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Max Barry wrote the novels Syrup, Jennifer Government, Company, Machine Man, and Lexicon. He also created the game NationStates and once found a sock full of pennies.

Blog

Fri 14
Apr
2006

I, Nerd

Max I mentioned this once or twice on my book tour, but for those who weren’t there—you know, because you live in one of those areas that my publisher hates—earlier this year I had what I am pretty sure is my nerdiest moment ever.

I am quite proud of my nerdy accomplishments—I have created a web game, written a science-fiction novel, and formed a religious opinion about operating systems. I consider my nerdiness to be not abnormal, but rather the way that everyone would be if only they stopped and thought about it properly. But then I had this moment, when even I thought, “Ooh, that’s pretty nerdy.”

Here’s what happened. Some time ago, I registered a domain name for my baby girl: finlaybarry.com. (That’s not the nerdy thing.) I thought this would be a good way to share photos and news with relatives in various parts of the world, and, when Fin was old enough, she could use it for whatever she wanted. Maybe a blog, if by then those weren’t so 2005.

I have already gotten Fin banging away on a keyboard, because I want her to get used to the command line before I introduce her to a GUI. Here is the first thing she ever wrote:

6fcv5jnnnnnnnnnnmmmmmmmmmmmmmjnj /bvyj,[k[ v

That’s not the nerdy thing.

The nerdy thing is that I thought—I actually stopped and thought—“Hmm… before I name my next kid, I should check to make sure the domain name is available.”

Comments

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Tim Ashwood (#595)

Location: Sydney
Posted: 2926 days ago

...and? Was it?

Narain (#824)

Location: Los Angeles, right between civilization and a desert
Quote: "NI!"
Posted: 2926 days ago

Well, just in case, you should compile a list of all possible names that you and your wife might possibly choose, male and female, and then create a program which will tell you which ones have been taken and what is still available, that way you can know what names you guys can really choose from.

Phill Sacre (#1822)

Location: London, UK
Quote: "Computers are like air conditioners. Both stop working, if you open windows."
Posted: 2926 days ago

I think you should get Finlay a ZX spectrum or Commodore 64 for her first computer. It would be so retro it would be like, totally cool.

in terms of getting Finlay used to the command-line before GUI, good plan. See if you can convince her that Microsoft is a company that makes very small beds, that should provoke some interesting comments when she goes to school.

Ok, this is why I should never, ever, have kids ...

Rod McBride (#688)

Location: Gardner, KS
Quote: "www.MidwestRockLobster.blogspot.com"
Posted: 2926 days ago

Well, since 'Company' is selling so well, I think I'll go out and register every conceivable first name coupled with 'barry.com' and make you buy the ones you need at a premium. Isn't that the internet version of cornering the market? And I wonder what I'd have to charge for the one you did use to make up for all the duds: IshmaelBarry.com and MorticiaBarry.com and all the other names you'd be unlikely to go for...

Christian (#2192)

Location: Calgary, Canada
Quote: "If being a nerd was baseball, I'd be starting quarterback!"
Posted: 2926 days ago

See, I embrace my nerdiness. I think it's something to be proud of. So, I find that perhaps it is necessary to point out to everyone just how nerdy I am. I have accepted that largely almost everything in life that I do is nerdy.

Why, just take a look at my quote!

Nerd is a four letter word, yes. But so is four. And what does anyone have against four?

shabooty (#637)

Location: D.C./V.A/M.D.
Quote: "I will shake your foundation. I will shake the f**cking rafters. Nobody'll be the same -Danny Bonaduce ....& go visit my blog @: http://www.shabooty.com"
Posted: 2926 days ago

lol
cyber squatting eh?
just keep her off the strippers pole though a .xxx domain would probably be easier to get :)

-s-

Machine Man subscriber Katrina (#847)

Location: SF, CA
Quote: "Good sex is like good Bridge: if you don't have a good partner, you'd better have a good hand." -- Mae West"
Posted: 2926 days ago

Woooo!!! Cute baby pic. ^_^ Although I have to admit the picture being put as the page marker.... a little nerdy. The keyboard thing... have you gotten her a NS nation yet?

Machine Man subscriber Bushra (#36)

Location: Fremont, California
Quote: "www.caffeinatedmuslim.com"
Posted: 2926 days ago

So, Max, what are you going to do when Finlay gets married? I guess she won't be able to change her name. Or, make sure that there is no URL registered for her married name. Or something.

Greg Karber (#1568)

Location: gregkarber.com
Posted: 2926 days ago

I think I would have changed my name if the domain name wasn't available, though that's more out of vanity than nerdiness.

Nora Jean Stone (#1170)

Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Quote: "Do Wa Ditty, Life in the CITY, where the Women are Strong and the Men are Pretty... anon"
Posted: 2926 days ago

As long as you don't name your next child
01100010 01100001 01100010 01111001
The domain name would be too long to type.
(binary translation - baby).

Andrew (#1279)

Location: Texas
Posted: 2926 days ago

:) LOL...Well thats a good thing to consider i guess.

Machine Man subscriber David (#1456)

Location: Sydney, Australia
Quote: "Why are the pretty ones always insane?"
Posted: 2925 days ago

I guess that would be the child you have with your second wife? After your current wife divorces you for just contemplating such a thing!

Actually that's not very nerdy at all -- this is nerdy:

http://blog.ingy.net/2005/11/the_ingy_formerly_known_as_bri.html

Max Edmands (#2105)

Location: Woodstock, NY USA
Quote: "You? No! -Famous last words of Asmodean"
Posted: 2925 days ago

hehe... well, finlay's got a nice looking site! that viklund template is nice isn't it?

Luiz Eduardo (#1601)

Location: Minas Gerais, Brazil
Quote: "Guns don't kill people, people kill people"
Posted: 2924 days ago

ehh... everytime I get here I find something more weird than the last time. Is that possible??

Genevieve SaDiablo (#2035)

Location: USA
Quote: "BAM! Now I have a SPICY ROCK!"
Posted: 2913 days ago

Completely unrelated, but have you seen this article on CNet?

http://news.com.com/Congress+readies+broad+new+digital+copyright+bill/2100-1028_3-6064016.html?tag=fd_carsl

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