My Ranking on 50 Skills Every Real Geek Should Have

December 9, 2008

by — Posted in Personal Writing, Technology

Maximum PC recently ran an article titled 50 Skills Every Real Geek Should Have, I wanted to go through and see how I ranked in their skill list.   Let’s find out.

1. Name the Connectors – yes I was able to :)

2. Run your essential apps on a USB stick – no I don’t do this, I could – I just prefer to run everything in the cloud or on my N810 – which is with me most of the time.

3. Straighten Pins on a CPU – I have done this too many times

4. Know the 13 basic HTML Tags – well I kinda know most of them – I use freaking wordpress I hardly need to use HTML and when I do I look it up and hav ethe answer in seconds.   Though I do know quite a few by heart that aren’t listed in the basic 13.

5.  Get through to executive customer service – hey I read the consumerist.

6.  Beat quake in 60 minutes – maybe at one point in time, but I’m not big on FPS games.

7.  Build a Hackintosh – I know how, I just don’t the components that seem to work, and I’m a cheap bastard that won’t buy parts just to run OSX – I’ll stick with ubuntu as my alternative OS.

8.  Watch TV Online legally – um that’s how I watch 100% of my TV these days.

9.  Get around a content filter from a public computer – yes I know how, I’ve helped friends at other companies, it’s not worth it to do it at my own job though.

10. Recite Pi to 23 decimal places – nope – I have no inclination to ever learn either.

11. Replace the controller board on a hard drive – hey I did that once, it’s not a skill that comes up at parties though.

12.  Benchmark your computer – really?  Is this even on this list? Yes, I was doing this before I fully understood what the benchmarks meant on my 386 DX40.

13. Decorate your room with only printer paper – am I physically in the skill set to be able to do this?  Yes I am – would I?  No.  I’m more likely to decorate with NES cartridges.

14. Securely erase your data so it can’t be recovered – yes I am capable – it would be easier if you encrypted it first though.

15.  Get into a windows computer if you don’t have a password – yes I’ve done this quite a few times.

16.  Hide data from anyone – yes encryption, hidden volumes, stegnography (which I got bored with in 2001) – I am capable of doing all that – I’m more likely ot share my data then hide it though.

17. Explain what e=mc2 means – yes I would like the e=MC2 with a side of fries please – yes I am capable, but refuse to put in the details here since I want to make it through this list.

18.  Abstain from buying extended warranties – I may have bought one, once – it was on something i thoguht it fall apart though – so it’s all good.

19.  Use photoshop or gimp – yes I am capable.

20. Use a DSLR in full manual mode – I can – I’m just lazy and prefer it to do the work.

21. Mooch your neighbors wi-fi – my neighbor doesn’t have wi-fi but I’m ready to mooch when they do.

22. Protext your wi-fi – Wep2 currently – For a while I had mac filtering, I hated to keep getting mac addresses from visitors though.

23. Create an animated spray in Valve games – um – I don’t think I’ve played a single one for more then 5 minutes….so this one is a no.

24.  Setup RAID – yes I’ve done this a few times over the years for my home network.  Now implement Iscsi raid across multiple computers – that’s a challenge.

25. Calculate a Pitchers ERA – no I don’t know how – but I know google will give me the answer quicker then I can calculate it.

26. Run two Operating Systems – um I dual boot currently……

27. Install a hard drive in laptop – done before and some day I’ll do it again.

28. Pull off an elaborate prank – I think have the skill set and knowledge – I just never have – unless stealing street signs as a teenager counts.

29.  Rocket jump with a macro – um – I said I don’t really do FPS games – so no I can’t do this.

30.  Wire your home with ethernet – um every place I’ve lived with my wife we have had wired ethernet – we even used RG58 at one point.

31.  Know the 6 most important linux commands – yes I get command not found when I’m not thinking and run them in windows.

31. Rip your CDs to Flac – we did this for awhile then went back to MP3

32.  Stream Music, Movies, Pictures to any TV in the house – I’ve done this before – now we just carry our laptops around – shrug.

33.  Install and configure a VM – yes I’ve done this for literally years (maybe even a decade by now)

34.  Run multiple monitors – yes I use to dual monitor and run SWG on two different ones at the same time – I’m sad I know.

35. Run hacked firmware on a router – yes liek the rest of hte world I have a hacked linksys router /yawn.

36.  Pick a lock – I’m not good at it, but I’ve done it a couple times.

37.  Tell the difference between Dr. Pepper and Mr. Pibb – it’s been awhile but I think I could.

38.  Avoid DRM on everything – well streaming video legally that they talked about above seems to contradict this one doesn’t it.   However all my local video, music, picutres, and ebooks are DRM free.

39. Download a flash video and reformat it – yes I’ve done this – youtube videos locally stored on the N810 ftw.

40.  Get around in DOS – I grew up and DOS and resisted windows for a long time – so let’s just say yes.

41. Rip a DVD to h.264 – yes been there done that.

42.  Overclock your PC – yes I’ve done this my pride and joy was overclocking my AMD 133 mhz 486 to 160 MHZ – and it benchmarked and ran like a pentium 133 for half the cost.

43.  Use remote desktop – it’s part of my job – so yes.

44. Debate the merits of a star destroyer vs. the enterprise – yes, and the star destroyer would win.

45. Buld your own computer – built too many to actually count – I’m serious to – I worked at a small PC store and we sold hundreds – thousands of machines – so I cna build my own.

In irony they don’t seem to actually have 50 things on their list – so I think most geeks should know how to count also.

18 thoughts on “My Ranking on 50 Skills Every Real Geek Should Have

  1. “Get into a windows computer if you don’t have a password – yes I’ve done this quite a few times.”

    So, what's the secret? Do tell please? Got an old HP sitting around that I lost the password to, and I'd LOVE to get my files out of it!! I will even knit you a scarf! :)

  2. Go download this ISO image and burn it to a CD (let me know if you need help with ISO images) – follow the instructions and reset the admin password to something you know. This will get you in 99% of the time.

    There was an instance once where they had renamed the administrator account – so it wouldn't work for me. This was a remote corporate laptop that would take days in turn around time. So I found instructions that gave how to half install in XP and reset the password midway through the installation – if the reset CD doesn't work I can try to track down those instructions but that should work.

    On the other hand if you literally just need the data off the computer – use a Linux Live Boot CD (personal favorite is Ubuntu) – download the ISO and burn it to CD – boot the computer off the CD – hook up a USB drive and drag your files off the computer to the USB drive and you should be able to get your data without resetting the password.

    If you need more explicit instructions please let me know and I can provide them.

    :)

  3. I also forgot an even easier method if you have the know how how – if your old computer is a desktop and your new computer is a desktop you can take the old hard drive out of the HP and put it into your new computer as a secondary hard drive – then you can browse and just pull off the information.

    Another option would be if i it's a laptop or one of the computers is a laptop (or you don't trust yourself to install a hard drive into a computer – the easier option is to buy a USB drive case and put the old hard drive into that and plug into your new computer via USB – this will also let you browse the hard drive.

    I would do that if your uncomfortable with the other options – but since it costs some money to buy the external drive case I would use that option last since I prefer to recommend free solutions first.

  4. Color me stupid-can't see comments…so I am attempting to register in hopes that I will be able to read them!! :)

  5. WOWSEEEE :) Clearly, I will be printing off these instructions and getting help from my beloved son who will be home 4 Christmas in week or so! Life would have been so much easier had I just WRITTEN DOWN THAT PASSWORD :) silly me! :)

    Thanks so much for some truly excellent instructions! I really appreciate it!!

    Mi

  6. np – I enjoy helping people out and figuring out the small stuff. Being the resource is something I always enjoyed – unfortunately my real job is more reports and maintaining then problem solving.

    oh well.

  7. “Get into a windows computer if you don’t have a password – yes I’ve done this quite a few times.”

    So, what's the secret? Do tell please? Got an old HP sitting around that I lost the password to, and I'd LOVE to get my files out of it!! I will even knit you a scarf! :)

  8. Go download this ISO image and burn it to a CD (let me know if you need help with ISO images) – follow the instructions and reset the admin password to something you know. This will get you in 99% of the time.

    There was an instance once where they had renamed the administrator account – so it wouldn't work for me. This was a remote corporate laptop that would take days in turn around time. So I found instructions that gave how to half install in XP and reset the password midway through the installation – if the reset CD doesn't work I can try to track down those instructions but that should work.

    On the other hand if you literally just need the data off the computer – use a Linux Live Boot CD (personal favorite is Ubuntu) – download the ISO and burn it to CD – boot the computer off the CD – hook up a USB drive and drag your files off the computer to the USB drive and you should be able to get your data without resetting the password.

    If you need more explicit instructions please let me know and I can provide them.

    :)

  9. I also forgot an even easier method if you have the know how how – if your old computer is a desktop and your new computer is a desktop you can take the old hard drive out of the HP and put it into your new computer as a secondary hard drive – then you can browse and just pull off the information.

    Another option would be if i it's a laptop or one of the computers is a laptop (or you don't trust yourself to install a hard drive into a computer – the easier option is to buy a USB drive case and put the old hard drive into that and plug into your new computer via USB – this will also let you browse the hard drive.

    I would do that if your uncomfortable with the other options – but since it costs some money to buy the external drive case I would use that option last since I prefer to recommend free solutions first.

  10. Color me stupid-can't see comments…so I am attempting to register in hopes that I will be able to read them!! :)

  11. WOWSEEEE :) Clearly, I will be printing off these instructions and getting help from my beloved son who will be home 4 Christmas in week or so! Life would have been so much easier had I just WRITTEN DOWN THAT PASSWORD :) silly me! :)

    Thanks so much for some truly excellent instructions! I really appreciate it!!

    Mi

  12. np – I enjoy helping people out and figuring out the small stuff. Being the resource is something I always enjoyed – unfortunately my real job is more reports and maintaining then problem solving.

    oh well.

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