ECS

          I am a (formerly) Java/Android developer, and now an amateur web developer too :D, and this is my personal website, version 2.0.
First launched back in April 2012, during the height of my freelancer career, it started as an online portfolio to showcase some apps I had published in the Play Store.
The apps are still there (some of them), but, let's say development pace has slowed down significantly. Having almost no web development skills, I was and am pretty proud of it, and I left it online, frozen in time for eternity. You can find it here.
          Currently, I am working as "the IT guy" for a small pharma distributor, and searching for and exploring new hobbies to keep me away from computer screens and give my eyes some rest, I'm not getting any younger :D. Regarding hobbies, video games don't count :D, I switched from PC gaming to console gaming over two years ago, so less wear and tear now that I'm playing on the TV.
          Although it does involve using a computer, this very site is one of the new hobbies. I was tasked at work with the creation of a small website for one of the companies in our group. While doing that, I discovered that website building software (that is, no web development skills required) came a long way since the last time I tried them, almost a decade ago. So, I decided to give my own website a fresh new look, so here it is, ECS 2.0.
Being much easier to add pages and content, I thought it could be more than just my Play Store portfolio, it's not like I'm a AAA main stream app publisher :D. It could also be a showcase for those hobbies I was talking about, a place where I can easily admire and review the end result of my "work". And if someone else gets a kick out of it, that's fine, if no one ever comes to visit, also fine :).
          Speaking about being easy to add content, the new website needed a new home page, something more "grown-up" than the old site, who's home page was a little childish. To be honest, not sure if this one will not also be as childish as the old one :D.
So my big idea is to make the home page like a journal, showing a timeline of my work projects/activities and also my hobbies. That's what you get from someone who likes to keep to himself, this will not be a personal blog where I talk about my feelings and stuff :D.
The problem is, that I have very little personal/free time on a daily bases, except vacations maybe, and even then, the site will have to compete for my time with the other proper hobbies. This means that after transferring all the content from the old site, the new home page will be published, for now, more like a skeleton, with place holders for all but the first three "news" items, which by the way, are at the bottom, that's how a timeline works, newest to oldest, so the proper way to consume the home page, after reading this intro (if you got this far :D), is from the bottom up. In time, one by one, I will update the list, and also, add new sections, one for each hobby.
That's the plan at least, and in the words of Forrest Gump, "That's pretty much all I have to say about that", or something along those lines.

June 5th, 2021
ECS

Back to Working 9 to 5

Trying to enjoy the little moments in life


June 2021


ECS Site 2.0

This section is still locked, by that I mean I did not found the time to write it.
Until I do, enjoy a movie quote, I had to put something to fill the space, what is known as a "place holder" in web development talk.

"I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse."

Vito Corleone, The Godfather


April 2021


Yet an other new hobby

This section is still locked, by that I mean I did not found the time to write it.
Until I do, enjoy a movie quote, I had to put something to fill the space, what is known as a "place holder" in web development talk.

"Here's looking at you, kid."

Rick Blaine, Casablanca 


September 2020


An old hobby

This section is still locked, by that I mean I did not found the time to write it.
Until I do, enjoy a movie quote, I had to put something to fill the space, what is known as a "place holder" in web development talk.

"Get your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape."

  George Taylor,  Planet of the Apes


Summer 2019


A new hobby

This section is still locked, by that I mean I did not found the time to write it.
Until I do, enjoy a movie quote, I had to put something to fill the space, what is known as a "place holder" in web development talk.

"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti."

Hannibal Lecter,  The Silence of the Lambs


April 2019


Trying Something New

This section is still locked, by that I mean I did not found the time to write it.
Until I do, enjoy a movie quote, I had to put something to fill the space, what is known as a "place holder" in web development talk.

"The stuff that dreams are made of."

Sam Spade, The Maltese Falcon


February 2019


Laptop #2, Ubuntu, Giving up the desktop

This section is still locked, by that I mean I did not found the time to write it.
Until I do, enjoy a movie quote, I had to put something to fill the space, what is known as a "place holder" in web development talk.

"We came. We saw. We kicked its ass."

Dr. Peter Venkman, Ghostbusters


September 2018


IT support

This section is still locked, by that I mean I did not found the time to write it.
Until I do, enjoy a movie quote, I had to put something to fill the space, what is known as a "place holder" in web development talk.

"What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That's a pretty good idea. I'll give you the moon, Mary."

George Bailey, It's a Wonderful Life

My Freelancing Years

My Happy Years


November 2017


PS4

This section is still locked, by that I mean I did not found the time to write it.
Until I do, enjoy a movie quote, I had to put something to fill the space, what is known as a "place holder" in web development talk.

"I'm gonna have to science the shit out of this."

Mark Watney, The Martian


March 2017


Play Store

This section is still locked, by that I mean I did not found the time to write it.
Until I do, enjoy a movie quote, I had to put something to fill the space, what is known as a "place holder" in web development talk.

"Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine."

Rick Blaine, Casablanca


December 2015


Freelancer upWork

This section is still locked, by that I mean I did not found the time to write it.
Until I do, enjoy a movie quote, I had to put something to fill the space, what is known as a "place holder" in web development talk.

"The first rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club."

Tyler Durden, Fight Club


November 2012


Freelancer Elance

This section is still locked, by that I mean I did not found the time to write it.
Until I do, enjoy a movie quote, I had to put something to fill the space, what is known as a "place holder" in web development talk.

"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride


April 2012


ECS Website

This section is still locked, by that I mean I did not found the time to write it.
Until I do, enjoy a movie quote, I had to put something to fill the space, what is known as a "place holder" in web development talk.

"You don't understand! I could've had class. I could've been a contender. I could've been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am."

Terry Malloy, On the Waterfront


Sometimes 2011


SlideME

This section is still locked, by that I mean I did not found the time to write it.
Until I do, enjoy a movie quote, I had to put something to fill the space, what is known as a "place holder" in web development talk.

"The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist."

Verbal Kint, The Usual Suspects


March 2010


Freelancer RAC-vWorker

This section is still locked, by that I mean I did not found the time to write it.
Until I do, enjoy a movie quote, I had to put something to fill the space, what is known as a "place holder" in web development talk.

"If you let my daughter go now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you."

Bryan Mills, Taken


February 2010


Android

This section is still locked, by that I mean I did not found the time to write it.
Until I do, enjoy a movie quote, I had to put something to fill the space, what is known as a "place holder" in web development talk.

"Pretend. You pretend the feelings are there, for the world, for the people around you. Who knows? Maybe one day they will be. I'm real proud of you for coming, bro. I know you hate funerals. I've lived in darkness a long time. Over the years my eyes adjusted until the dark became my world and I could see."

Dexter Morgan, Dexter

Working For The Man

The Hell of Outsourcing


February 2008


Laptop #1

This section is still locked, by that I mean I did not found the time to write it.
Until I do, enjoy some Chuck Norris facts, I had to put something to fill the space, what is known as a "place holder" in web development talk.

Chuck Norris doesn't churn butter. He roundhouse kicks the cows and the butter comes straight out.
When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night, he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.
CNN was originally created as the "Chuck Norris Network" to update Americans with on-the-spot ass kicking in real-time.
Chuck Norris is the only man to ever defeat a brick wall in a game of tennis.
Chuck Norris invented Kentucky Fried Chicken's famous secret recipe, with eleven herbs and spices. But nobody ever mentions the twelfth ingredient: Fear.
Chuck Norris has two speeds. Walk, and Kill.
Chuck Norris doesn't read books. He stares them down until he gets the information he wants.
Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits.
Police label anyone attacking Chuck Norris as a Code 45-11... a suicide.
Chuck Norris can write a letter by using sign language.
Chuck Norris is currently suing NBC, claiming Law and Order are trademarked names for his left and right legs. 


May 2007


Core 2 Duo

This section is still locked, by that I mean I did not found the time to write it.
Until I do, enjoy a movie quote, I had to put something to fill the space, what is known as a "place holder" in web development talk.

"The night is dark and full of terrors. The winds of Winter. What is dead may never die. And now his watch is ended. The battle of the redgrass field. Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken. All men must die."

From Game of Thrones


October 2006


Java Coder

This section is still locked, by that I mean I did not found the time to write it.
Until I do, enjoy a movie quote, I had to put something to fill the space, what is known as a "place holder" in web development talk.

"Normally,
Both your asses would be dead as fucking fried chicken, but you happen to pull this shit while I'm in a transitional period so I don't wanna kill you, I wanna help you. But I can't give you this case, it don't belong to me. Besides, I've already been through too much shit this morning over this case to hand it over to your dumb ass."


Jules Winnfield, Pulp Fiction

Early Years

Computers, video games and coding


October 2004


Java

I was exposed to the Java programming language in my second year of Computer Science college, after already graduating from Naval Architecture college with an engineering degree in Naval Construction, don't ask why I did not go to computer college in the first place, long and boring story there, and to this day, I could not design a boat the floats if my life depended on it.

So Java, until then I only heard about it, and it almost had a mythical status for me, it was the new cool thing in the programming world, in the Romanian education system at least.
I knew about and played with C, at some level or another, from my last year in middle school, but Java was totally new to me, I hadn't seen a single line of code written in Java until then. We still did not have an internet connection back home, so all my knew knowledge came in the computer lab where time was not really available to learn stuff on your own.
The thing that hooked me on Java was its capability to create a fully working/usable standalone software (the word app was not invented yet), including the graphic user interface, without the need to know other languages, frameworks.
For me, that fact of writing code, and running the program to then see menus and icons and fields and buttons to click on, that felt almost like a superpower. Until Java I was not able to do that, not with a single set of coding tools.
From then on, when it came to programming languages, it was Java, and the rest for me. Also, the fact that Java was a lot more easier the work with than C++, that sealed the deal, I went from being a coder, to being a Java coder. After finishing college I never touched an other programming language, with some minor exceptions, but when it came to actual end products, an usable software, I did everything in Java from then on.
By the time I graduated from Computer Science, my home computer was filled with Java programs designed and built by me to actually use and make my life easier, not just for the exercise of coding.
Most of them are still maintained in use on my current Ubuntu machine, because Java works everywhere :).


January 2000


Getting serious

My second computer came in high school.
It sported an AMD K6-2 CPU running at the humongous speed of 400 MHz, with 32 MB of RAM, a video card from an obscure manufacturer, a 6.4 GB HDD (6.0 GB after formatting), a CD-ROM optical unit, and it even had a Floppy Disk Drive.
Lastly, compared to my already obsolete HC 91, it had a proper operating system, Windows 98 Second Edition.

Yeap, those were the days, CPU frequencies were measured in MHz, RAM sizes in GB and HDD sizes in TB were both unheard of.
Still, I was the king of the neighborhood because all my geeky friends had the severely less powerful Pentium 2 running at just 233 MHz while my 400 MHz AMD was actually equivalent to an Intel running at 450 MHz.
Now the games started instantly, no more loading from audio tapes :), does anyone else remember FIFA '99, the best FIFA game until 2007 ?
And when I was tired of gaming, coding made up the rest of my computer time, at this stage mainly C and a little C++.
Over the years, although funds were limited, I did made some upgrades to my machine, the RAM was upgraded to 128 MB, I replaced the 6 GB hard drive with a 40 GB one, and I added a CD-RW unit so I can burn CDs at home.
The biggest change was getting a proper video card, a GeForce 2 MX 400, and that made available to me a whole new set of AAA games like Half-Life, Max Payne and Mafia, to name a few.
On the OS front, Win 98 SE made room for Windows XP.


February 1994


The beginning

I can say I witnessed the birth of the home computer age, in my country at least.
I was in my second year in middle school when I got my first personal computer.

It was the HC 91 manufactured locally by ICE Felix, an electronics company from Bucharest. It was just a clone of the popular Sinclair ZX Spectrum, built around the Z80 the CPU that brought computing inside the homes of masses.
You had to connect it to your TV set, and ours was still a black and white model by the way. Two years later, I was hooking it up for the first time to our new color TV, what a glorious day it was :).
I will never forget the weird sounds you had to endure for about 5 minutes (or more) while the audio cassette based video game was loading via a modified double cassette player. All the neighbors knew when I was playing video games :D.
And there was some coding too, in BASIC, just for school, no actual software development. I was a slow learner in the beginning, my brain was not yet wired for coding, so a class mate had to help me with most of my computing homework.
By the end of middle school I finally got the hang of it and could code on my own. Although in later years I would go on studying PASCAL, C/C++, Java, etc, I still consider those BASIC days as the beginning, the point where my path in life was set.
I became a coder, and a gamer :)

P.S: So I was doing some research for this first entry of this 2.0 version of my site, and guess what, the HC 91 along with all the others from the HC series are collectibles now.
I could have gotten anywhere between half and the full price of a newly released PlayStation 5 for my still working HC 91.
I took mine to recycling some years ago (insert face palm here).

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