SEARCH

How-To Geek

Ask the Readers: What’s Your Geek Hobby?

2011-05-11_143448

This week we’re getting up close and personal with your geeky hobbies. What hobbies build your geek-cred, keep your soldering iron hot, or otherwise endear you to your fellow geeks?

Photo by Sywlch.

Whether your hobby involves electronics hacking, computers, sci-fi, or any other traditionally geektacular sphere of influence we want to hear all about it. Are you a coder, tinker, hardware hacker, or otherwise? We want to hear about that too.

Sounds off in the comments with your geeky undertakings, current projects, past claims to geek fame, and other details about what makes your hobby fit for inclusion. Check back on Friday to see our roundup of themes and comments in the What You Said follow up.

Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 05/11/11

Comments (168)

  1. Gianluca

    solve rubiks cubes

  2. Bubby4j

    I like to code things, especially web pages with dynamic content, using ColdFusion and MySQL.

  3. Jack

    I like to do both code and hardware, I like both arduinos and PICs as well as even making them talk to computers via serial

  4. AlanInMtnView

    Custom automotive electronics/robotics, like servo-driven hoods, trunk lids, doors, etc. Currently modding the rear deck spoiler on a 2009 Dodge Charger R/T to vary its pitch based on vehicle speed, brake pedal position, and steering wheel position. (Did I mention it’s split into 2 pieces that can move independently?)
    Will it help handling and/or braking? Don’t know yet. Will it look cool as frack cycling up and down at engine start, like an aircraft before take-off? I think SOOOOoooo… :-)

  5. Hatryst

    I’m a reader of HTG. I do whatever you guys teach me :)

  6. xana452

    Virus removal, if it counts. If a friends computer gets something on it, I’m the first one they call.

  7. Dennis

    Go to work and troubleshoot everyone’s computer woes.

  8. nt0xik8ed

    i like to get old towers and assemble a kick ass build inside. there were some interesting designs 10 years ago. compaq had some cool ones. getting good airflow without losing the integrity of the original design gets tricky along and dells power button circuit boards i could do without. i got lucky on craigslist and found a former employee of compuserve who hooks me up with buyers.
    oh and figuring out linux…

  9. PuppetMaster

    I sew dolls.

  10. Chris

    I am the local “mr. fix IT” for friends, family, coworkers, and coworkers friends and family. I deal with virus’s of all types (including Microsoft ;) ), and home as well as business networks.

    If/when I have time to spend on my own endeavors, I usually find myself researching ways to put 1’s and 0’s to work making my life (and the life of my family) better. whether it’s evaluating half a dozen home finance programs, or half a dozen car maintenance logs, or half a dozen PIM programs/sites, or writing a program/website of my own when nothing I eval fits the bill.

  11. Guilherme de Sousa

    Tweak my Linux system in a way I can be as productive as possible. Most of the time now I’m stopped because I can’t find much more stuff to do/add, but still I keep searching/brainstorming a lot.

    I also like to help people with their IT problems, but that isn’t just a hobby since people come to me with this kind of stuff, instead of me trying to find them.

    regards

  12. Blisk

    I code and I’m a huge Linux geek. I’m installing new distros a lot to test them out and I pride myself in how much I’ve learned about Linux in just a year. I’m not an expert, but I’ve gotten around enough distros and deep enough with something like Arch that I usually know what I’m doing.

    /rant of how awesome I am. :P

  13. whatthe

    Flash and tweak my Android phone

  14. Grant

    8 Bit old computers and Audio engineering are very hobbyish. Everything else geeky is pretty much employment!

  15. jordan

    MINECRAFT!

  16. Steve Stone

    Ham radio – digital comms, HF and VHF, like Pactor 3, WINMOR, Winlink.
    Contrary to popular belief Amateur Radio is far from dead.
    If I had the funds I’d be playing with D-Star digital modes on 1.2 GHz and higher.

  17. anon

    Linux – changing it until it breaks, then installing another distro
    3D CG – i find it fun to make models of stuff
    Star trek – enough said
    Manga – I follow a few series
    Programming – i make little apps that no one would ever need (i find it fun)
    Gaming – one of those elitist jerks

  18. lostalaska

    I’ve worked in IT for almost 15 years now, somehow and don’t ask me how I still love technology.

    Geeky hobbies outside of work I’ve recently done……

    -Set up motion detection alarm system off of my home server with 4 webcams that I can access from my iPhone. My landlord was coming into my apartment during the day to do repairs (main plumbing access is apparently in my apt), but claimed to not be when asked. The cameras caught him a week after i set them up coming into my apartment during the day hanging out in my bathroom for half an hour (the door closed, and I’m not putting cameras in my bathroom that’s just too skeevy) and just generally being a little creepy. Oh and I get an SMS message on my phone when any activity activates the cameras.

    -Picked up an Arduino and a ton of RGB LED’s and a ton of other electrical components to build an LED lamp/LED color organ that can either be a normal lamp (very low power usage and bright) or a music visualizer that bounces to the beats.

    -Built an LED lamp for my bicycle.

    -Converted my single server into a VMbox using ESXi and am now running multiple servers, databases and operating systems off a single box I can remote into anywhere I have internet access.

    -Took my old Xbox 360 that had RRoD’d for the 4th time and was outside of the 3 year warranty and got it working again then modded it and added a larger hard drive. I can’t take it online because of the MODS, but it’s a pretty kick ass HTPC media center now that I occasionally play games on.

    My current project is going to be so awesome if I can just finish it, it might a little too complicated for me. I was given a 40″ LCD (1366×768) that didn’t work by a family friend who I do a lot of gratis PC work at their office and home. A little pico breaker had blown on the main power board. Replaced it for about $5 and a couple hours of work and soldering. Now i want to take it and turn it into a surface coffee table. Been trying to figure out if I should try IR LED’s and cameras in the corners for motion tracking or how to do it, but I really want large touch coffee table for playing board games and just for the geeky awesomeness of it. Or I could just sell it for a few hundred bucks, but whats geeky about that?

  19. -=ChAoS=-

    I build and maintain game servers for our clan. Black Ops and (believe it or not) Unreal Tournament. The original and the new.

  20. Grant

    @lostalaska Maybe the open source Kinect drivers will be of some use for this…..

  21. daniel

    Close Up Magic tricks with cards, coins, and a sharpie marker!

  22. Gordon

    Billards – I know it’s not electronic but it is a game of angles and momentum and nothing is more geek than math.

  23. Mike

    1. Amateur Radio (Ham), particularly antenna theory. 2. Anything computer related.

  24. Jon

    9gag

  25. Aaron

    Hobby-grade RC cars (Traxxas in particular)

    Competitive robotics

    I’m apart of a non-profit organization (Play 4 A Cause) currently creating a video game to raise funds for Malaria. I’m the web developer and do a bit in Maya.

    Photography, and particularly the editing stages

    I’m currently learning Java for Android development

  26. Bill Bird

    Toy trains, O gauge, Lionel, Marx, Ives, tin-plate.

  27. Cires

    Tweaking my laptop to run faster
    Building/fixing computers for friends and family
    gaming across all platforms
    watching anime
    reading manga
    building Gundam models

  28. Ryan

    Not really computer geeky-ness but I enjoy building/modding guitar effects pedal. Nothing like a good bit of fuzz!

  29. Patrick

    I’m a network engineer so I don’t have much time for hobbies with studying for certifications and work, but when I’m not doing work or playing Xbox, I do Plexiglass Etchings. Basically it just uses a dremel tool (mine is Black and Decker) and a printed out design that I invert in Gimp and then tape to the back of my piece of 1/4″ plexiglass. I’ve used them as computer case windows and decorations, working on getting the materials for a lamp type one.

  30. FHS Admin

    I like to take pictures a lot so my little side hobby is I offer free Senior Picture photoshoots. They only thing they pay for is ordering the pictures.

  31. StarsLikeDust

    Tweaking whatever OS I happen to be using.

  32. Gavin

    Tinkering, as I call it – basically, making things on my computer work in exactly the way I want them to. This usually involves lots of hotkeys and coding via AutoHotKey. The benefit is I can usually make other people’s computers work the way they wan them too, too. :)

  33. Lady Fitzgerald

    I am not a geek! Most of you have forgotten more about computers than I’ll ever know. But computer technology enables me to pursue my other hobbies. Also, I have ADD so I need a computer to keep my life on track. When I move into a travel trailer, I won’t have room for my books so I am digitizing them (cutting apart and scanning them). I read them on a Jetbook Light e-book reader or on a 32″ TV screen patched into my computer. Same for my CDs and DVDs. The digitizing project should count for a hobby since it eats up so much of my time. I also work Renaissance Festivals. I depend on the internet to get information I need for that, including research on the period. When I had a band that performed at Ren Fests, I also booked gigs over the internet and learned how to manage the band’s finanaces there. I used my computer, using music notation software, to arrange music for the band.

  34. Lady Fitzgerald

    Forgot to mention editing photos.

  35. Adam Thompson

    Contributing to open source projects (especially Linux). I also love experimenting with Linux to find new ways of doing things and to learn every conceivable feature of the OS. Besides for those I enjoy programming and “playing” with my Android.

  36. TechnoGeek

    Simple programming, technical support, indie games (especially platformers), making the computer behave exactly how I want it to

  37. Mary Gelis

    Billards XD

  38. Josh B.

    Right now, trying to get ssh-agent to work.

  39. d100la

    -Pool/billiards (Russian billiard also, A LOT harder!!!).
    -Linux until it breaks
    -Reading (sci fi mostly, dark fantasy)
    -gaming
    -programming
    -anime
    -duct tape

  40. Selva Kumar

    Develop applications for fun and sake of learning it. I also do love the rubiks cube

  41. Handalaan

    Representing the Geocaching community :D

  42. Mike Xeno

    Sdr Radios (HF 0-30mhz) Digital signal decoding. Pc Mods

  43. A new HTG fan

    My main hobby, of which I think is quite a geeky one, is speedcubing. Speedcubing is the act of solving a Rubik’s cube with the intention of becoming faster at it.

    A year ago, I saw a Rubik’s cube at the local toy store. I took it home and solved it a couple of hours later. I became hooked after the first solve, and ever since, it has become my greatest hobby.

    I now have a whole collection of these cubes, varying from a 2×2 (the easiest cube available, but still surprisingly hard for people who’ve never solved a cube before) to a 7×7 (which is currently the hardest cube on the market), and also a dodecahedron-shaped one, known to cubers as the Megaminx.

  44. MikeS

    I’m a non-technical applications trainer.. so no electronic geekery.. perhaps just a level two nerd.
    ANyway.. FISH. Tropical fish. Voted Britain’s Best Fishkeeper 2008. Currenlty unchallenged.

    and I like to make things..card, hotglue, string and insulation foam.. just stuff.

  45. Muhammad Hassan

    to explore new software and its new features

  46. bobro

    install and then setup Ubuntu, i love getting it just the way i want, it just takes me the same time it takes them to release a new version and the process starts again! :)

    i now have 3 laptops, and 3 virtual machines all running different versions of ubuntu…

    the funny part is after i set it up just how i like it and get everything work how i want, i dont use them… i have windows on my PC, laptop and netbook which i use…

    it really is just a hobby :)

  47. Ironcode

    Linux – Trying everything I can to make it better/break it
    Networking – trying to get my personal server and home network as secure as possible, then try to break it
    Games – anything that requires thought

  48. Virtual Roamer

    Build LED solar powered computer controlled art for the garden.

  49. John

    DIYer, Hacker, Computer Builder and repairer, fixing infected computers.

    I made the Laptop/tablet stand that was on howtogeek awhile back. I love it for holding my geeky books on. I have ‘Linux In Easy Steps’ on It right now but I put other books like ’62 Things to do With a Dead Computer (and other discarded electronics)

    I haven’t built a computer yet but I’m saving up for one and going to buy the parts off Newegg.com. I’ve been getting old computer from friends to learn how desktops work and getting parts such as a 500GB SATA HDD.

    As for infections on computer, I have done that many of times. I always carry around a 4GB flash drive with portable anti spyware and anti virus programs.

  50. durr

    trollinh

  51. blanchimont

    Programming , waching Anime

  52. imsopickled

    My geekness all revolves around saving money. For example
    Istar nmt firmware flashed to popcorn hour nmt firmware. (Popcorn Hour has the same hardware as the istar but costs double the price.)
    Dreambox running cardshare. (free sky tv)
    Cable modem firmware flashed with hacked firmware so to enable connection to cable network. (free broiadband)
    Watercooled pc. Gor my quad core running at 4.8ghz

  53. Andrew

    Computer tech for family & friends; web development side projects apart from the full-time job.

    My office/lab/bat cave/whatever is usually scattered with computers, laptops, routers, etc. I like tinkering with new and different technology and experimenting with different setups. A geek needs to be continuously learning to keep up in this tech world. :)

  54. Nickt

    I like (have) to work on my VW T25 camper. It’s 27 years old so needs constant attention. Sometimes I reach a zen like state masking stuff up for painting, it’s so tedious.

  55. Scotto

    Pinball repair and restoration

  56. haxialelite

    Make rings from nickels and quarters (using a spoon).

  57. Seymour Buttz

    Table top gaming: old school D&D, miniature wargames, board wargame, cards, you name it, nothing on the computer (except for rogue-alikes), and no freakin’ LARP.

  58. Seymour Buttz

    oh yeah, and I’m frequent contributor to Penthouse Forum.

  59. Michele

    My Geek Hobby is reading the ‘how to geek’ newsletter on a daily basis in order to become a geek. for a no knower like me….its a slow process…but i have come a long way, i actually am starting to ‘get’ the geek cartoons!! bahahaha

  60. Liz

    I’m still a wannabe geek, I’ve worked in IT now for almost four years and haven’t studied a single thing.
    So I break things, delete random operating files and see what happens, then I try to fix it.

  61. mac

    Vector graphics in Inkscape or Illustrator…

  62. 1 @m H4x0r

    I hack peoples computers and steal every bit of data, information, passwords & … from them. Also crack shareware & trial softwares & games & release them for free. I do hack & jailbreak iPhone, mobiles, PS3, PSP, xbox & …. for fun!

    P.S. I also hack everyone who comment in this website, no kidding, I’m serious!

  63. karan

    Linux distro hopping (Bordering obsession)
    Tweaking Android
    Creating themes for my Launcher ,Desktop.

  64. Lee Roberts

    1st Edition AD&D – My kids have actually become interested.
    Building – currently working on a home theater/gaming pc.
    Anime – Have been collecting imports for 30yrs now.
    Model airplanes – When not playing baseball with my son we like to put together commercial airliners.
    Horror movies – Larger than my Anime collection.

  65. Demetre

    Amateur Radio (Ham Radio), it doesn’t get more geeky that this :-)

  66. J. Anthony Carter

    SU baby!! SU!!

  67. Doug Oaten

    Try to develop professional apps for Symbian phones. I really make a mess of my Nokia sometimes, but one day I’ll get it right.

  68. Vicenarian

    Reverse-engineering malware

  69. Edward Fairchild

    Access databases; general PC fixing hardware and software for friends

  70. Dee

    I’m a wii-tard
    also web designs and coding

  71. celly

    I tweak on my MAME cabinet and retro game. Ftwii.

  72. Hisa

    Aside from graphic design, website coding, database structure, and general photoshop fun, I love to part out old and obsolete computers and laptops to try and make something salvagable that works. I also like to play with command line in Linux systems. I have a set-up just for that and it is damn fun! If I get bored working in Linux (a rare event), I install open source software and teach myself how to use it to make myself more marketable. I rarely play in Windows systems though I have several virtual set-ups just for screwing up to help troubleshoot all my family and friends’s Windows problems that they seem to have. God I love Linux!

  73. ChuckTheGeek

    Avid game player. I also code like crazy on projects that interest me and help me learn new things. And I teach Taekwondo.

  74. oleman33

    I like to design and build birdhouses. Play at amateur photography. Mess around with computers.
    Like to read HTG & the comments

  75. Ray

    Ham radio and antenna design.

  76. bac200proof

    maintain & repair computers also tweaking them to get maximum performance building PC’s…if i wasn’t so broke i’d build amazing machines but $120 every two weeks isn’t much to work with so my LOW-end PC’s are mainly hand-me-downs and bought from thrift stores

    also, i like to customize the windows interface especially on my systems running XP without using much 3rd party programs. I’m going to make my own .msstyles one day for XP

    and skateboard + long distance biking to stay fit…countless hours in front of the PC is not good for your health and the smoking doesn’t help XD

  77. John

    I’m a huge hardware geek! I started off as an audio electronics nerd in high school when my church installed a then state-of-the-art sound system and no one knew how to operate it. I spent years reading books on audio electronics, recording techniques, etc. That later transferred to a love of building computer systems. I now work as the CTO/CIO of a small corporation which means I get to spend plenty of time doing hands on work.

    I’m also a Trekkie :-)

  78. chuckles

    videogames, getting into photography with a nikon d40. computer hardware and anything fun or interesting

  79. Ali Roshan

    I am a freelance coder so I mostly code. And when I get tired of coding, I switch to one of my personal coding projects. And when I get tired of all kinds of coding, I go out; have a cold drink and some snacks; then I return to my home, take a shower and start coding again. My current entertainments are ‘How I met your mother ‘, ‘Criminal Minds’, and a Kamasutra website I am working on.

  80. stanleyella

    Building simple robots useing microchip pics.Messing with my pc and having to reinstall it.

  81. Steven

    WORLD OF WARCRAFT

  82. Snake

    I’m gonna be the first to say this: Building Armor.
    i make leather and chainmail armor, not very electronics geeky….but….

    building HHO generators
    a hydrogen cannon (loud bang)
    a small arch welder made with microwave transformers
    tennis ball air cannons for my dogs
    a 7ft tall trebuchet (throws a golf ball the length of a football field)
    an electro-magnetic pulse gun (still working on the electronics for this)
    plants and fish, neither very geeky.
    and pretty much anything else i can dig up on instructables that looks fun/dangerous.

    I’m also a upper level support tech for a major computer manufacturer. (not a hobby, but geeky)

    As for computer stuff;
    Gaming – (and a minecraft server)
    building cool systems (like my old 1920’s wooden radio that serves as my media center)
    playing with hard-to-learn technology and software.
    programming when i have need of a app.
    Hyper-V and generally breaking all the MS best-practices
    SQL and Exchange, still working on these.

    and a ton of vendor specific information for my job.

    I literally can’t explain what I do for a living to an average Joe. Nothing but blank stares.
    Generally when I try to explain all my diverse machinations I get expressions of shock. :-p

  83. Tom

    I cast metal. It doesn’t really relate to computers that much. I work mainly with aluminum, but where I get it is interesting. I’m sure many of you have held a hard drive, and maybe some of those have have seen/held the platters inside. The black metal black that serves as the base is actually high quality machines aluminum, pretty much the best quality anywhere, because faults in it can cause vibrations. The platters are an aluminum alloy, that I can use for other things as well. Considering I get them for free from an IT friend, it’s a pretty good deal.

    I open them up, strip them down, and put them into a crucible. Then I take that and stick it in the microwave. Just kidding, I put that into a metal can, and surround it with charcoal. All that sits on mesh, underneath which a hairdryer is supplying air. I create a mold out of sand, and three minutes after the last piece has melted, I’m ready to pour.

  84. Tim

    Amateur Radio! Meet friends from all walks of life, build your own equipment, modify other things, antennas, towers,……

  85. the zla

    The only geeky thing i do is read this, my PC is just another thing to sit on in the office.

    i do like to clean the mouse ball. hehehe

  86. Roger Wilco

    I like to write computer adventure games (which includes VB programming, building supporting plugins, 3D modeling, and animation), LAMP web development, and build computer mods. I also like to build any project that looks cool (rockets, water cannons, etc…).

  87. Rick in Putnam

    I’ve been licensed as a ham for 27 yrs but have operated only about 2 yrs our of that. I’d LOVE to be able to afford to get back into that some day! Never had an HF station, just 2m and 220.

  88. mredge

    P0ker. Live cash games at my local establishment offering games of chance. Rarely online. I keep getting a rejection because I’m using a spammy word. This is an edited version of the original.

  89. mredge

    Was the spammy word poker or the establishment offering games of chance?

  90. Spider Rancher

    I am raising and keeping detailed documentation on two separate broods of Hogna helluo spiderlings of the Lycosidae family. Not sure if that makes me a geek or a nerd.

  91. Derek

    I’m a Psychological Illusionist. (For UK + US geeks – think Derren Brown)

    My Website…

    http://www.derekheron.com

  92. goybar

    Beer brewing. Tons of geeky automation you can do.

  93. Snert

    Finding obsolete ‘junk’ computers and getting them working at their best. It’s not a two-car garage, it’s a junkyard.
    My flavorite is a Texas Instrument TI 99/4A, an awesome machine in it’s day. Still impressive knowing what it’s internals are.
    At a yard sale for $20 and had EVERYTHING and all of it worked. I’d’ve paid much more, but who am I to argue?

  94. Ron

    Modifying my Series 1 TiVos, sudoku, and crosswords.

  95. Siamese Retriever

    Geocaching! It rocks!

  96. LCs Ted

    I play Airsoft and when I’m not playing on the field, I’m running our website with one of my team mates, editing videos for the site and YouTube or fixing/tuning my gun. I also fix video editing hardware for a living and install broadcast equipment. :)

  97. Hayden

    Game programming, playing video games, and creating viruses that don’t work.

  98. Abdeali

    whenever i face probs in coding , i surf & findout things / code / apps

    and i also like to get gud & free apps on net

    so i short i search the web to get my requirement fullfilled

  99. LycraLout

    Wow. A lot of Rubik cube fans out there. My geek hobbies… 1. My HTPC. Keeping everything running on it, recording my TV and tweaking it to play anything thrown at it. Takes less of my time since W7 came out. Previously I was using MediaPortal on XP. 2. Are martial arts geeky? Most geeks are interested but not many practise. I spent most of my 20s practising karate but due to gammy knees, have now moved on to tai chi and ju jitsu. Polar opposites but one has to keep an open mind on these things. As a result I’m a fan of the UFC. Go to one of those and there’s more geeks than you can shake a stick at. Other than that, keeping up with the latest gadgets. I’m a geek by profession (db applications consultant) but leave at the office.

  100. Jon

    taking components out of dead tech and turning them into sculptures. learning a new coding languages. creating circuits on my ancient but still way cool radioshack 600 in 1 electronics learning lab. building electric bikes for family and friends.

  101. AllYourBasesAreBelongToUs

    Guns and Camping. When you spend your life in a cube dealing with technology, you just have to get away and shoot something.

  102. Ned

    I study physics in my spare time for fun. I am on a 10-year plan to understand Einstein’s General Relativity in its unvarnished format, meaning, understanding the full mathematics behind the Einstein Field Equations. I need this background so that I can study black holes, a lifelong passion of mine.

  103. A

    I constantly try to find new programs and ways to upgrade my PC to do more and more stuff. There is always those couple of games that just won’t work, making it all the funner to try and make them suceed. I also design Sci-fi Space ships and the weaponry for those ships.

  104. zach

    Free MMO’s (DDO, Champions)… probably less geeky and more normal nowadays

    Using different Linux distros to resurrect peoples’ dead old PC’s

    Spiritual health and apologetic research / discussion groups (etymology and history are the geek parts)

    Terminal ballistics, marksmanship, and handgun proficiency instruction

    Early childhood mental/social development (this one’s my way of getting excited about all the babysitting the wife and I do together)

  105. DA_GEEK

    Hanging with my Kids also love helping people with computer issues. photography; upgrade my PC”s and lets no forget getting away from techology..

  106. Carrie

    I like to figure out how websites work and I code them just for the hell of it. Ummmm and playing WoW cause I am EPIC like that!

  107. Six

    Playing Doom Online! I really love doom even having PS3, Xbox or Wii.

  108. Virtual Roamer
  109. tommy2rs

    Trying to convert a 60’s era Ford tractor to run on electric power. Tinkering with my old Backbird powerbook.

  110. Roger

    I’m retired after 50 years in IT.
    I’ve just rediscovered Lego and slot car racing. My excuse is grandchildren.

  111. BigEclipse

    Robotics. Anything to do with robotics; programming, building, kits, soldering, competition, etc.

  112. Rodolfo Licon

    Install Virtual servers… Create complex active directories. Play with DNS servers and learn solaris.

  113. KE4NJH

    Amateur Radio. It has a natural synergy with digital technology, as well as maintaining the intrigue of legacy communications.

  114. Bri

    I love flying R/C Heli’s, technic lego involving anything to do with pnematics or robotics and web design & coding.

  115. Tim

    Right now its just linux, fixing things and Harry Potter philosophies. Hoping someday to branch out to programming and robotics!

  116. Scott Morris

    Mentor for the FIRST robotics program at Burlington High School. FIRST is an amazing program and runs from elementary school all the way to university. I have a great time working with the kids to plan, design and build a functional robot in only (6) weeks to compete with the other robots. Its a lot of fun.

  117. Carter

    I enjoy working with small businesses and leveraging technology to increase efficiency and productivity. e.g.
    Taking an office from paper files to a google docs cloud system for collaboration, metrics, and auto reporting. Utilizing forms available on smartphones for field technicians so managers get live reporting and management tools.

    Relational database systems so you only have to enter information once! I find many small businesses redundantly enter data into excel spreadsheets, emails, forms, etc. With relational databases and some scripting we get auto emails and multiple databases updated at one time or if we get fancy utilize object oriented databases. (customer database, project database, company financial database all working together)

    And of course like every tech savvy individual I fix computers and networks for all my family and friends.

  118. Ricardo

    I like to continuously work/update my home theater setup. I have two-windows home serves running with a combines 20TB storage capacity. One of them runs mymovies plugin and I have several HTPC’s (living room, bedrooms) that connect to that database and provide movie/TV show playback without the need for the disc. In a way its my own netflix setup but with full bluray quality playback. The main setup (living) i have a 7.1 wall mounted speaker setup. Sound quality is awesome through the cards optical going directly to a Pioneer Elite THX receiver. I also have a workstation setup that connects to the HD-Homerun turner for recording HD and again playback on any HTPC via Windows 7 media center. So my hobby is to keep the system up to date and as well polish things. For the most part is pretty flawless with the exception of future hardware upgrades, specially on the sound side.

  119. John Mood

    I enjoy Amateur Radio (Some call it Ham Radio). I especially like to connect my computer to the radio not only to control the radio from the computer but to use digital modes to contact others around the globe and sometimes even orbiting satellites. I really like to work to get more moles for each watt of RF (radio Frequency) power out. I once made a contact with a satellite, a Space Shuttle mission, (STS-51) at a range of 2600 miles downrange and 165 miles altitude on only 35 watts. I once made keyboard to keyboard wireless contact from Charlotte NC to a fellow “Ham” in the Ukraine on only 5 watts. It’s a blast, and it help maintain communications skills needed if there';s an emergency.

  120. Bob Reiff

    I am the local unpaid computer consultant for family friends and neighbors. When not busy with that I have enjoyed HAM RADIO for 44 years. I have also been know to climb antenna towers to do antenna work for various people. Highest ever was 210 feet. Ham radio has been a never ending source of friends, education, technology and fun for my entire adult life. If I had a bottomless pit of money I’d get back into flying but that ended when I got married in 1971.

  121. kzinti1

    Addicted to building my own high-tech computers. And the Half Life 2 series. (Still.)
    Hopefully, “Duke Nukem’ Forever” will be added to the list.

  122. nhoop

    I’m just a kid of 80 so I just like programming with VB5…and winning at 9-Ball.

  123. Steve Adams

    I am also a Ham, I enjoy DX or long distance communication with other hams in other lands. I also participate in emergency communications such as our Florida Hurricanes . I enjoy the computer assisted digital modes of psk 31 and others. A geek ?I even am my home IT department and yes I even wear glasses. I however can not find my pocket protector. Longest contact and the most proud of was a contact with the Antarctic science team at McMurdo Sound from South Florida, with 5 watts of output power. Using SSB voice or Single Side Band. Hams call this QRP or very reduced power !
    Tech forever.
    Hams all over the world are a friendly bunch and always end a contact or QSO with the phrase
    73
    Literally Best Regards so
    73 to you
    Steve A

  124. Confuzzler

    Well, up until recently I’ve relied on my mum (I’m 16) to fix all my computer problems, but now I’m teaching myself the basics of Autohotkey and Rainmeter Skins. Plus I like to customize my computer as much as possible, so much that my mum gets annoyed when she can’t find what she wants on my PC (hers really, we have two) and she’s got fairly good PC skills. :) I’m an aspiring geek.

  125. thorstenmz

    Conlanging… (cf. http://zompist.com/kit.html)

  126. MTG4LIFE

    Magic the Gathering in a dark comic shop away from reality!

  127. Sebastian

    *I enjoy modding my pc over and over again whilst keeping the hardware up to date. The trick is to get the good stuff for the least possible pay. (Always AMD + SAPPHIRE BTW).
    *Also some lightweight overclocking.
    *I’m the go-to-guy for friends, family and neighbors. Needless to say: I very much enjoy getting their all cluttered/messed up pc up and running as if it were new againe
    * Starting this weeks to teach myself the ins and outs of Linux. Tried Ubuntu 10.04/10 and found I new too little. My above average knowledge seems useless on Linux :S
    *I’m thinking about how to get old throwaway pc’s. I want to build useful pc’s from their parts and donate them to those who really could use a break. IDEAS VERY WELCOME.
    **My 2 cents.

  128. Steven Shaffer

    I’ve been a computer geek since my first Commodore Plus 4 in the 80’s. I got heavy into car audio in the late 80’s and 90’s. I was paralyzed in an accident in 2000 and since opened my own repair shop in my house and pretty much eat, sleep, & breath peoples infected computers or laptops with bad ac jacks that need replaced. Since I have a wide variety of clients, I basically work any and all hours that are needed. So when I get some free time I read articles on the web to relax or play pc games.

  129. J Glenn

    Vacuum tube radio restoration.

  130. T Hendricks

    Rubiks cubes, chess, and college football… In reality, there is nothing geekier than a college football fanatic… I should know….

  131. J Brewer

    Convincing other to switch to Linux. Also tweaking my 3 XBMC systems & media server.

  132. Leonard

    I have been creating websites as a hobby since 1995. The first one was The Modemjunkie’s Portal http://lgrossman.com (and it looks like a mid nineties site). See the ModemJunkie’s Archive, a collection of essays about the online and computer worlds going back to 1992.

    More recently I have been creating photo albums http://lgrossman.com/pics/ and blogs, the latest of which is Trudel’s Truth, the virtual diary of a young woman who leaves Germany in the 1930s and comes to the US.
    http://lgrossman.com/trudel

  133. roddythegeek

    i pull computers from trash piles, fix ‘em and give ‘em away to poor families and disabled vets.

  134. roddythegeek

    oops, i forgot. i really love cracking software.

  135. Scotto's World

    I build arcade machines.

  136. DzonyQ

    I am,what you would call your neighborhood geek for fixing computers,both hardware and software to the extenet of my ability.If any of my friends computer fails i am theres first call.I have a strange thing where the more screwed up the computer is the more exited i get by fixing it.It gives me pleasure when i fix a really trashed pc and my friend has already taken it to get it serviced and they couldnt fix it.I also gave a few people my phone number so that i can make somthing on aside ,but mainly i do it for the fun,challenge and to stay on my game.It’s a good practise.if youd see me on the street youd think i am some kind of jock and you would never believe i work with computers,play all day call of duty,assassins creed brotherhood or crysis 2…I`am as geeky as they come and i dont care.

  137. roddythegeek

    to 1 @mH4x0r, I should have evry fellow Viet Nam Veteran track you down and bring your worthless carcass to me for slow, long painful disposal.

  138. John Burke

    I like to create websites for fun on my off time (I’m an assembly language programmer on IBM Mainframes by day). I’m not too advanced yet in the various web technologies but can code HTML, CSS and am taking a Javascript course at the moment. I work on my family website whenever I can and I created a website featuring my Dad’s toothpick carnivals as well as a website for my brother’s catering business.

  139. Luinox86

    Yea, I like to code as well, web pages, all using php mysql and html … I know.. old style.

    man when I look at myself know I am stock in the history! other hobby is that I like to code in VB6! never liked the .NET even after I finished two gaming projects there…

    I also love virtual machines, recently I could install Windows 98 and ME (not as easy as installing newer OSs on VirtualBox if you have tried); and installing new software on them to see how they struggle about it :) nice to break them down with manipulations and reload your screen-shot.

  140. Luinox86

    man that cracking rocks, have you ever tried manipulating game files? most of the time they just don’t show up, specially in new games, but I remember in GTA 2 I could replace some sound and image files with the exact size and features but different content and they showed up in the game…

  141. Lloyd

    Magic the gathering and Magic the gathering online

  142. Drevil1200

    As a main hobby, I enjoy tinkering with my freenas, as well as creating a portable freenas that only requires a computer with a network card and bios. I love playing xbox, generally I play a broad spectrum of games, blackops, halo reach, portal2 medal of honor tf2. And I’m a big ubuntu fan. I like to play around with other Linux os’s I haven’t tried before also. Keep In mind, I’m 16, and I love to build computers. Which is why I have a freenas that streams music to anywhere in my house, and serves as a file server and web server. I absolutely love freenas. Try it today: http://www.freenas.org/

  143. Scott

    I love to solder things and take stuff apart..always to make an improvement or increase functionality. When I can’t do that I write websites, mostly just HTML, XML and Java stuff, but it’s fun and relaxing

  144. Mihosh

    I am the family, friends of family, friends, friends of friends pc troubleshooter. Any and all types of issues, from virus, anti spyware, hardware, software problems, you name it. My wife says it is my hobby. And of course between the two of us we have 6 PCs in the house. 4 Desktops, 2 laptops..

  145. Juan Barrera

    I like to mess around with broken computer parts, creating whatever comes to mind, recently I just built a usb powered hot plate that contains rechargeable batteries, for on the go, I’m also working on a cooling case for my netbook, also I like to create sidebar gadgets, so far I’ve created 6, and I like to read How to Geek articles, they’re very helpful! :)

  146. Carl

  147. Eric

    I program in C-based languages, design Web pages, and play Dungeons & Dragons 3.5.

  148. Bob D

    I have been teaching myself about relational databases through MS Access and OpenOffice base. I love the learning process, and the excitement over figuring out how to do something that I figured would be impossible. Ultimately I think I would like to learn programming, but haven’t found the time to do so. I teach (MS Band Director), and have been working on an Access database to manage student info, instruments, music library, etc.

  149. Ron "TBK" Rezendes

    I’m about as geeky as it gets after 20 years in the IT industry including a stint at Intel back in the late 80’s, various hardware and software companies including wireless and internet gaming techonology companies.

    CHESS – (The ultimate thinking game) I am President of the San Diego Chess Club which is one of the largest chess clubs in the world. I play tournaments on Wednesday nights and occasionally on weekends. Organizing Committee member for two US Championships held in San Diego in 2004, 2005.

    PINBALL: (High speed physics meets decision making and skill) I play in three different pinball leagues as well as in professional events and cash games.

    SOFTBALL: (Safer baseball for us older folks, more physics meets skill) I enjoy playing softball to get myself some exercise and because I love playing the game.

    OTHERS: Surfing in San Diego is relaxing and enjoyable, playing Guitar Hero especially with my kids is challenging, I also enjoy playing poker online and in person.

    Ron “TBK” Rezendes
    (TBK=The Biggest Kid)

  150. Rick S

    Learning Linux and fixing scrap computers to give to kids and poor people.
    It’s a good feeling to see a bunch of poor kids fighting over a computer and a week later you come up with a second one. Sure makes them happy.

    Now if I could learn a little better so it wouldn’t take so long to fix them I would be happier. lol.

  151. Lisa C

    Geocaching, especially solving puzzle/cipher caches (oh, and creating puzzle/cipher caches).

  152. bojangles

    im the IT guy for the rest of the guys in my unit (army). software hacking is my specality.

  153. Jerry

    I’ve been a licensed Amateur Radio Operator for almost 55 years. I began by tearing apart and repairing old radios at the age of ten. After I was licensed in 1956, I started building transmitters, receivers and antennas; unfortunately, I can’t do it now: arthritis in my hands has taken care of that!

    By the way, Ham Radio, led to a long career in IT. Now eight years since I retired, I still write computer code – keeps the old brain active!

  154. Erwin

    Advanced mathematics, astronomy, drawing & painting …. Programming in Python, Ruby, C++

  155. Wil

    Making icons

  156. Friend of Bill

    I love flashing custom android Gingerbread ROMs on my htc HD2.

  157. Mike C.

    I do not consider myself a full fledged Geek with all rights and privileges yet. I am getting there. Right now my Geek Hobby is learning about Linux. I have 4 computers that work well and I am attempting to setup a Linux network complete with a server. This stuff is still way over my head, but it’s getting within reach!

  158. Rusd3v

    Music mixing/remixing with Ableton Live

  159. Steve Stone

    Forgot one. I restore and rebuild classic 1970’s tube and solid state CB radios. 4-10 bood guddy

  160. Weezy Rider

    Digitizing Machine embroidery. Also sew and quilt. Also photography and astronomy. Love my telescope and dark skies.

  161. Gouthaman Karunakaran

    As a geek hobby, I maintain all my friends’ computers regularly. I also blog. :)

  162. Zeke

    I’ve had many hobbies over the years. My interest waxes for a while, but something eventually replaces it. Maybe my current one will last??

    * Ham Radio
    * Video Games (lasted a while, but didn’t last much past College)
    * The game Go (like chess, but better — eventually waned with the start of my Thesis work)
    * Photography (Still moderately active… I just don’t have enough time for it — for now)
    * Homebrewing (My current activity – now that my thesis is 95% complete)

    My interests that last make me money… Programming, Cisco Networks, & System Integration Engineering

  163. Wiredog

    Vexillology, Cartography, Astronomy, Photography, Geocaching (placing not searching), and I am a Starfleet Chaplain (yes, I have real credentials).

  164. Shawn Collins

    I like to build Halloween stuff, SPECIFICALLY animatronics, pneumatic and/or servo powered. It gets geeky ‘cuz a lot of geeks are anal and it can be meticulous, PLUS it geeks SUPER geeky ‘cuz you can program a controller and have them do anything you want or simply operate them from your computer.

  165. Jer

    I play with and collect magnets. I salvage earth magnets mainly from obsolete or corrupted hard drives which I use to build models of anything from vehicles to lifeforms. Creatively composited from some of the endless variety of nuts, bolts, washers and wire littering my drawers I also re-purpose some of those strange bits of random (but ferrous) hardware seemingly devoid of any practical purpose or function and now forsake the reassembly of some discombobulated alien device, cleverly posing now as a Dino-Bot carapace!

  166. Joao Henriques

    Drink heavily until I pass out. Does this count?

  167. shannon

    I’m hardware i love to be on my computer I could stay on it all day its my best friend.

  168. shannon

    I’m more computer wise cause i love my computer

Enter Your Email Here to Get Access for Free:

Go check your email!