I was born sometime around 1981, not in the 1950s like some people assume. I make my abode in Everett, PA and I use the name of “John.” However, online I am known as Squegie.
I grew up in an isolated farm area, and spent a lot of time reading books by JRR Tolkein, Isaac Asimov, and Douglas Adams. A LOT of time spent reading books. I also have always been fascinated by those whirring, beeping, blinking things that we know as electronic devices.
I can say without shame or reservation that I am a technology geek. I love playing with gizmos and gadgets. There’s nothing more refreshing than the smell of rosin core solder in the morning. My “hobby” eventually led me to computers, from which there was no return.
I started out with a Tandy 1000 with a single 5.25″ floppy drive. Not the classic Commodore64 that other people brag about, but still a nice little device. It wasn’t long before someone mentioned “batch script” to me and I was hooked. I started writing these little batch scripts, and before long I was making a multi-disk menu system. (I had a games diskette as well as dos 3.2). From the bootup disk, you would get a menu. Hitting the desired item, you would be prompted for the correct disk. Insert that disk, it runs the program (in the case of the games disk, it would display another menu). When you finish the program, it prompts you for the main diskette. Put the main diskette back in, and it brings back the menu. True, everyone else was running Macintosh and Windows 3.11 at the time, but I had designed a truly user-friendly system that even my Mom could use.
It wasn’t too much longer that I moved up to a discarded 286 from my Uncle. This has an 80mb hard drive. I setup a BBS and at night, I would disconnect the phone and one of my friends would call in. Oh yes, we were l33t in those days.
Through the course of high school, I started getting a massive collection of discarded computers and parts. I was fortunate enough to get into an Electronics program at BCTC (don’t knock the web- site. I never finished it, and then they have only touched the index page since I left) before they stopped offering the electronics program. While there I got to play with all the toys of the trade.
More and more, I got away from electronics and into computers. I thought I’d balance out somewhere. At least, that’s what I thought until I discovered Linux. I downloaded Debian 2.0.34 (kernel 1.40- 2.1) onto several floppys and installed it on my most powerful computer, a home-brew 386sx/25 with 7mb of ram (don’t ask). I have never been the same since.
I’ve worked as a Network Technician for Cannondale Corp, a Network Engineer for Pennswoods.net, and then Access Lightspeed. I’ve also spent six years in the USMC, driving supply (wether it be food, mortars, ammo, snipers, or grunts) trucks through the town of Iraq. On my second trip to Iraq, I ran an Internet communication facility for Marines stationed in and around Fallujah, Iraq.
Nowadays, I survive by running my own computer consulting firm. We deal with computer repairs, network implementation, serverer administration, and assorted programming tasks. Recently, I took over the management of Access Lightspeed, a nationwide dialup Internet provider. I am also working heavily with wireless communication technologies in the 900, 2400, and 5800 Mhz unlicensed bands.
Not too long ago, I purchased an old doctor’s office/house that I am remodelling as the Hogenmiller Professional Building. I have an apartment upstairs, while using the downstairs for my workshop and network operations center. I keep my house awash in half-assembled computers, odd devices, and an atari hooked up to my Sony Trinitron flat-screen tv.
Now you know as much about me as everyone else, perhaps more. I am amazed that you actually cared enough to read all that. It’s so touching *snif*.