Disadvantages of Being a Young Computer Geek

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    Being a thirteen-year-old geek does have its disadvantages, one of which is not being able to be legally employed in the US. Unfortunately, this causes me to not have an extremely large budget when it comes to buying geeky things. Back when I was, like, nine, I was given an HP computer with three gigabytes of RAM and an Intel Celeron 900 Processor @ 2.2GHz (HP G56-129WM), which is still my only computer today. The torture! Back then, I knew no better, just like all the other nine-year-olds, and thought that the computer was just great. Now with the hard drive starting to make the clicking sounds a hard drive makes before it dies (good thing I got the Acronis backup software to review for being an author on Geek Brain Dump 🙂 ) and myself substantially wiser, I know that my computer was never any good. It is possible for a thirteen-year-old to make money from making a mobile application, but how do you do you develop when it takes five minutes to open the IDE and when you fear your computer may crash if you have an AVD with 512 Megabytes of RAM and Google Chrome open at the same time? Today, the bottleneck of most computers is the storage medium. My computer’s bottleneck is the computer.

    Fortunately, I have successfully explained to my parental units that a computer with better specifications, and a higher price, most likely, is better than a cheaper, worse computer. For goodness sake, a Raspberry Pi Model B+ duct taped to a dot matrix would be almost as fast as my computer (a bit of an exaggeration). I should be getting the next MacBook Pro Retina (you can’t really build a laptop the same way as a desktop) that comes out; even though new ones were released just a while ago (I am hoping to get the Broadwell chipset or DDR4 RAM or other bells and whistles that could be coming out). I hope that eventually I will be developing nifty, helpful, and open source (I find programming fun) applications with a few other geeks.

    Another result of having a limited budget for geeky things is becoming addicted to replacing freeware/free versions of paid-for software with open source alternatives, of which I am very guilty (I like the website alternativeto.net to find alternatives to software). Being a geek, I am constantly installing software (I have used about ninety gigabytes of storage). I still need to install some programming languages and software. Though I am still debating whether to build my own desktop computer with a case with a handle for easy transportation, I still want to wait for the Broadwell microarchitecture. It would be more geeky to build a desktop, but it would be nice to have the portability of a laptop computer. Anything would be better than what I have now. I was thinking of using an Icy Dock product where you can put a hard drive in the area for a CD reader that Eli reviewed a while back. I was thinking that if I put a four terabyte hard drive at 7200 rpm in it and a 512 Gigabyte PCI E SSD, I could use the hard drive for Linux system images (or other files that you need, but you just throw them somewhere and ignore them like backups), so I would not have to use precious write cycles or have a single file taking up three gigabytes and waste space. You are unable to do that with a MacBook Pro Retina; you can barely take out the battery. With this I am starting to lean towards a portable desktop computer.

    I hope that you should see some applications being developed by me in the near future with an extremely awesome computer running a cool distribution of Linux and for the first time, more than three gigabytes of RAM (the torture!).


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  1. James Elliott September 6, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    I feel your pain. When I was 14, I had a single core 1.3GHz processor with 512MB of ram and some other specifications which I can’t remember. My advice would be – just keep on writing code regardless of whether it will be used or not. Keep perfecting your art until you’re about 17-18 and you can start out in the world. Hell, take a “brain dead” job just to support your “hobby”. It’ll all play out in the end. It has taken me 5 years of struggling through depression, panic attacks, bad clients and PTSD to land my perfect job. As long as you stay headstrong and focused – in the end, things will work out.

  2. Katy Pillman September 7, 2014 at 4:04 am

    Here’s a tip, open source does not make you a lot of money. Giving open source code to others will decrease your profits.

  3. John September 7, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    As a 16 year old geek, I feel the pain. Until a couple years ago, I was stuck using my family’s Windows Vista desktop with a dual-core Pentium and 4 GB of DDR2 RAM. I realize it’s better than your laptop, but Windows Vista SUCKS so much that it doesn’t feel any faster. I would recommend building your own desktop. For around $500 you could build a decent system and gain experience in doing so. Add $100-200 for a 1080p monitor and you’re good to go. The plus about a custom built desktop is that you can upgrade it later on, so it can last for about 6 years and even more if you swap out the entire motherboard for a new one!

    • Dane Campbell September 7, 2014 at 4:18 pm

      Thanks! I am starting to lean even more towards a custom computer. I believe there may be more funds for an even better computer, hopefully with sixteen gigabytes of RAM and an i7 processor, but I am not a gamer in the slightest.

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