I am not the biggest geek that I know. I have much geekier friends. But I am still, happily, a geek.
Being a girl geek is different I think than being a guy geek. Technology fields are still largely masculine arenas, male customers dominate game and comic book stores, and online games, forums and chats are overrun by discriminating and offensive behaviors towards women primarily by men. I was recently reading a blog post about how one lady geek’s male partner was shocked by the type of harassment she had to put up with, and usually ignore because of its prevalence. (Note: I was going to put a link here, but I’m reading (ok, mostly skimming) over 200 blogs daily, and frankly, I can’t remember where it was. If you think you know, send me a message.)
Thankfully, there have been some minor improvements for girl geeks over the years and we’re not quite a silent, almost mythical minority anymore. Now, on to the geekery!
Right at this moment I am showing off my geek colors to you by using the wedding present I received from my husband to make this post. It is an Aiptek My Note Digital Inkpad – a writing and drawing tablet for my computer.
The device allows me to write on real paper (if I choose – and I do) with a special pen, and it records my pen movements which a handwriting recognition program later translates. I don’t actually know how well that program works because I have never used the tablet to capture pure text before. (UPDATE: I’ve now obviously used the program and I’m very pleased with how well it performed. Most of its translation mistakes were because I scribbled over a misspelled word or accidentally wrote over a captured word, or something silly that was my fault. I think it’s cool that it managed to catch that I meant “discriminating” when the last 4 letters trailed down the edge of the paper since I’d run out of room…)
I am pretty good at typing. I guesstimate that I type at about 70 WPM. But there is just something satisfying about putting pen or pencil to paper. On the other hand, I do not enjoy typing into my computer things I wrote out on paper – who does? So this tablet thing may just be the answer for me.
To be honest, I haven’t used this Aiptek thingy as much as I thought I would when I asked for it as my wedding gift. I am notorious for getting something that seems cool and then forgetting to put it to good use. l wanted to use this to help me draw comics (I had a short-run web comic called “The sacred Chao – k is for Kelly!” the year before I got married. I was drawing all my strips and coloring them in MS Paint with a regular desk mouse, so anything to make that process easier and less time-consuming would have been welcome.
I stopped the comic after about 12 strips, though, and the other idea I had for one (a recounting of stories from the LARP I was into at the time) never actually got off the ground. But I did begin drawing it there, on the My Note. So, I tried.
But now I’ve found a new use for it, so that’s good. Adam’s always complaining how I never used his gift anyway. Maybe this will keep him quiet!
Have you ever gotten something, either as a present or for yourself, that you thought would be really useful to you, but you never really did anything with it? If so, what was it, and what did you hope to do? Why didn’t you do that thing?
Inquiring minds want to know!