It all started in high school. After playing around with electronics as my primary hobby since grade school, I got into a high school with a focus on professional/technical education. (In Portland the high schools all have a different focus area... they call them magnet schools). The school was Benson Polytechnic High School. Benson had an excellent program. You spend the last two years in a "major", much like college. I spent most every day in the electronics shop after school-
Anything from Vacuum Tubes (or Valves in the UK) to microcontrollers interests me.
Lately the interests have been 70's vintage stuff (8-tracks, SQ quadrophnic, CED (or SelectaVision), and open-reels) and 50's vintage tube gear.
In the good old days (grade school :-)) I had always told myself that I would never leave electronics for computers... oops.
It all started with my commodore vic20. I did not know anything about computers, but I tried anyway. Several years later in high school (junior year) I was asked if I wanted to take a few classes to learn how to operate my schools UNIX network. Thus began my infatuation with computers. I put large portions of my free time into learning, administering, and tinkering with UNIX. I started on a Sequent Symmetry S27. A machine that was the size of a dryer. The features I admired most on this behemoth of a machine, were its arrays of blinking lights. The machine was the first in a long line of SMP (symmetrically multi-processed) Intel machines. It had 10- Intel 386 processors at the time. From here I started playing with Linux inside my small bedroom network at home. Version .99 was the first for me - and it fit on my spare 40 Meg MFM hard drive.
Junior year of college (fall term 1999) I realized exactly how deep into computing I actually was. This is when I changed majors from electrical engineering to computer science.
Shortly after changing majors, however, I received a job offer that I simply could not refuse. I found that in order to succeed in college, my heart had to be in it. I was never interested in academics (I loved college for the activities outside of the classroom) and the job promised everything I needed (socially, mentally, spiritually, physically, and financially). I now work as a Web Application Developer / Server Administrator at Portland Public Schools.
I presently am involved in getting the Portland Public School Linux Group going. Got about 15 people that attend our meetings on the first saturday of every month. (e-mail me if you are interested)