Before I start, one thing. This is going to be a rant node. I have to vent, and this is the best place.

My aunt recently closed down her successful tailoring shop in Downtown Chicago. I just found out. My first question is: Why? From other relatives I've heard 'she wants to earn more money'. Okay, I say. What will she do? Then I hear the thing I dread hearing the most, right up there with 'I'm Pregnant': 'I'm going to become a programmer.'

This is when my head starts to hurt and I have to work very, very hard to avoid going off on her (my aunt). I say 'that's great and I wish you the best of luck' and shift the conversation to something else, like her daughter (see Horrorscopes).

What I should do is sit her down for an honest reality check. It would go something like this: What OS will you program for? What language will you program in? Do you want to work with the internet? Do you know how to turn on a computer? Can you even type? Can you learn all this? Do you have the will?

And then, of course if you do do those, well... Can you get a job? Can you make decent money? Do you realize that programming doesn't have regular hours? Do you realize that whoever you'll work for will ride your ass for all you're worth until you are a shallow, sleepless, caffinated wreck of who you were? Can you stay up past 11pm in your age?

People like this really piss me off. Everyone thinks it's so goddamn easy to work with computers in any, and every, way. I hate to break it to you, but if can't open MS-DOS out of Win9x without formating your HDD, then you will NOT make a good programmer. The closest you will ever get to successful programing is if you get lucky and I ask you to bring me coffee.

Now start sewing!