Welcome, I'm Guy Patterson, the founder, webmaster, and main content contributor on Nullamatix.com. The main goal of this site is to provide a clear, objective, and informative outlook on a variety of issues ranging from cognitive development, to music, and of course, technology. Here's a brief description of who I am, and perhaps an explanation as to why this site even exists.
September 1994, AOL 2.0 for Windows 3.x was released, and at the malleable age of 8 or 9, life slowly started revolving around computers. Wolfenstein 3D was the latest shoot-em-up, and my parents, unable to keep me off the computer, were eventually forced to move the old 386 into my room.
Two, maybe three months of service was all AOL was willing to dish out after some "alleged" breach in their terms of service. As a kid, the thought was, "Come on dad, who's responsible for failing to incorporate any sort of packet/timing management into their lame software? jeez!" Needless to say, the old man wasn't happy and the gateway to the world was temporarily decommissioned. Shortly after, and to my surprise, my wonderful, encouraging parents decided to invest in a real ISP. That's right, no more failed dial in attempts, no more punt wars and poorly designed software, just a straight up point to point protocol dial-up connection, YES!
With a new Internet service provider, a wave of both unknown and evolved interests emerged. Web design, before standards existed, became one of those new passions. Site design was, and still is, fulfilling. I'd make pages for just about anything and anyone. The challenge, thought process, and on going creativity was stimulating, but best of all, kept me out of trouble.
Eventually, pops brought home enough parts to assemble my very own computer, which was equally intoxicating. The first attempt at piecing everything together to assemble a fully functional computer was challenging, especially when forced to just figure everything out on my own, but proved very rewarding. As time progressed, my interests and inextinguishable desire to learn lead me to the mysterious world of the open-source community.
Real life middle school peer, perator, who's bravely serving the U.S. in Korea at the moment, was making use of his computer with an entirely different and totally foreign (at the time) operating system. Linux was all he knew, and after years of not having anyone to share similar interests with, I was truly pleased to have met this kid. His network was controlled with an old IBM 486 running Debian and ipchains (now iptables) for traffic routing. Completely concealed from the Internet, scanning his network from the WAN would result in No Host(s) Found - Network Unreachable. From that moment on, we were inseparable.
The same day we met I must have attempted installing Redhat 5.2 at least three times before getting X-Windows to run without fault. But eventually, with the help of ttysnoop, we were observing each others terminal sessions sharing instant, continuously streaming knowledge. *drool* Exposure to this new underground world stirred up dormant behavior and Korean computers, servers, and routers quickly felt the effects. Trading Korean roots for International dial-up accounts (*cough*SISNA*cough*) increased anonymity and fueled the behavior. Looking back, there's really no explanation as to why we did the things we did, or why Korea was the only country we scanned (humor?). There were no site defacements, exploitation of people's identities, or leaked documents because we were just having fun; but those days were abruptly halted after earning a driver's license. Empowered, and no longer confined to the depths of my dark room, social activity practically neutralized my once unresting desire for computer related knowledge. Fortunately, those years passed. (after writing this paragraph I chuckled at the fact that perator now resides in Korea)
Out of school and on my own, I slowly trickled back into my almost forgotten regime of personal development. With enough money in the bank to build a new computer, memories from an amazing childhood reignited a dormant flame. A revived interest in web development entailed learning everything I'd missed over the years. During my absence, standards were developed, content syndication was evolving, AJAX was gaining popularity, search engine optimization blew up, and although these new and exciting challenges provided necessary fuel, something still seemed out of place.
Friends insisted my thoughts and capabilities were being wasted in what I thought was my desired career path, marketing/sales. After a couple days of deep thinking, I left a full time job with a decent salary and benefits to accept a position as an hourly help desk technician without benefits. To some, that may sound unappealing, or not even remotely close to a good idea, but it's been one of the most rewarding, and perhaps best decision I've ever made.
The pictures above were taken earlier this year (2007). Since then, the higher ups have relocated me into an office with a door, and yes, windows, too. Personal thought tells says I'm undeserving, but definitely not enough to complain. Perhaps maintaining a unique array of network appliances, servers, services, several thousand users and their workstations is worthy of an office. Apparently someone thinks so.