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Christian J. Robinson: Miscellaneous Rants

Here are a few things that annoy me, but I don't feel like writing a long diatribe about them.

I run Linux—CentOS, to be specific. Not because I think it makes me "elite," but because I grew up on Unix (System V) and I like it. Linux happens to be a stable, cheap operating system that does what I want, and I understand it.

On a similar note, I do not run any Microsoft software when I can avoid it. I don't like Microsoft. Not because I want to be on the bandwagon and slam the company, but because I know how immoral they are, and how flawed and insecure their products are. There's overwhelming evidence available online to support those claims.

I am aware a large number of the anti-Microsoft pages returned by search engines are just "slam" pages, but some of them are actually calmly thought-out pages with real information.

Due to these two points, while I may be considered a "computer person" there is a limit to my knowledge. I simply do not know much about Microsoft software; if you ask me a question about Windows, my answer will be just that, "I don't do Windows."


HTML stands for "Hyper Text Markup Language," not "Hyper Text Programming Language." There is a difference, and it does matter. Markup is layout and formatting. Code is procedure and behavior.

This means you are not a "web programmer" unless you have at least a basic working understanding of, and know how to implement software for CGI, and/or understand JavaScript or something like PHP or one of the other many dynamic software layers designed for use over HTTP.


I am so sick and tired of hearing people slam America and Americans. It's offensive, but somehow people think it's okay.

A while ago I saw someone poke fun of another country and get pounced on rather forcefully, and it was a lot milder than what I routinely hear said about America.

I know that Americans are seen as being unaware of the rest of the world, and have a reputation for a certain amount of hubris, but I frequently see these traits among people of other countries. It is natural to express your views of the world based on where you live and grew up, especially if you honestly haven't had a chance to travel outside your country.

Even as an American, it bothers me when I hear jokes about Canada and Canadians.

Similarly, I've recognized a particularly nasty form of "political correctness" where people frown on patriotism and national pride because it might bother someone who moved here from another country. That's part of living in a country, and we shouldn't ever be asked to "tone it down."

I won't buy products with a rebate because I feel they're dishonest; if you're going to offer a product for a certain price there should be no strings attached.

The companies who offer rebates know that not everybody will send the rebate in, even if they intend to. Of those that do, many will get the overly-complicated instructions for rebate wrong, and even if they get it right often the company contracted to handle the rebates never sends the rebate check. People often never realize this because they're supposed to wait weeks for the rebate, by which time they've forgotten they sent the rebate in.

To add insult to injury, after all that you're on the company's junk mailing list, which they're likely to sell to other companies as well.


I feel the "courtesy knock," where you knock on a door and immediately enter without waiting for an answer, isn't a courtesy at all. It is ruder than not knocking at all because if the occupant is in a situation where they need privacy it can be made worse because they may turn to face the door just as the knocker enters.


"Waver" is not the same as "wave". I frequently see people "waver" at other people in online chat forums, and I think they either don't know what they're really saying, or they don't care. Either way it's senseless, so don't do it. Wavering means you're undecided, or flickering (like a candle). "Wavems" and "wavels" are just obnoxious.


My apostrophe rant has been moved to my punctuation rant page.


My "Politically Correct" rant about "he/she" has moved to my "Politically Correct" rant page.



Other rants:
Annoyances on the Internet · I Say What I Mean. Do You? · Miscellaneous Rants · Phone Rants · "Politically Correct" · Preempting TV Programming · Punctuation/Spelling Rant · "Team Player" · Why Blinking Text is Bad · Words I Hate

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