Being the Alpha Geek is a responsibility and a tradition that I've always hoped to pass on. For years it's looked like Melissa would be the one to take over. Especially after she switched from Little Scientist to Little Cracker by breaking into Tatiana's account on my computer. (For weeks they were both trying to social-engineer the root account password, too.)

But it looks like Tatiana may be The One. (She has long shared my mathematical ability; I don't know why I didn't see it sooner.) Last night I taught her how to use the command line. She wanted to copy some of our music to her MP3 player, and asked how. I opened up a few file manager windows for her, then realized that I was missing an opportunity.

So I explained that everything you do on the computer, even the mouse clicking, is just a stand-in for typing a command. I described it as "telling the computer what to do", and showed how it was faster than dragging a mouse around. I demonstrated tab completion. I showed her how the whole computer starts on / and expands from there. Before I knew it, I had gone past the basic commands she needed and demonstrated wildcards, case-sensitivity, environment variables, Unix single-click copy-and-paste and three different flavors of quoting.

She took to it like a fish to water. She spent fifteen minutes playing around (nearly deleting some of my music, too) before I sent her to bed.

I believe we have an Heir Apparent.