I graduated HS in 1983 and unlike many of the other students who used the Apple computer lab in school I used my family’s Radio Shack TRS-90. And since my father was mostly a business man I wrote text based software. And when we bought our first IBM PC it was monochrome. So it was no surprise that I ended up taking programming courses in college.
It took me 3 years to get out of community college and a 1 year hiatus to find myself and then another 3 or 4 years to catch back up. Since graduating HS I was always working in my field. At some point, while I was in college, I decided to buy the Knuth books. I mean this guy defined our/my existence and there has to be some knowledge in there that I need.
I would like to note that Vol 1 was initially published in 1973. Volume 4a is due out this year(2011) and Volume 5 is due by 2020.
So these books have been following me around for almost 20 years and I’m sad to say that I have never opened them other than to see the publishing date in volume 1.
This takes me back to other days in HS and College when the people and students around me would say things like “I’ll never use that in real life”. The fact of the matter is you probably won’t. And so today I lose a monitor stand and the local library gains a reference… that I’m certain no one else will ever read.