Dec 12 2007
Me, myself and I
I was born on March 16, 1970. I am a native German and Europe is my home.
I love my wife, our dogs, “ze boyz” (see the logo picture on top of this page), movies, books, writing, computer games, soundtracks, Heavy Metal, digital photography, the English language, Italian and Mexican food and the Spanish islands and main land.
I enjoy having dinner with my few good friends while I can watch a river or the ocean. Or watch our dogs playing.
I have chosen to become a vegetarian because I can no longer look into the eye of an animal and then later see meat on my plate and not make that association in my mind anymore. I live in Central Europe and have the luxury of choice, and I chose to not participate in the slaughtering and butchering of living, sentient beings anymore.
I am a night person, through and through, and I love thunderstorms and heavy rain and snow. Stormy weather inspires me and fills me with energy, and that’s when I can work best.
I make my living in IT – not because I love it so much, but because it is so much easier for me to earn my money there than it is with writing or other supposedly unprofitable things, better known as “brotlose Kunst” (literally: breadless art) in the worker class that I was born into.
My professional background
To get this over with: I don’t have a college or university degree. That means that I’m in the same boat as Burrell Smith, the engineer at Apple who designed the digital board of the first Macintosh computer. When asked in a questionnaire what college he had attended, Burrell wrote: Steve Wozniak College. In case you don’t know who Steve ‘Woz’ Wozniak is, he is the co-founder of Apple and the inventor of the Apple I and Apple II computers.
I am telling you this little anecdote because my response to that question would be that I attended the Steffen Pirsig University during my time at Alaska Software. Steffen was the CTO (and later also the CEO) of that company whose main product was the Xbase++ programming language. I have learned much more there than at any other company or during any other job, and I can easily say that this was one of my most valuable work experiences ever.
Still, I am as much an IT generalist as it gets and I am not specialized in just one area.
I have a couple of certificates, from MCP over Y2K Software Development and MTCNA to the United Nations Language Proficiency Certificate in English. But much more importantly than that, I have a lot of professional experience in international environments.
I have worked as a Technical Writer (German and English documentation for Software Developers) and Software Developer for a manufacturer of a programming language with an own set of development tools. I have also worked as an Analyst in Systems Development at a company that hosted clinical trials for the pharmaceutical industry. I’ve held positions as System Administrator at a global organization and later at a globally operating satellite communications company. I’ve also worked as the manager of a small IT department with hundreds of virtual machines and a few data center technicians in my responsibility.
I’ve learned several programming languages in my life, including but not limited to various BASIC and Pascal dialects, COBOL, Xbase++ and more recently BlitzMax, then Python and now Go and B4A. I have also spent some time with ActionScript, C, C# and Java, but frankly speaking, I have a serious dislike for curly braces languages and their ‘culture’. Simply put, I find them ugly and sickening and avoid them whenever possible – in my opinion, they only manage to make things more complicated and messy instead of being helpful to make people productive. For example, on Android, there is nothing that I could do in Java that I could not do in B4A, only that the source code in B4A is much smaller and and I’m finished in only a fraction of the time with the same result and the same application performance.
I can master more than just one brand of operating systems or application software. I have learned how to run jobs on IBM mainframes and used OS/2 a lot and DOS heavily when both were still very much alive. I have spent the beginning of my professional life in the Microsoft world, but for many tasks I now use Ubuntu Linux. Of course, virtualization platforms like VMware and, recently, ProxMox, are also in my tool box, as are Cisco IOS, Juniper Junos and Mikrotik RouterOS.
I am not religious about Free Software and I certainly do not believe that all software on this planet ought to be ‘free as in speech’ or ‘free as in beer’. I do not base my design choices on ideological aspects but choose what I think is the best tool for the job at hand and make sure that they all play well with each other.
I am very good at planning and installing heterogeneous system and network environments of respectable sizes, trouble shooting and problem solving.
Although I am very technical, I have also developed sophisticated soft skills and can deal with all kinds of people. My strongest assets here are that I have a lot of patience with my clients and that I am empathetic and sense emotional nuances and react appropriately to them.
I have not only worked in my home country, Germany, but also in the United States of America, Spain and the most international of all organizations: The United Nations.
I like to solve technical problems and build things.
Maybe this is yet another blog, but it is the only blog that has the three great cats Pardi, Darce and Hercule as mascots. Their full names are Largo Leopardi d’Asparagus, D’arcy Vaigl and “the professor” Sir Hercule de Montescieux. The three usually watch movies with their friend Tim Drums, a bear with a taste for honey and Glenfiddich (not necessarily in that order).
Pardi loves to game on various consoles, from the Xbox 360 over the Xbox One to the PS4 and is very passionate about Half-Life 2, Dead Space, Bioshock, the Uncharted series and Gears of War. Only after a few minutes into Gears of War, Pardi declared: “I want the same bandanna as Marcus Fenix!”
Darce, while eating serious amounts of original Mozartkugeln, keeps pondering about his career as a politican.
Hercule, lover of British Porridge, is not growing tired of writing on the second volume of his scientific tome “The bat, its mysteries”.
It seems that their favorite movie of all time is Roman Polanski’s “The fearless vampire killers”. At least that’s the one they watch almost every day. On Sundays, however, they have their traditional all-day breakfast with the ultra long version of George A. Romero’s “Dawn of the dead”.
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