Five Ways to Embrace your Geekness

Geek Edition

Today is officially the day were us geeks have a chance to celebrate being a geek. It is an opportunity to enjoy all of our gadgets and time spent in front of the computer. Here are few ways that you can spend your day. I have done several of these already and others are on my list of things to do.

  1. Turn your $60 router into a $500+ router with Tomato Firmware. Tomato is a easy to use replacement firmware for Linksys, Buffalo, and other Broadcom-based routers. It has a simple and easy to use GUI, ability to monitor bandwidth, advance QOS, multiple DynDNS services, and other advanced features.
  2. Turbocharge your DNS services and add advanced content control using OpenDNS. By simply replacing your DNS Servers from your ISP with OpenDNS‘s DNS servers you gain anti-phishing protection via PhishTank and improved speed by automatically resolving your DNS requests with the DNS server that is located closest to you. Advanced content control is available to you if you choose to open a free account with them. Automatically determine how wide or restricted you want your internet to be for the entire house. No software installation is required on any computer in your house. I could dedicate an entire blog post to using this service. For more information, check out their website. I can’t speak highly enough about this service.
  3. Run multiple virtual environments. Want to run Windows 7 RC on your system but don’t want to dedicate a physical partition on your machine? You may want to consider trying Sun’s VirtualBox. VirtualBox is available under the GPL. It supports a large number of Guest OSes including Ubuntu, Windows 7 RC, SUSE, Fedora, and many others. The host OS can be Windows, Linux, Macintosh, and OpenSolaris. The latest release, 3.0.0, includes support of Direct 3D 8/9, OpenGL 2.0, and Guest SMP with up to 32 virtual CPUs.  What else were you planning to do with that 1 terabyte hard drive?
  4. Run a SSH Proxy using PuTTY that you can access anywhere to tunnel your web browsing for increased security. Chad Perrin has provided a nice write up on how to configure a SSH proxy using PuTTY. Sadly even as Microsoft prepares to release Windows 7 they have yet to figure out a way to provide a built in SSH client or daemon. However, once you have installed Tomato firmware you can configure your own SSH server and with Port Forwarding access it from anywhere you have internet access. By signing up for a dynamic DNS hostname you can access your SSH proxy without having to remember your dynamically assigned IP address. (You can sign up for free a dynamic DNS hostname using DynDNS. Don’t forget to modify the Firefox setting to use your network proxy to resolve your DNS entries as well. (about:confg -> network.proxy.socks_remote_dns = true)
  5. Brush up your 100 essential skills as a geek. Anton Olsen over at GeekDad has comprised a list of 100 essential skills any self-respecting geek should be able to accomplish. These skills inlcude being able to open a Master combination padlock in under 10 minutes, being a Google search ninja, and knowing the answer to life, the universe and everything.

Bonus Material: Do you find that your spouse, girlfriend or parents just doesn’t understand your inner geek? Well here is something you can share with them: The Nerd Handbook. While your reading the Nerd Handbook be sure you add Rands to your RSS feeds, he is a fantastic blogger worth following.

Bonus Material: Here are some well known geeks worth following on Twitter: Chris Hardwick (@nerdist), Adam Savage (@donttrythis), Grant Imahara (@grantmahara), and Levar Burton (@levarburton)

I may just take a few of these items listed above and blow them out into full blog posts to show how I am using some of these. I glossed over many of them for the sake of your attention span because I know you have Twitter open, four other tabs in your browser, and your iPhone next to you playing Pandora or

Do you have a secret project or geek skill that you are keeping close to the chest? Why not share it below in the comments with the other readers.