ike many geeks, I also had a few login names prior to settling on hookah. I hadn't put much thought into this process before, but I can see it now as a quest to find my own identity within the geek community. I chose my first login, 'scifi', after my love for the science fiction genre of books. Being rather shy, even online, not many people were aware of my presence, and I changed my login after a more vocal person with the login 'scific' started making frequent posts.

My second login name was 'harvoid', meaning "occupant of Harvey dormitory". Harvey was the name of my dorm freshman year at Crown College, UCSC. I associated very strongly with the dorm mates on my coed floor, and for most of the day, they were my community, with the b-geeks making up my alternate social group. I kept harvoid for a year or two I think, letting it lapse when I took some time off from the b community. I probably did this when connecting to b became dificult while living off campus, because I usually did not have a computer in the house or apartment.

After about a year's hiatus, I returned, with an identity that was applicable both to my geek persona and my non-geek persona - 'hookah', after the burbling water-pipe with one or more flexible mouthpieces that is most often identified with the caterpillar from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. I've been hookah for a very long time now, but the growth and popularity of the internet leads to many instances where the name is taken. In these cases, and in cases where I find the old moniker a bit dated or even possibly inappropriate or stigmatic, I find that I resort again to the location-based identifier 'scruzgeek' which I maintain even though the economic downturn forced me to move out of the Santa Cruz area. I still identify strongly with the area as a result of the sixteen rather formative years I enjoyed there.