"Real Time"

Subject: "Real Time"
From: Michael Uhl <uhl -at- VISLAB -dot- EPA -dot- GOV>
Date: Wed, 19 Jul 1995 16:02:40 -0400

Don't misunderstand me; I know what "real time" means. I work at a
supercomputing site. It's a phrase that people such as my mother-
in-law find bizarre. (She already thinks *I'm* bizarre, so hearing
"real time" come from my mouth doesn't surprise her.)

Someone mentioned the phrase "off line." That's another abused phrase.
Have you ever been at a meeting and have someone say, "Let's take this
off line?" Perhaps they could have expanded it and said, "Let's not talk
about this in real time; let's take it off line." Oops, there, I've done
it. I've written it and now it's only a matter of time before someone says

But cliche-loving folks are really amateurs. I work with a true techno-wheenie.
This guy can sit in a meeting and talk in UNIX commands for most of his
end of the conversation. For example, the word "find" becomes "grep" and
queries about individuals are referred to as "fingering"--which, by the
way, my wife thinks is something obscene.

Or, check out this scenario. We're in a meeting, and the boss asks, "Where's
Al. Why isn't here for the meeting? Let's 'ping' him?"--as Mr. Wheenie picks
up the telephone! When Al answers the call, the wheenie-man looks at our boss
and mutters "he's alive." And the rest of us act as if all of this is quite

It's no wonder my mother-in-law thinks I'm loony. She's just glad I bring
home a decent paycheck every week...for her daughter's sake of course. ;-)

Is it Friday yet?



P.S. Cliches are for the birds, and all generalizations are useless. ;-)

Michael Andrew Uhl Internet: uhl -at- vislab -dot- epa -dot- gov
Lead Technical Writer Compuserve: 72624,2155
SVC/NESC Phone: (919) 541-4283
Martin Marietta Technical Services, Inc. ftp site: ftp.nesc.epa.gov
Primary Support Contractor for the EPA
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
Scientific Visualization Center (SVC),
National Environmental Supercomputing Center (NESC)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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