[hcs-d] Seat Computers at the Cool Table

Adam Gold agold at fas.harvard.edu
Sat Dec 4 17:09:01 EST 2010

Hey everyone!

Thanks so much for reading my article. It seems like you all got a lot 
out of it.

I submitted a request to my editor for a correction on the HCS name and 
the managed languages thing yesterday. Hopefully they'll get around to 
it soon. My column usually runs on the other Friday, but due to a last 
minute schedule change, they needed to run my evergreen piece that I 
wrote sophomore year (gasp!) back when the world was young and CS51 used 
to use Scheme. I tried to update what I could, but I didn't have enough 
time to catch everything on such short notice.

My point about Windows/MacOS versus Unix was really more about 
development tools. You can't make a Windows or an iPhone app using pure 
C and gcc, which probably comes as a shock to most people who just come 
out of CS50.

Just because MacOS uses a Unix kernel doesn't mean that if you already 
know how to write a Linux app, you don't need to learn anything new 
about making a Mac application in the real world. I didn't want to go 
into too much detail because I'm writing for a general audience (i.e. 
the Crimson readership).

For those of you wondering what the "next step was," I think I spelled 
it out pretty clearly when I said that "More funding should be allocated 
towards speakers, seminars and programs that educate Harvard students 
about computers and reinforce the notion that it’s not geeky to 
understand them." I know it was pretty close to the end of the article, 
and the piece was a whopping 800 words, so I can see why some of you 
maybe were too busy to read all the way to the end before forming an 

If anyone else is thinking of checking out MIT's 6.839 (Adv. Computer 
Graphics), because Gortler's on leave this year, you should totally do 
it! Given how little I know about computers, I'm sure I'll bring down 
the curve for everyone on this list!


On 12/4/2010 3:33 PM, Jim Danz wrote:
> John,
>> Of course, the name itself is pretty obviously plastered all over
>> official HCS material, and it's incumbent on the Crimson to get it
>> right.
> +1
> I greatly enjoyed your take on this, so thanks for writing that up.  I
> do think it's worth noting that many groups/activities don't have such
> a choice to make.  For instance, "consulting" is the name of an
> activity but also the name of an industry; "Harvard (College)
> Consulting Group" has got to be the only reasonable choice.
> For what it's worth (and to be safe, with this I'm only speaking for
> me personally), I think that part of the reason for the naming as we
> do it is that "computing," in terms of connotation, generally seems to
> describe using software (ie, "personal computing") rather than
> developing software | configuring machines | building machines.  But
> yeah, it's all just words.
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