GirlGeek of the Week
Rachel R. Hartman
The first computer I ever saw was one of those
old IBM reel-to-reel mainframes that filled a room. It is ironic
to reflect on how I now have more computing power in my office than
they could ever dream of. I became interested in computers back
in high school, when the Internet was still the playground of universities,
the government, and the military. I took a BASIC programming course
my senior year of high school, but in college most of my computer
time was spent doing word processing.
after I graduated, a geek friend of mine introduced me to the Internet.
This was back when you still had to know a little Unix to take full
advantage, and the coolest thing to do on the net was to finger
a snack machine in Australia. Back then, I could only access the
Web by telnetting to the University of Kansas to poke around in
Lynx. (That dates me nicely, doesn't it?) I knew then that the Web
was a Very Cool Thing, but I never would've guessed how it would
grow in presence and importance.
after several years of playing around with HTML, I collaborated
with my husband on a professional web design job. There's nothing
like the thrill of getting paid for something you love to do, so
we formed a company to do it more often. My husband is no longer
with the company, but he's still with me, so I still have the best
of both worlds. I've designed sites for construction companies and
professional associations, and I do pro bono work for SafePlace,
Austin's domestic violence and sexual assault prevention center.
I'm also active in HerDomain,
Austin's group for women involved in computers and technology.
do you earn a living?
and medical transcription (both on a self-employed basis, so my
income level remains steady).
When did you first discover your love and/or obsession with computers
before I fell in love with my husband, whom I met online.
you consider yourself a Geek?
is your favorite Website?
or professional? No, that doesn't make it any easier. I enjoy browsing
through the IMDB.
That may be tied with the SFWA
do you do when you are not working?
with my dearly beloved husband, play with our cats, fence (foil,
but I hope to move up to epee), read, write, cook, and watch movies.