Sunday, August 2, 2009

How To Become A True Computer Geek

Little known to most, there are many benefits to being a computer geek. In our high-tech society, being a computer guru can be one of the most high paying jobs available and they are highly in demand, especially if you want to become a network administrator. By tapping into your inner geek, you can develop a most useful skill that will be sure to pay off later in life.


  1. Learn what hardware is.
  2. Learn what software is.
  3. Learn the specs (technical specifications) of your computer. There are some programs one can use in order to learn the specific specs a computer has, if you do not know off-hand. E.g. CPU-Z.
  4. Learn to navigate a computer without using the explorer window, only by using the command line. Here are some common commands:
    • cd folder (*nix/Windows) to change the directory to folder
    • ls (*nix) or dir (Windows) to list the files or folders in the current directory
    • rm file (*nix) or del file (Windows) to remove file
    • mkdir name (*nix/Windows) or md name (Windows) to make a directory with a name of name
    • cp origfile newfile (*nix) or copy origfile newfile (Windows) to copy origfile to newfile
    • Note: *nix is any Unix based system such as Linux, BSD, or MacOS X (previous versions of Mac OS are not based off of Unix)
    • Note: Cygwin allows you to use *nix commands in the Windows Environment.

  5. Learn to type without looking at the keyboard,
  6. Ask. If someone does something on a computer that you would like to know, ask them about it.
  7. Learning a programming language is a must-do. HTML is not considered a geeky language, nor CSS, HTML is a markup language and CSS is a presentation language. Python and PHP are excellent programming languages for beginner geeks, while Perl and C should only be learned after grasping the basic "geeky" computer and Internet concepts. If you chose to learn HTML learn XHTML.
  8. Start learning basic repair procedures. This can help you out a lot if your or someone else's computer breaks down, which will also increase your reputation as a computer geek. You may lProxy-Connection: keep-alive
  9. Cache-Control: max-age=0
  10. rn the advanced methods, but that may require lessons from an actual computer geek.
  11. Work with others with their computer problems. By interacting with other PC users, you may find that they know things that you don't and vice versa. However as a computer geek wannabe, you'll want to know more about computer than your friends, at any given time.
  12. Help others out with their computer problems. Not only will you build a name for yourself, but it is good practice and can help you learn about situations and problems you have not encountered before.
  13. Learn to recognize malware(computer viruses, spyware and the other nasty stuff) before running the daily antivirus/antispyware scans.
  14. Use a restrictive firewall, that would cause normal people to cry because they don't understand how to use it. Of course, you should know how to use it!
  15. Use an Open Source Operating System
    • Most computer geeks will use an open OS such as BSD or Linux, because it is (usually) free and allows them to do geeky stuff such as programming, running servers and using a command line interface (CLI).

  16. Know the expression "Free as in beer or free as in speech" and what it means.
  17. Use Shortcuts.
  18. Know the inner workings of the Internet.
  19. Remember to keep things simple. Skip overwhelming or overly-complicated ideas. Instead, focus on learning the knowledge and skills you may need to accomplish a big idea in the future.
  20. Learn to speak Geek!
  21. Binary is very important to geeks. Learn It
  22. One of the best ways is to look up the meaning of any word in wikipedia. On any wikipedia page, just click on all the words you don't know. You will be led into a massive spider web and you will amass a wealth of knowledge. For example, look up the word Code (as in computers) in wikipedia.
    • Now, do you know the meaning of "stored procedures"? if not, open the link in a new tab. Here, you find another unknown term, "Relational database system". Open that in a new tab. Keep doing that until you've thought you've had enough. Now come back all the way and check out all the other meanings. By the end of half an hour, you know at least 20-30 new terms.
    • An interesting fact about wikipedia (for those newcomers) is that every article in wikipedia starts with the link
    • Now you can type whatever you want after the link and you will get the article you want 90% of the time except when it doesn't exist, you've typed the wrong spelling, or a disambiguation. But beware, if you're searching for a two word or more article, then you must put underscores instead of spaces and the first letter of the first word must be capitalized.
    • That said, those of you who don't know what "tabs" are, check out:

  23. Subscribe to something This does not only mean subscribing to a technologically oriented magazine such as Wired, but also regularly reading tech news sites such as Cnet. With the internet option, try using RSS or Atom.
  24. Customize your User Interface Dont just stick to that chearful green Start button, create your own User Interface using cool shades of black or red.
  25. Get a job in the computer industry/business.


  • If you use Windows, obtain an anti-virus and spyware software, as this can keep your computer infection-free. Be sure you are wary of what anti-virus and spyware programs you download, however, as many turn out to be more malicious than the problems they are supposed to prevent.
  • When fixing computers, it may be good to keep a flash drive or IPod to carry utilities, diagnostics, or just the drive for space to move files from/to computers for diagnostic purposes. Get PortableApps ( installed on it so you can run programs straight off your hard drive.
  • When fixing software, keep a CD with you, containing at least 5 different antivirus and antispyware products and an open OS.
  • Always have a better sort of cooling system(preferably liquid nitrogen) when overclocking computers.
  • Try to refer to the internet as "the tubes, the interbutts, the interwebz, the intertubes", etc., and find out what makes them funny.


  • Trying to fix computer problems(specifically hardware problems) may void the said hardware's warranty. But of course, computer geeks do that every day.
  • Make sure you don't become obsessed with computers; being a geek and having an interest in computers and how they work is one thing, letting that interest take over your life is another. If you find yourself thinking of computers all the time, take a break (a few days) from using the computer.

Related wikiHows

How to Be a Computer Geek
Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Be a Computer Geek. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.


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