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Mar. 11th, 2005 @ 04:52 pm cs210: computer organization
Salter started us on digital logic today, the anatomy of the gray-shelled, metal-legged insects of our cell phones and spacecraft and game systems and pacemakers.

I recall movies where hackers tap into the stream of ones and zeroes and reform them into a program, and the realization comes to me that by the time I graduate--or perhaps a few years later, if and when I graduate from grad school--Hollywood magic and various technological impossibilities aside, I could do that. Granted, only on the simplest of systems (so simple that they wouldn't even be functional, actually), and not without extensive machine-specific documentation, and not even vaguely in the way it's done in Hollywood, so really, not at all. But still! This is an application of my learning I never even imagined. To be able to look into the Matrix and discern meaning--truly, this is a gift more meaningful than the ability to write useful software.

Pair this with my recent Deus Ex addiction (nnrg! must...do...work...ex...ams....) and it's not hard to see why I'm so excited. Yes, most of the things J.C. Denton does in that game are impossible (or highly improbable) without some major science fiction physics-defying technobabble gimmickry, but it is breathtaking to have a general idea what he is doing at the machine level as he disables a laser security grid from a fusebox or reprograms a sentry gun network to target guards.

I am Prometheus, and I have been given the gift of fire.
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