I started out as a Systems Administrator working with Solaris, Windows NT, Linux and xBSD systems in the late 90's. I quickly realized that my best days involved software developers asking for something interesting - figuring out how to build a web cluster was much more interesting than fixing printers and blackberries. This got me more interested in what we'd call Operations or DevOps today.
It all started when I was seven years old, my father brought home an Atari 800XL, an early 8 bit computer. It came with the keyboard and used your television as a monitor. When it booted up, it went straight to the BASIC programming language. I spent many many hours programming at a young age - I developed a primitive membership database application, typed in games from programming books, simple graphics programming, and even sound programming.
One project came together after realizing that the Atari "paddle" controller that came with the Atari game system could be used with the computer; ATARI BASIC could read the paddle's position and the status of the trigger. The paddle, which was essentially a primitive wheel, would report its position as an integer between 1 and 228. The trigger would either supply a 1 or a 0. The Atari sound system, happily, took four arguments; and the one for "pitch" took a number between 1 and 255.
Of course, once I realized that I could read the paddle position value and feed it to the pitch parameter, and read the trigger position to select distortion, I had whipped together a musical instrument in about an hour. It was amusing and expressive, but otherwise a musical failure.
I love the technology community - I'm a big believer in hack nights and user groups. I've presented technical topics at the North Toronto .NET User's Group, founded Toronto Code Retreat, a polyglot group focused on pair programming and fundamentals.
Though my wife and I live in Toronto, Ontario, I have family in Western Texas, New Mexico, San Francisco, Kansas City, London (UK) and Leeds.