*This column originally appeared in February 2007 for Mobile Philippines Magazine under Hinge Media Inc.
Column: The Prodigal Screen Protector and other Bedtime Stories
I found that the best way to measure your geek factor would be to turn off all the lights in your room and see how many blinking lights are left on. Upon last count, I had at least ten: speaker, keyboard, flashing monitor light, external HD, cellphone (ooh bright OLED screen), DSL modem, wireless router lights, iBook sleep light, power brick, and extension cord lights galore. I began my new year resolution early by making sure that the only lights I saw during the holidays were the Christmas lights from the tree and houses.
It’s pretty hard to detach oneself from the computer screen – closing Yahoo! Messenger, Friendster and ultimately the lid of the good ‘ol iBook. For someone who works from home, the temptation of staying in bed equals the freelancing spirit of going out to socialize and network. So I figured that it would make much more sense to merge that geek lifestyle with a little bit of fresh air – considering that most of the work gets done during the hours of the midnight oil. Here are some suggestions to keep busy while still keeping geeky:
Enroll in a gym
I was never the gym person because the gym, as I saw it, was more of a female watching spectator sport and I just got bored pushing and pulling weights. Not until I learned to schedule my podcast listening session during gym time. Not only do you stay healthy – but you’re up to date with the latest technology news. I try to work out at least 3x a week (yeah right!) so for the most part I schedule my three sessions into three podcast listening sessions: Leo Laporte’s TWiT, This Week in Media and The Cellphone Junkie. If I do decide to go the extra mile and work out longer, there are dozens of other obscure podcasts made available – you won’t run out! Hey, and if ever you do feel that urge to pull out your phone, there’s always a way to get on with mobile bingo — that way you’re entertained AND fit on the treadmill.
Join a geek community
As Jason de Villa, founder of MaPalad once said, it would be a little pathetic to lust over your gadgets, as there are other people who own the same stuff you have AND are much more interesting. Do you own a Windows Mobile Device? Pinoy Windows Mobile (pinoywindowsmobile.com) is for you. A Palm device you say? Then its MaPalad.org. Into photography? There’s always Photos.ph and if you’re into the lomo craze, lomomanila.ph. There’s PhilMUG.ph and Pinoy Mac for Mac users and yes – if you love to blog, there’s always the Pinoy group of bloggers (just do a Google keyword search for Philippine Blogcon 2007). As a member of several of these groups, I’ve managed to fill up my schedule with events and “wala lang” meets without me having to figure out what I should do for the week.
Write for a geek magazine
There’s nothing wrong with “monetizing your passion.” If you’re passionate about gadgets, you can always drop an email to the magazine of your choice. Now for the segue – we’re always on the lookout for passionate writers. If you think you have what it takes to review shiny shiny gadgets, don’t hesitate to drop an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can read Jayvee over at his personal blog at www.abuggedlife.com.