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Microsoft's Charles Simonyi to be 1st Nerd in Space

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the flying-high dept.

234

Richard L. James writes "The BBC are reporting that Hungarian-born Charles Simonyi, a 58-year old Microsoft billionaire software engineer is set to become the first 'nerd in space' on board the Soyuz TMA-10 when the spacecraft launches on Thursday 09th March 2007. Charles oversaw the development of Multiplan, Word, and Excel among many other achievements. He has launched a website detailing the 3 goals he wishes to achieve on the trip: advance civilian spaceflight, assist space station research, and involve kids in space sciences. Jó szerencse pölö Charles!"

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234 comments

First nerd??? (5, Informative)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 7 years ago | (#16604522)

I thought Mark Shuttleworth claimed that title (the Ubuntu guy)?

Re:First nerd??? (-1, Troll)

NosTROLLdamus (979044) | more than 7 years ago | (#16604536)

PENIS

Re:First nerd??? (4, Insightful)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | more than 7 years ago | (#16604662)

Many scientists have been in space. Some of them probably consider themselves 'nerds'.

Maybe I'm out of the loop with modern lingo, but 'nerd' doesn't necessarily have anything to do with computers.

Re:First nerd??? (3, Funny)

8ball629 (963244) | more than 7 years ago | (#16604944)

You haven't heard? Nerds can only be billionaire software engineers from Microsoft - the others are geeks. *end sarcasm*

Re:First nerd??? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16605040)

Geek = good

Nerd = bad

Geek Farm (5, Funny)

deathy_epl+ccs (896747) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605118)

4 eyes good, 2 eyes bad.

Re:Geek Farm (2, Funny)

greenguy (162630) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605330)

Oh, for mod points.

This is the best comment since... since... [slashdot.org]

Re:First nerd??? (1)

jbrader (697703) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605380)

I usually go the other way. Nerd is a title given to people like us in a non-demeaning way. Geek is a person who bites the head off chickens in a circus.

Re:First nerd??? (1)

Jason1729 (561790) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605552)

Geek = biting the heads off live chickens.

Not so good imo.

Re:First nerd??? (3)

Schemat1c (464768) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605298)

You haven't heard? Nerds can only be billionaire software engineers from Microsoft - the others are geeks. *end sarcasm*

To all the geeks who will never experience space - *raises glass*

itsatrap (1)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605294)

There's no telling what he'll try to do up there

Re:First nerd??? (3, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605370)

Uh-huh. If we are counting people who got rich by being geeks, unlike the very many scientists who have been to space, pretty much all space tourists belong on the list. Dennis Tito was an engineer and his investment consulting business included quantitive analysis. If we are scoring operating systems, Shuttleworth was a Debian user while building Thawte.

Bruce

Re:First nerd??? (1)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605774)

They can claim all they want. This title was taken decades ago when the space programs first started. Heck sputnic, the dog may very well qualify. And if the cosmonaughts didn't have any nerds amoung them you can be sure the American Astronaughts did.

Yuri Gagarin (5, Insightful)

Airconditioning (639167) | more than 7 years ago | (#16604534)

Wouldn't he qualify as first geek in space? I mean, the Russians didn't send a painter up did they?

Re:Yuri Gagarin (5, Informative)

roystgnr (4015) | more than 7 years ago | (#16604622)

Wouldn't he qualify as first geek in space?

No; he's not even the first geek in space this fall. [wikipedia.org]

According to The Fine Article, the "first nerd in space" moniker is actually Dr. Simonyi's speculation about himself, not just the mistake of some clueless reporter - in fact the reporter mentioned three previous nerdy space tourists. My mind boggles - surely before deciding to spend millions of dollars on this trip, Dr. Simonyi thought to learn a little about his predecessors?

Re:Yuri Gagarin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16605288)

He's a Microsoft engineer. Obviously his delusions of grandeur are not limited to work.

Re:Yuri Gagarin (5, Funny)

booch (4157) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605352)

He's a Microsoft engineer. Obviously his delusions of grandeur are not limited to work.

Nor are unfounded claims of originality.

Re:Yuri Gagarin (1)

James Manning (4620) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605464)

You can tell by the subject that GP was referring to Yuri with the "Wouldn't he qualify as first geek in space?" comment...

Re:Yuri Gagarin (2, Informative)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 7 years ago | (#16604806)

\i{I mean, the Russians didn't send a painter up did they?}

Back on Vokhshod I. Alexei Leonov.

first nerd in space? (5, Funny)

motank (867244) | more than 7 years ago | (#16604548)

yeah, cos everyone that's gone to space so far has been a football jock right?

Re:first nerd in space? (2, Funny)

Architect_sasyr (938685) | more than 7 years ago | (#16604800)

Well obviously! Otherwise they wouldn't have been able to jump like that...

Re:first nerd in space? (5, Informative)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605150)

Well, the first couple of batches were fighter jocks, actually, hard men with extensive combat experience; but that didn't preclude them from being geeks/nerds as well.

The first American in space, Alan Shepard, had a Bachelor of Science from Annapolis.

Or take the first two men on the moon (please). Neil Armstrong had a Bachelor of Science from Purdue and a Master of Aeronautical Engineering from USC (and had been accepted at MIT). Buzz Aldrin majored in Science at West Point and eventually earned a PhD from MIT.

Jocks with slide rules. It happens.

KFG

Re:first nerd in space? (1)

bobbagum (556152) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605210)

Jocks with slide rules. It happens.
I for one welcome our slide rules bearing jocks overlords.... This is just like highschool

Re:first nerd in space? (2, Interesting)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605238)

I for one welcome our slide rules bearing jocks overlords....

Beats the shit out of the nuns. Ya ever been rapped across the knuckles with a Pickett N4-ES?

KFG

Sooo..... (0, Redundant)

Asm-Coder (929671) | more than 7 years ago | (#16604554)

I wonder what all the other Astronauts have been? Jocks?

Re:Sooo..... (1)

Scarletdown (886459) | more than 7 years ago | (#16604642)

I wonder what all the other Astronauts have been? Jocks?
Fighter jocks, at least (dunno about the recent crop of astronauts, but our first ones were fighter pilots, aka fighter jocks.)

Re:Sooo..... (2, Informative)

scd (541350) | more than 7 years ago | (#16604836)

Almost all current astronauts are engineers and/or scientists, with PhD's and such.

Re:Sooo..... (1)

Javaman59 (524434) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605548)

Almost all current astronauts are engineers and/or scientists, with PhD's and such.
And how are they going pilot our starfighters to defeat the Klingon squadrons?? When the shooting starts we need jocks, not four-eyed wimps!

Re:Sooo..... (2, Informative)

AJWM (19027) | more than 7 years ago | (#16604924)

but our first ones were fighter pilots, aka fighter jocks.

Actually they were aerospace engineers and test pilots. They may have also been fighter jocks (although some flew other types of aircraft) since that's about the only way to rack up time on high performance jets, but at the time of astronaut selection they were working as test pilots. Most (all?) of them had degrees in aerospace engineering. (Armstrong was accepted to MIT, but ended up attending a different college).

I wouldn't call them nerds, though.

Re:Sooo..... (1)

S3D (745318) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605472)

Actually they were aerospace engineers and test pilots.

First Russian cosmonauts were fighter pilots.

go nerds (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16604556)

Nerdy? Well can he quote the Holy Grail and make you ROTFLOL?

His first question to the Russians (5, Funny)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 7 years ago | (#16604564)

"Okay this'll get me laid, right?"

Re:His first question to the Russians (2, Funny)

PsychicX (866028) | more than 7 years ago | (#16604766)

According to his Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] article, he is dating Martha Stewart.

Clearly women are not a focus of his life.

Re:His first question to the Russians (1)

ashwinds (743227) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605654)

Nope - just high

Re:His first question to the Russians (1)

Mikkelin (945622) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605680)

"Da, comrade, most cosmonauts feel lonely in space."

science nerd (5, Informative)

arun_s (877518) | more than 7 years ago | (#16604566)

Microsoft bashing aside, this is the guy who's founded the Charles Simonyi Chair in the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford. Richard Dawkins is the current head. I guess that qualifies him pretty much as a (science) nerd.
He still didn't have to put up a Flash 9 only website, though.

Re:science nerd (5, Insightful)

Protonk (599901) | more than 7 years ago | (#16604988)

No, this is the guy who donated enough money to have a tenured position named after him. The real prevailing factors here are money and some sufficient amount of respectability--Oxford wasn't waiting around for Ghandi, but the chair wasn't to be named after Pauli Shore.

Flash web site (1)

swordfishBob (536640) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605710)

well, the /. summary said something about him launching a web site.. Perhaps it should now be jettisoned..

they read my mind (5, Funny)

rifftide (679288) | more than 7 years ago | (#16604568)

I've often thought, whoever came up with this convention for naming variables ought to be shut in a Russian spacecraft and sent far, far away.

Re:they read my mind (5, Funny)

Sqwubbsy (723014) | more than 7 years ago | (#16604588)

So will this make him a spcExplorer?

Re:they read my mind (1)

rifftide (679288) | more than 7 years ago | (#16604798)

Heh, guess so. Or as Charles might put it, "short ack to mission control, Copy on that".

First?! (1, Funny)

Keith Russell (4440) | more than 7 years ago | (#16604592)

First "nerd in space"? Simonyi isn't even the first nerd in space this year! Cripes, Anousheh Ansari has barely been back on the ground a month.

Re:First?! (5, Funny)

mastropiero (258677) | more than 7 years ago | (#16604728)

Exactly, he is as much the first nerd in space as IE7 is the first tabbed browser....

Self assessment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16604610)

BBC qoutes Simonyi as saying he (might be) the first nerd in space. As a Microsoft employee, he must consider anyone associated with Linux not nerdy enough...

Re:Self assessment (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605358)

Nah, he's just like every other Microsoft employee, totally ignorant of things that ain't happening inside Microsoft. It's a sheltered culture.

Nerds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16604624)

want to be free

Termination (5, Funny)

joe_n_bloe (244407) | more than 7 years ago | (#16604646)

Being fired is one thing ... but being fired into space?

Required Star Trek joke... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#16604650)

Gone where no Windows has gone before... along with the anti-spyware, anti-virus and firewall and sun block.

Bullshit. (2, Insightful)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 7 years ago | (#16604688)

I am sure, in nearly half a century of manned space flight there were many cosmonauts/astronauts that are nerdier than some rich Microsoft guy.

Indeed. Buzz Aldrin was a nerd ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16605098)

With a PhD from MIT, dissertation topic: orbital mechanics and rendezvous.

That's as nerdy as it gets.

Jó szerencse pölö Charles = ? (4, Informative)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 7 years ago | (#16604706)

Jó szerencse == Good luck pölö == ??? (it could be póló, which means tshirt or a phonetic version of pl, meaning "for example" but I haven't the slightest idea what did they mean to write)

by a native hungarian in the early morning (so if I missed something obvious, it's early!).

Re:Jó szerencse pölö Charles = ? (4, Informative)

mountiealpha (731251) | more than 7 years ago | (#16604792)

Amen. WTF was that all about? Besides, it should be Jó szerencsét, Károly, no?

Exact translation: (5, Funny)

Gorimek (61128) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605274)

"My hovercraft is full of eels"

Re:Exact translation: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16605684)

No, no, no. That would be A légpárnás hajóm tele van angolnákkal. Why is it that everyone gets confused when Hungarian notation is involved? By the way, does anyone have a match?

Re:Exact translation: (1)

elmedico27 (931070) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605742)

I guess it's been awhile since I've practiced my Hungarian, this whole time I thought it was "Please fondle me buttocks"

Re:Jó szerencse pölö Charles = ? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16605594)

Yes, "good luck t-shirt" is the traditional American send-off in this case. It is kinda like "break a leg", but for space flight. Tom Hanks uses the line in Apollo 13 [imdb.com] .

um yeah (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16604722)

yeah this is kinda like falling asleep while some teenager is at the wheel.................ok im awake now so get outta my seat. microsoft is third rate anything. whatever people are doing...if microsoft starts doing it also....then that is our que to recognize that they are fully copying our ideas and using our ideas against us.!!! We are being ripped off by microsoft if they even show up ok? they dont have an innovative b0ne in there body as far as i KNOW. Vista is a piece of shit dont you think? I personally think so but dont take my word for it use that POS OS for yourself and you will seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee what i mean when I say that Windows is a crappy 0S.

First Scumbag Businessman who was a Nerd (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16604742)

Perhaps?

breaking barriers (4, Funny)

qw0ntum (831414) | more than 7 years ago | (#16604748)

I for one am glad we're finally breaking the nerd in space barrier. I mean, it's not like we've ever seen a molecular biologist or astrophysicist go into space. No, they are far too nerdy for something like that.

FYI (5, Insightful)

Geoffreyerffoeg (729040) | more than 7 years ago | (#16604760)

Charles Simonyi is the Hungarian in Hungarian notation (you know, m_lpszUsrTxt and the like).

To be entirely fair to him, it wasn't intended to make variable names inscrutable, it applied to a language with weak type checking and few real types, and it still has valid uses today [joelonsoftware.com] if you use it to mark information about the type of data instead of the "type" of variable.

Re:FYI (2, Informative)

Procyon101 (61366) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605074)

There are many problems with it though. First, there is absolutely no enforcement of such typing, which means that if the "type" changes in the future, you have documentation in your code that is linked to the code itself and much more difficult to change... which actually encourages the "out of date" comment problem. Secondly, it was popularized to such an extent as to be obnoxious.. leading to things like: for(int nCount=0;nCount10;nCount++); Thirdly, it gets unweildy for the cases when it begins to become useful, for instance a struct containing a struct of 2 strings, one null terminated and one not, and an int... at that point, I'm tempted to do hungarian on my weird pointer thingie, but my code will start to look like perl.

Re:FYI (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605376)

Yup, the excuse for bad variable names all around. Data types and variable types change, don't stick it in the name - the IDE should tell you the type, it's more reliable too. Hungarian notation can be a source of errors in this way if the type is changed but not the name. Yeah, you can change the name in some cases, and in some cases you can't (like when the functions and inputs become an API).

Re:FYI (1)

prockcore (543967) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605388)

First, there is absolutely no enforcement of such typing, which means that if the "type" changes in the future, you have documentation in your code that is linked to the code itself and much more difficult to change


The best example of this is the proliferation of "lp" prefixes scattered throughout windows. The long pointer hasn't existed since windows 3.1

Re:FYI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16605356)

This is the stupidest invention ever to take place in computing. Just for reference, typing variables according the first letter (FORTRAN) is ridiculous but sound. This is totally insane.

And Joel, no matter how intelligent and resourceful he demonstrates to be, has got a lot of concepts backwards -- probably from the time he was at M$. Including defending this moronic notation.

Oh, well, what do I know? Go on and praise the guy... Good trip to him, I say at least...

Re:FYI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16605424)

To be entirely fair to him, it wasn't intended to make variable names inscrutable, it applied to a language with weak type checking and few real types, and it still has valid uses today [joelonsoftware.com] if you use it to mark information about the type of data instead of the "type" of variable.
Most modern languages in wide use support user defined data types. If it's important enough to distinguish one type of data from another, then it's important enough to create new data types that can be verified by the computer. In his example, where he wants to distinguish between safe and unsafe strings, those types should be represented by different data types, and functions that require a safe string should not accept an unsafe string. This is particularly easy to do in most OO languages.

Also, poor Joel really does not appear to understand exceptions in the least. He does a great job of beating up on straw men, though.

Re:FYI (1)

nebby (11637) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605666)

Actually there are many cases where you want to describe your intention in using a certain variable that doesn't warrant a new data type. For (a simple) example, an input or output buffer. You need two buffers, no need to declare two different types, but one is for input and one is for output. By describing your intentions of the input vs output in a clear and consistent way throughout your code, you make it much more likely you will visually catch errors. Additionally, new programmers will understand your intentions much more clearly when reading your code (once they learn the notation.)

Again, the key thing to distinguish here is that you are not using different types of objects, but are using the same object for different reasons. I'm sure it doesn't take much effort to think of scenarios where you have no need to declare a subclass for something but clearly are using an instance of a class for a specific, describable purpose that would be useful to describe in the code itself.

Oh come on Charles... (5, Interesting)

hvnarsana (995157) | more than 7 years ago | (#16604768)

.. do you really really think that to achieve either/or of the 3 goals you need to spend a truckload (or 10) of cash to go into space? Why not use the money to advocate better education, books, and a series of talks by prominent astronauts or the like? I find this to be a colossal waste of finances and time, which could be better utilized.

Re:Oh come on Charles... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16604948)

Why not use the money to advocate better education, books, and a series of talks by prominent astronauts or the like?

What's stopping you? Oh, that's right. It's much more fun to tell other people how to spend their money.

Publicity Stunt (1)

Garrett Fox (970174) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605184)

The 3 goals he wishes to achieve on the trip: advance civilian spaceflight, assist space station research, and involve kids in space sciences.

That's what struck me most about the post: our focus on putting Humans In Space doesn't actually accomplish anything in terms of getting us to Mars, or even back to Luna, other than "raise awareness." In other words, it's just a publicity stunt.

I applaud all the private space flight ventures, but where is the exploration? I don't mean we should be focusing on robotic probes either. Right now we've got some missions that gather data about distant planets, and some that involve actual humans -- with no overlap!

Re:Publicity Stunt (1)

hvnarsana (995157) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605336)

Agreed my friend.. it's all hogwash. I mean, just a month odd back, I remember some lady who became the first space tourist woman or something, and she paid 20 million dollars for the honor! If you have so much money to spare as change for a fancy space vacation, do something good! I'm not saying don't go into space, but then also do some good with the rest wilya?

Re:Oh come on Charles... (2, Informative)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605426)

Why not use the money to advocate better education, books, and a series of talks by prominent astronauts or the like?

From Wikipedia:

Simonyi has been an active philanthropist, establishing the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University, the first occupant of which is Richard Dawkins. In January 2004, Simonyi created the $50 million Charles Simonyi Fund for Arts and Sciences, through which Simonyi plans to support Seattle area arts, science, and educational programs. Initial grant recipients include the Seattle Symphony ($10 million), and the Seattle Public Library ($3 million). In 2005, the Fund donated $25 million to the Institute for Advanced Study.


Apparently if you've got something approaching serious money there isn't any reason you can't do all that and go for a joy ride.

KFG

Re:Oh come on Charles... (1)

hvnarsana (995157) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605720)

Agreed my friend.. I take my stab back.

Humour (0)

pleasurized (120983) | more than 7 years ago | (#16604782)

Slashdot. News for when stuff happens about Nerds.

Re:Humour (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16604822)

Nerds-In-Spaaaace...!

1st Nerd?!?! What a crock! (4, Insightful)

cascadefx (174894) | more than 7 years ago | (#16604784)

I guess the submitter (I hope it wasn't the editor's) didn't realize that a heck of a lot of physicists and astronomers and other hard core scientists have been to space way before Charles Simonyi. If his point was that he was the first somewhat famous computer geek to make it into space, he would be wrong again. Simonyi was beaten to the punch years ago by Mark Shuttleworth of Thawte and Ubunutu Linux [ubuntu.com] fame.

Whoever cares to know (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16604786)

The last sentences means good luck Charles.

Re:Whoever cares to know (1)

gr8whitesavage (942151) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605270)

I thought it meant "its a trap!!"

Just rewards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16604796)

"Charles oversaw the development of Multiplan, Word, and Excel"

I hope the ship is running MS software and when he turns on the windshield wipers
the door opens instead and sucks him out the airlock.

He invented Hungarian Notation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16604808)

I think Charles has a lot of fantastic accomplishments to his credit. But for Christ's sake, he's also to blame for the abomination that is Hungarian Notation [wikipedia.org] . Why it's a good idea to embed the type of a variable in its name has forever been lost on me. If I want to change an integer iFoo to some opaque object, I've got to rename it to oFoo? WTF? How is that a good thing?

And don't start me on pszSomethingOrOther.

Re:He invented Hungarian Notation (5, Funny)

yo_tuco (795102) | more than 7 years ago | (#16604968)

"Why it's a good idea to embed the type of a variable in its name has forever been lost on me."

szBeats szMe. szBut szMaybe szHis usHungarian szRoots szHad szSomething szTo szDo szWith szIt?

How can I reach him? I need help! (0, Offtopic)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 7 years ago | (#16604870)

I am a fellow geek who needs help. I know he's going to spend at least 20 million dollars on this project. Meanwhile, I am drowning in debt (mainly student debt), and going no where! I need a few tens of thousands of dollars. I know he can do something for a fellow geek.

For the record, I welcome any help from the slashdot fraternity too.

sz_Hmm... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16604986)

sz_I p_guess u_congratulations sz_are m_in p_order.

"oversaw development" =??= nerd (1)

GodWasAnAlien (206300) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605052)

I'm pretty sure many previous "rocket scientists" are more nerdy than someone that went on a software to managment track.

AHA! (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605058)

He's the one to blame for Word.... :-)

Just finished my 2nd book ... in Word ...

My 3rd book will be in LaTeX [like my first].

That said, who gives a flying shit about some billionaire honky in space? Personally I'd think of cooler things to do with my money. I'd arbitrarily make cool people "funded" so they could pursue research and fun projects. Just all spontaneous like. That's just for starters...

Spending it on the big houses, cars, boats, etc is just cliche and lame. Once you get past your 1st 12,000 sq ft mansion you really don't need a second :-)

Tom

first nerd, maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16605102)

He may be the first nerd in space, but he's definitely not the first pig [wikia.com] .

Jó szerencse pölö means ... (2, Funny)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605146)

"My hovercraft is full of eels"?

He'll have a new job up there (5, Informative)

cyclone96 (129449) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605226)

I work for NASA supporting the Space Station, and the irony of a Microsoft guy going up is pretty amusing.

The crew has a network of laptops running WinXP to do non-critical support tasks, chiefly email. While they work pretty well and generally can be maintained from Houston, the crew does spend a fair amount of time keeping them working. You can often hear tales of woe with the network interspersed with operational discussions on the space to ground audio.

For example, this is from the September 8, 2006 ISS status report posted at http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=21998 [spaceref.com]

Jeff's attempts yesterday to set up an Outlook email account for Soyuz taxi crewmember Anousheh Ansari were not successful. This is a repeat of a problem seen with previous email accounts for Soyuz taxi crewmembers. Plans are in work to give the SFP (Space Flight Participant) a regular ISS email account.

I have the feeling that he is going to be jokingly dubbed the "new on-site IT support" by the commander as soon as he arrives.

Re:He'll have a new job up there (2, Insightful)

Johnny Mnemonic (176043) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605512)

Off-topic, but joking aside, I'm sorry to hear that much time is spent on such tasks. If I paid $20M to get to space, I wouldn't want to spend 30 minutes futzing with an email account; time is money, and not at an inexpensive rate.

Why don't they use simpler systems that are less prone to issues than WinXP?

Although space is a pretty complicated affair, and I can understand having complicated systems to support it, an email configuration doesn't seem to be something is interacts enough with the limitations of that environment that it should be complicated by it.

Re:He'll have a new job up there (1)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605740)

Wow, my organization keeps a couple of thousand people happily using Exchange and Outlook 24/7/365, and they're not even rocket scientists. Maybe NASA could use some of our expertise? I'm sure some of the junior sysadmins here would love to help in their free time.

Uh, whaa? (2, Insightful)

Anubis350 (772791) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605254)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isnt every Astronaut a nerd? How about any number of non-astro-scientists that I'm sure have been in space doing research?

Why Only the Rich and Uninspired? (2, Insightful)

Miracle Jones (976646) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605280)

Can we take up a collection to send a civilian into space with the ability to translate the experience into art? Somebody like Spider Robinson, or Tom Wolfe, perhaps? How long will the most liminal and mind-expanding human experience only be the province of those who lack the passion and subtlety to appreciate it, and who cannot, therefore, sublimate it for the rest of us? "Space. Wow. It was so damn empty. Man, you can see the whole earth! Even the dark bits, without people!" If we send somebody up who has the craft to record their experience in an engaging and creative way, then it is like sending ALL of us into space. I can think of no quicker way to give the space program the cultural boost it needs to survive increasing (understandable) voter apathy. Sure, Veruca Salt and Augustus Gloop like chocolate, but they don't deserve the factory...

Nerds in Space (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16605292)

One small step for Nerds... one giant leap for Nerdkind!

thank god! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16605302)

at least it's not that linus fag. fuck him and fuck his rip off of an os.

i know, i know, everything comes from somewhere else. you keep telling yourself that you fucking faggots.

he isn't the first, nor the last... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16605308)

Once steve ballmer gets that chair throw perfected microsoft employees in space will be all too common place.

Leading to the Inevidable (2, Funny)

Dark Leaper (989158) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605394)

Don't trust him, he's from "The Company"! Ain't that right Bishop?

That's lpszCharles lpszSimonyi, (2, Funny)

melted (227442) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605448)

That's lpszCharles lpszSimonyi, thank you very much.

Harrison Schmitt (4, Informative)

RichardtheSmith (157470) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605592)

This guy was really the first nerd in space...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrison_Schmitt [wikipedia.org]

He was a geologist from Cal Tech who got to check out lunar geology
up close up close and personal on the Apollo 17 mission.

That's *very* nerdy, in a *very* cool kind of way. :)

could you guys fix the hungarian text in the post? (5, Informative)

darkeye (199616) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605700)

"Jó szerencse pölö Charles!" just doesn't make any sense. If you wanted to right: "Good luck, Charles!", you would say: "Jó szerencsét, Charles!". BTW, you'd rather say: "Jó szerencsét, Károly!" - as the name Charles is Károly in Hungarian. And yes, his original name is Simonyi Károly, written in this order as per the Hungarian custom of naming.

I just wonder how the "pölö" part came into the sentence - as it's not a word in our language. The closest I can think of that it's the pronounciation of the abbreviation "pl.", which is short for "például" - meaning: "for example". I guess you guys asked someone: "How do I say Good Luck in Hungarian?", and the answer might have been: "Jó szerencse, pl." meaning: "For example: Jó szerencsét".

Ákos
a native Hungarian (speaker)

First Question to the Russians (1)

davro (539320) | more than 7 years ago | (#16605752)

Please tell me you are not running windows in this Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft, Last thing we want is a crash.
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