Treat with Jermolene

protective, soothing, anti-bacterial

Young Jerm

with 5 comments

So, I was a teenage computer geek. Which is, I guess, how maybe 40 million teenagers might describe themselves today. But back in 1979 when I first got a computer there can only have been a few thousand of us spread across the planet.

The following year, when I was 15, after writing a couple of articles for computer magazines, I was asked to write a book. Soon, I had a proper literary agent, advances, royalties and similar adultness. By the time of my third book when I was 16, I was selling 25,000 copies and earning £30,000 – maybe the salary of a successful estate agent.

When I was 17, I had several books and bits of shrinkwrapped software under my belt. Then, all of a sudden, the media got hold of me. In truth there wasn’t much of a story:

Q. So, you’ve written books about computers. Aren’t they frightfully complicated?

A. Yes.

Q. And you’re only 16. Isn’t that terribly young?

A. Yes.

Q. Um.

I mean, I would try to be more polite, but it did seem a bit odd. Anyway, one embarrassing tidbit from that time is this video, that helpfully preserves some fine comedy hair and jeans for future generations to laugh over:

So, why am I revealing this slightly embarrassing artifact now? Well, after the announcement, I was delighted to get an overwhelmingly positive response, with only a couple of (entirely reasonable) questions. The questions were kind of about my intentions, and how things were going to unfold over the future. The sort of stuff that people who know me well would have a fair idea about. So I figured the best way to answer those questions is to start to make a bit more effort to show who I am, and where I came from.


Written by jermolene

June 5, 2007 at 2:18 pm

Posted in jerm

5 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Wow, I never knew you were such a genius even before TiddlyWiki…
    Impressive, JR!
    (The clip is interesting from a historical perspective as well by the way.)


    June 5, 2007 at 4:49 pm

  2. It’s about time this clip found its’ way out into the wild. Gold dust!

    Did you also play the part Sideshow Bob in the Simpsons for a while?

    I think this clip also speaks to the progression in BBC production standards.

    Great stuff.


    June 5, 2007 at 4:59 pm

  3. I hope you got something in return for letting your friend use the phrase “it does keep them off the streets”!

    Seriously, I’m delighted that you’ve managed to preserve this for austerity…can we look forward to more clips?

    Phil Whitehouse

    June 5, 2007 at 7:52 pm

  4. Ahem, I don’t know about genius. The books are actually pretty terrible, and any self respecting teenage geek today would be way sharper. And would probably be blogging, rather than laboriously typing out stuff on a manual typewriter.


    June 5, 2007 at 11:40 pm

  5. This might come a bit late, but anyways:
    The difference between then and now is that today, we can just use the Internet to find solutions for whatever problem we might have – we rarely realize this, but this really makes a huge difference!


    June 14, 2007 at 10:33 am

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: