back to article Linus Torvalds' lifestyle tips for hackers: Be like me, work in a bathrobe, no showers before noon

Linux Lord Linus Torvalds has offered some lifestyle advice for hackers, suggesting they adopt his admittedly-unglamorous lifestyle but also his ethos of working on things that matter. In an on-stage interview with Linux Foundation founder and executive director Jim Zemlin at the Open Source summit in Los Angeles on Monday, …

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I found it does not quite work

I cannot get properly settled to work until I get my bathrobe off. Sure, I prefer working in the same ripped jeans or shorts I use for DIY, but not a bathrobe.

The shower thing is spot on - mine is after I have expended my useful brain charge and had my afternoon 3 mile run with the daughter. By that time USA has woken up and has started scheduling meetings so that nicely coincides with me being freshly shaven and with a new shirt when the video-conferences kick in.

The privileges of working from home I guess :)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I found it does not quite work

I lost it after the first sentence - I couldn't go on...

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Works for me

I am still in dressing gown at nearly midday in the UK. Albeit surfing the web on sites like the Register. Maybe I'll get dressed at lunchtime and maybe do some work, work - maybe not, it is really hard to tell this early in the day.

ps. I avoid having a web cam so do tele-conferences as an unshaven, semi naked slob. If I am going to talk shit I find it more compatible if I look like shit.

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Re: Works for me

Dilbert had a great solution to this video conferencing problem:

http://dilbert.com/strip/1994-06-07

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One word springs to mind

Well not true, many do

but (no euphemism intended) C**K springs to the forefront.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: One word springs to mind

You have no idea what you are dealing with, when it comes to "programmers" (we called ourselves "hackers" in my days -and that has nothing to do with breaking into systems). Anyone who showers and shaves, even occasionally, is to be praised!

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hmv

Re: One word springs to mind

What is this showering you speak of?

Does it involve standing out in the rain or something?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: One word springs to mind

@hmv usually involves somebody standing over you and pis..... oh wait, no that is the other type of shower, and the missus told me not to tell anybody.

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Boffin

Re: One word springs to mind

"What is this showering you speak of?

Does it involve standing out in the rain or something?"

Think of it as a bath, but in torrent form, if that helps?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: One word springs to mind

Think of it as a bath, but in torrent form, if that helps?

Would that be the peer to peer version?

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Re: One word springs to mind

"usually involves somebody standing over you and pis"

I think that's called a "Trump-shower"?

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Coat

Re: One word springs to mind

@AC

peer to peer would be this... or is that pee'er to pee'er?

@hmv usually involves somebody standing over you and pis..... oh wait, no that is the other type of shower, and the missus told me not to tell anybody.

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Windows

Re: One word springs to mind

Hmm, a shower you say? I think I lost one of those in my beard in the 1980's

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Re: One word springs to mind

"Does it involve standing out in the rain or something?"

Fresh from a walk I can tell you it just involves being British !

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Coat

Re: One word springs to mind

"Does it involve standing out in the rain or something?"

That's the cloud based version.

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Re: One word springs to mind

well, presumably he gives that a good soaping too.

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Re: One word springs to mind

You obviously live alone. Or your zoo mates are tolerant.

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Re: One word springs to mind

Only If she or he agrees.

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Re: One word springs to mind

"usually involves somebody standing over you and pis....."

That's the pee-er to pee-er version.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What is this showering you speak of?

Iz sumthink the wimmins do ven a baby iss about to be born.

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Anonymous Coward

"Torvalds later invited hackers to adopt his lifestyle in two ways, first explaining that while coding a kernel in his bathrobe is far from glamorous he derives immense satisfaction from the many uses to which Linux is put. That makes his job fun, an outcome he feels is more likely to be attainable when working in technology than in other fields."

Sat here in the office working for a company I have come to hate, working in a profession I've come to dislike to the point it's painful to drag my sorry arse to work every day, I can't agree more with this paragraph.

I remember the days when I first got in to web development and I loved it. Everything was new, it was fresh, the iPhone was just about to be released and the mobile internet was going to explode! Now what? Stuck in a company with loose morals who long for Victorian employment laws and regulations who give you absolutely fuck all back in return. No benefits, just the benefit of working there.

Still, it could be worse. I could be in Florida under an umbrella.

AC for obvious reasons.

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"AC for obvious reasons."

Working for ElReg then?

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Either leave or stop moaning.

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Anonymous Coward

Why AC?

You're sat next to me and I feel the same way.

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Mushroom

"Either leave or stop moaning."

So says someone without a mortgage and kids.

Some of us would love to change jobs for something more meaningful, but the £20K pay drop would reult in everyone being on the streets.

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Anonymous Coward

"So says someone without a mortgage and kids.

Some of us would love to change jobs for something more meaningful, but the £20K pay drop would reult in everyone being on the streets."

OP here.

That's exactly the situation, except I don't have children. I replaced them with debt which I couldn't avoid. So I'm having to pay off the debt first before I even dream of moving/leaving. But moving/leaving I will be, as soon as I'm comfortable enough financially to do so.

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hmmm

Walks around in a bathrobe. Wants to recruit people before they go to the dark side. Works with some kind of arcane and almost mystic knowledge. Who does that remind you of?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: hmmm

Yogurt?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: hmmm

local government?

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Re: hmmm

Krusty the Clown?

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Personally, I shower AFTER work.

I prefer to go to bed clean.

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Re: Personally, I shower AFTER work.

... or after meeting with S&M (Sales and Marketing) or Livestock Control (HR). Either leave you feeling dirty.

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Re: Personally, I shower AFTER work.

Likewise. Only ever shower earlier if I've been doing something that particularly demands it. Like gardening.

Happy to say I'm in pyjamas right now. And but for the fact that I have to go out in a few minutes, I'd still be in them at lunchtime.

The key trick is to have some kind of clothes convenient, and be able to pull them on in a few seconds if someone appears at the door. Like the lady who came to read the electricity meter at about 8:20 yesterday morning.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Personally, I shower AFTER work.

Yeah this is the way to go. My hair takes a lot of maintenance and I value sleeping in in the mornings too much to deal with that just before work.

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Re: pull them on in a few seconds if someone appears at the door...

Shalwar Kameez or Kurta solves that problem. Essentially the same as pyjamas but no-one is going to (dare) look askance if you choose to walk to the shops wearing the same clothes you slept in.

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Re: Personally, I shower AFTER work.

My hair takes a lot of maintenance

mine seems to have been downsized

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Happy

Re: Personally, I shower AFTER work.

"I prefer to go to bed clean."

...and then get dirty!

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The money motive

> “Sometimes I get the feeling these smart people are doing bad things, but I wish they were on our side because they are so smart and they could help us.”

The problem is that writing code is "fun". It is easy to get people to do that.

Testing for faults, exploits and problems is boring. It is hard to get volunteers and amateurs to do that

Debuggering code is difficult. It is very difficult to get people who are "giving" their time to do that.

The main motivation, therefore, to look for problems is so that you can exploit them. That exploitation might be peer-recognition: "Look at me. I'm so clever. I found some holes in your system". Or they might be monetary: "Pssst! wanna buy a zero-day" or it could be anarchistic: "Let's use this to break things"

And this is the biggest weakness of much FOSS stuff - not just Linux. If people have the choice to to "fun" things, they will. But you cannot coerce them to do the boring stuff.

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Happy

Re: The money motive

Upvoted for "debuggering".

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Re: The money motive

debuggering

Definite up vote.

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Re: The money motive

Debuggering from now on should be the default term.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The money motive

We a re more a hardware/networking shop. We have a wonderful similar term of "unf*cking".

I do like debuggering as well though.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The money motive

"Debuggering code is difficult. It is very difficult to get people who are "giving" their time to do that."

Very true this. End of the 90s, I was top notch to debuger things in C and some other languages ... Used to even spot mistakes that would compile differently and therefore give different results on different systems ...

The Irony is, the then Paris area market thought that only lowly paid juniors should do coding and therefore I had the same salary for years ... No raise.

I then quit development entirely to become a highly paid consultant ...

I'd like to think I'll retire and start debugering again :) Would be cool.

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Trollface

Operating systems are like their owners

So, unlike Linus, Theo will be clean and presentable, no bloat, and he probably goes jogging at 6am too.

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Meh

Last time I tried to work in a bathrobe...

... they wouldn't even let me on the train to the office! <ba-ching-boom>

As for showering: if I don't get my morning coffee and shower I'm not even functional. Never mind smell.

Blessed be working for a company that has a very generous WFH policy. I swear my boss is in the office less than I am! But even then it's stumble to the coffee maker, curse for the millionth time that you need coffee to be conscious enough to make coffee, zombie-walk to the bathroom for the 3 S's. Go on Mr Hyde, come out Dr Jekyll.

You could say I am NOT a morning person.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Last time I tried to work in a bathrobe...

@ Michael Hoffmann

I consider myself a "morning person" because I wake up between 5 and 6 most mornings; but, I'm still barely functional until I've got several coffees into me and had a shower.

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Re: Last time I tried to work in a bathrobe...

"curse for the millionth time that you need coffee to be conscious enough to make coffee"

Do what I do: I have a filter-coffee machine with a Thermos jug for the coffee. Run that the night before, and leave one mug's worth in the jug. In the morning, pour it and nuke it for 30 seconds or so to get the temperature back up.

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Re: Last time I tried to work in a bathrobe...

Do what I do - dont drink coffee - its a drug so it wakes your up a bit and then takes you down. You're much better off without it, it takes a while but apart from saving £30 or £40 a day that some of my friends seem to spend when out and about you actually get a lot more done in the long run.

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Unhappy

Re: Last time I tried to work in a bathrobe...

"In the morning, pour it and nuke it for 30 seconds or so to get the temperature back up."

Bloody travesty.

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Re: Last time I tried to work in a bathrobe...

Uhm coffee maker with timer?

That's my process.

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