The top 10 geek sins that will get your geek card revoked

The top 10 geek sins that will get your geek card revoked

Summary: Here are 10 of the worst transgressions for any geek. Doing any one of these will put your geek credentials at risk. Do two of them and your geek card immediately gets revoked.

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TOPICS: Open Source, Browser, CXO
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TechRepublic has previously talked about some of the things you can do to increase your geek cred. Naturally, there are also some things that can hurt your geek cred. In fact, we've put together a list of 10 of the worst transgressions for any geek. Doing any one of these will put your geek credentials at risk. Do two of them and your geek card immediately gets revoked.

You can view our list in two forms. You'll find the simple list below, or you can check it out in slideshow format with the accompanying visuals.

10. Admitting that you like iTunes

Sure, it's convenient for buying music and media in one place and syncing it to an iPod or iPhone, but iTunes has a draconian DRM system (still in place for media), makes it difficult to manage your library on multiple systems, and it started out as one of the worst pieces of bloatware ever built. And, it hasn't gotten much better.

9. Not knowing the difference between binary and hexadecimal

Binary is the basis of all computing and is simply composed of zeros and ones. Hexadecimal is a 16-digit numeric system -- based on numbers 0-9 and letters A-F -- that represents binary in a more friendly way. Know the difference.

8. Not knowing what MMORPG stands for

Even if you don't play games (or rarely play) you should know that an MMORPG is a "massively multiplayer online role-playing game," also known as the alternate reality for geeks. The biggest one is World of Warcraft (WoW), a cultural phenomenon with over 12 million subscribers.

7. Loving your cable or telecom company

Geeks built the Internet. Geeks live on the Internet. Geeks love the Internet. However, the companies that bring us the Internet to our homes and offices -- the telecoms and cable companies -- are doing everything they can to wall it off, manipulate it for their own financial gain, and stop geeks from using it so much. For as long as they do that, they will remain at war with the geekosphere.

6. Not knowing the name of the book that Blade Runner was based on

Blade Runner is one of the greatest sci-fi movies of all time. If you're a true geek, you've seen it multiple times. But, not only that, you also know that it's based on Philip K. Dick's "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" which is one of the best-titled stories in all of literature and an absolute classic in science fiction.

5. Confusing Star Wars and Star Trek

If someone mentions a Wookie and a Klingon and you're not sure which one was part of the Star Wars universe and which one belongs to the Star Trek milieu, you are definitely not a geek.

4. Believing the "free" in open source refers to price

Repeat after me, "Open source does not mean it doesn't cost anything." Sure, some open source software is freely available to download at no cost. But, that's not a requirement of open source. There is plenty of open source software that requires a fee. When open source talks about "free" software, they are referring to "free" as in "freedom." It is freedom from overreaching licensing agreements. You'll also hear this concept referred to as "Gratis verses Libre."

3. Defending Facebook for its privacy transgressions

Look, Facebook is lucky the entire geekosphere hasn't dropped it like a bad habit after all of the crap they've pulled in changing and violating their own lackluster privacy policies. Leo Laporte nearly led a geek revolt out of Facebook in May 2010. The only thing that prevented it was lack of a viable alternative.

2. Taking something into Geek Squad to get fixed

Best Buy's Geek Squad has a few legitimate geeks on staff; however, too many of their technicians are completely clueless and can do more harm than good to your equipment. Besides, if you're geek, just geek-up, open up the case, and fix it yourself. (Exception: It's acceptable to go to the Geek Squad counter to exchange a DOA device that is still under warranty. Just don't let us catch you asking for advice.)

1. Buying a paper computer book at Barnes & Noble

In 1999, if you wanted to quickly learn more about HTML or Exchange 5.5 or Apache or how to earn CCNA certification, you'd typically make a quick trip to your nearest book superstore like Barnes & Noble or Borders and comb through the huge selection of computer books. However, this is 2010. Any computer book you find at a bookstore is at least six months out of date. Almost everything you need to know is available on the web for free or in ebook format that you can quickly download to your laptop or tablet. Buying a dead-tree tome about a new technology is an immediate tip-off that your geek credentials are in question.

This article was originally published on TechRepublic.

Topics: Open Source, Browser, CXO

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74 comments
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  • Whoa, whoa, whoa....

    Where the paragraph that describes the fanboism to use "M$" "Microsucks" "Micro$haft", etc...?
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • Let's not be so exclusive

      @Cylon Centurion 0005
      What about CrApple and Linsux!
      Surely we are evolved enough to include everyone! :)
      use_what_works_4_U
      • Master Joe Says...Agreed

        @macadam Fanboys are fanboys. If you want to see a piece on those who favor Microsoft, you have to admit that thsoe who do the same to Apple, Linux, Android, the iPhone, or whatever else the same. Anyone who believes that any company is ultimately good or bad, and that everything they do is such, is not only a fanboy, but not too bright. THAT is why their geek license should be revoked.

        --Master Joe
        SteelCityPC
      • Thanks Joe

        @MasterJoe

        Absolutely. My tagline notwithstanding I am happily platform agnostic seeking only the right tool for the job as I perform it. We all have our biases, but blind faith in any person, product, or corporation is just that - blind.
        use_what_works_4_U
      • That's what I had meant.

        @macadam

        I just didn't feel like writing out all the different combinations of these play on words. :)
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
  • bs

    itunes worst software? what a load of bs. who says that jason? you? the apple hating blogosphere? newsflash: itunes is happily used by 100s of millions of people around the world. and they are perfectly fine with it because it is by far the best media organizing and synching tool available, with a lot of feature others can't match. the genius feature alone is - well genius.

    and draconian drm? pulzee. there is none. except for movies and tv shows and every single store that sells this content has to enforce the very same drm rules the content owners demand. every other store or website.

    so jason, what a load of bs. is this phoney "itunes is so bad meme" really necessary for your geek cred?
    banned from zdnet
    • Blog title should have been edited to read Geek Snob

      then the list makes sense.
      frgough
    • Zune software is superior

      @banned from zdnet

      And comes without the bloat :)
      The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • RE: The top 10 geek sins that will get your geek card revoked

        @Cylon Centurion 0005
        [i]And comes without the bloat [/i]

        Yeah but it comes with a Zune. ;)
        Tigertank
      • RE: The top 10 geek sins that will get your geek card revoked

        @Tigertank There is that.
        fairportfan
      • re: Zune software is superior

        But then it also comes from Microslop
        athurman@...
      • RE: Zune software is superior

        @Tigertank, fairportfan,

        I have had a Zune for 3 years and love it. Way better than my iPod.
        NormalC
    • Try running the Windows version

      @banned from zdnet
      Even the Mac version has gotten bloated and slow, but the Windows version just plain sucks.
      use_what_works_4_U
      • RE: The top 10 geek sins that will get your geek card revoked

        @macadam True Apple lovers think that's a plus, not a problem.
        fairportfan
      • No

        @fairportfan
        No, many true Apple lovers think that's a tragedy. It makes Apple look bad and it leaves us wishing for something better.

        What you are referring to are rabid Apple Fanbois. I know, I used to be one.
        use_what_works_4_U
    • RE: The top 10 geek sins that will get your geek card revoked

      @banned from zdnet The only people who like iTunes are the ones who haven't tried anything else
      davidhayes
      • RE: The top 10 geek sins that will get your geek card revoked

        @davidhayes "The only people .." at what grade did you give up on school?
        781lc
      • RE: The top 10 geek sins that will get your geek card revoked

        @davidhayes If WinAmp could sync my iPod I would have never touched iTunes... But alas, the iPod was a nice gift that I enjoy using, so iTunes I must endure... le sigh.
        jmwells21
      • RE: The top 10 geek sins that will get your geek card revoked

        @jmwells21 I've used winamp to sync ipods.
        mgaul
      • RE: The top 10 geek sins that will get your geek card revoked

        @davidhayes I might have to disagree for as much as i don't like itunes (took me an hour to export a simply contact list from an iphone)...Computer illiteracy gives it a plus!
        tmdrake