A Hero for the PC Set

By Karen Valby
Updated March 02, 2001 at 05:00 AM EST

In Geeks: How Two Lost Boys Rode the Internet Out of Idaho (Broadway, $12.95) — last year’s acclaimed Jon Katz book now out in paperback — two 19-year-olds take their computer skills to Chicago, leaving $7-an-hour jobs and small-town dreams in the dust. One of them — Jesse Dailey, now a sophomore at the University of Chicago, where he works in a computer lab — emerged as a hero of the cyberfringe. We found him between games of Quake. — Karen Valby

With Geeks‘ film rights optioned by New Line, who do you think should play you?

Ask my girlfriend. She looks at this ugly mug a few times a day. (She sees a ”younger” Steve Buscemi.)

Why aren’t you a dotcom billionaire?

I don’t want 75-hour workweeks and sleeping bags at the office.

The Matrix or The Phantom Menace?

Of course The Matrix. Creativity plus money, versus money.

Do you still call yourself a geek?

Geek is always there, and I still write code for a living and play Counter-Strike for fun, but I’m also a complete human being.