You know you've been hacking too long...
... when you are trying to recall something and hear
in your head: "parity error at address..."
...when you're writing a homework assignment, and get
the end of the line in the middle of a sentence, tack
on a '\', and continue writing on the next line.
... when you pick up a rootbeer and read the label as
"High Res" not Hires...
... when you try to click on a picture in a book to
zoom in on it to see it better.
... when you want a "Reboot button" for humans.
... when questions about your work crash your memory
... when even extensive physical injuries (due to
sharp desk edges, pencils, etc) are second to pressing
"RETURN" to continue a foreground process before
maintaining the wound.
... when you think of the lyrics of "Jump! Jump!" by
Kris Kross and wonder if they can be assembled.....
... when you start typing semi-colons at the end of
sentences instead of full stops;
... when you start wondering why you can't download
the lecture currently on the blackboard.
... when you can't wake up in the morning because
you forgot to push a return address on the stack the
... when you try booting the machine you're sleeping
next to when you wake up before you realize it's an
... when you approach a VAX to put a disk in and
after several attempts realize it's a professor.
... when you start thinking things like "my load
averages seem to be running high", "the scheduler's
going to die any moment", "I'm running out of swap
space" and "better kill off some low-priority user
... when you're reading a book and try to press the
space bar to display the next page.
... when you press the wrong elevator button and
start looking for an "undo" button.
... when you start trying to move the mouse cursor
to the keyboard so you can click the keys to type in
... when you wonder why you can't move the mouse
cursor over to the next terminal to engage some
... when your brain starts processing batches in the
background while you do other things (ie: 12 hours
later your neural spellchecker reports a spelling
mistake in your thesis you already handed in).
... when you address envelopes or dial the phone with
... when you try moving the mouse cursor over to your
TV to change the channel.
... when new mail in /usr/spool/mail/auj becomes an NMI.
... when the home project you thought would only take
a weekend has now passed its first decade of development.
... when you're able to recall your Ethernet address at
a moment's whim.
... when, during class, you come up with "grep homework
/dev/backpack", and realizing you forgot your backpack
in the last class you suddenly hear a device failure
... when you go to the movies and can't get used to the
film's low refresh rate.
... when you watch birds and try to figure out the
algorithms that determine their movement.
... when your significant other kisses you and the
first thing you think is, "Oh oh, priority interrupt!"
... when you go to balance your chequebook and discover
you've been doing it all in octal.
... when your computers have a higher street value than
... when you consider round numbers to be powers of 2
rather than powers of 10.
... when you wake up night after night recalling your
dreams in some programming language.
... when you realize you've never seen half of your best
... when you're spending the night with your girl and
it crosses your mind to comment out the code that lets
her get pregnant. Then you realize you couldn't possibly
recompiler her since you don't have her source nor know
where to get a compiler for her, and she'd probably take
up a few gigs of space at least (100megs if she's a blonde).
... when you've been playing with fork() bombs, and when
your alarm clock goes off you think it's spawning new
alarm clock processes and you have to kill the alarm to
keep it from filling up the process table; the only
problem was the monitor process wasn't killed and every
time a ring_alarm() process was killed 9 minutes would
pass before it spawns a new ring_alarm() process.
... when you wish you could 'sleep 24000 &'.
... when while bringing a window to the front of an object
on your screen, you realize the object is a post-it note.
... when you're in art class and after making a mistake on
the drawing you frantically start looking for the undo button
on the paper.
... when you begin pronouncing "by the way" as "bee tee
... when you've been low-level debugging ethernets for a
week and when you notice two people at a table trying to
pick up the same container of butter and you ask them if
they're using the correct CSMA/CD algorithm to avoid a
... when you start looking for a backscroll for some
information that just scrolled by and you realize you're
... when you start to disassemble a phone number.
... when you dream you're parsing C code and while
reading in #include files you realize one's missing.
Having nothing to do but aborting the compilation you end
up waking up. And having this happen 5 nights at a time.
... when you make phone calls and instead of dialing the
phone you dial your keyboard's numeric keypad.
... when a post-it-note's sitting on the table and you
get frustrated because you can't find the "R" key on it to
... when you start counting on your fingers in binary
instead of decimal.
... when you start cheating counting by converting to octal
... when you cut a phone number in a window and try pasting it
to the telephone to dial out.
... when you start dreaming code.
... when your excuse for not wanting to get up after being
woken up by a SO is, "You can't open me as a static window...
I'm an EVENT!"
... when your alarm clock goes off and you're sitting in
your dream trying to find the keyboard command to turn it off.
... when someone sticks a post-it note on your screen and
you try to lower it behind some other windows.
... when someone's standing in your way and you try to click
on them with your finger to minimize them.
... when you realize you don't like your haircut and you
tell the barber to undelete and try it again.
... when you're dreaming about something non-computer related
and you hit an RTE and wake up.
... when you walk up to a monitor with a picture of the
operator's girlfriend on it and notice what a neat GIF it is.
... when you begin to use the loading period for programs to
catch up on needed sleep.
... when your fingers start typing commands for you without
... when the funniest joke you come up with has the punch
line: "But what if it was in hex?"
... when the people around you thought the joke was funny
... when you try logging into an Archie server to find your
... when you enclose comments in your class notes with
"/* */" or precede them with #'s.
... when you parts order from a catalog and give the
operator your email address.
... when putting a happy-face on a piece of paper is
drawing it sideways.
... when you think you can store anything on a floppy
(videotapes, leftovers, relatives, etc) for later retrieval.
... when you put a "reply-to" line or "carbon copy" lines
on an envelope before you mail it.
... when you have to convert to binary or hex for complex
math operations (divide, multiply, add, etc).
... when you worry if people will notice the extra spaces
at the end of a line of text you're printing out.
... when the postcards you send to friends while you're
on vacation are scanned first and then sent UUEncoded in
... when you start worrying about malloc()ing too much RAM
by hitting the snooze bar on your alarm clock too often before
you get up.
... when you get in an elevator and double-press the button
for the floor you want.
... when your first thought when arriving at your car is
"grep keys /dev/pockets".
... when recipes or directions begin to look like C,
Pascal or (even worse) ASM coding.
... when you're doing math and suddenly find yourself
writing "add [value],10".
... when you try to finger someone's phone number to see
if they're in.
... when your notes in other courses are becoming coding
algorithms by your own hand.
... when you want to find where the sausages are in the
supermarket so you say aloud, "cd /;find | grep sausages"
and realize that not only is everyone looking at you but
that supermarkets don't have root directories.
... when you end up converting numbers to hex to do math
because you can't remember how decimal works.
... when someone gives you an email address on paper and
you try cutting and pasting it to you email client.
... when you have a nightmare in which an endless printout
contains bugs you have to hunt down.
... when you look at a phone number suffix and try to figure
out the permissions it represents. You're even more of a
hacker when you can spout off the permissions for any four
digit number without thinking.
... when your alphabet starts beginning with "@", you start
counting at "0", or the number immediately following "9" is
... when you look in your address book (paper based) for a
phone number and 'realize' you haven't typed it in yet.
... when you set the alarm clock before you go to sleep
and an alarm window pops up in the middle of the dream;
then you wake up and your alarm clock immediately goes off.