What is this place about?

Ask the started out as a simple repository of registry hacks for Windows computers. I was new to programming web applications back in those days, and didn't have the know-how to build a truly useful website.

FPH in 2007
FortyPoundHead back in 2007

There wasn't too much to it, and the design, well, it was horrible. Being a tech geek, all I really wanted in a web site was information, and the site reflect as much. There were no graphics, nothing to break up the monotony of the text. It was a true geek page, and it would put you right to sleep.

As time went by, the content grew. More people started utilizing the site, and they started asking me questions. This was great! Someone actually wanted me to tell them how to solve a problem. So the first tool was born, and was called (in true minimalist geek fashion) "Questions". I wrote the code for it myself, and for my first attempt at interactivity, was... ok. You can see for yourself that the tool is now gone from the site, which means it ended up not doing too good. Not to worry, though. I hope to bring it back in the future, if there is demand for it.

The site has had forums in the past (hope to bring those back, too!), and currently has a fine crop of tools for use by anyone who needs them.

New this year is the introduction of Ophion. Ophion (which was named for the aquatic diety who ruled the world before being cast down by Cronus and Rhea) is, simply put, a time tracking application. With the tool, you'll be able to track what you do every day, how many hours you work per day, or month, or year. Bosses love documentation, and you can use this to show them that you actually do something besides bang on a keyboard all day.

The Beat with a stick list is also a new addition for 2011. This fun little tool allows you to throw on a rant against whatever subject you want. Don't like bad drivers? Vent on BWASL! Can't stand software license agreements? Rage on! Not a very useful application, but it gives you the opportunity to blow off some of that geek fury!

So, yeah. You can find some real, low-down, greasy geek stuff here. And you can find some things for noobs, too. I built this site as a reference resource for people of all technical skill levels, and I hope that is what it has become.

Design, too?

Yep, design too. As I become more versed with CSS and (X)HTML, I perform small experiments here and there, and even some larger ones. Heck, I even build full layouts for folks, from time to time. As a result, you'll find some of the fruits of those labors here on the site, under the templates category. All are free for use. Just drop me a note so I can (like a proud daddy) see where my baby is making the world a better place.

Who is the FortyPoundHead?

My real name is Derek Wirch. Playing (vs working) with computers came easy to me as a child. In the late 1970s, I got exposed to such great machines as the TRS-80 and the Apple ][. Later on, I moved over to my trusty Commodore 64, and even had a Coleco ADAM for awhile. I didn't lay my hands on an IBM PC until 1986 or so. I began taking computer operator courses through my high school, and by my senior year was operating the IBM 370/138 that served the school district.

After high school, I joined the United States Marine Corps. Yep, the Marines. During my time with the Corps, I learned some great things about communications and ISMO that still serve me well to this day.

Wow... what a blast from the past. I'm going to fast forward the next twenty years or so. You don't want to hear about how I met the love of my life, and help bring two great kids into this world anyway, right?

Nowadays I find myself making the 50 mile trek to work at a leading nation-wide labor services company. I'll have been there three years this November as a Senior System Administrator, four if you count my contractor time. However, during my contractor time, I was known as minion. blech.

I work mainly with Windows-based servers, a smattering of Linux boxes, as well as a large VMWare ESX virtual infrastructure. But that ESX stuff is going away, and we are moving towards a HyperV environment. You can read about my VMWare trials in other sections of this site. In short, I get to play with lots of cool toys, and I work with some really talented people.

If you're ever in North Kitsap, stop by. We'll do lunch.

Derek Wirch, September 18, 2011

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