#define geek – what qualifies a person to be a geek?

I notice the term GEEK is used a lot these days, every man and his dogs flea refers to themselves as a geek. I’m talking computer geek here today, no other kind 🙂

15 years ago  it was a different story completely. In my book and having talked to several other people online, a geek is somebody who is into technology and understands it and is doing stuff beyond the average user.

But to clarify, can you please leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments. What is a GEEK and what is not a GEEK?

My thoughts are that you need at least one or two of the following criteria (not all!)

  • You can program in more at least one language, probably 2 or 3 (html/css NOT included)
  • You can use a command line easily without having to google commands in at least one of the following Windows, Linux, or OS X
  • You know the difference between a Domain Registrar, Domain Name Server, and types of DNS records.
  • You know what Linux is, have installed it, and used it regularly (using a friends/boyfriends/family PC not counted, and done without help)
  • You can name all the following parts of a PC, AND what they do. CPU, RAM, HDD, BUS, PSU.
  • You can create a full network, including DHCP, DNS, Gateway/firewall and know what IP ranges are reserved for private networks
  • Do all of the above WITHOUT having to google!

You are NOT a geek if you ONLY do

  • You are on Helpdesk
  • you helped somebody fix their email
  • You use IRC, Twitter, Forums, Other chat forums
  • You Game lots (Some gamers are geek, but most are not)

Note: if you do the “you are not a geek if” and still qualify the above ones you are still a geek.

My iPod Touch/iPhone OS 3.0 Review

Well, I can’t say i own an iPhone, much as I would want to (now they finally have 32GB!), however I was also eagerly waiting OS 3.0 with everyone else.
I own an iPod Touch 32GB (2nd Gen). It took some time to move me off the older 60GB classic, the iPod Touch just didnt have enough space for my collection. After a week spent cleaning out the kids MP3s onto their own machine, and removing all the live versions of songs (rarely does a live version sound anything near as good as the studio version), I finally was able to get it down within 32GB.

My habits almost instantly changed once I had the new iPod however, i discovered reading ebooks suddenly became appealing. The screen was big enough, the disk space was big enough, and there were plenty of great ebook readers. After a fair amount of reading online I discovered there was a bluetooth chip in my iPod Touch which was not enabled by default, but would be once I got OS 3.0.
For the next week I read copious amounts of notes on bluetooth headphones, and eventually settled on Jabra 620S set which came with an adapter to use on the iPod. This meant I could use them right away, and dispense with the adapter when I upgraded.
My only concern upgrading to OS 3.0 was that it may have to wipe it, and thus I needed to read like a hound for weeks prior to get through the series of ebooks I was reading.

So the night of the release, i sat up until midnight wondering what time the release was going to happen. Eventually I gave in and went to bed.

I woke in the morning to find the download available, however servers overloaded (to be expected no matter how well you planned!). After about 5 or 6 tries I was finally able to download and install the new firmware. Half of those 5-6 times were to accept new T&C they had added in. As per usual I did not read it but just accepted it, if they really want my soul they can just have it!

First impressions were “Great! it didnt wipe my stuff!”.
Second impression was “Oh it looks exactly the same as it did before”. Apon closer inspection there was an icon for Voice Memos, i opened it eagerly only to have it tell me I did not have a microphone.
I opened the Preferences and paired the headset. The Jabra 620S are a full stereo headphone unit with a Microphone. They support Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) and Audio Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP), which means I *should* have been able to use the Play/Stop Forward, Backward etc buttons. However only the Play/Stop button seems to work. The Microphone does not register, however i suspect this is because they paired as a headphone unit rather than headset (the difference is the sound quality, ones designed for phone, one for music).

Spotlight: well searching is handy! it searches all my movies, songs, notes, ebooks. Its very handy!

Voice Memos: Well this is just another app, It’s of no use on an iPod Touch without a headset, and probably been made before. Bit gimmicky?

Landscape Keyboard: I presume the application needs this compiled in, because half my apps don’t do this yet still. It will be great when its fully implimented, I dislike fat-fingering things!

Copy/Paste: Don’t have much use for it surprisingly, but its nicely done and works ok. Double tap on a word, then drag the ends about to highlight what you need. Then you get a popup asking if you want to copy/paste etc.

Undo: There is now a ‘Shake to undo’ feature, which I have yet to need also.
Shake to change song: This was disabled on mine immediately. Not a very handy feature if you go jogging or walking lots!

iTunes Store: I havnt used this yet, but brilliant idea! I have head several people complain that once bought items transfer to computers they have issues over which device is authorized to have that item.

Parental Control: This is a huge one for me. Im strict about what my kids see, and I refuse to let them watch R13 when they are not 13. Loving that!

Most of the rest of the new features I dont actually use (Stocks, MobileMe etc).

Overall, worth the $13.99 NZD I paid for the upgrade.

The best part for me would be the bluetooth headphones, this is invaluble when im at the gym or running and no longer have cables.

Car gadets, GPS, MP3, Movies, etc

So ive been working on a neat little project lately. I decided i wanted a GPS in the car (no NEED for one, just a want) plus in car entertainment. Currently Ive always used an ipod in dock which charges the ipod and fm transmits the sound to the stereo in my android car stereo set up. I have pretty good sound quality too, I thought the transfer would cause some degradation but it’s fine.

So i grabbed my eeePC the other day, went online and bought a bluetooth adapter which im going to soldar inside, a GPS device, FM transmitter (usb powered), i had a USB hub already and some other things.

So I now have 3 wires from the eeePC.

* Power cable to the cigg lighter – I wanted to only have 1 power cable and minimize power consumption if at all possible. So the laptop is the only thing powered.

* USB hub. – From this all USB devices plug into. This will be in a small box under the dash when im done. It has the USB powered fm transmitter, GPS, Bluetooth (which eventually will be soldared into the laptop itself) .

* Audio out cable – this goes to the FM transmitter, I prefered this option to fully USB fm transmitter for cost sake and configurability .. “it just works”

I had some issues with trying to work out how I was going to dock the laptop in the car. Where it was going to sit or go. But because of the layout of my dash i was having issues. I didnt want it to sit in my way so I couldnt move or it interfeered with things, and a lot of PDA holders i saw did not hold the 1kg weight of the laptop well.  Then there is the issue of blocking the wind screen if it was too high.

Because of the layout of my dashboard i came to the conclusion that im an idiot.  This is what my dash looks like

interior19ns

Not an overly great shot, but you get the idea that the normal dash is actually in the center not behind the steering wheel like most cars. Heres a more modern version so you can get an idea of the layout (mine doesnt look half as good as this one though)

toyota_belta_dash

So this leaves a prime real-estate of between steering wheel and window for my laptop to sit i’ve decided. It shouldnt be too distracting and hard to see as this is where most dash speedos are located so i wont need to look too far. Eventually I can invest in a bluetooth or wireless kb so passengers can operate things if need be, but for now its fine.

Ill be getting a non-stick rubber mat and it *should* just sit there. Under the steering wheel is a shelf which is a great size for all my wiring and plugs and anything else i might need. A great place to keep it tidy.  Anyway for now Ive spent hours and hours compiling NavIT to get it going the way i wanted with the maps i wanted (ill post tutorials on that later). And im just debating using nghost or myth for the media in general. The screen seems a tad small for nghost, but ill see if i can hack it some.

Its on my ‘to do’ list. Another thing to do is to read this car DVD player guide.

As for other software. I tried LinuxICE, it was worst than garbage and nothing worked.  I moved to straight ubuntu, compiled NavIT, and currently for now using rythembox and vlc for media.

I have an 8GB SD card i found lieing about for media, however i plan on buying a 32GB usb thumb drive, putting it apart and also soldaring it inside the laptop. I did think about external USB HDD, however this brings up power consumption problems i didnt want to deal with. Solid State all the way for now.