My passport to Geekdom
When I was about 12 or 13 my dad bought a kit to make a computer. People didn't have personal computers in their home much in those days. But there we were with this computer in our home. My dad found a game to run on this computer. It was a ascii DnD game.
A few years later I met a nice young man you dreamed of owning his own electronics company. We used to hang out in this hut he and a friend had built in his backyard. This tiny hut was equipped with a door bell, Christmas lights, a work bench and a great stereo system. I never viewed him as a geek, but many of my friends thought he was just a little too weird for them. I just did things my own way and worshipped the ground he walked on for a good five years.
In high school I took a computer science class. The instructor taught us BASIC. Now, this ought to have been a simple class, but I just couldn't wrap my head around it. My mom could even wander around in DOS better than I could. I managed to get an A out of the class purely because I got paired up for our final project with a girl whose dad was a computer programmer.
Then about 10 years after my dad bought that first computer I met and married my very own computer programmer. He had just graduated Cum Laude at the University of Utah in Computer Science.
This guy, I soon learned, was the ultimate geek. In high school he had written code for a few educational games that still brought in a small royalty a year after we got married. In college he had brought a phone line down to his bedroom so that he could connect to the internet without tying up his parents' phone lines. This was WAY before there was such a thing as a World Wide Web.
I might add here that this geek is one fine geek. After 15+ years of marriage he still opens the car door for me. And we won't tell anyone, but he also writes poetry.
Anyway, several years later I am a member of a group of mothers with twins who want their own website. I was given the task to see if my husband would help us with setting that up. His answer to this request is a flat out NO. So, I try for one of those prefab sites where they have the templates and you just pick out your colors, add your content and away you go. Ick! Then I learn there is such a thing as HTML.
On the shelf in the computer room in our home is a book called "Write your own website". In a matter of days I am dreaming in HTML. I can totally wrap my head around this. Before long I am doing websites for other people as well.
It is about this time that my husband decides that I need my own computer. We are constantly competing for computer time and dial up time...DSL was not yet available in our area. So, I get my own computer with Photoshop, Frontpage and other fun toys and when DSL comes to our area I am right with my husband in his demand for it.
I now have friends where my main connection with them is through the internet. In fact, one of my best friends I have because of the internet. She and I actually met face to face about three years ago. The internet is also my main means of contact with my best friend of 30+ years (who lives just a few miles from me). I am often helping with technical issues related to the computer and the internet. Not long ago I even did some graphics for a friend who needed a decent looking GUI (Graphical user interface) for a computer game he was writing.
I always tell people "If you want to get in contact with me send me an email. If you leave me a message on the phone I might not get it for a few days." My mom and I do a lot of our "talking" via msn messenger...even though she lives just a half an hour away.
But not everything related to my acceptance into Geekdom has to do with the computer.
A few years ago my husband made friends with a group of guys (and girls) who liked to get together and play online RPGs (Role Playing Games). They all had a background in DnD and this was a natural step for them. He was soon going to regular Saturday night DnD games held at the home of one of the guys.
Tired of being left home I asked if I could just hang out with them and watch while they played. I began to ask when the next game was being held. I was having fun hanging out with this bunch of geeks. After some time they put a little pressure on me and I found myself playing the role of a Rogue. They needed one as their previous rogue had moved out of town. This rogue proved to be the hero a few weeks back as a single shot from an arrow of undead slaying (from her arsonal) wiped out a CR 21 vampire.
Now back to the computer geek in me. My husband was out of town one week on business when our linux server that runs a Never Winter Nights module was having a problem. It is essential that this be up and running as this group of friends get together online and play on Monday and Tuesday nights.
One of his friends got online with me and talked me through the process of fixing the problem. But with all the talking through it we couldn't get it to work. Then I decided to try something different. Instead of typing a set of numbers in I would just copy and paste and voila.
I was then given the ultimate compliment from this group. "You incredible GEEK-ETTE you!!!" I joked with him that I was John's "trophy geek-wife".
I recently asked my husband if I could get added to an email group that included many of these friends. He often shared funny and interesting emails from this group. The owner of the group is the Dungeon Master for our DnD games and the one who wanted my help with the server issue. So I have been given permission from the host to be part of the email group.
This is the introduction I was given to the rest of the group by the owner.
I SHOULD note here that Kelly has been a member of the geek fold for some time, but only peripherally. However, earlier this year she went from accompanying John to our Saturday D&D nights to actually playing a rogue (and single-shotting a CR 21 vampire, as **reported by John two weeks ago) in said game. So she's got full geek cred.My passport to Geekdom has turned into full fledged citizenship.
Labels: About me