I am a geek at heart. I started in the computer world about 1988. My mom brought home a Tandy1000 computer; no harddrive, rom-only system with a bunch of disks. At that time a computer in the home was very expensive. Simply having a rom based computer was the “rich” kid on the block. Well, we were not rich but just lucky I guess.

From the tandy 1000, I slowly gained a curiosity for computers. Nintendo was pretty much the coolest thing ever this time period. However, windows 3.11 came out and I wanted to play with it even though I had no clue what it was. I quickly learned 3.11 as my mom’s company was nice enough to give us a computer at a discounted rate that had an intel 133mhz processor and a 1.2 gigabyte hardrive. Playing with 3.11 I Found probably some of the earliest loop wholes in windows. For example, was able to broadcast messages across as supposedly secure network running all Windows NT. A few years after playing with windows and hacking around MS-DOS I started playing with Linux. Around the same time I was introduced to linux windows 95 came out and changed home computing forever. Windows, though has its flaws, introduced modern computing to all walks of life. Not just the computer geek down the street. By this time I have had very little Mac OS experience. Other than a few games at school.

I was kicked out of school in 8th grade about 3 weeks before finishing. I was caught behind one of the computers that apparently sent a network broadcast. This time it really was not me; if they knew what I was really up to im sure the punishment would have been much worse. The network admins had no clue how I did it what I did :).

About the time windows NT came out I was pretty fluent in windows preferences, optimizations, hacks, exploits. Found several way to hack into peoples computers using AOL and other techniques. Never really wrote code at this point. Just dabbled with code people already wrote. It was not till about 1996 I started writing actual code. Some early javascript and html. I was really in pursuit of the understanding of how computers worked and not so much the programming aspect.

Several years later (about end of 1999) I was hired by the government as a contractor to do some web based stuff and IT work. They quickly realize my skills and hired me about 6 months later to do some  software engineering as a contractor.  By 2000 I had extensive linux experience, little C/C++, and some advance knowledge of network protocols. I helped design, implement, and train a massive data structure for several data formats while working for the Defense industry. Came up with a file naming convention, provided statistical tracking for ISO9003 standards. While working for the government I was taking many programming classes and some art classes. I was already many light-years ahead of classmates for the computer classes and even the teachers could not compete with the practical knowledge I was getting working for the government.

At the same time I had a hobby while working till 4 am working on prototype game engines. I was encouraged to start applying for art schools by co-workers. I was looking for schools that would teach me how to make games rather than spend all my spare time doing so (get paid for what I have a passion for). My team of 4 people eventually was able to sell our game engine to a big name company.

Later I went to Art school. While at art school; everyone I spoke to encouraged me to get into the film industry. Since I had a software background and artistic background; it was a perfect fit they said. I was hired before I graduated to work for a big film company for both my skills as an artist and my extensive software background.

More recently I have been working in the Game industry the past few years. This is where I feel I wanted to work from the very beginning of my career.

I try and post things I feel take a lot of time to explain or are not explained very well or need to be explained in a more step-by-step manner. I like to logically step through problems and know all outcomes. I hope you enjoy my posts.

– GeekTalkerTom


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