So You Wanna Be A Geek?

It's funny to see this trend emerging again. The trend where people with no geeky claim whatsoever want to come into the fold.

I recall this happening in the late 90's as well. The tech market was booming and people that had spent their whole lives as geek haters suddenly wanted to join up. And so the paper tigers flanked our ranks and pretended to understand us.

They were easy to spot. In shape, well groomed, articulate, and clueless about the things that really mattered, RPG's, Star Trek/Wars, Dark City, ninja dispatch or AYBABTU. Of course cover was mostly blown with that notorious statement, "Did you catch the game?"

Here's some tips for those of you looking to infiltrate the herd.

  • Working with computers isn't a job, its a calling. Those of us who have done this for a long time understand computers because we honestly care. My first computer was a 8086 running at a whopping 12Mhz. I've seen a thousand broken/troubled machines. I don't fix them. I heal them.

  • For many geeks SCI-FI doesn't embody entertainment, as much as potential. I'm not just watching/reading a story. I'm glimpsing a possible future.

  • Only shave once or twice a week. It cuts in on your gaming time. Besides, we look young and pale enough, no sense emphasizing it.

  • Geeks don't have tan lines. Why? Right, there's no sun indoors.

  • Some of us collect swords. It's not lame, and don't get on our bad sides about it, because you can be darn sure we've practiced with them.

  • LAN parties are the only real organized sporting events. I'm out on noob safari...-=Headshot!=-

  • Geeks do like girls, even if don't now what to say to them. Being too suave with the ladies is a sure sign of a fraud in our midst.

  • Which reminds me. Most of us are anti-social. We speak in half phases, broken sentences and awkward looks. Too polished? Not a geek.

  • On the Internet though, we reign. We'll nick-pick to the bitter end, and can out type any wannabe. If you're not prepared for an epic struggle, just leave well enough alone.

  • Care about technology. Any lack of proper reverence over the newest chipset/gadget/concept and you're done for.

  • Where's your geekware? I don't see any geeky t-shirts. Is that a blazer? Who are you!?

  • "Meh.", "the interwebs", "I roll twenties", "No one makes the first jump". These phrases are a part of geek culture. Trying to fit in? "Do, or do not. There is no try".

  • More? You bet. Drop me a line with your own revelations.

    Computer Tech Countdown

    About a decade ago, I worked as a computer tech behind the counter of a big box retailer. I wore my blue shirt and khaki pants for about a year, and in that time I saw some crazy stuff. Here's a quick countdown of some of my favorite.

  • 10. Wireless Power. Lady called the shop after she bought her first computer. Got it home no lights. Talked through a load of stuff, until she finally mentioned "the extra black cable" in the box. Lesson learned. Never assume the customer has a clue.

  • 9. Credit card in the floppy drive. Yes, it's for real. I lived it. Old man, doing his first online purchase. Very nice man. Really stupid, but very nice.

  • 8. A Man came in, yelling at me that the computer will not power up. "I just got it home, plugged it in NOTHING! FOLLOWED THE DIRECTIONS, NOTHING!" Now red in the face he puts it on our bench "I WANT A NEW ONE!"

    I plugged it in. This model had a door that opened on the front. The power button was behind the door. I opened the door.

    "WHAT!? What is that!?" he bellowed.

    "This is where the power button is"

    "What have I been pressing?" As he pointed to the front.

    "Ah. That's the logo."

  • 7. Secret Service. All customer had to sign a disclaimer saying "If we break it, you can't sue us." Most didn't read it. This guy did.

    "I don't want to sign this."
    "All customer have to sign it," I said.
    "All your customers don't work for the secret service and carry a concealed firearm."

    He signed it, but I agreed to be VERY VERY careful.

  • 6. Rundll32 Virus. Another tech was troubleshooting a PC a customer left. He asked me for help as he was having trouble.

    "When I booted it up there was a Rundll32.exe error. I'm pretty sure it's a virus. I went through the registry and removed all instances. It's having trouble booting, Thoughts?"

  • 5. Fire It Up. A gentleman brings in his Compaq. It was a disaster. Apparently the computer was in a fire, hosed down by the fire department, and then sat in the rain for a week, before he brought it in. I hooked it up to the test bench to make him feel better. It worked perfectly! It was absolutely amazing!

  • 4. Hard Drive Tension. We did a lot of hard drive upgrades. Clone the old drive to a new one, very simple. Well a customer came back not an hour after leaving with his newly cloned drive. "GONE. IT'S ALL GONE!" He was raving mad. he was right, nothing but "click-click-click"

    Turns out he was in his final year the local state university. All his papers where on the computer. The computer with the dead hard drive, no backup. 4 years...gone. Turns out the tech didn't anchor the HD in place. "I wedged it in. I thought it would be fine without the screws."

  • 3. The One Ring. While a tech was working on a powered up computer with the case open, he reached in to make sure the memory was seated properly. His loose wedding ring slipped off his finger shorted out the motherboard. It was awesome. Mostly because it wasn't me.

  • 2. Modem mice. This gal brings in her computer because the modem stopped working. I opened it up, and there was a dead mouse on the modem card. It had climbed into the case through an open card slot, urinated on the modem, electrocuted himself and died. The customer laughed so hard, she didn't even mind buying a new modem.

  • 1. Error Error on the Screen. A man brings in his PC. I plug it in at the test bench and power it on.

    As it begins to post, the man gasp, "WHERE IS IT?"

    "Where's What?"

    "There was an error on the screen! I turned it off right when it popped up, so I could bring it in and show you!"

  • Every once in a while I pop in just to see how the place has changed.... It hasn't.

    Geeks, Nerds & Dorks

    The definitive guide of similarities and differences.

    I only had so much room, feel free to add your own conclusions!

    20 Things I learned From Microsoft

  • Microsoft Windows - "Crashing hard drives and bogging down boot times since 1985."

  • We have the solution, but only if we caused the problem.

  • We don't have to care, we're Microsoft.

  • The Windows registry is a place of Dark Magic. Avoid it if you can.

  • Windows. It looks like an Apple, but without all that nasty "Ease of use" and "Functionality" garbage.

  • If you do have trouble (and you will) just reboot.

  • Need to reboot? Click 'Start'.

  • Sorry but you're just another cog in the vast Microsoft cult. Reboot anyone?

  • There are some days when you spend more time rebooting, than working.

  • They're called weekdays.

  • Never upgrade until you have too.

  • You're gonna need more hard drive space. Oh! And more memory...a better graphic card...a bigger screen for all your widgets...

  • No upgrade goes as planned. This lesson can only be learned by doing.

  • You should have waited for SP2.

  • Windows in a breeding ground for viruses. See item 3.

  • It's possible to have more viruses than legitimate software.

  • Once cleaned your machine runs just as poorly as it did before you had the virus.

  • So how can you tell if your PC's infected?

  • Is it running Windows? Then yeah, you've got a virus.

  • If it works well, then it ain't Microsoft.

  • (typed on Linux using Firefox.)

    The Return

    This is Kludge Spot. The place where the inconsequential is king. It isn't the place were I ramble on about woodworking. I'm working on some new posts and darn if I'm not determined to keep this place up to date.

    I've now got a Woodworking blog where I can spout on about that particular branch of my personality. If you're interested you can visit it The Wood Mangler.

    If not, stay right here. I'm back. Honest. No really... I'm sure it's going to happen this time....

    So Much To So Few

    I do love blogging. Somedays it's hard to think of anything of substance to put type out, a day like today. I still feel like typing though. So... Lets talk about crystals. No... Yetis. Yes! Let talk about Yetis.

    Sam was a yeti, the trouble was he didn't like te taste of villagers. The villagers didn't seem to mind this too much, oddly enough, though the rest of the yetis did mind.

    "Sam, what is that!?"

    "An acorn. They're really quite tasty."

    "You're suppose to eat people! What's wrong with you!?"

    "I don't know... it just doesn't feel right. You know eating food that screams and cries. Sort of makes you feel bad. 'please no' 'don't eat me!'. It just sort off puts me off my appetite."

    "You're a monster!! It's suppose to enrage you! Make you mad. Don't you just want to deep fry those puny little things an dip them in Yeti dipping sauce."

    "I don't really like yeti dipping sauce."

    Well this was the final straw. Sam was banished. Where is a Banished Vegetarian Yeti to go? Where else besides Las Vegas!?

    So it was. Sam appears nightly on the strip. And no one had to consume any Yeti Dipping Sauce. (Which I think is just French Dressing... but don't tell anyone. You'll ruin it for the kids.)

    Which leads me to my next point....

    Letter to 2009

    Dear 2009;

    Yuck. Nasty, real nasty. Yes sir, that really stunk, I mean that was some pretty foul stuff there my newly appointed friend. I am of course referring to your predecessor good old 2008. I had pretty high hopes for 2008. 2008 took them all, covered them with refuge and left them out in the hot sun to soar and decay. Thanks alot 2008. Those were only my hopes and dreams.

    2009, luckily for you, after a year like that one, I don't expect too much.

    I'm afraid that this is were the good news ends. Turns out I'm not the only one who has expectations from you, though I'm certain most haven't taken the time to write. (Please remember that wen doling out any bounty you may find yourself in excess of. You and I are one, okay? We're buds right? shhh... don't tell anyone one else. You're the man! No you are!!!) Ahem...I digress.

    As I was saying, it seems that half of population sees this as the year of "Change". Right. You 2009, are the herald of the future, the bringer of good, the year of the enlightening, and all that other jazz. If you let yourself bask in the glory of yourself, you will so find it difficult not to be impressed with you. I mean you are the year of "Change"

    I think you are a slimy rotten pig. (Just kidding, we're pals still right?!) I'm not generally accustomed to saying those things to one so young, but you should hear it from someone. (Why not a friend?!) 2008 was rotten sticking corpse decomposing on my front porch. From Olympics, to Politics, to Finances, 2008 got just about everything wrong. It's hard to watch a year go down the toilet and not be slightly bitter. I'm afraid you look too much like 2008 to be anything new. I'm having trouble believing in you 2009. You've already had a hand in scandal and bloodshed with nary a few days under your belt.(Not a criticism, just an observation chum!)

    Oil is still rising, stocks are still falling, the middle east is as turbulent as ever and Socialism is on the march to the capital. Where is this "Change" you speak of? (This is just a general statement. It's not an inquisition or nothing. Best Friends Forever don't do that to each other!)

    Feeling slightly broadsided are we? Understandable. Just a few days ago, we were laughing, smiling and toasting to your arrival. We sang songs and laughed the night away in joyful bliss at your dawn. Well now you're here. And we wouldn't be laughing toasting or kissing again till the eve of your death. (I mean others will, not me. I'm always here for you!)

    It's a vicious cycle kid, and you're going to have to grow up fast. So lets get the lead out chief and start divvying out some of this famous "Change" we've heard so much about.

    Peter Brown
    Optimistically Wary