Like I mentioned in the last post, I’m taking a little bit of a different approach with this blog. Rather than try to blog about my life, which, in my opinion, leads to rapid loss of interest both on my part and the part of my readers, I’ve decided to focus on something that I’m actually interested in (and I hope interests a few of you): technology. Specifically, computers.

I got pulled in at a pretty young age. First it was the computer games – Load Runner on our black-and-white Macintosh; later, Warcraft 2 on our 486. It just escalated from there. I still play a lot of video games (my parents will tell you that I play way too much, and they’re probably right), but the less… flashy end of computing pulled me in, slowly but surely, as time went on.

My Dad taught me some basic DOS commands as we installed Doom from about nine floppies. I learned how to install and uninstall programs, tweak the operating system to gain more performance, mess with the registry enough to need a Windows reinstallation… (not very hard, that last one – but a rant on the Windows registry should be a topic for another day)

I downloaded tool after tool, tinkering with different things. I discovered the editor wars (Vim vs. Emacs), and decided I wanted to take a side in that war. (Vim, by the way…’s where I’m editing this article right now!) I eventually took a large course in C# and Java my senior year in high school, and that’s when the fun really began.

Along this journey I discovered a few things.

  • The ability to build a computer from components means nothing. Anyone who claims they’re computer-savvy because they built their own computer is naïve and generally not computer-savvy at all. Computer-savvy people know that building computers means basically nothing.

  • Nobody knows everything about computers. It’s true. This ties in nicely with the previous point in that if someone claims they know everything about computers, they probably know next to nothing.

  • “Computer genius” is not defined by the knowledge you have – it’s defined by the ability to successfully find, interpret, and apply the information needed to solve a problem. 99% of the time, any problem you’re having has been solved by someone else. Finding that information is an art, however. Anyone can type things into Google. But how many people do you know who always find the answer they’re looking for from Google?

The point is, I don’t claim to know everything. In fact, I generally know just enough to (1) be dangerous, and (2) have an idea of how much I do not know. But I do know a few things, and hope to be able to share some of them. I also hope to be able to learn a few things in turn from you, the reader. So please, comment! I love questions, and I’ll do my best to find the answer for you, and I love it when people give new ideas/tricks, or yes, even when they correct errors in my knowledge.

So let’s get to it! =)

PS: Now that you know the topic of this post, props to whoever can guess the reference in the title. Party on.