Yohannon (yohannon) wrote,

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Beware of Geeks...

So there's this other Mac fanatic at Perforce. We had this bonding experience on Tuesday as we watched an IRC feed from MacWorld SF (they don't do the webcasts any more, at least not live. I guess they were just a tad too technically demanding).

He actually made a point of meeting me when I joined the company -- apparently he knew who I was by reputation. I think that was one of the ego biscuits that sustained me during those first weeks as I wandered about the halls of the Perfortress, wondering when it would be painfully obvious that a horrible mistake had been made and I was escorted out of the building by security.

Of course, Perforce doesn't HAVE a security force, but there's no denying the full impact of an overactive imagination fueled by rampaging self doubt.

But I digress.

A side effect of every subsequent meeting is swapping Mac tricks and tips. You know, "I didn't know you could do that!" stuff.

Ironically, his tip this week is cross platform compatible. We're both FireFox fanatics, but until this weeks I hadn't done anything more exotic than tweaking hidden preferences. But now...

Now I have discovered FireFox EXTENSIONS.

Actually, I needed a quick and dirty IRC client for the keynote feed. This led me to Chatzilla, the IRC extension for the browser that let me link directly to an IRC server and chat... all without leaving the browser.

Then M told me about SessionSaver, and my whole life changed. One of the problems that pisses me off no end is that there wasn't an easy way to say "save all of these darn tabs and re-open them exactly as I have them now", which wouldn't be a big deal... except that FireFox still occasionally crashes, or something else happens and I have to re-boot, or...

I *like* having everything set up in a certain way. SessionSaver let me do all of that, and more. Happy geek!

Except it tore open that freebie candy store, and I could NOT eat just ONE, forsooth!

There was a LiveJournal context menu extension (now you don't have to remember those weird LJ tag syntax... it does it for you!) and a Friends List update notifier. Then there was a solid RSS manager so I could just set up the feeds for the news sites that I was pulling up individually. Then there were THEMES, and I could tighten up the interface to fit more stuff onscreen. Then...

There was a lot of cool stuff.

I've noticed a resurgence of late of my latent geek side. Those of you who thought I was being geeky have no idea just how much GEEKIER I used to be. I just commented in perlandria 's LJ about how I'm actually looking forward to the new video card arriving so I can try PC gaming again -- for the first time in neigh a dozen years.

Man... those were good times, using the network at SuperMac to play Marathon*, blowing each other up. Of course, now I'll probably be at "novice" level for at least a year before I can catch up with the 21st century.

I sometimes wonder if being so far ahead of the curve was as much a contributing factor to my tech burnout as overly intense employment in the tech field did. After all, I had an e-mail address as early as 1979, and was tinkering with PC's in '82.

Of course, another problem is the sheer BREADTH that tech has today. At one time it was possible to at least grasp everything happening in high tech... today, that's not unlike a Doctor trying to grasp the vast volume of medical knowledge at even a intuitive level. When I started, ASCII (text) was pretty much it. Then there was formatted text, graphics, animation, music, video...

Making matters worse is my inability to focus on a specific sub-genre.

Well, that's starting to change. I think over the next year or so, I'll start feeling like a real geek again.


Now, where's my direct neural interface?
Tags: geeky
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