Perm URL with updates: http://xahlee.org/comp/tech_geeker_vs_hacker.html
in short, a tech geeker is a hacker who is completely ignorant of social sciences.
to give some example using programing celebrities: Richard Stallman (RMS), Paul Graham, Jamie W Zawinski (JWZ), Eric S Raymond (ESR), Michael DeGusta, Kent Pitman, are hackers, but they are not tech geekers, because they have done things that require significant involvement with society (e.g. started company or organization), even if their stance is extreme (compare to politicians: actor-turned-politician Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ronald Regan, silver-spoon scumbag George W Bush.).
in contrast, vast majority of elite coders who slave on comp.lang newsgroups, are tech geekers.
What's some example of tech geeker who are famous? I think Tom Christiansen, Linus Torvalds, Rob Pike, Dennis Ritchie, are good examples.
of course, in general, i despise hackers and tech geekers, with rare exceptions (e.g. i like Jamie Zawinski, Michael DeGusta, Bill Gosper, …).
note that there are a lot expert programers who are not hackers (thus nor tech geekers). For example, most academic computer scientists are such. Celebrity examples: John McCarthy, Donald Knuth, Edsger W Dijkstra, Guy Steele, … and also lots who are not academicians or not always academicians, e.g. Bill Gates, Sergey Brin, Larry Page, Richard P Gabriel (RPG), Stephen Wolfram ….
For detail, see:
Here's other essays related to hacker, tech geeker, involving celebrities:
- What's Philosophy and Paul Graham
- Paul Graham's Infatuation with the Concept of Hacker
- Celebrity Programers with RSI (RMS, JWZ, …)
- GNU Emacs and XEmacs Schism, by Ben Wing (JWZ)
- Netscape Crap (JWZ)
- Death of a Troll — My Memory of Erik Naggum
- Guy Steele on Parallel Programing: Get rid of cons!
- Lisp Celebrities and Computing History from Worse Is Better (RPG)
- Book Review: Patterns of Software (RPG)
- Why You Should Avoid the Jargon Tail Recursion (Kent Pitman)
- Why do I Rant In comp.lang.lisp? (Kent Pitman)
- Programing Language: Why Lisp Do Not Have a Generic Copy-List Function (Kent Pitman)
- The Nature of the Unix Philosophy (Rob Pike, ERS)