IT Grab Bag

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IT Grab Bag
While techies might have a reputation for being a bit on the geeky side, no one could accuse them of being stiffs. They appreciate humor as much as the next person. For IT pros out there with a comical bent, here’s a look at the lighter side of the information technology industry:



World’s Youngest MCP
A recent story in the Seattle Post Intelligencer detailed the arrival of a “unique visitor” to Microsoft’s campus in Redmond, Wash. Ten-year-old Arfa Karim Randhawa came to visit the company’s headquarters from her home town of Faisalabad, Pakistan, after Microsoft employees discovered she was the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) in the world. IT’s answer to Doogie Howser, M.D., earned the Microsoft Certified Application Developer (MCAD) credential when just nine years old, and plans to pursue the Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (MCSD) in the future. Arfa’s visit to Redmond included tours of Microsoft labs and meetings with Microsoft executives and employees, including Bill Gates. Apparently she wasn’t too intimidated by the encounter: She asked Gates why there weren’t more women around and why he didn’t hire people her age. After the discussion, the precocious Arfa also wondered aloud why the Microsoft founder hadn’t worn a three-piece suit to work. Although she can configure Windows applications, it seems Arfa has yet to learn about the IT dress code.


Open-Source Beer
Students attending the IT University in Copenhagen, Denmark, have created what they hope will become the “Linux of beers.” The Danish college students recently announced the release of Version 1.0 of “Vores Øl,” an “open-source” red ale with 6 percent alcohol content. The brew also contains South American guarana beans, thrown in to provide the energy boost that collegians need to pull the occasional all-nighter. The recipe, available at, is published under a Creative Commons license, which means anyone can use it to make and even sell the beer, provided they publish their version of the ingredients and credit the Vores Øl Group. According to their Web site, though, Version 1.0 is unfortunately not for sale, as its creators “drank all the beer we brewed in the first batch. (It tasted good.)”


Study: Internet Users Not Up on the Lingo
A new study conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project shows that when it comes to Internet terms, the average user understands about as much as Billy Graham at a rap concert. While most of the approximately 1,300 respondents have a pretty good handle on frequently used works like “spam,” “firewall” and “spyware,” much fewer than half understand terms like “phishing” (my spell-checker actually caught this word), “RSS feeds” and “podcasting,” which is amazing given how ever-present iPods have become. The authors of study concluded that in general, men are slightly more aware of tech terms than women, but average users in both gender groups are far behind the curve when it comes to new and emerging technologies.

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