Uptime is immensely important to all of the nerds I know. Many outsiders do not understand this importance.
Obviously, an amusing anecdote is in order.

So I'm sitting there at this LinuxPPC machine (a Power Mac 7200) and this kid is nagging me about going to grab some food. As many non-nerds do not understand, when in a computer induced trance, outside stimuli, especially hunger, are irrelevant. Dogbert managed to get a large set of china plates on Dilbert's head due to this phenomenon.

Getting increasingly agitated, this kid is typing random keys while I'm trying to do something, and finally he hits control-option-power, which for those of you Windows people is the equivalent of control-alt-delete (you can't trap it by the way). The loud mac chime comes up, and my friend who the LinuxPPC machine belongs to walks by, and sees what has happened. This kid is feeling pretty good about himself, laughing at me because he's rebooted the machine and subsequently interrupted what I had been working on.

My friend picks this kid up, and throws him, not only to the ground, but over a chair in the process. Now my friend probably would have sat there through a torrent of Yo Mama jokes, probably endured a number of insults, but this was his uptime (about a month I think at the time). The kid was so bewildered that he's convinced to this day that my friend is a sociopath. The lesson?

Don't mess with a nerd's uptime. True story.
The standard definition of uptime is how long your computer has been on since your last reboot. There are several ways to look it up, but the most commonly seen method (for IRC users, at least) is in channels, where one person displaying their uptime will cause anyone else who has a braggable uptime to do the same. In mIRC, the variable for your uptime is $uptime(system, 1)

Or, to put it simply, uptime is the geek version of "my dick is bigger than yours". Many IRC scripts will remember the largest uptime they have noted, so that even if you inevitably meet the Blue Screen of Death and your uptime gets reset to zero, you can still brag about how for a while, your penis was bigger than everyone else's.

In Neurolinguistic Programming, uptime refers to a state of mind in which the attention is entirely focused on external sensory input. This is the opposite of downtime (ie. hypnotic states) in which all or most attention is focused inward. Uptime can be used to improve sensory acuity and therefore the ability to calibrate properly. One important characteristic of uptime is the "complete absence of internal dialogue." Uptime states often occur naturally, especially in high-stress situations.

Uptime training can be very helpful for people who are overly self-conscious. It can also be helpful for people who get lost in their own little world.

Instructions for creating an uptime anchor can be found at http://www.nlpuniversitypress.com/html3/U29.html

For those in the audience running Windows XP, the following can be copied and pasted into a .txt file, renamed with a .bat extension, and run whenever you find yourself curious about the duration since your last reboot/BSOD.
@systeminfo | @find "System Up Time:"
This code will search through the systeminfo file, and return the length of time your system has been running in "x day, x hour, x minute, x second" format.

Place the file in your Windows directory so that you can execute it from the Run menu, or simply create a shortcut to it on your desktop.

It should be noted this will only work with Windows XP Professional; the Home edition of Windows XP lacks the commandline version of the SystemInfo utility.

For those with Windows NT Server 4.0 SP4 and above, or Windows 2000, you can always download the uptime executable from Microsoft to reassure you about your system stability. Just launch your browser over to http://www.microsoft.com/ntserver/nts/downloads/management/uptime/default.asp.

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