A Nerd’s Progress

Shelley does the call as the nerds strut their stuff… And declares a winner:

Although, without further ado, Mark Chu-Carrol hands-down wins the nerd-off (in my humble opinion of course). For one, his CURRENT picture trumps PZ’s old one, and he reads programming language books for fun and has 30 tinwhistles which he plays. Come on guys, NO ONE can beat that. Mark, for those about to derive, I salute you!

Not so fast. Mark’s moves were impressive, but my motto is “Never give up, never surrender!” So, where’s APL on the list of programming languages Mark knows? And I’ve got some nerd pictures here:

i-bccecd3b8324c3b7d4dfe6dd17a6502b-5oc.jpg Me in Year 5. In a special nerd class.
Compare with this picture of Tara.

i-e2a0e478e566712b6094fc55353952a0-yr10.jpg Year 10.

i-4d9d69c58f78fb157056d4e3dc5da961-teco.jpg I have a TECO manual on my bookshelf. TECO

i-c48bab06a7b24faf5b20bd7984ad7b91-guantletT.jpg That’s a picture of Thor the Warrior from the arcade game Gauntlet. I won this T shirt in a contest to design a level for Gauntlet II. I believe it was the most diabolical level in Gauntlet II.

i-7469b2607d711b0c84790feef6fe233d-wed.jpg Given the above it is a mystery how this managed to happen. Compare with PZ’s wedding pic.

Oh yeah, and I’ve obsessively updated the Nerd Score Table.


  1. #1 ben
    September 8, 2006

    Where’s your list of programming languages? Assembly isn’t a language, but I assume you’ve done your share of assembly coding? How about that wonderful derivative of lithp known as Scheme? Now there’s a nerd language with virtually no practical purpose other than to make undergraduate computer science students miserable (this I know from experience).

  2. #2 joe Cambria
    September 8, 2006

    Tim. Congrats on the high score. The others never had a chance once you entered.

    By the way I can’t figure the pics. You head hair in the your younger days??? A nerd god should have grown up without hair.

    Where are the double lense magnified specs by the way? A nerd god would wear those as a fashion statement. You’re letting the side down if you’ve sneakily wearing contacts, buddy… get with the latest nerd fashion statement.

    The scary thing is I scored hight too, which has depressed the hell out of me.

  3. #3 Tara C. Smith
    September 8, 2006

    My kid picture is *totally* nerdier than yours. 🙂

  4. #4 Ian Gould
    September 8, 2006

    The Galaxy Quest quote alone earns you extra nerd points.

  5. #5 Carl Christensen
    September 9, 2006

    my comments are (a) if you have a partner, you exhibit too much “humanity” to be a nerd; and (b) if you want to win a nerd contest, then you aren’t nerdy enough (sort of how the slashdot cognescenti govern what is “cool” — i.e. if you want to plug your project there, forget it, because wanting to be on slashdot automatically disqualifies you in a sort of “nerd catch-22.”

  6. #6 TimToTal
    September 9, 2006

    I still cannot believe how much you looked like a girl in year 10. It’s mind boggling!

  7. #7 TimToTal
    September 9, 2006


  8. #8 Tim Lambert
    September 9, 2006

    Ben, I’ve written programs in APL, Java, SNOBOL, FORTRAN, C, C++, Miranda, Haskell, sh, csh, Tcl, Javascript, DIBOL, Pascal, Modula-2, Perl, python, Postscript, GLSL, Forth, TeX, BASIC, Lisp, elisp, Scheme, PLANNER, Prolog, SIMSCRIPT.

    Haven’t done anything in assembler for years — I did use PDP-11, Z80, 8086 and of course HP-25.

    I actually used Scheme to program a couple of plugins for the Gimp.

  9. #9 Dan
    September 9, 2006

    Yes, definitely too much of a glamour girl in year 10 to qualify for nerd status, regardless of what calculator you were using.

  10. #10 Carpus
    September 10, 2006

    Tara’s picture wins hands down. Sorry.

  11. #11 Harald Korneliussen
    September 11, 2006

    Wow, you made a level for Gauntlet 2? Which one was it???

  12. #12 Scott
    September 11, 2006

    “Tara’s picture wins hands down. Sorry.”

    Gotta disagree with you there. She’s clearly in bed in the chicken pox in that photo so it shouldn’t count. Plus she’s totally smokin’ today. I think T.L. wins that round.

  13. #13 Tim Lambert
    September 11, 2006

    My guantlet II level forced you to, well, run the gauntlet. There were lots of demon and lobber generators where you couldn’t shoot them so you had to run down long corridors getting blasted by demons and lobbers.

  14. #14 Nix
    October 12, 2006

    You wrote *that* level? You bastard! I blew about a day getting through that level when I was about ten (and very bored).

New comments have been temporarily disabled. Please check back soon.