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Geeks We Love: Jason Chen of Gizmodo

Shows like Beauty and the Geek give male geeks a bad rep. I have news for you folks, not all geeks think pocket-protectors and worn corduroy pants are trendy. In fact, I know plenty of fellas that showcase the very best of geekiness: smarts, passion, chic clothing, success in their field and the ability to program your TiVo, computer or Blackberry when you’re not in the mood. In an effort to celebrate this month of love, I have put together a series of interviews with some of the most interesting geeky guys out there to prove that geeks are just as lovable as A-list actors.


When it comes to guy gadget sites, Gizmodo.com has earned a reputation as a go-to source for all things geeky - combining breaking news, gadget reviews and a saucy grown-up nerd attitude you can’t help but love. The site’s cool content and buzz is created by a team of geeks that are dedicated to keeping the rest of the world updated on the inner-workings of the gizmo world around the clock and not afraid to admit how many hours they spend playing Xbox or cruising the internet. Among these fearless techie leaders is Jason "JC" Chen, a technology writer/associate editor for the site, who is known to make a "Wii in my pants" joke now and again. While Jason is happily attached, he agreed to share some of his secrets with us. To find out what makes Jason such an alluring geek, read more.

GS: So, tell my few readers that haven’t heard of you a little about yourself…
JC: I've been a freelance tech writer for Gizmodo.com for about a year. Before that I was a software engineer working at various startups in the Bay Area, two of which were an online music startup and a network appliance startup. I got in to the business because I love technology, I love writing and I love comedy writing, and after seeing Gizmodo I thought that was the perfect intersection of the three.

GS: Tell me the geekiest thing about yourself:
JC: Getting tickets with a buddy for and then attending the grand opening of the Star Trek ride in Las Vegas. It was pretty awesome, I have to admit.

GS: And what’s the geekiest thing about your significant other:
JC: Other than dating me? Probably being more obsessed than me with World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XI when we were playing that.

GS: Wow, sounds like you’ve met your match. When did you guys meet?
At work, about three years ago, back when I was a software engineer.

GS: And now for our High Fidelity moment, what are your Top 5 Favorite Gadgets?
JC: MacBook Pro, Cingular 8525, Xbox 360, iPod, and the Zune

GS: What about the Top 5 Luxury Gadgets You Really Want:
JC:Mac Pro, 30-inch Dell or Apple Cinema Display, iPhone!, Sharp's 108-inch LCD, TiVo Series 3

GS: Your first computer was a:
JC: I'd probably have to say a 286 if we're talking PCs, but I had one of those top-loading Nintendo Famicoms back in the early 80s when I was a kid.

GS: What are your favorite websites?
JC: Penny Arcade, pbfcomics.com, Boing Boing, Digg, TV Squad, Fark, Lifehacker, Kotaku, and of course Gizmodo.

GS: What is your Valentine’s Day plan?
JC: It's still early, I need to have a plan already? No seriously, I have no idea.

GS: Okay, now the age-old question - who makes the final decision when it comes to gadgets for the home?
JC: I do, but she has a lot of say - but can be overridden with a veto!

GS: Who solves tech problems at home?
JC: Me, again. She's not all that technical despite being a software engineer. Once I have something set up the way I like it, I don't like to fiddle around with it for fear of causing me hours of work again.

GS: Are you going to buy an iPhone?
JC: Definitely! I'm going to buy a Zune Phone when it comes out as well. I love smartphones (I have a Windows Mobile smartphone now) so the iPhone looks great. I love not having to carry around two devices when one will do.

GS: How do you feel about people calling you a “geek?”
In my teens I didn't like it so much, but I've come to be comfortable with the fact that I'm a geek. Geeks are becoming kinda cool now, so it's actually working out quite well. No delusions of grandeur though - I'm still a geek.

GS: How many hours do you spend online a day?
JC: I'm pretty much wired all the time with my phone and my laptop, so I'd probably say all the hours that I'm not sleeping, I'm most likely online. I'm probably going to have my face melt off from radiation before I'm 40.

GS: How many hours does your partner spend online a day?
JC: About eight hours a day, and all of that is at work. She doesn't do much online stuff at home.

GS: What is one geeky habit you’re trying to quit?
JC: Playing so much Xbox 360, I'd have to say. My nearly 24,000 Xbox 360 gamerpoints shout to me that I need to play less.

GS: So, are you the Beauty or the Geek in your relationship?
The Geek, for sure.

GS: What has been your (or your significant other’s) greatest contribution to the tech/blog industry – don’t be modest.
JC: Well I did break exclusive Zune images and stories before its release, but I'd have to say the greatest contribution to the tech industry is sticking a Wii, a PS3 and a Zune down my pants.

Want more Jason Chen? Check out his archive at Gizmodo.com! Want access to other Geeks We Love? Check out Om Malik of GigaOM!

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