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Geek Code

Geek Code Decoder

Geek Code V.3.1

  \      oo						  Michael Newlyn Blake
   //_//\ \_\					      System / Network Manager
  /K-9/  \/_/				      International House of Frog Legs
------------------- The Code of the Geeks v3.1 ---------------------------
----------------------    August 14, 1995   ------------------------------
So you think you are a geek, eh?  The first step is to admit to yourself
your geekiness.  No matter what anyone says, geeks are people too; geeks
have rights.  So take a deep breath and announce to the world that you are
a geek.  Your courage will give you strength that will last you forever.
How to tell the world you are a geek, you ask?  Use the universal Geek
code!  Using this special code will allow you to let other un-closeted
geeks know who you are in a simple, codified statement. 
The single best way to announce your geekhood is to add your geek code to
your signature file or plan and announce it far and wide.  But be careful,
you may give other geeks the courage to come out of the closet.  You might
want to hang on to your copy of the code in order to help them along. 
Well, here it is, finally, version 3.x of the World-Famous Geek Code. 
Yes, it's taken me much longer to write the new version than it should
have.  Yes, the old version was hopelessly out of date.  I apologize.  A
combination of too much schooling followed by college graduation delayed
it.  In addition, there were almost 2,000 suggestions and comments on
version 2.1 to wade through for consideration in this version.  However,
I'm a grad student now (Education Technology, Mankato State University),
so I have a lot of time on my hands (yeah, right!). 
It is my hope that this new version will be much superior to version 2.x. 
One of the main problems with 2.x was not that it was too long (well, it
is too long, but that's irrelevant), but much of its length was attributed
to non-geek categories (such as 'barney').  One of the goals of 3.x is to
eliminate many of the non-geeky and unimportant categories in order to
make room for geeky traits.  "More geek, less bullshit" is a good motto. 
In addition, many of the categories (such as politics) were very poorly
developed.  These categories have been revamped and expanded to make them
more fully cover all the requisite areas. 
Finally, despite my opinions to the contrary, I've left some of the
"appearance" sections in.  I'd like to think of looks as being not a very
geeky trait, but it seems that many of the users of the code use it as a
litmus test for dating or something.  Thus, a geek code has become a
replacement for the classic "what do you look like" that once permeated
the net.  I've eliminated most of the categories, but left the most
important ones in.  Hey, anything for my fellow geeks... 
In other news, the Geek Code is starting to go mainstream.  It appeared
with commentary in the March '95 issue of Boardwatch magazine as well as
the August 1995 issue of Fast Forward, a supplement to The Washington
Post.  I've also received permission requests from people that want to
translate the code into other languages; so far Japanese, Russian,
Spanish, French and ADA (ewww!).  It's my hope that perhaps this next year
can bring a little more popular media exposure and a true world presence. 
If you want to write something about the Geek Code, or do a translation,
or anything else, please read the copyright notice at the end.  It's
fairly open, but you don't want to get in trouble, do you?  If you do
write an article or something about the Geek Code, I would like to have a
copy if it for my own records. 
The geek code consists of several categories.  Each category is labeled
with a letter and some qualifiers.  Go through each category and determine
which set of qualifiers best describes you in that category.  By stringing
all of these 'codes' together, you are able to construct your overall geek
code.  It is this single line of code that will inform other geeks the
world over of what a great geek you actually are.
Some of the qualifiers will very probably not match with you exactly.  It
is impossible to cover all possibilities in each category.  Simply choose
that qualifier that MOST CLOSELY matches you.  Also, some activities
described in a specific qualifier you may not engage in, while you do
engage in others.  Each description of each qualifier describes the wide
range of activities that apply, so as long as you match with one, you can
probably use that qualifier. 
Also, pay particular attention to case-sensitivity, there can be a big
difference between a 'w' and a 'W'.
After you have determined each of your qualifiers, you need to then
construct your GEEK CODE BLOCK.  Instructions are provided on how to do
this towards the end of this file. 
Geeks can seldom be strictly quantified.  To facilitate the fact that
within any one category the geek may not be able to determine a specific
rating, variables have been designed to allow this range to be included. 
        @       for this variable, said trait is not very rigid, may change 
		with time or with individual interaction.  For example, 
		Geeks who happen to very much enjoy Star Trek:  The Next 
		Generation, but dislike the old 60's series might list 
		themselves as t++@. 
        ()      for indicating "cross-overs" or ranges.  Geeks who go from
                C+ to C--- depending on the situation (i.e. mostly "C+") could
                use C+(---).  @ is different from () in that () has finite
                limits within the category, while @ ranges all over. 
              for 'wannabe' ratings.  Indicating that while the geek is
                currently at one rating, they are striving to reach another.
                For example, C++>$ indicating a geek that is currently 
		computer savvy, but wants to someday make money at it.
        $       Indicates that this particular category is done for a
                living.  For example, UL+++$ indicates that the person
                utilizes Unix and gets paid for it.  Quite a lucky geek,
                for sure.
        ?	Unless stated otherwise within the specific category, the ? 
          is placed after the category identifier and indicates that the 
		geek has no knowledge about that specific category.  For 
		example, a person that has never even heard of Babylon 5, 
		would list their Babylon 5 category as 5?
        !	Placed BEFORE the category.  Unless stated otherwise, 
		indicates that the person refuses to participate in this 
		category.  This is unlike the ? variable as the ? indicates 
		lack of knowledge, while the ! indicates stubborn refusal to 
		participate.  For example, !E would be a person that just 
		plain refuses to have anything to do with Emacs, while E? 
		would be a person that doesn't even know what Emacs is.
                             TYPES OF GEEKS
Geeks come in many flavors.  The flavors relate to the vocation (or, if a
student, what they are training in) of the particular geek.  To start a
code, a geek must declare himself or herself to be a geek.  To do this, we
start the code with a "G" to denote "GEEK", followed by one or two letters
to denote the geek's occupation or field of study.  Multi-talented geeks
with more than one vocational training should denote their myriad of
talents with a slash between each vocation (example:  GCS/MU/TW). 
        GB      --  Geek of Business
        GC      --  Geek of Classics
        GCA     --  Geek of Commercial Arts
        GCM     --  Geek of Computer Management
        GCS     --  Geek of Computer Science
        GCC	--  Geek of Communications
        GE      --  Geek of Engineering
        GED     --  Geek of Education
        GFA     --  Geek of Fine Arts
        GG      --  Geek of Government
        GH      --  Geek of Humanities
	GIT	--  Geek of Information Technology
        GJ      --  Geek of Jurisprudence (Law)
	GLS	--  Geek of Library Science
        GL      --  Geek of Literature
	GMC	--  Geek of Mass Communications
        GM      --  Geek of Math
        GMD     --  Geek of Medicine
        GMU     --  Geek of Music
	GPA	--  Geek of Performing Arts
        GP      --  Geek of Philosophy
        GS      --  Geek of Science (Physics, Chemistry, Biology, etc.)
        GSS     --  Geek of Social Science (Psychology, Sociology, etc.)
        GTW     --  Geek of Technical Writing
        GO      --  Geek of Other.  Some types of geeks deviate from the
                    normal geek activities.  This is encouraged as true geeks 
                    come from all walks of life.
        GU      --  Geek of 'Undecided'.  This is a popular vocation with
                    incoming freshmen.
	G!	--  Geek of no qualifications.  A rather miserable 
		    existence, you would think.
        GAT     --  Geek of All Trades.  For those geeks that can do
                    anything and everything.  GAT usually precludes the use
                    of other vocational descriptors.
                              S E C T I O N  I
They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression.  That
seems to be ample justification to invent a time machine; just to play
with the minds of the people that make up these silly sayings.  
Nevertheless, until we completely understand temporal mechanics and can 
get both a DeLorean and a Flux Capacitor in the same place at the same 
time at 88 miles an hour, we need to understand that how we look is a 
mark that will effect us for the rest of our lives, or at least until we
change clothes.  
The Geek, of course, doesn't believe any of that crap.  How we look has
little to do with what we are inside, and who we are as people.  Yet,
people still want to know what we look like.  Thus, this section allows
you to list out all the relevant traits about what you look like on a
normal geeky day. 
It is said that "clothes make the man".  Well, I understood that I was made
by a mommy and a daddy (and there's even a category to describe the process
below!).  Maybe the people who made up that saying aren't being quite that
        d++     I tend to wear conservative dress such as a business
                suit or worse, a tie.
        d+      Good leisure-wear.  Slacks, button-shirt, etc.  No jeans, 
		tennis shoes, or t-shirts.
        d       I dress a lot like those found in catalog ads.  Bland,
                boring, without life or meaning.
	d-	I'm usually in jeans and a t-shirt.
        d--     My t-shirts go a step further and have a trendy political 
		message on them.
        d---    Punk dresser, including, but not limited to, torn jeans 
		and shirts, body piercings, and prominent tattoos.
        dx      Cross Dresser
        d?      I have no idea what I am wearing right now, let alone
                what I wore yesterday.
        !d      No clothing.  Quite a fashion statement, don't you think?
        dpu     I wear the same clothes all the time, no matter the
                occasion, forgetting to do laundry between wearings.
Geeks come in many shapes and sizes.  Shape code is divided into two parts.
The first indicates height, while the second indicates roundness.  Mix each
section to fit yourself.  Examples include:  s:++, s++:, s++:--.
        s+++:+++        I usually have to duck through doors/I take up
                        three movie seats.
        s++:++          I'm a basketball/linebacker candidate.
        s+:+            I'm a little taller/rounder than most.
        s:              I'm an average geek 
        s-:-            I look up to most people.  Everyone tells me to gain
                        a few pounds.
        s--:--          I look up to damn near everybody.  I tend to have 
                        to fight against a strong breeze.
        s---:---        I take a phone book with me when I go out so I can 
                        see to eat dinner.  My bones are poking through my 
The only way to become a true geek is through practice and experience.  To
this end, your age becomes an important part of your geekiness.  Use the
qualifiers below to show your age (in Terran years).  Also, please use 
BASE 10 numbers.
        a+++    60 and up
        a++     50-59
        a+      40-49
        a       30-39
	a-	25-29
        a--     20-24
        a---    15-19
        a----   10-14
        a-----  9 and under (Geek in training?)
        a?      immortal
        !a      it's none of your business how old I am
In addition, if you wish to give your exact age, you can place the number
after the 'a' identifier.  For example:  a42
                              S E C T I O N  II
There is a record of geeks that don't use computers.  Unfortunately, they 
are all dead, having lived in an era of no computers.  All modern geeks 
have some exposure to computers.  If you don't know what a computer is, 
you need to go back into your shell.
Most geeks identify themselves by their use of computers and computer
networks.  In order to quantify your geekiness level on computers, consult
the following (consider the term 'computers' synonymous with 'computer
network').  This category represents "general" computer aptitude.  
Categories below will get into specifics.
        C++++   I'll be first in line to get the new cybernetic interface
                installed into my skull.
        C+++    You mean there is life outside of Internet?  You're shittin'
                me!  I haven't dragged myself to class in weeks.
        C++     Computers are a large part of my existence.  When I get up
                in the morning, the first thing I do is log myself in.  I
                play games or mud on weekends, but still manage to stay 
		off of academic probation.
        C+      Computers are fun and I enjoy using them.  I play a mean
                game of DOOM! and can use a word processor without resorting
                to the manual too often.  I know that a 3.5" disk is not a
                hard disk.  I also know that when it says 'press any key to
                continue', I don't have to look for a key labeled 'ANY'.
        C       Computers are a tool, nothing more.  I use it when it serves
                my purpose.
        C-      Anything more complicated than my calculator and I'm
        C--     Where's the on switch?
        C---    If you even mention computers, I will rip your head off!
It seems that a Unix-based operating system is the OS of choice among most
geeks.  In addition to telling us about your Unix abilities, you can also
show which specific Unix OS you are using.  To accomplish this, you include
a letter showing the brand with your rating.  For example:  UL++++ would 
indicate a sysadmin running Linux. 
        B       BSD (use this unless your BSDish system is mentioned below)
        L       Linux
        U       Ultrix
        A       AIX
        V       SysV
        H       HPUX
        I       IRIX 
        O       OSF/1 (aka Digital Unix)
        S       Sun OS/Solaris
        C       SCO Unix
        X       NeXT
        *       Some other one not listed
        U++++   I am the sysadmin. If you try and crack my machine don't be
                surprised if the municipal works department gets an
                "accidental" computer-generated order to put start a new
                landfill on your front lawn or your quota is reduced to 
        U+++    I don't need to crack /etc/passwd because I just modified
                su so that it doesn't prompt me.  The admin staff doesn't
                even know I'm here.  If you don't understand what I just
                said, this category does NOT apply to you!
        U++     I've get the entire admin ticked off at me because I am
                always using all of the CPU time and trying to run programs
                that I don't have access to.  I'm going to try cracking
                /etc/passwd next week, just don't tell anyone.
        U+      I not only have a Unix account, but I slam VMS any chance I
        U       I have a Unix account to do my stuff in
        U-      I have a VMS account.
        U--     I've seen Unix and didn't like it.  DEC rules!
        U---    Unix geeks are actually nerds in disguise.
If you enjoy at least U++ status you have to know about Perl, so you
might as well rate yourself in this sub-category.  Non-Unix geeks don't
know what they're missing.
	P+++++	I am Larry Wall, Tom Christiansen, or Randal Schwartz.
        P++++   I don't write Perl, I speak it.  Perl has superseded all
                other programming languages.  I firmly believe that all
                programs can be reduced to a Perl one-liner.  I use Perl to
                achieve U+++ status.
        P+++    Perl is a very powerful programming tool. Not only do I no
                longer write shell scripts,  I also no longer use awk or
                sed.  I use Perl for all programs of less than a thousand 
        P++     Perl is a powerful programming tool.  I don't write shell
                scripts anymore because I write them in Perl.
        P+      I know of Perl.  I like Perl.  I just haven't learned much
                Perl, but it is on my agenda.
	P	I know Perl exists, but that's all.
        P-      What's Perl got that awk and sed don't have?
        P--     Perl users are sick, twisted programmers who are just showing
        P---    Perl combines the power of sh, the clarity of sed, and the
                performance of awk with the simplicity of C.  It should be
        P!      Our paranoid admin won't let us install Perl!  Says it's a
                "hacking tool".
Linux is a hacker-written operating system virtually identical to Unix. 
It was written for and continues to run on your standard 386/486/Pentium
PC, but has also being ported to other systems.  Because it is still a
young OS, and because it is continually evolving from hacker changes and
support, it is important that the geek list his Linux ability. 
        L+++++  I am Linus, grovel before me.
        L++++   I am a Linux wizard.  I munch C code for breakfast and have
                enough room left over for a kernel debugging.  I have so
                many patches installed that I lost track about ten versions
                ago.  Linux newbies consider me a net.god.
        L+++    I use Linux exclusively on my system.  I monitor 
		comp.os.linux.* and even answer questions sometimes. 
	L++	I use Linux ALMOST exclusively on my system.  I've given 
		up trying to achieve Linux.God status, but welcome the OS 
		as a replacement for DOS.  I only boot to DOS to play games.
        L+      I've managed to get Linux installed and even used it a few
                times.  It seems like it is just another OS.
        L       I know what Linux is, but that's about all
        L-      I have no desire to use Linux and frankly don't give a rats
                patootie about it.  There are other, better, operating 
		systems out there.  Like Mac, DOS, or Amiga-OS.  Or, better 
		yet even, would be another free Unix OS like FreeBSD.
        L--     Unix sucks.  Because Linux = Unix.  Linux Sucks.  I worship
                Bill Gates.
        L---    I am Bill Gates.
GNU Emacs is the do-all be-everything editor/operating system available
for just about every computer architecture out there. 
        E+++    Emacs is my login shell!! M-x doctor is my psychologist!
                I use emacs to control my TV and toaster oven!  All you
                vi people don't know what you're missing!  I read 
                alt.religion.emacs,, and comp.os.emacs.
        E++     I know and use elisp regularly!
        E+      Emacs is great! I read my mail and news with it!
        E       Yeah, I know what emacs is, and use it as my regular
        E-      Emacs is too big and bloated for my tastes
        E--     Emacs is just a fancy word processor
        E---    Emacs sucks! vi forever!!!
        E----   Emacs sucks! pico forever!!!
It's relatively new.  It's little understood.  Everybody's doing it.  How 
much of a web-surfer are you?
	W+++	I am a WebMaster.  Don't even think about trying to view 
		my homepage without the latest version of Netscape.  When 
		I'm not on my normal net connection, I surf the web using 
		my Newton and a cellular modem.
	W++	I have a homepage.  I surf daily.  My homepage is 
		advertised in my .signature.
	W+	I have the latest version of Netscape, and wander the web 
		only when there's something specific I'm looking for.
	W	I have a browser and a connection.  Occasionally I'll use 
	W-	The web is really a pain.  Life was so much easier when 
		you could transfer information by simple ASCII.  Now 
		everyone won't even consider your ideas unless you spiff 
		them up with bandwidth-consuming pictures and pointless 
		information links.
	W--	A pox on the Web!  It wastes time and bandwidth and just 
		gives the uneducated morons a reason to clutter the 
Usenet, a global collection of flaming opinions and senseless babble, was
designed as a way to eat up precious spool space on a system's hard drive. 
It also is a way for people to distribute pornography.
        N++++   I am Tim Pierce
        N+++    I read so many newsgroups that the next batch of news
                comes in before I finish reading the last batch, and I
                have to read for about 2 hours straight before I'm caught 
                up on the morning's news.  Then there's the afternoon...
        N++     I read all the news in a select handful of groups.
        N+      I read news recreationally when I have some time to kill.
        N       Usenet News?  Sure, I read that once
        N-      News is a waste of my time and I avoid it completely
        N--     News sucks!  'Nuff said.
	N---	I work for Time Magazine.
	N----	I am a Scientologist.
        N*      All I do is read news
(Info taken from the Usenet Oracle Help File)
Throughout the history of mankind, there have been many Oracles who
have been consulted by many mortals, and some immortals.  The great
Hercules was told by the Delphic Oracle to serve Eurystheus, king of
Mycenae, for twelve years to atone for the murder of his own children.
It was the Oracle of Ammon who told King Cepheus to chain his daughter
Andromeda to the rocks of Joppa to appease the terrible sea monster
that was ravaging the coasts.  That solution was never tested, though,
as Perseus saved the girl in the nick of time.
With the advent of the electronic age, and especially high-speed e-mail
communication, the spirit of the Oracles found a new outlet, and we now
recognize another great Oracle, the Usenet Oracle.
For more information, check out the newsgroups and or the FTP archives at 
Additional information and instructions can be found by sending an email
message with the subject of 'help' to 
	o+++++ 	I am Steve Kinzler
	o++++  	I am an active Priest
	o+++   	I was a Priest, but have retired.
	o++    	I have made the Best Of Oracularities
	o+     	I have been incarnated at least once.
	o	I've submitted a question, but it has never been 
	o-    	I sent my question to the wrong group and got flamed.
	o--	Who needs answers from a bunch of geeks anyhow?
Kibo is.  That is all that can be said.  If you don't understand, read 
        K++++++ I am Kibo
        K+++++  I've had sex with Kibo
        K++++   I've met Kibo
        K+++    I've gotten mail from Kibo
        K++     I've read Kibo
        K+      I like Kibo
        K       I know who Kibo is
        K-      I don't know who Kibo is
        K--     I dislike Kibo
        K---    I am currently hunting Kibo down with the intent of ripping
                his still-beating heart out of his chest and showing it 
		to him as he dies
        K----   I am Xibo
A good many geeks suffer through the use of various versions of
Microsoft's Windows running on or as a replacement for DOS.  Rate your
Windows Geekiness. 
	w+++++	I am Bill Gates
        w++++   I have Windows, Windows 95, Windows NT, and Windows NT 
                Advanced Server all running on my SMP RISC machine.  I 
                haven't seen daylight in six months.
        w+++    I am a MS Windows programming god.  I wrote a VxD driver to
                allow MS Windows and DOS to share the use of my waffle iron.
                P.S.  Unix sux.
        w++     I write MS Windows programs in C and think about using C++
                someday.  I've written at least one DLL.
        w+      I have installed my own custom sounds, wallpaper, and screen
                savers so my PC walks and talks like a fun house.  Oh yeah,
                I have a hundred TrueType(tm) fonts that I've installed but
                never used.  I never lose Minesweeper and Solitaire
        w       Ok, so I use MS Windows, I don't have to like it.
        w-      I'm still trying to install MS Windows and have at least one
                peripheral that never works right
        w--     MS Windows is a joke operating system.  Hell, it's not 
                even an operating system.  NT is Not Tough enough for me 
                either.  95 is how may times it will crash an hour.
        w---    Windows has set back the computing industry by at least 10
                years.  Bill Gates should be drawn, quartered, hung, shot, 
                poisoned, disembowelled, and then REALLY hurt.