Sunday, December 11, 2005

Computer Monkeys!

As any true geek will know, the one thing you need above all others, to fully function as a geek is a close circle of fellow geek-friends.

Otherwise, the topics of conversation you like to talk about are met with, at best a confused smile and at worst, a completely blank look.

For non-geeks it’s an instinctual thing. As soon as you get a whiff of geek-speak, the brain automatically surrenders under the assumption that they won’t understand a single word you’re saying.

For example, trying to explain to one of my step-sons that I couldn’t just throw a DVD into my computer and copy it for him, because a DVD movie is roughly 8 gigabytes, and a blank recordable is about 4 gigabytes.

I lost him at the word gigabyte. Usually, at this point, dummy mode is turned irrevocably on, because no matter how hard you try to explain, they already ‘know’ they won’t understand it. It’s doesn’t matter how simple you try to make it, they give up before the fight starts. Even if you say “This disc holds 8 thingies, this one only holds 4 thingies, so you need to squeeze up the 8 thingies to get it to fit…understand?”

Nope, they don’t understand that ‘technical mumbo-jumbo’.

For example, when I was shopping for this PC, sunny pointed out one that was slightl cheaper, and a very similar spec. I pointed out that this one had a 64 bit processor.

I tried to explain the difference between a 32bit and 64 bit processor…but it was no use. (It’s actually incredibly simple. A 32 bit processor can deal with 32 bits of information at a time…a 64 bit processor can deal with 64 bits of information at a time.)

Alright, Hands up! How many people skipped right to this paragraph when they realized I was about to start explaining the difference between 32 and 64bit processors?

That’s right, you already ‘knew’ you wouldn’t get it, didn’t you. Go back and read it.

Anyway, I’m getting off point here.

This whole phenomenon is the reason why whenever anyone asks me how something works, I have a prepared 2 word answer:

“Computer Monkeys.”

That’s right. The computer monkeys do it. They live in your PC, and they do all the work. They’re very highly trained. If something goes wrong, a computer monkey fucked up.

If you don’t believe me on this, find someone who’s a computing layman, and start explaining how a hard-drive actually works.

It’s the same reaction you give when someone is giving you directions. First of all, you want to know, and listen. Within a few turns you start to get lost, and by about halfway through, you’re simply nodding and smiling and waiting for them to finish, so you can wind up your window and drive away.

Every geek needs geek friends. Why? I’ll tell you:

  1. Geek advice:

“Hey geek-friend! You’ve got your hard-drives set up in SATA RAID don’t you? Is it worth the hassle?

  1. Recreational talk:

“Yeah, I was playing Star Wars Battlefront online, and I got cornered by these three guys with rocket launchers. I was out of ammo, and only had my pistol, so I shot the first one, rolled behind cover, nailed the next one in the head as he gave chase, picked up his ammo, and gave the last guy three shots in the chest. He’d thrown a grenade just before he died, so I ran, jumped, and caught the tail end of the blast. It threw me about 50 feet! I had about 1% health left, and just managed to get to a medical droid. It was great!”

I told that story to Sunny today. I might as well have been talking Swahili

  1. Bragging rights:

When you buy a geek object, you want it to be appreciated. For example, when you’ve just shelled out for a shit hot digital camera, you want to show it off and hear envious chat about the fact it’s a 6.1 megapixel, 20X optical zoom, 3 stage infra-red scanning flash and the fact it can make extra copies of your pictures as web-ready 640X480 jpeg files.

What you don’t want to hear is “Oh, I like your camera, it’s a nice color isn’t it? Does it have a flash? Where does the film go in?” Guys, it’s like buying a ’98 Corvette, showing it off, and all your friends saying “OOOOhhh, it’s red! Red cars go faster, don’t they?”

  1. Grooming:

Sunlight hurts us. It’s nice to have a few people just as pale as you to stand next to.

All I can say is thank God for email and Skype. At least I can stay in touch with my geek friends back in England.


MC Etcher said...

Preaching to the choir!

OzzyC said...

You use the term "Computer Monkeys." I say it's geek speak. "How'd you fix that, Computer-Jedi Master, Ozzy?"

"I could tell you, but it's geek-speak."

"Oh, nevermind."

rayray said...

speaking of the "fair-skinned", i'm starting a gang to rival those bigger city ones.........

"is it about the east side?
is it about the west side?
hell noooooooooooo...........

it's all about.............
the in-side................."
peace out

Kato said...

Ditto on Etcher's comment.

Also, fellow Geeks provide:
a) A support group. If your hard drive dies, they'll cry with you and curse Maxtor's name till they are hoarse.
b) A self-perpetuating market/free advertising: Geeks love to share their new tech with friends, thus drumming up interest among them. Since the desire not to fall behind the curve is high among geeks, if one geek in the herd buys something, the rest must quickly follow suit.

We are, in fact, the perfect microcosm.