January 4, 2007 spout

Five Things You Don’t Know About Me

I’ve been tagged a coupla times, so it’s time I fessed up with Five Things You Don’t Know About Me:

  1. In college, I was in a fraternity and not just a geek fraternity, but an actual, national, recognized social fraternity (Phi Delta Theta). I figured I was geeky enough in high school, so needed a place to learn to at least hide my dorkiness. Obviously, I failed, but it was a very fun four years. : )
  2. In college, I coded in Unix using VT100 emulation software via a modem to my school’s DECs from my Mac IIcx running System 7 (I worked two jobs all summer to earn half of the $6000 it cost me to purchase the thing in 1988). It was the combination of the best programming and best UI experience at the time (although on two separate OSes). After graduation and working a job for a coupla years where I programmed Unix all day, I needed to look at Windows 3.1 for the first time because I had an interview at Intel. I could only stand to use it for about 10 minutes. They hired me anyway as a Windows programmer and, thank goodness, it’s much gotten better. Windows is now my favorite programming and UI experience (and I’ve used both Unix and Mac OS X several times since then to make sure).
  3. I am a fetishist; my fetishes are domain names and phone numbers. I can’t think of a cool domain name without a) checking to see if it’s available and b) purchasing it if it is (the one that sticks in my mind is clownporn.com, but that one was long gone). If I ever have a cool idea for an app, I must first purchase the domain name (I own appsettings.com and I just purchased 16 domain names the other day for another thing I want to do). Likewise, if I see a 7-digit phone number without a 0 or a 1 in it, I am physically compelled to surf to phonespell.org to see what the possible 7 and 8-letter words are (my old home phone number was 642-JOHN, the name of my eldest son). Of course, I’ve written my own program to do the permutations of numbers to letters, but phonespell does that cool dictionary lookup and grouping thing. I also added the phonespell support to Dave’s Quick Search Taskbar Toolbar Deskbar.
  4. I have jumped out of a perfectly good airplane (not Alan Cooper’s plane).It was just before I got married and I took my best man. We both used parachutes. The fall was surprisingly quiet, but the stop at the sudden bottom was unpleasant.
  5. The equal-rights-for-humans theme that sometimes pops up on this site isn’t because I’ve seen friends discriminated against and now I have to change the world (I don’t actually know very many people that are homosexual), but rather because I think it’s the right thing to do.

I tag Don Box, Chris Anderson, Michael Weinhardt, Tim Ewald and Ian Griffiths.

P.S. What’s the deal with the shape of the Pentagon and the Seal of the US on money (the eye at the top of the pyramid)? Damn you Doug Purdy for getting me The Illuminatus Trilogy when I’m supposed to be writing a book!