I’m a 30-something father and software engineer. I’ve spent most of my career working for consumer technology companies, and I specialize in computer vision, image processing, embedded systems, and security.
I’ve had several handles online, and this one used to be my “alt” for times when I didn’t want to be recognized. As a kid, I was a big fan of the Don Adams show, Get Smart. The lead character, Maxwell Smart, used “86” as his code number.
You can follow me on Twitter if that’s your thing. I’m also an active member-slash-moderator at Arqade and occasionally dip my toes into Reddit. In addition to this blog, I also frequently contribute to the Arqade blog.
Although I’ve owned a ton of consoles dating back to the Atari 2600, I guess you could say I entered the world of online gaming in 1998, when I built my first PC (it had a 3d accelerator! eight whole megabytes of vram!) and joined a competitive Q2CTF clan. I stuck with PC games for many years, until I had a particularly bad experience with Mass Effect. I decided to get an Xbox 360, as I was tired of the constant grind of PC upgrades and incompatibilities. I refused to pay for Live Gold for quite a while, until EBongo convinced me to turn to the dark side. We started with ODST and Modern Warfare 2, and since then we’ve sought out pretty much every worthwhile multiplayer game on the platform. I still play a fair amount of PC games.
I tend to be the ‘budget oriented’ member of the team, and I’m always looking for a good deal or willing to wait for a sale. My Steam account is full of tons of games I’ve gotten on the cheap. I’m not terribly picky about what I play, although I’m not big on sports games or fighting games.
I’m also 30-something father and an electrical engineer. If you’re wondering about the handle – it goes like this: back in the days of the BBS, I used to have to regularly create new handles for each BBS I joined. Around the same time Nike was running a “name the shoe” contest. Your goal was to give a name to one of the Nike Presto color schemes. Existing schemes were named Shady Milkman, Brutal Honey, Catfight Shiner, and Migraine Fly (I’m not making this shit up). Since they all seemed outlandish, oxymoronic combinations of two words I submitted “Electric Bongo”. While Nike wasn’t impressed with the name, I was impressed myself, and took it on as a handle, or shortened versions thereof.
I tend to be the optimist in the group, but I certainly don’t pull punches when a game disappoints – and I definitely enjoy a good rant. I admire the wit of xkcd, and Tycho of Penny Arcade is literally my hero.
Growing up with a brother very close in age who shared my interest in games, I’ve hit the highlights of just about every console, and many big hits on the PC. As networked gaming emerged I started to play deathmatches of Doom/Hexen/Duke Nukem over dial up, as well as infrequent LAN parties of Warcraft 2/Starcraft/Decent/Total Annihilation. Then came the day when I first saw own of my good buddies “ore dragging” in Ultima Online. I could never afford it at that age, but it definitely stuck with me. I played a great deal of couch multiplayer on games like Mario Kart, StarFox, and Goldeneye, as well as less known gems like Conker’s Bad Fur Day. As I left college and met employed friends, I got into Halo and started attending “system link” battle royales. XBox Live debuted, and I was an early adopter with Halo 2, Mechwarrior, and Crimson Skies. Then this thing called World of Warcraft happened. My brother showed me the epic expanses, the infinite gear grinding, the auction house. I could resist and for the next several years spent most of my time and money on the game. Ultimately I was able to shake the habit, but I still think about it sometimes. I was shortly thereafter blessed with a daughter, and soon became laser focused on console online co-op. I cajoled agent86 into getting on the XBox Live train, and the rest is history.