Everyone loves a good test when there’s nothing at stake. I’ll even admit to clicking on one of those Test Your IQ ads a few years back, and even though I was sure everyone was getting the same inflated score, I was pathetic enough to feel a twinge of pride at the results.
This is the advantage of so many Internet diversions: total anonymity that insulates you from live human beings who might challenge your assumptions. Sound like something you’d like? Then we have a treat for you: this week’s Test your geek IQ.
Tapping Oliver Rist to create this week’s fun-filled quiz was a no-brainer. As Oliver’s fans know, no one else has quite the same knack for combining droll humor with valuable advice. For example, not a line in his now-annual commentary on the foibles of stupid users goes by without a laugh or insight. Fortunately, Oliver displays this unique talent on a regular basis both in his Enterprise Windows column and in his SMB IT blog and podcast.
“It’s just like real life,” says Oliver of the quiz. “There’s no special award for getting it right. All you get is the satisfaction of knowing you can do something few other people can do. That’s worth something. Probably more than I was paid for writing it.”
As you work your way through the test, you’ll find a mixture of dead-serious geek particulars, IT management trivia, and left-field queries that left several of us at InfoWorld’s Global Headquarters nonplussed. I couldn’t wait to find out how far off I was on several of them. In the end, a high score may actually reflect nothing more than how closely your thinking resembles Mr. Rist’s, which is a scary thought in itself.
For those who can’t get enough of Oliver’s particular brand of wit and wisdom -- and want an infusion at feature length -- I highly recommend an article he wrote several months back (Can Web-based applications outwit, outplay, outlast the desktop?), which chronicled Oliver’s weeklong assignment using browser-based productivity apps instead of good old Microsoft Office. If the author is to be believed, during the course of this experiment, not one, but two staplers were thrown at his head.
Happy brain-teasing. If you have suggestions for other online exams, silly or serious, drop me line. And speaking of online diversions -- or lack thereof -- you’ll be glad to know that Steve Fox, who is on vacation in a land without Internet access, will be back writing this column next week.