Code, nerd culture and humor from Greg Knauss.

So Joanne and I are at the Old Globe, at the intermission of "The Doctor Is Out," the Steven Sondheim play. We're all gussied up -- dress, coat, tie; distributed appropriately -- and surrounded by the theatre-going elite of San Diego. Meaning, of course, paunchy white folks.

But there's this guy, a row in front and three or four seats to the left, who's different. He's punchy and white, yeah, but he's wearing a ratty t-shirt with, among other things, the words "client- server" on the back. He's picking his teeth with his fingernail and he's got a big paperback book held up in front of him. Squinty-eyed, I can just make out what looks like computer code.

"Psst," I whisper to Joanne. "Lean over and see what he's reading. The chapter heading on the top."

She looks at me doubtfully.

"C'mon. Subtly."

She wrinkles up one corner of her mouth and sighs just a little. She grabs the arm rest and leans way, way over -- very subtly -- and squints over the guy's shoulder.

"UNIX something drivers," she says.

"UNIX device drivers?"

"Yeah."

"Cool!"

Joanne looks at me, stern and protective and just a tiny bit wary. "You are never going to do that," she says. "You are never going to bring a computer book to the theatre."

Well, of course not. Not any more.

Hi there! My name's GREG KNAUSS and I like to make things.

Some of those things are software (like Romantimatic and Buzz Clock), Web sites (like the Webby-nominated Metababy and The American People) and stories (for Web sites like Suck and Fray, print magazines like Worth and Macworld, and books like "Things I Learned About My Dad" and "Rainy Day Fun and Games for Toddler and Total Bastard").

My e-mail address is greg@eod.com. I'd love to hear from you!

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