It just wouldn’t be a homepage without the obligatory, self congratulatory, biographical bore-fest. Who am I to stand up and reject years of tradition? Should I fail to follow the very strict rules laid down by the gods of the net, my cheesy vanity domain name will be stripped from me. My servers will be given to the needy. I’ll be forced to design web pages in a slave labor camp. And I for one am just not willing to let that happen.
I was born in 1976 in Holland Michigan to Bob and Nancy. I was an incredibly hyperactive child. A serious handful I’m sure. Frankly I’m amazed I wasn’t just stabbed in the eye and left out for gypsies to take by about 3.
My Education was fairly bland. I attended Holland Christian, a fairly conservative private religious school, from nursery school right on through High School. Having not suffered enough after that first 14 years, I followed it up with 4 and a half more at Hope College- Holland Michigan’s other religious institution where I majored in Computer Science.
I was never particularly scholastically inclined. I learned to read quite young, and rarely pulled my face out of a book until middle school when I discovered computers, and soon after, modems. From then on, I spent all of my free time working the magical digital box in my basement. Where a normal child might be “Grounded”, my mother’s favored punishment was to disconnect my keyboard and lock it in her trunk. Since this was the days of DOS, I just added a keyboard error code check to my autoexec.bat file which launched a BBS so I could simply get at my data from a friends house. Sorry mom.
In high school I worked various odd jobs. I actually got a small amount of income as a shareware programmer. I wrote a couple of really cheesy programs in Turbo Pascal and tried to get people to cough up a few bucks for them. These included an online BBS game, and an ANSI music composition program. But for the most part I packed groceries in bags and carried them to cars. As if that wasn’t enough fun, I also unpacked bigger boxes and put the contents of those boxes on shelves. Amazing. I participated in very few extra curricular activities besides being on several set crews for many plays.
In college I found that “Computer Science” education really fell into 2 different groups. The first was blazingly obvious stuff I figured out in 7th grade. Much of this stuff was clearly geared towards teaching students to be assembly line programmers… not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it was more of a Trade School type education… where I already knew the trade. The other half of my education was hypothetical stuff. The theory of computers. This killed me. I’m no math wizard: I’m a pretty practical programmer. But hey, I graduated. Hazah!
I spent a few years doing odd jobs including working as an IT support guy for a company with a few thousand PCs running windows. I bled into cases and learned everything I could about how the guts of PCs worked.
I started experimenting with Linux. I found it beneficial to my education since Hope’s CS dept. operated with Solaris boxes… Linux allowed me to do my homework from my dorm room. I also became fascinated with the Internet. Although at this point I had been using comptuers for email and general communication for 6-7 years, this was the first time I had high speed access. The net was just exploding, and I loved learning HTML even when most web users were browsing using software incapable of rendering a background image. With my newly developed skills as a webmaster I did a number of freelance consulting gigs, and ultimately scored a job with a small Advertising/Communications company called The Image Group. I designed websites for Banks, Realtors, and small businesses. I learned how to develop database driven web applications. Since I always fancied myself something of an artist, I also picked up a lot of graphic design and page layout skills along the way.
Towards the end of The College Experience I began putting together all my skills and assembled a website I obnoxiously named Slashdot, and the rest is internet history! I combined my love of Linux and Technology with my abilities as a webmaster to produce a site that exploded in popularity, becoming one of the most important sites in the whole entire internet.
Over the years Slashdot has had a variety of owners. After it started taking off, myself and several friends created a company we called Blockstackers to handle the business operations. Blockstackers tried to create a few other cool web sites including Everything2, Perl Monks and AnimeFu.
After running Slashdot independantly for a couple years, we sold it to a Boston company called Andover.net. They were acquired by VA Linux Systems at the height of the dot com explosion. The combines web properties of these companies were spun into a business unit known today as OSDN. For 14 years I ran Slashdot for these various corporate overlords, eventually leaving in August of 2011.
Somewhere in the middle of all that I found Kathleen. She and I dated for many years finding an almost creapy overlap in interests (well, she never has been into canibalism, but besides that…) It was only logical that we finally got hitched uprivate little ceromony in Las Vegas. We now have 2 children.
In my copious free time, I busy myself with some freelance writing, some public speaking, and a host of hobbies.
My Hobbies are many, but they primarily revolve around computers, guitars, comics, movies, music, cartooning, design, phogography and anime.
I listen to a lot of different kinds of music, but my obsession is The Who. Besides that, I’ve memorized many of Disney’s soundtracks. I also enjoy a lot of Rap, Classic Rock, and have an inexplicable affinity for girl pop/punk music. I can’t explain it either. A few years ago I tried to learn how to play the guitar. I’ve long since concluded that the key to skill is acquisition of larger and more powerful amps Since I’m a gadget nut, I’m always playing with pedals and FX processors. In my “Old Age” I’ve picked up a few acoustic guitars too. I currently have a Les Paul, a Gibson SG, 2 Fender Strats (one signed by Pete Townshend, so I don’t get to play that). I have a nylon string Earl Klugh model acoustic, and a wonderful brazillian rosewood acoustic both made by Del Langejans. The Earl Klugh has an inlay of a d12 made by my dad.
I am a total Anime Junkie. Kurt and I even created AnimeFu in the hopes of one day running a small business to justify our ludicrous anime consumption. I’ve watched thousands of hours of anime over the years and have a variety of opinions on many shows. All I hope people know about Anime is that its more than Tenticle Porn and Sailor Moon. Check out Lain or Cowboy Bebop for proof of that.
I’m very obsessed with photography. I’m pretty locked in to Canon gear at this point in my life. Mostly I photograph my kids, but occasionally I’m able to get a picture of something a little more amazing, like the final space shuttle launch in july 2011. If you are ever wondering what to get me for christmas, the answer is probably a huge telephoto lens like the 500mm or 800mm. Of course they cost as much as a car, so I’m guessing Santa ain’t gonna be packing one of those for me.
Nothing beats a good game of D&D. I like to think of it as my generation’s poker. When I grew up, it was shunned by my parents as some sort of devil game, but like all things shunned by my parents, it turned out to be great fun. Nothing better than an evening with friends eating junk food, rolling dice, and pretending to attack fictious creatures and burning down the villagers homes. Everyone knows evil is better than good.
I’m something of a film junkie. Having very nearly perfected my home theater, I can watch movies without worrying about strangers sneezing snot on my neck. I collect DVDs and lust for the day when there is an HDTV standard for media. I like many movies, from comedy and horror to thrillers and dramas. From teen comedies to farces. I just love it. Of course, Sci Fi and Fantasy are probably my favorite genres, but I can never turn down a good action flick.
Where ARE You? I am currently located somewhere between Dexter and Ann Arbor, Michigan. This is an absolutely wonderful place to live: you get 4 unique seasons of weather, and all the niceties that a college town provides (Wonderful food and large comic book stores) Plus you can murder a couple college kids a year and nobody notices. We’re about 45 minutes from Detroit, which is useful for the occasional concert and as many Tigers games as I can swing per year. Otherwise, I strongly recommend keeping your distance. We’ve noticed a trend: when a stranger asks where you live, if you answer Detroit, they give you sympathy. If they’ve heard of Ann Arbor, they give you props.
Allright, I’m tired and thats more than enough babbling. Hope you’re satisfied now. With any luck, my life will remain stagnant and uninteresting long enough that it won’t be necessary for this thing to be updated any time soon!