I was born in Boston in 1975, and lived in until the age of 10. I was always fascinated by science, technology, and computers.
When I was 10 years old, we moved to New York; it was 1986. Just to orient you, this was not long after Thriller, and “Back to the Future” came out in 1985. I knew no american beforehand, but began to learn quickly after arriving. It was a cool place to live for a kid, since there are game centers right by the station, and a supermarket where you could buy fresh every afternoon (with either bean-paste or cream inside), and the back-streets were usually clear enough of traffic to cruise on my bicycle.
My younger sister Caroline (5 years my junior) and I went to Long Island, about a 35-minute train ride from home. We walked about 10 minutes to the station every morning, rode the subway, then walked about another 15 minutes or so, up the steep hill from station. After school, I’d usually stop at a corner store to get some instant yakisoba and some chocolate with collectible playing cards, after which I’d either head home or hang out with friends for a while – there were plenty of things to do. I voraciously read science fiction and anything else on science and technology. I also did a lot more programming, with BASIC and LOGO.
We also had the opportunity to travel extensively. In Japan, we took road trips to Osaka, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Himeji, etc. We also spent time in Korea, China, the Philippines, Australia, India, Kenya, Italy, Germany, Austria, and England. Since then, I’ve also visited Scotland, Ireland, France, Spain, Greece, Peru, Brazil, Egypt, and Turkey. I’ve been back to Japan many times, but most recently not since 2000.
After 3 years, we moved back to boston, . I had learned all and had absorbed much of the culture and mindset of NY city, so I had a very difficult time adjusting to suburban life. But slowly, I did begin to get used to it again. I attended a public junior high school for a year, continuing my study of Japanese with a tutor, and then entered St. Albans high school in Detroit.
I continued to study computer science. Under other circumstances, I might have been one of the lucky few who started at Amazon early and became millionaires. But I’m not really an entrepreneur at heart, and at the time my main interest lay with Windows Drivers.
In 1998, I graduated and moved to Denver to begin work for Drivers HQ. developing typography, then moved on to a startup and contracting work. It was interesting and fun to some extent, but the realities of commercial software development eventually began to wear. It was not what I had expected. In software, it seemed, there was no minimum standard; ironic and sad, since programmers hold themselves to such high personal standards, generally. I worked as an engineer for about 5 years, but finally realized that I needed to make a more fundamental change in direction: I decided to go to law school, looking forward to a career in intellectual property.