Where is this tech jargon joke?
July 20, 2010 7:57 AM   Subscribe

I vaguely remember a joke, probably from the mid to late 90s, in which two technologists are speaking. The start out in English, using more and more tech jargon as the conversation progresses, until they end up speaking in ones and zeros. I would now like to reference this fictional conversation, but can't find it. Can anyone source my vague memory?
posted by scottreynen to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I have no idea, but it reminded me of this clip from the show Reboot.
posted by jander03 at 8:19 AM on July 20, 2010

Is this a written joke, a told joke, a video joke...?
posted by rhizome at 8:39 AM on July 20, 2010

Response by poster: Written, I believe. I would expect it to be in something like Wired magazine or some book by the type of people who wrote in Wired magazine back then, as that's the kind of stuff I read back then.
posted by scottreynen at 9:06 AM on July 20, 2010

Maybe the Turbo Encabulator?
posted by Mike1024 at 10:03 AM on July 20, 2010

I think it's from something by Neal Stephenson.
posted by Pronoiac at 10:31 AM on July 20, 2010

or maybe relating to this XKCD Real Programmer ... joke?
posted by cameradv at 11:37 AM on July 20, 2010

I was thinking Wired before I read the [more inside] ... maybe this book?
posted by mikepop at 11:57 AM on July 20, 2010

I once read it inside an interview with george gilder, quite probably in wired. It was the fictional story of the encounter of gilder with a network engineer if i recall correctly.
posted by 3mendo at 2:24 PM on July 20, 2010

even more probably it was referenced here: The Nudist on the Late Shift: And Other True Tales of Silicon Valley .
posted by 3mendo at 2:32 PM on July 20, 2010

Best answer: It's Po Bronson's writing about George Gilder:
Every time Gilder meets an engineer, they go through this sort of cascade of language syntax, negotiating like two modems, trying to find the most efficient level of conversation they can hold. It ends up sounding like the dueling banjo scene from Deliverance:

Geroge: 'Hi, nice to meet you. Hey that's a sweet access route over there. Wow, both Ethernet and asynchronous ports?'

Steve: 'Yeah, check this baby out - the Ethernet port has AUI, BNC, and RJ-45 connectors.'

George: 'So for packet filtering you went with TCP, UDP, and ICMP.'

Steve: 'Of course. To support dial-up SLIP and PPP.'

George: 'Set user User_Name ifilter Filter_Name.'

Steve: 'Set filter s1.out 8 permit src eq 20.'

George: [a bunch of binary number I am not going to transcribe exactly]

Steve: [a long line of dots and spaces]

George: 'Really? Wait, you lost me there.'
posted by mikepop at 8:30 PM on July 20, 2010 [2 favorites]

mikepop remembers exactly what I was trying to remember, and I suspect it's exactly what you're trying to remember, too, scottreynen! It's from Wired.
posted by cgc373 at 9:08 PM on July 20, 2010

(On non-preview: 3mendo was right there, too.)
posted by cgc373 at 9:09 PM on July 20, 2010

Here are those two lines:

George: "00101101100010111001001 110110000101010100011111001."

Steve: ". .. . .. . .. ... ... . ..... .. .. .... .. .. . .. . .. ... ... . ..... .."

It's in Wired 4.03 March 1996 and also on page 61 of the Wired Style guide.
posted by mikepop at 5:31 AM on July 21, 2010

Response by poster: Yep, that's it exactly. Thanks everyone!
posted by scottreynen at 6:55 AM on July 21, 2010

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