(old Internet post modified for Softpanorama bulletin by Nikolai
Note: this is a blast from the past that
belongs to long forgotten DOS/Windows 3.1 era ;-). Only people over 50 probably
might still remember some functions of Int21H... Some observations listed
in the post now looks like really like reading history books: who now uses
IDE drives as portable storage as we used to do in early 90th --NNB ?
- Russian programmers almost never read printed manuals, they prefer
manpages and online help. Even without reading documentation they easily
get a grasp of any new program or programming language, simply because
they usually have tried similar programs or programming language before.
- Russian programmers almost never pay for the software. They either
crack it or buy those wonderful CDs with tons of cracked software that
are sold for 5 bucks in every major city in Russia.
- Russian programmers are always on the cutting edge of software development
-- they always use the latest versions of the best tools available;
it generally does not matter for them if they are free or commercial.
- Russian programmers are very experienced in hardware. They will
take your computer apart and build it back in a matter of minutes. They
remember the jumpers settings for most boards, hard drives and other
devices. They never forget what interrupts and base memory addresses
are currently used up in their computers.
- Russian programmers keep upgrading their computers until there are
no more available interrupts, no room for additional memory and no free
bay slots. Often they are moving internal harddrives from one computer
to another as if they are portable devices: just to copy some files.
If they can't upgrade it any more, they buy a new one and tie both old
and new computer into a LAN.
- Russian programmers program on all levels, beginning with the processor
codes, table of which they hold for the reference on their desk. They
usually remember by heart the list of functions of Int21H. Best Russian
programmers of "old school" can read IBM mainframe hexadecimal dumps
like you read C code and patch program directly in memory from the system
console. Such programmers are usually called "classics" as IBM/360 widely
considered by Russians as a classic computer architecture.
- Russian programmers remember both English and Russian keyboard layouts
and can type in Russian on the keyboards with only English letters.
Often they also know the decimal and hexadecimal value of all letters.
- Russian programmers generally prefer Borland tools but still install
Microsoft compilers only for their nice Help files on Windows API.
- Russian programmers feel themselves very comfortable on the Internet.
They are always online and always are using the latest tools and latest
protocols. They are naturally created for learning intricacies of TCP/IP
and often know protocols to the extent only people who construct routers
or other network appliances are. Generally they prefer Netscape to IE.
- Russian programmers only work when they are in the right mood. Programming
is a creative process and it cannot be pushed.
- There are two main types of Russian programmers - the ones that
hate Windows and program on UNIX and the ones that hate Windows and
still program on Windows. Macintosh programmers generally are not considered
to be real programmers by Russians - they are more often referred to
as "users". Among all UNIX flavors Russians prefer FreeBSD.
- Russian programmers hate to code somebody else's ideas. They want
to be their own architects. Each program is written personally with
minimum reuse of somebody else code and minimum number of library calls.
They's why they are often very fast. Russian programmers never approach
programming methodically. Every program is a piece of art and is usually
written in a highly inconvenient time when deadlines for other projects
are around the corner.
- Russian programmers almost never prototype the code. They write
on inspiration, sometimes without sleep, driven by the urge to see the
new program run as soon as possible. When the program finally runs without
glitches they drop on the floor and sleep for 20-30 hours happily smiling
in their dreams.
- Russian programmers almost never use joystick. In games they can
prove that keyboard is a dangerous weapon in their fast hands. Russian
programmers always have a copy of Far, Doom or Quake on their hard drives.
They play nights over the network in a Deathmatch mode.
- Russian programmers never give up in debugging. No matter how the
difficult the bug is and where it is located they will hunt down bugs
in their programs forgetting to eat and sleep. Some of them successfully
traced bugs to hardware problems in old Russian IBM/360 compatible series
called EC. They widely considered to be heroes and generate universal
- Russian programmers' wives are never happy. They get no attention
whatsoever as long as the computer is in the same house. On vacations
Russian programmers entertain themselves buying, disassembling and then
assembling various electronic toys like programmable calculators instead
of peacefully swimming in the pool and tanning on the sun.
- There are two kinds of Russian programmers - the ones that bring
profit by actually programming something, and the ones that bring better
profit by not interfering with anything and only helping others in case
they run into problems. The latter are usually paid much better.
- Best Russian programmers are always underpaid. There is no money
in the world that amounts to what they are really worth, especially
in troubleshooting skills.
- Big bosses don't like Russian programmers. Who likes a smart ass
that knows everything and is not afraid to say it "in your face"? Still
big bosses almost never fire a Russian programmer.. They know that even
working 10 hours a week and being half-drunk a Russian programmer will
accomplish more than a Ph.D both on the actual code level and, especially,
at the architectural level.
Russian programmers sometime can demonstrate amazing ingenuity as
the following story attests:
One old but very important for the organization server used to
hang periodically and nobody was able to determine why. So it needs
to be rebooted. It was a really old server without "wake on LAN",
DRAC or other remote control cards. So one Russian guy has found
the following solution: mount a mini Dell desktop on the same level
as the server opposite to the reset button, install Linux on it
and wrote a script which when server stopped to respond opens CD-ROM
drive with eject command.
Then he drilled a tiny hole and put a small screw in the server
reset button so that it stick out and positioned Dell mini-desktop
in such a way that when CD-ROM opens, the door presses the reset
button on the server which needs to be rebooted.
The Last but not Least Technology is dominated by
two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage and those who manage what they do not understand ~Archibald Putt.
Copyright © 1996-2018 by Dr. Nikolai Bezroukov. www.softpanorama.org
was initially created as a service to the (now defunct) UN Sustainable Development Networking Programme (SDNP)
in the author free time and without any remuneration. This document is an industrial compilation designed and created exclusively
for educational use and is distributed under the Softpanorama Content License.
Original materials copyright belong
to respective owners. Quotes are made for educational purposes only
in compliance with the fair use doctrine.
FAIR USE NOTICE This site contains
copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically
authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available
to advance understanding of computer science, IT technology, economic, scientific, and social
issues. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such
copyrighted material as provided by section 107 of the US Copyright Law according to which
such material can be distributed without profit exclusively for research and educational purposes.
This is a Spartan WHYFF (We Help You For Free)
site written by people for whom English is not a native language. Grammar and spelling errors should
be expected. The site contain some broken links as it develops like a living tree...
The statements, views and opinions presented on this web page are those of the author (or
referenced source) and are
not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of the author present and former employers, SDNP or any other organization the author may be associated with. We do not warrant the correctness
of the information provided or its fitness for any purpose.
Created June 1, 2005; Last modified:
March 12, 2019