Before I went to RIT and was still applying, CSH seemed like the coolest shit. For 18 year-old Scott, it seemed like the greatest place to live, on paper at least. All I knew about it was what I read in the brochure, and it was fucking awesome. Once I actually got to RIT I had an incident with them, and I realized it was bad news.
This is how I recall it in my not so good memory. For a very brief time I was sour that I didn’t get to live there. I made some attempt to interact with them and join in on the CSH fun despite not getting to live there. There was technically some kind of way to be a member without living there. Anyway, whoever I met first gave off a big time exclusive club, secret society, you don’t belong here vibe. I remember I tried to go visit them and someone said something like “Who are you? What are you doing here? Get out!” Also I think their floor had extra security other floors didn’t have? I left, and I commented on a web site about it. I think it was the school newspaper’s site?
The main thing I was upset about was that it seemed like they had this lab full of awesome computers and such. I could see it through the windows. Being naive and not knowing much, but also being a nerd, I actually wanted access to their tech more than I wanted to be their friends. I think the comment I made was something along the lines of “My tuition money goes towards paying for these resources that are only available to these few exclusive students? WTF?”
After that I think something happened, and they contacted me to give me a tour of their floor and try to make nice. On that tour I realized I wasn’t missing out on anything. Their private computer lab did not have amazing computers in it. I don’t even think they used those computers except for when they didn’t want to use their own computers for something. They also had a server room, which they showed me. It looked impressive at the time with racks full of machines and lots of air conditioning. But those servers didn’t actually provide any useful services I couldn’t get from the CS department or elsewhere.
The lesson I learned was that the people of CSH weren’t that great (in the year 2000). And that I was mad I was being denied something, but that something was only in my imagination. The thing I was actually denied was something I didn’t want at all. After that, I lost all desire to interact with CSH in any way.
Also, the thing they bragged about so much (on paper) was the robot that would deliver to your dorm room from the vending machine. Apparently the thing didn’t fucking work, because the student who made it left and nobody maintained it.
After that I only heard from CSH three more times in my entire time at RIT.
The time we “stole” their pirate flag. That was a fun day.
The creator of JQuery was a member of CSH. He was the only person on CSH I ever saw do anything of value. Most notably he made software to make class registration so much better, and everyone used it. He seemed like a not bad, but very computer nerdy guy. I saw him a bunch then. I think we were in some of the same classes, and often at the same extracurricular tech-related meetings and such. He was smarter than me, and worked harder. Also, he spent his time coding while I played Tribes 2 and watched anime, so… we didn’t even become acquaintances let alone friends.
I was in a a computer graphics class. I think it was CG2. After class I was up at the front talking to the professor. Some guy I didn’t know, had never seen, and never saw again, looks at me and makes some vaguely threatening remarks. Something like “I know you. You’re Scott Rubin. You made a lot of trouble for us at CSH. Grrrr.” This was my senior or junior year. The incident I mentioned above was 3 or 4 years in the past already. I can’t imagine he was talking about anything else. If there were any tiny shreds of me that still wished I had been in CSH, they were waaaay long gone.
Still, would be interested to know if they are different. It was over a decade ago. I’m sure it’s completely different now. The kids in college now were in elementary school when we were in college.