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November 23, 2015

Modern Nerd Food

Filed under: Main — admin @ 12:01 am

Last week, I posted an article I wrote back in the late 1980s. It dealt with nerd food, or what computer users back in those hobbyist days would snack on while spending hours hunched over a keyboard. And remember, that was back in the text-mode days. Computing has changed, but has the snacking?

Short answer: No.

Computer fanatics still eat crap. This dietary rule has expanded to include gamers, such as those who use consoles (Xbox, Playstation) who wouldn’t know how to code turtle graphics or even understand a command prompt. As far as sustenance is concerned, these gamers consume the same foodstuffs as their computer nerd counterparts.

Back when I wrote the article, I made my observations on what I craved while I worked. Generally, anything that finger-handy is worth consuming. The only thing I avoided that my peers consumed were Doritos. That’s because the addictive powder affixed to the chips comes off on your fingers and ends up on the keyboard.

Oh, yeah: The tip I received back then was to whip your hand on your pants. So if you were right handed, you’d have a swath of orange Dorito dust on your upper right thigh. That didn’t prevent the substance from getting into the keyboard. (And I had a programmer buddy who used a keyboard cover specifically because he enjoyed eating Doritos.)

Obviously, today’s computer nerds enjoy Doritos as well as oldtimers. They’re finger-handy.

Visiting my nerd friends back in the day, I’d see chips, M&MS, Skittles, pretzels, and other finger foods. Twinkies were consumed, as were other Hostess and Dolly Madison cakes, although not in mass quantities. I suppose a determining factor was how well the snack-stuff fit into bowl; you can’t pour Twinkies into a bowl.

Some of my friends would enjoy nachos while computing. While delicious, nachos were too messy for me.

Beverage-wise, the variety available today is far more luxurious than we were afforded back in the 1980s. Remember, Diet Coke came out in 1981. While nerds today probably mix a diet drink with their high-sugar and high-salt snacks, you have the option of a Red Bull or Monster beverage. Granted, we did have Jolt Cola in the day, but I believe it pales in comparison to the modern variety.

As far as personal preferences go, yes I still snack while I compute. It’s weird, however, because I don’t snack while I’m working; I snack only when I’m playing a game.

My current preferences include exotic cheeses, which I consider a dessert. I also like the Japanese rice cracker snacks. For about a year, I would crave chocolate pudding while I played Far Cry. But that was a bit extreme: I’d have to pause the game to eat the pudding, otherwise I’d end up wearing it.

So I suppose, after all the time, it remains finger food in a bowl that I find most necessary while computing or playing a game. Things really having changed. Well, other than my weight.

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