my commentary on Wired’s GeekDad 100 Essential Skills for Geeks

  1. Properly secure a wireless router. yep.
  2. Crack the WEP key on a wireless router. if you have the skill and don’t use it, does it count?
  3. Leech Wifi from your neighbour. been there done that.
  4. Screw with Wifi leeches. haven’t had much of a chance to do that of late
  5. Setup and use a VPN. and i can teach people how it works too.
  6. Work from home or a coffee shop as effectively as you do at the office. anywhere i got a computer and network connection.
  7. Wire your own home with Ethernet cable. uh huh. including using wds to hardwire a machine without wifi, instead of running excessive amounts of cable.
  8. Turn a web camera into security camera. creepy but yes.
  9. Use your 3G phone as a Wi-Fi access point. no 3G phone, but just recently i did it with two laptops
  10. Understand what “There’s no Place Like 127.0.0.1” means. yes.
  11. Identify key-loggers. yep.
  12. Properly connect a TV, Tivo, XBox, Wii, and Apple TV so they all work together with the one remote. haven’t done it with those particular items but used my visor edge as the remote for my tv & vcr
  13. Program a universal remote. in my sleep.
  14. Swap out the battery on your iPod/iPhone. have the tool to get the ipod open in my drawer.
  15. Benchmark Your Computer. yes.
  16. Identify all computer components on sight. yes.
  17. Know which parts to order from NewEgg.com, and how to assemble them into a working PC. and yes, but why would i?
  18. Troubleshoot any computer/gadget problem, over the phone. to the point where i find myself doing it far too often.
  19. Use any piece of technology intuitively, without instruction or prior knowledge. scarily so.
  20. How to irrecoverably protect data. is that even possible? but i have backups of my backups offsite
  21. Recover data from a dead hard drive. too many times for it to even been considered fun.
  22. Share a printer between a Mac and a PC on a network. is this really a skill?
  23. Install a Linux distribution. (Hint: Ubuntu 9.04 is easier than installing Windows) in a virtual windows client no less.
  24. Remove a virus from a computer. not since the 90s
  25. Dual (or more) boot a computer. again, is this a skill?
  26. Boot a computer off a thumb drive. this shouldn’t count as a skill
  27. Boot a computer off a network drive. neither should this.
  28. Replace or repair a laptop keyboard. with ease.
  29. Run more than two monitors on a single computer. is there any other way?
  30. Successfully disassemble and reassemble a laptop. yes.
  31. Know at least 10 software easter eggs off the top of your head. yep.
  32. Bypass a computer password on all major operating systems. WindowsMacLinux no comment.
  33. Carrying a computer cleaning arsenal on your USB drive. yes.
  34. Bypass content filters on public computers. no comment.
  35. Protect your privacy when using a public computer. not a real skill.
  36. Surf the web anonymously from home. neither is this
  37. Buy a domain, configure bind, apache, MySQL, php, and WordPress without Googling a how-to. i should hope so
  38. Basic *nix command shell knowledge with the ability to edit and save a file with vi. self taught too, but i did learn basic as a child.
  39. Create a web site using vi. not that hardcore.
  40. Transcode a DVD to play on a portable device. isn’t that illegal?
  41. Hide a file in an image using steganography. i can but have never had cause to.
  42. Knowing the answer to life, the universe and everything. what is six by nine (base 13)?
  43. Share a single keyboard and mouse between multiple computers without a KVM switch. only if you count target mode.
  44. Google obscure facts in under 3 searches. Bonus point if you can use I Feel Lucky. here, LMGTFY.
  45. Build amazing structures with LEGO and invent a compelling back story for the creation. i can but i defer to my son, the master.
  46. Understand that it is LEGO, not Lego, Legos, or Lego’s. since 1977
  47. Build a two story house out of LEGO, in monochrome, with a balcony. again, possible but i defer to those greater than myself.
  48. Construct a costume for you or your kid out of scraps, duct tape, paper mâché, and imagination. there are advantages to being broke sometimes.
  49. Be able to pick a lock. i plead the 5th.
  50. Determine the combination of a Master combination padlock in under 10 minutes. nope.
  51. Assemble IKEA furniture without looking at the instructions. Bonus point if you don’t have to backtrack. i have, but it’s so much fun to use the instructions and a sheet pan to organise all your parts in their piles as you’ll require them.
  52. Use a digital SLR in full manual mode. i was using SLRs before they were digital.
  53. Do cool things to Altoids tins. yep.
  54. Be able to construct paper craft versions of space ships. not a skill i possess.
  55. Origami! Bonus point for duct tape origami. (Ductigami) nope.
  56. Fix anything with duct tape, chewing gum and wire. not everything can be fixed like that, but for the things that can i have tried.
  57. Knowing how to avoid being eaten by a grue. yes.
  58. Know what a grue is. hell yes.
  59. Understand where XYZZY came from, and have used it. yes.
  60. Play any SNES game on your computer through an emulator. yes.
  61. Burn the rope. what?
  62. Know the Konami code, and where to use it. yep.
  63. Whistle, hum, or play on an iPhone, the Cantina song. han shot first.
  64. Learning to play the theme songs to the kids favorite TV shows. i can’t play any musical instrument.
  65. Solve a Rubik’s Cube. solved it in two weeks, aged 10
  66. Calculate THAC0. what?
  67. Know the difference between skills and traits. never got into D&D
  68. Explain special relativity in terms an eight-year-old can grasp. no & i don’t think everything needs to be dumbed down for kids.
  69. Recite pi to 10 places or more. 3.1415926536
  70. Be able to calculate tip and split the check, all in your head. and calculate approximate tax too.
  71. Explain that the colours in a rainbow are roygbiv. if i didn’t i shouldn’t have a job.
  72. Understand the electromagnetic spectrum – xray, uv, visible, infrared, microwave, radio. yep.
  73. Know the difference between radiation and radioactive contamination. may save my life one day.
  74. Understand basic electronics components like resistors, capacitors, inductors and transistors. yes.
  75. Solder a circuit while bottle feeding an infant. (lead free solder please.) never attempted it.
  76. The meaning of technical acronyms. does FUBAR count too?
  77. The coffee dash, blindfolded (or blurry eyed). Coffee <brew> [cream] [sugar]. In under a minute. don’t drink coffee anymore and when i did, it was a one step process.
  78. Build a fighting robot. no.
  79. Program a fighting robot. no.
  80. Build a failsafe into a fighting robot so it doesn’t kill you. no, but shouldn’t 79 include the three laws?
  81. Be able to trace the Fellowship’s journey on a map of Middle Earth. oh the shame.
  82. Know all the names of the Dwarves in The Hobbit. no.
  83. Understand the difference between a comic book and a graphic novel. and if you don’t shame on you.
  84. Know where your towel is and why it is important. i’m a cool frood.
  85. Re-enact the parrot sketch. and i’ve passed the skill along.
  86. Know the words to The Lumberjack Song. that one too.
  87. Reciting key scenes from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. without which life would be a total bore.
  88. Be able to recite at least one Geek Movie word for word. i can and i’m proud.
  89. Know what the 8th Chevron does on a Stargate and how much power is required to get a lock. sadly yes.
  90. Be able to explain why it’s important that Han shot first. if i have to explain it to you…
  91. Know why it is just wrong for Luke and Leia to kiss. in that case the original poster was just wrong.
  92. Stop talking Star Wars long enough to get laid. hey they’re female star wars fans, i married one.
  93. The ability to name actors, characters and plotlines from the majority of sci-fi movies produced since 1968. only the ones that count.
  94. Cite Mythbusters when debunking a myth or urban legend. yes.
  95. Sleep with a Cricket bat next to your bed. i don’t, but i know why i should.
  96. Have a documented plan on what to do during a zombie or robot uprising. yes.
  97. Identify evil alternate universe versions of friends, family, co-workers or self. yes.
  98. Be able to convince TSA that the electronic parts you are carrying are really not a threat to passengers. no comment.
  99. Talk about things that aren’t tech related. there are things other than tech? kidding. mostly.
  100. Get something on the front page of Digg. don’t really understand the fascination. there are much better aggregators.
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