Bits and Bytes... V0.1


The adventure begins...
— 11:48 AM on February 26, 2008

Test... test... hey, is this thing on?

Ahh, there we go.

Allow me to introduce myself. Some of you may know me already as "just brew it!" on the TR forums. I've been an active member of the forums here since 2002; since then I've taken on an expanded role as moderator of the Distributed Computing and Developer's Den sub-forums, and (most recently) as co-administrator of the forums as a whole. I also designed and built The Beast, which Geoff has used to perform load testing in TR's two recent PSU roundups.

Jumping back a decade or two or three, I've been an incurable nerd and PC enthusiast almost as long as there have been PCs. My first PC was an IMSAI, which I built back in 1978 when I was in high school. In those days, the first step in building a PC was going down to the local Radio Shack to buy a soldering iron and a spool of solder! Most of the cards came as "kits", which typically consisted of a bare PC board, a bag of ICs and other components, a schematic, and a diagram of the board layout. Mmmm, don't you just love the smell of hot molten solder in the morning? OK, maybe not. Hmm, maybe all those lead fumes I inhaled as a teenager explains the... umm... *ahem*... but I digress. Let's move on, shall we?

I majored in Computer Science in college, and married my high school sweetheart. I've also raised three wonderful kids, none of whom are as geeky as their father. (Though my son comes close... there's hope for him yet... or should I say he's doomed?)

Over the years, I've worked as a software engineer in the telecom, finance, high-energy physics, and (most recently) defense industries. I've also built or repaired countless PCs for myself, family members, and friends. I still find computer technology—both the hardware and software aspects of it—to be endlessly fascinating; technology changes so rapidly that there's always more new stuff to learn.

Some years ago, I also became interested in craft beer. Like PCs, beer became a bit of an obsession. I took up homebrewing, joined a local homebrewing club, attended homebrewing conferences, and trained to become a certified beer judge. Lately I've also started getting into making Mead. Something interesting I've discovered is that a surprising number of people who homebrew also work in technology-related fields. Maybe that's not so surprising after all—anyone can brew beer; but to consistently brew quality beer you need to pay attention to details, document everything, and continually refine your process. In other words... it's an engineering problem!

So anyhow, getting to the point, Damage & Company have invited me to take a more active role in contributing content to the site. I'm not planning on focusing on any one particular subject area; the tentative plan is for me to do a grab bag of "How To" type articles, possibly some "quick look" reviews of hardware that doesn't merit the full TR review treatment, and other random stuff that relates to PC technology in some way (but may be a bit off the beaten path relative to what TR normally covers). Oh, and this blog, which is basically going to be me ranting about whatever geeky topic floats my boat this week.

Within limits, I'll also take requests—if there's a topic you'd like to see covered or a blog post you'd like to see expanded into a full-length article, give a holler in the blog comments! If the subject matter isn't too off-topic for TR, Damage may give the go-ahead for a feature article.


Yours truly, sitting at my desk in "The Cave" (a.k.a. my basement office)
   
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