About your host
Not sure what to put here. :-) But I thought I should have a page about me, for the interested, so here it is.
My name is Mihai Bazon and I was born in Vaslui, Romania, on March 8 1979.
I'm married and I have one child. Another one is on the way. I'll put up some dedicated pages about family—later. Perhaps I get to convince my beautiful wife to write them. :D
After high school, I haven't done too much in this regard. I went to college, at the Faculty of Computer Science in Iaşi, România. After first year I decided to get employed—started to earn some nice money, at the time, but this drastically slowed down my studies, until they eventually stalled completely. I'm still—technically—in the college, but don't spend too much time with it.
I never understood why some people think studies are everything. Especially my family. This might be true only if you want to teach others—otherwise, in any kind of job I can imagine, what you need is dedication and a sense of happiness with it. Studies can't replace that.
I learned a great deal of technologies by myself—that's how it has to be in this programming business. You don't learn how to program in classes. You learn it by practicing it, and that's what I did in the last 15 years.
Also—perhaps coincidentally—all the best hackers I know are self-taught and most of them didn't finish studies.
Technologies I use frequently
- Common Lisp (usually on SBCL)
- Perl / Apache / mod_perl (less and less lately)
Around '97 I first installed GNU/Linux on a rather weak machine (I owned a 80486 / 100MHz / 16MB RAM). That changed my life for good as I permanently moved from the Windows camp to the other side.
The “GNU” part of the name is very important and the official website arguments this, but I'm going to explain it very simply from my own point of view: I use the software, not just the kernel. Linux is indeed the engine that keeps it running, and it's one of the most important software projects in history, but facing it, the whole is a lot bigger than the sum of its parts. And one important part is the GNU project, which started even before Linux.
I use daily and probably couldn't live without the following software (and this list is highly incomplete):
- Gmrun (yep, that's mine :p)
- Mozilla Firefox (Gecko that is)
- XFree86 (or Xorg, or whatever it's called nowadays)
I wish I could say a big “thank you!” to each developer involved!
Also, among things I don't need anymore are antiviruses and disk defragmenters. That's a big win.
Really old school
I started programming with BASIC on HC-85 (it was a clone of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum) when I was around 10. Later on I moved to Beta BASIC and then to Z80 assembly (on those machines you couldn't do many useful things without coding in assembly language). I learned a great deal of nice stuff (that's how it seemed at least), preparing myself for the next move: Pascal and 80x86 assembly. :-)
Even though those exact technologies aren't too useful today, I'm glad I walked through them, because I understood a lot of techniques that are still in use today.
I then moved to C/C++, in which area I stood for about 7 years. I was quite proficient and my skills in this language got me my first job—pretty well paid too, by Romanian standards at that time.
I had somewhat basic contacts with Java back in 96 (just by curiosity). I have to say I hated it for lacking some features that C++ would have, such as templates or macros, or the ability to overload operators.