Thoughts of an Eaten Sun

through the mind of kyle tolle

The Beginnings of Thought

What does it mean to think?

I don’t know.  I will certainly not break into deep philosophical discussion right now.

My name is Kyle Tolle and I currently attend The Ohio State University.  My major is Computer & Information Science, so naturally I have an interest in computers.  I went the CIS route, instead of Computer Science & Engineering, because I find software more interesting than hardware.  I am also doing a Business minor, because I have an interest in running my own business.

A bit of background, perhaps?  I started developing simple, static web pages in 7th and 8th grade.  From then on, I have been fascinated with interactive web pages.  I set my heart on being a CGI programmer, even though I didn’t really know what that meant.  I looked more into some of the technologies available, and had ASP and PHP catch my attention.  I chose PHP over ASP for one simple reason; PHP is free.  Linux servers running PHP were cheaper than their Windows/ASP couterparts, and I wanted the cheapest solution since I was just learning.

I started off reading The Visual Quickstart Guide for PHP and fell in love.  Fell in love with what?  Creating something from nothing!  From there I picked up PHP and MySQL and started to create simple web apps with a database backend.  Another one of my hobbies is writing, so I wanted to create a website for authors.  A place where one could blog and post writings, as well as get feed back on those items.  Thus Scrawlpoint was born.

I worked on this throughout high school and into college.  Scrawlpoint went through several major redesigns and even more minor revisions.  It was basically a test bed for me to learn about different things.  It has a simple currency which can be used to buy things in the on-site store, a profile page, and a commenting system.  I built this all by hand and learned a lot while doing so.  I haven’t worked on it in quite a while, unfortunately.  School, internships and various other things have taken up a lot of my time.  I hope to return to it some day.  It is written largely in procedural PHP4 code, but I would love to overhaul it and extend it into some OO PHP5 (or 6 if it’s out by that time).

I have competed in Microsoft’s Imagine Cup, which was the first time I worked with C# or any Microsoft developer technology really.  The sort of problems I’ve encountered with desktop/console apps are a lot different from this in web apps. It takes some time getting used to the whole object-oriented and component-oriented design side of things. I advanced to the regional semi-finals in New Orleans, so Microsoft flew me and the other OSU kids down there.  That was pretty awesome, especially being the first time I’d flown.  I didn’t advance any further but I did have a lot of fun and learned a lot.

Since then I have done an internship at Avetec, which is a small-ish non-profit doing work in the area of jet engine simulation in order to reduce the immense costs of prototyping and speed up the time to production.  I have done some web programming for John Harder, a professor here at OSU.  The project was to develop a system for a grant he was working on, but the grant ended before it was put into production.  I do have a working demo, though it is not online right now.  I am currently working for Pete Gordon (blog) of Users First doing software development for Apneicare.

On my own, I have started nullSIX.  It’s a company for technology services, such as web design, applications, custom work, hosting, etc.  I had planned to launch it with a few friends, but that didn’t work out.  I decided to go ahead and start it alone and registered the name uh… somewhere within the past two years.  I can’t remember precisely.  I need to update the website, and hope to do that soon.  I did a website for the band New American Standard, but they have since migrated to a new site in order to integrate with a local organization.  I have also done an online portfolio for the photographer Greg Phipps.  I am currently reanalyzing the business goals for nullSIX, so we’ll see where it goes.  I am really interested in working on or creating some opensource software.

So that brings me to today and the future.  I am currently working on my second to last quarter here at OSU.  Last quarter I was interviewing all over the country, but finally settled on a specific position.  I’ll be working as a Software Engineer for Lockheed Martin in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  I am very excited about the location, the work, and to be done with undergrad!  Now, Lockheed does have tuition reimbursement, so I will probably end up going back for my masters at some point.

Things have really fallen into place quite nicely for me.  I have said for years that I want to live in Colorado, because it seems most suited to my tastes of mountains, and outdoors activities especially snowboarding!  I even got to go this past winter break to Telluride, Colorado to snowboard for a week and it was spectacular.  I will hopefully post pictures somewhere soon.

Now, back to this blog.  What will I use it for?  I plan to write on a lot of things, including:

I am very excited to finally have my name as a domain and to start this blog!  My host is HostGator and they use cPanel.  I was quite surprised, and very happy, to see they have a program called Fantastico which allowed me to install this WordPress blog in about 30 seconds.  Now, I get to play around with the posts, themes, plugins, and loads of other things on here!

I hope to start my first How-to/Tutorial very soon, so I had better get motivated.