One of my hobbies has always been gaming. From the time as a teenager, playing donkey kong, pac man. With the paper route I had as a teen, a lot of quarters went into those video game machines. As a matter of fact, I got interested in computers as a result of all those games. Even as a teen I entered the science fair, with a computer graphics program I created, to help me draw all the planets, sin and cosigns and all.

When I was in grade 10, I really was interested in science. This one teacher was my geography teacher, he had a number of slides that showed me all the planets in our solar system, lent me those slides so I could draw each planet from these slides. I found drawing those planets in these slides far to tedious, so I created a computer program to draw most things I required to duplicate each of those slides. Circles, squares, rectangles, triangles is all I saw at that time, so the computer program I made helped me draw all of this. The first planet I drew with this program I created was Jupiter.

So, I created this computer program, written in Microsoft Basic, for the Apple 2 computer, It got so big at the time, for computers back then, that even what was drawn on the computer monitor at that time, was parts of my program running. There was no memory boundary checking at that time, so as my screen flickered with dots on the screen, I thought was a bug in my program. But it wasn’t, it was just that my program was getting far too big, and “bumped into” the video screens memory.

I remember at the time, I asked my grade 10 computer teacher for help with this. I also remember his response. He told me at the time to watch how big my program was getting, and that I needed university. He didn’t help me work out why I was getting random dots on the screen, I had to work this out on my own. I did over time, and in the meantime, used that program to redraw every slide I was given from the geography teacher, so I could enter the science fair, with a program that displayed each planet I drew, and a write up about the planets conditions.

Long story short, I spent more time on this computer drawing tool I created, than I did on drawing a picture of each of those slides. I did managed to draw each planet by hand with the drawing tool I created, and a page or two of a writeup for that planets conditions.

I didn’t win that science fair at at that time, but seemed to get a few interested in how I did all this. I even had one come up to me wanting to market what I had done to all the schools in the province I lived in.

Well, long story short, over a few more days, the discs I had all this stored were stolen. That was the end of that. But that was quiet the start of my computer career. I do hate to even share this story, all that work, amounted to nothing more than me keeping my interest in computers. The day I worked out all that work was gone with my discs being stolen didn’t stop me at all. I did go to university, all paid for on my own dime, with the jobs I found at the time, and kept going.

Now I work with Unreal Engine, a hobby of mine, and researching still to this day on photo realistic gaming, like this. You see, I didn’t lose my work that day when those discs were stolen, what I did gain was to keep learning. And I did.

I am the real MATTIE.