BitFracture.com

Personal and technical blog and information site

http://bitfracture.com/?page=articles/biography

About Me

Discussing my interests with those who share them is something I love to do. That's what this website is about. I want people who share my interests to stumble upon all of this. To start off, I want to highlight my early life and the morphing of interests that took place during that time. I am going to break each stages of my life into different versions.

Version 1

My 12V Car Radio
I was born in 1995, the debut year of my first and all-time favorite operating system, Microsoft Windows 95. Yep, that was also right smack in the middle of the production of the world's ugliest cars and fashion trends. But most importantly, it made my childhood right in the middle of the 3D revolution in video game design. My generation was glued to video games from an early age. There was not an hour in elementary school without a video game discussion. Strangely enough, the young me had absolutely nothing to do with video games. I was a Lego-building, tree-climbing, and hammer 'n' nail kind of kid. I was always tinkering with old electronics, building tree forts, and enjoying the outdoors. I was also a hyperactive pain in the neck for any authoritative figures. I am going to label this version of me version 1. I didn’t do what I was told, didn’t do most of my work in school, and my attention was centered on creative art and building.

Version 2

My First Laptop
In the fifth grade I discovered an old 75MHz Toshiba laptop in the closet under the staircase. I learned to use MSPaint and floppy diskettes with that old machine. I ended up destroying the hard disk because I thought that a large magnet from a microwave magnetron tube would be an adequate way to format it for an upgrade. A couple of years later my Aunt and her daughter gave me an outdated HP Pavilion. It was quite an upgrade going from a 75Mhz laptop to a 400MHz desktop system. I also got a CRT monitor that weighed almost as much as me. It didn't fit on my desk. This computer was a turning point in my life. For me, it was like a young guy driving an old clunker. Every time the piece of junk broke down on me it was incredibly frustrating. But, considering it was all that I had, I learned to fix the problems. Around this time I also developed an interest in plants and gardening. This was influenced greatly by my grandfather and his interests. That was Erik version 2: the computer kid with the random interest in plants.

Version 3

Unreal Tournament GOTY
© Epic Games 1999
I received my grandma's Dell computer with Windows XP when she upgraded to the dreaded Windows Vista. I was soon connected to the internet for the first time. As I explained before, I was almost entirely disconnected from video games for most of my childhood. The internet opened up everything for me. I had access to software of my choice, video content and games. A few times in the past I attempted playing a game called Unreal Tournament on my old HP, but I couldn't figure out how to play it. On my Dell I finally had 32-bit graphics at a resolution greater than 800 by 600 pixels, and I connected to online gameplay with Unreal Tournament for the first time. The game was an inspiration for me. I learned how to use the level editor to make a game map of my house. Also through the internet I found a tool called Resource Hacker, which I used to rip apart and modify programs on my computer. That tool was my introduction to programming. I made my first application by modifying the frame to an Adobe installer. Following the inspiration from my all-time favorite teacher in the sixth grade, I challenged myself by taking advanced math classes, and began earning good grades for the first time. This is Erik version 3. Not just the computer kid, but the weird computer nerd. I must put extra emphasis on "weird."

Version 4

Springer Product Video 2010
Half way through middle school I was given the option to buy my first new computer. I purchased an HP Pavilion G60T-500 laptop with Windows Seven. The computer was far better than anything I had ever owned. That same year I was introduced to Game Maker by Mark Overmars and YoYo Games. I discovered that while I was no longer very artful or creative, I was very good at working with logic and algorithms. In eighth grade computer class I produced a game called Springer. It was clunky and bloated with experimental code, but it so greatly exceeded the standards of the department that an additional end-of-year student award was created for me. During this time I began applying the knowledge I had acquired about computers to help others. I quickly became known as the "one to call" for tech support. That brings me to Erik version 4: The game-making tech-support kid.

Version 5

Schyler Kringle (left) and me
It was during my freshman year in high school that I developed an interest in HTML and web design. I made my first website under the title Globa Programming. It was an aesthetically awful website, and even the final version that I had up until my junior year was looking pretty sad. The summer after my freshman year I took a class at DigiPen Institute. I had always been constantly hindered by the problem of never having good game design ideas. When I sat next to Schyler Kringle in class, I began to realize that I had been trying to do on my own what I needed to do through teamwork. We became good friends, and together we formulated the design of our game, Green Eye. I was inspired by Schyler's plans for a sewer-based game, and was happy to apply my programming skills to help make it happen. Over the next couple of years I did work for a few casual, non-commercial software teams, all of which ended up falling apart. One major accomplishment was building a Game Maker-based dynamic level editor. I still consider it one of my greatest works, and it still sits in my development folder, never having been put to use. I'm not sure what to call this version of myself.

Version 6

Seattle Living Computer Museum
Partway through my junior year in high school I made a shift to focusing on web design. I remade my website under the new name of Bit Fracture. Prior to this I had been running a website and forums for the Sonic the Hedgehog HD team, and the website and forums for my own development team, Crystal Arc Studios. A year later I was given the chance to improve my skills by designing a website for my mom's new business, Tax Partners Northwest. I was then referred to PsychMed International where I designed my very first dynamic content website based on MySQL. Around this time I also unearthed a passion for classic computers when I discovered my dad's Atari 800 XL and TI99 computers. My life also became much more closely wrapped around music, digital art, and photography. This version of me is still unfolding, so I suppose we'll just have to wait.
Written By: Erik Greif
Published: 07/05/2014 00:15PST
Modified: 04/24/2016 00:15PST
Article Title: About Me
Article URL: http://bitfracture.com/?page=articles/biography
Website Title: Bit Fracture Online
Website URL: http://www.bitfracture.com
Media Type: Blog Post/Personal Article
View full citation