Computer Knowledge

Dan Flood Computer Humour Leave a Comment

From: (Kevin Denelsbeck)
Newsgroups: rec.humor.funny
Subject: Lessons Learned From Comp 4
Keywords: computer, funny
Message-ID: []
Date: 17 Oct 91 10:30:04 GMT
Lines: 97

I recently finished up teaching Comp 4, the computer literacy course here at
UNC, during a compressed summer session. Comp 4 is an introductory class that 
assumes NO knowledge of computers among its students, and believe me when I say 
that this was often the case. The class was great fun to teach, and one of the 
facets that made it interesting (day-in and day-out) was the wealth of new 
knowledge that the students imparted to me on tests and examinations. I 
thought that I'd share some of these nuggets with you. My comments are in 
the standard C delimiters (/* and */). *Your* comments are encouraged. Here 

 Bacchus invented FORTRAN. /* I knew FORTRAN was old, and that it may
 have been designed under the influence of alcohol, but... */

 There are three kinds of program statements: sequence, repetition, and

 There are two types of graphics: vector and rascal. /* Otay... */

 Programming languages have specifictions. /* Obviously this student
 has dealt with a few standards. */

 Macs are compatible with each other. /* Imagine the alternative:
 "What's your Mac's serial number? We'll go back to the ware-
 house and get your software." */

 Doctors use computers to create a three demential picture of a person's
 brain. /* Is this classic, or what? */

 One kind of a hostile computer program is a Trojan.

 C is a logical programming language. /* [rim shot] */

 Heuristics (from the French heure, "hour") limit the amount of time
 spent executing something. [When using heuristics] it
 shouldn't take longer than an hour to do something. /* An
 absolutely terrific "false cognate". */

 Having the computer automatically fill in images for animation is
 called "spleening". /* Derivation: most likely "splines" +
 "tweening". */

 One method of computer security is a phone line. /* She qualified it
 later by adding, "You have to know the number." */

 Video games are examples of fault-tolerant systems.

On one test, I gave the students some abbreviations and asked them to tell me
what they stood for. You won't believe the creativity of a student in a test
situation. For example, one of the abbreviations was "fax", which *really*
stands for "facsimile". However, various Comp 4'ers said it stood for:
 Fiber-optic Aided Xeroxing
 Frequency Automatic X-rays

 /* and my favorite... */

 Fast A** Xeroxing

The students also had to hand in term papers, and these were rife with interes-
ting tidbits. I've clipped a few, quoted verbatim:

 "The worst thing the Mac has to offer, is that cooperative multitasking
 is not available to be used."

 "... footnotes present an interesting problem, which may be solvable by
 Hypercad." /* I assume the last term is the newest rage -- a
 free-form database for designers. */

 "...Linda, a blind girl, was able to attend public school due to the
 aid of a speaking computer that taught her the basic
 fundmamentals [sic] of grammar and spelling." /* Linda may
 want to lend her computer out... */

 "The program is manufactured by Quantel, a Silicon Valley company
 located in Clearwater, Florida." /* A *long* valley, as my
 roommate put it. */

 "At the beginning of each season [Edwin] Moses teats himself on
 computerized weight machines..." /* Ouch! */

Hope you enjoyed all these. If you've had similar experiences, I'd love to
hear about them!


Kev @ UNC

Leave a Reply