Geek Tax

I have this term, Geek Tax, and I have to pay it every few months. Geek Tax is the amazing waste of time that you must endure when crap stops working. Today my internet stopped working. I've been troubleshooting various things for the past few hours, and I'm not sure I've accomplished anything. I think the problem is upstream from me, but I didn't get to this conclusion before unplugging, uninstalling, restarting, cursing, for a few hours. I almost redesigned my network topology in the process.

Of course the next tax will surely be in the form of re-installing windows or something like that.


Comments (5)
  1. No, it’s called, "Geek Logic" — something breaks; oh, it must be my stuff ‘cuz I just love to figure out what the problem is and then fix it. Contrast that to .. "Business Logic" — hey, my stuff works great; the problem must be somewhere else. 🙂

  2. I used to have to pay the geek tax to keep my daughter’s computer working. Reinstalling Windows every few months, pulling viruses and spyware out, putting files back she’d removed because she ran out of space…

    Then I bought her a Mac. Still occasional geek tax days, but nowhere near as often… and I can even ssh in and fix stuff remotely.

    Just reinstalled Windows on my son’s computer. New motherboard, apparently it didn’t like the SATA controller and I couldn’t get it to even come up in safe mode so I could fix it that way… no Mac action there, he demands a game machine.

  3. Hugo Dahl says:

    Good point on geek tax, but you can’t forget the friends and family for whom we do "tech support" at any point in time, because we’re "the computer guy".

    As a side note, when I saw the title of this article in my RSS reader, I thought that perhaps the geek tax was a reference to the amount of money we spend on new technologies because, well, let’s face it – new toys are cool! The tax part being a reference of how the early adopters pay the big bucks to help quickly offset the price of R&D.

  4. Patrick says:

    Isn’t there some current book that argues that the increasing complexity of today’s systems means were doomed? Things that have "broken" on me lately:

    Tivo–(hours on the phone with their technical support–nice to see that Linux requires regular reboots, too);

    Oven clock–requiring a whole new circuit board that was no longer under warranty;

    Fuel door on car–why would Volvo make a keyless lock on the fuel door w/o a manual override?;

    Hotmail–actually Wifey’s but she cannot get to Hotmail from her PC–something about her Passport not supported–the fix? Delete cache and all cookies and try again–that worked once;

    My returns on technology as of late are diminishing and approaching the negative range.

  5. GhostDev says:

    Omar Shahine gives a great example and explanation of Geek Tax. I’m sure a lot of us have suffered from…

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