Is computer profession a profession?

I love food and preparation of food, e.g. cooking, so naturally I like the Food Network channel on the cable TV. But I never seem to be able to watch much as Leah’s TV schedule doesn’t leave me with much time for ‘my TVs’. Unsurprisingly I have been gorging on Food Network for the last few days! Emeril Live (whom Leah has nicknamed ‘Greasy Gnome’), Boy Meets Grill, and Iron Chef America to name just a few.

Of course one thing in common is that all these shows have a fully kit-out kitchen, and this got me thinking. Why is it Ok for other professionals such as chef, painter, writer, musicians, etc. to have they tools of trade in their house and get appreciated comments from friends and family, while computer professionals like myself get the ‘wasteful’, ‘excessive’ looks when friends and family discover I have more than one computer?

Why is it Ok (or in fact encouraged) for chef, or painter, or whoever, to practice their trade in their own home, e.g. cook for their friends, paint a picture for special occasion, etc., while it is considered anti-social, nerdy, for computer professionals like myself to spend my leisure time on the computer/internet? More puzzling is that if my time spent on the computer is for something creative, let’s say working on digital photos verses developing my own application, that’s considered time worth spending. Why is it not Ok for me to have multiple computers when others can have multiple ovens, cooking pans, knives, paint brushes, etc.?

Is this because computer industry is still very young and the majority of the population still does not consider computer job as a profession? Or is it because the work we do is so complex and nebulous in compare to others (like cooking) that most people does not, and will not try to, understand what we do and thus do not value our work?

Street Fair Photos


I went uptown to a street fair on the 6th Avenue, between 14th and 23rd Street this afternoon, hoping to get some interesting photos. But since I didn’t have breakfast and was hungry already, I think my photos are biased by my hunger for food! Food photos were all I took.

And while I was exporting the photos from iPhoto 5 to the desktop before uploading to TypePad, I remembered that there was a iPhoto Plug-in that does this directly from within iPhoto. A bit Googling led me to the very cool and free PhotoToTypePad plug-in. Works perfectly and save me a few minutes from the exporting, zipping up, upload and check process. Now it is just one export step and the photos are up at TypePad photo album. I love it when computer makes my life easier!

It's Friday afternoon, do you know where your employees are?

Very nice and sunny day here in Manhattan today. With Leah visiting the U.K. for the next 7 days for her uncle’s wedding, I also took time off work to relax. Originally I was going to stay in the apartment today and work on ecto but the nice weather tempted me outdoor. So I took my camera with me and took some interesting shots, starting with this one:

Battery Park City

I have always wondered where all these people come from. It is Friday afternoon, after lunch time, so people that are working should be back at their desk already. I guess these people can be tourists but only a few of them behaves like tourists, so what are the rest? They can’t all be unemployed or on vacation time like myself, surely?

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