It's All Geek to Him:
David Pogue Tells All

By Sara Peyton

The Science Channel debuted "Itís All Geek to Me," a new weekly series that brings Missing Manual author and New York Times tech columnist David Pogue's expertise on the world of technology to television. In each half-hour episode, David, who founded the Missing Manual series and writes many of its books, uses his unique brand of humor to help consumers unravel the mystery behind complex electronic gadgets used in their daily lives. His new series will air every Friday on The Science Channel.

In a recent conversation, David talked to Sara Peyton about "It's All Geek to Me."


Sara Peyton:
Where did you get the idea for your new show?

David Pogue:
A few years ago, The New York Times entered into a joint venture with Discovery Networks (the huge umbrella company that runs the Discovery Channel, Science Channel and 15 other channels). It was a special channel called Discovery Times.

Meanwhile, I've been creating funny 4-minute tech videos for the Times Web site for two years now. Among their fans were some of the Discovery Times channel executives, who approached me about maybe developing a full-length technology show.

"It's All Geek to Me" is what I came up with, and they went for it immediately!

There's absolutely nothing like it on television: sort of a cooking show format, but without the food. I'm the sole writer and host, and each week, we demystify a different kind of consumer technology: cellphones, iPods, laptops, digital cameras, camcorders, and so on. It's funny, fast-paced and very informative!

Of course, funny things happen in the TV world. In the 18 months since the show was conceived, the Discovery Times partnership fell apart; the Times got out of the TV biz; a new CEO came in at Discovery; our director was fired; the show was bounced around to different channels; and so on. That's just life in the TV lane, I guess!

Anyway, it all has a happy ending: the show is finally ready to air! Friday nights at 8 pm, starting May 18, on the Science Channel. Each week, they'll air one new episode and one re-run.

We filmed the show in high definition, so the show will ALSO be airing on the Discovery HD channel.

Sara Peyton:
On the show you describe yourself as a couples therapist for people and their gadgets? Why do we need help getting along with gadgets?

David Pogue:
There's just too much that' s new, and it's coming too fast. It all wants our attention and our monthly fees and our power outlets. It's just too much, almost even for me, to keep track of. Somebody's got to wade through it all and try to make sense of it!

Sara Peyton:
Do you have a favorite show? Why?

David Pogue:
I actually really love "American Idol." Especially this year; the orchestra arrangements were phenomena--

Sara Peyton:
What?

David Pogue:
Oh, you mean a favorite episode of "It's All Geek to Me"? Oh. Sorry. I have favorite bits in all of them, but I do really love the digital camera episode...

Sara Peyton:
If you could only pick one gadget to own, which one would choose?

David Pogue:
My MacBook, as long as it came with power outlet and Wi-Fi. :)

Sara Peyton:
List the gadgets you think every average person should own. How about the true geek.

David Pogue:
Of course, there's no answer to that. That, after all, is the core tenet of the Pogue religion: Just get what you need, and ignore the rest. Do not let the industry make you think you're inadequate if your belt doesn't clank with gadgets like Batman's.

On a daily basis, all I carry is a really nice cellphone. On vacations and special events, I add a digital camera and a camcorder. At home, there's a TiVo and a VHS/DVD-burner combo. That's pretty much it!

Click here to see the schedule for "It's All Geek to Me".