What’s your geek quotient?

We at [GAS] cater to the geek within us all — but have you ever wondered just how geeky you really are?  What would be some warning encouraging signs of geekiness?  With apologies to Jeff Foxworthy and all of the people who’ve attempted this before…

You might be a geek if…

  • Your vanity license plate is an acronym or 1337speak for your favorite open technology, or a reference to Dr. Who, Douglas Adams, Star Trek, BSG, Babylon 5, or web lore.
  • Every clock in your home is set to UTC, so you don’t have to go to the trouble of resetting them for DST.
  • You know the difference between UTC and GMT, and it matters to you.
  • You celebrate the 256th day of the year, accounting for leap years.  Extra points if you also celebrate the 256th day of the Julian, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese, and Mayan calendars.
  • Your Aunt Ruby, who is a grief counselor, still doesn’t get your “closure” jokes — and she’s tired of your asking if she has a colleague named Perl. 
  • When the receptionist at your doctor’s office reaches for the mouse, you can’t resist telling her how to do the same thing more quickly using only the keyboard.  Nor can you resist commenting on the resulting slow page load with “must be IIS”.
  • When someone asks you a serious question, you immediately respond “42” and chuckle.
  • You have no trouble remembering a phone number someone just gave you, because it’s a power of two in decimal.
  • You can read Unicode in binary, and automatically recognize which encoding is being used.
  • You remember people’s names by computing their value in base-36 or RAD50 (you old geek!).  Extra points if you know the difference.  More points if you know both encodings of RAD50.  Über-doober points for knowing why the number 50 is involved in the name.
  • You can convert between octal, decimal and hex in your head, and you have need of this skill.
  • You don’t need no stinkin’ IDE — that’s kindercoding.
  • You comment source code in the language you’d rather be using.
  • You have ever written a story or poem in code.  Bonus points if it actually does something related to the narrative, if only ironically.
  • You dream in code.  Sometimes it’s a continuation.
  • When your partner in word association says “car”, you respond “cdr”.
  • You’d rather spend twenty minutes constructing the perfect regex for the job than make two similar edits in under 10 seconds.
  • The grease fire in the kitchen can wait until you get that algorithm transferred from your head into code.  You can always reconstruct the kitchen, after all.
  • You’ve ever invented your own alphabet, numeral system, or language (computer or human) just for the fun of it — or because all of the existing ones are so damned inconsistent.
  • You know why twisted pairs are twisted, and it has nothing to do with unhealthy human relationships.  Well… actually it might — because it’s a medium for almost all of your relationships.
  • You worry more about keeping your servers cool than about keeping your loving hot.
  • You think that some of the items above represent ordinary behavior.

 What would you cons to this list?

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26 Responses to What’s your geek quotient?

  1. "Your vanity license plate is an acronym or 1337speak for your favorite open technology, or a reference to Dr. Who, Douglas Adams, Star Trek, BSG, Babylon 5, or web lore. "

    Does Ham Radio call sign count?

    -Adam

  2. “Your vanity license plate is an acronym or 1337speak for your favorite open technology, or a reference to Dr. Who, Douglas Adams, Star Trek, BSG, Babylon 5, or web lore. ”

    Does Ham Radio call sign count?

    -Adam

  3. When I was about 13 and an avid Sinclair ZX Spectrum BASIC programmer, I used to spend a LOT of time designing little graphics across the character set. These were limited to the Spectrum's 8×8 character maps, which were coded in binary, like this (for the letter 'A')

    00000000

    00111100

    01100110

    01100110

    01111110

    01100110

    01100110

    00000000

    You could input this either way – in binary or decimal – but I used to think in *both* at the same time, I did it so much. It got to a point where I was always going around thinking in code, and whenever I'd see any kind of image, I'd try and break it down into little 8X8 sets. After a while I taught myself to do it frighteningly quickly.

    Looking back now, I'm pretty sure I was the inspiration for The Matrix.

    • Cool! Character set design is its own geeky domain. I used to be pretty good at raster fonts, but I never learned how to construct TrueType or OpenType fonts.

      Switching from binary straight to decimal is a pretty good talent. I always get there via hex these days (though I used to go through octal).

  4. When I was about 13 and an avid Sinclair ZX Spectrum BASIC programmer, I used to spend a LOT of time designing little graphics across the character set. These were limited to the Spectrum’s 8×8 character maps, which were coded in binary, like this (for the letter ‘A’)

    00000000
    00111100
    01100110
    01100110
    01111110
    01100110
    01100110
    00000000

    You could input this either way – in binary or decimal – but I used to think in *both* at the same time, I did it so much. It got to a point where I was always going around thinking in code, and whenever I’d see any kind of image, I’d try and break it down into little 8X8 sets. After a while I taught myself to do it frighteningly quickly.

    Looking back now, I’m pretty sure I was the inspiration for The Matrix.

    • Cool! Character set design is its own geeky domain. I used to be pretty good at raster fonts, but I never learned how to construct TrueType or OpenType fonts.

      Switching from binary straight to decimal is a pretty good talent. I always get there via hex these days (though I used to go through octal).

  5. I'm worried. 3/4 of that article was over my head. I may have to turn in my Geek card in shame.

    • Well, Wayne, geekiness is often characterized by intense specialization. So a person may be an uber-geek in one domain, but clueless in another. What's your geek specialty?

  6. I’m worried. 3/4 of that article was over my head. I may have to turn in my Geek card in shame.

    • Well, Wayne, geekiness is often characterized by intense specialization. So a person may be an uber-geek in one domain, but clueless in another. What’s your geek specialty?