I have a proud, enthusiast computer nerd with years of self teaching of various ends of technology. As a kid I was regular, until we got our first computer… then an addiction quickly formed. Our first computer was a Packard Bell 120MHZ Pentium computer with a 14.4 modem. Technically it was not the first computer but really when it came down to it, you could spend time on the packard bell and not bored… Apples were boring, quick (at the time).
Thank goodness my parents helped support my love for computers and didn’t poo-poo it. I broke plenty of computers in the process of learning but fortunately around high school I wasn’t making those terrible errors that were destroying computers anymore.
I have always loved to create. Whether it was playing with tinker toys, or playing with legos most of the time I would be at one or the other building something crazy. Some of my unique inventions over the years (well not inventions really but mimicking what I have seen) was a mini bowling alley that used tennis balls to bowl and had lever that would reset pins automatically as they were on strings. And an automated motorized ball return. Also during the days of battlebots they made remote control bots and I created a mini battlebots arena in the basement (bots were about half the size of a sheet of paper) and there was a opening pit, corner ‘house bots’, floor flipper. It was incredibly fun (the arena was made of mostly foam core).
I have taken the love of creating things and my love of computers and have been combining those for most of my life. From the age of 13 it was clear that this was going to be my life, and I was not sad about it for a second. Around that age I was really into creating Visual Pinball tables and coding the tables in Visual Basic. Little did I know I was actually learning that language, but going into college one of my visual basic courses made me realize how much of that I already knew but didn’t know it translated to other projects.
My first website ever launched was with my friend Paul, and that was projectilewaffle.com. The website was mainly a site for us to post things that was unique, from funny videos or funny flash videos. I also posted some interesting files that were quite ‘riskay’ (more on that some other time). While projectilewaffle was still alive I launched a small “clan” for Unreal Tournament 2004. We all know about how pointless clans are but it was fun to try to build one. I thought that by putting in a lot of time and building cool stuff we would get people. That was proven right over the years. The first server was small but over the years grew to tons of servers with tons of my custom maps (if you have UT2004 look at my downloads area to try some of my stuff). Those maps and other things for UT2k4 took up about 7 years of my life. It was something for me to put effort into, and it was fun to play the end products.
From the face of it map design is hard, but there are so many things mappers tend to forget about, playthrough and fairness. That was something I learned over the time of playing the game. Learning to balance out the map and make it play how you envisioned.
It was UT2004 that sparked my interest to build my very first application, ever. Llama punter. This is a UT2004 firewall system that would report about players joining servers and check them against a blacklist (global as well as the administrator’s own list). The list was managed at their user panel online, and upon every map switch a fresh list would be downloaded. Without this project I would never be where I was now… PHP was the first language I really got hardcore into and at this point it remains the only one I really know to a great level.
With that knowledge I helped out at my job developing several custom applications over the year, and now at this point 2016 we are using two of them. Those two programs are amazingly powerful. One being a complete Sales CRM system built specifically for our business, and a Service Department system (Mobile Dispatch, Document Management, Scheduling, and tons more). The software now literally runs the business (outside of quickbooks) and I couldn’t be more proud of my accomplishments.
My side project website that I was working on for my own streaming and friend’s streaming BrickslapTV was created in 2013-2014’ish and after it had a slow start, I started to add people from chatrealm (the chat room where I hang out) on there. The interest grew and finally Scam School’s Brian Brushwood reached out and asked if I could revamp their site (DiamondClub.TV) which was a basic single stream website, and merge the two ideas together. As you can tell now I went overboard with it (like most things I do…), and it’s mostly all positive.
It’s really fun to take the time and put in a LOT of effort to know something at the is going to be amazing and it’s something you can call your own. Diamond Club TV is my code. I do not use a framework on top of PHP. I handle the encryption, the user management, the scanning for live channels, etc. I know there could be a lot of the time saved, but there is something to doing it yourself. Yes I am a control freak when it comes to code, but there is that sense of reward to say it’s mine. Steve Gibson understands this 🙂
I am not perfect but I am told I am nice. Hopefully we get a time to hang out in chat or in person. Thanks for reading!
-Dan ‘SgtMuffin’ Christensen