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Geeks We Love: Devin Coldewey of CrunchGear

What better way to countdown to Valentine's Day than by showcasing fun interviews with some very special Geeks We Love. Without further adieu (cause I know you want to know who the hottie is in the pic below), I bring to you today's geeky guy — The geekalicious Devin Coldewey, a Seattle-based freelance tech writer who works as an associate editor for CrunchGear—one of my fave tech blogs. You can't help but love a guy with a great sense of humor, who watches nature documentaries, knows a ton about gadgets, and was once . . . a preschool teacher. . . (all together now, awww!) Keep reading to learn more about Devin, and find out why he thinks the MacBook Air is a "sexy lemon!"
GS: Tell my few readers that haven’t heard of you a little about yourself:
DC: Well, I used to be a preschool teacher, but now I do this ridiculous gig. Writing about cool stuff all day, kind of awesome. My life isn't too exciting. . . I spend my days and nights hanging out at bars and cafes writing, reading, and seeing friends. I really love obscure music, nature documentaries, and old-school video games.

GS: When we chit-chatted at CES, you mentioned that you don't read a ton of blogs each day. Is this true? And if so, how do you get all your info for stories?
DC: Well, what I write on isn't always what I keep tabs on. I love looking up stuff like new camera gear, Indie gaming news, and PC hardware. . . But for random cool gadgets like that bad breath detector you guys had, I feel there is so much out there, that I have to leave it the guys who are naturally inclined that way. We edit each other and say "dude, is this cool or not?" all the time, and trade posts when we know the other guy would have loved to have found it.

To check out the rest of the interview, and to see what Devin describes as the ultimate geeky Valentine's Day date (trust me it's realllly good),

GS: What three gadgets can't you seem to live without and why?
DC: It may sound strange, but I'm not really a gadget guy. However, I've recently gotten a Helio Ocean, which is chunky but awesome — full HTML internet, GPS, 3G, MySpace and YouTube apps, it's really great to have around. I usually have my MacBook Pro with me, which is indispensable since it's, well, my computer unless I'm at my gaming box. Lastly I have my Canon Rebel XT, which is just a fantastic camera. The Mac and the Canon have been all the way around the world with me and survived a lot of abuse, so I'm not afraid to take them pretty much anywhere.

GS: Your MacBook AirHead story seemed to stir up alot of discussion across the blogosphere. I totally agree with your perspective (and the awesome ditzy model-actress' entourage analogy), but for those who were a tad confused, can you briefly explain why the MacBook Air is a "sexy lemon"?
DC: Oh man, I really shook up the hive with that one! From the time the thing came out of the envelope to when they showed its specs, I was in love. The Air is a beautiful piece of engineering and industrial design. But it fails at everything it wants to be. It's too wide to be a subnotebook like the Eee. It's too limited to be your only computer, and it's too expensive to be a supplementary one. It's just not useful was my point. People pointed out, rightly, that practicality was the farthest thing from Apple's mind when they designed this thing, but one of Apple's best points has always been that it's not JUST eye candy—it also works. People tolerate the premium price because it's a good product and it looks great to boot. The Air is flagrantly placing form before function, I mean my MacBook Pro is two years old and still faster than it, and really it's not that heavy or thick. The Air is, in terms of usability, a lemon — but undoubtedly a sexy one.

GS: Being based in geek-chic Seattle, what would you describe as the ultimate geeky Valentine's date in the city?
DC: Uh oh — my inexperience is going to show here. I don't go out on a lot of dates, I prefer to spend time in a less formal way with a girl, doing fun stuff and not worrying about who pays, which date it is, what exactly the other intends, and that whole game. It's depressing! But if I had the chance to spend a couple hours with a like-minded lady friend, I think this is what I'd do:

If it's nice and still light out, go to the park for a bit and play on the equipment. Fun as hell, and grown-ups often forget this. If there's time, try to get in a few rounds of Super Mario Kart on the SNES or some cooperative Katamari Damacy. Then off to a nice but cozy restaurant I know well — I don't need to impress this girl, just make sure we can have some good food and laugh and talk and maybe see some people we know. Not very geeky. . . but we could have our DS's under the table, pictochatting about how awkward some of the dates around us look. After dinner, get a coffee somewhere and share headphones for watching an episode of Planet Earth or Yacht Rock or something. Then meet friends for a drink — hey, I know it's Valentine's Day but everyone gets date fatigue and it's good to shake things up. This is a good time for sidelong glances and secret text messages to each other. Go somewhere else for a more private drink or share a bottle of wine at a nice overlook somewhere — Seattle has lots of great little spots with great views. If we pick a park, we can climb on the equipment again. Depending on how things go, maybe one last round of Mario Kart?

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