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I am a computer enthusiast, network security paranoid and occasional music composer. I also like creating 3D graphics, writing articles, building robots, giving speeches and all sorts of other things that have one thing in common: computers.

I was born in Poland and I had spent most of my life there. In 2005 I moved to Canada, and I'm currently located in Toronto. I work as quality assurance analyst, which basically means that my job is to find and expose other people's mistakes (for which they surely love me wholeheartedly) - it doesn't get any better than this. Before that, I used to work as network security specialist, and also tried my teaching skills as a lecturer (Cisco Certified Network Associate course anybody?). For more information regarding my professional side, please visit my LinkedIn profile.
My adventure with computers started when my uncle arranged a visit at a friend's house to show me their new "toy" - an Amstrad CPC464.  They showed us "Hangman" game and an application that let you draw lines on the screen using arrows on the keyboard. I was five or six years old at that time and it completely blew my mind. I realized that I need a computer and there was no coming back from that. I started convincing my parents into buying a computer so hard that they finally gave up and bough me my first machine: Atari 65XE.
With 1.8 MHz CPU, 64 kB of memory and 320x192 screen resolution it was everything I could have ever dreamed about, and then some. Connected to an old, small, black&white TV, it was the ultimate toy offering endless possibilities to play with. This completely changed my interests and defined all my major life decisions for the years to come. I had spent around five years trying to learn every possible thing about this small gray box. When I finally had to sell it to make room for my new Amiga 500 computer, I felt ugly. I would have never expected that one can develop this kind of emotional bound with a thing. Very bizarre, confusing, and -- in retrospect -- unique and nostalgic experience.
Amiga was a much more serious piece of equipment. It was really cutting-edge at that time, and no other computer of that time could even come close to it (and yes, I had been through all those flame wars with Atari ST and PC owners at that time -- please finally admit it now guys: Amiga was better :) ).This computer opened for me the doors to more multi-media experience and I started experimenting with graphic and music on it. Being part of the worldwide Amiga demoscene was the most awesome experience of them all. It's beyond description, and it is something that I miss the most in nowadays computing. At that time it felt like computer had a soul. Trying to program a better effect, compose more interesting music, or create more sophisticated graphic became my number one challenge for many years. And the countless new friendships I made with extremely smart and brilliant people in the process were a feast to my never ending desire to squeeze every bit of power out of my Amiga. Somewhere along the way I upgraded my Amiga 500 to a 1200 model (and inadvertently moved on to flame wars with Atari Falcon fans), which gave me even more possibilities to exercise my hobby.
With time, I started to demand more and more computing power from my machine. Mostly for 3D graphics rendering. Because of all those Commodore's financial problems, the future of Amiga computer started to look bleak, and the only way to go for more power was the PC world. Moreover, that thing called "Internet" started taking my attention, and it turned out that it is much easier accessible from a PC than from Amiga. So the decision had to be made: switch from Amiga to PC. From the time perspective, my Amiga 1200 was the last personal computer I have had. After crossing the gates of PC world, I left behind all that coolness of computing behind me. PC never caught my heart in any way. It has always been just a commodity, ready to have its internals tore apart and upgraded in any way possible. Very convenient, but unable to inspire your imagination as something unique. Since then, I have had so many different PCs that I can't even remember them. These days, discarding my old PC has an emotional impact similar to that of throwing old pair of pants.
PC gave me easy access to the Internet. Back then, in 1996, I was one of the first few private people to have Internet access in my city. Picture this: a 150,000 people city was connected to the Internet via 28 kb link!. I couldn't even use the full potential of my 33600 modem. I remember waiting roughly three minutes for my first website to fully open (and paying per-minute for it).  From there, it was just a matter of time to get interested in Linux and all the network equipments. Network security became my full-time passion and it has been like this ever since. Today I have seven PCs, and even though each of them has probably more computing power than all of Atari 65XE's ever sold combined, I still like to occassionally launch an Atari or Amiga emulator and immerse into some of my favourite games and demos of that time. It brings back memories of times when computers were personal and computing was pure fun.
Tomasz 'CADENCE' Grabowski