Code, nerd culture and humor from Greg Knauss.

A few years ago -- under circumstances that would be described as bizarre if this weren't the age of miracle and wonder -- I got to meet Jeff Goodell. Jeff is a writer, for Rolling Stone and the New York Times among others, and we've occasionally kept in touch via e-mail. Out of the blue, he sent me a preview copy of his new book, "Sunnyvale," due in July.

And it's just... amazing. The story of Goodell's family and how it fell apart in the happy unreality of the land where they built the future, "Sunnyvale" is an immensely personal book, something that not many people could have written. The diametric opposite of everything that offers easy answers or comforting platitudes, the story is not an ounce less dramatic or heart-breaking for being true. I don't think it's possible to read this book and not find touchstones to your own life: sadness at the inevitability of conflict, joy in the tiny moments of connection, comfort that it is possible to find just a little peace sometimes. Goodell is an astonishingly good writer -- the words just fall off the page, directly into your head -- and "Sunnyvale" is an astonishingly good book.

A postscript of sorts to "Sunnyvale" ran in Sunday's New York Times Magazine.

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 I'd love to hear from you!

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