Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn
dachte

Essential Geek Tools

For those with accounts or otherwise interested, my home network is back up, with a replaced wireless bridge. I also cut myself some longer ethernet cables so I won't trip on them so often. Yay.

A few things that I consider important things geeks should have. If I've forgotten anything, leave a comment.

Books:

  • The Dragon Book - It's useful to have around. Writing small languages is a task that shows up every once in awhile in a geek career, although remembering the details is something that people occasionally fail at.
  • Knuth - Good theoretical reading for core computer science. Often-referenced by other works.
  • Computer Organization and Design - A good, moderately comprehensive textbook for computer archiecture.
  • Personal Computer from the Inside Out - x86-specific elaboration on the above.
Tools:
  • RJ45 crimptool, network tester - Making network cables is both a rite of passage and a useful skill. Premade cables are rip-offs and never come in the right lengths.
  • Spare ethernet cables, perhaps a small ethernet hub - Sometimes surprisingly useful.
  • Soldering Iron - Surprisingly useful in many situations. Not all of then involve solder.
  • Multitool - Leatherman is a decent brand, although there are others
  • A good tool set - Kind of obvious. Better than a leatherman, although less portable. Geeks often have several specialised tool sets (incredibly small-headed screwdrivers are sometimes quite useful), some of which almost never travel
  • USB memory stick - The modern day equivalent of the floppy. A good way to sneak data around, share stuff with friends, etc etc
  • Portable HD - Like a larger memory stick. Useful for backup or sharing of bigger things (e.g. movies)
  • Optical Mouse - It's helpful to carry one of these almost everywhere - sucky mice are everywhere and dealing with them is often painful
  • String, Duct Tape, a strong glue - Also useful in some random circumstances.
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  • 11 comments

  • Typing in Colours

    (Cross-posted to G+, but it's more of a definitive statement of views so it goes here too) A recent instance of 「Wasted Talent」: here I'm not…

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    This is meant to address three ideas: Don't blame the victim If you care for me, you'd support me unconditionally Safe zonesAnd to be a topic in…

  • What Do We Owe Each Other?

    One of the central questions in political philosophy, or perhaps one of the most intuitive initial framings, is "what do we owe each other?". I…