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Wednesday, October 29 12:00 AM ET

Seven Tips for the Recently Laid-off Geek

By Brian Briggs

The crumbling economy is even rippling through the tech sector, leaving many geeks newly unemployed. Don't worry though, because we've got seven tips for unemployed geeks that should help them from spiraling down into the black hole of despair.

  1. With no broadband available at work, your home connection becomes even more important. Start considering now what you'll sacrifice to stay online before hunger attacks your resolve.  Some suggestions: haircuts, laundry detergent, medical insurance, gas bill.
  2. When the economy collapses completely, you never know what might emerge, but the possibility that the new economy could be based on Slashdot Karma or Digg vote power is real.  Take your new free time to build up your reputation on these sites.  Invest in yourself, it could very well pay dividends in the long run.
  3. Find a forge on eBay and start melting down your computer components for scrap metals. You'll recoup your investment in no time.  You've got piles of old mother boards, hard drives, and monitors just waiting to be turned into cash.  It might be time to consider throwing that system that's just waiting for some memory to be your "Linux box" into the furnace.   Watch out for pesky toxic fumes, and remember that molten metal shouldn't be used as a salve for cuts.
  4. Turn your knowledge of gaming into the next big thing.  Think some company would pay top dollar for a portal gun? Defense contractors salivating over a BFG?  You bet.  Design a working one and the world will beat a path to your portal.
  5. Become a superhero.  Now's the time to realize the dream.  Economic turmoil and world unrest is the perfect time to become the world's first real-life superhero.  Start the training and turn your vast knowledge of comics into a licensing empire.
  6. Unleash the value in your vast DVD collection by staging movie marathons.  Load up on the caffeine and start watching.  Setting the record for watching episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer will undoubtedly release the cash fountains upon you.
  7. You get hundreds of emails claiming to be from Nigerian princes with lots of money.  Sure most of them are scams, but if only .01% of them are real then you could retire if you actually still had a job. Spend the time sifting through your spam box to find the true gems.
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