Chris Schmidt (crschmidt) wrote,
Chris Schmidt

Ask Me Anything -- more answers

Aaron asks, "How old were you when you first became seriously interested in computers?"

The Christmas of 1994, my father had each of us in the family receive parts for the computer as gifts. He then put it together, and for the first month, it sat on our dining room table until we got a desk together.

I remember being 10, and having that computer, and just being amazed. I'd seen computers at school before, but they were all Apple IIs and so on - this was a 486sx33, brand new machine with Windows 3.1 on it. I had no idea something could be so pretty.

I remember the day we got it, someone showed me how to exist windows, and type "wolf3d" to run Wolfenstein. (My mother made my dad uninstall it after that: she felt it was too violent.) I was so proud of myself, just because I knew how to exit Windows to get to the command line. I think that single act has been the primary motivating factor in my work since then. I remember when it was set up, I would open file manager, and just open every directory, every file, to see what was there. I remember one time double clicking on a self extracting application - Lotus 1-2-3 - which expanded leaving only 74kb left on the hard drive. I had no idea how to undo it, so I immediately turned off the computer, called my father, and let him know what I had done. He came home and let me know that so long as Windows was still running, I hadn't done anything too bad. :)

I remember playing with sound recorder, getting sounds together that played on startup. There was a "kirkhere.wav" : a sound file which was the sound of a Star Trek communicator, and Kirk saying "Kirk Here", after which I recorded "You are now in Windows 3.1" (and of course, added echo.) It was so cool.

I remember our first internet access account, back when there were no local dialup numbers. We connected via something called Global Network Something-or-other. (GNN.)

I also remember things from far before we had a computer, like my dad finding a tip on the "internet" on how to get lots and lives on Mario Brothers, and eventually beating it: he apparently got "triangle" lives, according to my mother. I remember the printout, which was like something straight out of Nintendo Power (although in black and white). It was so weird that you could just find things like that.

I remember in 1998, helping my dad build the new computer. It was a Windows 98 machine - a 350mhz AMD processor. (K6-2.) I remember when he had to take back the video card he had because the video card and mother board simply didn't work together, something that he and I both read about in newsgroups.

I remember a million and one steps getting me to where I am today. But I started my obsession that first day, when I was 10 years old, and learned how to quit Win 3.1 and start wolf3d.

Someone asks, if you were a narcoleptic argentinean, where would your pet penguin be from?

Chile, of course. That's the only place in the world where I would want my pet penguin to be from.

Nyxie asks, "What single experience over the past few years has done the most to 'develop' you as an adult?"

Moving to the East Coast. Throughout my time here, I've gone through so many experiences that I wouldn't have otherwise, and really couldn't have when I was attending school and still, basically, under my parents thumb. I think that it is the single most important step I made towards growing up, although I'm not sure if I realized it at the time.

I feel like an adult here, which is something I never truly felt at University, nor at home. My parents think I'm still 12, and they're trying to enforce that belief that they are the people who should be making my decisions. Out here, I feel really free of that: It's my life, my money, my friends... I'm being who I want to be, rather than who they want me to be. So, I think that moving to the east coast and taking up the job I do here full time is the biggest thing i did towards becoming an adult.

Someone asks, "Do you realize that you are one of the first geek boys in history to have a harem?"

Perhaps so. However, this isn't a new thing: I've had one for years. When I was a Senior in high school, I was in a club called Future Problem Solvers. This is basically a critical thinking group: Here's a future scenario. Come up with problems and solutions related to it. In this group, I was grouped with four other females: one of whom most of you know, my ex-girlfriend, and the others who most of you wouldn't. However, as we worked as a team, we did more and more stuff together: I would give them all rides home (they were all freshmen at the time), we went out to see movies together, we all came to one of the others birthday parties... lots of things like that. On most Friday afternoons, at 3:15 pm, we could be seen traipsing through the halls of the High School to get to my Cadillac in the parking lot, so I could take them all home.

So, even if I am the first with a harem, I've had one for a long time. I'm starting to grow used to it, I think.

(Since this is getting long, I'll post this, and work on some more answers in a bit.)

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