August 27, 2008

How to Entice a Nerd

Having a nerdy boyfriend is becoming more popular these days and not just because of the potential financial gain, but because the nerd of this day and age is no longer merely a programmer, he is the handyman of all things computer-related and most importantly, can quickly self-educate on anything else you need. Most nerds are loyal but have issues with self-esteem and being social (think of it as a challenge).

Now, it is extremely easy to attract a nerd's interest, but to truly develop a lasting relationship, you need to do your homework. If this comes naturally to you, congrats! All you need to do is go out there and drop some references. If not, use the lists and suggestions below to find at least one or two nerdy things that you feel you can get into. Remember, it has to be genuine interest! Nerds are smart, they'll eventually see through you if you feign interest in a nerdy activity. For the good-looking ones, it'll be a big bonus if you are at least down-to-earth pretty. It's been my experience that most nerds like girls that don't spend an inordinate amount of time looking good every day (it also intimidates them). This means minimal to no makeup day-to-day, but feel free to glam up for special occasions.

Required Reading List:
Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (for extra credit, read the entire series)
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Recommended: Snowcrash, 1984, Dune, A Brave New World, The Name of the Wind, Harry Potter series

Required Watching List:
Star Wars (original)
At Least 5 episodes of Star Trek (The Next Generation version)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (for extra credit, watch the other Monty Python offerings)
Office Space
Evangelion
Firefly TV series
2001: Space Odyssey
The Simpsons TV series
Recommended: Futurama TV series, South Park TV series, The 5th Element, Ghost Busters

Websites:
Slashdot - News
Digg - News
IGN - Gaming News
Wikipedia - Information about everything
xkcd - Comic
Penny Arcade - Gaming Comic
Homestar Runner - Animated Web Comic
Bonus: research Internet Memes, such as All Your Base Are Belong to Us

Basic Terminology:
Monitor - the screen that you are looking at. Is connected to the
Computer - the box that holds the various parts that allow you to do stuff, like access the
Internet - a network of cables throughout the world that allow your computer to be connected to servers and millions of other computers, not to be confused with
Internet Browsers - programs that display the content of the Internet such as Internet Explorer (IE), Mozilla Firefox, Opera, etc.
Motherboard - core piece of your computer that determines how much RAM your computer can handle and the other types of pieces that your computer can use.
Random Access Memory (RAM) - the part in your computer that controls how many items you can have open at a time and running. Not to be confused with
Hard Drive Space - what your computer uses to store files and programs.
Sound Card - is considered to be "on board" if the motherboard comes with one. Used to produce sound. Can be bought as a separate piece from the motherboard.
Video Card - same as sound card except for video/motion, especially important for computer games because their graphics are more intense.
Ping Time - the amount of time it takes your computer to access a game server or website.
Lag - used to describe what happens when you have a high ping time. For example, games tend to look like they're moving in slow motion and websites take a really long time to refresh.
Framerate - used in games to describe how quickly the screen refreshes. Measured in seconds, framerate per second or FPS, which is not to be confused with
First Person Shooter (FPS) - a genre of games where you are the person shooting things. Examples would be Halo, Quake, Doom, or HalfLife/CounterStrike.
Leet (written as 1337) - elite or cool.
Über - a german word meaning super or extreme.
Fail or Epic Fail - when you or someone has messed up.
w00t or woot - exclaimation of pride and accomplishment.
Pwn or Pwned - to win against someone or to say that someone has been beaten. For example, "I pwned you!" would be equivalent to saying "I beat you!".
Bonus:
Frag
- to kill someone in a first person shooter game.
Modem - Short for modulator-demodulator. Enables a computer to transmit data over telephone or cable lines. Computer information is stored digitally but information sent over telephone lines is in the form of analog waves. A modem converts between these two forms.
Router - directs Internet information.

Games:
*Note* - Games can be pretty expensive and it is not necessary that you have actually played the game. An interest in playing a game is just as good and is a ready-made date idea. For any of the titles below, you can look up information from various websites (IGN).
Computer (also known as PC) games - Spore, Quake/Doom/Half-Life/CounterStrike, World of Warcraft (WoW), Diablo, StarCraft, Portal, Fallout, Might and Magic, Warhammer 40k Dawn of War
Console (an extra piece of equipment you need to buy to play the game) games - Halo, Gears of War, Guitar Hero, RockBand (extra credit if you can play the drums), Burnout, Final Fantasy
Different types of consoles:
XBox 360 - made by Microsoft
Wii - made by Nintendo
Playstation 3 (PS3) - made by Sony
Bonus: read up on Jack Thompson and listen to a few Jonathan Coltan's songs (Still Alive (though it's the end song to the game Portal), Code Monkey, Re: Your Brains).