You Know You’re a Geek When

You know you’re a Geek when you think you get jokes like this. Just from the headline. Or when you think LOLCode is just as funny as LOLCats. Or when you do something dumb and your left hand tries to <ctrl>-Z.

Today’s contest is: leave a comment below with an original example of how you know you’re a geek. Enter as many comments as you’d like – just as long as you don’t mind admitting how extra-geeky you are if your comments start piling up.

This is the fourth contest in our week-long 11 year anniversary celebration. We’ll give away one $121 Amazon gift certificates for the best and funniest entry, and runner-up prizes of a complete package of our software and swag to many others. Enter as many times as you like, by sending your entry as a reply to this post. Employees and friends of Ilium Software aren’t eligible to win the prizes, but are welcome (and encouraged) to participate anyway. Today’s contest closes at 9:00 a.m. eastern time tomorrow morning.

48 thoughts on “You Know You’re a Geek When

  1. Lee

    You know you’re a geek, when..

    Several people (recently!) say to you out of the blue, “You’re so geeky!”.

    The number of PCs in your house outnumbers the warm bodies, two-to-one (not counting PDAs).

    Your young son is convinced you can just go down in the basement and build a real robot for him.

    A large chunk of your long-term memory is stored in ListPro and eWallet.

    Your kids ask you a question and you tell them to ask Google.

  2. Julie

    Well, I’ve done quite a lot of geeky things in my life, but I thought I’d share with everyone something that has got to be in my top three.

    Now, I don’t really do this anymore, but back when I was still in school, and got bogged down by too many projects, I would end up dreaming in code a lot. It was horrible! I don’t really want to type any sample code here to try to show you what I mean, because I’m not sure if WordPress will try to utilize the code, but for example: say I would have a dream with a puppy in it (I’m sure that I didn’t – I don’t like puppies). I wouldn’t “see” a puppy, I would see the code you’d have to type to make an image of a puppy appear on a web page. Anyone who was in my dreams was there through image source code. Things would show up like puppy.jpg, person_name.jpg, and so on. Any action or talking in the dream was done inside paragraph tags, things were organized into list items, there were if/else statements I could follow….you get the idea. It was not fun at the time, but it’s kind of funny to me now.

  3. Ellen Post author

    You know you’re an OLD geek when Julie’s post reminds you that you once spent a few weeks dreaming in Fortran.

  4. Dan

    You know you’re a geek when … you tell people your age in hexadecimal (34, by the way, thank you very much).

    … And you know you’re a geek when you can tell which Star Trek episode it is after the first 3 seconds (two seconds, sometimes).

    Also, you know you’re a geek if you’ve ever seriously thought, for just a few moments, that you could definitely fix your car if you could just figure out how to get it into the editor.

  5. Kevin

    You know you’re a geek when your friend is telling you about his insane dream (“And then I turned into this hairy potato…”) and you go, “Hey, just like Worf did in that ST:TNG episode!”…

    … and everyone present around you immediately knows exactly what you’re talking about. (I think Barkley turned into some kind of spider.)

    Also, if you answer every question with a visit to wikipedia.org (great use for the iphone, btw), you’re probably a geek. You get extra geek points if you regularly *correct* answers on wikipedia because they’re wrong. (I’ve never done the second, only the first.)

    You might also be a geek if you speak in LOL. As in, out loud. In public.

  6. Matt

    You know you’re a geek if the movie “Napoleon Dynamite” hit just a little too close to home. My high school life was painful enough without having to watch it again in a movie. :-)

    Or was he a nerd? Hmm. Wikipedia says:
    The definition of geek has changed considerably over time, and there is no longer a definitive meaning. The terms nerd and dork have similar meanings as geek, but many choose to identify different connotations amongst the three terms, although the differences are disputed.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geek)

    Now let’s look up nerd:
    Nerd is a term often bearing a derogatory connotation or stereotype, that refers to a person who passionately pursues intellectual activities, esoteric knowledge, or other obscure interests that are age inappropriate rather than engaging in more social or popular activities. Therefore, a nerd is often excluded from physical activity and considered a loner by peers.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nerd)

    Dang, I just got sidetracked and spent 10 minutes following cross-references in Wikipedia. I must be a geek.

    Wait “Cross-reference”, is that the word I mean? Let me look that up in Wikipedia… “Cross-referencing in hypertext (XR) is maintained internally or externally to a document with either in-context (XRIC) or out-of-context (XROC) cross-referencing. These are analogous to KWIC and KWOC, which were very early computer applications inherited from the centuries-old idea of concordance.” ooo, more stuff to look up…

  7. Marc

    These are all from personal experience so don’t laugh too hard :)

    You know you’re a geek when you see something awful and start shouting “I disbelieve! I disbelieve!” or if every time you get a marshmallow in your hand you think “Lightning bolt! Lightning bolt!”

    You know you’re a geek if you’ve ever sat down and tried to honestly stat yourself out as a D&D character.

    You know you’re a geek when you keep a set of polyhedral dice in your car/desk/pocket.

    You kow you’re a geek when your sister tells you she is naming her son Owen and your first thought is “Ooo…are you going to name your first daughter Beru?”

    You know you’re a geek when the third program (after eWallet and ListPro of course) that you buy for your new Pocket PC is a copy of Pocket DOS.

    You know you are a geek when your knowledge of comic books hits the point that you not only know who Razorback is but you can name his truck.

  8. spmwinkel

    Hmm. I sometimes get tempted to think in 140 characters, and I often start typing (user)names with an @ in front of it. That happens when you read Scobleizer etc. on Twitter.
    I also work my way through websites and software too fast. If people watch with me while I explain things, I sometimes forget to let the other person read a full dialog box or description when I know at a glance what it will say, or that it isn’t important.

    (un)fortunately I don’t know anything about code so I think that I’m in a disadvantage compared to the many people who work in ICT. But that’s OK, I think. ;-)

  9. Kevin White

    You know you’re a geek when you got *mad* at Star Trek: Enterprise for the “decontamination gel” sequence in the pilot. “That’s just fan service!” (I presume if you aren’t a geek, you go, “ooh, gel being applied to attractive vulcan..”)

    You know you’re a geek when you fondly remember the Buck Rogers television series even though you weren’t *born* when it came out. Well, I’m not sure if that’s a geek thing.

    You know you’re a geek when you take apart your mom’s Discman (we’re talking oldschool here) down to removing the laser diode from its carriage, put it back together, and not only does it work… but you don’t have any screws left over.

    You know you’re a geek when you buy a grab bag from Information Unlimited and are gleeful when you get both a working high-frequency tesla coil and a 30kv DC generator. You’re a geek if you know what both of those things are. Heck, you’re a geek if you even *know* who Information Unlimited is. (Look them up; tesla coils, fog machines, ‘anti-gravity’ devices, high-powered lasers that can cut stuff, coil guns, EMP generators… no, they’re not a terrorist supply company. I hope.)

    You know you’re a (computer) geek if you ever ran up a 100+ dollar phone bill by dialing BBSes. Well, maybe today’s younguns will never have that experience of having their allowance docked for a year for that transgression…

  10. Melvyn

    I’m a technical writer but when I solve IT problems in my company (of 1000+ employees) it’s reasonably clear I’m getting geeky beyond my years. That would make a great t-shirt slogan BTW.

    Recently I bought a new machine from Lenovo.com. The Lenovo outlet had a crazy few weeks when stock was changing hourly and they had no good way to analyze the machines. Additionally, there was no correlation between price and features (some of the more expensive machines were less impressive than the cheaper ones). I spent more time in Greasemonkey, changedetection.com, and the Outlet, than sleeping for a few days!

  11. Melvyn

    Original example of how I know I’m a geek:
    I asked my wife for a mouse for my birthday. An Evoluent Vertical Mouse but a mouse nonetheless.

  12. Melvyn

    Original example of how I know I’m a geek:
    I just used the word “fantasizing” in a blog comment about a geek toy.

  13. anthony

    when you have thousands of posts over the internet in various smartphone blogs and are still reading this.

  14. Melvyn

    When I overclocked my Tungsten T3 to watch episodes of 24 which I had compressed using VirtualDub it was clear that I had completed my trip to Geekdom.
    ————–
    I knew I was a geek a long time ago. I couldn’t find decent information online about moving from Palm OS to WM. Non-geek response: call a friend. My response: work it out and set up a blog about the process:
    http://pdanut.blogsome.com/
    (I knew I was human when I was unable to maintain a blogging schedule)
    ————–

  15. Chris Le

    You know your a geek when…
    When you boss has forgotten your real name and refers to you to others as Dr. Excel. You are also their first port of call with any software problem rather than the IT department.

    You know your a geek when…
    you realise the only time your family call you is to fix their PC.

    You know your a geek when…
    all personal data is encrypted and eWallet is the only way to remember your passwords.

    You know your a geek when…
    you can remember your wireless network key of 30+ char

    You know your a geek when…
    people stop asking you for an explanation of what went wrong with the PC because the will not understand past the first acronym.

    You know your a geek when…
    you can write a piece of VBA code to automate a procedure in Office quicker than someone could perform that task manually.

    You know your a geek when…
    =IF(HLOOKUP(BLOGCOMMENTABOVE,TOOMUCHTIME,10,TRUE)>0,_
    “CONTINE”,IF(NOW()<AND(WIFEHOMEIN15MINTUES,WORKNOTDONE),_
    STOPFILLINGOUTTHESECOMMENTS,WRATH))

    You know your a geek when…
    you check the syntax of the above

    You know your a geek when…
    you will out ‘You know your a geek when…’ competitions

    You know your a geek when…
    oh *$”% the wife is home.

  16. Jules

    You know you are a geek when…

    …your will has the password to ewallet and the location of the backup file.

    …your wife says “honey can we watch the vacation pictures again?”

    …you use the GPS to navigate to work

    …you no longer can type simple words with out the use of spellchecker

    …you lookup your childrens names and ages in ewallet.

  17. daverage

    … a hiking vacation compels you have in your backpack –
    – a cell phone
    – a digital camera w/extra flash cards
    – a gps
    – a walkie talkie
    … not to mention the other items brought –
    – pocket pc w/charger
    – AA battery charger
    – cell phone charger
    – gps car power cord
    … on a *hiking* trip.

  18. Barbara

    You know you’re an old geek when you have a T-shirt that says “Cobol programmers Perform Until . . .” and you still wear it.

  19. Melvyn

    Every now and then, an entrepreneurial friend and I “do lunch”. We chat almost exclusively about tech, the startups we’re working with, the cool gadgets/sites we’ve found recently. The end result of these lunches is a bunch of emails both ways.
    My point is…. you know you’re a geek when you wish speech had more hyperlinks.

  20. Melvyn

    You know you’re a geek when you walk up to your house, click the remote unlock on your car key to try to unlock the front door, and when it doesn’t work, instead of thinking “silly me, I must be really tired”, you think “why doesn’t that work – I bet I could rig something up to make it work”.

  21. Ken

    You know your a geek if:

    – you’ve made a cartoon character of your self (from an on-line source like the one that was out a few years ago for SouthPark), I did this for me….AND my wife

    – you can identify the actors in a movie from other shows they’ve been in [and get disappointed, because their other character would NEVER do "that"]

    – you create the same on-line persona to access forums, because you could never remember all the different ones you are a member of (even though all of them are stored in eWallet, in a Forums category),

    – you also have a category in eWallet for the registration information for all the software on each different device (PCs, laptops, PPCs, Phone…)

    – you can identify exactly which phone or pda is being used in a movie or tv show, and why what they’re doing with it is really not possible.

    – you’ve posted here!

  22. Ran

    I have tons of gadgets, and I frequent every technology related web site out there on a daily basis…

    Actually, I’m too embarrassed to admit how much of a geek I am, but I’m definitely geekier than the poster below me (and he is geekier than all of the posters above me, and below him, combined!

  23. Jeremie Lariviere

    I know I’m a geek because…

    – I have more items on my belt or in pockets than Batman did.
    – My car has a name that no one I’ve met to date has yet gotten:
    “Lazlar Lyricon”
    – Several of my non-geek friends have told me “you know, there’s this show you should apply to… it’s a social experiment…”
    – I saw the windows desktop blooper in Maximum velocity on first viewing when i didn’t know in advance it was there…
    – I have 10 different web browsers that i used on a regular basis (not counting my linux machine).
    – I know where my towel is.
    – If I got a tattoo, it would be 101010
    – I think re-installing & configuring OSs is fun

  24. Jeremie Lariviere

    I believe from Chris Pirillo:
    “A Geek is a person who’s life revolves around Technology, and likes it that way”

  25. Ken

    I can unbrand and unlock my cell phone, and my wife’s, and my spare; and don’t realize my wife has no idea what that means!

  26. patrickj

    ** NOT a contest entry**
    I know I’m a geek – and swell with geeky pride and happiness – when my 5 year old daughter tells her mom not to launch IE, but to please use Flock or Firefox to get to the MyLittlePony.com site.

  27. Matthew Miller (aka palmsolo)

    I know I am a geek because:

    -When I go to a conference and tell people my name is Matt Miller they look at me and think “that’s nice.” Then I tell them my online name is Palmsolo and they all say “oh yeah, I know you and read your stuff.”

    -My Fujitsu U810 UMPC is named Ubacca because Chewbacca is Han Solo’s right hand man and my Ubacca is my (Palmsolo’s) right hand man.

    -I spent 7 years writing for Geek.com

    -I get as excited as a kid at Christmas when I get home and see a plain brown box from FedEx on the porch (filled with another mobile phone)

    -I switch between about 3-5 smartphone on a DAILY basis and am never found with less than 2 with me

  28. Scott

    You know your a geek when you speak in ‘IM Lingo’ to real people, and make it sound like a real word.
    For example: (brb)
    ‘Hey guys, burb, just dont leave with out me!’

  29. bamhm182

    You know you a geek when you can’t keep a girl in your bed for more than… wait… GIRLS!?!?! EEEEEK!!! *Deploys the Paladins with 18 charisma and 97 hit points, and their helms of Disintegration and do 1D4 damage as their half elf mages wield their +5 Holy Avengers!* Wait… I don’t have those… *huddles up and crys*

    You know you’re a geek when you can gold star Dragonforce(Guitar Hero III, but I’m sure everyone here already knows that :P) on Expert without breaking a sweat.

    You know you’re a geek when your Xbox 360 is your best friend because he understands you more than anyone else.

    You know you’re a geek when your only friends live either on the Enterprise(Star Trek) or in their room in some other country.

    You know you’re a geek when you tell everyone at school you’re having a party than freak out when they bring booze and don’t have their MMORPG costumes on.

    You know you’re a geek when you’d rather shoot yourself than go outside for more than 5 minutes.

    You know you’re a geek when you wake up every day in your parent’s basement dressed as Hans Solo.

    You know you’re a geek if you’ve got a model of the Enterprise somewhere in your room, you know, the one with the lights and the pshewy noises. EEEEH! I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE YEAR 2063!

    You know you’re a geek when the only person you’ve ever danced with is that life size doll of Princess Leah.

    You know you’re a geek when you’re only goal in life is to become Capitan of the Enterprise. Oh, that and become the highest level Druid at your WoW parties, oh, you say that’s already true? ZING!

    You know you’re a nerd if you’ve memorized any of the following languages : HTML, C, C++, Klingon, Binary, A+, Wookie speak, BASIC, BETA, or Elvish.

  30. bamhm182

    heh, thought of one more. I’m on a roll here, hopefully some of these will be funny. :P

    You know you’re a geek if you give the UPS man a 15 minute acceptance speech in Binary or Klingon just for dropping off your package, than beg him to play DnD with you instead of going back to work.

    You know the UPS man is a geek if he understands and loves your 15 minute acceptance speech, than plays DnD with you for the rest of the day, than when he notices you’re still living in your parents basement, he does a little dance because he too lives with his parents.

  31. bamhm182

    Okay, last one, I promise… maybe…

    You know you’re a geek if you meet a real space crew, and criticize them because they’re not up to code with the Enterprise’s rules. I mean, c’mon, they don’t have a Klingon or ANYTHING!?! What’s up with that!?!

  32. David Bevan

    When every Dilbert makes total sense and you even consider cut&pasting some in your Lessons Learned documents.

  33. Singh

    You know you ar a geek when the on a trip the only book that you have are in electronic(pdf) format.

    You know you are a geek when you have 12 USB ports in you computer and not 1 of them is free.

    You know you are a geek when you laugh at people when they say they have a Dell, HP or Compaq, and your garage is a junkyard full of computer parts.

  34. Singh

    You know you are a geek when you can’t concentrate on anything while you are waiting for the new pocket pc that you have ordered online and you keep on checking the online delivery status every 10 minutes.

    You know you are a geek when you have to think, when somebody ask you “How many computer do you have in your home?”.

    You know you are a geek when you find the missing usb flash drive in the bottom of the washing machine.

    You know you are a geek when you the first place you look for the missing usb flash drive is the bottom of the washing machine.

  35. Singh

    You know you are a geek when you type 209.85.171.104 in IE when you want to search on google.

  36. Jeremie Lariviere

    You know you’re a geek if you know your IP address, but not what you ate last, or when it was.

    you know you’re a geek if you have more tweaks & utilities installed than all games & office programs combined.

    you know you’re a geek if you complain about the missing zero when you celebrate PI day

    you know you’re a geek if you knew what I was talking about in that last one :-)

  37. Marla

    You know you’re a geek (or part of a geeky family) when…

    -you download all the classics for your children to read in electronic format on their Palm devices or their computer
    -you shop online, and your kids send their purchase requests by email
    -you beam school assignments to your homeschooled children’s device
    -you set up a web page on your home network and put all the links out for your children’s research project
    -you own a copy of MS Excel 1.0, and can remember when the terminology “desktop publishing” was invented
    -you IM with people who are in the same house, or same room
    -while dating your now-husband of many years, you would finger the servers, found out where he was, and initiate chat
    -your husband spends most of his free time in front of a computer–but you think that it’s normal
    -even your 9 yo dd looks things up on IMDB while watching tv
    -every child (even under 10) has their own email address, securely set up behind your firewall
    -not only do you know which ST episode it is, but so does your husband, your best friend, and his best friend (who happen to be married)
    -your children would rather watch old Mission Impossible episodes or ST then today’s shows
    -when you stay up late with your husband to catch reruns of Dr. Who, and compare the characters (that’s a britgeek, I guess)
    -you wanted to grow up and marry Johhny Quest

    You know your friends are geeky, too:
    -when they’re thrilled their phone number is only primes
    -you all get the math jokes
    -they come over and hang out — on purpose!

    I thought you’d find the mom geek aspect fun. My husband is completely geekier than me, and his card says Unix Sage. He sometimes calls us grasshopper.

  38. Jefe

    When you’re not afraid to use FileZ.
    When your wife asks you “what’s FileZ?”
    When your mom calls you for tech support.
    When you hit the snooze button on your PDA in the morning.
    When someone’s PDA goes off in a lecture hall and everyone reaches to check theirs but you don’t because you know what yours sounds like.
    When you’ve forgotten your friend’s phone number because it’s in your PDA.
    When you’ve forgotten your phone number because it’s in your PDA.
    When your kids would rather draw on Paint than regular paper.
    When you actually know what each wire coming out the back of your PC does, and what it’s connected to.
    When you own a PDA but are afraid to get a cell phone because “isn’t the telephone a form of slavery?”

  39. bamhm182

    Okay, last one for sure…

    You know you’re a geek when you’ve got every OS known to man installed on your computer and you use them all on a daily basis.

    You know you’re a geek when you die laughing when you hear “What’s a Linux?”

    You know you’re a geek when instead of old copies of PC Magazine stuffed under your mattress.

    You know you’re a geek when you go into apply for a job and in the name field, you put your online handle.

    You know you’re a geek when you’ve got a [URL="http://www.thinkgeek.com/geektoys/warfare/69de/"]realistic light saber replica[/URL] and you’re not afraid to use it! WRAR! I AM GEEK! HEAR ME WROAR!!!

    You know you’re a geek when the only thing you want for your birthday is money electronically transferred to you so you can spend it at mouser.com.

    You know you’re a geek when you’ve got mouser’s phone book of a catalog memorized.

    You know you’re a geek when the owner of Mouser knows you on a first name basis.

    You know you’re a geek when the owner of Mouser is embarrassed to say he knows you.

  40. bamhm182

    Okay, last one for sure…

    You know you’re a geek when you’ve got every OS known to man installed on your computer and you use them all on a daily basis.

    You know you’re a geek when you die laughing when you hear “What’s a Linux?”

    You know you’re a geek when instead of old copies of PC Magazine stuffed under your mattress.

    You know you’re a geek when you go into apply for a job and in the name field, you put your online handle.

    You know you’re a geek when you’ve got a realistic light saber replica** and you’re not afraid to use it! WRAR! I AM GEEK! HEAR ME WROAR!!!

    You know you’re a geek when the only thing you want for your birthday is money electronically transferred to you so you can spend it at mouser.com.

    You know you’re a geek when you’ve got mouser’s phone book of a catalog memorized.

    You know you’re a geek when the owner of Mouser knows you on a first name basis.

    You know you’re a geek when the owner of Mouser is embarrassed to say he knows you.

    **http://www.thinkgeek.com/geektoys/warfare/69de/

  41. bamhm182

    There we go, I guess it just doesn’t like url tags… I had the link tagged around “realistic light saber replica”

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