Nerd Pub Trivia @ ITA

Every year ITA Software sends us all out on a boat to eat, drink and make merry, and this year I thought it would be fun to host a Nerd Pub Trivia. The idea came when, while playing regular pub trivia, the picture round category was “Famous Nerds”. My friends and I thought we were a lock for a perfect picture round score, but instead of pictures of Turing Award winners we got pictures of movie and TV nerds. We joked about how awesome it would be if there was real nerd pub trivia, so that’s what I made happen on ITA’s booze cruise.

The format was a shortened pub trivia, with songs played after reading each question:

  • 1 round of 4 questions with each question being worth either 1, 3, 5 or 7 points (you decide, you can only use each value once)
  • 1 special picture round (2 points for each item correctly identified)
  • 1 round of 4 questions with each question being worth 2, 4, 6 or 8 points (akin to the first round)
  • 2 final questions on which you wager up to 10 points each (win or lose what you wager)

Without further ado, here are the questions:

Famous Nerds: Who wrote in a famous RFC, “be conservative in what you do, be liberal in what you accept from others”?

Databases: What does ACID stand for?

Networking: How many bytes are there in an Ethernet address?

Systems Programming: What is the only UNIX syscall that returns twice?

Data Structures: This colorful binary tree is self-balancing and contains no data in the tree’s leaf nodes – what is it?

Operating Systems: Which process typically has the PID of 1 on a UNIX system?

Computing History: Which of these technologies was not invented at XEROX PARC: Ethernet, The Mouse, The Windowing GUI, laser printer?

SciFi/Fantasy: Who is the Kwistaz Haderach?

Video Games: What item must you retrieve from the Dungeons Of Doom in Nethack?

Role Playing Games: What does THAC0 stand for?

And of course, we had a picture round: ID The Programming Language & ID Carrier/GDS By IATA Code (hey, we’re an airline software company, I have to have some airline trivia).

I won’t post the answers here but feel free to post your answers in the comments (and be aware there’s a few correct answers to some of these questions).

Also, if you’re a nerd looking for a job at a cool place to work, check out ITA’s current job offerings. Not to spam my readers but it really is fun to work at a place where you can host a nerd pub trivia and 10 teams join the fun.

4 Comments

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ITA Software Careers and Jessica McKellar, Adam Fletcher. Adam Fletcher said: The questions from Nerd Pub Trivia @ ITA Software: http://bit.ly/aCClVB #itacareers #sysadmin [...]

HercyniumAugust 6th, 2010 at 11:12

Couldn’t help it ’cause I’m naturally competitive :)

Famous Nerds: Don’t remember the author but I think it was the spec for tcp/ip
Databases: Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability
Networking: 48bits == 6bytes
Systems Programming: fork (only answer that makes sense to me)
Data Structures: red-black (not so colorful, but good hint :)
Operating Systems: init
Computing History: guessing mouse, only by process of elimination (I kinda assumed it was invented with the Windowing GUI, but it’s listed separately…)
SciFi/Fantasy: something from Dune
Video Games: no clue
Role Playing Games: no clue

HercyniumAugust 6th, 2010 at 11:14

Oh, and for the programming language examples, you should have given something like this!

http://mauke.ath.cx/stuff/poly.poly

Mark RenoufAugust 12th, 2010 at 11:03

THAC0: To-Hit Armor Class Zero
Picture round:
1. C
2. SQL
3. ??
4. Pascal?
5. Lisp
6. COBOL

Carriers/GDS:
1. ?
2. ?
3. ?
4. ?
5. ?
6. ?
7. Jet Blue
8. ?

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