Thursday, January 22, 2009

Linux & Teachers - Part II

This is the second part to the Linux & Teachers written by my friend Ankur who blogs here:
This piece might come across as one intended to bad mouth my own college, but I have a sneaking suspicion that things aren’t all rosy in other parts of the country either.
I suppose every geek has had this same feeling before. You take a seat in the front row of your first Introduction to Programming lecture, all worked up about the fact that here, finally, is a class you can be on top of. The professor walks in, gives a little introduction, and you realize it’s going to be a long, long semester.
Today I decided to make a list of all the atrocities committed by my Introduction to Programming professor. I wasn’t expecting much because, even though he sounded like a complete knucklehead to the geek inside me, I was sure he at least knew the textbook inside-out. I was, as one would expect, wrong. So, hackers, get ready to cringe. Here’s my list.
  • … Linux is basically a DOS based OS.
  • These days we are using 128 and 256 bit processors.
  • A compiler is a software that converts code written in a particular programming language to machine code. To compile a program, you must hit ALT+F9. (It took me a while to realize he was talking about the Borland Turbo C++ IDE from 1992, a prehistoric compiler Indian colleges use for all C and C++ courses.)
  • The object code generated by a C++ compiler is almost identical to that produced by a Java compiler.
  • The first high level language was Ada, also known as Smalltalk. (This was a big WTF moment.)
  • The second high level language was COBOL, which was an improvement over Ada. (Cringe, cringe, cringe.)
  • FOTRAN came after COBOL. (No, “FOTRAN” is not a typo. This is what he said.)
  • FOTRAN, COBOL, Ada and Smalltalk were not general purpose languages.
  • This one is classic: C was the first language to run on UNIX systems. All languages before C ran only on Windows.
I still haven’t completely recovered from the shock.


  1. I must express my condolences to you. That level of stupidity isn't easy to come by in a lecturer. Well, it shouldn't anyway.

  2. Wow...
    My condolences, buddy.

    I think this sort of BS is more prevalent than one might think.

    Hang in there though. In the end, education is what remains after what has been learned is forgotten. If he can't teach you all the right moves, you can still learn what mistakes to avoid from him.


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