schizophrenia. No, I did not get a hallucination that my dual monitors suddenly changed into a two headed beast. Nor did I hallucinate about anything else. What happened was that I stumbled upon a page about schizophrenia. To my shock, I had all the symptoms described in that page. Not just me – all the programmers I knew had Schizophrenia as well.

Before continuing, if you don’t know what schizophrenia is, here is a definition from the highest authority(Wikipedia).

Schizophrenia is a psychiatric diagnosis that describes a mental illness characterized by impairments in the perception or expression of reality, most commonly manifesting as auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions or disorganized speech and thinking in the context of significant social or occupational dysfunction.
Wikipedia

A list of symptoms for schizophrenia is available at the page we talked about. You may want to check it out if you suspect that you have schizophrenia. Or you can read that list here – with my commentary about it. You will be laughing all the way – up to the minute you discover that you have Schizophrenia.

Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Deterioration of personal hygiene
Check
Depression
No I don’t have this. But if I go through this list and finds out I do have schizophrenia, I will begin having this.
Bizarre behavior
Does sitting in front of a computer for 15 hours a day count as bizarre behavior? You betcha!
Irrational statements
“IE’s ActiveX control ‘XMLHTTP’ and XMLHTTPRequest(W3C Standard) can be used for Ajax Programming
I don’t think it is irrational – but schizophrenics rarely think their own statements are irrational
Sleeping excessively or inability to sleep
Check
Social withdrawal, isolation, and reclusiveness
The basic traits of a programmer
Shift in basic personality
I don’t know whether there was a shift in my personality – I don’t remember a time when I was not into programming
Unexpected hostility
Try getting between a programmer and his computer – you will learn the true meaning of hostility.
Deterioration of social relationships
What part of “programmer” didn’t you understand?
Hyperactivity or inactivity — or alternating between the two
Coding like crazy / waiting to compile. Need I say more?
Inability to concentrate or to cope with minor problems
Great – first symptom that is a negative
Extreme preoccupation with religion or with the occult
Despite what you might be thinking, Emacs *is* a religion.
Excessive writing without meaning
What do you think programming is?
Indifference
Once I am on the computer I really don’t care about anything else
Dropping out of activities — or out of life in general
Been there, done that
Decline in academic or athletic interests
I hated studying – all subjects except computer.
Forgetting things
The main reason I love my computer is that it can be used to store information – so that I don’t have to store them in my head.
Losing possessions
I rarely lose anything – all the files in my system are indexed – all files are just a ‘locate’ away. Or a beagle search away.
What do you mean “possessions outside the computer”?
Extreme reactions to criticism
Have you ever sat in a code review session?
“How dare you call my code inelegant?! Die, fool!”
Inability to express joy
Inability to express joy when the unit tests are failing. Or when working with IE(Internet Explorer).
Inability to cry, or excessive crying
Excessive crying(or swearing) is another symptom of working with IE
Inappropriate laughter
Have you heard geek jokes? We are all about ‘Inappropriate laughter’. For example, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”
Unusual sensitivity to stimuli (noise, light, colours, textures)
If you are a designer.
Attempts to escape through frequent moves or hitchhiking trips
Attempts to escape through the Internet
Drug or alcohol abuse
Does coffee count?
Fainting
I have not fainted while programming yet – but I came very close while reading The Daily WTF
Strange posturing
Programmers have only one posture – L with a downward bend – you decide wether its good or bad.
Refusal to touch persons or objects; wearing gloves, etc.
If you are a programmer, other persons refuse to touch you. The fact that you have not bathed in the last three days might explain that.
Shaving head or body hair
No comments
Cutting oneself; threats of self-mutilation
I have threaten to mutilate my computer – with an ax. I was using Windows back then.
Staring without blinking — or blinking incessantly
Really – this is too easy.
Flat, reptile-like gaze
Yeah – got that too. Try staring at a monitor for 15 hours a day.
Rigid stubbornness
“VI is the best editor – and nothing you say will change my mind”
Sensitivity and irritability when touched by others.
What?! People are not irritated when touched by others? That’s news to me.
Peculiar use of words or odd language structures
Have you heard two programmers talking? There is a reason behind the saying ‘its all geek to me’. You may have heard it as ‘Greek to me’ – but that is the old saying. Its updated – the new saying is ‘its all geek to me’.

Yes – I definitely have Schizophrenia. I have 33 out of 35 symptoms in the list – I would say that’s pretty conclusive. I am for my first hallucination anytime now – it should be interesting.

Update: Portuguese Translation!

Dual Monitors – The Realization of a Dream

Ever since I had a monitor, I wanted another. Its true that I bought three other monitors after I bought my first one – but I bought the rest of the computer along with them. So I never had a chance to have two monitors for myself. That is until this Saturday.

I just bought a ViewSonic 19″ Widescreen monitor. And a nVidia 8600GT graphics card. Then I spent six hours configuring the dual monitor setup exactly as I wanted it in Linux. The easiest way to do this is to convince yourself that the way it is configured is exactly what you wanted yourself. Never think that you can enforce your views on the machine. If you have to do it, this algorithm will come in handy…

while ( result == unsatisfactory ) {
	telinit 3 (shutdown display)
	edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf (The file that configures the display in Linux)
	telinit 5 (restarts display)
	set result = unsatisfactory (The result is never what you need. Never)
}

It is configured in Windows as well – I did not do that – that is the work of my brother. He knows that I am not going to configure it in Windows – and he wanted to play the latest games. Bijoy’s(my brother’s name) system has nVidia 6200 – and he has started complaning that the latest games looks like radioactive white goo on his system. He is hoping that I will graciously lend my system for him to play. He is in for a rude shock one of these days >:-)

Anyway, I have started to use this dual monitor setup. There are some side effects – I have this inexplicable urge to look at the new monitor and say ‘My preciousss…’.

And, by the way, my dreams have changed. Now I want three monitors.

Kerala Bloggers Interview

Kerala Bloggers is a blog about bloggers from Kerala (where you expecting something else?). They interviewed me recently.

Binny VA is an expert freelance programmer from Cochin. He currently runs a lot of blogs related to technology and programming details of which you can find at his homepage. He is also an editor at DMOZ directory (TCL/TK). We thank Binny for sparing time for this interview.

Technology/programming blogs by Binny VA

The other bloggers interviewed so far are…

BinnyVA.com – My Seinfeld Calendar

BinnyVA.com Screenshot

As I said in the last post, I now have six sites. But having six sites is not enough – it must have content. To pressurize myself to create the content, I have created another site – BinnyVA.com.

BinnyVA basically aggregates all my feeds and shows them in a calendar. The idea is to use this calendar as a Seinfeld Calendar. Don’t know what a Seinfeld Calendar is? Here is an except…

… get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker.

… for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day. “After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.”

The difference is that my calendar is virtual and public.

All I have to do is ‘Don’t break the chain‘. Make sure that each day has at least one post in it. Its going well for the last 2 months.

A word of warning before you use this method for your sites. Although the quantity of post goes up, the quality may come down. If you have not created a post by 11 at night, you will be forced to write something – and that something is often below par. It happened to me more than once.

It goes without saying that my calendar has another benefit – Google Juice. Each and every post on all my sites have at least one link from an external site. That can’t be bad.

On a related note, there is a combined feed of all my feeds – powered by Yahoo Pipes.

LinDesk.com – My Sixth Site

LinDesk

If you have already subscribed to my Bin-Blog feed, I apologize for this post – this will be redundant for you. For those who don’t read my other blog, I have 2 things to say to you…

LinDesk is created so that I don’t have to dump all my Linux articles on Bin-Blog. What, you didn’t know I use Linux? How long have you been reading this blog?

Anyway, now I have six blogs…

/me thinks I am heading for a burnout.

One thing to consider here is that I am the single author – there are no other writers, no guest writers(yet). Yes, I am a freelancer, so I have enough time to write the content – but still having six sites puts some pressure on you.

What do you think? How many blogs should a guy have? One? Two? Multitudes?

Problogger Darren Rose thinks that having many blogs is a Bad Thing – do you agree?

12 Angry Men

12 Angry Men

12 Angry Men is a film I would not have found if I have not seen the 250 Top film list. It is an old film(1957), about the 12 members of a jury that have to decide the fate of a boy on a murder charge.

One of the most fascinating thing about this film is the fact that it is completely shot in a small room. Except for three minute, the rest of the one and a half hour film happens in a small jury room. The full film is basically dialog between the different members. Despite that, I was not bored for even a second while watching it.

The characters are unforgettable – and the film explored the characters fully.

The only problem with the film is that it is difficult to come by – it is an old black and white movie and few shops have it. But if you manage to find a copy, see it. You will not regret it.

Buying Digital Camera – Recommendations?

Camera

I have decided to buy a new digital camera. The old one is worse than useless – I think it has a negative mega pixel lens. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the photo I shot with it. It was a gift – so I did not expect much from it anyway.

The problem is I know nothing about Digital Cameras. So I am solicitating recommendations.

Do you guys have any recommendations? My budget is “around” 10000 Rs(or 250$). Anything good available at that range?

India is George Bush’s Pet

India, The Cat

India is George Bush’s Pet – literally! George Bush has a pet cat with the name India! Did you know that?

That is not the funny part – when people heard that George Bush has named a cat India, many people in a certain part of the India got very angry. So angry that they named their dogs Bush!

Any guess where this ‘certain part of India‘ is? Its my own good old Kerala! That made me laugh. Also there was effigy burning – but that no big deal – it happens twice every day here.

This is my question for you guys…

  1. Did you find the fact that Bush named a cat India offensive?
  2. Which state are you from(if you are from India)?

I just want to know if Keralites find stuff like that more offensive. And for the record – I am from Kerala – and I did not find it offensive. Funny, yes – but offensive, no.

IMDB’s 250 Movies

IMDB Logo

Anyone who is a fan of English movies should know about IMDb. It is advertised as the ‘Earth’s largest movie database’ – and I believe them. If you are a film buff, there is one feature of IMDb that should interest you – the Top 250 Film’s list.

Top 250 movies is a list of the highest rated movies in IMDb based on the votes by the users. Currently, I am trying to see all the movies on the list. An interesting experience, to say the least.

The Top 10

The top 10 movies from the list…

  • The Godfather
  • The Shawshank Redemption
  • The Godfather: Part II
  • Buono, il brutto, il cattivo, Il (The Good, the bad, the ugly)
  • Pulp Fiction
  • Schindler’s List
  • Casablanca
  • Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  • Shichinin no samurai (Seven Samurai)

Harry Potter now on the Net

I don’t know whether you have heard this or not – but Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows(book 7) has been leaked on to the net. And I have finished reading it today morning.

Search for Harry Potter Deathly Hallows on any torrent sites. You should come accoss a 70+ MB file – it is a collection of camara snaps of the entire book. Its not easy to read – but possible.