Lost in Geeklandia Release Day

Lost_in_Geeklandia_250I’m thrilled to announce that Lost in Geeklandia releases today! The heroine, Charlie Forrester, is a data scientist, more comfortable with technology than people, and while I was writing the story, I couldn’t help but think about my own conversion from computer-phobic to computer-dependent – and what a long, strange trip it’s been.

When I was a junior in high school, our algebra class had a computer in it. A. Computer. As in one and only one. I don’t remember a lot about it – it was the approximate size of a dishwasher, had no monitor, and was programmed via punch cards – but I remember I was completely intimidated by it and did my best to avoid having anything to do with it.

For the next ten years, I rarely interacted with anything more advanced than an IBM Selectric typewriter, but then, in graduate school, I learned to use version 1.0 of the Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet program on a Compaq “portable” computer (weight just under thirty pounds). The screen was barely larger than one of my dad’s oscilloscopes, but compared to bookkeeping by hand on green ledger paper? Heaven.compaq_two_floppies

We needn’t dwell on the next thirty years, through more than half a dozen versions of Windows and two sizes of floppy disk drives, as machines shrunk in size and grew in power, but here I am now, with my Macbook Air and iPhone, a total digital convert.

Regardless of the fact that I’m an information technology professional in my day job, computers will always be a second language to me. On the other hand, my daughter, like Charlie, is a digital native. I watch her thumbs fly over iPhone screen faster than I can touch-type on my laptop keyboard. If a question comes up about anything – what restaurant has the best tapas, which movies a particular actor appeared in, where she can find her next workout class – she has the answer almost before the question is asked.

hana_w_phoneAlthough she might not realize it – or at least not express it in so many words – her life is totally data-driven.

Charlie would be so proud. (And so am I.)