Biggest Geek Ever

By jeff

In case you were wondering, I am, in fact, the world's biggest geek.

Galaga on a TreoOne of my co-workers is always showing off his 00ber-techo handheld Palm Treo something-or-other. It has it all: cell phone, camera, bright color display, wireless internet, built-in mic, and scads of software. He has his entire MP3 collection on that thing, as well as transcoded DVDs, and an SSH client for logging in to computers for work.

So, the other day, this guy is showing off his newest discovery: MAME. MAME stands for Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator, a software package that allows you to play old coin-op video games on modern computers. While MAME itself is not new, MAME on a Treo was. He cycles very quickly through some menus, and launches something.

Immediately, the screen fills with the wacky, colorful garbage, as the ROM cycles through its boot-up code. Without thinking of the consequences, my mouth hijacks my conscious thought process, and says, in my own voice without my permission:

"Ooooooo! Is that Galaga?"

My associate looks simultaneously doubtful and awestruck.

"Yes," he says, somewhat sheepishly.

Within a few seconds, the ROM self-test completes and Galaga bad-guys swirl around the screen in their characteristic geometric patterns, while the text flashes "Insert Coin."

"How did you know that??!?" he demands.

How, indeed. I have no idea... identifying a game by its startup self-test. My best guess is that I am, in fact, the biggest geek ever.

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