by Jonathan Rothwell

[LINK] Girls and computers

Rebecca Murphey:

In 1982, Timex came out with the Timex Sinclair TS-1000, selling 500,000 of them in just six months. The computer, a few times thicker than the original iPad but with about the same footprint, cost $99.95 – more than that mortgage payment. When everyone else in town was getting cable, my parents decided that three channels were good enough for them – it’s possible they still had a black-and-white TV – and bought a computer instead.

Rebecca’s story about getting into computers is one that’s familiar to me: I became entranced by them as a toddler, watching my dad do his budget on a Commodore 64 spreadsheet application. We were always rather poor, so we were always a few steps behind—we were using my uncle’s old Dell PC from the early 90s running Windows 3.11 well into the 2000s.

At one point, I came home from infant school in the middle of the day with a stomach upset, and Dad brought the 64 out of the loft. I’d spend hours slowly transcribing BASIC programs from the manual, and leaping a little when they ran properly. I therefore owe it to my father that technology is my passion (and hopefully, eventually, my career), just like Rebecca owes her career to her parents spending $100 on a little computer.

It therefore simply makes my blood boil that because Rebecca was not born with a penis, she is subject to charmless trolling from people such as this utterly shitty berk. This echoes the fact that, in 2012, the number of women taking computer science degrees is actually decreasing, which is a damning indictment of something in society.