"When I get sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead. True story." -Barney Stinson

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About Me

David Safar

I am David Safar, and this is my personal and professional web site. For the time being, posts relating to my personal life are located on my LiveJournal, so you can definitely find out more about me there.

I’m presently 29 years old and I live in Sunnyvale, California. I’m self-employed as a freelance programmer, web designer, and writer. Feel free to contact me at david (at) davidsafar (dot) com with any questions or comments you may have.

Here are some of my interests apart from blogging:

Computers and Technology

I’ve been a technology fan since I was a teenager, when I received an old (even at the time) microchannel 286 running DOS 5 and Windows 3.1 from a friend.  I spent a lot of time on that computer, learning how to use it, how to configure it, and of course how to fix it when it broke.  I kept learning as I explored programming, the Internet, and eventually web design.  Since then I’ve never stopped learning new skills, including C/C++, PHP, Perl, Java, (X)HTML, CSS, JavaScript, SQL, WinAPI, DirectX, and much more.  I learn whatever seems interesting, and stick with it until it’s no longer interesting or useful. My current hardware includes two desktop PCs (Fedora Core 10 and Windows XP), a laptop (Windows XP), and a Palm Treo 680 (PalmOS).  I’m considering learning to code mobile apps, so I will probably replace the Treo with something more modern in the near future.

I support open source software, and I have been glad to see this the open source movement gaining traction in the Windows world in recent years.  When I complete my first Windows program for public release, expect to see it on this site in both executable and source form.  🙂

Games

I’ve always loved games, whether card, board, video, computer, tabletop role-playing, or other, just about the only kind of game I don’t enjoy is sports!

I’ve been playing pencil and paper RPGs weekly for over 15 years. I’ve played various incarnations of DnD, DeadLands (both Weird West and Wasted West), and several others.These games are part of the inspiration for my interest in programming computer games, as well as for some of my creative writing.  Perhaps one day I’ll type up some of the fiction I’ve written that was inspired by gaming and add it to the Writings section. Additionally, much of the independent programming I’ve done in the past was oriented toward gaming. I’ve tinkered with writing dice rollers and name generators in Perl, for instance, and often use small projects like that to learn a new programming language.

Television and Movies

I am, of course, a fan of many typical geek shows and movies. Star Trek, Red Dwarf, Monty Python, anything by Joss Whedon, The Princess Bride, and The Last Starfighter are all favorites of mine. I tend not to get too obsessed with them (anymore), but with the advent of Hulu and streaming video on network websites, it’s much easier to keep up with the shows I like these days.

Books

I used to be a voracious reader. When I was young I’d go to the library once a month, pick out 30-40 books, read them all in the four week time limit, then return them and repeat the cycle. I loved to read, and spent countless hours on the couch or in my bed or at the kitchen table reading. I was a reader. It was what I did.

As a teenager, I stopped checking out books, I stopped reading, and I started spending all my time on the computer. There were a lot of reasons for this: the appeal of the Internet, my distaste for the required reading for school, the changes in my personality as I became a teenager, and so on. In any case, I stopped reading books for entertainment on a regular basis and used them primarily for information, if at all. Sad.

In 1999, a friend bribed me to take a copy of Stephen King’s The Stand that he’d had for a while. I took it, and read it, and it was good. That really started me reading again, and these days I run hot and cold — I’ll read voraciously for a few months and then not read at all for some time.

Some of my favorites are Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig, the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu, the inaccurately-named Hitchhiker’s Guide trilogy by Douglas Adams, and the Red Dwarf novels by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor.