According to Wikipedia “Nerd is a derogatory slang term for a person typically described as intellectual, socially-impaired, and obsessive … A synonym is geek, though some believe it is less derogatory. Another synonym is “dork,” but it doesn’t suggest any intellectual aspects.”
In a world awash with technology, it’s hard not to get involved, but I have always been interested in computers, which I guess makes me a nerd. My introduction to programming was on a borrowed BBC Micro back in 1982, and I taught myself to program in BBC BASIC with an incomplete user manual.
Later on I had a ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Atari ST, Commodore Amiga, various Apple Macintoshes, Windows PCs and now Linux PCs. So I suppose I’m also a geek.
More recently, these colloquial insults have been adopted by their targets and are now treated as badges of honour. GeekUp is a “grassroots knowledge sharing and networking social for folks involved or interested in the web and technology industry.” and we have a branch here in Sheffield, UK.
Even the word dork, which was traditionally more insulting, has been reclaimed by people “doing strange things with electricity”. So I guess I’m a dork now too.
Recently, I have been spending a lot of time at Access Space, Sheffield, UK, researching and developing software tools for streamlining my post-production timelapse workflow. This overlaps significantly with the collaborative documentary project, Flying Monkey TV, that I started with artist Matt Lewis in 2010.
We’ve had a few false starts to the project, but in partnership with Access Space (one of NESTA’s “New Radicals”), I am making progress.
One line of investigation is using UNIX / Linux libraries on legacy Mac computers. I have a handful at home, doing nothing, and am interested to see if they can be used as workhorse machines for post-processing timelapse image captures. What interests me in Linux is not for the sake of it but the idea that I can leverage a lot of computer power cheaply, efficiently and legally.
The geek in me wants to see if it’s practical, the dork in me is stubborn enough to do it even if it’s not, and the nerd in me wants to tell everyone about it.
Other derogatory monikers that may be appropriate are noob, dweeb and spod “one who wastes time on nonproductive activities online.”
I suppose I’m also a bit of a spod, although I am less proud of that, but dweeb sounds almost lovable, and as far as Linux is concerned, I’m definitely a noob.