Another guest post and fantastic look at the IT life by Shawn Muller
Us computer guys are a funny lot. By and large we’re pretty clever – love a debate and are quite logical. And boy do we love making stupid inside jokes which no one really gets. But, we don’t like to be cast into one generic type. Hee Hee… There are nerds, geeks, übernerds and nerdswithtoolbelts (seriously – I know networking is important, but a crimping tool just aint a nailgun). Who are we kidding here… we are a bunch of nerds. Never to be mistaken for being cool. And no, what the tweeps say about you doesn’t count. I mean, we are never really considered cool by non IT people. Think back… Anyone remember being in the cool crowd at school? If you were, remember thinking… I know this is supposed to be cool, but it’s just so stupid! Yip – you’re geek. And no, even Steve Jobs is not actually cool. At least get your turtleneck in a different colour, Steve!
And the work we do is, lets face it, nerdy stuff. Most of us do get challenged in our jobs. But by and large, it’s pretty mundane. Yes, there are exceptions but when you’ve designed the solution the rest is just typing. Yes, yes, yes… I know it’s not just typing… Yes, I know you can track my IP… But you know what I mean. How do you get your creative juices to flow? For a long time, we were confined to our little desk (or desks if you’re an übernerd and needed 3 19inch CRT monitors. Remember those? Man oh man… They took up so much space and pushed you so far back from your desk – your arms hung in mid air. They spawned a whole generation of carpeltunnelspecialists) I think the word I’m looking for is…
Anyway. These days there are a few creative outlets for us. Blogging is huge. We can just write – be ourselves or our alter egos. That’s what’s so great about the internet – There’s bound to be someone out there who understands what we are thinking and they’ll find our blog. Not always true… Have a look at blog stats and see that really… Six billion people in the world and only 1 unique IP. Yip. Yours. Mine has three… My PC, my iPhone over wifi and my iPhone over 3g… Seriously. That’s why I’m writing on marcforrest.com… his website is huge and I know at least 1 other person will read this. Thanks Marc! WordPress is a good app to get you on your blogging way.
Personally, I cook. I don’t mean “make supper”. I mean cook. Jamie Oliver / Gordon Ramsay / Nigella style. And I don’t mean naked or swearing – although it happens. By the way, those three should really get together. Can you say NakedDirtyTalkingFingerLickingOliveOilUthing reality TV show? In my case, I have a look at what’s in the kitchen and start cooking, using at least 4 bowls, 3 pots, a roasting dish, 10 spices and 15 spoons. Getting flavours to blend and enhance, to become a perfect combination of texture and taste. It doesn’t always work (mostly, or never and no one says anything) but when I’m busy… I feel inspired. Inspired to make the ordinary pizza taste gourmet. One app I really like is the one from Jamie Oliver. It’s good in that you don’t have to download got onto the internet every time and the video demos are very good. The $20 seems steep, but it is a cookbook and I quite like it.
And yes, for the manne, you can do it too. You can be inspired at the braai. Google how to cook the perfect steak for a start. If all else fails – if you are not the braaing type – if you bring meat to a bring and braai and don’t really care what happens to it – if you always scout for a dutchman (meant in the nicest possible way… I’m talking about the salt of the earth, knows how to make fire and braai -dutchmen. Insert derogatory statement about Luke Watson here) to make sure the meat will get done, don’t worry – use the flashlight app to help out. Although, it is really lame and might earn you a snotklap.
Another popular creative outlet is the DSLR. Or really fancy camera for the 2megapixelphonecamerausers out there. Pano is a really good app. As is Best Camera. However, DSLR cameras are really amazing. They have the potential to turn every tourist into a professional, to turn every weekend away with friends into one giant orgy of picture taking. For the artist out there… this is great. But as a techie… is it really about the art – I use the word in its broadest term. Taking 1000 photos and getting lucky once is not exactly art if you ask me. Or is it about the numbers? You know, the resolution, the macro feature or the shutter speed. Have we gotten so bored with having to say how small our phones are we needed something to get bigger? Really. For the techies… is it about the pictures? The memories? Or is it about the camera? Do you use your camera as a creative outlet, or just to feed your AudreyII?