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 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 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.
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, as I’ve already mentioned, 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. My previous employment was in the role of a Systems Administrator with an own annual five digits budget for an office with a two digits staff size in the international public sector, and in my current position I work in a satellite communications business for corporate and business customers and become more and more of a network professional.
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 and Python. 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.
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 most of my professional life in the Microsoft world, but I more and more prefer Unix-based Open Source platforms.
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’. In my job life, we have consolidated our Unix systems on Ubuntu Linux, and that’s what I now also use at home.
I am very good at planning and installing system and network environments, 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 sense emotional nuances and properly react 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.
Since it seems to be a common perception that people working at the UN are bureaucrats that only shovel paper around, let me assure you that I am not of this breed and that I honestly despise bureaucratic paperwork, but instead prefer to actually solve a problem and finish the job.
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.
When they are not acting as stars in their own forthcoming computer game and book, they 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 an Xbox 360 and is very passionate about Half-Life 2, Bioshock 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 steak breakfast with the ultra long version of George A. Romero’s “Dawn of the dead”.
I no longer use Apple equipment. Currently, I’m a Windows and Linux user at work and a pure Linux user at home. My mobile gadget runs Android. My website is built with WordPress.