- I first learned about the Internet by dialing ISCABBS through my dad's dual-speed 300/1200
baud modem when I was 10.
- My official major in college was electrical engineering then computer
science, but my favorite classes and professors were in physics. If I hadn't
already loved computing for nine years before finding the physics for majors
classes, I'd be on a different path today.
- When I drove from Iowa City to the Bay Area with a carload of belongings,
I showed up at the doorstep of good friends I met through ISCABBS. I'd never been to Northern
California or met them in person, and I lived with them for the next year.
- I was once nearly thrown in a Tanzanian jail. The Arusha and Serengeti
offices of Tanzanian Immigration and Customs disagree on the legality of my
crossing the border by bicycle from Kenya so far from an official border post.
I probably shouldn't have taken the advice of a Kenyan who'd spent three
days in Egyptian military custody for entering without a visa.[*]
- During that crossing, my friends and I went through a dozen inner tubes and two dozen patches before running out twelve kilometers from our destination and walking. Three days cycling from Karen, Kenya to Loliondo, Tanzania - much of it on a rocky, hilly, windy earthen path that diverged wildly from our map - will do that. We had to bum a 450 km ride to Arusha where we could get replacements. Probably the stupidest thing I've ever done, but the trip was one of the greatest experiences of my life. The people were kind, generous, and amazing in the truest sense of the word.
[*] "What did you see?" "Camels and sand. Camels and sand. What do you see?" But all worked out for him, too - he met his wife in Egypt.