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GirlGeek of the Week
September 2000

Mikki Halpin

Mikki Halpin

Mikki Halpin's first interaction with both geeks and computers came from her brother, a classic geek who built a PC, played Dungeons and Dragons, and cheered out loud at Star Wars and Star Trek movies. Unfortunately, jokes Mikki, "My utter disdain for him as a human prevented me from learning from him as I should have."

Years later Mikki discovered her own geekiness, studying Pascal in college. She proudly "aced" Pascal but later found that real geeks mocked the basic language. In any case, Mikki got into the habit of staying late at the UC Berkeley computer labs to design punch cards over pizza with like-minded geeks.

After graduation, Mikki headed to an early new-media company, Voyager. She jumped into an exciting project: digitizing a feature length film for distribution on CD-ROM with a then-new technology called Quicktime. Mikki and a team of geeks succeeded in putting out "A Hard Day's Night" on CD-ROM, the company's best selling product.

Since then, Mikki's been using computers for everything, though she does not consider herself a geek. She knows a lot about geeks and geek behaviors and is the celebrated author of "The Geek Handbook : User Guide and Documentation for the Geek in Your Life."

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

I actually did learn some valuable things from my brother way back when, listening to long-winded rants on technical subjects. I learned to troubleshoot his hand-me-down PCs.

How do you earn a living?

I'm a writer and also produce Websites. My latest was

Do you consider yourself a Geek?

No, sadly. I am their fan, their champion, their critic, their therapist, their enabler, but not one of them.

What is your favorite Website?

It hasn't been updated forever, but I love the weird network at Check out the Ghostwatcher!

What do you do when you're not working?

Play on the Internet; sleep.

Who would play you in a movie about your life?

Youngish Elizabeth Taylor.

Who is the person you most admire?

Marina Warner, a fabulous British writer.

What would be the title of your autobiography?

I Tried!

When and where were you the happiest?

Right now. How lame is that?

If you could have one super power what would it be?

The ability to fix broken computers by gazing at them serenely.


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