Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Not All Nerds are Smart

In the early 90's I was moving from one area of California to another and looking for a good computer club (we did such things in those days). I found an ad somewhere for a club nearby and took my son to the meeting with me. I wanted to see what these folks were like and if I would fit in or not.

Well we go to the meeting and each member of the club board gives a statement about the state of their area of the club. The membership guy talks and the activities guy talks and the newsletter guy talks and all is seeming OK. But then, the BBS guy talks. For all you chillin' out there who don't know anything of modems before the Internet exploded in 95, a BBS was a Bulletin Board System, a place you could dial into and read messages, download files, chat with other members: a sort of private intranet. Anyway, the big thing on club BBS's was of course file sharing and shareware (on other BBS's the big thing was porn and hooking up, but that is a different story). So the guy in charge of the BBS starts talking about how one of the members called him up and told him that one of the files on their BBS was a virus. The president asked him if he had verified the problem and he said, "yeah, I opened the file up on the BBS and before I could reboot the machine in ate 3/4 of the hard drive."

I took my son by the hand and quickly exited the building. There are enough dumb people in the world I run into accidentally, I didn't need to be seeking them out. I mean, if someone had told him a gun was loaded would he have put it to his temple and pulled the trigger to be sure? What a super smart guy.