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GirlGeek of the Week
November 1999

Elaine Binns

My family got our first computer when I was 8. I wasted many hours playing games, but after a while I decided I had to learn more. I was soon devouring my father's books on BASIC, and not long after I created several text-based games, I got my mother to teach me how to use her treasured WordStar.

Computers have gotten faster, games have gotten more lifelike, utilities have gotten more straightforward. I spend more and more time teaching myself how to use all the software I have access to.

As the years go by, I increasingly ask for programs as gifts. For my 16th birthday it was CorelDRAW, for the following Christmas it was PhotoShop, and for my last birthday it was a new OS- RedHat Linux 6. The more I learn, the more I discover I know so little of what I want to know, but I spend many hours reading those big, fat, expensive computer books- another thing I frequently request and receive as gifts. I'm currently teaching myself JavaScript with CGI and Perl, and I'm hoping to get certified in Web design and start my own Web business.

When did you first discover your love and/or obsession with computers and technology?

I was addicted to the old DOS games at an early age. In 9th grade I decided I was going to explore that mystery they called the Internet. I quickly taught myself HTML and became forever addicted.

How do you earn a living?

I'm a high school senior. I hope to become a Webmistress.

Do you consider yourself a Geek?

I don't know that I'd give myself that honor, but as geeks have been referring to me as one of their peers more frequently, I'm proud to be one of them.

What is your favorite Website? the best comic strip ever made with the possible exceptions of Dilbert and Foxtrot.

What do you do when you are not working?

It's rare that I have any free time due to the homework I get in all my honors classes, but I'm glad to take those classes. I cannot stand being bored- I want a challenge at all times. I frequently work on my Web page, I am guilty of spending more time on IRC, though, especially when it means I get to talk to my friends.


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