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Definitions for the word



My first computer was a
TI 99-4/A...
heh heh heh.
Random House
SamSara Computer Geek definition
Various View
Some selections from
"Jargon Watch" by Gareth Branwyn


Random House definition

geek (gek), n. Slang. 1. a carnival performer who performs sensationally morbid or disgusting acts, as biting off the head of a live chicken. 2. person; fellow. [prob. var. of Scot geck fool]

Webster's definition

geek n : a person with an unusual or odd personality [syn: {eccentric}, {eccentric person}, {oddball}]

Geek: a definition

"But just what is a geek?" you ask. Well, I'll tell you. At least, I'll tell you my definition... which may be different from "general usage" of the term, webster's definition, and even the definition used by other geeks.

A geek is someone who spends time being "social" on a computer. This could mean chatting on irc or icb, playing multi-user games, posting to, or even writing shareware. Someone who just uses their computer for work, but doesn't spend their free time "on line" is not a geek. Most geeks are technically adept and have a great love of computers, but not all geeks are programming wizards. Some just know enough unix to read mail and telnet out to their favorite MUD.

Geeks are generally social outcasts from mainstream america. The ranks of geekdom are swelled with gamers, ravers, science fictions fans, punks, perverts, programmers, nerds, subgenii, and trekkies. These are people who did not go to their high school proms, and many would be offended by the suggestion that they should have even wanted to. Geeks prefer to socialize with other geeks, the self proclaimed weird. Therefore they go online to organize parties, food runs, drink runs, and movie nights, and be assured that their companions would rather talk about superheros as modern mythology than the latest football scores.

Geeks are their own society: a literate, hyperinformed underground. The community accepts people from all walks of life, assuming they have access to the net and the skill to use it. Geeks are rather openminded with regards to nonstandard lifestyles. Many geeks are queer, more practice non-monogamy, and the most common religion is neo-paganism. You can't tell if someone is a geek just by looking at them, there is no dress code. Some dress casual, some prefer silk - but few pay attention to current fashion. You are more likey to see a geek in a renaissance bodice than a dress from glamour magazine; or a tiedye instead of suit and tie.

The unwritten geek credo states that originality and strangeness are good, and that blind conformity and stupidity are unforgivable.

Take care not to confuse the terms geek and nerd. A nerd is a person with no social skills, usually obsessed with science or technology (geek is more computer specific). Nerds are known for their pocket protectors, taped glasses, and plaid shirts. Many nerds are also geeks, using the net as a safe screen to hide behind while practicing their social skills. However they rarely come out to be seen in person at live geek events, so there is little reason to be concerned.

The term hacker tends to refer to the more programming intense set of the geek crowd. However the term is overused in the popular media, and therefore is no longer much used among "real geeks". Hacker also has negative connotations related to cracking, or illegally obtaining access to computers and accounts.

Geek can also be used as a verb. "To geek" is to sit online and read mail, news, chat, and otherwise waste time in front of a keyboard. This "geeking" often consumes many hours, even if the intention was to "just log in and check my mail." Some would say this time would be better spent being social in person or even just being curled up in a sunbeam.

There was once a special breed of geeks known as b-geeks after the computer, where they gathered. However, many of these b-geeks graduated, more failed out, and ucscb has waned in importance in the ucsc computer system. Now spread to the winds of computer access, they still gather in electronic forums and do lots of fun stuff. The group is now known as scruz-geeks, and you can find out more about them on the santa cruz geek social scene page.

Various View

Computer Geek /n./ 1. One who eats (computer) bugs for a living. One who fulfills all the dreariest negative stereotypes about hackers: an asocial, malodorous, pasty-faced monomaniac with all the personality of a cheese grater. Cannot be used by outsiders without implied insult to all hackers. A computer geek may be either a fundamentally clueless individual or a proto-hacker in larval stage. Also called 'turbo nerd', 'turbo geek'. See also propeller head, clustergeeking, geek out, wannabee, terminal junkie, spod, weenie. 2. Some self-described computer geeks use this term in a positive sense and protest sense (this seems to have been a post-1990 development).

This is an example of something Geeky...

"!97/07/11 PDP a ni deppart m'I !pleH" would be typical humor of the late 1970's, Programmable Data Processor.  The conventions of the assembler in which PDP machine programs are usually written are such that, when visible to the programmer, the machine language of the PDP computer caused all the content to appear backwards.

Jargon Watch
by Gareth Branwyn

Jargon Watch:  1) What the digital generation becomes after tanking up on too much coffee.
2)  Fear and anxiety associated with not knowing the latest jargon, acronyms, and buzzwords of the Digital Revolution.

Articulizer The device through which certain radio new organizations (such as NPR) must feed interviews to make everyone come out sounding thoughtful and articulate.  Also called the "de-UMMer."  
  One who worships brute speed when it comes to Internet connections -- the type of person who has a leased line in his/her bedroom. Bandwidth Junkie
Batmobiling Putting up protective emotional shields just as a relationship enters an intimate, vulnerable stage.  Refers to the retracting armor covering the Batmobile.  
  The brief seizure people sometimes have when their beeper goes off (especially in vibrator mode).  Characterized by physical spasms, goofy facial expressions, and interruption of speech in midsentence. Beepilepsy
Betamaxed When a technology is overtaken by an inferior, but better marketed, technology.  "Apple was betamaxed out of the market by Microsoft."  
  Someone who uses a public, coin-operated computer terminal to log onto the Internet. Bitnik
Bitraking [from Muckraking] Net-based investigative journalism.  
  Losing one's train of thought.  Occurs when the person you're speaking with won't let you get a word in edgewise, and/or has just said something so astonishing that your train gets derailed.  "Damn, I just blew my buffer!" Blowing Your Buffer
When a product is said by its maker to work with all the standards and tech trends du jour.  
  Used to describe an ill-advised activity.  Sending one's boss a memo on recycled paper, the reverse of which contains a rant against him/her, is a serious CLM (a real-life example, btw). Career-limiting Maneuver (CLM)
Chain Saw Consultants Outside experts brought in to reduce the employee headcount (leaving the top brass with clean hands).  
  Porn purveyors who operate free sample sites designed to funnel traffic to pay commercial adult sites and get paid a few cents for each clickthrough. Clickthrough Farmers
Cobweb A World Wide Web site that hasn't been updated for a long time.  A dead Web page.  

Withholding source code and working files until paid in full for contract programming work -- common practice among freelancers. Codenapping
Depotphobia Fear associated with entering a Home Depot (or similar building supply store) because of how much money one might spend.  Electronics geeks experience Shackophobia.  
  To be exploited, oppressed, and screwed over by one's boss.  Derived from the experiences of Dilbert, the geek-in-hell comic strip character.  "I've been Dilberted again.  The ol' man revised the software specs for the fourth time this week."  The corresponding adjective is "Diblertesque." Dilberted
Elvis Year The peak year of something's popularity.   "Barney the dinosaur's Elvis year was 1993."  
  Term used to describe a phone system that supposedly won't become technologically outdated (at least anytime soon). Future-proof
Generica Features of the American landscape (strip malls, motel chains, prefab housing) that are exactly the same no matter where one is.  "We were so lost in generica, I actually forgot what city we were in."  See also Ant Farm.  
  A diplomat selected for his or her celebrity and appearance, not for any particular knowledge of foreign policy or international affairs. "Linda Gray of TV's Dallas was just made goodwill glambassador for the UN Population Fund." Glambassador
Going Postal Euphemism for being totally stressed out, for losing it.   Makes reference to the unfortunate track record of postal employees who have snapped and gone on shooting rampages.

Going postal is the hands-down winner of the most submitted term to the Jargon Watch column.  Strangely enough, after its initial appearance in the February 1994 issue of Wired, it took almost another year before we got further submissions of it.  Now, we get one every couple of months.  Go postal was used in the 1995 film Clueless.

High Dome Synonym for "egghead."  A scientist.  
  Entertainment and media spectacles that are annoying, but you find yourself unable to stop watching them.  The O.J. trials were a prime example. Irritainment
Kubris An extreme form of arrogance found in multimedia auteurs who think they're Stanley Kubrick.  
  One of the many slang terms for the physical world as opposed to the virual.  See also Carbon Community, Facetime, F2F, and RL. Meatspace
Metajacking Stealing the content of another site's HTML meta tag because it will place your site higher in a search engine's results.  
  Instantly coined name for the Microsoft/Intel/ Compaq/Baby Bell digital subscriber line "standard." MSDSL
Percussive Maintenance The fine art of whacking the crap out of an electronic device to get it to work again.  This may be old military slang but it is equally applicable to the world of computer hardware.

Someone reported on the sci.electronics newsgroup that several studies have shown that connectors/connections are the most failure-prone element in an electronic system.  Bad connections weaken, solder cracks, connectors and switches oxidize, potentiometers get dusty, and so on.   A well-placed whack can ofter jar the connection back into service.

  When someone yells or drops something loudly in a cube farm and everyone's heads pop up over the walls to see what's going on. Prairie Dogging
Ribs 'n' Dick A departmental budget with no fat for pet projects.   "We've got ribs 'n' dick and we're supposed to find 20K for memory upgrades."  See also MCI Project.  
  When you spend the entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed in the end. Salmon Day
Silicon Alley The area of lower Manhattan that has a high concentration of computer and multimedia firms.  
  Short for "Silicon Hollywood," the coming convergence of movies, interactive television, and computers.  See also Hollywired. Siliwood
Square-headed Girlfriend (or Boyfriend) Another word for a computer.  The victim of a square-headed girlfriend is a "computer widow."  
  High-ranking telecom executives who are more like government bureaucrats than businesspeople. Telecrats
Treeware Hacker slang for documentation or other printed material.   See also Dead Tree Edition.  
  A sexual relation of dubious standing.  "This is Dale, my... um... friend...." Umfriend
Under Mouse Arrest Getting busted for violating an online service's rules of conduct.  See also TOSsed out.  
  A poorly designed voicemail system that has so many submenus one gets lost and has to hang up and call back. Voice Jail System
Webbelganger A person who comes up in an online search but is not the person you're searching for.  
  The real meaning of "WWW." World Wide Wait
Yuppie Food Coupons The ubiquitous $20 bills spewed out of ATMs everywhere.   Often used when trying to split the bill after a meal:  "We all owe $8, but all anybody's got is yuppie food coupons."  


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