Nerdlympics, Summer 2008

By , ITworld |  Offbeat, Olympics, Tech & society

Soldering

Not every IT geek goes in for programming; some will continue to get their hands dirty (literally) with hardware. And even if you have entered the rarified realm of ones and zeroes, don't you sometimes long to muck about in the guts of your computer -- you know, to "keep it real"?

Well, there are few things more real than carefully applying hot molten metal to electronics boards. And where there are soldering guns, there are inevitably soldering duels. To keep a lid on potential havoc and injury from underground solder-offs, NYC Resistor, a social group of New York-area hardware hackers, recently organized a Soldering Championship, which was triumphantly captured on video!



While this looks like good clean fun, we do have to question the wisdom of combining soldering guns and beer. And we're a little unsettled by the gentleman who said that this was his "first soldering competition ... with other people."

Sitting through meetings

If you've gotten this far, you're probably thinking that being an IT geek is pretty fun. "Oh boy! It's all soldering and programming and playing with wires! Could there possibly be any downside?"

Of course there is. There's always a downside. And for the IT geek, one of the biggest downsides is sitting through meetings. Do you have the superhuman strength to endure the endless prattling on about action items and process? Will you manage not to snicker when someone says you need to "open the kimono"? And then there are the vendor meetings! Listening to non-tech folks try to send you technical products using the latest buzzwords can make any honest geek cry -- but you must learn to take it!

To entertain yourself and your friends, you might want to try a quick game of Buzzword Bingo. But when it comes to being a true champion, you're going to need to defeat the best at Buzzword Survivor. This competition, to be held at the legendary Def Con hacker convention, involves sitting through up to 36 hours of vendor presentation, with 10 minute breaks for hitting the facilities. Reminiscent of the cruel dance contests of the Depression Era, those who survive the entire Buzzword Survivor experience win a share of $10,000 -- with contestants encouraged to rat each other out if they fall asleep or otherwise cheat, as that will reduce the number of winners of the pot.

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