I was born in Lipt. Mikulas in 1978, and for about 14 years, nothing important happened. My hobbies rised sometime when I started the high school. (SPSE Lipt. Hradok) When I finished the High School (successfully :), I began to study on Technical University at Kosice, mostly because I liked the computers a lot. After three years - due to some "strange" coincidence - I've managed (but not successfully) to finish this school. Then I started to study Computer Science and Telecommunications at Military Academy in Lipt. Mikulas. When writing this text, I'm sitting in a rent room in East London, thinking about what I am going to do in my life for living...
ComputersI saw first real computer in 1988. At elementary school I signed on "computers" and there was a PMD85. They had taught us to program something in Basic, but honestly - I liked the Arkanoid, and Moon Landing much more than programming. I don't remember the exact year, but it must have been when I was at elementary school, when my parents bought us (me and my brother) Didaktik M (ZX Spectrum clone...) I learned to code in basic (I've even made some *very* simple games) and the assembler a bit. Well - it wasn't an easy thing this Didaktik M assembler... But I don't want to make you think I was learning useful stuff all the days. No. Most of the time I just played computer games of course. I liked Dizzy's adventures the most, and of course - R-Type classic. I'm sure there are more games to mention and I've spent 5 nice years of my life with Didaktik M. My eyes got 1 dipoter worse, and understanding of English 300 % better. In 1991 or 1992 I started to visit another computer course. And I've seen another amazing thing for the first time of my life. PC XT and PC AT286 computer. Man - It was amazing. I'm sure it sounds funny nowadays but anyone who had had only Didaktik M before and then had seen such a thing understands how I felt. Everything was amazing, but most of all - The colours. Even today - 24bit graphics is not as beautiful as those open wheel cars drawn in vivid 16 color, or F117 Fighter bomber (which was actually just a couple of lines and polygons...) When I started to study at Secondary school, I spent every evening at school lab because it was the only chance to get close to these computers. I didn't need much. Black&Orange monochromatic monitor, Norton Commander, Arj and handful of floppies. Then my friend Kylen got himself new 386DX and I started to spend a great deal of time at his place :) The computer was some 50000 Sk (worth 5 times father's month salary :) and it was a hard thing to persuade my parents that I just NEED such a thing. A year later - 1994 or so - I succeeded and I got my first real computer 486DX4 100MHz. Those days it was the most powerful machine available, and I was just the guy with best pc ever... In school, they taught us coding in Pascal rather good, and the ability to create executable files had made Pascal the most powerful programming tool in my life then. Of course, I'd spent a great deal of time playing computer games, and the ones I'll never forget are Doom, Ufo Enemy Unknown, Little Big Adventure, and later - Heroes of Might and Magic. Later when my computer had Gravis Ultrasound soundcard inside, I started composing music. Like everything - my computer got old as the time passed. The next one I had, was an used Cyrix233. Since then I don't care about computer industry that much and I just have some, no matter if it's the best or not. I'm not going for the fastest thing and usually I change my configuration only if something stops working in my current one, and then I change it for the cheapest thing available. Late 1997 I discovered C programming language at Technical University at Kosice. As much as I hated it (I can't believe today how could I have hated it :) I love it today. It was also during my studies at Kosice, when I started with 3D graphics. I used Caligari Truespace, and although I know it's less powerful than 3D studio or something else, I use it even today, when I need to visualize something. It was last year at secondary school (1996) when I discovered Internet. It was very hard to get online those days, but I knew even then, that Internet must be amazing thing. My true internet-era was during studies at Kosice. I spent whole nights at computer lab at school just surfing and wondering how huge that thing is. I created my first page then, however miesto.sk hosting company somehow removed it later... When I finished at Kosice, I finished with internet as well :( It was an expensive thing back in my home city. It was at the end of 2004 when I finally got cheap and fast internet to my home and since then I just love it ;) I am trying to stay in touch with all these new technologies but - it's pretty hard sometimes :( You know - you've got to learn all the time :)
I got 2 semesters of Cisco Networking Academy (unfinished 3rd anyway :), but I don't think that the networks are much fun. If you're not working with these things it's only a theory. At university I finished my diploma project dealing with Artificial Intelligence - Expert systems. Much more interesting thing, I must admit. I created an robot that was able (using my software) to find a way through any square-based labyrinth, and no matter how simple I think it is, judges at local science contest must have liked it as I won 2nd place.
The musicLong ago, at elementary school (1984) my parents signed me up on musical school, but I didn't like accordion that much. Then (1994) when I get to the keyboards and computer, influenced by nineties dancefloor hits, I began creating music on computer. So you might have guessed right, music is my greatest hobby. Later then I realized, that common European dancefloor is really too simple (to really enjoy :), and I started to like Techno from Netherland. My next creations in Fast Tracker 2 were really influenced by this sort of music. Around 1996 a sad thing happened, however. Because of new technologies, Windows 95 and later Win98 came to my computer. Later I had to get rid of my old Gravis Ultrasound, because of its old ISA interface. This reconfiguration had caused, that Fasttracker just stopped to work. And this is how my electronic-music era ended. But I like the music very much, so I was trying to play electric guitar later. I don't know if someone else tried this too, but I played electric guitar unplugged for 2 years (it was my father's as he played, and plays in a band) No amp, no speakers. A lot of friends tried to tell me, that classic guitar would be better, but I just liked it that way. Then - on my 20th birthday in 1998, I finally bought my first guitar. Acoustic SC Hora model, which I still like very much. Those times I was listening to pop rock music and a Czech Folk, and I tried to play just the same things I loved to listen to. Sometimes I used the electric guitar too (with amp and speakers now :), but even nowadays I like the acoustic guitar more. With a couple of friends I tried to form a band, and I really don't know why, we just didn't succeed... Another, last breakpoint in my musical career came in late 2002, when my father (I love him very much, because of that supporting of my music) has bought older, used Ibanez SDGR bass guitar. I'm playing a bass ever since, and I like the bass most of all musical instruments now. I was playing a bass and singing with another couple of friends, but we had to break up after a year. Nowadays I play (very rarely) with MetalHammer, my friend, and I would like to meet some drummer, so we could form another Slovak music star :) I really don't know what it would became of this mixture of music I liked all my life, but today, I like Carlos Santana, Sade, Beastie Boys and a Mexican and Spanish music the most...
MoviesWhen I was 10, there were movies like Rambo, Commando, and all those flicks with Bruce Lee. Who hadn't seen these kind of movies wasn't just in, and that's the way it started with me as well... Later, there were the stars from Police Academy, and action kung-fu movies. But it was an unpleasant situation with movies at Slovakia before 1989, and as it'd showed up it was nothing much even after this year... Most of my time I spent with B-movies they'd played every night at 22.00 on VTV, and no matter that I consider them cheap garbage today (I've even seen two different movies with exactly the same scene :) - I like them. They turned VTV off later, but I was at Kosice then, and there was excellent student TV there (they just played movies they rented from video store) so I had access to lot of good movies from 90s. It was then when I started to love the movies. Movies I didn't understand before ("polish psychological staging" I called them) started to be interesting, and I liked them. Even today I prefer those complicated movies... I don't like blockbusters that much, but every now and then there's a bright exception. Today I'm watching movies mostly on my computer, because - it's the easiest. I haven't been in cinema for quite some time, and considering today prices it's no wonder. I like Sci-Fi, Mystery, Dramas, Action Comedies and Horrors the most. I watch everything, but I like only a few. Movie has to have good screenplay, actors' performance, photography, music... I think I am pickier consumer now :) Not long ago I was even writing those mini reviews of movies I liked at my page, but when I have found imdb.com I stopped. My favourite is From dusk till Dawn. It has perfect atmosphere, there's that Tarantino and Rodriguez touch. The acting is perfect, excellent soundtrack and it's situated at Mexican borders. There are nice quotes, B-movies style and - of course that fast turnaround in the middle of movie :)
SportMy father is a sporty man. Ever since I was a little boy, he taught us to love sport, but I don't think I am a sportsman today :) First sport I've been doing (thanks to my father only) was skiing. I was attending ski trainings, and I didn't enjoy it at all. I don't like skiing that much even today. We went skating every winter, but that wasn't my favourite either. Boys in my age played ice hockey and I just didn't care :) Another sport my father wanted me to like was tennis. Well - tennis it's a nice game and I rather liked it, but later courts weren't for free anymore and as it was a bit expensive I had to quit with tennis. It was later at elementary when I started (my father again...) with body building, but it wasn't the right sport for me because of my weak constitution. Even today I'm rather slim, but sometime I do the exercises... When I was last year at a high school (1996) I started with karate and martial arts. I enjoyed it a lot and my body is pretty flexible so it was fine. On the other hand, I am not strong enough so it wasn't so easy... I managed to gain white-yellow sash (the last one :), and just when I was about to gain higher kyu I had to leave to Kosice because of university and that was when my karate career ended. I did go training with my friends to the gym rarely, but I am not doing it today anymore. I think it's a pity - I quite liked it. At the same time I started with inline skating. I enjoyed that x-treme skating. They'd even built a U-Ramp at our city and so I spent a great deal of time there. But then my wheels worn off and I didn't have money to buy new ones so I had to put my inline skates away. That's sad too because, I enjoyed skating a lot, and I hope I'll be able to do it again some day. We've played basketball and volleyball at high school and - I hated it. But today - I like playing volleyball and basketball very much, no matter I'm not a very good player. Well - I like sport. I just don't like running and football. (But I play even the football for fun, and I'm thinking about starting to run some day... :)
Except these I've got lot of other hobbies of course. I like reading, mostly the technical stuff. I like psychology, chemistry, geography, computer literature, encyclopedias. I don't like the novels very much. It's because of Literature lessons on elementary and high school. Sometimes I read the short stories on internet, or some English stuff because of English (I love Stephen King's books, but any sci-fi or horror stories are good thing to read :) On the other hand I hate as much as possible the Slovak literature, mostly that stories from country or stories from the war. (Elementary school) I like doing photography and video, and then processing it on PC. It was in the beginning of 2005 when I bought my first digital camera, but as I had full schedule, I haven't had much opportunity to use it by today :( But, nevertheless - I love photography. The last thing :) - I enjoy making fun of other people. Yes I know it's nothing to be proud of but - I just like it :)
(c) Lubo "Wray" Ivanko 2004