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Last active March 21, 2024 18:04
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Greybeard Definition
Greybeard
An aging [unix hacker] type with an impressive [unix beard] that has now turned grey. Originally a young [neckbeard], these [Gandalf] resembling [curmudgeons] are renowned for their knowledge of theoretical computer science, arcane unix and complete inability to use a remotely contemporary computer.
Typically employed in academia, they are a dying breed from an antediluvian age of 8" [floppies], magnetic tape and timeshared computing. Despite having invented multiuser OSes and the internet, Greybeards prefer to live in the past, where they consider [Fortran] to be a high level programming language. Typical Greybeard computers are dated [Sun workstations] or old PCs running a command line only [BSD] variant, Greybeards shun GUIs, unless they're horrible and dated, like CDE or [Amiga] Workbench.
Some, like Edsger Dijkstra do most of their computer science as entirely theoretical exercises on paper and haven't programmed a computer since 1972.
Contacting a greybeard can be dificult, due to their anti-social and neo-luddite nature. Your best bet is to give up on texting, facebook or the phone and instead try the unix finger command or [HAM radio].
Famous greybeards include: Dennis Ritchie, Brian Kernighan, Ken Thompson, Richard M. Stallman, Edsger Dijkstra.
Note: an actual beard can be optional, as demonstrated by Donald Knuth and Clifford Stoll.
Example: The professor for my CS 320 class is a total greybeard! All his handouts are typset in LaTeX, he uses the chalkboard instead showing slides and the computer in his office is a Sun workstation! He only accepts classwork in Lisp and checks his email once a week!
Source: http://pastebin.com/kMZ4hDf2
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lenards commented May 25, 2022

I'm surprised no one mentioned that there was a typo in the spelling of Dennis Ritchie's name.

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twome commented Aug 5, 2023

lmao, love this. really gets right at the core of the phenomenon

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