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This is a question How nerdy are you?

This week Gary Gygax, co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons, died. A whole generation of pasty dice-obsessed nerds owes him big time. Me included.

So, in his honour, how nerdy were you? Are you still sunlight-averse? What are the sad little things you do that nobody else understands?

As an example, a B3ta regular who shall remain nameless told us, "I spent an entire school summer holiday getting my BBC Model B computer to produce filthy stories from an extensive database of names, nouns, adjectives, stock phrases and deviant sexual practices. It revolutionised the porn magazine dirty letter writing industry for ever.

Revel in your own nerdiness.

(, Thu 6 Mar 2008, 10:32)
Pages: Latest, 26, 25, 24, 23, 22, ... 1

This question is now closed.

Time To Grow Up And Get Married
I could bore you all with thrilling tails of BBC Micro programming, mobile phone USSD commands, obscure Mornington Crescent rules - but I won't. I'll tell you a tale of a small, frightened little nerd...

I was about 3 years old and had been asked to be a page boy at my cousins wedding.
I was under strict instruction that my job was to protect the bride! Under no circumstances was she to come to any harm.

Now we all know that 3 year old boys are prone to wander off, to giggle, to start crying for no particular attention. That's just what kids do.

Not me. I stood straight, I didn't make a peep, I discharged my duty admirably. I protected that bride with all my might.

My parents, quite surprised, asked why I had behaved so well.

I pointed at the vicar - he was dressed in black. Head to toe. I pointed and said...


Something in my tiny, fragile mind convinced me that this bride - in white - was Princess Leia and this old guy - in black - was the Dark Lord of the Sith himself. I, as a wannabe Jedi, summoned all the powers of The Force to protect her.

Skip forward some 25 years....

~~~~~~~~ <- Wavey Dream Lines to indicate passage of time....

Despite being a grade A nerd. I found a woman who loved me. She loved me no matter how many times I tried to switch her PC to Linux. She loved me even when I bought a TARDIS to hold our DVDs. She loved me when I bought old computers home from work so I could play with them.

I asked her to marry me! She said yes!

She even loved me when I suggested a Sci-Fi themed wedding....

I conquered the fear I felt as a three-year-old.

I got married dressed as Darth Vader.

From L-R
My Mother - Doctor Who
My Father-in-law - Obi Wan (he already had the beard)
My Wife - Jedi
Me - Darth Vader
My Mother-in-law - Professor McGonnagle
My Father - Ming the Merciless
My Brother - Londo Mollari.

Nerdiness runs in my blood. I have it, my parents have it.... My wife has it.


(If you're desperate for more - read the article and watch the video or see me misquoted in The Mirror and ridiculed in Romanian.)
(, Fri 7 Mar 2008, 13:31, 22 replies)
The Police Have No Sense Of Humour
Not me but a nice young policeman who came to my house to take a statement after me and a couple of mates had been jumped. On the way back from the pub we'd been discussing when we were going to go see The Phantom Menace, which had just come out, when we were attacked by these drunken guys. One of my mates got a key stabbed in the back of his head so the police became involved. Anyway, I gave him my statement and he was about to leave, we were standing at my front door, me smoking, him waiting for his partner to turn up in the squad car. As with all dealings with the police it was mildly terrifying in case they suddenly start asking about the hidden folder called 'Barely Legal' on your hard drive. Or why a lot of your CD's and DVD's have shoddy covers and the title drawn on in felt tip.
"So did you get to see the new Star Wars film then?" He asked amiably enough.
"Yeah, bit rubbish really." I answered.
"Yeah." He agreed sadly then quickly looked around to see if anyone was in hearing distance before saying: "I play Star Wars role play."
"Oh?" I said, having no clue what the proper response to such a statement is.
"Yeah, I don't tell the lads at the station though obviously."
I laughed and then a few awkward seconds of silence passed.
"I'm a jedi!" He suddenly said proudly.
"Cool." I lied. "Everyone likes lightsabers." I added, desperately wanting his partner to turn up.
"Oooh." He said, sucking in his breath, suddenly very serious. "Bit of a touchy subject at the moment."
"Well you have to play for ages before you get your first lightsaber. I'd just got mine and then it got destroyed when the Death Star blew up." He said before turning and staring towards the (single) sun wistfully.
Having no clue how to respond to his anguish and hepped up on nerves at the situation I tutted loudly, shook my fist and said "Oooh those bloody rebels!"

Honest to god, from the look on his face I thought he was going to arrest me.
(, Thu 6 Mar 2008, 11:27, 5 replies)
I got married on IRC.
I met this great girl online called Ange. We decided to get married. We weren't about to have any cheap ass wedding. We went all out. No expenses spared.

We found a guy with the nick "Priest^" and he invited us into #church for a look around.. It was a lovely little place, secluded and private from the rest of the IRC network. We made sure all the guests had herecomesthebride.wav and other church music organ wavs in their sound folders.

The big day arrived. At 13:00GMT the guests started to arrive in #church . The organ player guy was constantly sending out /sound organ1.wav in order to keep us entertained whilst we awaited on the bride. I was stood at the front of the channel feeling all nervous.

The place filled up pretty quickly with about 30 users and just the 1 op in #church (which was of course was Priest^) We also had the security guy (Chanserv) on standby in case anyone decided to flood or spam the occasion.

So we were there milling around, when suddenly I started hearing herecomesthebride.wav . Ive never enjoyed such a CTCP request as that!

Everyone went quiet as
Priest^ sets channel mode changed to +m

Then the best thing ever
Ange' has joined #church
Priest^ sets mode +v to Ange'

ahhh She looked so great there with the + next to her name. She had really dressed for the occasion with the '. I dont know who helped her pick that, but it suited her down to the bone. I was mesmorized by her beauty as she walked down the aisle. I was overjoyed with happiness. She joined me at the top of the userlist. When herecomesthebride.wav finished. It all started.

Priest^: We are joined here today in holy matronmy between Miggyman and Ange.

Ahh the service was wonderful. Priest^ did such a wonderful job. Eventually:

Priest^: If anyone here present has any reason as to why these should not be married, please speak now or forever hold your peace.

-- Priest^ sets channel #church mode to -m

Priest^: no one? OK good

-- Priest^ sets channel #church mode to +m

Priest^ With the powers vested to me by Operserv I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may now kiss the bride.

- Ange' is now known as MrsMiggyMan

ahh that was the best feeling ever. I gave her a very big bold

/me kisses MrsMiggyMan! LOTS!

Channel moderation went off again and everyone had a mill around, congratulating me and everything. Priest^ sent me marriagecertificate.jpg which I signed and sent to MrsMiggyMan who signed it and DCC sent it back to Priest^
We hung around whilst the video guys made sure they saved the channel logs for us all to read back later.

We all headed off to a lovely place called #TheWaterFront for our reception do. Where we had a lovely meal, lots of wine. The best man gave some great speeches. I think the best line was:

MiggyDude: Well I've been to many weddings, but not one quite like this. I remember when MiggyMan first joined the Internet. He didnt even have a firewall. And was still just using mIRC! He had no scripts, no wavs. And was only on a 28.8K modem!

The guests laughed. I felt a tad embarassed. He continued.

However he met the lovely Ange. Who soon found out his favourite DCC port!! And sent him many files. He was a changed man after that. Coming in to #tavern flitting around his new talents. I remember their first date. We booked them a table in #CyberCafe. They agreed to meet up at 3 O'clock. But miggyman forgot that Ange is 5 hours behind. He kept /msg 'ing me saying "shes not here yet, shes not here yet!" But I tell you one thing. He stayed online the whole time waiting for you Ange!! He loved you from the beginning! Despite it costing 1p a minute and his mum needing the phone.. He stayed online for you Ange!!"

It was such a lovely occasion. I danced with MrsMiggyMan until we headed off #Honeymoonsuite . MiggyDude had left a bottle of champagne and a condom in there!! Naughty naughty!
But it was good. We soon had the channel set to +i and +s and engaged in a 3 hour cybersex session. Its the best we ever had.

The next day we headed off on holiday to #Hawaii and spent 2 weeks there. We certinately had some stories to tell the guys in #Tavern what it was like over there.

Life was good. It couldnt be any better. It was a joy to be alive!
But tradgedy struck some months later. When MrsMiggyMan got a virus. The guys in #hospital said it was called Blaster.
I stayed online with her at her bedside whilst they tried to talk her through removal instructions. But alas it was too late. I will never forget the day when she went all quiet and then:

MrsMiggyMan ([email protected]) has signed off. Ping Timeout

She never made it back online again. We went back to #church and #graveyard for the funeral. But thats another story for another QOTW. It was the first time in my life I had hoped to see a ghost online. But alas she was gone. I remember spending some time in #depressed and spoke to a great guy called TheShrink. I soon picked myself up and ventured back into #singles to find new cyber love.
(, Thu 6 Mar 2008, 17:25, 9 replies)
Nerdy habits
When reading books I have taken to glancing in the bottom right corner of the page to check the time.
(, Thu 6 Mar 2008, 11:10, 4 replies)
we forget how lucky we are in the West
Some Chinese computer nerds have recently been executed.

Apparently they were rolling on the floor, laughing at Mao.
(, Fri 7 Mar 2008, 5:55, 3 replies)
What I made for tea last week.

(, Wed 12 Mar 2008, 1:32, 6 replies)
Actually, now I think about it ...
I am a nerd, and this is the clincher: I went to the Edinburgh premier of the re-jigged, re-released, digitalised and generally messed with Star Wars: A New Hope back in '97. There was a fancy-dress competition for this screening, with prizes presented by none other than Sean Connery's brother. Really.

So, I love Star Wars, and felt the need to show this, and after much deliberation decided on a costume which would demonstrate to the world just exactly how much love a man could have for a film. I was going to go as the Death Star. I got the official Star Wars (TM) Death Star companion technical manual, one of those big round paper lampshades, some Airfix model paint, a coat-hanger and a miniature 2 inch scale model of the Millenium Falcon.

I painted the lampshade grey, then added detail, lights and shadow with black and silver paint. I even managed to make the big planet buster laser bit look like a dip by judicious use of shading.

I cut a small horizontal hole near the base to see out of, and the lampshade sat quite happily on my shoulders (i.e. my head inside the lampshade). For the piece-de-resistance I used the coat hanger to suspend the mini Millenium Falcon from the side of my lampshade/Death Star so it looked like it was flying in. Class.

So we went to the film. On arrival, it was very busy (sold out I think, but of course we'd had our tickets for ages). My companions had also partaken in the fancy dress competition, so I was accompanied by Luke Skywalker (in his pyjamas) and the lovely Princess Leia. Of course, I could see sweet FA out of the helmet despite the gap I'd cut in it, so I was led into the auditorium by my friends, taking a couple of people out with the dangly Falcon on the way.

The fancy dress competition was before the film, and we were invited one by one to parade before the audience and judging panel (the aforementioned Sean Connery's brother and the cinema manager). When it was my turn I staggered to the front and apparently (for I could not see) received a standing ovation from my fellow Star Wars nerds making up the audience.

I won (admittedly partly due to the weak field of 2 Lukes, 2 Leias and me) and was invited to make a speech. Sean Connery's brother (I'm sure he has a first name but lets face it, he is probably only ever known as Sean's Connery brother) shoved a microphone into my vision slot, and I said the now legendary (at least to my mates who were there), "That's no moon, it's a space station". The crowd went wild ("like a million voices cried out ..."), I got two free cinema tickets, a complete set of Star Wars pogs (really), and the respect of my geeky peers. Oh, and to meet Sean Connery's brother.
(, Thu 6 Mar 2008, 12:46, 4 replies)
Took me 11 months

(, Thu 6 Mar 2008, 14:06, 18 replies)
This is me gardening

(, Thu 6 Mar 2008, 19:34, 3 replies)
I met a girl over the internet.
I dont get out much you see..
Our e-conversations were very fluid (ooer), and we discussed a wide variety of topics from the relative security and anonymity of cyberspace.

However as the months progressed, our meeting became more of an inevitability than Gordon Brown delaying a general election until the odds are stacked more favourably toward him.

And so we agreed to meet in a spit and sawdust pub near her home.
I have to confess to being socially awkward, unable to look a woman directly in the eye or to make any form of tactile contact without shaking like a sufferer of Parkinsons disease in a earthquake measuring 7.3 on the richter scale, so it goes as read that I found the whole experience rather embarrassing as we sat in relative silence punctuated by stilted remarks about the weather and the taste of the real ale.

I had arranged to stay at her house, 10 minutes walk away. Imagine my joy when I saw and then powered on her PC. She quickly grabbed a laptop and sat in the kitchen.

Within minutes we were deep in conversation like old friends, although I did find it a little hard going when she came in and asked whether I'd like a cup of tea.
(, Sun 9 Mar 2008, 11:28, 3 replies)
geek therapy
Few people know about it, but there is a kind of rehab centre for nerds in northern Califiornia. Desperate dweebs are referred there and undergo a strict regime of resocialisation. There are no computers, no access to role-playing, and patients are stripped of all figurines at reception. The group therapy sessions are infamous for their brutal truth-telling.

Therapist: So - Kevin, Marcus and Reginald - how are you feeling?
Kevin: Can I be called Dreamlord Agthanax?
Therapist: No. We've talked about that. You are Kevin.
Reg: Who am I?
Therapist: This is not a role play, Reg. You are yourself.
Reg: What are my powers?
Therapist: You have no powers. You are simply yourself.
Reg: Garthrex.
Therapist: [sighs] No. Reginald. Garthrex does not exist. NOW - the subject of today's session is girls.
Marcus: Can I go to the toilet?
Therapist: No. Nurse says if you masturbate anymore your anaemia will kill you. You have to get used to the idea of girls.
Reg: Like Princess Arimea. I've had her.
Therapist: Real girls, Reg. Not virtual ones. I have arranged for some real girls to visit us today so that you can interact.
Kevin: 'Ooh, Nursey - I like it firm and fruity!'
Therapist: Ah, Blackadder again. Try to avoid saying things like that when the girls arrive, Kevin, or they'll think you're a total knob.
Marcus: I need to go to the toilet!
Therapist: Take your hand out of your pockets and the feeling will go away. Ah - here are the girls now...
[Enter three hot girls wearing tight tops and mini-skirts]
Therapist: Now, boys. Just chat to the girls in a normal way.
Marcus: [to girl 1] Do you prefer Episode 4 or the Phantom Menace?
Girl 1: Sorry - do you speak English?
Marcus: Star Wars! Which is your favourite?
Girl 1: I like William Shatner. He was hot in it.
[Marcus keels over with an aneurism and dies]
Kevin: [to girl 2] I made an animated homepage for my Warhammer site with Java Script!
Girl 2: Is that a computer thing?
Kevin: Yes! I've got an Apple Airbook with 15,000 tetrabytes of RAM.
Girl 2: How about your cock? Is it girthy?
[Kevin's eyes pop out of his head and he's he's rushed to the infirmary]
Reg: [to girl 3] Can I touch your boobs?
Girl 3: If you buy me a WKD.
Therapist: Finally! A breakthrough.
(, Thu 6 Mar 2008, 15:28, 7 replies)
Sometimes words are simply not necessary

(, Fri 7 Mar 2008, 11:44, 13 replies)
During a slighty kinky session with the misses
we could not find any string/rope etc, so had to use the ethernet cable
(, Thu 6 Mar 2008, 21:02, 10 replies)
Magic: The Gathering
There was a corner of the Students' Union bar that was devoted to members of the rock/metal music society. They'd wander in for lunch and sit there all afternoon playing some card game which required many multi-sided dice.

"What's that they're playing?" I asked.

b3ta user thrain responds with the legendary,

"Tragic: The Saddening"
(, Thu 6 Mar 2008, 12:14, 4 replies)
Here you go - an easy way to tell if you are indeed an ubernerd.

Points available for the following:

1. You have an obsessive interest in anything deemed 'sad' by the X-Factor-watching populace. This is not limited to sci-fi or computing but also includes folk music, reading books and a love of the Central London tube map.

2. You react to everyday situations by thinking "that would make an excellent QOTW story!".

3. You can speak more than three languages. These languages may or may not be real.

4. You get unparalleled joy from fresh new stationery and practically reach orgasm over pens that write in different colours - my god! The potential for organisation!

5. You were bullied at school.

6. You chose to rise above the bullying, thus earning yourself nastier, more viscious bullying.

7. You wear/have worn any of the following: glasses, braces, a very bad haircut, brown clothes, an anorak, a pinafore, tweed.

8. You have suffered from any of the following: asthma, social rejection, blushing, mental illness, addiction to Radio 4.

9. You have an opinion on Lord of the Rings.

10. You are desperately trying to score full points on this test and/or correct me for my questionnaire shortcomings.
(, Fri 7 Mar 2008, 10:44, 35 replies)
Let’s examine the evidence…

Star Trek – Check. Original and Next Gen only (to the degree that I have written my own lyrics to sing over the theme tune). Additional: Isn’t ‘Krish Krush’ how you say ‘Goodbye’ in Klingon?...or did I get that from watching Frasier?...Which reminds me…
Frasier – Check.
LOTR - Check
Monty Python – Check (Even some of the German ones)
Blackadder – All 4 – every line - Check
Red Dwarf – Check
Star Wars - to the point of knowing the script to all six, owning the holiday special, the Clone Wars cartoons and the Muppets Star Wars special. I know the name of virtually every character whether they had a speaking part or not – own a huge SW collection and every game etc. I also had my honeymoon 4 months before my actual wedding so that I could go to New York and watch the premiere of Episode 1 – In other words - Check
Glasses – used to have big thick NHS ones until the laser surgery. Check
PC Geek – from a kid with a BBC micro who spent his school breaktimes on the school PCs, the the IT twunt I am now with a house full of useless components – Check
Fighting Fantasy books where it says ‘If you want to run to mummy, go to page 17, however if you want to cut the Slashertroll’s bollocks off, go to page 24 – Check (this was when I was a kid though - and in my defence I would've gone to page 24)
Consoles – I have a PS2, NDS, 2 XBOX 360s and a Wii and have hacked them all. Not because I’m nerdy, but because I’m tightarsed and because I can. I don’t actually play on any of them though (I don’t have time) – but check.
Classical Music – Check
Heavy Metal – Check
Cheesy Pop – Check
Weird Al Yankovic - Check
World Of Warcraft – I fight the urge to play it because I know it will take over my life. I’ve seen what it has done to some of my friends. Uncheck
Terry Pratchett – Check
Q.I. - Seen every episode a multitude of times – Check
Ridiculous gadget monkey – Check
Ringtones – My PDA has different ringtones for different people but they Include SW Imperial march, SW cantina song, Voodoo Chile, Theme from Benny Hill,Shaft, Hong Kong Phooey (for Captain Placid), theme from ‘Man About the House’, 'Magic Roundabout' and ‘Are You Being Served?’, Spanish Flea, and personalised ringtones I set up myself using a speech synthesiser. Check.
Using waaaaaay too many acronyms and abbreviations in conversation - Check
Being a hardcore B3tard who wishes he could use Photoshop better- Guilty as charged

I even went trainspotting once – not in the movie ‘let’s all take heroin’ way. Oh no. REAL trainspotting. It was only once – I quickly realised that even for me that was a shite pastime (although the person I was with looked like he wanted to crack one off every time a model 50 trundled by).

I used to write poetry – fortunately that later evolved into song lyrics which made it slightly cooler.

I relate almost every comparison to ‘VHS versus Betamax’ for some reason…”Oh, Bluray vs HDDVD? That’s just like VHS vs Betamax”, and “Heinz baked beans vs Tesco value? – That’s just like VHS vs Betamax”

Overall, I am an overly sensitive, socially inept, pasty-faced monomaniac, desperately lacking in self confidence with all the personality of a cheese grater. I also always have a cold.

Actually, as I check the list above, I’m surprised I‘m not still a virgin. Fortunately, I manage to keep all the above traits simmering below the surface and can pass myself off as a normal human being most of the time.

And thankfully I’ve got a massive cock.
(, Thu 6 Mar 2008, 13:35, 9 replies)
I'm a book nerd
The first ting I did after moving into my house was to put up shelves for books and CDs, and those books and CDs were the first things moved in.

Books have to be shelved in order. For example, we start with things like Gilgamesh, the Upanisads, the Bible and the Koran. Then we move into poetry, starting with The Rubayiat of Omar Khayyam and Basho's haiku, then on into Homer and Virgil, and thence moving into Icelandic sagas. This gives a linguistic bridge to Mallory, Chaucer, Gawain and so on, and so to English poetry. Shakespeare comes next, followed by other English-language playwrights; then foreign language playwrights, then critics and theatrical writers - Artaud and Bloom. Then we start on English prose, arranged chronologically.

From English prose, we work through to German literature, then Yiddish, Czech, Polish and a large chunk of Russian 19th-century stuff. Educated Russians at the time spoke French, so we go from there to French literature. French is a romance language, as is Spanish, so we go from France to Spain and Latin America. Lots of Borges. Italian stuff comes next, and then far-eastern literature.

Fiction done, we move onto autobiography, then biography, then history. After history, the classical historians: Herodotus, Josephus, Suetonius and so on. Next comes essays: Montaigne, Brillat-Savarin, Emerson, Borges' non-fiction, George Steiner. Finally, natural history and science books.

I tend to by books in bulk, and one of my favourite activities is rearranging the shelves to make way for the newcomers. Unread books are shelved upside down so I don't forget about them.

Oh, yes. One last thing. I tend to have a reading sequence, so that, say, 18/19th C English will be followed by something in translation, something non-fiction, then modern English, then a 19th C piece in translation, then perhaps a piece of classical literature. I don't like breaking the sequence. Imagine reading Fielding and Austin too close together! Heavens to betsy. That would be somehow terrible.

For some reason, my shelves still don't look quite right. The books were in exactly the right order at my old house, but there's something amiss now. I can't quite figure out what it is, and that worries me more than it ought.

I'm not an obsessive. Honest.

EDIT: if anyone has a copy of War and Peace in the old Penguin Classics format - the edition with the yellow bar at the top of the spine - and is willing to sell it, please gaz me. I don't dislike the new covers, but they don't fucking match.

Oh, god. I am bad, aren't I?
(, Thu 6 Mar 2008, 11:22, 14 replies)
Geekdom timeline
100,000 BC - Winfield Man
Discovered in a burial mound in the village of Winfield, UK. He was buried with a number of figurines and appeared to be wearing some kind of stylised hat. An ancient text was found on his person depicting a man being beaten to death with tree branches. The body has numerous broken bones.

3,000 BC - Pu Erh Pong
Ancient Chinese mathematician. He worked out how to play a variety of games on the abacus and was briefly at the centre of a Imperial craze that caused abacuses to sell out, leading to a worldwide bead shortage. He was executed and burned.

400 BC - Gygax of Halitosis
A collector of myths and legends, he went too far in making and selling figurines at markets around ancient Greece. His popular game "Myths and Legends" was the cause of his conviction for blasphemy and he was stoned to death.

300 BC - Eliaphas
Old Testament prophet who was made famous when he drew up a graph depicting the Glory of the Lord. His mother made him wear shorts until he was 153 and his nickname was "Shorty Greasy Spot Spot." Killed by a bolt of lightning while working on a graph of the Heavens.

100 AD - Ibn Hassan al Barack ib Beethoven
North African geographer who documented every town in the world on a giant scale map, categorising them all according to the numbers of letters in their names. He vanished after he went for a stroll in the direction of the Cliff of Certain Death (not on his map).

1000 AD - Bernard de Allo Allo
Chief Inventor to the Duc de Orleans, he designed a computation machine that was able to handle desk top publishing, accounts and advanced calculation. His employer had asked for a better kind of rolling pin instead, so Bernard was boiled in molten lead and his plans were lost.

1400 AD - Leonardo de Akropolis
Chinless one-legged dwarf, he is credited with designing the first computer program. After a lifetime of work, he presented his system "Lye Nux" to the Pope and was laughed out of the Vatican because the computer hadn't been invented yet. He came back with plans for a ski lift but his cousin from Vinci had already built one, so Akropolis was burned at the stake.

!750 AD - Sir Kevin Newton
Brother of the more famous Isaac, Kevin discovered that gravity works in reverse when you're off your tits on drugs and alcohol. He died a virgin aged 21 in a pub in Greenwich.

1911 AD - Wilfred Bogget
Ballistics expert and amateur model maker, Wilfred worked on a new kind of machine gun to use in Belgium. Unfortunately, he got so carried away that he ended building a spaceship for interstellar travel. Millions died as a result.

2000s AD - Rob Manuel
Sets up a site called b3ta on the Internet. This attracts dweebs, dorks, nerds and geeks from around the world to chatter rabidly about operating systems, role playing and unrealised pornographic fantasies. Worldwide productivity dips as a result.
(, Tue 11 Mar 2008, 10:09, 7 replies)
I know this isn't an image challenge...
...but this is thoroughly appropriate.

Is it frowned upon to post images directly into QOTW answers? I decided I'd play it safe and link for I am not sure.

EDIT: Bugger it, it's only 17kb.
(, Sat 8 Mar 2008, 21:01, 2 replies)
I remember many years ago (approx 10-11 years) when I was still living at home with my parents, I was a PA by day and a Barmaid by night, I was pretty normal for an 18-19 year old but I had an evening ritual. On the nights I wasn't working in the pub I would religiously make myself a cup of hot chocolate and put 3 maryland cookies on a plate, snuggle up in my bed and watch Star Trek the next generation on Sky one at 11pm. It didn't even worry me that I had a secret crush on Wesley Crusher or that I knew what a deflector shield was, because I never told anyone, it was my favourite time of day and I hated missing any of it.

A year or so later I met Mr Sp@m, he was a customer in the pub I worked in, and in time I left my home to move in here and my nightly ritual was replaced with washing ironing and eventually mothers duties. I often looked back fondly to those nights when I would snuggle up under my toasty warm duvet and I felt always felt like something was missing in my life.

Life went on until mid 2007 and I went to a family BBQ and got chatting to my uncle about star trek, not revealing the extent of my previous obsession I nodded my head and mumbled something about how I used to watch it, roll to his 60th in November and my dad announces that he's has bought said uncle every episode of the original series on DVD, feeling secretly envious I began to hide away on the PC when no-one was about, looking for TNG episodes on the PC and failing.

Then, one night a few weeks later I am sat in bed flicking through the late night crap that is Little Britain and Catherine Tate, I press the up channel on the remote and pass the sci-fi channel. OH MY GOD STAR TREK IS ON, NOT ONLY THAT IT'S ON AT 11pm - I felt equal amounts of joy to that of seeing my child take their first step. Not only was it on Sci-fi at 11pm every night, I had caught it at the start, the very first episode (encounter at farpoint for those in the know). I promptly ran downstairs put the kettle on and grabbed the biscuit tin, but I had to make do with bourbons as up until then I felt that eating maryland cookies without start trek was a betrayal.

Snuggled up under my duvet with my biscuits and hot chocolate I felt whole again, the next time I went shopping I stocked up on cookies and resumed my ritual, only now it's better, because if I miss it it doesn't matter I have the technology that is sky plus.
Christmas came around and Mr Sp@m asked me what I wanted, I didn't know what I wanted (well I did but I wasn't about to admit it to him) but I had a cunning plan. When he had gone to work, I went on his amazon account and searched for star trek box sets, knowing that it would show up on the list of previously viewed items. My plan worked, Christmas morning I saw I box with "To Sam, lots of love, Mark" on it. I was itching to rip that paper off, but family tradition states that I cannot do this until it is handed to me by my dad and he's read the tag out and all the family including my two sisters and their children all have their eyes on me. I sit trying to decide how to react when I open it, do I go "ohhhhh yay star trek, thanks love" or do I show excited I really am? I chose the former and decide to go down the "im so cool" route. I fail miserably, I rip the paper off and see it's not only a box set but a collectors one, with every single episode and something like 3 hours of special features. I scream I jump up and down and kiss mr sp@m all over the face. The blank looks on everyones faces says it all. I am a geek, I am THE family geek. They have all lost their respect for me. But I don't care I have 178 episodes of star trek.

My youngest started at nursery in January and my afternoons were not taken up by washing or ironing, I was watching star trek. By the end of February I had watched it all, every single episode, except the last one. I can't bring myself to watch it, because when I do it's over , finished, gone, and I will feel empty again. So I bought myself Voyager season one and I am being good this time I am limiting myself to one episode a night, at 11pm with my duvet, hot chocolate and maryland cookies.
(, Fri 7 Mar 2008, 9:12, 12 replies)
I realised how nerdy I am on a trip to Anne Summers
For those who are not in the know - Anne Summers is an underwear shop here in the UK which sells 'extras'. As well as naughty toys it sells the odd outfit. French maids dresses and that sort of thing.

I was browsing the online site one night when I saw something that tickled my fancy. I wanted it so badly that I planned to go and get it the next day.

The morning dawned and hoping that no one would see me going in I dashed through the door to see it hanging there at the back of the shop. The costume I wanted.

I tried it on. It fit like a dream. Looking at how it clung to my curves in the mirror I felt so empowered. The costume made me feel like the girl I'd always wanted to be. Finally I could live out my fantasies to the full.

I got changed again and quickly went to pay. The assistant behind the till gave me a knowing smile. 'Your boyfriend is going to be getting pretty lucky tonight' her eyes said as she swiped my switch card.

I met her gaze with an embarrassed smile. If only she'd know that I was single and that I'd bought the replica Star Trek dress so I could run round my bedroom pretending to be on the Enterprise with a hairbrush for a phasor.

Length? Pretty short but I'm short too so it doesn't look that slutty.
(, Fri 7 Mar 2008, 23:22, 7 replies)
When I first believed in love at first sight
Instead of listing out all the things that make me a nerd let me tell you about a time I fell in love at first sight.

I was sitting in a pub in Soho after work with 3 other IT bods and as usual when this particular group are sat around the same table the discussion turned to networking. Having just changed ISP I was having trouble getting my Cisco router working with the new faster connection, as we were sitting discussing the problem someone tapped me on the shoulder; I turned around to be confronted by a absolutely stunning brunette who says “That caught me out to, you need to configure the connection as a subinterface of the main ATM dialler interface” thanking her I began discussing this new revelation with my colleagues and it took me about 30 seconds to actually compute that not only was this girl my exact type but she also knew what the hell we were talking about.

Interrupting my friends I went looking for her to start a conversation with someone who was basically my dream girl. Unfortunately she was gone never to be seen again despite repeated visits to the same venue.

So that’s the story of how my dream girl walked into my life, corrected my Cisco config and left never to be seen again.

On the off chance she’s a B3ta reader, if that was you that night Gaz me & by the way you were right, it worked fine as ATM0.1

(, Wed 12 Mar 2008, 0:12, Reply)
way back when
This one time at Uni, 1993/4

We had a house with 3 computers, wired (with co-ax) and we played network doom and things.

We bought a modem (9.6K) and somehow acquired a demon internet account.

It took only 3 weeks to figure out how to logon. (kermit i think).

We had heard that you could get porn from "the internet". We decided we would not stop until we proved this.

Our resident ubergeek wrote a program (visual basic 2.0) that allowed us all to share the modem. He even wrote a program that figured out how long we each spent on line for when the bill came.

There was no www at this time to speak of. Some how we managed to get hold of some tempting looking files: "girl.uue" and the like.

UU fucking what?

3 days later, we discover UUEncode and somehow, we now have a file called "girl.jpg".

J fucking what?

A week later, we have a program that if memory serves, was a very early Paint Shop Pro. (I may be very wrong). We managed to download it over a few hours, unzip it (Zip fucking what??) and install it on our Windows 3.1 PC's.

3 days of memory hacking about, including the purchase of some 4MB SIMMS to get the fucker to load, PSP opens up, ready, waiting and possibly gaping for our collective download.

We gathered round one PC and watched the image load pretty much line by line.

The image of a shrivelled up hairy cock and balls being licked by a dog.

I think Andy said it best, "its fuckin shit this internet shit".

I dont think its changed that much in the 16 years since. I mean, just browse this site for a bit really.
(, Mon 10 Mar 2008, 17:52, 2 replies)
Star Wars Episode 7 - Man Love (2)
Obi and Luke entered the bar and Luke's eyes almost popped from his head as he saw the gyrating naked body of the Pappilonian Four Nobb in the cage. Everywhere he looked, there was naked flesh and a variety of alien members.

"The Bellenz of Breth have a member as big as a giant redwood and it takes them a month to get an erection," said Obi as he feathered his gnarled old fingertips across the peachy buns of a Cumbot.

"Who's that guy over there," asked Luke, pointing to a hunky lunk of a man sitting next to a rolled up carpet.

"That's Hands Solo. He's the quickest shot in the galaxy. And the carpet next to him is Chew Batty, the bentest Wookie in the system. Don't bend over when you're near him!"

The two wandered over and sat at Hands' table. The smirking space cowboy winked at him and there was a heavy thunk as Chew Batty's enormous hairy schlong hit the bottom of the table.

"Who do we have here?" Hands asked Obi One. "He looks like he knows how to handle a sabre."

"The force is strong with this one," replied Obi One, smiling a queer smile and uncrossing his legs. He put a hand on Luke's muscular thigh.

"Oh!" exclaimed Luke as a splat of something warm hit his forehead.

"Sorry about about that," said Hands. "I was aiming elsewhere."

Chew Batty roared fearfully and a geyser of ejaculate washed over Obi One's feet.
(, Fri 7 Mar 2008, 11:23, 7 replies)
A kind of geekery, I suppose...
I just wanted to post a marginally applicable story, namely the epilogue to my earlier post about Emmett's house. (I have determined that that was the proper spelling, having found record of him online and having found an engraved piece of jewelry.)

I went out there tonight- I hadn't really planned on it, but I had the opportunity so I did. I arrived there around dusk with a large flashlight in hand, which turned out to be needed.

I investigated the suits that still hung in his bedroom, and determined that they were beyond the point of saving. A shame, as he was a man with a definite sense of style- and his wife did as well, going by the evidence of the hats I found and the remains of her clothes. However, I did manage to rescue his ties. I have two shots of them in situ, as he left them- here and here. They're rather musty, but I intend to wash them. I removed them at the request of the Lunatic Artist, who wishes to do something with them- maybe a tapestry of them. Don't know yet.

It was well into dark by the time I was done with that task.

I don't know that I can really describe how it feels in that house. The roof has deteriorated to the point of letting the rain through so that the ceilings have fallen in through most of the house, there are old leaves all through the kitchen, the people who ransacked the house left clothing scattered all over the floors so that everywhere you step you tread on wet rotting clothing... it's depressing as hell, especially when you realize that when he died he was taken out on a stretcher and much of what's there now is right where he left it.

I haven't mentioned this before, but it feels like he's still in there. You know how you can feel when someone else is in a house without seeing or hearing them? I was sure I was going to turn around and find him standing there. In the past I've heard someone whistling and looked out through the windows expecting someone to be strolling around the property, and found myself completely alone. I didn't hear that tonight, but...

I stood there for a while this evening in that dark and rotting building and talked to him as I moved around. I told him that I was very sorry that his life had ended up in this way, that the only person who seemed to remember him at all was a white guy he had never met. I told him that the things I've taken from there were not taken in greed but out of respect- that I couldn't leave them to rot and rust and mold, that I needed to rescue what I could. It felt like he was there with me- an old man, sad, lonely, but grateful that someone was finally treating him with respect.

I have been in many abandoned houses in this area in the past month- I even went in one tonight that I had never visited before- but not one of them feels as sad as Emmett's house.

I will visit there one more time, as there are still a few tools and such that can be saved, and then I will contact his relatives to ask if I can try to save his pickup truck. But after that I will only make one last trip there- to talk to him one last time and try to help him move along. He needs that closure, and so do I.

EDIT: On talking it over with the Lunatic Artist, we've concluded that making a wall hanging out of the ties will be best. Then the question becomes: what do we do with it?

Anyone want it when it's done? Or is it going to be one of those really odd things that I store in my attic?
(, Wed 12 Mar 2008, 1:52, 9 replies)
A History of Nerdiness
A life of nerdiness, punctuated by wonderful activities such as:

- Avid live role-playing fanatic in my teens, involving running around Chislehurst caves with a foam sword yelling "double, double" as you hit "monsters". Got my Scout up to eighth level.

- Correspondingly liked to be referred to as "Garthal the Shadow" in real life for a good number of years.

- Heavily into bus spotting for three or fours years. Big hightlight was seeing Routemaster 1 (RM1) at the London Transport museum. Also travelled on V1 (first Volvo bus) in Roehampton - awesome.

- Taking my girlfriend (yes I did have one) to see Rocky 4 three times.

- Into all role playing games including D&D (usually playing half orc assassins), Runequest (Humakti warriors), Paranioa, Call of Cthulhu, Toon, and Stormbringer. Car Wars and Warhammer too.

- Subscriber to multiple play by mail RPGs including Troll's Bottom.

- Did a degree in philosophy (vice president of the Philosophy Society) and became an accountant when I left.

- As a junior auditor, once spent two weeks adding up a six thousand page policy holder listing..and enjoyed it. (the total was right in the end as it happens - but always worth spending 80 hours to check).

- Came up with a life justifying audit adjustment when auditing the UK subsidiary of a major US software company (the big one) that was material at a USA consolidation level !! It related to an erroneous provision for government stamp duty on a huge property transaction in the Winnersh Triangle.

- Used to spend all day Saturday hogging the display Spectrum at Boots to programme in home made adventure games.

- Spent early days of working life still saying "Si Baroni" until my audit manager told me it was unprofessional to use phrases from Dangermouse in front of important clients.

- Also used to take pride in educating colleagues on the fact that tea is an infusion, whilst coffee is clearly a suspension.

- At the age of 36, recently purchased the entire Dragonlance Chronicles again, and relived happy times rereading them all....twice.

- Oh yes...and my mum cut my hair till I was 15. She wasn't a hairdresser but liked the 70's look - hence I sported a mega mullet basin through to the late eighties.

- In the sixth form, invented "Curse Snooker". One of the most popular curses other people played to avoid was "You will get a blue, Marks & Spencers, leather jacket like Mandrill's for Christmas".

- At parties, used to phone up random people called Smith asking whether they were aware of the high probability that their ancestors were metal workers (hilarious).

I am still proud of all these activities and achievements. To top it off, I am now making myself laugh.
(, Sun 9 Mar 2008, 20:24, 3 replies)
It's all geek to me.
I was really excited to share that when I clean up around my house, desk, car, etc... I always think "delete" when I pick up an item that needs to go in the bin.

I was also going to mention I can do the amazing feat of translating IP addresses into binary... but only b/c at one point in my awesome telecom career I needed that skill.

I guess I should feel happy I'm not that big of a nerd... but for some reason I'm left cold, inadequate, and shamed.

My only redemption is I wrote a program that will show your IP address in binary when you click "I Like This".
(, Sun 9 Mar 2008, 1:30, Reply)
1. I can program in MVS Assembler.

2. I have a certificate to prove it.

3. I have a Facebook group dedicated to it. It has two members. One of them is me.

4. One of the Facebook group's discussion topics is "your favourite MVS instruction?"

5. I have just checked the group and the second member has left.

Someone please award me a medal or shoot me or both.
(, Thu 6 Mar 2008, 12:27, 3 replies)

This question is now closed.

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