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Lecture to boost state's confidence

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By Kirsten Laskey

New Mexico sometimes seems to suffer from low esteem. “In Mexico, we’re accustomed to not having a high opinion of ourselves or of our state,” said New Mexico journalist Sherry Robinson. Through her presentation for the Los Alamos Historical Society at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Pajarito Room at Fuller Lodge, Robinson hopes to give the state a boost of confidence. The title of her talk is, “Ed and Bill: The History of High-Tech in New Mexico.” It may not be well known, Robinson said, but “really we’ve been on the cutting edge many times of technological developments.” For instance, Ed Roberts developed the first personal computer in Albuquerque. Additionally, Paul Allen and Bill Gates created Microsoft in Albuquerque, she said. Robinson said she is also interested in discussing John von Neumann, a pioneer for developing large computers systems and a member of the Manhattan Project. She explained she became interested in New Mexico’s high-tech industry while working as an editor for the Albuquerque Tri-Centennial and doing free-lance writing for the high-tech industry in 2006. Robinson said although people in the high-tech industry had no interest in the Tri-Centennial, they were interested in their own history.She added the high-tech history of New Mexico is pretty interesting because it occurred all over the state.Her work on the subject has become “a real labor of love,” Robinson said. She added, “It’s kind of a new area of interest for me.” In addition to the high-tech history of New Mexico, Robinson said she has had a long interest in the Apaches. Although books have provided Robinson with information about the history of technology in the state, she said talking to people can actually provide more knowledge.Which is why Robinson is looking forward to her presentation Tuesday. “I think this will be a great audience. There are so many smart people concentrated in one town,” she said.She said Los Alamos residents may be “scientists by day” but they may also have a passion for history.Not only does technology play a role in New Mexico’s past, but it’s also the state’s future. Robinson said, “It is the future because we’ve been dependent here a very long time on natural resources ee we can’t always be a natural resource state but technology depends on the cleverness of people and we have very clever people here.” Robinson has been a journalist in New Mexico since 1975. She was an assistant business editor and columnist at the Albuquerque Journal, editor of the New Mexico Business Weekly and business editor at the Albuquerque Tribune.Additionally, Robinson was a science writer at the University of New Mexico and edited the award-winning research magazine, Quantum. She published two books “Apache Voices” and “El Malpais, Mt. Taylor and the Zuni Mountains” through the UNM Press.Robinson owns her own consulting business, Sherry Robinson Writing Services.Although it is her first time speaking in Los Alamos, Robinson has presented talks throughout the state as a member of the speaker’s bureau for the New Mexico Endowment for the Humanities.