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St. Alphonso's Pancake Breakfast

Welcome to this, the tenth annual St. Alphonso's Pancake Breakfast, where you, too, can steal the margarine. This personal web site has been evolving since 1993, ever since Joe Provo introduced me to the World Wide Web when I was a freshman at WPI. Early interest in the Web spurred interest in networking, unix (specifically Linux, lately FreeBSD), etc. This led me to starting my own leg of GweepNet with the help of Jer Johnson and a few other gweeps. GweepNet has evolved into a fairly large, but not uncomfortably big, online community. Yeah, that term is overused these days, but in this case it's really true. Many gweeps spend time together both online and offline. For me, this isn't too surprising. I've had online friends who often became offline friends since I got my first modem in 1985. I ran several BBS's from 1986 until 1989 or so and was very active in the Worcester area BBS scene. In fact, this probably explains the sick desire to run a limited public access unix machine in this day and age. Some things you just don't grow out of.

however... My true passion is hardware hacking. This has been true for quite some time, dating back to science fair projects that I did in high school and earlier. My friend Mike and I in a lot of ways drove each other to hone our software and engineering skills by competing in science fairs, writing BBS programs together, etc. These days, many of my projects focus around audio. I've worked on sequencers, MIDI development boards, etc. One of my more current projects is designing and manufacturing a car MP3 player from scratch. The audio interest isn't without reason - I play bass and guitar sloppily and mess around with electronic instruments. I've been in a few bands over the years, samples of which you can hear on my mp3 page. My audio interest also extends to the theatre, where I co-developed an audio control system called SMSurround for theatre shows with Mike back in 1995. I also wrote a handbook for technical theatre while I was in school. Groups like Alpha Psi Omega and Lens and Lights fueled my technical theatre and concert lighting and sound interests during my college years. This interest led to the development of the successor of SMSurround, DACS. Unfortunately, since I graduated in the summer of 1997 I haven't been too involved with any of the groups at WPI, but I have been keeping busy with many engineering projects and my music studio.

i am a full-time geek, but... I've recently re-discovered bicycling, which is good because my once ridiculously high metabolism has begun to slow. I'm an avid mountain biker about 9 months out of the year. I try to ride 4 times per week when my schedule permits it. I used to ride a 2001 Gary Fisher Sugar 3 Disc with a few modifications until this year. These days I'm on a hand-built 2004 Rocky Mountain ETSX-50, which I love dearly. I also enjoy rock climbing, hiking, and ultimate frisbee. I occasionally play paintball, which is both utterly barbaric and a completely fascinating trip into one's psyche.

so that's what I do in my free time... I spend quite a bit of the rest of my time at work. I'm an embedded systems engineer for my day job at a small engineering contract company. I design hardware and write a lot of firmware for industrial and consumer products with embedded microprocessors. You may be wondering what an embedded system is. Don't worry, you're not alone. An embedded system is pretty much anything that has a microprocessor (aka. CPU, computer) in it when the purpose of that thing is not inherently to be a computer. Some examples of common embedded systems: digital telephone answering machines, intelligent thermostats, automobiles, electronic games, effects processors, a lot of industrial and medical equipment, VCRs, DVD players, TVs, CD players, GPS devices, digital cameras, etc., etc., etc. Getting the idea? Embedded systems are practically everywhere these days. I find my job quite rewarding because it allows me to use my background in electronics and software in interesting and ever-changing applications. I'll take embedded systems over straight PC applications programming any day of the week!

and that's about it... Gweep on.

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