Some stereotypes about software developers do not apply to me. I usually do not drink coffee, do not like mechanical keyboards and am an opponent to the home invasion by smart devices and the internet of things. Ironically I could not care less about computer games which I abandoned a few years ago after they originally sparked my career in the age of 12.
Hungarian and German are my mother tongues. My English was proven safe for international business contracts. I learned French in school for four years and I engaged with Finnish for a little bit. I have a high affinity to languages.
I am an optimistic nihilist. The YouTube channel "Kurzgesagt - In a Nutshell" produced an appealing short film which explains it nicely. Summarized in one sentence: I do not believe in anything and consider human existence totally senseless beyond the purpose every individual is completely free to choose. While my purpose revolves around family I see a lot of other joyful things in life, too.
As a proud patron on Patreon I financially support open-source software projects and creators. I think it is important to understand that nothing in life comes for free. Somebody always pays in some way for what too many people take for granted. It is not just about appreciation but also about contributing to the perhaps most essential resource: time. Many projects would benefit vastly, if only one percent of their users would donate one Euro a month. Maintainers could earn a competitive salary while working on their projects full time. Unfortunately such awareness never really thrived.
Heir of History
Being a genealogist, my grandfather handed on his work of decades: Five books with several thousand pages about the history of our family. From Lorraine in France to the Banat in today's Serbia, across the centuries.
Currently I am working on transferring this treasure of information into a digital format. Not just scanning the books but also registering the contained information in the app MacFamilyTree.
I make music
I regularly stray well beyond my home of extreme metal to experience other forms of audible beauty. Actually I believe that the soundtrack of my heart sounds more like Her Name Is Calla or Ólafur Arnalds rather than Cradle Of Filth and As I Lay Dying.
Playing the bass guitar
I play bass guitar since I was 15 years old. My first bass was a used Samick I took over from a friend. I do remember my first amp but not its brand or model – it was worn out and muffled in its sound. In 2007 I bought a five string Tanglewood Rebel 5K. People knowledgeable about guitar brands are often surprised they produce electric basses, too. Not much later I took over a Yorkville 200B amp from the same friend I got my first bass from. It was quite a bargain for what it had to offer. Brilliant heights and pushing depths. It is still my main amp. Because it is in use for more than 20 years I had to disassemble and solder on a few new potentionmeters in 2017. I was happy to find one replacement part at all: the volume potentiometer is a weird one and I had to order a Peavy branded replacement part from Spain because alternatively only parts from the United States were available for twice the price.
The Tanglewood Rebel served me well and I had a lot of fun with it ever since. Eleven years later I have grown and changed just as my skills developed. With much more clarity about the possibilities and my requirements I bought an ESP LTD B204SM. It feels like a big move forward. Back to four strings but with two humbuckers and active electronics with an amazing tone range offers a completely different sound and playing experience. Maybe I won't play my Tanglewood much anymore but it has been for such a long time already, it is part of the family and will not get abandoned. When I am at home, I usually use headphones or my Hi-Fi speakers for practicing. Always part of the setup is my BOSS GT-1B multi-effects processor which I consider a decent product after trying out different devices of that kind. There are tons of possibilities and one utilizes its full potential only after a long time.
In the past I used to play much over my iMac with signal processors like Native Instruments Guitar Rig, AmpliTube or EZmix. Maybe it is because of my professional background that I do not have reservations as typical for rather conservative musicians. With my recent equipment choices my preference changed: I like to play with my ESP, GT-1B and 200B without the hassle of a computer. In fact, I became tired of the wiring, the maintenance and the interaction for jamming. I return in case of song writing or recording to Guitar Pro and REAPER on the computer, though.
Playing the electric guitar
One year after I started with the bass guitar a few savings manifested in the cheapest electric guitar I could buy on the internet: a brand new Chinese no-name with a body of compressed wood for 40€. Some Saturdays I played from 10 in the morning until 10 in the evening. Measured by todays standards the sound was awful and I had to retune every 10 minutes while the strings felt like cutting into my fingertips. But I learned a lot and completely by myself.
In 2009 I bought a matte black Schecter Diamond Demon from the first salary I got. That was a hefty upgrade totally worth it. The years after I played with thick strings mostly in the tune range of Drop A to Drop C because I liked the deep and metallic sound as present on Bring Me The Horizon's album Suicide Season.
Playing the keys
I had a cheap MIDI keyboard a few years ago and played sampled instruments as well as synthesizers on my computer. I sold it at some point. It was a simple input device bundled with a hobbyist software. With my wife, who plays piano since the age of four, my interest in playing this instrument reignited. Having a decent Yamaha E-Piano at disposal makes it much more pleasant to play. At most with the remarkably unique sound of Nils Frahms Una Corda sample library for Native Instruments Kontakt. I really love that sound.
The previously mentioned, cheap MIDI keyboard was bundled with Magix Music Maker. Looking back it was a beginner friendly introduction to the workflow and concept of digital audio workstations. I recorded my first title with Music Maker in 2008. Remembering it today it was a product which I would not be confidently selling. Slow, unstable and lacking precision in use of its interface. I got aware of Steinberg Cubase not so long after but with its ridiculous pricing it seemed out of question back then. I did not know much yet about alternative digital audio workstations. Luckily I was introduced to REAPER in 2009. It is my main tool for recording, mixing and mastering since then. Nothing I tried could compete with REAPER. It is affordable, highly efficient, feature packed but without bloat. It is the best solution for recording music. For loop based live performance Ableton Live clearly wins.
Books on my shelf
During my childhood I read all books of Harry Potter, The Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit multiple times. My eleventh birthday was a great disappointment because I did not receive any acceptance letter from Hogwarts.
Later on I mostly stopped reading classical books. Tablets sparked a little interest again. I considered it a great deal to potentially have tons of searchable books in a small device with you. After some time I realized the device itself is full of distractions and more complicated to use than the old fashioned pile of paper. I started to like the analog simplicity again. Paper books do not need to be charged with electricity. They do not distract you with a thousand other features. They are still on the shelf when your computer is broken.
Though I do not like to read technical documentation or education in paper form. It is outdated too quickly, not searchable and often to verbose. I prefer condensed know-how over jabbering as it happens in podcasts. Anyway, these are important books to me which I read and often incorporate into my thoughts:
- Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche
- The brain that changes itself by Norma Doidge
- Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron Lanier
- All Poems by Petőfi Sándor
- Die Kunst, recht zu behalten by Arthur Schopenhauer
- What If? by Randall Munroe
- Getting Things Done by David Allen
Beers I like
My taste focuses on stouts and porters but also includes Kellerbier.
I use the mobile app Untappd to check in on mostly new beers and keep track of what I like while neglecting the social features.
It is funny that I could remember most of the beers I tasted until I hit the mark of 600 distinct brews after five years.
The counting started only in 2014 when I was in Finland. A Couchsurfing host introduced me to craft beer. I did think not to like beer before I turned almost 24. It was eye opening: the world is full of tasty beer, if you look beyond the industrial mainstream brews which used to rule the markets. Five years later I brew my own beer the first time.
The overwhelming amount of multimedia input needs aggressive filtering and conscious consumption to not let it numb and distract our senses from what actually matters. In the past I used to spend a lot time online and in a purely virtual layer of our society. After using Facebook, Mastodon, Xing and Twitter for several years I drew the conclusion it is an utter waste of time. You invest attention and get nothing of worth out of it. And did I already mention how much I hate advertisement? Nearly everybody should be aware of the privacy issues by now, too. Sadly only few people care and are consequent. So in the end I quit. To me it is nothing else than the capitalist counterpart to China's mass surveillance. I do not want to voluntarily shovel money into the pockets of people harvesting my data.
I am glad that I found my way back off screen where the actual life happens. I pity those who seem to live in Snapchat and Instagram rather than in tangible reality. Years spent with social networks yielded the realization of their full expendability once I left them.
For professional reasons I am still present on LinkedIn. However I often question the sense of being there. Engagement neither contributes to my value as a developer nor to my perception of a balanced life.