Arman's stuff

(Mon Jul 13 12:24:50 2009)

Even before my parents bought their Tandy 386sx (with DOS 5 and Windows 3.1), I loved computers.

The library had an Apple ][, in all its black-and-green glory; I played all sorts of games on it, at least half an hour twice a week. A friend of mine had a C64, which of course meant that we spent hours playing games and making simple programs. I spent more time programming in the year I turned 10 than most people program in their lifetime. When I was 16, I got a stack of 20 or so x286 computers from a distant relative, adding a lot of hardware knowledge to my already respectable programming know-how. I wasn't a child prodigy; I was just good at it. I didn't have a lot of book knowledge, either; I spent my time poking and prodding, figuring out what worked and what didn't. Instead of a strong curriculum, I knew what I did through trial and error. I've said it before, and I'll probably say it again - I love to learn, and this is how I do so.

In college, I decided that I wanted to build myself a computer-based media center. I started with a few 133 Mhz Pentiums, a 1 GB hard drive, a 3DFX Voodoo 3500 video card/tuner, and a head full of ideas. I installed Debian, with no gui - just the command line. Even so, I managed to cobble together a bunch of scripts into a fairly decent TV/VCR/avi player. It wasn't pretty, and it surely wasn't standards compliant, but it worked - and in the mean time, I learned a lot about Linux. Knowledge I've put to good use...

My very first website was hosted from my dorm room computer. Back then, everyone had their own IP address, readily visible to the outside world. Over time, my website grew and evolved into what you see today. It went through phases - that horrible tables phase, the ugly free-hosting phase, and the very, very buggy dynamic phase. Now it's a nearly-fully-functioning blag, with auto-updating scripts, RSS feeds, and dynamic webpages.

When I was a kid - 8 years old, even - I loved computers. I knew I wanted to use them forever. As I grew, I taught myself. Oh, sure, in college I took programming 101 and 102, Data Structures, even Operating Systems, but that was less about learning things I had never seen before, and more about filling in the gaps I had in knowledge I picked up 8-10 years before. I've learned so much through working with Linux, working with my website, and just working with computers in general. In fact, knowing that I programmed my own website was part of what got me hired at my (awesome!) job; being able to pick up VB.Net in less than a week was enough to cement that pretty well.

That's what learning is about. That's what an awesome job needs. And that's what I love to do - finding something I want to learn about, and jumping in with both feet. Look at me now; writing a blag! It never would have happened without all the hard work that went into this site in the first place. I have an awesome job, due mostly to my impressive array of programming skills. There's still more to learn, of course; I learn every day. Otherwise, I'd get bored. I hunt, I struggle, I search, and I grow.

What about you? Do you roam the land seeking knowledge, or are you content to just absorb whatever tidbits others deem worthy to grant you?

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This blag is tagged: Computers, Knowledge, Learning, Linux, Windows, All