From: katchomko (email@example.com)
Date: Thu May 04 2000 - 04:49:56 PDT
just read the faq, now i'm going back over and checking out the external
ummm.. WoW! thanks for inviting me! I'm... *awed* at the contributors! I
knew you are smart, now I know you're a LOT smarter than me LOL
so, you asked me to post a wee bio for the edification and amusement of
our fellow FoRKers.
<my_background style="how the heck did this get so long?">
I grew up hearing about *nix at the dinner table. My father works for
the Federal Reserve Bank. I don't remember what his first title was, but I
remember him being Senior Network Security Analyst, then Senior Systems
Analyst, and the last I heard he was the head of Information Systems
Auditing or somesuch. Meanwhile, I got really good at playing Atari and
using Turtle on an AppleII to write my name.
I got to be a "power user" on CP/M, then my dad got a new machine that
ran DOS, and I got good at that. Totally into the BBS's, you know the
Win3.1 came along, but I didn't like it very much. Anything it did I
could do better at the commandline; I wasn't that impressed.
Then I left my parent's house, and was too broke to even think about
getting a computer for quite a while.
I started taking classes to be an EMT, and I walked into the
computerlab one day to find some BBS's to do some research. There were no
bbs's anymore. Everything was connected by pages with text and images, and
you could point and click from one to another. I spent 8 hours that day in
the lab, exploring the web, totally oblivious to the paper I was supposed
to be writing.
As much as I was enthralled and intrigued by the nascent web (this was
93 or 4) I was still deadset on being an EMT/paramedic, then becoming a
trauma nurse. I stuck around in medicine, moved out here, and then bought
I'd been exposed to win95 all over the place, but I finally had my
own. Within a couple of weeks, I'd learned all about how to config it, and
all kinds of registry hacks and stuff. But I spent ALL my time on the
And I started looking at all these pages, and I thought to myself, "how
hard can that be to do? this idiot figured it out" and so I started
teaching myself HTML 3.2. And I had space on free servers, and i did a
bunch of (what i look back on as) crappy pages that "some idiot figured
out how to do".
During this time, what was at the time a state of the art 233MMX kept
crashing, I couldn't make it do what *I* wanted it to do, and all the apps
that could do what I wanted to do cost money. Can you beleive I paid 30
bucks for a text editor that had a fraction of the functionality of jed?
I kept hearing about this OS called "Linux". I heard it was free, and it
ran servers, and it didn't crash cuz it was built on the same principles
as *nix. I wanted to run a server so I could make pages that did cool
stuff, and I knew that *nix was what makes the internet work.
So I started reading up on Linux, and the more I learned, the more
excited I got. After a month of research, I printed out a copy of the
hware compatibility list, and went out and bought the components for a new
pc and a boxed set of RH5.2 (the latest at the time). I got it installed
the next day, and promptly delved into it as deep as I could.
A year ago, I took on a second full time job to fund my selfeducation. I
bought a ton of OReilly books (fatbrain.com is my friend!), a pair of
486's, DSL, and all the networking accoutrements.
As soon as I had it all together, I realized a) medicine was sooooo not
for me anymore b) i didn't want to be a webdeveloper c) I'm born to be a
I left the medical field, and took a temp job schleppin' phones at
amazon.com, figuring that at least got me closer to the action. I hooked
up with the Global IT admin, who hooked me up with the dotcom I'm at now.
The admin for hometownfan.com was an NT guy, but the webserver is Linux.
(all the development is outsourced). He couldn't get email generated by
the ecom engine to go out into the real world. I sent up sendmail as a
relay for the NT box in a few minutes, and solved the problem. I got a job
offer the next day.
Since then, we've had to let the NT guy go because of lack of funding.
Now the whole project is mine. I've built a webfarm, DNS and MX boxen
which I'm waiting on Exodus to get me some more power so I can actually
expose them. I built the staging area myself, took root away from anyone
else on the production area, and now I'm doing all the QA and phase 2
debugging. My CTO architected some pretty big names in town, and while
he's not the kind of guy who issues progress reports, the fact that I can
walk into his office, tell him I need something, and get it with no
questions asked is indicative of his confidence in me.
So, when I was reading the FoRK FAQ and names like "Tim Berners-Lee",
were casually dropped, the first feeling I had was the memory of that day
in the computerlab, years ago, when I discovered and fell in love with the
...and how lucky I am, every day, to be a part of building it.
And how priviliged I feel to be part of this list.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
What is wanted is not the will to believe, but
the will to find out, which is the exact opposite.
-- Bertrand Russell, "Skeptical Essays" 1928
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