I’m not a huge fan of the BuzzFeed style “[number] things only [group] will understand!” lists. I consider them to be click bait with sparse content. So, when my editor approached me with the article idea of “5 things only geeks will understand”, I was a little skeptical. However, I can readily think of stuff that tends only to happen to us geeks.
These next points are common misapprehensions that I see all the time around the web. Real geeks know better! Nonetheless, I’ve explained each part so that you will know better if you did not know before.
Memory is not the same as storage
I see this every day on different websites and hear it frequently in conversations. There’s always the person that, when asked how much memory they have, says that they have a 500GB HDD.
Here it is, once and for all. Memory is another term for RAM (Random Access Memory). It’s a relatively small amount of storage (usually 4-16GB) that’s extremely fast. It’s constantly being cleared and filled. Storage is the hard drives or solid state drives that you have in your PC. It comes in larger amounts and is much, much slower.
Hz is not FPS
Don’t worry; you don’t need to be ashamed if you don’t know the difference between these two. Graphics and gaming lingo can be confusing, and there’s probably a point in time in which I would have used the two interchangeably.
Hertz, or Hz, is the refresh rate of a monitor or TV, usually 60Hz. FPS, or frames per second, is highly variable and often a bragging point around the web. When people are bragging that they get 60FPS on ultra graphics settings, a lot of the time they’ll see the 60 FPS when their monitor switches input (especially when their console starts playing a game), and think that that means that they’re getting 60FPS.
Torrenting isn’t the same thing as pirating
This misconception is extremely common, to be honest, and it drives me crazy. Not everybody knows about torrents, and when they do it’s almost definitely through something discussing or related to piracy. I can understand why this is by far the most common usage of torrents. But the fact remains, torrents are just a method of downloading a file that also has a good number of entirely legitimate usages.
Let’s talk about what torrents are. A torrent file defines some “trackers” or web services tracking others who are trying to download the same file. You use a torrent client to connect you to these people. A torrent client allows you to download pieces from them that you don’t have yet and vice versa. For example, torrenting would be if you and some friends sent each other clips of a movie until you all had the whole thing. Besides its use in piracy, this is an excellent method for software makers that don’t want to pay for dedicated download servers to distribute software. In fact, most reputable freeware and open source code have an available torrent download.
The following are things that I encounter far more than I’d like to, out and about in the ‘real’ world:
When people think I’m an electrician
People assuming that I’m an electrician happens all the time to myself and a lot of the geeks I know. I’ll be telling a relative or a less tech-savvy friend that I’m a programmer and they’ll think that that means that I can fix their broken appliance. Yes, I’m good with computers. But no, I can’t fix your TV, your fridge, or your AC. That inevitably leads to them thinking that I’m just being lazy, and can result in an extremely painful discussion. I still haven’t found a way to have this discussion without coming off like a jerk.
If you have had a similar experience and have figured out a way to avoid people thinking wrongly of you, then please let me know by commenting on this post!
Check out thinkgeek.com if you fancy getting a cool t-shirt to tell people how fed up you are.
Hunting & Pecking
This one has a special place in my heart among the things that bug me. It’s not just that I dislike it, it’s how astoundingly, painfully common it is. Hunting and pecking are typing by looking for and pressing each key instead of touch typing. Sidebar: I’ve also found that people, in general, don’t know what touch typing is, even the ones who can do it. Touch typing is typing properly, with your hands in the correct position (based on the bumps on the F and J keys), and pressing keys according to where your fingers are resting. It’s the fastest and most efficient way to type. So back to hunting and pecking. A lot of people do it, and I guess I can understand the aversion if you weren’t raised with touch typing, learning a completely new style of typing can be an unattractive concept.
There’s a ton of different excuses that people use to avoid learning it, and to those people I’ll just say one thing. It’s like riding a bike. Maybe you don’t ride that often, or you don’t need to learn how to ride, but at this point it’s a basic skill in modern society that you need to know to maximise efficiency.
The geeky conclusion
I hope that the article was not too rudimentary for you geeks out there. The explanations are mainly for those who don’t know about them already. I’d also like to know which things annoy you as a geek that other people do.
This particular style of article is a first for me, and we haven’t done something like this before at GadgetBlur. If you liked it and wanted to see more of this type of content, feel free to leave a comment down below to let us know. If you hated the article, don’t like me, or all of the above, well then leave a comment below saying that. My feelings can take it, I promise. Happy geekery.
Featured image credit: smokeybarn.co.uk