Scott Hanselman

Confessions of an Audio Visual Geek

February 03, 2006 Comment on this post [0] Posted in Gaming
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AVClubAre we born this way? There's lots of arguments regarding nature versus nurture. There's various controversial characteristics that some groups believe are in-born, while others believe it's choice.

Oh, yes, you know what I'm talking about. It's that which darn not speaks its name, but I'm coming out today, baby.

I'm a recovering AV Club Geek. Some were band camp, others drama. I was a geek. To be clear, there are many kinds of geeks, so don't just lump us all into one bowl. There were geeks, freaks, nerds, dweebs, spazzes, losers, dorks, really I could go on.

I knew early...I think before I could talk.

My wife supports me and realizes that this wasn't a choice. Who would choose to be this way? No, I came out of my sweet mother's womb knowing how to wire a complete home theater with Betamax. Of course, Betamax hadn't been invented at that time, but I still knew, deep in my DNA.

  • I disassembled clock radio telephones and put them back together. Remind me one day to tell you about the time I took one apart when it was still plugged in. Don't remember much of that day.
  • I threaded the projector. No one else could. I changed reels during "Roots."
  • I feel it in my bones that we need a new receiver like my dad can smell rain coming, but my wife won't let me even mention it until both speakers stop working.
  • I knew the ramifications of PAL vs. NTSC before I was allowed to cross the street. I quietly theorized the neighbors over that way were either PAL or SECAM.
  • I'm sad that my son will never listen to Spiderman like I did on 12" Vinyl. I hope he'll get to create a crystal radio or a motion detector with a 9V battery. I wired a battery and some capacitors to my doorknob so nearly the whole thing would discharge enough amps to keep folks out of my room.

If you might be an AV geek who didn't admit it growing up, come out now. There are groups for this kind of thing. You may already see the signs as an adult that you didn't as a child.

  • You might know how to get 1024x768 at 60Hz out of any funky laptop drivers.
  • You might know how to get ATI drivers on a T42 to stretch the LCD Panel to fullscreen when it's also outputting to projector.
  • You know how to make a <gasp> Word Document look good when presenting using only hot keys - Alt-V,Z,T,Enter - or that Shift-Alt-Enter is your friend when presenting code in Visual Studio.NET.
  • You know that the Xbox 360 doesn't upconvert standard 480p DVD output to 720p because of the Macrovision legal guidelines preventing High-Def non-HDMI output from being upconverted. 
  • You tried to tape every episode of the original Star Trek series on VHS in SP, two per tape, with custom labels while meticulously trying to remove the commercials. "Pause...damn, too slow, stop, rew, play.......pause! perfect, Rec...wait...un-pause. Perfect. 'Mirror Mirror' is nearly complete!" You were both disappointed and thrilled when whole seasons were released on DVD because it became 'easy' for anyone to reach this level of accomplishment.

These are only some of the signs. Schedule an intervention today. If you can help just one person...

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.