How it all began
My fascination for computers began in 1984 when my father bought his first PC - a Schneider Joyce. At first I only played the game Batman, but soon I discovered the word processing and database programs from my father.
Ten years later - when I was 14 years old - the first multiplayer games were released. My friends and I played them together, so we had to master networking from the DOS command line with no automatic installation wizards. At the same time the World Wide Web (WWW which is not the same as the internet) was invented. My chinese friend Han-Bao and I visited the University Library almost every day to surf the internet and play simple command line multiplayer games like MUDs (Multi User Dungeons) or Backgammon.
In 1996 me and my family moved to Bogotá Colombia. I went to an international high school there for one year. What I liked most in Bogotá were the Ciclovia (a day when all cars are banned from certain streets), my half russian friend Danuta, with whom I spend a lot of time and cycled at the Ciclovia, and our 10 Megabit flatrate internet connection.
Back in Heidelberg (Germany) I finished my high school degree (the german Abitur) and began studying Bioinformatics in Tübingen. I also became interested in computational linguistics during my time at the university. Because I was unsure whether I wanted to finish my studies in Bioinformatics I inserted an apprenticeship as an "IT - System Merchant" (IT-Systemkaufmann). At the time of this writing (May 2005) I'm finishing my second year out of three. Because of my previous knowledge in Informatics I skipped the first year. So there is one more year for me to decide what to do after my apprenticeship.
Julian Zeiler >