Date a Geek: John Velasco of Phone Arena

John Velasco of Phone Arena

Due to the controversial popularity of our How to Date a Geek Girl and How to Date a Geek Guy guides, we have decided to introduce a special column featuring real life single geeks. This week, we have interviewed our colleague John Velasco of Phone Arena.

Tell us a bit about yourself (Age, hometown, what you do for a living):

Hey, I’m John Veeee, who some of you might know as one of the senior writers over at PhoneArena that writes reviews and shoots videos on all things mobile related. Currently, I’m residing across the Hudson River from the island of Manhattan over in Jersey City, but hometown to me is good old Jefferson Township in northern New Jersey. You might be shocked by this revelation, but I’m actually 31.

What makes you a geek?

Growing up, I was always fascinated by tech, and in fact, my earliest memories included calling up tech support to help me get this game running on our first computer, a Compaq 50MHz IntelDX2 tower. Basically, I was given instructions on how to use the MS-DOS editor application to create a boot disk to allocate enough resources to run the game – and would you believe it worked?!

Aside from that, I grew up collecting comic books during the 90s, which consists mostly of titles from Image Comics. On top of that, I actually worked as a “double agent” for the Geek Squad driving the “Geekmobile” for some time, making house calls related to computer repair. Very recently, though, I became engulfed with the entire LOST TV experience, which I personally think is the best TV series of all time. Nowadays, I find myself swimming in a sea of tech on a consistent basis, as I’m constantly reviewing all the latest smartphones and tablets.

Android, iOS, or other?

Ah, this is the question I get from a lot of people! To tell you the truth, it really depends on the day, but deep down inside of me, I’m still a huge Windows Mobile fan. Call me crazy, but that’s the case. Sure, Android is diverse and constantly innovating in the space, while iOS is so simple and boasts an extensive apps ecosystem, but my first love will always be Windows Mobile.

Come to think about it, Windows Mobile might look and feel antiquated in this day and age, but to me, it’s where my roots first started. Like seriously, it established many of the features and functions that we find so commonplace with today’s modern platforms. However, I really loved how I was able to customize the experience with various ROMs – and enable locked features, like tethering, by simply applying a quick registry edit.

And when we look back at all the devices that ran Windows Mobile, it’s quite obvious that the selection was diverse – from QWERTY based ones, to others that brought the craze of solid industrial designs to smartphones. The more I reminisce about it, I can fondly remember some of my early devices; like the HTC Apache, Motorola Q, and HTC Touch.

Do they necessarily have to be geek-like? Not necessarily, but then again, it’d be pretty sweet if they’d be cool in going full cosplay as characters from TRON

Your favorite comic book hero and why?

Growing up during the time when Marvel and DC Comics were in decline with talent, I actually collected a lot of stuff from Image Comics. Out of all of them, I remember liking Sam Keith’s “The Maxx,” primarily because of his different writing and illustration style. It was just raw and real, in the way that it showed the power of imagination. I wouldn’t say that The Maxx is the most heroic looking superhero at first glance, but the more you got to understand the struggles that surround him, you see how we relate in some way. In the real world, most people wouldn’t think that a homeless person would be extremely complex, but in The Maxx, we see how the protagonist relies on imagination to channel his actions in the real world.

Another favorite of mine is Malibu Comics’ Prime, who is a young boy who has the power to transform into this Superman-like adult. Quite frankly, Prime was an interesting hero, since he had the personality and consciousness of a kid, but stuck inside of this muscle filled adult superhero. Of course, we all know how experience helps to mold us into solid individuals, but when you’re reading about a kid who is put into adult situations, you’re bound to get some interesting and questionable decisions. So yeah, I have this thing for mid-90s superheroes that most people probably forgotten in the wake of this resurgence with characters from the Marvel and DC Universe.

What gadget can’t you live without?

Well, that’s certainly a no-brainer. My smartphones! In fact, I pay for three lines – one being iPhone 5, another for a Samsung Galaxy S III, and a third line that’s in constant rotation (currently a BlackBerry, but previously an HTC 7 Pro). When it comes down to getting work done, I’d have to say my Asus Zenbook Prime Touch, which combines a killer design with an equally dreamy looking 1080p touchscreen display. Lastly, I can’t start my day without putting on my Seiko 6309-7040 Automatic Diver watch, which was handed down to me from my father.

What is the last book or ebook that you read?

When I write and read constantly about stuff all things mobile related, I rarely get the time to read any books. However, the last one I recall reading from beginning to end, was the Steve Jobs autobiography.

If you could meet anyone (living or dead) for lunch who would it be and why?

I’d have to say the writers of LOST, whether it’s J.J. Abrams or Damon Lindelof. Why you ask? Well, just to iron out some stuff that was left unanswered when I recently finished watching the series finale episode. Seriously, if Richard met and knew Jacob, then how is it that Ben kept on telling everyone that he met him in the middle of the woods in a decrepit house? On another note, I realized after the show that I had my own LOST connection – writer Damon Lindelof grew up and continues to live in one of my old hometowns.

What do you look for in a girl (or a guy). And does he/she need to be a geek too?

Someone perfect is obviously out of the equation, seeing that I believe that imperfective qualities in a person help to foster improved and long-lasting growth in a relationship. Still, I’d like to find someone who is sincere, true, and just a genuinely nice person. Do they necessarily have to be geek-like? Not necessarily, but then again, it’d be pretty sweet if they’d be cool in going full cosplay as characters from TRON – like a real working light suit to a Halloween party or something.

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