Back in my BYTE days, the editorial staff used to congregate on a text-mode conferencing system called BIX. Some incredibly sharp wits held forth there, none sharper than Tom Yager. Happily, he is now my colleague again here at InfoWorld, where he holds forth as a columnist and ace analyst/reviewer. It always bugged me that so little of our BIX chatter was able to surface to a wider audience. Well, times change, and I'm delighted to say that Tom recently started a weblog .
Between BYTE and InfoWorld, our paths intertwingled in an odd way. When I first knew Tom he was already a versatile (and astonishingly articulate) developer with boatloads of experience in all kinds of technical areas. Among other things, he became the architect and maven of BYTE's multimedia lab, and put himself way ahead of the curve on topics like desktop video. He was also, by his own admission, a Unix zealot, at a time when I was more comfortable with OS/2 and NT. A few years later, things reversed. Tom was earning a living cranking out IIS/ASP applications. I had just completed a major development project on a purely open source foundation -- Linux/Apache/mod_perl -- and was as zealous about this no-Microsoft solution as Tom had become about his all-MS stuff.
Nowadays, we both seem to have lost our religion and come to a pragmatic view of the costs, benefits, and uses of various technologies. I loved Tom's Losing my Religion column, and the phrase he coins in it -- technology attachment disorder (TAD). His first blog entry, a parable about HVAC (as in Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning, not HTML/VRML Automatic Compilation), further expands on one of the unfortunate consequences of TAD:
At the last Microsoft PDC, I walked by someone wearing a T-shirt that said, "Here's a pointer: real programmers use C++." My AC ordeal brought to mind the ridiculous, unjustified caste distinctions between blue and white collar workers, and the similarly baseless distinctions separating high tech workers. I think that shirt bothered me so much because I used to buy into that kind of snobbery. I don't remember what got me past that--it was something like my business with the AC. I do know that the fewer people I look down on, the more I like myself and my work. [ Yager Radio ]
Well said. And...welcome!
Former URL: http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/2002/09/05.html#a397