In The Beginning

I’ve been doing this programming stuff since I was 16, by starting with an “Intro To HTML” class in High School; We barely touched the surface of HTML, but I found it fascinating to be able to tell the computer what to do. I had always wanted to be an engineer of some sort, but when I learned that I, and average person, was actually able to tell the computer what to do, I couldn’t put that down.

Starting with HTML, I built sites that unfortunately used a table layout. I’ve since learned better; I now know that tables are only for tabular data, which really makes sense, actually. I know, I was blown away when I learned that tables were only for tabular data, too…

After that, I took a more indepth Web Programming class, where I became familiar with ASP .NET and CSS. I struggled with the ASP and found it really challenging. I didn’t see much use for it back then…

Apache, “A Patchy Webserver”

I started toying around with the Apache Web Server, because I got tired of typing “C:\Documents%20and%20Settings\Kyle\www\index.html“, and I also was trying to learn about this new thing called “Ajax”. On Windows, I set up Apache, and started using “localhost” to do stuff, and was fascinated by it. It was like using IIS at school, but different.

With Apache installed, I got my Ajax stuff to work. At first, it was pretty pointless to just include HTML files with Ajax, and so I decided to read up on this thing called “PHP”. I learned that Apache had a module for interpreting it, so I downloaded the installer, and got PHP up and running. That was really my first experience with PHP; after setting it up, I decided to make something called “hapost”. I no longer serve that up, as it used DynDNS to host it from my own computer at home. Since DynDNS no longer offers free DNS Services, I couldn’t serve it up anymore and the computer it was on is no longer functional. Hapost was this little forum site where you could post comments and respond to other people. It was pretty cool, but it didn’t do much else.

…And Another OS?

In my senior year of High School, I entered a competition for Computer Maintenance Technology. It was a foreign field to me, so I read this gigantic A+ book. I had to be able to do things like install hardware, fix drivers, and optimize the BIOS, among other things. One thing my teacher wanted me to know how to do was Install an Operating System.

He had this old Pentium 3 computer with Windows 98 on it, and I needed to install an OS. He was going to have me install Windows for the experience of it, but I told him,

I don’t want to install Windows! That’s so… boring. What else can we install?

It was at this point that the word “Linux” entered my vocabulary.

Mr. VanKirk told me that there was this other OS called “Linux”; we would need to choose a “distro” of linux, and he suggested “Ubuntu”. I didn’t know anything else, so I got it downloaded and burned it to a CD. After popping that sucker into the Pentium III’s CD Tray and booting it up, what happened next was breath-taking.

Linux, The OS.

This purple screen with an hourglass showed up, and after loading all the drivers, I got to the GUI, the Graphical User Interface. The first thing I remember noticing was the mouse cursor. It was different. I can’t explain it, it just looked better. Maybe it just was that it wasn’t Windows, which I felt like a drone using. I hated using Windows because everyone else did that. Using Windows was so generic. And this OS had no touch of Windows to it.

I started the installation right away, and when it was done, I rebooted that Pentium III. At the login screen, I entered my password and I was on my new desktop, a desktop free of all touches of Microsoft. It was Maverick Meerkat, the Ubuntu 10.10 release. It came with Firefox installed by default, not Internet Explorer, which I loathe. I’ve been using Ubuntu ever since, currently running Ubuntu-Gnome 13.04. I love it; it feels so free running something that the masses don’t use. It’s a feeling that is inexplicable.

Where I’m At Today

I’ve come a long way from where I started, just writing DHTML and table layouts. I’ve been trying to get started with some web application development, building sites that would allow you to actually do something. Think “FreshBooks“, only better.

Aside from the ideas I’m throwing around, I’m employed as a Web Programmer / Database Analyst for Stark State College. There, I work mostly in Laravel, Lumen and WordPress.