This site is actually the fourth that I've done; the previous one I did was written from 2001-2004, and hosted by the Yahoo! GeoCities site until its demise in 2009. The two sites before that, written between 1998 (and possibly earlier) and 2000 (which was really just a re-write of the previous site, just as this site is of the GeoCities page), were both hosted by the now-defunct zNET ISP, and are both embarrassingly not-well-done. (I was just a kid. Gimme a break.) This site was begun in 2006, based on the Geocities site, but since then completely rewritten. The gritty details of changes since this site went live (if anyone cares) are in the Change Log. You can also read the Status/To Do page, which details the relative completion of the pages here. There are still many projects to finish (various re-coding efforts, the game guides, etc.), and many things I'd still like to do in the future (these are covered in the to do list).
All of the graphics on this site, except for the screenshots from XPilot, Jazz Jackrabbit, Descent, other DOS games, and the Commodore 64, are entirely hand-drawn in Microsoft Paint. (Yes, that includes the graphics for the Nintendo game guides!) All bitmaps are converted to GIFs (using the smallest number of colors whenever possible) using the free image manipulator IrfanView. There are certain cases (such as creating animated GIFs) when I use the open-source GIMP instead, since I do not own any fancy graphics programs like Adobe Photoshop (and have no need to, really).
You may have noticed that, for a while, I had some fancy dragon-like fractal images gracing the root pages of the site. These were "dragons" of the Mandelbrot set that I created with an open-source program called Fractal Forge. I decided later that they were a bit too "loud" to keep. The fractal images you see now are Heighway dragon curves that I created with a freeware program called ChaosPro. Why this fractal in particular, you ask? Many years ago, my dad wrote a program on the Commodore 64 in the PASCAL language that would, with a special serial interface, draw a multicolored Heighway dragon curve on his old Hewlett-Packard 7580A drafting plotter, changing pens at a set rate. That plot still hangs on our den wall to this day. (And we still have the ancient plotter; whether it's in working condition or not we don't know, but someday my dad and I may fire it up and find out.) I'm not sure how many iterations the plot is; I would guess that it's several more than the one at the right, which is 12 iterations.)
Questions or comments about the site or its contents may be directed to insectoid (at) budwin (dot) net; please put IWP: in the subject line. I do appreciate the feedback, folks, both good and bad. However, any spam mail will be subject to immediate de-resolution!1
This is the best picture of myself that I could find that's new enough; it was taken in July 2009. It was taken at Pier 39 in San Francisco, CA, on our summer vacation; that's San Francisco Bay and Alcatraz Island in the background. (No, I don't live there. No jokes, please!)
I was born in San Diego, CA, USA in June of 1986. I have been wearing glasses since I was 3 years old, when I was diagnosed with cataracts (which is fairly unusual to be born with!). When I was 13 I underwent cataract surgery, and now have near-perfect vision with glasses. I graduated from Poway High School in 2004, and attended Palomar Community College from 2004-08, though I never earned a degree. (The jury's still out on whether I can get a decent job. Only time will tell.)
My main area of expertise is computer hardware and software, repair and
troubleshooting, with a partial knowledge of Computer Science (I'm still
learning C), electronics, and Web design. I'm fairly technically-savvy
in many other areas, as well. Among my hobbies: playing old-school
computer and video games, reading science-fiction and fantasy novels (and, by
extension, participating in various blogs on
Tor.com), listening to classic rock music2, sketching, building
with Legos, building small electronic projects, collecting gems and minerals,
and collecting coins (both US and Great Britain). And, apparently, mixing
a stylish Indiana Jones fedora with Hawaiian shirts on outings3.
1 – This is a Tron joke. (Nerdy of me, isn't it!)
2 – Most of the music I listen to was recorded before I was even born; unusual for my age group. (I consider myself sort of a "generational outcast", both in music taste and fashion sense; I do not dress "sloppy" like many of my peers.) I do also like classical music and Enya, when I need something relaxing to listen to. (And the Ventures; they're good for many occasions.)
3 – That trend began as mere happenstance; I bought the hat when I was in San Francisco, and happened to be wearing Hawaiian shirts frequently on our trip, so it stuck. (I do own a Stetson cowboy hat now, and have a variety of button-down shirts to go with it.)